Summer Programs

messy fun

Spend part of your summer with us at the ESC. Students can participate in a variety of classes that feature hands-on, interactive learning. Our small group structure allows students an opportunity to dive deep into their learning and get individualized attention. All classes are taught by experts in the field to further enhance the experience. Students particularly enjoy the daily animal encounters!

The application period is now closed. For more information, contact



Open to Preschool students ages 3 and 4 as of April 2015

Seedlings will work together to care for a garden and explore the outdoors at ESC. Seedlings will learn about plant parts and their importance!  Seedling campers will also participate in songs, cooking, and crafts to enhance their understanding of the plants growing around us.

Elementary School Programs

Summer Safari  

Open to students entering Kindergarten and Grade 1
What is the difference between an invertebrate and a vertebrate? Campers will explore the animal kingdom to discover the wide range of animals. Campers will understand the difference between mammals, reptiles, insects, amphibians and birds. Campers will participate in hands on activities, crafts and many animal encounters with the ESC animal collection. On the final day campers will visit the Prospect Park Zoo to further their discovery of animal investigations.


Open to students entering Kindergarten and Grade 1

Sprouts will work with the ESC staff to plant and care for a garden. Students will enjoy stories, cooking and hands on activities while exploring the world around them. This weekday camp will engage campers in the whole process of gardening including planting, maintaining and planning for its future.

Who Lives There

Open to students entering Grade 2
Campers will investigate and discover different habitats around the world and how animals adapt to their habitats in order to survive and thrive. Campers will be engaged in many hands on activities and animal encounters to better understand adaptations of animals. Campers will also travel to Prospect Park Zoo to further study animals and their adaptations.

Hands in the Garden

Open to students entering Grades 3, 4 and 5
Campers will spend the week learning the basics of vegetable, herb, and flower gardening, including seeding, weeding, watering, and harvesting. Along the way, they will learn plant anatomy and identification up close, see the roles of invertebrates in our food system, and gain hands-on experience in the world of home-grown food and healthy eating.

Weapons of the Wild

Open to students entering Grades 3, 4 and 5

Poison, armor, camouflage, oh my! Come discover how organisms defend themselves within their environment through hands-on learning and animal encounters at ESC. This program includes a trip to Prospect Park Zoo where student scientists will work with an animal behavior specialist.

Middle School Programs

Art in the Garden

Open to students entering Grades 6, 7 and 8

Isn’t a garden beautiful? Experience the arts, by observing the natural world at the Environmental Study Center. Campers will learn the science behind the garden while creating sketches, designing stepping stones, painting garden scenes, and creating field guides through a naturalist’s eye.

Soil Stewards

Open to students entering Grades 6, 7 and 8

Campers will spend the week developing their gardening skills, learning about the ecology, history, and culture of horticulture from the soil up. Hands-on activities and lessons will focus on soil health, plant anatomy and identification, tool safety and use, seeding, weeding, watering, and harvesting, taking away a new perspective on the life and journey of the fruits and vegetables around them.

Food Without a Footprint: Cooking with a Conscience

Open to students entering Grades 6, 7 and 8

Campers will explore the sustainability and carbon footprint of the food we eat and then practice their kitchen skills while cooking their way through various food groups. 

High School Programs


Open to students entering Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12

Campers will work together to explore the foundations of the exciting world of forensic science. Campers will participate in labs to foster their understanding of different techniques and concepts used in real crime scene investigations to analyze evidence collected at a "crime scene" such as fibers, fingerprints, blood splatter and DNA.