first time campers at summer camp


As the summer approaches many Parents are wondering if summer camp is right for their first time camper. As the Camp Director of a Exclusive program for the first time campers in Wisconsin, we often talk to parents that tell us "their child is not ready”. Obviously, parents know their children best. Yet, often we wonder if this is true or if it is just a parent not understanding the benefits of summer camp. Maybe even being a little bit selfish to keep their child home. Either way what most parents do not understand is that the time that a child has to go to summer is short. At most kids have 9 summers to go to camp as a camper. It goes quick, I know my son will be entering his last summer at a Wisconsin summer camp…and it is hard for me to believe his time has passed.


So why should a first timer at summer camp embrace this experience? Because, the right summer camp can be the ideal first step away from home and family, in a safely created environment for learning independence. Camp provides a break from the ever invasive SCREEN, giving campers a new found freedom. Summer camp prolongs childhood, where a child friendly community promotes fun and joy away from the modern stress for achievement.

A first time camper at an Overnight Wisconsin Summer Camp will be be exposed to fun, friends, nature and activities. Yet, its the Soft Skills that campers discover and develop over the course of every summer that have an impact on that camper starting the very first year.


Overnight Summer Camp Provides:

  • 1. Affirmation:  A simple word of affirmation can influence a child’s life. When we are recognized from outside it can turn into recognition from the inside. Building ones confidence.
  • 2. Art: By nature we all want to create. When a child is free from the pressure of competitive achievement they are free to be creative.
  • 3. Challenge:  When we Encourage a child to dream big dreams. They will accomplish more than they thought possible… and probably even more than you thought possible.
  • 4. Compassion/Justice:  Life isn’t fair. It never will be – there are just too many variables. But when a wrong has been committed or a playing field can be leveled, we want our children to be active in helping to level it.
  • 5. Contentment:  The need for MORE material things is society is out of control. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts we can give children is a genuinely appreciation for what they have. This contentment leaves them to find out who they are.
  • 6. Encouragement: Words are powerful. They can create or they can destroy. The simple words that a counselor or mentor might choose to speak can offer encouragement and create positive thoughts for a child to build from.  
  • 7. Natural Beauty:  Beauty surrounds us. A forest, a lake, a frog can inspire our children to find beauty in everything they see and in everyone they meet.
  • 8. Generosity: When we live with others we experience generosity. . Generosity is a consistent quality of heart regardless of whether the medium that reflects it is time, energy or material things.
  • 9. Mistakes are accepted: Kids are kids. That’s what makes them so much fun… and so desperately in need of our patience. We need to give them room to experiment, explore, and make mistakes early, when consequences are so much less severe. We learn more form mistakes than successes.
  • 10. Meals Together: Meals together provide an unparalleled opportunity for relationships to grow, the likes of which can not be found anywhere else. Helping children the life skill of conversation and friendship.


So as a parent, ask yourself if you need a team to be part in raising your child. If you say yes,  let your child be a 1st time camper at summer camp in Wisconsin this year. You will be surprised how they personally grow and develops during their adventure at camp. Be sure to see why Swift Nature Camp creates an Exclusive Summer Camp for 1st Time Campers.

1st time overnight campSchool is over and Now Summer Vaction has begun. With increasing knowedge that Millions of children suffer from a lack of outdoor exposure and play. Summer vacation is often seen by parents as the only oppertunity to get their kids off of the dreaded SCREEN.
Tratitional Overnight Summer Camps in the Midwest promote a safe and nurturing place that encourage outdoor play. Yet, Non-sports summer camps build more than sport skills they build important life skills. Overnight summer camp has one the hearts of many, here is what a few famous folks have to say:

"Free play in natural areas enhances children's cognitive flexibility, problem-solving ability, creativity, self-esteem and self-discipline." and that "Children are simply happier and healthier when they have frequent and varied opportunities for experiences in the out-of-doors," says Richard Louv.

Michael Eisner, past president of Disney in his book "Camp" believes in the summer camp experience. Summer camp provides the right setting for building self-confidence, social comfort, peer relationships, environmental awareness and a deeper sense of values. It is clear that "Overnight" camps result in even higher levels of success in fostering relationships and building life skills.

