MSU Extension Tollgate Farm Summer Camps 2020

MSU Extension Tollgate Farm Summer Camps 2020 – The 160 acre MSU Tollgate Farm in Novi hosts hands-on, summer nature programs and summer day camps for kids ages 6-14 through the MSU Extension program. Camps engage the kids using STEM projects, nature, and fun!

UPDATE 7/28/20 – Starting the week of June 22, 2020 MSU Tollgate will be offering free weekly themed camp pages on their Experience Tollgate website, filled with videos, excursion ideas, and easy to do activities that are perfect to keep your at-home campers busy, learning and exploring.

In addition to this free resource MSU Tollgate Farm is offering two interactive virtual camp experiences.

MSU Tollgate Farm Starry Night Virtual Backyard Campout – Wednesday, July 29, 2020 from 8p-10p
MSU Tollgate Farm Virtual Vet Science Interactive Camp Sessions – August 10-14 from 2:30p-4:30p on Monday, Tuesday-Friday from 3:30p-4:45p ages 10-15.

You can register for these virtual events HERE.

MSU Extension Tollgate Farm Summer Camps

Each camp provides new adventures and different theme. A typical Tollgate Farm camp day includes making snakes in the Garden Kitchen, taking care of the farm animals, gardening, taking part in a week-long STEM project, and exploring the fields and ponds. By allowing campers to “do, reflect, apply”, young people are empowered to be in charge of their own learning, instilling a passion for self-directed, life-long exploration. All camps are farm-based and fun-filled.

Day camps run from 9a-4p with 4p-6p aftercare available for an additional fee. Drop-offs for the day camps start at 8:45a. Stewards ages 15-19 years and Stewards-in-Training programs for ages 13-14 are available (see below). Multi-child discounts are available. Low child-to-adult ratios make camp weeks fill quickly, so register early.

MSU Extension Tollgate Farm Summer Camps 2020

Green Science Adventure Farm Camp
June 22-26
Ages 6-12
Tollgate’s flagship camp, Green Science Adventure is a great taste of life on the farm. Spend our days feeding critters in the barnyard, tracking animals in the forest, playing cooperative games, and preparing garden fresh snacks that campers helped grow.

Tollgate KBS Winged Wonders Traveling Camp
June 22-26
Ages 10-13
Tollgate has banded together with Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, Michigan to offer this exploration of wild and domestic birds through interactive, hands-on science activities. Become an ornithologist to study birds and their amazing feats as campers hike the fields and forests of MSU Tollgate Farm and KBS. Meet at Tollgate for farm-based birding adventures Monday and Friday. As field scientists, camp out under the stars at KBS Tuesday through Thursday to interact with research scientists, meet raptors up close and personal, make new friends, and have lots of fun. Transportation and tents provided.

Level 1 Horse Camp – Equine Science 
July 6-10 & July 20-24
Ages 9-14
This version of level 1 Horse Camp will explore the wonders of the equine body. Campers will dive into the anatomy and physiology of horses, explore specimens under a microscope, learn about veterinary procedures, and much more. Campers will also work on basic horsemanship skills, acquire horse husbandry knowledge, and experience the day-to-day operations of a working farm. You do not need a horse to participate.

Farm Animal Camp
July 6-10 & August 10-14
Ages 5-12
Animals play many important roles on the farm; they provide food, clothing, hard work, and companionship. Explore animal science as you interact with our horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and goats. Spend the week learning about farm animal behavior and how to interact with and care for animals in the MSU Tollgate barns and pastures.

Earth Explorers Camp (NEW)
July 13-July 17
Ages 6-12
From studying the soil composition in the forest to the water quality of the pond the campers will learn the importance of environmental diversity and the inter-connectivity of humans and nature. Throughout the week campers will be immersed in interactive and environmentally focused activities that promote sustainability. To help support this theme, campers will take a field trip to the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority and Woodland Meadows Landfill.

Coding Camp (NEW)
July 13-July 17
Ages 9-14
Explore the Tollgate Coding Camp …. Learn the basics of computer science and coding through Scratch, a block-based coding language developed by MIT. Campers also explore careers that use computer coding and other opportunities to continue learning through 4-H. Participants must provide their own laptop and earbuds/headphones.

