Camp Policies and Procedures

Registration Opens March 1 Nature Explorers Brochure Camp Policies (PDF)

Camp overview:

Our week long summer day camps will focus on Minnesota natural history, plants, and animals, especially those living in the Abbey Arboretum. Activities will include exploring, observing, games, arts, and up close critter encounters. Respect for and personal connection to the natural world will also be a key theme, which will include time for nature play with peers every day. 

Camps offered:
Minnesota Animals - Each day is spent exploring different animal groups through exploration, games, and up-close encounters.
Junior Naturalist - Campers will work on building the skills and knowledge naturalists need, such as observation, journaling, identification, orienteering, and more.


Both camps are for students entering 2nd through 6th grade during the 2022-2023 school year. 

Dates and Times:

Minnesota Animals (both weeks are the same camp)
session 1: June 20 - 24           session 2: July 11 - 15

Junior Naturalist (both weeks are the same camp)
session 1: July 25 - 29              session 2: August 8 - 12
Campers can attend both separate camps, but not the same session twice

Check-in is expected by 8:30 a.m. each day. Doors open at 8:20 a.m.
Pick-up is expected by 4:00 p.m. each day. Doors close at 4:10 p.m.

Early drop off and late pick up times are available and must be arranged before the first day of camp. Early drop off is between 7:30-8:20 a.m. and costs $5/day. Late pick up is between 4:10-5:00 p.m. each day and costs $5/day.

If you arrive early or late and have not informed camp staff by the first date of camp, you will be charged $5 for every 10 minutes you are early or late.  

Registration and Cost:

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline for registration, all required forms, and full payment is 1 week before the start of camp.

Full cost for the camp is $160 for children or grandchildren of Outdoor U members, $200 for non-members. After the first child is registered at full price, a $20 sibling discount will be available for 1 or more siblings (for both members and non-members).

Full payment is due upon registration, which includes a $25 non-refundable fee. 

No pro-rated daily rates are available. No refunds for missed days of camp.

Before and after care will be arranged and paid for separately from initial camp registration and will due 1 week before camp begins.

Outdoor U reserves the right to cancel a camp session if there is insufficient enrollment. If a session is cancelled, all fees, minus non-refundable fees, will be fully refunded.

Cancellations or Changes:

If you cancel your registration by 1 week before the start of your camp, your deposit will be refunded, minus the $25 non-refundable fee. Requests for cancellations or changes less than 1 week before the start of camp must be made to Sarah Gainey at [email protected] or 320.363.3133. Refunds less than 1 week out, minus the non-refundable fees, will be determined on a case by case basis.

COVID-19 Policy:

Camps will abide by the most current recommendations for prevention of COVID-19 as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health and the current policies of CSB|SJU. Campers’ parents/guardians will be notified no later than 2 weeks before the start of camp as to the COVID requirements for attending camp, which may or may not include and are not limited to wearing masks, health checks before attending each day, and vaccine requirements. If parents/guardians chose not to send registered campers due to COVID requirements, your deposit will be refunded, minus the $25 non-refundable fee, as long as you notify us of the change no later than 1 week before the start of camp.    

Required Forms:

After registering and paying online, parents/guardians are required to submit online the following forms by the due date (1 week before camp begins):

Required Forms

  • Release Form
  • Health and Safety Form
  • Medication Form
  • Extended Care Form

 Your child will not be able to attend camp if we do not receive these forms.


SJU requires all campers to carry health insurance. Evidence of insurance will be required to complete registration.

Zero Tolerance Policy:

Campers and camp counselors are expected to be respectful to other campers, camp counselors, guests, university staff and members of the Saint John’s community.  Saint John’s has zero tolerance for harassment such as inappropriate language, gestures or behavior including bullying, inappropriate comments to or about others, or misconduct. Outdoor U retains the right to dismiss a camper without a refund for violating the zero tolerance policy. Further information regarding institutional policies may be found at


Camps are staffed by full time Outdoor U professional education staff and assisted by college student employees. All camps will maintain at least a 1:8 ratio of staff to students. Students requiring supervision beyond this ratio may need to provide a personal aide at their own expense. Lead staff are trained in CPR/First Aid and have extensive experience in teaching kids outdoors.

Lunch and snacks:

Campers will need to bring their own healthy lunch each day, including a beverage, and an afternoon snack. Refrigeration and microwave will not be available. Morning snacks will be provided but campers are welcome to bring their own.


Camp will occur on the campus of Saint John’s University, both indoors in university buildings and outdoors in the Abbey Arboretum. Camp drop off and pick up will be in New Science Center room 150.  


Campers should come prepared to be outside. Camps will not be cancelled due to inclement weather but activities will be adjusted for the safety of the campers.


Please contact Sarah Gainey, Outdoor U Environmental Education Coordinator, at [email protected] or 320.363.3133, with any questions.