Elementary School Summer Camps

Since 2020, SJMA is proud to continue the tradition of one of Durango Nature Studies’ most beloved and enriching summer camps in Durango. SJMA offers week-long camps where elementary-aged children will spend time learning about the natural world. Campers may spend their day catching crawdads, building forts, hiking, exploring, or river tromping. Campers leave camp with memories, new friends, and a better understanding of the world in which they live. If you didn’t get enough of these camps but now are too old, make sure you check out our free Counselor-in-Training Program for ages 12-17.

Junior Naturalist Field Camps

Junior Naturalist Field Camps (JNFC) are week-long camps where elementary-aged children (rising 1st – 6th graders) will spend time learning about the natural world. They get to play with old friends and make new ones, too. Campers leave with memories, new friends, and a better understanding of the world in which they live. SJMA is offering six week-long camps, each with a different theme (from Water World to Eco-Village) during the months of June – August.

Junior Naturalist Field Camps – La Plata County

**Please note that our 2024 La Plata County JNFC registration process has changed to a lottery system. More information below!**

Camp Dates / Themes / Cost

June 3-7, 2024: Wildlife Neighbors, $375
June 17-21, 2024: Water World, $400
June 24-28, 2024: Predators and Prey, $375
July 8-12, 2024: Biodiversity Blitz, $375
July 15-19, 2024: Eco Village, $375
August 5-9, 2024: Nature Detectives, $375

Remember, if you have an SJMA Membership of $50 or more, you receive a 10% discount for all educational programming (discount will be applied automatically during registration). If you are in need of financial assistance,  please submit our Camp Scholarship Form.

Drop Off / Pick Up Location

Fassbinder Park at corner of W 17th St and Main Street. SJMA vans will transport campers to a mix between SJMA’s Nature Center and the San Juan National Forest areas.

Drop Off / Pick Up Time

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Age Eligibility*

Rising 1st-6th graders
*A waiver is required for kids under the age of 7 and must be submitted by April 20. Please note, approval of the waiver is not guaranteed. Contact Adriana Stimax for more info.

Max Number Participants

35 per camp (Thanks to our supporters, SJMA has been able to expand our numbers thanks to another van!)

Registration

In our quest to make participation in our popular summer camps more equitable, we have decided to pursue a lottery system model. Our research shows that this process has worked well for similar summer camps in our region. While it has been a challenge to find a registration system that meets all the capacity desires of our invaluable camp families, we believe that this new approach will make registration as equitable as possible.

Starting March 1, 2024: Families will register for various “buckets” within our summer camp lottery system. These buckets will include categories for things such as “Locals,” “Household Member ($50) or above,” “Scholarship Recipients” etc.. Lottery closes on March 15, 2024.

On April 1, 2024: We will randomly draw names from those registered and announce camp spots. Families who are selected will still need to register to secure their spot(s) in summer camp by April 10th. We will continue to have a waiting list. Stay tuned for more details.

We greatly appreciate families’ patience as we pilot this new registration process. Our intent is that it will serve our community’s families and students as fairly as possible.

We have pulled together the La Plata County JNFC Summer Camp Lottery FAQ. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Adriana Stimax, SJMA’s Education Director at astimax@sjma.org.

Junior Naturalist Field Camp – Montezuma County

Camp Dates / Themes

July 22-26, 2024

Cost

Montezuma County Residents: Free thanks to Montezuma Inspire Coalition and GOCO.

General: $375; Remember, if you have an SJMA Membership of $50 or more, you receive a 10% discount for all educational programming (discount will be applied automatically during registration). If you are in need of financial assistance,  please submit our Camp Scholarship Form.

Drop Off / Pick Up Location

Boyle Park, Mancos

Drop Off / Pick Up Time

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Age Eligibility*

Rising 1st-6th Graders
*A waiver is required for kids under the age of 7 and must be submitted by April 29. Please note, approval of the waiver is not guaranteed. Contact Adriana Stimax for more info.

Max Number Participants

24 per camp

Registration

Registration opens March 1, 2024  at 7 am.

Each child must be registered separately. You must complete the registration for the first child, including payment, before registering your second child. If you have registration questions, check out our Registration Flow Chart.

* Please note that if you have made this registration less than 48 hours in advance of the start of camp, your registration is not guaranteed until confirmed by staff.  We need time to receive and process all of the camp forms mandated by Child Care License requirements.