Camp Themes

Welcome to Nature Adventures Camp 2022

From the Camp Leadership Team

Welcome to the South Shore YMCA Natural Science Center’s Nature Adventures Camp, a place where your child will explore and discover the wonders of the outdoors while instilling a sense of respect and appreciation for the natural world.

Summer is a time to enjoy the warm weather, hang out with friends, and play outside.  At camp the possibilities are endless. Nature Adventures Camp provides a balance of structured and free play with environmental exploration, the use of scientific tools, and age-appropriate learning activities. These experiences encourage children’s natural curiosity of the outdoors while building social and life skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and self-confidence.

We seek to foster an appreciation for and love of nature by inviting campers to explore the world around them through hands-on, outdoor, experiential learning. By doing this, we hope to inspire your children to become environmentally responsible and conscientious citizens of tomorrow, to spark a lifelong love of learning, and to develop a deep and enduring connection with the natural world.

Our camp team is excited to offer fun, creative and enriching hands-on nature-inspired STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) adventures for our campers and we hope your children join us!


2022 Camp Themes

Our exciting nature-based weekly themes emphasize fun, hands-on experiences for campers to discover the natural world around them through age-appropriate activities. Campers at each age level develop skills and knowledge which encourage confidence, cooperation, curiosity, and compassion for the natural world. Each week we feature a different camp-wide theme.

Registration is now open for Summer 2022!

Week 1:  Colors of Nature (June 20-24)

Join us to create beautiful, sustainable pieces of eco-art inspired by the many colors, textures, and patterns found in nature. Using a variety of natural mediums, we will explore many forms of art including sculpture, architecture, painting, and sketching.

Week 2:  Beneath the Surface (June 27-July 1)

What lives under our feet? Do you ever wonder what is happening underground? Who lives in the depths of the deep blue sea? Are you curious about what hides beneath the surface of Jacob’s pond? Come investigate around the Science Center and at Jacob’s Pond to discover the microorganisms beneath the surface!

Week 3: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Palooza (July 5-8)

Help us uncover the prehistoric past! The world of dinosaurs will come to life through fossil hunts, mock digs, and engaging, hands-on activities.  We will explore the lives of dinosaurs, the Big Bang, and other ancient organisms, as we learn about the evidence that scientists use to learn about these prehistoric creatures!

Week 4:  Shark Week (WHO-HA-HA!) (July 11-15)

Explore the extraordinary world of sharks, dolphins, and whales with hands-on activities and discovery.  Become a marine biologist to uncover the incredible adaptations that make ocean megafauna and their relatives unique and help them survive in their ocean habitats.

Week 4: Vet Camp (July 11-15) Grades 5-8

Join us at Nature Adventures Camp to learn basic animal care skills and explore the world of veterinary science. Campers will interact with animals who call the science center home to learn about anatomy, gain important observational skills, and learn how to use various scientific tools! Vet camp will take trips to Jacobs Pond, explore the Science Center campus, and feed the animals who live in the ecozone.

Week 5:  Thingamajig: Environmental Innovation (July 18-22)

Join us as we build contraptions to fight climate change, raise environmental awareness,  and peak sustainable interest! In addition, we will participate in our 8th annual “Thingamajig”, our own invention convention, by using our imaginations to create and build some new and exciting prototypes to combat climate change.

Week 6: Jeepers Creepers! (July 25-29)

What makes an insect an insect? What creepers live around the science center and at Jacob’s Pond? We’ll use magnifying glasses, bug catchers, and frolic in Woodchuck Field to get a closer look at our 6 legged friends. Explore with us as we discover the insects that call South Shore Natural Science Center home!

Week 6: Adventure Skills (July 25-29) Grades 5-8

Could you survive in the wild? What skills do you need to spend a night outdoors without the convenience of electricity? Join us to learn how nature provides everything we need, from fire building and orienteering to water collection techniques and shelter creation.  Ready yourself for your next adventure!

Week 7:  Things with Wings (August 1-5)

Take flight and explore the plants (yes – plants!) and animals with wings! Experiment with how wings work, make flying crafts and discover how high and far your creativity can go.  Finally, investigate how nature has inspired modern inventions such as helicopters, planes, and gliders.

Week 7:  Marine Skills (August 1-5) Grades 5-8

Week 8: Galactic Blast-Off (August 8-12)

Blast off into space! Come explore the vastness of the solar system with us as we discover the mysteries of the universe! What causes an eclipse? Why is Pluto no longer a planet?  We will uncover the answers to these and other space curiosities that have mystified humans for years.

Week 9:  Fascinating Forensics (August 15-19)

Can you open your eyes to the wonders of STEM? Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and pull out your magnifying glass. We will explore the ins and outs of forensic science through investigation, observation, and examination to discover your inner STEMsational superstar!

Week 10:  Slither and Slime (August 22-26)

Who can make the best slime? Do you enjoy searching for snakes, salamanders, turtles, frogs, and toads? Join us as we visit aquatic and terrestrial habitats in search of our amphibian friends, as well as sunny spots where reptiles may be found. Create slime with your friends and meet the resident reptiles and amphibians that call South Shore Natural Science Center home to learn about the unique adaptations that enable them to survive.


We are excited to announce the new Leader-In-Training (LIT) program at Nature Adventures Camp is back for 2022! This is an excellent opportunity for youth ages 12 to 15 to develop leadership skills while becoming role models for young campers in a fun and engaging atmosphere. They will be supervised, coached, and evaluated by the Leadership-in-Training Coordinator.  LITs will build their confidence, independence, and self-esteem through problem-solving, taking initiative, and being solutionaries. LITs will use these newly acquired skills to develop and lead camp activities alongside experienced counselors.

2-week sessions:

  • Session 1:  July 5-8, July 11-15
  • Session 2: July 18-22, July 25-29
  • Session 3: August 1-5, August 8-12
  • Session 4: August 15-19, 22-26

Louise Beaudry, Director of Environmental Education & Camping, lbeaudry@ssymca.orgCWeek 4: Vet School Camp (July 16-20) Grades 5-8

Join educators from SSNSC to learn basic animal care skills and explore the world of veterinary science. Campers will interact with the Science Center’s reptiles and amphibians to learn about animal anatomy, gain important observational skills using tools such as microscopes and stethoscopes, help prepare food for the Science Center animals and work collaboratively to solve veterinary mysteries. Includes an off-site field trip

Register for Nature Adventures Camp at South Shore YMCA Natural Science Center

Registration is now open for Summer 2022! Find your camper's next adventure at the South Shore YMCA Natural Science Center and register online!