Nature Discovery Programs


Discover with us. Grow for life!

We want to extend a big "thank you" to all NDP 2018 participants and families! 

Check out our summer programs for ages 3-16 designed to fully engage young people in the outdoors!

Fill your summer with hikes, stream studies, art projects, games, and more. See why Nature makes us brighter!  2019 NDP Brochure

Registration for park members opens January 7, 2019.
Registration for the general public opens February 4, 2019.
Spaces are limited,classes fill quickly and are reserved only with full payment.
Waiting lists are created when camps reach capacity. Call 717-840-7440 to be placed on a waiting list. 

“[My child] loved this camp, the biggest challenge is registering fast enough to get a spot!”-NDP 3 parent

IF a full registration packet is not recieved by February 1st for all early registered participants (park members), that registration will be cancelled.  

On February 4, ONLINE REGISTRATION will be OPEN.  You will be required to register online after this date by visiting:
Or mail completed Registration Packet along with full payment to the address below. Online registration is recommended to reserve a spot as quickly as possible. 
York County Parks
400 Mundis Race Road
York, PA 17406
**If registration website says a particular camp is sold out, please call 717-840-7440 to be placed on a waiting list**
VOLUNTEERS and Leaders-In-Training
Teens (14-17 yrs) looking to become leaders, teachers, and environmental educators please apply to be a Leader-In-Training at the Nature Discovery Program. Click here for more information about our special program for teen volunteers at NDP. Adult volunteers (18 + yrs) please email about volunteering at the Nature Discovery Program. York County Parks requires clearances and background checks on all volunteers and staff working with children.
York County Parks NDP Registration site accepts credit cards. All credit card transactions are subject to a service fee.If mailing in a registration, we will accept credit card, check or money order.  Cash is only accepted in person at the John Rudy Park office. 

Small Wonders:  (Ages 3 & 4)                   $45, members receive a $10 discount

June 24 –26                   Small Wonders                 9:30am –11:30am       Nixon Park

Students and their accompanying adult discover, imagine, question, and experiment with nature during this three day program.  Classes will emphasize outdoor exploration and feature a new nature related theme each day.


NDP 1: (Ages 5 & 6)                             $75 per week, members receive a $10 discount

June 17 – 21                 Water Worlds                   9:30am – 12:00pm          Nixon Park

July 29– Aug 2             Nature Detectives            9:30am – 12:00pm          Nixon Park

Water Worlds features plenty of time exploring the pond, creek, and all kinds of water at Nixon Park. For our second week Nature Detectives are on the case searching for clues high and low at York County Parks! This favorite camp week returns along with visits to the secret spot at Nixon Park.


NDP 2: (Ages 7 & 8)                               $95 per week,  members receive a $10 discount


June 10–14                 Habitat Helpers                    9:30am – 2:30pm              Nixon Park

Aug 5–9                     Park Trek                               9:30am – 2:30pm              Various Parks

Habitat helpers will create homes for wildlife and explore the new areas of the park. During Park Trek the fitness trail at Rocky Ridge, stream at Nixon, and games at Rudy are always favorites.


NDP 3: (Ages 9 & 10)                           $130 per week, members receive a $10 discount

July 8-12                  Eco Explorers                          9:30am  —  3:30pm                                      Various Parks

July 22-26                Wildlife Watchers                    9:30am  —  3:30pm                                      Various Parks

These camp weeks are simple and easy outdoor fun! We learn why parks and wildlife are so important too!


NDP 4:  (Ages 11– 13)                          $170 per week, members receive a $20 discount

July 15-19                Junior Naturalist  and  Outdoor Adventure

                                                                                                                                         Various Parks & Field Trip

Mon-Tues 9:30am – 3:30pm, Wed: 8:00am - 4:00pm, Thurs:  2:00pm - Fri: 9am


In 2019, NDP 4 will feature two sessions occurring at the same time. Junior Naturalists will focus on the natural world and finding the answers to mysteries within it.  The Outdoor Adventure  will be oriented to outdoor recreation and camping skills. Both classes conclude with a combined overnight campout and star viewing program. In addition they will travel as a large group to sail on the Chesapeake Bay.


Junior Naturalist – Join Park Naturalist Rachel ‘Otter’ Albright on this adventure exploring the natural world!  On day one we’ll make nature journals, press leaves, monitor bird boxes, use binoculars, and set-up some track pads to capture animal prints.  On day two we’ll get into the creek to get an in depth look at creek wildlife.  On day 3 we’re taking a trip to the Chesapeake Bay!  On day 4 camp starts at 2pm and we’re camping out!  We’ll explore wild edibles, take a night hike, explore nocturnal animal sights and sounds, make campfires, and look at the stars!  Camp ends on Friday morning after breakfast.  It’s going to be a week full of hiking and exploring nature with one of Nixon Park’s naturalists! 


NEW for 2019

NDP 5: (Ages 14-16)                                   $170 per week, members receive a $20 discount

July 22-26                    Nature Adventures                             9:00am— 3:30pm                               Various Parks

Explore caves, bike, hike, canoe, cook, build friendships, and adventure with a purpose! NDP continues in a big way for teens looking to be outdoors.

Join Park Naturalist Kelsey ‘Kestrel’ Frey on this adventure through 6 different York County Parks (Nixon, Kain, Raab, Spring Valley, Rail Trail, and Wallace-Cross Mill)!  We’ll take exploring nature to a new level in the pursuit of spotting, documenting, and nature journaling as much wildlife as possible.  This teen group will join Kelsey birding, salamander and snake finding, discovering hidden wildflowers, & finding caterpillars and butterflies – all while getting outside and seeing new and different places.  We’ll bike on the rail trail, explore the caves at Raab park, creek snorkel and seine at Spring Valley, paddle at Lake Redman, and learn all about how food was made 100 years ago at Wallace-Cross Mill.  There won’t be a dull moment in this week of adventure, friendships, and nature!  The schedule will shift and change based on the interests of the group.

Looking for Archaeology Week?

Archaeology Week has been discontinued. There is no longer an archaeologist on staff at York County Parks. If you are awaiting the return of this camp, there is a possibility that York County Parks or another organization may be able to offer this program in the future. If you have any feedback for staff about the week from having participated in the past, please pass it along to us by calling (717) 428-1961 or via email


The York County Department of Parks and Recreation hires three seasonal staff to plan and run these programs. Many of those hired over the past 18 years have been college students. This experience is a great stepping-stone for college students who plan on working with children in the future or simply love children. Please let us know if you are aware of anyone who is interested in working with the children (paid or volunteer).Previous NDP staff members have not only graduated from college, some have received Masters and Doctoral degrees, have become full-time teachers, youth counselors, recreation directors and York County Park Naturalists. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Andrew Wolfgang at (717) 428-1961 or for further details.