Introducing Nature School Day Camps!

***WisCorps is considering offering this program to a wider age range of children. If you have or know older kids who might be interested in this camp, please contact Steph Hanna (steph.hanna@wiscorps.org).***

Sections Offered – October 2020

Wetland Wonders: 10/5 – 10/9

Why are wetlands wonderful? What animals live there? Explore the La Crosse River Marsh and learn about the creatures great and small that call this wetland home. Campers will learn all about the marsh through stories, hikes, games and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities such as experiments and crafts.

Major Movement: 10/12 – 10/16

Some walk, some slither, some fly! Animals have different ways they move depending on what they need to do to survive. This camp is all about moving with and like the animals. Campers will learn all about animal movement through stories, hikes, games and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities such as experiments and crafts.

Earth Explorers: 10/19- 10/23

Explore the earth inside and out! From the core of our planet to what we see on the surface and even all the way to space. Learn about all things earth-related. Campers will learn about our amazing planet through stories, hikes, games and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities such as experiments and crafts.

Things With Wings: 10/26- 10/30

What do bats, ducks, and dragonflies all have in common? This camp is all about exploring these winged things and more! Campers will learn about flight and flying animals through stories,hikes, games and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities such as experiments and crafts.

Nature School Day Camp FAQs


Welcome! Below are frequently Asked Questions to help parents decide if our program is a good fit to support your child’s needs. Programs are currently offered for children ages 4, 5, and 6.

What is the purpose of Nature School Day Camp?

Our 3 weeks of September nature programs are designed to support parents and teachers during the 30-day virtual start to the school year or to support students from any school district experiencing various school changes due to COVID-19. Our programs do not to replace school. They are designed to support children, parents, and teachers during these tumultuous times of school structural changes. We realize the challenges of COVID-19 have been extremely difficult for educators and families and we want to do our part to help!

How does Nature School Day Camp support children, parents, and educators?

Nature School Day Camp is designed to support parents and offer home-school enrichment during the 30-day virtual start to the school year. Programs focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and are designed to offer support and socialization for students in a small group setting (20 children or less in building at all times).  Our programs do not replace school but are designed to match and support the school curriculum in a non-school educational setting. We have reached out to area teachers in grades 4K, 5K, & 1 for feedback on how to best support them during this difficult time and are using feedback to design programming.

Who can enroll in Nature School Day Camp?

Any child of any ability ages 4, 5, and 6.

When is Nature School Day Camp?

Day Camps are offered the 3 weeks listed below. You may register for just 1 week, 2 weeks, or the full 3 weeks. For each week, you may choose EITHER a morning session from 8:30 – 11:30am OR an afternoon session from 12:30 – 3:30pm. Contact us with inquiries regarding single day(s) options.

  • Week 1: Sept 14-18
    • Creepy Crawlies theme
  • Week 2: Sept 21-25
    • Animal Adaptations theme
  • Week 3: Sept 28-Oct 2
    • Creature Classification/Animal Classification theme

Will you extend past September?

We will continue to offer programs after September but we are not sure what these will look like yet. Future programs will take into account feedback from families, teachers, and school district decisions. We will keep you informed!

What is the daily schedule?

We offer half day programs. You may enroll for mornings (8:30am-11:30am) OR afternoon (12:30pm-3:30pm). Half days are designed to provide support, structure, and socialization to children while giving parents time to refresh and plan for at-home learning the other half of the day. Our programs give kids a break from screen time and gets them outside, active, and engaged! Games, activities, and crafts will be designed around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and topics relatable to curriculum for grades 4K, K and 1st grade.

Where is Nature School Day Camp located?

Myrick Park Center located at 789 Myrick Park Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601

What will children do for lunch?

Sessions times are half days so lunch will not be occurring during our programs.  Children should eat lunch at home and bring their own snacks each day.

Do Nature School Day Camps replace school or run school programs?

NO! Our programs are designed to support children, parents, and teachers but in no way replace school or school curriculum.

What are group sizes?

Group sizes will be a maximum of 8-10 children. Groups will be made of up children ages 4, 5, and 6. There will be a maximum of 20 children inside the entire facility (Myrick Park Center) at any given time.

How are your programs different than other programs?

WisCorps’ Education Program is overseen and taught by a professional educator and biologist.  Our specialty is hands-on, boots-in-the-mud learning and experiencing in NATURE! All programming takes place in and around a nature center and curriculum is based around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). We are not a replacement for school but we will structure our programs to match topics relatable to current school curriculum to support your at-home learning. Research shows that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and we believe this is more important now than ever before.

