“Beside a creek that tumbles down between two mountains, fingertips are taught to see.”

Nature Camp Brochure, 1970s

Summer Camp

Youth Sessions

Adult Camp

Adult Session

About / Apply

Our Staff

- about us -

Experiential learning, building citizens of tomorrow

Nature Camp is a private, non-profit, residential, co-ed summer camp specializing in natural history and environmental science education, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Since 1942 Nature Camp has sought to train a corps of interested, knowledgeable youth, from 5th through 12th grade, to conserve and protect the environment and to become wise stewards of the earth’s natural resources.

Nature Camp has taught me what one person who cares can do to make a difference… I have made friendships at Nature Camp that promise to last a lifetime.
Because of [our childrens’] experiences in that beautiful, magical place under the guidance of such nurturing, intelligent and creative young people, they look at the earth through different eyes.
Nature Camp’s legacy to me includes a strong appreciation for the importance of fair play, the value of diversity in nature and among people, (and) the strength of community.
Lucy ACamper
Blair JonesParent
Amy Wingfield ClarkAlumni
- education and recreation -

summer residential camp

Educational program

Academic study that  emphasizes hands-on, field-based, experiential learning in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings.

Recreational program

Campers enjoy five or six hours of free time each day, compared to only three hours spent in scheduled classes.

Conservation practices

Campers engage in practices limiting  consumption of natural resources and minimize our impact on the earth.

Evening learning and special events

Evening programs which vary from educational to purely entertaining, Sunday Hike Days, and more.

'There's something awesome to learning about nature. hands-on..'

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- latest news -


Tess Majors Endowed Naturalist

Tess Majors Endowed Naturalist

Nature Camp seeks applicants for the position of seasonal, resident naturalist for the first half of the summer of 2024.  The Tess Majors Endowed Naturalist is supported by the Tess Majors Foundation, established in memory of a long-time camper...

Registration for 2024

Registration for 2024

Registration for 2024 youth sessions will begin on 16 January 2024.

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Nature Camp offers on a limited basis a gender-inclusive housing option, in addition to traditional, same-gender housing (for most campers) in our two large bunkhouses each session.

- gallery -

summer session images

- map of nature camp -


Nature Camp occupies about six acres leased from the U.S. Forest Service in the Washington Jefferson National Forest in Rockbridge County, Vesuvius, VA and is located about 10 miles off of I-64, and 30 miles from Lexiginton, VA.
- rental information -

Facility rentals

Nature Camp occasionally makes its facilities available for rental by individuals and groups for weddings and other events. Rental periods may range from one to several days.
Facilities include:
Outdoor Chapel
Dining Hall and Kitchen
Indoor Fireplace
Grass Field
Tent Erection Space
Foundation Support

Nature Camp Foundation


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Here we’re taught not only to appreciate things as they naturally are, but also to see the opportunity in what we do, and let the world slow down at the same time. This, I believe, is our constant, and the most powerful one of all: the ability to approach the world with refreshed positivism.

Will D., Gloucester, VA
Will D.Gloucester, VA

At a place with such a variety of people, much of what you learn is through conversation and not necessarily what you set out to absorb. I come back each year for an experience impossible to comprehend if not here. I come back to learn how to pursue the commitment we have to better lives for ourselves, our planet, and generations to come. I come back to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world. I come back because I don’t know what my life would be like without Camp.

Maggie J., Fredericksburg, VA
Maggie J.Fredericksburg, VA

Going to Nature Camp is no longer just a want. It is a necessity, an essential part of my summer. It holds a very special place in my heart, and it always will. I always leave with a sense of balance and well-being, having totally soaked in all the wonders and virtues and lessons and friends and learning and nature.

Emily G., Durham, NC
Emily G.Durham, NC

Going to Nature Camp has taught me many things. When I first went to Nature Camp, I could not tell the difference between a death angel mushroom and an oyster mushroom. I also could not have told you the difference between quartzite and limestone. Since going to Nature Camp, I can tell you these things and many more. Nature Camp is truly a wonderful place. From my first day to my last, I have the most fun I will have all summer.

Phoebe W., Fredericksburg, VA
Phoebe W.Fredericksburg, VA

Nature Camp is a true chance for immersion learning. My family has been amazed how many times the academic learning at Nature Camp has been connected to my school and home life.

Josh C., Williamsburg, VA
Josh C.Williamsburg, VA

I feel that there could never be any words to explain my feelings for Nature Camp. It’s a different world there: no TV, radio, cell phone, or anything from the real world. Nature Camp has changed my life forever. I believe that when people cross that tiny bridge going into camp, they become their true selves. They take their masks off and have a break from everything in the world.

Hannah S., Mount Jackson, VA
Hannah S.Mount Jackson, VA

There is just something special about Nature Camp. Maybe it’s the smell of being outdoors, the freedom of being away from your parents, or that you are at a summer for two weeks. I do not think those are the reasons why Nature Camp is so special. I think it’s the people you meet, the science things you learn about, and the pride and confidence you walk away with at the end of the session.

Kelsey G., Fredericksburg, VA
Kelsey G.Fredericksburg, VA

I have attended Nature Camp for four years and have never had a more rewarding experience. Nature Camp has taught me what one person who cares can do to make a difference. The hikes to Table Rock, the salamander searches at Buttermilk Springs, the breathtaking view from Lookout Rock, and of course the Sunday hikes to undiscovered mountain peaks are experiences one cannot have anyone else, and experiences I will remember forever. I have made friendships at Nature Camp that promise to last a lifetime.

Lucy A., Ruckersville, VA
Lucy A.Ruckersville, VA

There is a coveted two weeks in the heart of the summer that is called Nature Camp. It is the best thing that I do all year and is what I most look forward to. I grow mentally there more in two weeks than I do in the rest of the year.

Buck T., Fredericksburg, VA
Buck T.Fredericksburg, VA

For the past three years I have attended Nature Camp and loved it. Most four-year-olds, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, say a fireman, a ballerina, or an astronaut. When people asked me what I wanted to be, I replied confidently, “A nature scientist. I want to save the land.” Ten years later my answer still hasn’t changed.

Veronica P., Williamsburg, VA, Camper
Veronica P.Williamsburg, VA, Camper