Programs by Session

To the Stars

In 2022, NASA revealed the first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest optical telescope in space. The quality of the imaging made possible by this incredible tool will allow investigations into astronomy and cosmology, enabling scientists to see far beyond the reaches of our galaxy and even into echoes of light from the distant past. The knowledge future scientists will be able to gain from these images is exciting to consider.

Inspired by these endeavors, we at Summer Horizons Camp at NPS have our eyes to the skies in 2023! We will take our own journey through Earth’s atmosphere and beyond, exploring everything from how birds fly to how far we’ve come in human flight technology. We’ll study the clouds, the air, and the stars. Of course, we’ll still enjoy our classic camp activities back here on solid ground. Come fly with us to a summer full of heavenly adventures!

Session 1: Birds of a Feather

WEEK A: Tuesday, June 20 – Friday, June 23
(Closed on Monday, 6/19 for Juneteenth) 

Don’t call us bird-brained—we just have birds on the brain this week! Campers will ponder the wonders of avian flight and learn about the ways different flying animals move. What is the difference between a bird and other flying animals? What can we learn by studying the bodies of birds, and how do they differ between species? How do they survive the changing seasons? Join our flock as we discover more about our feathered friends.

Please Note: Camp will be closed on Monday, June 19th in recognition observance of the federal Juneteenth holiday. Camp will open on Tuesday, June 20th.


Session 2: So Fly (Flight)

WEEK B: Monday, June 26 – Friday, June 30
WEEK C: Wednesday, July 5 - Friday, July 7

(Closed on Monday & Tuesday, July 3-4 in observance of Independence Day)

Now boarding all passengers for a trip to the skies! Join us as we take off on an exploration of the history of human flight. Campers will learn how a variety of flying machines work, and even design a few from their own imaginations. We will study different vehicles of flight, from kites & hot air balloons to helicopters & jets. We will conduct many super-fun experiments and projects based around mechanical flight, taking a look at concepts like propulsion and aerodynamics. We’ll even discuss how computer technology can help guide modern flying machines!

Please Note: Camp will be closed Monday, July 3, & Tuesday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. During Week C, camp will open on Wednesday, July 5.


Session 3: Space Explorers

WEEK D: Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 14
WEEK E: Monday, July 17 – Friday, July 21

My stars, we’re blasting off! SHC is headed to outer space, where we’ll orbit planets, zoom with comets, and rove from galaxy to galaxy. Strap on your spacesuit, because we’re stepping into the shoes of astronauts and taking a walk through the science of space exploration! You might paint a nebula, build a space station, or model the phases of the moon. Learn about constellations, and create your own. What’s out there in the big, twinkling beyond?


Session 4: Rain or Shine (Weather)

WEEK F: Monday, July 24 – Friday, July 28
WEEK G: Monday, July 31 - Friday, August 4

On our last leg of our adventure, we’ll float through Earth’s atmosphere and explore the weather around the blue marble. What exactly IS air? What causes the weather, and how do meteorologists forecast and measure storms? We’ll learn about the source and power of wind, and we’ll marvel at different types and shapes of clouds. Campers will also ponder how rain is formed, and how rainfall impacts the environment and defines our ecosystems. There may not always be sunshine and rainbows in the sky, but we’ll be having buckets of fun during this camp session!

After 3 Club is available Monday through Thursday during Week G, but NOT on Friday, August 4.


Session 5: Camp Invention & Specialty Camps

WEEK H: Monday, August 7 - Friday, August 11

     Camp Invention

     Full-day STEAM

     Half-day Sports Sampler