Summer Camps and Nature Weeks


About our Camps:
Our camps value small group experiences, hands-on exploratory learning, and child-led learning. Facilitated by experienced environmental educators, campers discover how to interact positively with the world around them. The outdoor experience at Blue Heron starts early, with our Little Blue Herons nature weeks for children ages 2-4. This program focuses on sensory exploration and positive experiences in the natural world. For older campers, we offer Great Blue Herons for children ages 4-9 with exciting and different themes each week that encourage active exploration in nature. For children ages 5 - 12 who are interested in art, we offer our popular Afternoon Paint Box Mystery Art Camp. Our oldest campers join our Trailblazers group for children ages 9 - 13. This camp challenges children to expand their outdoor skills and scientific abilities with expeditions to our 10-acre Emma Wetlands property and involvement in Citizen Science and conservation projects at the Preserve. 

We are also happy to welcome Critter Camp from the Amphibian Foundation to Blue Heron for the second summer! Read more about this exciting opportunity for children ages 6-14 at the bottom of this page. 


summer Offerings for 2018

Summer 2018 starts on May 29th and ends on August 10th. We offer camps weekly throughout this time. We do not have camp on Memorial Day and July 4th. 

Little Blue Herons Nature Weeks for ages 2- 4. 

3-Day program, offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. (2-day program the weeks of Memorial Day and July 4th.) 
Regular Hours: 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.
Lunch Bunch Extension: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. You must provide a nut-free lunch for your child. 
Please provide diapers and wipes for all non-potty trained children. 

Fees for 2018:
Regular Hours: $125.00/3-Day program
Lunch Bunch Extension: $15.00/3-Day program

Program Description:

Early childhood is a key time for introducing children to nature. Children attending our Little Blue Heron Nature Weeks will learn to explore nature using all of their senses. Art, music, and imaginative play will fill our mornings as we discover the world in a safe and secure environment. Our Little Blue Herons group does not have a weekly theme, allowing instructors to design each week in response to individual children's needs and interests. Past groups have explored how to play with sticks, become birds and made their own bird wings, and created their own hidden treasure spots in the woods. 

Dates offered:

Week 1: May 30th and June 1st (2-day week due to Memorial Day Holiday) 2 spaces remain

Weeks 2-11 are FULL. Please email to be added to the wait list. Include your name, you child's name and age, the camp week(s) you wish to attend, and your contact information. 

Register Here

Great Blue Herons Day Camp Featuring Afternoon Paint Box Mystery Art Camp
For ages 4-8. 

5-Day program, offered Monday-Friday. (4-day program the weeks of Memorial Day and July 4th) 
Regular Half- Day Hours: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  
Lunch Bunch Extension: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. You must provide a nut-free lunch for your child. 
Regular Full-Day Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Only open to children ages 5 and up) 
Extended Day Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Only open to children ages 5 and up. Available for an additional fee.) 

Fees for 2018:
Half-Day: $190.00/week
Half-Day with Lunch Bunch: $210.00/week
Full-Day: $375.00/week
Extended Care: Early Drop Off, $35.00; Late Pick Up, $35.00; Both, $60.00. This is a one-time fee per child. Once paid, you may use extended care throughout the summer. 

Program Description:

Our Great Blue Heron Camp is entering its 4th summer, and we are planning new adventures throughout the Preserve! We are also continuing our popular partnership with Christy Knight's Afternoon Paint Box Mystery Art Camp. Children are outside for the majority of the camp, and encouraged to get wet and muddy, turn over rocks and logs, climb trees, and play with sticks. Our professional naturalists and environmental educators facilitate these experiences, and help children discover natural interactions with the outdoors. Each week offers a different theme, and new opportunities for interacting with nature. The themes are repeated one time during the summer, however the activities will be different. 

Great Blue Herons Camp Themes:

Inventive Gardens, May 29- June 1 and July 30-Aug 3 (2 spaces remain):
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes, so let's invent our own magical ones to play in! From discovering secret flower gardens in our meadows, to designing and building our own miniature gardens to take home, this week will be full of opportunities to get our hands dirty.

Some Bugs, June 4-8 (1 space remains) and July 23-27 (FULL): 
What is under that rock? Did you see a butterfly go by? Let's find out why the world of bugs is so fascinating! We'll find some bugs, and some things that are not bugs as we sweep our butterfly nets through the air and dig our own bug traps out in the world. Some bugs might even live in our camp terrarium for the week!

