Summer Nature Camps

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  Calyx Nature Camps, NOW:
Backyard* Nature Camp
(offered through Calyx's Online Outdoor School platform)
for ages 5-10
June 29 - July 23, 2020
9:00am - 3:00pm PST

"Our neighborhood school, my husband's work program, and other local and national groups have offered a variety of classes over the past 2 months. None of them compare to the care, time, and warmth that you brought to your online program. You all did a phenomenal job as you pivoted your experience to an online offering. Your program brought a sense of grounded, focused, peace to our lives and I sincerely can't thank you enough for that."      

                                                                                           - Calyx Connects Participent

Calyx Nature Camps combine good, old fashioned outdoor fun, with plenty of time for nature connection, exploration, creativity and discovery. Our mixed-age Nature Camps for children ages 5-10 are led by our experienced educators and mentors. We hope you will join us for yet another summer of exploration and play!


We are inspired and excited about the possibilities awaiting in our own backyards, and have all kinds of delightful summer fun surprises in store. Calyx will use its Zoom Room as a way to bring our campers together and connect with naturalist mentors, teaching artists and special guests, and as a tool to get our campers outside where they will explore, play, discover and connect with the natural world.

Camp Costs

One week of Camp costs $195-$325 and is based on a sliding fee scale, but is being offered as a pay-what-you-can program this summer.*

*Calyx Nature Camp fees are based on a sliding fee scale of $195 - $325 per week. Although the real cost of one week of camp is $325, Calyx works to make its programs available below cost to ensure they are accessible to all families. In figuring out how much to pay, we ask you to consider what you can afford, what you would or do pay for a comparable camp, and how much Calyx programming is worth to you. We know that in some cases, your ability to pay will not match the worth that you ascribe to the experience. We understand. We ask you to pay what you can within that range. And, if you are able to pay more, please do as it helps ensure ongoing Calyx programming, and to ensure diversity within our programming. Please know that we will turn no child away due to the inability to pay.

Zoom as a Tool to Get Kids Outside

We will use zoom like in and out breaths, coming together to mark beginnings and endings through the day and week, to launch us into backyard challenges through small group project times, and to share with each other. We provide all prompts and activities in writing so you and your child can make decisions about how much or how little to participate in zoom meetings. Our goal is to minimize passive screen time and to maximize our time outdoors, moving, exploring, playing and connecting. So, for example, we meet on zoom for morning circle, project time, and closing circle. But most of our meetings will include the in breath of coming together on zoom and the out breath of going outside to discover, observe, explore or create, and then the in breath of coming back together to share, and then the out breath of stepping away for a break.  


Daily Rhythm

We will create a container for our camp experience through rituals and a rhythm that is predictable and consistent, and that will help your camper navigate and self regulate through the day and week. Our goal is to spark curiosity, ignite creativity, and inspire the kind, gentle and just nature warrior in all of us.   

2020 Camps

Join us for 1, 2, 3 or all 4 of our Calyx Backyard Nature Camps

Camps run Monday - Thursday from 9am - 3pm with assistance from our Calyx Zoom Room with intermittent breaks, outdoor exploration, special guests, games, and plenty of fun.

To enroll your child for Calyx Summer Camp, please complete the registration form by clicking the yellow button. Payment is due at the time of registration.


Checks can be made out to SEA and sent to Calyx at P.O. Box 1366, Freeland WA 98249.

To pay by credit card, please contact Maisie Greer at


Registration will be considered complete upon receipt of payment.

Week 1: Monday, June 29 - Thursday, July 2

Be the Change: Earth Warrior Camp

Calling all Earth Warriors! Join Calyx as we challenge our bodies, minds, and hearts and deepen our connection to the earth, to each other, and to the warrior within. What does it mean to walk the path of an earth warrior? How do kindness, compassion, justice and honor guide you? What does the earth have to teach us about community, diversity and interdependence? We will explore these questions and more as we balance, jump, crawl, sneak, and run through our own backyard challenge courses, encouraging one another on our individual paths of warriorship. Learn to tie a survival knot, create your own warrior path map, and explore your backyard like you’ve never done before! 

Week 2: Monday, July 6 - Thursday, July 9

The Nature of Tinkering

What happens when we dismantle everyday machines and allow our imaginations to see not only what is there, but to discover what is possible? Inviting all tinkerers, dreamers, artists, and inventors to explore the engineering possibilities laying just within reach. Local artist-maker Bin Greer will join us this week, sharing his expertise in guiding processes of discovery, experimentation, risk-taking, and creation. Children will be guided on a magical journey of deconstruction, innovation, and reconstruction as we push at the possibilities of art, reuse, invention, and bricolage. 

Week 3: Monday, July 12 - Thursday, July 16

Singing With The Plant Nation

Join us for a week of celebration of all things green and branchy! Plant whisperer Silvi Vulpini joins Calyx for a week of plant exploration and study. Campers will learn the magic language of plants and about the mysteries of the wild as they rediscover their own backyards. Campers will hone their plant identification and develop observational drawing skills, make art with plant fibers, explore edible and medicinal varieties while learning how to care for and respect the plant nation. End the day learning new songs to sing our gratitudes and sing along with the summer symphony of our backyards. Discover what beauty we can create with our plant brothers and sisters.

