Nature Quest, Camp in Your Classroom

Nature Quests: Camp in the Classroom

Walcamp's Nature Quest brings the hands-on learning of a camp field trip to your school.

  • Nature Quests are a great option for a classroom preparing for an outdoor education field trip to Walcamp, and for classes studying a specific science theme in their curriculum.
  • Nature Quests provide teachers with activities that incorporate a taste of Walcamp's Outdoor Education activities into their classroom without disrupting the entire school day, especially as a change of routine during the colder winter months.
  • Nature Quests offer students who might feel reluctant to attend an OE program to meet our instructors and sample some of the activities they can experience in greater depth at camp. It also gives them some familiar faces to look forward to seeing when they step off of the bus.

Program Options:

Nature Quest TRACK Program

A Walcamp instructor will spend the day with one classroom, leading four activity sessions that combine science and nature with Language Arts, Math, Writing/Presenting and other cross-curricular topics.

Nature Quest ROTATION Program

A Walcamp instructor will spend the day traveling between your classrooms, leading up to two activity topics as determined by age and the request of the school.

Program Details

Cost: $250/instructor (includes up to 4 hours of activities), plus milage to your location.

Ages: Nature Quest programs can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of students in grades K-8

Group Size: Nature Quest works best with a minimum of 10 students. Groups of over 16 students may require additional Walcamp staff or a modified schedule.

Time: A single Nature Quest activity session can be adapted to fill anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Each Nature Quest "track" is designed to cover four class periods (about four hours). Actual times will vary based on the needs of each group.

Student to Instructor Ratios: The ideal Nature Quest class size is between 8 and 16 students. Larger groups may require programs adjustments or a second instructor, depending on the availability of our other team members.

Supervision: Walcamp provides an instructor to lead activities with your students. While our team members are trained in group management, leaving them to resolve behavior conflicts with a group of students they just met can detract from the program. We ask that a school faculty member be present during ALL Nature Quest activities to observe and to assist with group management as nessesary. This faculty member is welcome and encouraged to join in the activities with their students.

Program Tracks

Walcamp currently has one Nature Quest track available, with three more in development.

Activites for those tracks still in development are based on our on-site Outdoor Education program, and can be adapted with very little effort if you are interested in the topic.

1. World of Wonders
Students study the habits of animals, trees and ecosystems and write a short story based on their observations. Does NOT include live animals.

2. History in the Making
Students intract with games and concepts from America's past, both the native tribes and early pioneers, and develop a presentation based on their findings on how to leave a better world for the next generation. (In development.)

3. Forces of Nature
Students play with "invisible" science concepts like kinetic & potential energy, gravity, lift and rhythem. Prepare to get your hands messy and to create a "joyful noise." This session may require some open space like a gym or an outdoor activity area.
(In development.)

4. Rock Out
Students dig into geology, comparing some of the types of rocks and minerals that make up this world, then expand their view beyond for a glimps of the planets and stars.
(In development.)

Note: Programs "in development" will require a little more time for us to prepare. Please let us know of your interest and provide at least one month's advance notice so that we can focus on completing that session to share it with your students.

Sample Activity Descriptions
(taken from World of Wonders track)

1. Animal Evidences
Students observe a collection of animal pelts and other artifacts to compare and contrast various animal species, catagorizing them by type and learning fun facts about how each one survives and thrives in the wild. No live animals.

2. Life of a Tree
Students compare and contrast different species of trees, use their observation skills and other clues to help identify certain common species, and use estimation and measurements to determin the approximate age of several tree samples.

3. Where is my Polar Bear?
Students play games that bring the reality of endangered and threatend species to life, and the explore the current implications and several options available to them to help preserve our planet and the species that live here.

4. Nature Tales
Students write a short story inspired by elements of nature and key concepts introduced during other activity sessions in this Nature Quest.

Sample Itinerary

9:00 am . . . . Walcamp staff arrive at your location
9:30 am . . . . Introductions and Session I
10:30 am . . . Session II
11:30 am . . . Break for Lunch
12:30 pm . . . Session III
1:30 pm . . . . Session VI
2:30 pm . . . . Closing and clean up.

Schedule an Event

To schedule a Nature Quest event at your school, please email or call 815-784-5141 and ask for "Ducky."

At this time, Nature Quest is only available to schools and educational groups in the Chicago area and in northern Illinois.