For over 40 years, the Nature Center has been educating children and families about our region’s natural history. Our nature camps have become a popular resource for parents throughout the Sacramento region. Offered during regular school breaks (spring, summer, Thanksgiving week and winter), these daily and weekly programs offer families a trusted, enjoyable and more engaging camp experience! We hope to have your little campers with us soon!

Want to receive camp updates directly to your email? Contact and ask to join our camp email list.

COVID-19 Update
We closely follow CDC and Sacramento County guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. As of May 11, 2023, the CDC has declared the end of the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Learn more about this update here:

The California State Government reminds us that “California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency is over, but COVID-19 has not gone away”. Masks are recommended when cases are on the rise and when around vulnerable people. More details on current safety measures can be found at

Summer Camps

Summer nature camps are offered during school summer break. Registration opens around early March.

Fall Camps

Fall nature camps are offered during school Thanksgiving break. Registration opens around mid-fall.

Winter Camps

Winter nature camps are offered during school winter break (Dec/Jan). Registration opens around mid-fall.

Spring Camps

Spring nature camps are offered during school spring break. Registration opens around late winter.

Our Philosophy

Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s Under the Oaks Nature Camps give children the opportunity to experience, explore and discover the great outdoors! Studies have demonstrated that being in nature helps children let go of everyday stresses and allows them to develop an appreciation of the world around them. Our camps are the perfect blend of structure and exploration, engaging both their minds and bodies while having a great time!

Your child will enjoy the seasons along the American River Parkway, participating in outdoor activities, creating long lasting memories and learning about the natural world. Each camp is focused on different nature-related themes with hands-on explorations, hikes and games, with crafts and stories. Each day is filled with new discoveries and fun!

Our Facilities

The Nature Center is part of a 100-acre nature preserve with riparian and oak woodlands, shrub lands, meadows and aquatic habitats. Many varieties of animal species live in the nature preserve and the Ancil Hoffman Park. Camp participants routinely see deer, squirrels, wild turkey, rabbits, snakes, frogs, hawks, woodpeckers, songbirds and waterfowl on the river and ponds, as well as tracks and signs of many other animals.

While camps are generally held at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, some of our camps include either an evening program or an off-site day, where children will need to be dropped off or picked up at another location. These will be noted in the camp descriptions.

Age Ranges

Our regularly scheduled camps are for ages 6-11, however we do offer some programs seasonally for additional ages. Camp 5 is a special program just for 5-year olds, offered at least once each school break. And we also occasionally offer special programs for tweens and teens – ages 12 through 15. Watch for these programs in our camp brochures and on the Camps webpages (by season, to the right).

Cancellation/Refund Policy

A cancellation fee of 10% will apply to all cancellations made more than 14 days before the start of a camp. No refunds will be given if cancellation is 14 days or less before the camp. A rescheduling fee of $10 will apply for each class change requested. Twenty-four hour notice is required.

Come to Camp Prepared…

Depending on the season and weather, our camps may include wading in a pond, hiking, and other nature, craft and outdoor activities. Please have your child wear closed-toed shoes, sunscreen and a hat (if appropriate) when coming to camp. Also, children should bring water and a healthy snack.

A Note to Parents
Our camps are for children only. We ask parents to avoid lingering when dropping their children off at camp and to refrain from hanging around the Nature Center in sight of the campers during camp hours, as this is distracting to the campers, volunteers and leaders. Also, please do not interrupt our camp activities during class time. If you arrive late, or need to sign your child out early, or need to drop off items for your child during camp, please check in at our office and our staff will assist you. Advance notice (24 hours) about early pick-ups is appreciated – simply email your camp naturalist letting him/her know. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

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