Summer Adventures in the Dunes

Discover the beaches, prairies, dunes and woodlands of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore while bog stomping, bug hunting, night hiking and more. Campers experience native and historic cultures, play nature games, try their hand at camp crafts, and sing around the campfire with new friends at summer camp in the national park.

Is Your Child Ready For Overnight Camp? Take This Quiz!

Summer camp is a positive learning and growth experience for children, but how do you know if your camper is ready?  Take the quiz >

Dunes Discovery Camps

Explore rivers, search for salamanders, identify insects, hike through dunes, cool off in Lake Michigan, laugh with new friends, and sing around the campfire. Kids age 9–13 discover just how fun and exciting nature can be at this 5 day/4 night summer camp in the national lakeshore. Download the Dunes Discovery Camp parent guide > 

Dunes Adventure Camp

New this year! Campers aged 14–17 spend 5 days and 4 nights immersed in the unique ecology of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Kayaking, night-time insect investigations, nature photography, a beach party, camp-out and campfire are just a few of the planned adventures, designed to thrill, challenge and engage teens. Download the Dunes Adventure Camp parent guide > 

Critter Camp

This day camp with a nature theme gets kids aged 6–8 outside, where they spend their days exploring the park's forests, streams, meadows and trails with new friends. Activities range from traditional camp crafts to themed hikes like, “Rotten Log Exploration” to a day at the beach. Kids return home full of sand and stories! Download the Critter Camp parent guide >

Dates: August 10–14
Ages: 6–8
Tuition: $150
Wait List >
Camp Participant Form > 

Mighty Acorns Nature Camps

Students who participated in Mighty Acorns®  during the school year can live, learn and play with fellow Mighty Acorns from across the Calumet region at this 5-day, 4-night camp in the dunes. Campers are selected from applications received by April 3, 2015. A registration fee of $80 is due once you have been accepted and registered, but there is NO FEE TO APPLY. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Download the Mighty Acorns Camp Parent Guide >

Made possible through funding to the Northwest Indiana Mighty Acorns Partnership by ArcelorMittal, BP, Chicago Wilderness, Dr. Scholl Foundation, The Kainz Family Foundation, United States Steel Foundation and contributions from parents and individuals. 

Military Kids Dunes Discovery Camp

This 5-day, 4-night summer camp includes activities such as swimming in Lake Michigan, hikes in the dunes and s’mores over a campfire as well as counseling and team-building. The camp is open to children with a parent, guardian or sibling who is either currently serving in the military, or has been wounded or killed in action. Last year, all five branches of the armed forces were represented at the camp. Download the Military Kids Camp Parent Guide > 

The Child & Youth Reintegration Support Camps are funded through a partnership of the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Community & Family Policy, Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth and U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Kansas State University Special Project number 2010-48713-21882.

A shared initiative of the U.S. Army Child, Youth & School Services, Indiana Operation: Military Kids supports youth affected by military deployment through a range of programs. Donations are being accepted via mail at Dunes Learning Center: 700 Howe Rd, Chesterton, IN 46304. Checks should be payable to Dunes Learning Center. Please note Operation Military Kids on the memo line.


Thanks to summer camp partners: