KEENs Pond to Pines

Outdoor Nature Day Camps 2021!

KEEN is excited to announce our 2021 Pond to Pines summer day camps.

​Each camp and activity is carefully constructed to provide the ultimate nature-based learning environment while providing a FUN hands-on experience! KEEN’s Summer Camps are 100% outdoor immersion and take place at the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center @ Helen McCabe Park.


Our primitive facilities provide for amazing nature-based experiences and true outdoor nature exploration. During our summer camp children learn through inquisitive and creative activities utilizing science, math, critical-thinking skills, and a great deal of imagination! Plus we have a ton of fun!

Pond to Pines camps are organized by grade levels and run from June 21 through July 31. Each week is a new theme.

Cancellation Policy:

Because we are a non-profit entity, we cannot process cancellations after tuition is due May 1, 2021. Thank you for understanding.


Camp Descriptions and Dates!

Pre-K Camp - Week 1 June 21, 2021


Operated by our friends at Washington Outdoor School who specialize in the little kiddos! 

The theme will be based around the book Over and Under the Pond and other stories that explore both the easy to see and hidden worlds of plants and animals living in Helen McCabe Park.


Pre-K camp runs 9am-12noon M-F 

Rate: $160

Camp Week 2 - June 28-July 2

Grades 1-3                            

9am-3pm/Family Night

Rate: $350


Description – Think you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Learn to identify local edible plants and treat water, create an emergency shelter, learn to light a fire, and navigate with the stars. From Leave No Trace to first aid, learn all the essentials skills to survive in the wilderness… and BEYOND! The whole family can join us on Thursday evening for our Survivor campfire!

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Camp Week 3 - July 6-9

PREDATOR PROWL Grades K-2                           

T-F 9am-3pm

Rate: $300


Description – Lions, coyotes, and bears OH MY! Experience the thrill of the hunt as we explore our PNW predators and what adaptations these animals have to help them survive. Learn about predator-prey relationships and how to be safe in a carnivore’s territory. Find out what it’s like to be at the top of the food chain!

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Camp Week 3 - July 6-9


Grades 6-8 (Max 8 kids)         


Rate: $750

Description – Let’s get out of town! You’ll spend each day exploring a new adventure in the Kittitas Valley. Investigate a wind turbine, test your vertical skills on a wall of rock, explore a fire lookout, and discover the forest atop an equine friend.

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Camp Week 4 July 12-16

WAGONS WEST                   Grades 3-5                                    


Rate: $350

Description – Spend the week exploring Helen McCabe State Park as the pioneers may have. Learn how to pack the essentials for a long journey and participate in a live action Oregon Trail game. Write letters home on handmade paper and eat fireside goodies smeared with homemade butter! Create your own rag doll, play pioneer games, and learn about our Indigenous neighbors though oral storytelling, just like Laura did!

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Camp Week 5 July 19-23

ULTIMATE SURVIVOR     Grades 3-5                                     


Rate: $550

Description – Think you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Learn to identify local edible plants and treat water, create an emergency shelter, learn to light a fire, and navigate with the stars. From Leave No Trace to first aid, learn all the essentials skills to survive in the wilderness… and BEYOND! Test your skills on our Thursday night campout at Helen McCabe State Park!

Camp Week 6 July 26-30

WILDERNESS WANDERERS                          Grades 6-8 (Max 8 kids)                         

Rate: $1250

Description – If you love to hike, camp, and love to test your limits, then grab your backpack! We’ll start the week learning about gear, food, Ten Essentials, navigation, and Leave No Trace. Then we’ll head into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area to test our skills on a four-day backpacking adventure! Are you up for the challenge? (Campers must be in good physical condition, although previous backpacking experience is not necessary. Limited gear is available to borrow).

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Camp Week 6 July 26-30

WET & WILD                         Grades 3-5                                     

M-F 9am-3pm

Rate $350

Description – Water is LIFE! Spend the week soaking in every aquatic opportunity at camp. Learn about watersheds and riparian habitats, test water quality and investigate all the critters that live in the pond. Spend the heat of the summer days paddling around, fishing the depths, and learning water rescue techniques. And swimming, of course!


July 12 – July 16, 2021 & July 19 – July 23, 2021 (TWO WEEKS)

COUNSELOR IN TRAINING                          Age 13+ (Max 8)                         
Week One: 3pm-5pm, Week Two: 8am-3pm

Rate: $300

Description – Learn about leadership, safety, risk management, childcare, and all that it takes to be a camp counselor. The first week will focus on leadership skills, team building, and how to be a great counselor. The second week you will participate in an internship where you will use your skills to lead activities with younger children. Applicants must demonstrate maturity, commitment, leadership potential, and work well with others to create a positive attitude. Applicants must complete an entrance screening application.


NEW: MOUNTANEERS: SPECIAL SUMMER-LONG CAMP FOR MIDDLE-SCHOOLERS (those going into 6th grade up to going into 9th grade)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12pm-3pm 
June 28th - August 29th
Rate: $560 for unlimited access

Description: Summer is meant for fun outside! Join a hearty group of middle-schoolers for nature explorations, outdoor activities, and get off that computer! We'll meet at different locations around Ellensburg and have a summer full of movement.

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KEEN's Covid19 Camp Policy

KEEN is following the American Camp Association summer camp guidelines for business operations. The link is provided below.


Luckily, because we do not have any indoor facilities, our plan can be slightly simplified and social distancing is easier. 


Please take a look below and let us know if you have any additional questions.