Summer Camp Info

bccd summer camp logo REGISTRATION BEGINS APRIL 1ST


wheelchairThe Boone County Conservation District welcomes campers of all abilities to our summer camps. For information about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact Tina Dawson Scott at (815) 547-7935.


The Boone County Conservation District offers 3 environmental education summer camps to area youth. Registration begins on the first weekday in April. Stop by the Roger D. Gustafson Nature Center for more information or to register.


Camp Ducktails is offered once a week on Thursday for preschool children ages 4 and 5. Camp is based out of the Rec Hall in Spencer Conservation Area and goes from 9:00AM to 11:30PM. Each session a new nature topic is introduced. Campers will learn songs, go on nature hikes, and have story, craft, and snack times. A free camp T-shirt is included with the first registered session.


Camp Redwing is a 5-week day camp open to children ages 6-11. Camp is based in Spencer Conservation Area and goes from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. Activities each week include a field trip, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts. There is a Family Night every Thursday. A free camp T-shirt is included with the first registered week. *There is no camp the week of July 4th.


Camp Redtail is an adventure-based camp and introduces minimum impact camping and outdoor adventure skills to pre-teens ages 12-15. There are two 4-day camping trips. While Redtail has no prerequisite regarding camping experience, campers are warned that some trips are more challenging than others. Campers may encounter rugged terrain, physical exertion, and primitive to non-existent amenities. Campers are responsible for sleeping bags, personal items, and spending money. All other gear is provided. There is a mandatory pre-camp parent meeting before the trips to answer any questions. A free camp T-shirt is included with the first registered trip.

Camp Price List

Camp Ducktails
Boone County Resident $90 for all 5 sessions OR $20 per session
Non-resident $110 for all 5 sessions OR $25 per session
Scholarship $40 for full-summer (5 sessions) enrollment. No individual session scholarships.
Deposit $50 for full summer/family. Individual sessions are paid in full at time of registration.


Camp Redwing
Boone County Resident $100* *$10 Family Discount – Must be enrolled in the same week of camp. Does not apply to scholarship recipients.*Attend all 5 weeks, get a $50 credit per family for the last week of camp!
Non-resident $120*
Scholarship $50
Deposit $50/week per family


Camp Redtail
Please Note
Boone County Resident $200 There is a mandatory pre-trip meeting on June 27th at 6:00 p.m. which campers and parents MUST attend.
Non-resident $220
Scholarship $100
Deposit $100/trip

     Limited scholarships for all camps are available to qualifying families.

:: 2017 Camp Ducktails Session Themes (ages 4 – 5)

  • Session 1: June 29th – “Lunch for a Bear”
    Campers will learn about the foods that black bears eat and will get a peek into a bear’s “lunchbox.”
  • Session 2: July 13th – “Tracks”
    Campers will explore animals tracks and make and compare tracks of their own.
  • Session 3: July 20th – “Spider Web Wonders”
    Campers will learn about spiders and spider webs. They will even get to make their very own web!
  • Session 4: July 27th – “Backbone Bonanza”
    Campers will learn about animal backbones and the characteristics that distinguish them.
  • Session 5: August 3rd – “Wildlife Water Safari”
    Campers will learn why water is important to wildlife and what kinds of animals live near water.

No camp the week of July 4th.


:: 2017 Camp Redwing Weekly Themes (ages 6 – 11)

Each week includes lab, crafts, fishing, swimming, prairie planting, and Family Night!!

  • Week 1    June 26th – June 30th     PIONEERS ON THE PRAIRIE
    Have you ever thought about what life was like when Illinois was still a vast prairie? What did people do over 150 years ago, before grocery stores or video games? You might be surprised to find that kids weren’t that different from you (besides the fact that they didn’t have video games!). We’ll get to explore what the pioneers’ homes, jobs, and school was like, and we’ll get to visit a working farm on our field trip to Alpaca Pines in Poplar Grove. Did somebody say Alpacas??
  • Week 2    July 10th – 14th      FEATHERS, FUR AND SCALES
    Did you know there are an estimated 7.77 million different species of animals on Earth?! And less than a million have actually been discovered! This week we’ll talk about the different animal families and what makes each special, and we’ll learn about the scientists who discover and study new species of animals. Are you ready to become an animal scientist? Our field trip this week is to Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.
  • Week 3    July 17th – 21st     FISH TALES
    I smell something fishy! Oh wait, it is a fish! There’s no other animal quite like them – they can breathe underwater and are suited with scales! We’ll get to see some up close this week to learn more about the unique qualities of fish. And, of course, we’ll get to go fishing! Our field trip is to the Discovery World Aquarium in Milwaukee.
  • Week 4    July 24th – 28th     CREEK STOMPIN’
    There are all sorts of creatures that call the water their home, and we’ll get to discover just what creatures those are by getting down and dirty! There’s so much to learn about our ecosystem by exploring what lives in the water. We’ll have the chance to do some of our own creek stomping in the Kishwaukee River at Russell Woods Forest Preserve in DeKalb. Be ready to get your feet wet!
  • Week 5    July 31st – August 4th    NATURE’S YUCKY
    Did you know there’s a lizard that can shoot blood from its eyes?! Or that a sea cucumber can shoot out its intestines? What about the fact that vanilla flavoring actually comes from a beaver’s bum?! Ewww! We’re going to learn all kinds of gross, but super cool facts about nature that you could ever possibly want to know (or maybe didn’t want to know). We’ll also take a trip to Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia.

No camp the week of July 4th.

:: 2017 Camp Redtail (ages 12 – 15)

Note: Campers will engage in a variety of activities, some of which include; canoe, hike, sleep in a tent, ride horses, cook meals, pump water, swim, use outdoor restrooms, set up tents, and exposure to biting insects and inclement weather. A long car ride is also a necessary part of the camp. In wilderness settings, emergency evacuation can be delayed.

Caving in Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa – Date: July 11th – July 14th

Click here to visit park website

This trip will include caving, hiking, swimming, and camping.

It is a moderate activity trip.

Canoe Camping in the Sylvania Wilderness Area, Michigan  – Date: July 25th – July 28th

Click here to visit park website

This trip will include canoeing and camping in a wilderness area with no amenities.

It is a more strenuous trip but no experience is required.

:: Age of Campers

Our recommended age range for campers enables us to have camp groups that understand the camp activity and can participate safely and enjoyably. We reserve the right to allow campers of a different age in a group.