Tualatin Riverkeepers’ summer day camp program welcomes youth between the ages of 4 and 13. Camps foster an appreciation and love of nature through place-based, hands-on experiential learning: lessons and activities are designed to develop campers’ self-confidence, problem solving skills, and understanding of their ecological niche. While exploring, learning, and having fun, campers will build memories that last a lifetime!
What makes TRK camps unique
We know that environmental education is by nature place-based, and we get to know our place well. We are lucky to host our camps in Tigard’s largest nature park; this urban jewel means that there is no travel time to get to nature! Tualatin Riverkeepers is committed to strengthening the community around this resource, and is excited to share it with your kids.
Camp is staffed with experienced educators, with a low student to staff ratio. Camps for 4 to 6-year-olds have at least a 1:4 staff to student ratio, and camps for 7 to 13-year-olds have at least a 1:8 staff to student ratio. The ratio of adults to children is often even lower, because TRK brings a variety of experienced volunteers to support camp activities.
At TRK camps, kids get up close and personal with the water they are learning to protect. We believe that a personal bond with the natural world needs to exist in order for scientific names and concepts to be meaningful. This means campers hop in Summer Creek to search for crawdads, freshwater mussels, and other aquatic life, while learning how to protect and care for what they are finding.
River Adventure camps include a full day of paddling on the Tualatin River with experienced river guides. Campers paddle alongside kingfishers, mink, eagles, otter, beaver, great blue heron and other wildlife right in the city!
By collaborating with experts from partner organizations like Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife – Angler Education Program, researchers from Lewis and Clark, Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project, Hazelwood Boats, and a variety of community experts, TRK is able to provide students with a camp experience they’ll never forget.
What parents are saying about TRK camps
As a parent, what was your favorite thing about your TRK camp experience?
“Kids were outside and learning real skills! Counselors are nice, safe, and attentive. Also, it is great that kids are grouped with kids only their age.”
“The competent leaders make me feel safe—I know my kids are in good hands.”
“It was amazing! My son LOVED finding frogs, smelling snakes and was exhausted (good) after his long hikes.”
Since participating in a TRK camp, have you noticed anything different about they way your child interacts with nature?
“She’s always loved nature, but now she’s pointing out plants to me which is great fun.”
“He is more inquisitive of the little things in nature. Now he is telling us about things as we go out and about, not the other way around!”
“My kids are more respectful towards wildlife and plants.”
Would you recommend TRK camps to other families?
“Yes! It gave my son an outlet outdoors so he knows it is okay and good to be outdoors and explore – without just parents around. In these days, kids don’t get outside and look around and explore in the summer as much – as most camps are so indoor activity related.”
“YES! It was a great camp overall; kids had an awesome time and my son said the worst thing about it was that is was too short! That’s saying A LOT for him!”
“Of course, you have an excellent camp, well run & with a great variety of activities to empower & enrich children!! We LOVE You!”
Hide in the tall grass to experience what it’s like to be an animal in the park. Lay in the wildflowers and watch eagles soar above. Students explore the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge from a bug’s eye view, and gain an appreciation for all living things, big and small. Each day campers investigate a new habitat while learning about all the amazing bugs, mollusks, insects, and arthropods that make our ecosystem work. On Bee Day, students learn the bee dance, gather pollen, meet a beekeeper, and taste fresh honey!
Life isn’t about knowing it’s about exploring, and no one knows that better than kids! Dirksen is in an amazing place, hosting seven unique habitats and supporting robust plant and animal communities. With a focus on exploration and hands on learning, participants will get up close and personal with what excites them. Campers will become more aware of their surroundings and put their skills to the test with fun games like plant ID capture the flag and macroinvertebrate tag. All camps hosted at Dirksen also include a full day of paddling on the Tualatin River with experienced river guides, and exploring Summer Creek. For more information, check out the “what makes TRK camps unique” and the “what’s new this year” sections of our website.
Campers will touch, taste, smell, listen, and look their way to a deeper understanding of what keeps an ecosystem in balance. Discover the homes of wildlife living at Dirksen Nature Park and learn how to protect this special urban habitat. Build a natural shelter, explore aquatic homes, create your own bird nest, and have fun while developing new friendships. All camps hosted at Dirksen also include a full day of paddling on the Tualatin River with experienced river guides, and exploring Summer Creek. For more information, check out the “what makes TRK camps unique” and the “what’s new this year” sections of our website.
Run, jump, swim, and play your way to a summer adventure with a week jam packed with fun! Go fishing with an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Angler Educator, build a birdhouse, and so much more! All camps hosted at Dirksen also include a full day of paddling on the Tualatin River with experienced river guides, building a Hazelwood boat, and exploring Summer Creek. For more information, check out the “what makes TRK camps unique” and the “what’s new this year” sections of our website.
Search for what’s living just below the surface of our rivers and creeks while building an appreciation for all the creatures, big and small, that call the water home. Get a chance to swim with otters, discover beaver dams, and search for crawdads. This camp includes a full day of fly fishing on the upper Tualatin at one of our rivers iconic waterfalls. All camps hosted at Dirksen also include a full day of paddling on the Tualatin River with experienced river guides, and exploring Summer Creek. For more information, check out the “what makes TRK camps unique” and the “what’s new this year” sections of our website.