Outdoor Detectives, June 11-15 (2 spaces remain) and Aug 6-10:
As nature sleuths, we'll find out what sort of species live here at Blue Heron. We will look under rocks and logs for insects, spy through binoculars for birds, do some scavenger hunts and seek out evidence of other critters all through the woods.

Survival Camp, June 18-22 (2 spaces remain) and July 9-13 (FULL):
Explore the skills of the modern adventurer and traditions of the native people of Georgia! We will explore our woods and creeks all while learning and playing together! Our campers will learn how to build a shelter, find useful plants and learn some of the games and stories of days gone by. 

Creek Week, June 25-29 (1 space remains) and July 16-20 (FULL):
Be ready to get your feet wet this week! We will explore the creeks and pond of our preserve learning about the animals and insects that live there, making boats and taking a peek at the underwater world!

Sketchy Nature, July 2,3 and 4,6 (No Camp July 4th): (8 spaces remain) 
The natural world is so full of artistic inspiration! Come spend some time letting those creative juices flow! Campers will be able to make their own nature journal, create outdoor art, sketch some of our amphibian friends and do some tie-dying. Our campers will also help design our camp T-shirt for the 2018 summer!  

Paint Box Mystery Camp Themes:

This year, campers will continue to experience new art themes at the Preserve, providing the direct connection to nature that is essential to our programs. Each exciting day includes our signature paint box mystery hunt, live drawing process, and creative games with plenty of room for independent design and discovery. Each session ends with a Friday frozen treat as we marvel at all the amazing art we've created to take home!

Wings, June 4 - 8:
What would it be like to soar into the blue June sky? We’ll create wind-worthy crafts and learn to draw and paint
birds and butterflies, from the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the Monarch, as we map their migrations.

Mystery Animal, June 11-15:
Who will we meet today? A new animal to guess, discover and inspire creativity in the field
and studio. We’ll experiment with texture, line and color to bring the animals that live at the Preserve to life in
our paintings and drawings.

Design Challenge:Dwellings, June 18-22:
Dwellings is all about architecture, both the human and animal kind. From cliff
dwellings to honey bee hives, we'll learn about all kinds of homes, create our own ideas on paper and then test our daring designs out in the Preserve.

River Stories, June 25-29:
We'll map the great waterways of the world in both two and three dimensions as we experiment with water mediums and get to know the amazing animals who live in the Riparian environment at the Preserve.

Yum Yum Art!, July 30-August 3: 
This week is all about art projects inspired by the food we grow, prepare and eat. Join us as
we experiment with mediums and recipes that look good enough to gobble up.

Register Here

Trailblazers Day Camp for ages 9 - 13. 

5-Day program, offered Monday-Friday. (4-day program the weeks of Memorial Day and July 4th) 
Regular Full-Day Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. You must provide your child with a nut-free lunch. 
Extended Day Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Fees for 2018:
Full-Day: $375.00/week
Extended Care: Early Drop Off, $35.00; Late Pick Up, $35.00; Both, $60.00. This is a one-time fee per child. Once paid, you may use extended care throughout the summer. 

Program Description:

Now entering its 2nd summer, our Trailblazers camp provides older children the opportunity to expand their exploration of the Preserve. Our Trailblazers get to travel to our Emma Wetlands site, home of our resident beavers. They will also explore our new Land O' Lakes meadow restoration site, and see the incredible conservation work underway. This camp teaches outdoor survival skills, and engages campers in Citizen Science work. It give campers the opportunity to pursue their own outdoor interests, whether they enjoy nature journaling or want to learn how to use a seine net and identify local fish. Additionally, our Trailblazers will help be a part of the growth of Blue Heron by assisting with the building of new trails, trail crossings, outdoor education centers, and more. This year, our Trailblazers camp has its own themes to ensure older campers get a personalized and challenging nature camp experience. 

Trailblazers Camp Themes:

Adventurous Naturalists, May 29-June 1 and July 9-13 (3 spaces remain):
What does it take to be a naturalist? Do they climb trees, explore  underwater, or search the sky?? Let's go on hiking expeditions to our beaver ponds, track animals like deer and mink, and grab a field microscope as we find out!  We'll even get inspiration from famous people who were, surprisingly, naturalists! 

