Wildlife Camps at State Parks | Recreational Services
University of Iowa

Registration is now open! Register online here. Please select "Spring 2018" under semester when registering to see our camps. If you do not have an online account with us, you can find out how to get one here.

In the summer of 2017, we brought our day camp program to Iowa DNR State Parks for the first time. We're excited to announce we're adding three more day camps in hopes of offering the Wildlife Camps experience to even more kids across Iowa! Campers will engage in five days of learning about their local state park and their natural environments. Our goals for campers include: 

  • Awaken an awareness of the natural world and wildlife in our state parks
  • Nurture an appreciation for wildlife and natural ecosystems
  • Inspire action by developing a “land ethic”

Wildlife Camps is a day camp and is for students entering 3rd-7th grade. Cost is $150 per camp except for Lake Darling which is $50. See details below. The registration deadline is two weeks before the camp starts and we must have 15 campers registered to hold camp. Please note this is NOT an overnight camp.

2018 Camp Schedule

Mines of Spain (Dubuque) June 11-15
Springbrook (Guthrie Center) Hawk Camp: June 11-15 and/or Eagle Camp: July 16-20 (Activities will vary between Hawk and Eagle Camp. Students are welcome to join us for both weeks!)
George Wyth (Cedar Falls) June 18-22
Walnut Woods (West Des Moines) June 18-22
Maquoketa Caves (Maquoketa) June 25-29
Lake Darling (Brighton) June 25-29*
Waubonsie (Hamburg) July 16-20
Ledges (Madrid) July 23-27
Viking Lake (Stanton) July 23-27

*Thanks to the Friends of Lake Darling group for securing a grant through the Washington County Riverboat Foundation and the Washington Noon Kiwanis, the camp fee for Lake Darling is now only $50! 

Daily Schedule

Camp activities will start at 8:30a.m. (supervision begins at 7:45a.m.) and ends at 3:30p.m. (supervision ends at 4:15p.m.). Please note that weather plays a big factor in our activities! Inclement weather may mean a change in activities.


Wildlife Camps will offer a mixture of recreation and environmental education activities. Our educational activities include:

  • Studying mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, and geology
  • Exploring woodland, aquatic, and prairie ecosystems
  • Learning about park history

Recreation activities will vary depending on each camp. Common recreation activities include hiking, kayaking, and canoeing.


Registration is online only. You must have an online account with Recreational Services to register. Here's how to get an online account:

  1. Go to our online registration portal
  2. Click "Sign Up" in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Fill out the information (you do not need to provide an ID number)
  4. Once that is complete, you'll receive a confirmation email. 
  5. When confirmed, sign into your account and add your child/children as a dependent. 
  6. To do this, just click "add a dependent" and enter your child's name, birthday, gender, and address.
  7. Done! Now you are ready to sign up your child for Wildlife Camps. See step-by-step directions here.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Jeanette Luke at jeanette-luke@uiowa.edu or call 319-335-9294.

Work for us!

Questions about the camps or employment? Email Jay Gorsh at jay-gorsh@uiowa.edu or call 319-461-5700.

Need our Federal ID Number for childcare credit? Federal Identification Number: 42-600-4813

Contact Us

Jay Gorsh
Assistant Director, Outdoor Recreation & Education