Traditional Overnight summer camps provide a wonderful opportunity for children's first time at summer camp, because they often offer an non-competitive, non-sports kid a friendly atmosphere that tends to be more accepting. Whether it's a 1 week camp, 2 week summer camp or 3 week summer camp, the opportunity.
Along with the benefits of supervised, outdoor recreation and play, there are other reasons to consider camp as an important part of youth development:
Studies show self-esteem comes from feeling competent and having successful experiences, and youth report significant increases after attending camp. We call this -Building Self-Esteem.

Camps play a critical role in fostering leadership skills by giving young people responsibilities unavailable in other settings, such as self-selecting activities, maintaining camp areas and mentoring younger campers. We call this Building Leadership Skills.

Camps provide fun and positive ways to define and cultivate life skills, whether learning patience through archery, building confidence by zip lining or working as a team playing water polo. We call this Learning Life Skills.

Summer camp teaches youth to be "more green" by connecting campers with their outdoor surroundings and opening awareness for our planet. The Children & Nature Network, an organization that is dedicated to help children experience nature's joys and lessons, supports summer camps as a way to connect children with nature. We call this Getting Kids Outdoors.

Trying new challenges is the key to building self-confidence, research shows 75 percent of campers push themselves to learn new things at camp. We call this Stretching Our Comfort Zones.

Counselors help campers discover how fun the great outdoors can be designing safe, engaging activities that let kids be kids, while teaching valuable life lessons. We call this Having Fun.

Camps create community cultures that minimize social pressures, making campers feel more themselves. Camp fosters an environment for supportive adult relationships, like those between counselors and campers, which research proves is a source of emotional guidance. We call this Developing Quality Relationships.

While the idea of sending kids away to camp may give parents uneasy feelings, the American Camp Association reports the experience of achievement and social connection away from home can nurture a child's independence. We call this
Gaining Independence.
To learn more about selecting the right summer camp for your child see Summer Camp Advice

Overnight Children's Camp arts & craftsNow is the time to Commit! You have heard about all the benefits Overnight Summer Camp can provide a child.  Still, it seems a strange concept to send your child away to Swift Nature Camp and in other people's care. Yet time and time again, parents see that their child returns home different (better) than before he or she left. How can this be? What is this Camp Magic?

As a parent, these are the questions that went through my head as I sent my child to a different overnight summer camp. Does sending my kid away mean I do not love them? Does it mean I am selfish? Does it mean I am a BAD parent?

Actually sending your child to Overnight summer camp means none of these things. Often parents need to hear again all the benefits of summer camp, here are a few:


9. Kids are active – These days a child's life is sedentary in school, online and inside. Every moment at camp is filled with motion, from play to learning or even walking to the bathroom.

8. Experience successes – Camp's main goal is to build kids up. So at SNC we find what kids can succeed and that helps them feel more confident.

7. Gain resiliency – Life is filled with setbacks. At camp setbacks can be handled in a positive way. For instance, a group may have a difficult canoe trip, yet together they persevered and made it. Knowing you can make it is an amazing lesson.

6. Unplug – Technology has taken over our life. No time in history have children been so connected to it. In the old days kids watched TV for 2-3 hours a day now a screen is watched 7-9 hrs a day. Get back to real connections.

5. Independent – This day and age kids are scheduled most of the day. Camp gives children the ability to make choices for themselves. A skill needed in life. Wrong decisions can be gently handled and right decisions applauded by peers and non parental units.

4. Play – In nature animals learn by play. We all love watching the wolf pups play, but they are really getting ready for life. Same is true with children, they learn by having unorganized free play. Something that was a staple in kids growing up in the past. Camp still provides this in a safe, child friendly atmosphere.

3. Social skills – Living in a communal setting, like camp, provides amazing opportunities for children to learn personal skills like, empathy, resolving disagreements, teamwork and healthy communication.