Week 4: Monday, July 20 - Thursday, July 23

Nature Ways: Finding Our Way Home

Our final week of Calyx Camp will culminate with a week of backyard or bedroom camping, scouting and swriting! We will pitch our tents on Monday and use our tents as our Nature Camp base for the week. We will spend time in our tents during the day, and, for those nature warriors who are ready for the challenge, sleep in them at night. Through games, daily challenges, and writing, we will explore navigational tools, our own earth-belonging and the concept of home, as we step out of the material structure that we call home, and into our earth home. This will be an exciting week of backyard camping, tracking, scouting and writing as we sing our way home!

June 15 COVID-19 Update for Calyx Camps

Thank you for your patience, and for your commitment to your children and grandchildren, to our community and to our earth. We have been sitting with the question of whether or not to hold camp in person this year. A number of factors went into our decision-making process. We have been educating ourselves, tracking the science and learning from the experiences of countries that have successfully responded to COVID-19 or are months ahead of us in their response. We are observing strong and divisive adult reactions to public health measures in our community. We are witnessing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19,on marginalized communities and, in particular, on black communities and communities of color, and the ways race and class impact health and safety at every level in this country. And we have been acting with conscience to navigate our decision-making, holding those who are most vulnerable at the center of our process. We participate in weekly all-school calls with the Island County Public Health Department, and we have studied the WA DOH Guidelines on Chid Care, Youth Development and Summer Day Camps during the COVID-19 Outbreak, the Washington Safe Start reopening plan, and legal masking requirements. As a learning community, we are committed to the practice of balancing the "I" and the "we" and to providing leadership during these uncertain times in walking a kind, gentle and just path.  


It is for these reasons that we have decided that Calyx will not hold in-person camp this year.  


Instead, we will offer camp through Calyx's Online Outdoor School. We will build on what we have been doing these last three months, continuing to respond, innovate and create as we go! We will be in touch by the end of the week to share more details about what to expect during our week(s) together, and to update you about any changes, if any, to the thematic content of our weekly camps. What we can tell you is that we will continue doing what we have been successfully doing these last three months, using technology in an intentional and limited way to counter the isolation many children are experiencing at home, to get them connected to a kind, gentle and just community, and to get them outside for playful exploration, discovery, learning and summer camp fun. Calyx Nature Camps will provide participants the opportunity to experience heart-centered, emergent nature based learning that is responsive to the times in which we are living, in which connection to ourselves, each other and the earth are more critical than ever. 


The Calyx team has been, and continues to be, inspired by the creative challenges presented during these times, which are so ripe with learning opportunities on so many levels. While we long to meet you and your children beneath the watchful gaze of the grandmother and grandfather trees of South Whidbey State Park, we also know that we can make this a memorable, and connected, summer for us all, filled with mindful awareness, ceremony, whimsy, learning, surprise and delight. We are excited by the possibilities! 

May 20 COVID-19 Update for Calyx Camp Families

We have all been challenged to find our way, and called to step into a position of deeper awareness and mindful action as we navigate this current complex moment; a moment that is characterized by uncertainty and disconnection on one hand, but also unprecedented global solidarity and love on the other. At Calyx, we stand in solidarity with those within our own community, and the global community, who are most vulnerable and, thus, disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

Calyx endorses a science and data driven response to COVID-19. Under Washington’s Safe Start recovery plan, outdoor camps will be allowed under Phase 3, so long as they comply with ongoing physical distancing requirements and safety protocols for participants and employees. In deciding whether or not to hold camp in person this year, we are considering a number of factors. We will defer first to Washington's Safe Start plan. We will also consider whether we feel like we can provide a healthy and safe experience for children, their families and our greater community. We are continuing to gather information and learn from the experience of others who are farther along in their own processes of addressing the pandemic. 


Currently, Calyx mentors are discussing various options, as we develop new protocols and ways of being together physically that increase opportunities for shared outdoor learning experiences while also helping to decrease health risks to our community. Calyx started responding to COVID-19 in January, when we adapted our daily Calyx School flow to better safeguard the health of our community. Some of our tools are ready. Others are being handcrafted with loving intention. We are all very eager to be back together, in person. And yet, we will continue to take a measured approach in our decision-making. We believe this will continue to serve us all in the short and long term. 


If we are not able to hold camp in person, we will provide creative Calyx Nature Camp zoom options inspired by our learning over these last two months at Calyx's Online Outdoor School and our new Calyx Connects program. This is not our first choice. We know lots of you may be starting to feel a little zoomed out! But if that's what we've got, that's what we will use in new and creative ways.


So, step by step.... We will get through this together. And we will keep you informed as we go. Please know that you will not be under any financial obligation if we cannot hold camp in person and you decide not to participate in an online outdoor option. You do not need to make that decision now, but we want you to know this. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions! 

PO Box 1366, Freeland WA 98249

office: 360.331.4811

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