Youth Programs

The Conservation Foundation’s education programs allow children to experience nature up close.  By providing opportunities to explore natural habitats, children will be able to connect to the plants and animals that live in our area. Our hope is that these early experiences with nature will inspire them to become supporters and stewards of the environment as they grow into adults and become parents themselves.

Our team of trained educators will work with you to deliver engaging, hands-on environmental education programming to your child or group.  We work with schools, scouts, summer camps, and many other youth-focused groups to provide kids with a positive outdoor experience and foster their sense of wonder that can keep them engaged with life and their surroundings as they grow.  Our school programs are aligned with Next Generation State Standards, and other programs can be adapted and designed to meet your needs.

School Programs

Scout programs

Our 60-acre McDonald Farm in Naperville is the perfect campus for a tremendous variety of impactful scouting experiences, boasting a variety of ecosystems and plenty of room to spread out for activities. Scouts can earn badges, belt loops, and more at our unique facility!  Programs last approximately 60-90 minutes. 

Mighty Acorns®

Mighty Acorns® is a stewardship-based environmental education curriculum for 3-5th graders that incorporates classroom curriculum, hands-on restoration and exploration activities, and is tied to Next Generation Science Standards, STEM and Common Core.  Our experienced naturalists provide classroom and outdoor activities during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. 

Summer camps

2021 Summer Camp registration is underway!

Farm Camp at the Dickson-Murst Farm, Montgomery

This is a full-day camp for children entering Grades 3 through 6 this fall.  Camp runs from 9am to 3pm each day and costs $150 per camper.

Farm Camp 2021

June 21st – 25th

McDonald Farm Nature Camps, Naperville:

Camp runs from 9am-12pm each day.
Cost of camp is $150 per child and includes a camp t-shirt. 10% discount is available for current members of The Conservation Foundation. Each camp is different, so choose one week or both!

Early Elementary (children entering grades 1st – 3rd in the fall)

Week 1: June 28th – July 2nd
Week 2: July 19th – 23rd
Week 3: August 2nd – 6th

Late Elementary (children entering grades 4th – 6th in the fall)

Week 1: July 12th – 16th
Week 2: July 26th – 30th

Please contact Amy Phillips or call her at 630-428-4500 ext. 113 with questions!

After school & summer programs

Family Adventures at McDonald Farm are a perfect way to get in some quality time with the people you love most, experience the change of seasons and refresh your minds and bodies in the safest place of all – the great outdoors!


Paul D. Pierotti Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established in 2006 by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President D. “Dewey Pierotti, Jr. and his wife, Leslie, in memory of their late son Paul.  “This is a fitting tribute to Paul,” said Mr. Pierotti.  “He had a great love of the outdoors, especially for the forest preserves of DuPage County. This scholarship will enable deserving students with similar interests to pursue an education related to nature.”


teacher resources

Our experienced educators can provide Project Learning Tree workshops for K-12 teachers that provide a hands-on approach to learning. Project Learning Tree provides “the tools educators need to bring the environment into their classrooms and their students into the environment.” 

Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

Every child should have the opportunity to: