Discovery Camps

Think like a scientist. Create like an artist. Play like a kid!

Summer day camps held on the 200-acre museum campus immerse children in the arts, sciences, cultures, and environment of the region. Taught by knowledgeable and enthusiastic educators, the inquiry-based camps appeal to varied learning styles and engage children with authentic experiences.

From their base in a cluster of historic buildings beside the Colton Community Garden, campers are led on explorations of museum exhibitions and collections, as well as forests, fields, rocky canyons, springs and ponds. Campers become at home within the museum, providing a basis for return visits as a family and a foundation for continued learning.

2023 Discovery Camps

The 2023 camps will be held for four weeks, July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28, and July 31-August 4. The camp topics will be announced in March and registration links will be sent first to museum members, before opening to the public.

This year we will require all campers show proof of Covid vaccination.

We limit the number of participants to assure a safe and quality learning environment. All registration is online and places are reserved on a first paid, first admitted policy. Send questions to discovery@musnaz.org.

2022 Camp Descriptions

Earth Rocks! ages 5-6

Get ready for an adventure through our constantly changing planet. Stones have stories and we’ll learn how some flew through space, spewed out of volcanoes, or floated down rivers before being pressed into a hard layer, all to form the ground we walk on.

Educator: Mari Soliday

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

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Dino-mite Friends, ages 5-6

Are you ready to dig into the long-ago world of dinosaurs? Have a blast while learning about dinosaur friends with games, songs, storytelling, and dino-mite activities. Families are invited to a Friday dino fiesta.

Educator: Mari Soliday

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Earth Rocks! ages 5-6

Get ready for an adventure through our constantly changing planet. Stones have stories and we’ll learn how some flew through space, spewed out of volcanoes, or floated down rivers before being pressed into a hard layer, all to form the ground we walk on.

Educator: Mari Soliday

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Rules of the Universe, ages 7-8

Discover the scientific principles that run our world, from keeping us on the ground (thanks gravity!) to creating rainbows and lightning storms. Campers engage in hands-on experiments, then make connections between basic laws of physics, chemistry, and the world we live in.

Educators: Samantha Urratia & Summer Richardson

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Creative Creatures, ages 7-8

From the long claws of the Therizinosaur to the speedy wings of hummingbirds, animals have adapted in strange ways to the changing challenges of living on Earth. We will journey through time, from the first appearance of single-celled organisms to the present, inventing superbly adapted creatures.

Educators: Samantha Urratia & Summer Richardson

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Welcome to the Willows, ages 7-8

Campers build shelters, invent games, design clothes, and solve problems together as they develop a unique culture for the People of the Willows. What feels like imaginative play is actually a thorough exploration of how culture develops from a place and the resources and needs of a community.

Educators: Samantha Urratia & Summer Richardson

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Incr-Edibles, ages 9-11

When it comes to superpowers, plants are the heroes. They turn sunlight into raw power, break rocks into nutrients, and fuel every living creature. From seed to stove and garden to grocery, campers will learn about, and cook with, the most important plants of the Southwest.

Educator: Barbara Ann Heerkens

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

ArtScapes, ages 9-11

Nature provides inspiration and materials for this camp, which is equal parts art and engineering. Using sand, soil, rocks, and plants, campers create sculptures while discovering how the properties of materials and the forces that act on them shape our landscapes.

Educator: Chas Frisco

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Eco-explorers, ages 9-11

The Colton Garden becomes a natural laboratory, where campers learn how the soil, water, plants, microbes, and animals interact. Then we compare the garden to nearby meadows, forests, and wetlands to understand ecosystems in general.

Educator: Barbara Ann Heerkens

This camp was held in 2022. Descriptions for the upcoming camps will be posted in March.

Junior Counselors, ages 15-18

High school students enjoy summer camp while developing important skills as they assist in leading a camp group in their daily adventures. Working under the direction of the Lead Teacher and Assistant Teacher, Junior Counselors learn problem-solving, communication, creativity, teamwork, and group facilitation. Junior Counselors must go through a formal application and interview process. Email discovery@musnaz.org for more information.

Flagstaff Youth Riders

Spend the week riding the trails, improving confidence, skills, and endurance, playing cycle-themed games, riding with friends, and participating in trail stewardship.

Dates: June 5 – June 9

Note: This camp is held at MNA, but run by the Flagstaff Youth Riders. Find out more at their website www.flyrsaz.com

 

Jr. Entomology Academy, ages 6-10

Learn about insects, entomological collecting techniques, proper curation, insect anatomy, life cycles, insect husbandry, and interesting facts about arthropods. The week concludes with a bug feast.

Dates: June 26-30

Note: This camp is held at MNA, but run by the Biodiversity Outreach Network. Register at their website and direct questions to Paige Cheshire (prc43@nau.edu) or Neil Cobb at 928-607-4075 (or Neil.Cobb@nau.edu)

 

Learn More

Extended Care

Extended care is offered before and after the MNA Discovery Camps for families who need to drop off early (8-9 am) or pickup late (up to 5 pm). Games and activities are provided. Sign up for extended care when you register for the camps.

MNA does not offer extended care for camps run by other organizations on our campus.

Forms

Health and Liability form

This form must be filled out before your child participates in Discovery Camps. It provides necessary medical information such as allergies and medications, as well as parental consents. Submit prior to camp via email to discovery@musnaz.org.

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Home Symptom Screening

We all need to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus, and other illnesses.  This document is based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, which strongly encourages parents and caregivers to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening.

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Non-parent Pickup Form

Bring this form in the morning if someone other than the parent/guardian on file will be picking up your child.

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Epi-Pen Consent Form

Fill out this form if your child has an epi-pen, then make sure to also provide the teacher for your child’s camp with the epi-pen, labeled with your child’s name.

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Self-administration of medications

If your child has medications that must be taken during camp, fill out this form.

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Scholarship application

We want all children to have access to the Discovery Camps. Scholarship funds are available for youth who demonstrate financial need or have extenuating circumstance. Fill out the form and email to discovery@musnaz.org.

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Printable Discovery Village Map

The Discovery Village is at the end of N. Winding Brook Rd. Morning drop off and afternoon pickup are at the Discovery Village, unless otherwise specified by your camp teacher.

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