Toddler Camp

Pioneer Ridge Naturalist Annette Wittrock led the Toddler Camp group on an exploration of the center as they searched for signs of deer and other wildlife.

PIONEER RIDGE — The upcoming summer camps at Pioneer Ridge are filling up fast.

Wapello County Naturalist Annette Wittrock encourages interested attendees to sign up as soon as possible. All the spots for the Junior Naturalist Camp are already filled up. Wittrock said she is in the process of putting together a waiting list for this camp.

Junior naturalist camp is open to 8-to-12-year-olds. The camp is scheduled from 9 a.m. July 13 to 3:30 p.m. July 16. Campers will learn more about fishing, caring for injured animals, geocaching, outdoor cooking and more. The last day will involve a completion ceremony; the cost is $60.

Having the camps, Wittrock said, is important to the conservation board and kids. Her goal is to maintain a balance of safety and fun for them.

“We want what’s best for them and will work with the guidelines, hoping they’ll feel comfortable,” she said. “We can do our part and get people out and give those kids a little bit of normalcy and get them ready to learn again, because I think they’re ready for it. I think they want that process back in their lives, like, a little bit of structure and learning.”

Each camp session only allows eight campers at a time in order to accommodate the two or three instructors who will coordinate the camp activities. Campers must submit a health form and temperatures will be taken. Face masks are optional.

Three other types of camps are offered: toddler, overnight paddle, and art and patterns in nature camps. Toddler camp is for 2-to-4-year-olds and is scheduled from 9-11 a.m. July 9. Toddlers will learn about different snakes; cost is $5 per camper.

Overnight paddle camp is for those 13-15 years old. The session is from 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 22 to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 23. Teens will learn basic canoe and camping skills at a lake and campground, paddle down the Des Moines River and camp overnight. This camp requires travel in a 15-passenger van and is limited to seven campers. Participants must provide their own tent, water bottle, sleeping bag and lunch for the first day. Snacks and meals will be provided; cost is $60 per person.

Art and patterns in nature camp is for 5-7-year-olds. The camp is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 27 to July 29. Campers will find artistic patterns in nature and make their own.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register or for more information, contact Wittrock at 641-682-3091 or at

Chiara Romero can be reached at


Recommended for you