Nature Adventures Camps


Thank you for your interest in Duke Gardens' Nature Adventures Camp, weekly day camps for children entering grades K-8. We look forward to exploring the wonders of nature with your children. Campers may sign up for any or all weeks. Activities will be different every week.


Dragonfly Detectives is a program for North Carolina students in grades 4-8. Students will participate in various science-related field activities and hands-on science lessons, including identifying and catching dragonflies, and learning about migration, insect life cycles, dragonfly behaviors, and aquatic systems. They will keep a science journal, collect and present data for citizen science research projects, and learn about careers in science, all while doing a variety of fun, educational activities. Participants will be doing real science – the kind of science where we don’t know all the answers and will learn brand new things about our world from the information we gather together. Students will learn how to make hypotheses, collect data to address their hypotheses, analyze their results, and present their findings. Each participant will take home a toolkit at the end of each 5-day session to continue investigating on their own!

Dates and time: July 23-27 from 1:30-4 pm
Age: 4th- to 8th-graders
Cost: $50 (scholarships available)
Location: Duke Gardens
Registration through or 919-668-1707.



Are you at least 16 years old and looking for summer volunteer opportunities? Apply to volunteer with Duke Gardens summer camps!



(Stay tuned; we'll be posting 2019 dates soon!)

April 2-6: Spring Break Camp (currently in grades K-5; no after-care)

June 11-15: Plant It, Grow It, Eat It (entering grades K-2) FULL

June 18-22: Inventions from Nature (entering grades 3-5) FULL

June 25-29: Animals in the Gardens (entering grades K-2) FULL

July 9-13: Art and Science (entering grades K-2) FULL

July 16-20: Eco Artists (entering grades K-2) FULL

July 23-27: Plant It, Grow It, Eat It (entering grades 3-5) FULL

July 30-Aug. 3: Artists in the Gardens (entering grades 6-8; no after-care) - ALMOST FULL



For children entering grades K-5

Spring Break Camp: Discover spring in the Gardens. Learn about food, art and animals in this week-long adventure. Please note: no extended care available for this camp.

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It: Plant, tend, harvest and taste fruits and vegetables in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden. Each day will include hands-on work time and play time in the garden.

Animals in the Gardens: Birds, bugs, ducks and fish -- oh, my! Prowl through the Gardens looking for a variety of animal life in our flowers, fields, ponds and streams.

Art and Science Camp: How are artists and scientists similar? We will observe nature closely, record our observations in words and pictures, and experience beauty in the place where art and science meet. Have fun with hands-on experiments, and learn the science of color and form to make expressive artworks.

Eco Artists: Everyone is an artist! Come play with color, shape, line and form. We will find beauty by exploring nature and using natural materials to make our own unique artworks.

Inventions from Nature: From high-tech fabrics to airplanes and zippers, humans have borrowed clever ideas from nature to solve problems. Find examples of inventions from nature from plants and animals in the Gardens, then tinker with contraptions to devise your own innovations.

For students entering grades 6-8

Artists in the Gardens: Art can communicate everything from how you're feeling to the close relationship between a caterpillar and its host plant. Use the garden for inspiration and as a source of unusual materials as we explore habitats, uncover wildlife and identify plants. Experiment with various media, learn new techniques and collaborate to express yourself. Please note: no extended care available for this camp.



CAMP HOURS: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Extended care for K-5 summer camps available from 1-4 p.m.

 No extended care for Spring Break Camp or camps for grades 6-8.

COST: $200 per camp week; $170 for each additional sibling or camp week; $100 per week for extended care. A non-refundable $100 deposit per child per week is required to reserve a spot. Full payment is due 2 weeks before each camp.

A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Scholarship application available upon request; contact


LOCATION: Arrival & pickup at the Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St., Durham. Camp activities will take place outside in the Gardens.



To begin registration, fill out our Camp Registration Form (pdf) and email it to or bring it to the Doris Duke Center. A deposit is required to reserve your spot. Payment may be made in person, over the phone at 919-668-1707 or through the mail to Registrar, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Box 90341-ED, Durham, NC 27708.

If you have further questions, please contact us at or 919-668-1707.

See our Spring-Summer 2018 camps PDF for a printable reference guide. Please also see our Children & Family Programs page for further information about programs and other offerings. We look forward to seeing you here!