2. Enjoy nature – Kids lives have become an indoor life. Nature is missing and all the research shows this is having a negative effect on today's kids. Higher stress, obesity and insecurity. Nature supports healthy child development and enriches kid’s perception of the world.

1. Friendships–Swift Nature Camp has only one mission to help children be their best. We do this in a fun and supportive way. By building friendships with people that truly care. we help child make better friends. Campers will tell you their best friends are at camp. Why? When you live with people, you learn to accept them, you build tolerance and over time your difference become bonds.  The result is a summer family.


So as you are thinking about the adventure your child will be on this summer, don't rule out the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Swift Nature Camp.

Children's Camp 2095 copySwift Nature Camp a Wisconsin Summer Camp is home to many children each summer with many joining our Dino Club by being at camp for 7 summers. A true Commitment to camp. Yet camp is limited, one can only attend for from 6-15 then your camper days are finished. So what is a camper to do? Our camp like others, offers a Teen Leadership Program (CIT-JC). This program gives camper who love camp a chance to return with increased responsibility. It is their time to see the insides of camp and give back to the community they love. So even before entering college, 16 & 17 year old's get to take some hands on responsibility.  And, this program is not only for SNC older campers, some of our best have been teens who are new to Swift Nature Camp.


Often College is seen as a new beginning for students because their reputations and accomplishments are left behind. Summer camp is often has this same New Beginning as a camper and that is one reason SNC is so special. A Leadership Camp Program also starts afresh, because who you were as a camper does not tell who you will be as a Leader. During a campers time at camp they have seen the great and not so great. They have seen counselors who were super heroes and were their role models. The key is to get a New Leader to find the skills that they once admired and replicate them for the younger kids.  So whats different?  Now, they have opportunity to show initiative and responsibility by performing the duties of a camp counselor.  This provides entry level work experience and gives them a new understanding how camp works.  For some, joining the Leadership Camp means being  accountable and they must report to daily for Leadership class as well as a review of their daily progress. It's kinda like Life School but with hands on application. As a camper camp is all fun and games but being part of this Leadership Training, one sees the never ending work, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with children along with the huge resonsibility, they learn what the work world has in store.


Regardless of whether a teen takes a traditional summer job or some another internship,  they should first consider being at camp in leadership role, it is a life changer.  It puts them in a position to care for others, motivate kids and a learn life skills that are need for the 21st Century. All away from screens and in the beauty of the Northwoods.


Kids summer campEvery summer millions of children go to overnight summer camp. But Why? Oh sure, some parents just need day care. But the vast majority of parents that are thinking about sending their child to overnight summer camp, do not take this responsibility lightly. They do their research by: going to camp fairs, talking to friends, taking camp tours and chatting with references. Why do all this? Because when you select the right Overnight Summer Camp for your child, it will be a life changer and an experience they will want to repeat summer after summer. Maybe thats why children from all around the world come to USA Summer Camps


So how does summer camp change kids lives? Not every camp is the same, so I can only speak about our overnight summer camp. Swift Nature Camp is located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. We cater to children 6–15, with a leadership program for our 16 & 17 year old campers. Our small camp blends old-fashioned camp activities on land and water, with environmental and nature learning. Plus we have a camp zoo, where children who love animals can even adopt one while they are at camp.


Here are ways that children’s lives are changed because of camp:

1) Great Staff- When you get young people who are dedicated to kids full time, your child feels it. Camp counselors have boundless energy and enthusiasm- something parents often loose as they get older. It’s like having the best big sister or brother in the world who really cares about you. They want you to be your best. So children look up to these counselors and since they are role modeling positive values, your child will pick those up and bring them home.


2) Communal Living- Yes, your child will be living in a cabin with 5–8 other children of their own age, building new friendships and developing strong new social circles. For most children this is a new experience. When you live with others, you have to be a little less worried about yourself and be thinking more about others. That is part of the natural progression of kids from self to others. Camp pushes them a little further along this road.


3) Nature-This day and age we live our lives inside. There is a big beautiful world out there that children should learn about and they should not be afraid of. All of science is saying, humans need to be connected to their environment, enjoy the beauty of the simple things in life. That’s why at SNC, we often take our kids to the lake to quietly enjoy a sunset.


