MDC Cape Nature Center to host new Adventure Camps for youth this summer

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- For many adults, summertime as a child meant freedom! It was typically a time of relaxation and a break from the daily school grind, with all the time in the world to hike, swim or catch that long-awaited lunker on the end of a fishing line. This summer, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is offering that same sense of liberty during MDC’s Summer Adventure Camps.  

Register your child today – it’s FREE – so they can have that lifelong memory of catching that first fish, and just taking things slow (the way summer was meant to be).

With two available camp opportunities targeted at different age groups, you’re bound to find a matching adventure for your family! Registration is required and can be completed at the links below. It’s recommended to register soon, as space is limited!

Kayaking, swimming, hiking, and many other hands-on activities led by MDC staff will help young teens connect with nature like they haven’t before. This camp is intended for young adults age 12 - 16. Registration is open and closes May 28. All experience levels and abilities welcome. The program will begin at the Cape Nature Center each morning, but much of the time will be spent at one of several MDC Conservation Areas.

Participants are asked to bring a face covering, water bottle, sturdy shoes, and a lunch. Snacks, transportation to activities, and all required equipment will be provided. Full details will be provided in a welcome packet after registration.

This camp is designed for grandparents to show their grandkids age 5 – 12 just how wild grandparents can be! The focus will be accessible activities -- canoeing, fishing, and several other opportunities -- for both age groups and building lifelong memories! Registration is open and closes June 19.

Participants are asked to bring a face covering, water bottle, and sturdy shoes. This program will require the ability to walk distances of half a mile over well-maintained dirt trails. Please register both adult and youth participants. Full details will be provided after registration.

All family members that plan to attend must be registered. To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice social distancing, and masks are strongly recommended. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Be considerate of others.

Questions about these events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

Check out MDC’s other free May events here. And be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in June.

Advance registration is required for all programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating an account at Once an account is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at

The Cape Girardeau Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. You can also register for email reminders at A variety of updates are available at this option, but Cape Girardeau specific updates are available under facility updates and news for southeast region.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.