CHESTERTON | Bog stomping, bug hunting, beach combing and night hiking—Dunes Learning Center’s summer camps offer kids from 6-16 unique opportunities to explore Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Standing on the grounds of the former U.S. Steel Good Fellow Club Youth Camp, Dunes Learning Center’s campus includes a 63 acre classroom featuring ecological diversity seen few places in the world. Lodging is provided in modern group cabins, each named for a native tree. The modern four-season structures, built in 1998, sleep 8 and feature climate control, private bathrooms and showers—quite a change from the rustic platform tents of the original Good Fellow Camp.
During their stay, campers explore the beaches, prairies, dunes and woodlands of the National Park. Nature games, camp crafts, music and dune hikes are all part of the adventure. "What sounds like play, is actually learning," says Dunes Learning Center Director of Education, Erin Crofton. Camp activities are designed to support positive outcomes for campers by providing a safe environment, positive relationships and unique opportunities to build skills that promote resilience.
A number of camp options are available, including a day camp, teen camp and even a camp for children of Military Kids. Prices range from $130 to $375. Curious parents (and kids) are invited to attend one of two summer camp open houses on Saturday, March 22, from 10–2 p.m. and Wednesday, April 16, from 3–6 p.m.. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide tours.
Led by first aid and CPR certified staff and National Park Rangers, Dunes Learning Center offers a variety of ways for kids to get outside and play. Visit duneslearningcenter.org or phone (219)395-9555 for more information.