Lantern Review of Swift Nature Camp
The benefits of spending time in nature, in the fresh open air, are well documented. For sleepaway camps, the great outdoors is as much a part of their culture as campfires and singing. For some camps, however, it’s much more than just a passing mention, it’s an integral piece of their program that reflects an intentional approach to child development. Such is the case with Swift Nature Camp.
Founded in the sixties as an outpost for environmental learning, in many ways this camp was ahead of the curve in recognizing the importance of bringing kids closer to the natural world. Its very philosophy is rooted in a deeply held belief that we can learn from the many creatures, trees and plants that surround us. The rustic facilities and program design speak to their values of environmental stewardship; look no further than their impressive Nature Center or carefully curated zoo.
The program follows a traditional camp model that mixes assigned activities in the morning with camper choice in the afternoon. In a true light-hearted camp form, afternoon activities are chosen using popsicle sticks on a board in the dining hall. The smaller size of Swift Nature Camp allows them to have flexibility in programming during the session. More importantly, it allows for a very personal, kind approach to camp life. It’s reassuring to know that each camper will be heard and appreciated at Swift.
Hiking and canoe trips are an obvious extension to Swift’s appreciation of the outdoors. They range from trips to nearby state forests to longer expeditions to Canada’s provincial parks. In addition, their Discovery Camp session carves a new path by camp standards by being a offering a complete session dedicated only to new campers.
Swift Nature Camp attracts a range of personalities, but a common theme is those who love animals or love to play outdoors; perhaps the kind of kid who isn’t spending each afternoon on the soccer pitch or basketball court. Swift embraces those campers’ individuality with kindness, no matter how vibrant or how awkward. If a camper wants to bring his pet lizard to camp, this is the place! For Swift, allowing campers to bring pets is not only an acknowledgement of a child’s love of nature and creatures, it’s an insightful recognition that some campers thrive when they can care for things they love. And it takes a dedicated and talented staff to translate this camp’s nature philosophies into an inclusive camp community.
- 100 Campers per Session
- 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 6 weeks
- Founded in 1964
We see Swift Nature Camp as an opportunity for children to come to a new place and try new things and make new friends. Our Nature Summer Camp is a new world. Who you were before has no bearing on who you want to be, because summer camps are a new beginning. Many of our kids return year after year saying that "Swift allows me to be my real self with real people" and we feel that's a good thing. To get started, why not consider our Discovery Session created exclusively for new campers!
- 30 Activities
- Arts & Crafts
- Individual Activities
Top 5 Activities
- Nature Center
- Camp Zoo
- Canoe & Hiking trips
- Horseback Riding
Drive, Motorcoach, or Fly to Minneapolis airport
Swift Nature Camp