4) Independence- Today we have so many types of parents, and often we see loving parents that hold their children back, not intentionally. But, sometimes they just don’t see that kids need and want to get out on their own, make decisions on their own and try new things. A Nature Camp is a safe place to try things, make mistakes and move on. This is all part of growing up and camp is the safe and supervised place this takes place.


5) Play is an amazing tool. It helps children get exercise, loose weight and feel better. More important, Free Play can help children resolve conflict, problem solve and be creative. Daily, at camp have 1.5 hours dedicated to free play, where campers can do the activities they want to do. This is like the old days, when children could just go outside and play.


One thing we hear from parents every summer is “I wish I would have sent my child to Swift Nature Camp sooner” you see, childhood is a once-off thing. Too soon it’s over, and you can’t reclaim the years, but you can look back on incredible memories. That’s why summer camp is so important — it’s a fun, positive experience where children can simply be children and have the time of their lives. Overnight summer camp is a vital part of a child’s personal growth and development

It’s the small size and attention to detail that makes camp so successful at promote each child’s personal development. Sending your child to Swift Nature Camp is a gift, one your child will cherish for the rest of their life. Maybe that’s why 92% of our campers want to return each summer to this Wisconsin Summer Camp.

ERNIE SWIFT Picture“First teach the child the value of work, not regimented play...
teach him that a sunset over a verdant countryside has more
intrinsic value than the most costly painting...teach him that
bread comes from the soil and not from the store”
Ernie Swift


Ernie Swift was raised on the windswept prairies of south-western Minnesota. His years on the family farm honed a vivid imagination, and he credited those years with helping him to develop a deep understanding of the importance of conservation. Nature was Ernie Swift’s teacher, he never received a forma college education, yet he rose through and had substantial influence on the conservation movement in the early days. Being one of the first wardens for the State of Wisconsin these days were filled with adventure. . His northwoods arrests included “Machine Gun Frank: McErlane, a couple of the Al Capone gang.  In those early days Ernie was threatened more than once at gun point and even had mobsters show up at his home.


Swift developed a reputation as a fearless game warden in Wisconsin’s northwoods during the 1920s and 1930s. He was seen as a  individualist, and was not afraid to walk alone through cold, dark woods, fields and marshes to uphold the law. Not surprisingly, Swift was not one to stand still,he was unafraid to walk ahead of the crowd as his career and the movement in conservation evolved.

In the 1930s, Aldo Leopold was beginning to build a name for himself as an environmentalist. Swift and he forged a lasting professional and personal relationship. At that time, Swift had left his warden responsibilities and become deputy director of the Wisconsin Conservation Department. In the early 1940s their was a deer management debate within the state. Swift and Leopold agreed that, that scientific research should guide management of the herd and the ecosystem. This did put Swift at odds with old colleagues, but he did what he felt was right not what his friends wanted. It was his work on management of the deer herd that is credited with helping set Wisconsin as a leader  of wildlife management.


In 1947, Swift was appointed director of the Conservation Department, what today is known as the Department of Natural Resources, . He was tenacious trying to preserve and protect Wisconsin's natural resources, In those days, America was young and seen as endless, giving little support for the notion of resource management.


Wisconsin was just the place for Ernie to hone his skills. It was in 1954 that his career leapfrogged to the national level. He was appointed assistant director of the US Fish and
Wildlife Service in Washington, DC. A year later, he moved out of public service. Ernie had always been one to tell it like it is and that just does not mix well with Washington.  When he was offered the the appointment as director of the National Wildlife Federation. he jumped at the chance. For nearly five years, he helped lay the groundwork for the growth of the country's largest conservation organization. His work also helped shape the first U.S. Wilderness Act, which created the National Wilderness Preservation System.

