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Chicago Botanic Garden Provides Ideal Setting, Unique Programming for Summer Day Camp

Woodlands, lakeshores, prairies and display gardens create unmatched environment for exploring science, nature, ecology, art and cooking.

Adriana Reyneri
(847) 835-6829, direct

Event Date: 
Monday, June 16, 2014 to Friday, August 15, 2014
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GLENCOE, Ill. (April 1, 2014)Four native ecosystems and themed display gardens create an ideal environment for Camp CBG, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s signature summer day camp for children from 2 to 15 years old. The program is accredited by the American Camp Association and offers a series of morning, afternoon, supervised-lunch, and full-day camps from June 16 to August 15, 2014.

“In the summertime, the Garden opens up to campers who use our woodlands, lakeshores, prairies and cultivated spaces—such as the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden—to explore science, nature, ecology, art and even cooking. The Garden is a beautiful, safe, enriching environment for our all-outdoor programming,” said Amy Wells, manager of camp programs.

The spectacular setting and curriculum combine to create a day-camp experience that’s difficult to find anywhere else in the Chicago area. Dirty Jobs camp provides a heavy-duty, hands-on exploration of the world of botany and horticulturists. Campers design and plant their own gardens, help maintain the Garden’s worm bins, get the low-down on composting, and meet a Garden scientist. The one-week Explorers camp, for grades 3–4, takes place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on June 23 to 27, and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on July 21–25.

Camera Craft camp has children construct an old-fashioned pinhole camera to rediscover the magic of nineteenth-century photography. Campers also explore the elements of composition and framing snapshots, and use disposable cameras to take photos around the Garden. Developing film deepens their appreciation for the art of photography. The one-week Explorers camp, for grades 3–4, takes place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on July 7 to 11; and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on August 4–8.

Konnichiwa Japan camp takes full advantage of a rich cultural resource, the Malott Japanese Garden. Campers are immersed in Japanese culture as they explore Sansho-En, the “Garden of Three Islands,” learn the art of bonsai, create sushi-inspired snacks, discover the art of calligraphy, and visit the Shoin House. The one-week Explorers camp, for grades 3–4, takes place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on June 16 to 20 and August 11 to 15.

Ecology, set in the Garden’s woodlands, prairie and aquatic ecosystems, exposes campers to the world of conservation science. Campers become familiar with native species, and perform their own surveys, identifications, and field observations. The one-week Adventurers camp, for grades 5–7, takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 7 to 11 or August 11 to 15.

Camp CBG provides a continuum for preschool through high school:

  • The Bloomin’ Garden Strollers social play program meets on Fridays to allow caregivers to explore the Garden with children ages six to 24 months.
  • My First Camp 2 is a one-hour, Tuesday and Thursday camp focusing on parent and child interaction with nature, science, art and garden activities. Programming is designed for two-year-olds’ fine and gross motor skills and social development. My First Camp 3, designed for three-year-olds, meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Green Sprouts invites campers ages 4 and 5 to investigate science and nature through such one-week, half-day programs as “Bug Brigade,” “Fun with Physics,” “Garden Expedition” and “Super Seedlings.”
  • Green Thumbs allows children ages 6 and 7 to dig a little deeper into science and nature with such camps as “Expert Wizardry,” “Incredible Edibles” and “Grossology.” The half-day programs run for one week.
  • Rovers offers full-day, two-week programs for campers ages 7, 8 and 9. “Create & Grow” explores the Garden through art, music, cooking, yoga and planting. “Science Explorer” is a new two-week camp where ecology plus botany, physics and chemistry, equals a whole lot of fun.
  • Explorers engages children ages 8 and 9 in hands-on, inquiry-based activities. Camp offerings include “Camera Craft,” “Garden Caching,” and “Surviving Outdoors.”
  • Adventurers offers full-day camps enabling middle-school students ages 10 to 12 to discover the role plants play in art, chemistry, cuisine and ecology.
  • Leaders in Training is the perfect summer experience for teens interested in pursuing careers in science and education. Participants help prepare camps, assist teachers and acquire job-related skills.

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Editors, please note: For digital images, contact Julie McCaffrey at (847) 835-8213 or at

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