Young Explorers’ Camp

Welcome to our page about the Missouri River Bird Observatory’s summer day camp, the Young Explorers’ Camp! The year 2023 marked our seventh summer of fun and exploration for students ages 8 – 11 years old. Each year we have grown camp more and more and we are excited about where we are today!

Why choose Young Explorers’ Camp?

Our camp is more than just an outdoor and social experience for our campers. Our programs and activities aim to not only give our campers a fun experience, but also teach them about their environment and give them new skills. The programs and activities at Young Explorers’ Camp are focused on exploration, improving observational and outdoor skills, encouraging critical thinking, increasing knowledge of Missouri’s native species, physical activities, having fun, and building new friendships. Our activities fall under the Missouri Learning Standards and can further reinforce concepts your student is learning in school. Also, we limit the number of participants each week to 12 campers to ensure a quality experience for everyone.

Where is camp held?

Camp is held at the Lawless Farmstead in Arrow Rock, MO. Arrow Rock is a National Historic Landmark and a great site for camp because of its rich natural and cultural history. We love to visit the Big Spring, Big Soldier Lake, and the Missouri River plus explore the prairie and woodland trails nearby.

At the Big Spring
At Camp on the Historic Lawless House Property
At the Missouri River Landing

Is transportation provided?

We are excited to be able to provide a transportation option for the young explorers who live in the Marshall, MO area. We partner with OATS Transit to provide buses to and from Arrow Rock. More details are provided when camp registration opens.

When is camp?

Young Explorers Camp is held for two weeks during the month of June. Specific dates are announced during early spring of that year.

Camp runs from 8:30 am until 4 pm. Drop off is anytime from 8-8:30 am and pick-up anytime from 4- 4:30 pm. Note: We are a small camp and therefore have the ability to be quite flexible with drop-off and pick-up times, so let us know if there is a conflict. 

How much does camp cost?

Camp costs $100 for one week and $180 for two weeks per camper. Note: You need to sign-up for both weeks ahead of time to receive the discount. Cost includes a healthy lunch, two snacks, a reusable water bottle, camp shirt and an Exploration Kit!

Do you provide scholarships?

YES! We have scholarships available for interested young explorers who require financial assistance. More details are provided when camp registration opens.

What is in the Exploration Kit?

  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Nature Journal
  • Butterfly Net
  • Aquatic Insect Net
  • Hand Magnifier
  • Bug Observation Container
  • Pencils and Eraser
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil Case

Camp History

2017 – First Year of Camp!

During the month of June we had campers ages 7-9 yrs old and during the month of July we had campers ages 10-12 yrs old. Camp ran for two days a week for three hours. We had some awesome volunteers!

2018 – Second Summer of Camp

Camp ran three days a week for three hours in the morning during the months of June and July. In addition to camp, we held a Family Camping Night at the end of the summer. This is also the year we hired our first summer intern to assist with camp activities!

2019 – Third Summer of Camp

Camp continued to run three days a week during the month of June. However, this year we stepped it up into a full day camp and provided lunch! We planned another Family Camping Night, but the weather and scheduling fell through. The summer internship continued to provide a quality experience for our campers.

2020 – Fourth Summer of Camp

A year of adaptation for all of us. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we ran camp entirely virtual. Each camper that signed up received an Exploration Kit in the mail complete with all the items listed in the above description of the kit along with written instructions for activities the campers could do individually at home. Then we met via Zoom on the Friday of every week to discuss what we discovered! This was definitely a new way of doing camp, but we had great success. We were able to serve more explorers and increased our reach to campers in other states!

2021 – Fifth Summer of Camp

This year we provided two options for camp! Campers could sign up for either in-person camp, virtual camp, or both! Due to our smaller capacity and mostly outdoor environment of camp, we decided to provide an in-person camp during two weeks in June. Also, due to the success of our previous virtual camp, we decided to also provide this virtual option during two weeks in July. Our in-person camp reached full capacity for the first summer! We also partnered with OATS Transit to be able to provide transportation to and from Marshall, MO. We plan to continue this partnership in the future. In addition to the above, we were, again, able to hire a summer intern to assist with both the in-person and virtual camp as well as other summer programs. What a year!