What made  Swift special was his conviction and his ability to communicate with people. It was this knowledge that gave him courage and motivation to become a speaker and writer in favor of the conservation movement.  Swift had influenced many through his essays, articles, editorials, and reports. He wrote regularly for National Wildlife magazine and Conservation News, two of the Federation's periodicals. "The Glory Trail: The Great American Migration and Its Impact on Natural Resources" was written in the late 1950's and historically looked at resource management in the U.S.  In 1967, A Conservation Saga was published an autobiography, only a year before his death.

During his lifetime Ernie Swift received more than 20 awards and citations, he won the Haskell Noyes Conservation Warden Award in 1930, was honored with the Aldo Leopold Medal in 1959, and a Gold Medallion (the first ever given in the conservation field) from the Wisconsin Exposition Department in 1966. Many of his awards are hanging at Swift Nature Camp in Minong Wisconsin


In 1966 The Department of Natural Resources dedicated the YCC camp to Ernie Swift as a Conservation Summer Camp and in 1996 was renamed Swift Nature Camp To learn more about Mr. E.F. Swift, see the Dinning Hall at Camp.

Wisconsin Science & Nature Summer Camp

Animal Camp in Wisconsin

Do you have an animal lover in your family? You are not alone. Many children love critters. But it is not that easy to find a summer camp for kids that is loaded with hands on animals.

Parents and Campers alike from Wisconsin, often tell us "I never knew you existed- Your perfect for my kid". At SNC we have been supplying  children an amazing Animal Summer Camp since the 1960's. Our goal is to help every child succeed at an overnight camp experience where animals are just a part of the FUN!.  If you are looking for a Nature Camp or maybe a Science Camp in Wi., we are the place. Most of our kids are not the jocks of the world, they are the kids that play for fun and they normally thrives being outside enjoying frog hunts or doing other Nature Activities.  Because we are small and not one of the Mega Summer Camps in Wisconsin we can give individual attention to every child. Our 1st Timer Camp gives special attention that makes parent and campers happy alike...Maybe that's why 92% of our kids want to return each summer.When parents find a friendly kind place that promotes positive values and makes their kid feel valued it makes everyone happy.


At SNC we know we are not summer school so we teach hands on so campers enjoy and learn about animals and nature in their own way. Frog hunts are one of the favorite most signed up for things we do. Kids learn more when they are active and involve all their scenes. So when campers do, they understand. So we try and increase a campers self discovery and natural curiosity. If play Outdoors in NATURE with Animals they will internally develop a respect for nature and in the future see a reason to protect it.


Parent and Campers alike feel comfortable knowing camp is in Wisconsin and only a few hours from Madison Wi. Plus we even have a Motor Coach that brings campers to camp. Our proximity, makes visiting on a  weekend for Lunch a great way to check in with your camper. Parents are sometime sad when they visit because often campers have other plans, like playing outside, catching fish, or caring for furry critters, but they are always happy to give you a tour.  We help children feel comfortable in their new surroundings and giving them the independence to do so even if being away or outside is kinda new to them.


Animals are just one of the many reasons why campers love Swift Nature Camp.  Each summer children enjoy adopting a pet and taking care of it. We teach pets are not all fun and games, they need to be responsible responsible to feed, water and play with pets before any of their own play time. Responsibility comes first. Parents does your child have a pet you don't want to care for pet while your camper is at SNC. No problem, we are one of the few camps that allows children to bring their animals with them to summer camp. That's what makes us a Wisconsin Animal Summer Camp


But it is more than just an active Nature Center, Pet Zoo, and Department of Natural Resources sponsored programs that keep bringing campers back to Swift Nature Camp it is our special recreational activities that include canoe and backpack trips, horseback riding, swimming, arts & crafts, team courses, archery, sailing, water skiing, tubing and sports, over 22 different land and water activities. Despite all this, it is friendships that bring campers back.

As a parent to learn more about this Overnight Wisconsin Animal Camp, read more about how we encourage children to be more responsible and to be accountable for themselves as well as being kinder. Learn more about the cool activities, the friendships and the animals. Hope to see you at Swift Nature Camp

art campASummer Camp! What do you think of? Fun, Excitement, New Friends, Camping, Smores? All those things happen but summer camp is more than games and friends, especially when you are a Camp Counselor.