What if I try to register and it’s full?

We will keep a waiting list and reach out if space opens up.

Do you have extended day options?

Yes! We offer morning sessions 7:30am-8:30am and afternoon sessions 3:30pm-5pm. Extended day is $2/day (or $10 per week). Extended day can be added in 1 week increments.  

Is there a fee?

Yes! Nature School Day Camp is a fee-based service similar to any other youth development activity programs. Fees support our ability to offer quality programs to families. Fees are $25/day and camps are offered on a per week basis ($125 total/week). You may register for any or all of the 3 options: Week 1 (Sept 14-18), Week 2 (Sept 21-25) or Week 3 (Sept 28-Oct 2).

Sibling discounts

Yes! We have a sibling discount for this program of 30%. For example, if you enroll two of your children, you pay $25/day for the first child and $17.50/day for the second child.

Would my child with special education or physical needs be welcome?

Yes! WisCorps is dedicated to creating an accessible and inclusive environment and we welcome children of all abilities. However, children must be independent to use the toilet or have a non-WisCorps staff to assist.

What protections and procedures are in place to fight community spread of COVID-19?

WisCorps & Myrick Park Center have stringent safety protocol in place. We have reduced to 25% operating capacity to ensure ample room for social distancing. Face coverings are required. Teachers or children must stay home if they are not feeling well or must be picked up immediately if not feeling well throughout the day. Teachers will teaching and reinforce good hygiene practices and hand washing. Close contact will be minimized and cleaning protocols are significantly enhanced.

Who will be supervising campers?
Programs are supervised by WisCorps Education Manager, educator, and biologist Steph Hanna. WisCorps’ Nature Teachers are AmeriCorps members fully trained to work with children in an educational setting. Some programs may also have extra support from Naturalist Volunteers. All Naturalist Volunteers are fully trained and background checked WisCorps volunteers.  Most of our Naturalist Corps volunteers are retired educators or those with some type of education background. All staff and volunteers are background checked, fully trained, and operating under stringent COVID-19 safety protocol.

What measures are in place to foster a sense of normalcy for children in a pandemic world?

Daily routines and structure offer stability during times of stress and create an environment that empowers children to build confidence and independence. Social and emotional learning is an important area of development for children. Nature School Day Camp creates a structured environment with small group sizes to continue socialization in a safe environment. Social distancing will be taking place throughout the day but we work within these parameters of the pandemic to still provide important aspects of socialization such as using manners, acts of kindness, inclusion, and emotional awareness.

Will the staff and children have to wear masks?

Yes! Masks are required for staff and for children. As educators in science, we feel strongly it is important to follow where the science takes us! Current research shows masks are a simple and effective tool during the pandemic. This tool offers stability to programs by decreasing the risk of virus spread which helps us create a safe environment and continue to provide services.  Children do not have to wear a face covering while outdoors if appropriately socially distanced from other children.

What is your illness protocol?

Staff, parents, and campers should know the symptoms of COVID-19:

(list updated from La Crosse County Health Department 8/20/20)

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Staff and families should notify WisCorps and contact healthcare providers if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness and will be asked to STAY HOME until they are symptom-free for 72 hours.

Children have always been monitored for signs of illness during day camps and now this will include signs of COVID-19. Any camper who becomes unwell during day camp will be immediately separated from others and the teacher will contact the parent and/or emergency contact to pick the camper up immediately.  Children or staff who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the county’s current recommendations for self-isolation.

How do I register?

Registration will be live on August 26 at www.wiscorps.org/daycamps and will close Friday before the first week of camp or when full. When camps fill up, a waiting list form will be available online.

Will these programs be canceled due to the current health situation?

You may have been involved in our Summer Day Camp programs and a few things will be different for Nature School Day Camps. Our summer programs made the decision on a week by week basis of continuing or canceling based on the current community risk of COVID-19. We have learned a lot since the start of the pandemic. With the knowledge we have gained and the need for stability to support families during the school year, we plan to remain open unless the situation largely changes.   Even though we are still learning, we feel confident that this is a good way to work within the parameters of the pandemic to stay as safe as possible while providing needed services to families. We will continue to monitor the situation, learn, and follow the science to make the best decisions we can regarding COVID-19.

What is the refund policy?

If, for whatever reason, WisCorps cancels Nature School Day Camp, you will be given the option to receive a full refund.  If you need to cancel enrollment in a camp, a full refund will be issued only when you cancel 1 week prior to the start of the class.  There will be no refunds issued after this time.

Contact us with questions at: steph.hanna@wiscorps.org

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