Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

Reservations are not required, and tickets do not need to be purchased online in advance.

Summer Camp

Summer camps at the WNC Nature Center are fun, educational experiences designed to involve campers in the wonders of the natural world!  All sessions include animal encounters, outdoor recreation, crafts, and group activities on and around the Nature Center grounds.  

Registration for Summer Camp 2023 is now closed. Anyone who has entered the lottery will be contacted by mid-March.

Program Descriptions

Summer camps are for children born August 1, 2013 to August 31, 2017.  

Camp runs July 3  to August 11, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.  After care is offered from 3:00 pm to  5:00 pm. 

There will be one camp theme offered for each age range. In order to ensure campers are engaged with the week’s activities, each camper will be permitted to enroll in only one week of camp.

Fur, Feathers, and Fun

for children born September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017

Camp Dates:
July 3-7, July 17-21, July 31-August 4

BOOM! POW! ZAM! Animals are the true superheroes of the world! Adaptations give animals the power to move at incredible speeds, use camouflage as their invisibility cloak, leap great lengths, and some even have built-in night vision!

Reptiles and Amphibians

for children born August 1, 2013 to August 31, 2015

Camp Dates:
July 10-14, July 24-28, August 7-11

Are snakes slimy? Why do frogs call? How do salamanders breathe through their skin? Do all turtles hide in their shells? Explore the science and lore behind these intriguing cold-blooded animals.

How to Register

New in 2023: A lottery system for registration will open February 20 at 8am and close February 26 at 8pm. Each prospective camper’s information will need to be added to the lottery list for each individual camp session they are interested in attending. 

Only sign up for the session(s) your child(ren) are able to attend.  By signing up for the lottery, you are agreeing to enroll if selected.  Selections will be generated randomly. 

If your registration request is selected, you will receive an email in early March with instructions and a deadline for completing registration.  Priority will be given to siblings applying for the same camp session but cannot be guaranteed.  Individuals on the waitlist and those that do not get selected will be alerted by mid-March. 

Registration by lottery will be employed to ensure equity of access for all interested participants, with the aim of reducing stress and the impact of technical issues, while increasing flexibility for families hoping to register.  We strongly recommend that prospective participants enter the registration lottery at the beginning of the time window to enable time for any needed troubleshooting.

Registration for Summer Camp 2023 is now closed. Anyone who has entered the lottery will be contacted by mid-March.

Contact Education Curator Eli Strull
(828) 259-8082

Camp Details

Grade Level & Class Size
Registration is based on the child’s birthdate.  All camps are for children born between August 1, 2013 and August 31, 2017. Registration numbers may be limited in accordance with public health recommendations.

Registration is $250 for each child per week. Friends of the WNC Nature Center Members receive a $25 discount. After Care is $75 per week for Members and Non-members. Fees include program instruction, activities, snacks, all materials, and a camp t-shirt.

The Friends of the WNC Nature Center is offering full scholarships for qualified families to attend 1 week long session of summer camp in 2023. Families that qualify for the Federal TRIO programs will be eligible to enroll in a lottery system for a chance to enroll in camp. Selected candidates will be able to register for camp and can add optional aftercare with no fees charged to the family. Qualifying participants will be chosen at random. The enrollment lottery for scholarships will open the week of February 20 to 26. This will be a separate lottery than the general summer camp enrollment lottery.

After Care   
Families can extend the camp experience with a pick-up time of 5:00 pm instead of 3:00 pm. Children in After Care generally swim at the Rec Park Pool unless the weather or other factors dictate a pool closing, in which case campers do crafts or explore the Nature Center.

Please PRE-REGISTER for this service when initially registering for camp. It cannot be prorated daily, so pre-register for the entire week and feel free to pick up your camper as it works for your schedule. After-care registration will be available on a first-come, first serve basis with capacity limits each week.

All program activities will be based on participants’ interests and engagement levels.  Enrolled families will receive detailed information for each camp session via email 2-3 weeks prior to the start date, including an outline for the week. All activities are subject to change during the course of the week due to weather conditions, timing, or other factors. 

Special Considerations     
Our primary goal is to provide a safe and positive camp experience for all. Camp staff is unable to provide one-on-one supervision for participants with disabilities, but we would be happy to assist the family in making those arrangements with a care facilitator of your choice. Parents/Guardians are asked to discuss their needs with Education Curator Eli Strull prior to registration.

A fee of $50 will apply to cancellations. 50% of the registration fee will be withheld for cancellations made less than three weeks prior to the session. Allow four to six weeks for refunds to be issued from the time of cancellation. 

The wellbeing of our participants is paramount. We will follow all public health guidelines that are applicable when camp is in session. This may include mask wearing unless eating or drinking, washing and sanitizing hands regularly, social distancing, temperature monitoring, and sanitizing equipment and surfaces. Activities will be outdoors as much as possible. Indoor space will also be used and is available for inclement weather.