Camp is about knowing you made a difference in a child's life. Do you know how you tell? It's the last evening of the session, you have spent a few weeks with the kids, some amazingly cool while others were a bit more challenging.  Then a camper who took the most energy comes up to you with tears in her eyes and says "You’ve made a difference in my life, I will remember you forever" and in the same breath asks "Are you coming back next summer? I want to be in your cabin." This is the moment when you know you changed a life and in some small way changed the world. It becomes clear all your effort was worth it. But what is surprising is you know your camper leave camp a better person and on your last day at camp you too will find that you have grown tremendously from the summer camp experience.


Here are the top reasons being a Camp Counselor is a summer job every student should try.

  1. 1. You are in a place where you and your campers grow to form the most unique and wonderful friendships you could ever have. You will want to stay in touch with your new friends long after camp is finished.
  2. 2. There will be nights when you are awaken by a camper who needs to go to the bathroom, so you get and go outside, while looking up the stars it take your breath away and your camper feels honored that you pointed them out and to have spent that time with you

3. At some point you will realize our clothes, hair,dirt under our fingernails and smell are really not as important as we might think. What matters is who we are on the inside. This is a freeing experience that role models for the campers what is important in this world.


4. Camp is all about creativity, imagination and spontaneity. Your job will change every 15 minutes, from playing, to cleaning, dressing up like a super hero. Nothing beats the feeling of being a kid again and finding the simple joy of a pillow fight before going to bed.


5. The campers look up to you. They’ll mimic what you do, they will dress like you, they will believe everything you say. In short they think your the coolest ever and they want to be like you.


6. Tie Dye will be a staple of your wardrobe and you will keep trying to make the perfect one.


7. Many of your stories back home will start with “This one time, at camp…,” and most folks, except your camp friends wont get it.


8. Your happy to make time for an extra long hot shower. These are rare yet, most appreciated.


9. You’ll will be outside everyday in nature. So sunscreen will be art of your ritual as well as bugspray. You will thank the creators of these 2 wonderful products almost daily.

probably get the best tan-lines. Farmers tan? Check. Shorts tan? Check. Headband tan? Check. Flip-flop tan? Check. It’s an inevitable truth, sadly. But the tan-line competitions are real


10. Your summer will be separated from the outside world and technology. Relationships will form face to face with face-time or face-book. Real faces & real people. This is a 21st century life skill.


11. you will appreciate your time off and away from camp but on the drive back you will be wondering how your kids are, whats been going on. The excitement will only increase as you get closer to camp and once you hit camp you will want to find your co-counselor to hear how everyone is.


12. Your coworkers become your best friends because you have spent "camp"together and they get it.


13. You quickly learn life’s most important lessons are easily solved by campers.  Oh sure they sometimes need help finding the path but they always figure it out. They just need a freiend like you to guide rather than fix things.


14. Helping a camper gain confidence and face their fears builds a self-worth unlike any other. Cheering on a camper who is swimming for the first time or holding a camper who is affraid of a storm. although they will meet challanges, they will love camp as much as you.


15. Sadness is the last day of camp, your campers are gone, the work is over and their is only you and your co counselor in your cabin packing. It's then you get you see why camp is such a magical place.and how much camp and your campers have changed you.


16. You learn how important sleep is, you look forward to going to bed early and snuggling up for a long cool night or you cherish that 15 minute nap under the shade of a pine.


17. You make time to refocus on all the beauty nature can show you with out a screen.


18. Camp will forever have left it's mark on you and you will be a part of the fraternity of camp counselors who value the importance Summer Camp Counselors truly have on today's youth. You’ll never be the same.

Best Camps 2104 copySo you have done all your homework, You have been planting the seeds with your new camper. You have talked about camp, done a sleepover and looked at websites. You have even taken an assessment of your child's needs and wants,  and you tried to match those with the proper summer camp. For instance our Nature Camp is the best for those kids who still like being outside and off the screen. So now you have picked the Right Camp- the mission meets yours and the dates work. Often, parents think all they have to do is now pay a deposit and they are off to camp. As an Overnight Summer Camp Director, I suggest you scour the website to answer the below questions or email to get the answers, ya might even do that crazy thing and pick up a phone and call. Not all camps are equal. A side note, as a camp director it is some what terrifying to me how few parents these days call to talk to a Camp Director. Most just see a few pretty picture and they are good to go. Not the best decision. Mu goal is not to scare you but, here are things to think about.

