Nature Day Camps

Voted the #1 Day Camp in Charlottesville!

The Living Earth Day Camps are a one-of-a-kind nature camp experience. We have been voted a favorite summer day camp for over 10 years!! We will spend the week exploring the beautiful Virginia mountains, streams and other wild places. Campers work together in small groups learning about the natural world, plants, mammals, tracking, birds, wilderness survival, awareness and so much more. We do this with hands-on activities, games, adventures and fun challenges. Our instructors are “Nature Connection Mentors” and guide campers into experiences that nurture their connection to the earth and allow them to feel at home in the natural world.



Explorers is our flagship day camp for all children aged 7-13. For new and returning campers with all the classic favorites of Living Earth. This introduction to nature camp exposes campers to a bit of all our specialty camp activities and fun all day. If you are signing your child up for our day camps for the first time, please register for the Explorers Day Camp, held several weeks throughout the summer.

Theme Camps


Themed Day Camps are available for campers ages 9-14 who have attended one previous Explorers Day Camp this summer or a previous summer! Themed Day Camps still keep the favorite core routines, but the daily focus centers around the particular theme of the week with some new challenges and activities. LES reserves the right to cancel a themed camp registration if the participant has not met the prerequisite requirement of attending at least one Explorers Day Camp session first.

* Campers will use knives and learn knife safety in this camp.


A week of massive fort building awaits! Forts to camouflage, forts to keep you warm and dry, forts to make with your friends—we will do it all!

Elements of Survival*

Fire, Water, Shelter, Food. Begin to learn the skills you need to live in the woods. Each skill will be tested with a fun, special challenge!

Forest Ninjas

We will get down and dirty with wild camouflage, scouting techniques, hiding and sneaking games, honing in with our intuition, and fine-tuning our senses.

Animal Lovers

Learn how to spot animal homes and habitats, go wildlife tracking, understand bird language, and connect with the trees, bees, plants, birds and scat.

Art in Nature

Get ready to be CREATIVE! This camp is for those who love making things (2D AND 3D) from natural materials and/or want some coaching in their drawing/painting skills.

Fire Lovers*

Learn the ins and out of fire safety skills before setting off on all kinds of fire making challenges, cooking wild teas, and making tasty campfire cooked meals.

Fishing Skills*

We harvest our own poles, braid our own fishing line, and even hand-make our own hooks. Participants explore the many ways humans have learned to catch and harvest fish, from pole-and-line to net, to even trap fishing. 

Click here for Teen Summer Programs: Day Camps, River Trips, Backpacking, and more!

Is your favorite camp marked FULL? Register to be on our waiting list (no cost)!

        2024 Summer Camp Schedule


Moormans River Camp (MRC) – Free Union

Batesville Camp (BVL)

1: June 10-14

Explorers or Forest Ninjas


2: June 17-21

Explorers, Animal Lovers, or Fort-Topia

Explorers or Fire Lovers

3: June 24-28

Explorers, Forest Ninjas, or Elements of Survival

Explorers or Elements of Survival

4: July 8-12

Explorers, Forest Ninjas, or Animal Lovers

Explorers or Fort-Topia

5: July 15-19

Explorers, Fort-Topia, or Forest Ninjas

Explorers or Fire Lovers

6: July 22-26


Explorers or Forest Ninjas

7: July 29-Aug 2


Archers Craft Bow-Making (Teen Only)

Explorers or Art in Nature

8: Aug 5-9

Explorers or Fishing Skills

Wood, Leather, Metal (Teen Only)

Explorers or Animal Lovers

Batesville Bus Transportation Service – NEW for 2024 Summer Camps!

We are excited to offer transportation for Batesville Summer Camp campers of all ages! *Includes: Stepping Stones and Day Camps (Explorers and Themed Camps) Get up to 2 hours of your day back while supporting an environmentally friendly transportation option!

During Summer Camp registrations, registrants will have the option to add on “Shuttle Service-Batesville” to purchase at checkout. Please click this option for each child during registration if you are registering multiple children!

Cost: $50 per participant per week (i.e., a family with 3 kids at Batesville Summer Camp Week 3 = $150)

Location for drop off/pick up at Pantops: Giant Food Parking Lot (1900 Abbey Rd. Charlottesville, VA 22911 Google Maps Link


  • drop off at Pantops: 8:00 am. Bus will depart at 8:20 am to camp.
  • pick up at Pantops: 4:30 pm. Pick up participants by 4:45 pm to avoid late pickup fees being incurred.

POLICY: *If participant is not dropped off at the Pantops location by 8:20 AM, you will have missed transportation services. Failure to pick up participants by 4:45 PM will result in a charge of $10 every 5 minutes late per child!

Details & Registration

  • Explorers Camps are for Ages 7-13

    Themed Camps are for Ages 9-14

  • Week 1: June 10 – 14

    Week 2: June 17 – 21

    Week 3: June 24 – 28

    Week 4: July 8 – 12

    Week 5: July 15 – 19

    Week 6: July 22 – 26

    Week 7: July 29 – Aug. 2

    Week 8: Aug. 5 – 9

  • Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm.
  • 2 Locations: Check the box on the registration page for the site you wish to attend to shorten the list. There are multiple pages of camps.

    Moormans River Camp (MRC) – Free Union a beautiful expanse of woods and fields to explore along the gorgeous Moormans river in the White Hall/Free Union area only a 15 minute drive from Barracks Road shopping center in Charlottesville, VA. (All Teen Day Camps will be held here).

    Batesville Camp (BVL) a fantastic landscape of forests and ponds to explore along the Mechums river in Batesville. Only 20 minutes from Charlottesville, VA. (Stepping Stones camp for ages 5-6 will only be held at this site).

    • Batesville Bus Transportation Service: $50 per participant per week (i.e., a family with 3 kids at Batesville Summer Camp Week 3 = $150)
  • Cost for each day camp is $435

    Financial Assistance: We do have a growing Scholarship Fund for campers this summer thanks to generous donors! Please fill out this APPLICATION FORM to be considered for financial assistance. Scholarships are decided on a first-come first-serve basis and applicants will hear back within 3 weeks. We recommend applying before Jan 15, 2024. The application period ends March 11th, 2024.

  • Prerequisite for all themed day camps: Camper must have attended at least one Living Earth Explorers Day Camp, and be age 9-14. LES reserves the right to cancel a themed camp registration if the participant has not met the prerequisite requirement.


    Please read our COVID-19 Protocols Document HERE before registering.

  • Free T-shirt included