Discovering New Worlds, June 4 - 8 and July 16-20: 
From large to small to microscopic, the habitats and ecosystems of Georgia offer incredible new worlds for us to discover. Blue Heron is home to four distinct habitats, and we'll discover ways to explore each one. Track beavers in a wetland, find dragonflies in a meadow, or gather wild edibles in our woods as we learn what makes each place a unique and wonderful world.

Water Ecology, June 11 - 15 and July 23 - 27 (5 spaces remain):
We'll need nets, buckets, and Blue Heron's water quality testing equipment for this week! We will explore ways to determine if our creeks and pond are healthy. Campers will test different ways of catching fish, learn what aquatic macroinvertebrates are, and how to find them. There will be plenty of time for wading and rock skipping, as we find learn more about caring for our waterways! 

Survivor: The "Green" Edition, June 18- 22 and July 30 - August 3:
Do you have what it takes to survive being "green"? Our challenge this week will be to find ways to survive inside and outside while reducing our carbon footprint! From weighing our food waste and trying to reduce our camptrash to 0, to building environmentally friendly shelters outside, campers will have to get inventive to survive as a "green" person this week!

Trailblazers Give, June 25-29 and August 6 - 10:
Each summer, we are impressed by our campers desire to protect and improve the Preserve. During this week, campers will pick a conservation project to complete. Possibilities include removing invasive plants, planting new plants, or creating new signs at our Field Education Centers to help visitors learn about native wildlife! Campers' names will be on the project, and we'll celebrate their accomplishment with an end of week party.

Georgia Bioblitz, July 2,3 and 5,6 (No Camp July 4th):
Georgia is an amazing State for wildlife! During this week of celebration, let's celebrate the plants, animals and ecosystems that make our state so unique!  Can we find more than 100 species of living things at Blue Heron? We'll use new skills and the help of experts and try to reach this goal! 

Register Here


2018 Counselor in Training Program for ages 13-18

Fees for 2018:
$175 for new Counselors
$75 for returning Counselors 

Training Dates: May 19, 23, 25, 26  (must be able to attend 2 of 4 sessions or attend 1 and complete a homework assignment)

Program Description:

Our Counselor in Training program enters its 3rd year, and we are proud of what it has accomplished so far! Teens who participate in this program get the opportunity to volunteer with Blue Heron throughout the year, and get connected to other non-profit organizations like The Amphibian Foundation and Atlanta Audubon Society. If your child is interested in environmental education or the outdoors in general, this program will help them learn the ins and outs of the profession. Each participant will complete 6 hours of training with Blue Heron staff, be assigned a mentor who will help them complete a goal worksheet, and complete a performance assessment at the end of their service. New Counselors in Training must commit to assisting for one week of camp, and can volunteer for no more than 4 weeks of camp. Returning Counselors in Training must also commit to assisting for one full week of camp, but can volunteer for up to 6 weeks. They will receive a camp t-shirt and a portfolio documenting their work at Blue Heron. All Counselors in Training must complete our 2018 application prior to registering for the program. 

Apply Here


The Amphibian Foundation's Critter Camp at Blue Heron Nature Preserve
For Ages 6-14

We are excited to announce that the Amphibian Foundation's popular Critter Camp is returning to Blue Heron Nature Preserve for its 2nd year! 

Camp Description:

Critter Camp is a fun, science-based exploration into the world of reptiles and amphibians - perfect for the critter enthusiast in your life! Our goal is to introduce students to the exciting biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles, using native and exotic animals to illustrate aspects of biology and ecology.

Critter Camp is run by Crystal Mandica, an experienced reptile and amphibian awareness and outreach educator and Director of Education for The Amphibian Foundation - an Atlanta-based non-profit. Weather permitting, hikes may be taken to our nearby creek to survey for native critters. Space is limited to 12 campers per session! Please contact Critter Camp Administrator, Crystal Mandica with questions, 

Priority Registration Price through March 1st: $350 for full weeks $280 for Memorial Day/4th of July weeks.  

Dates & Age Ranges: 

May 29 - June 1: ages 6-9

June 4-8: ages 10-14

June 11-15: ages 6-9

June 18-22: ages 10-14

June 25-29: ages 6-9

July 2,3,5,6: ages 10-14

July 9-13: ages 6-9

July 16-20: ages 10-14

July 23-27: ages 6-9

July 30- Aug 3: ages 10-14

Aug 6-10: ages 6-9

Register Here