  • *What is the camper to counselor ratio for the majority of the day? How many staff total at camp? What are the ages of Counselors?

  • *How do they handle supervision of children, discipline issues? What is the discipline policy? When do they send a camper home?

  • *What age groups will be combined together? Do younger children mixed with older children? How are activities different for different ages?

  • *What is the schedule for the program, what will they be doing each day? What is planned or free choice? How much non-active time?

  • *What are the  qualifications of the Counselors? What about training. Do they have First Aid and CPR?

  • *Are staff  up-to-date on criminal background checks?

  • *What is the policy for handling injuries and illness?  Who is at camp to give care?

  • *Do the campers go swimming or near water? Do campers take swim proficiency tests? Are there a lifeguards on duty?

  • *What insurance does the program carry? Do they have liability insurance?

  • ,
  • These are all great things to think about. at Swift Nature Camp we have a Summer Camp Parent Answer Page that helps parents make a very informed decision. We believe we want you to have too much information so you KNOW you made the right decision.

Science & Nature Summer Camp
in Minnesota


campers with Animals

Often Parents from Minnesota, ask us "Where have this camp been". Well Swift Nature Camp has been giving children a wonderful overnight Summer Camp experience since the 1960's. But what I think they really mean is that they have been looking for a special overnight summer camp that meets their child's needs. You see they are looking for an Animal Summer Camp or a Nature camp, maybe a Science camp all near Minneapolis. Why? Because their child generally is not sportsy type and really thrives being outside going on frog hunts and doing other Nature activities.  So when a parent finds a small camp like SNC, they are very happy that their child will have the opportunity to play and be with kids who are also Nature Nuts.


You See at SNC we are not school so children learn about animals and nature hands on. Matter of fact one of our favorite activities is going on a frog hunt. See at SNC we believe when campers see, they remember. But when campers do, they understand. If we can increase a campers  self discovery and natural curiosity, it entice children to learn about and play Outdoors in NATURE and if children value our environment they will in the future see a reason to protect it.


What many parent enjoy is that camp is only 2 hours form Mpls., so on a weekend they can stop on by and see how their camper is doing or even take him or her out of this Animal Summer Camp for Lunch. It allow parent to stay in contact with their camper. However, don’t be surprised if your child has other plans, so often parents are happy to see that their camper has found a nature summer camp they can call home. But, get discouraged when their child would prefer to play in nature or do science experiments rather than go out for lunch. But that's OK, camp is all about helping children feel comfortable in their new surroundings and giving them the independence to do so.


Animals are why kids love Swift Nature Camp, we have plenty.  Each summer children enjoy adopting a pet and taking care of it. They need to be responsible to feed, water and play with it before any play time. This helps build responsibility and empathy for their pets. Speaking of Pets, SNC is one of the few camps that allows children to bring their animals with them to summer camp. How Cool! Little Billy can bring his pet hamster with him, one less thing for parents to worry about while your camper is at summer camp.

But it is more than just an active Nature Center, Pet Zoo, and Department of Natural Resources sponsored programs that keep bringing campers back to Swift Nature Camp it is our special recreational activities that include canoe and backpack trips, horseback riding, swimming, arts & crafts, team courses, archery, sailing, water skiing, tubing and sports, over 20 different land and water activities.


As a parent to learn more about this Overnight Minnesota Animal Camp, read more about how we encourage children to be more responsible and to be accountable for themselves as well as being kinder. For Campers at this Kids Nature Camp learn more about the cool activities, the friendships and the animals. Hope to see you at Swift Nature Camp

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25 Baybrook Ln.

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Phone: 630-654-8036


W7471 Ernie Swift Rd.

Minong, WI 54859

Phone: 715-466-5666

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