Nature’s Engineers Camp (NEW)
July 20-24
Ages 6-12
Professions such as architects, engineers, and scientists often look to nature to inspire and answer questions. Organisms all around us are using engineering principles to build structures and/or modify the environment for their benefit. During this week campers will investigate various nature engineers on our property and become one through participation in various outdoor packed activities and MSU Extension Tollgate’s week-long STEAM project.

Survival Camp
July 27-31
Ages 6-12
Let your child’s adventurous spirits run free as they learn about the natural environment and the important tools of survival during this week of summer camp. Survival Camp is the perfect camp for those who want to get down and dirty and put their survival skills to the test. This camp week will be filled with exciting skill building experiences like fire building, forest exploration and navigational tools, and a week-long STEM project focusing on shelter building.

Outdoor Adventure Survival Camp
July 27-31
Ages 12-14
Take Survival Camp to a whole new level and challenge yourself with new and exciting skill building experiences. Test your limits and develop a survival mindset with map reading and orienteering, fire building, outdoor cooking, shelter building, rockclimbing, trust initiatives, an optional Thursday campout under the stars, and other outdoor adventure challenges at MSU Tollgate.

Splish Splish Water Camp
August 3-7
Ages 6-12
Dive into the world of the pond to investigate the animals, bugs, and plants that call it home. This week is perfect for the camper who is interested in fishing, canoeing, and pond dipping for macroinvertebrates. Learn about water conservation and water ecology. The week closes with the return of the famous water slide for a splish-splashing good time.

Horse Camp Level 2 – English Riding
August 3-7
Ages 9-14
English-style horseback riding. Campers will dive into the world of horse racing, jumping, dressage, and learn about their impact on the world today. Enjoy the horses up close and personal as you gain English riding skills during your equine adventure on the farm. Campers will expand their horse husbandry knowledge and experience the day-to-day operations of a working farm. You do not need a horse to participate. You must have attended a MSU Tollgate Level 1 Horse Camp in order to register for Level 2 Horse Camp – English Riding.

Tollgate Vet Science Camp
August 10-14
Ages 12-14
Explore the Tollgate barn and pastures as you investigate veterinary science and animal medicine. Collaborate in teams as you participate in various hands-on learning adventures related to the world of farm animals. Participants will gain animal handling experience, learn how to use veterinary tools & technology, practice physical exams, and have the opportunity to explore various animal-related career fields with visiting vets and animal care specialists.

Tollgate Top Chef Food Camp
August 17-21
Ages 6-12
Participate alongside other young cooks in Tollgate’s junior top chef food challenge. The week will include digging into the concept of farm to table, caring for the animals, and exploring the surrounding field, forest, and pond. Campers will interact with goats and greens and engage in food science making nutritious snacks that taste yummy. Campers will grow, harvest, and cook with MSU Tollgate farmers each day as they build our sense of food community and fun.

Horse Camp Level 2 – Western Riding
August 17-21
Ages 9-14
Explore the different western events and try your hand at roping, barrel racing, and many other ranch activities. Enjoy the horses up close and personal as you gain Western riding skills during your equine adventure on the farm. Campers will expand their horse husbandry knowledge and experience the day-to-day operations of a working farm. Campers do not need a horse to participate. Campers must have attended a MSU Tollgate Level 1 Horse Camp in order to register for Level 2 Horse Camp – Western Riding.

Farm Market – Entrepreneur Camp (NEW)
August 24-27
Ages 12-18
This hands-on entrepreneurial experience will teach youth the mechanics of owning and operating a small business and running their own farm stand. Campers will visit Eastern Market to learn entrepreneurial skills from real business leaders, including customer service, budgeting, marketing and sales and other essential tools to make a business a success. The camp will end on Thursday with reflection and youth will learn to develop their own value-added products they can sell at their own local farmers market.

The Steward and Steward-in-Training (SIT) Program
Ages 13-19
The Tollgate Camp Teen Steward (15-19 yrs) and Tollgate Steward-in-Training (13-14 yrs) positions are for those interested in gaining experience working with campers in agriculture and natural sciences. This experience offers a chance for stewards to enrich, mentor, and lead campers while gaining valuable leadership and life skills. Stewards must commit to at least two full weeks of camp.
Register here –

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center
28115 Meadowbrook Rd
Novi, MI 48377
248-347-0269 ext 220


For more info on MSU Extension Tollgate Farm Summer Camps, visit

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