Junior Nature Camp

Since 1944, young people ages 10-17 have been making memories and lifelong friends at Oglebay Institute’s Junior Nature Camp. With a goal to increase understanding of our natural world in an environment that promotes teamwork, personal responsibility and respect, Junior Nature Camp’s field experience can’t be equaled in any classroom.

Junior Nature Camp is held at Camp Giscowheco, a picturesque setting located in the hills of West Virginia, 10 minutes from Wheeling. The camp facility includes platform tent villages, dining hall, swimming pool and a volleyball court. The stream, forest and meadow provide the perfect outdoor classroom for the study of everything from invertebrates and ferns to birds and mammals.

Camp Highlights

  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Orienteering
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Music
  • Archery
  • Nightly Campfires
  • Lessons in ornithology, botany, herpetology, astronomy, entomology, ecology and watershed science
Camp Giscowheco
Camp Giscowheco

A Typical Day at Junior Nature Camp

Each day begins with a morning bird walk. Small group nature & art sessions are followed by afternoon programs with regional nature experts.

Free time includes swimming, hiking, archery, crafts, board games, and sports.

Evening vespers entail music and poetry & are the prelude to the campfire. Traditional camp songs, dating to the 1940s, are still sung. There’s storytelling, astronomy, and even a little fireside dancing!

Delicious, healthy meals are served family style. Fresh fruit is available all day.

Canoeing at Junior Nature Camp

Exceptional Staff

The strength of Junior Nature Camp’s staff comes from years of experience and varied backgrounds. Former campers, now nature experts, return to serve as counselors. The camper to staff ratio never exceeds six to one.

Many staffers and counselors return year after year to give back to the camp that helped them discover their interests and talents in nature, environmental education, research, or science and then pursue them professionally and personally.

 Junior Nature Camp 2024

View Course Details/Register

Ages: 10-15
Meets: July 14-27
Begins: Sunday, July 14 or Sunday, July 21
Duration: 1 or 2 weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center and Guest Naturalists

$425/$400 OI members (single week)
$850/$800 OI members (both weeks)

Commemorative t-shirt, additional $20

*CIT (Counselor-In-Training) you must register over the phone or in person at the Schrader Center. Call to see if you’re eligible.

** Please call 304-242-6855 for questions and updates.

How to Register

BY PHONE: Call 304-242-6855 to register by phone.

IN PERSON: Visit the Schrader Environmental Education Center located in Oglebay Park during regular business hours. Oglebay Institute accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and personal checks. Please have credit card information ready when registering by phone.


Scholarship are available with consideration based on need, merit, timeliness of application and availability. Click here to download an application.

For more information please contact the Schrader Environmental Education Center at 304-242-6855.