Summer camps for students

VCU Rice Rivers Center will be bringing back our popular summer camps and adding two additional camps for 2019!

In partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program,  the VCU Rice Rivers Center offers summer field courses for middle and high school students.  

2019 Go Fish! dates announced this spring

Students will learn about fishing, fish biology and aquatic ecosystems in this exciting, week-long day camp. Students will get a chance to cast lures for smallmouth and largemouth bass, stalk wily fish in clear, cool forested streams and angle for a chance at doing battle with bluefish or striped bass. All fishing tackle is provided.  Open to rising 6th grade through rising 9th grade students. 

Cost and dates TBD. Please contact David Hopler at for additional information.


2019 Virginia Stream Team dates announced this spring

Join our Virginia Stream Team as we investigate some of Virginia’s fascinating waters. You’ll canoe the James River, help to restore a damaged stream and learn how the search for “fool’s gold” during the Civil War turned a normal creek bright orange!

As an environmental scientist, you will collect water chemistry data, study fish, aquatic insects and underwater vegetation, and determine how healthy our freshwater ecosystems are. Don’t miss this fun week of investigating the wonderful world under water.  Open to rising 6th grade through rising 9th grade students. 

Cost and dates TBD. Please contact David Hopler at for additional information. 


These full-day courses begin each day at 8:30 to 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Students must be dropped off and picked up each day from the VCU Monroe Park Campus in Richmond, Virginia. Students are required to bring lunch each day and dress appropriately for field activities. All other course materials and supplies are provided. Courses will include classroom activities on days when inclement weather prevents field outings.


   Children in canoe on the river       OAP and Rice Rivers Center add two new camps for 2019 

VCU Rice Rivers Center, in partnership with VCU Rec Sports Outdoor Adventure Program, will be bringing back our popular day and overnight camps, as well as adding additional opportunities for a younger audience and those who wish to spend their Spring Break outdoors.

As an introduction to VCU Rice Rivers Center and the Outdoor Adventure Program, please join us for our Spring Family Day on Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m. -2 p.m.  The entire family can participate in some of the activities students will enjoy while at camp, and can staff and researchers will be there to answer questions.   

Learn more about OAP's camps at Rice Rivers Center.  


Spring Break Camp (NEW!):

We are excited to offer a spring break camp for middle school students at the Rice Rivers Center! We will explore the natural world through science and spend plenty of time outdoors at VCU’s 350 research campus on the James River.

For grades 4-8
Dates: April 1-5, 2019

Learn more and register for the Spring Break Camp


Rice Rivers Center Nature Camp:

Our summer Nature Camp at the Rice Rivers Center returns! We will explore the natural world through hands on science at VCU’s river campus and spend plenty of time adventuring outdoors. Along with learning about the James River watershed, we will meet researchers from the prothonotary warbler team (Team Warbler) and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Join us at our beautiful 350 acre campus on the James River.

For rising 6-8th grade students
Dates: June 17-21; July 15-19, 2019

Learn more and register for the Rice Rivers Center Nature Camp


Rice Rivers Center Jr. Nature Camp (NEW!):

By popular demand, we are able to offer the same summer Nature Camp at the Rice Rivers Center to younger aspiring scientists!  We will learn about plants and trees in our watershed, check out bald eagle and osprey nests, and learn to explore by canoe.

For rising 4-5th grade students
Dates: June 24-28, 2019

Learn more and register for the Rice Rivers Center Jr. Nature Camp


LEAP on to the James:

Join the OAP for LEAP (Leadership Environment and Adventure Program) on the James River. This four-day overnight program is for adventurous high school students who are ready to push their leadership skills and develop their outdoor competence. We will paddle down the James from Richmond to the Rice Rivers Center, stopping at conservation areas along the way. Students will learn about river ecology, cultural history, and develop leadership and outdoor skills that will stay with participants beyond their time on the river. No prior paddling experience is necessary, and there will be an informational meeting before the start of the trip to introduce students and instructors.

For rising 9-11th grade students
Dates: July 8-11; July 22-25, 2019


Day camp information:

Camps are at Rice Rivers Center and begin promptly at 9 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A courtesy shuttle will be available between the Monroe Park campus and Rice Rivers Center.  Students can be dropped off at Monroe Park at 8:00 a.m. to be transported to Rice Rivers Center, and will leave the center at 3:00 p.m. to return to the Monroe Park campus by 3:45 p.m.

Early drop off/late pick-up:
Arrangements are available to provide parents access to drop their camper off as early as 7 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5 p.m. 

Learn more and register for LEAP onto the James


For additional information visit
or email Katie Schmidt at