Marian Chau, seed lab manager, teaching the camp participants.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Lyon Arboretum is offering a Nature Day Camp for children, in kindergarten through sixth grade, from June 3–14.

The arboretum’s nature camps focus on place-based learning, utilizing the arboretum as an outdoor classroom. This summer program’s theme, “Fun in the Jungle” will offer participants the opportunity to learn about rainforest ecosystems and gardening, create art and nature crafts and take part in a scientific investigation.

Along with visiting the various gardens, children will go on excursions to ʻAihualama stream and waterfall, located on the UH property. They will also learn about conservation and the effects of invasive species on the environment and visit the micropropagation lab to view endangered plants.

The camp has been offered for several years and draws many returning day campers, like Jaime Swan’s children, Myles and Tessa.

“At Lyon, they have a chance to just get dirty, learn through hands-on play and become a part of the special environment that exists in the back of Mānoa Valley,” said Swan. “Being able to consistently offer them something that delivers so much joy and enrichment during the school breaks is a blessing.”

The theme and activities change with each camp, but the overall goal is to instill a love of nature, sense of place, and even plant a seed in children’s minds to possibly pursue a career in science and conservation.

The arboretum nature day camps are offered during the public school’s fall and spring breaks. Cost is $50 a day or $250 for the week. Students may attend one or both weeks to explore different aspects of the rainforest.

To register, contact the Lyon Arboretum Education Department at (808) 988-0456. Download the camp form on the Lyon Arboretum website.