Camp In A Box: Growing Observation

Looking for a fun camp experience at home? Our Camp In A Box offers young writers opportunities to actively learn and be creative through a wide variety of activities. Camp In A Box activities are designed with a range of complexity accessible and challenging for grades 1–12, and each can be done multiple times. Boxes are designed so that young writers can engage with them completely offline. Videos are available for adults who might like ideas on how to support young writers as they engage with the activities. All boxes come with a Guide on the Side card, detailing common questions to ask and an outline of how we approach learning. 

Suggested for grades 1–12

What is a nature journal? How do I set one up and what do I put in it? Whether you’re out in the forest, on the road, or at home, the Growing Observation Camp In A Box gets writers to see the world around them in new ways. While activities can be done inside, they are designed to get writers out and about, exploring their environments and the creatures around them (including humans!). 

This box includes the following materials:
  • 12 repeatable activities designed by a licensed teacher for any environment (e.g. summer/winter, urban/rural) with varying levels of complexity to be engaging for grades 1–12
  • Supplemental print materials for activities including color swatches and life-sized animal tracks
  • Guide-On-The-Side card with tips for supporting your writer and access to videos for every activity and a few How To videos
  • Sketchbook
  • Pencil pouch to carry materials
  • 13 colored pencils specifically picked to support nature drawing
  • Hand lens
  • 6” plastic ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Art pencil
  • Felt-tip pen
  • Link and QR code to digital materials including instructional videos for adults and pdfs of supplemental print materials to download and print if you would like more copies

How it works:
  • Order activity box and choose from delivery or pick up options. 
    • Prices:
      • Activity Box (1) with Curbside Pickup: $85
      • Activity Box (1) with Shipping: $100
      • Give A Box (1): $85
      • Add materials for a second writer: $70
        • Adding an additional writer to a box includes duplicates of everything except print materials (direction booklet, Guide on the Side card, animal tracks, color swatches, and supplemental print materials available to download on the website). Materials will be contained in the same primary (pickup or shipping) box.
  • Deliveries will go out on Tuesday, June 1, July 6, August 3, August 31.
    • Curbside pickup will be available on the same days from 10am–3pm at Nicholson Hall on the U of MN East Bank Campus.
    • Pickup directions and additional access information will be emailed to you prior to your pickup date.
  • Ordering options for each mailing/pick up date will close one week prior to the date.
  • Young writers do not need any access to a device or computer. Adults may wish to access digital resources, but this is not required.
  • All materials are supplied in the box.

Recommended for youth with interest in:
  • Exploring outside (or need some encouragement)
  • Writing
  • Observation
  • Drawing (no skills required)
  • Learning about themselves and the world around them

Give A Box
We invite you to consider our Give A Box option to provide a box for a young writer whose family may be unable to afford this item. Just choose the Give A Box option at check out, and we’ll take care of the rest. The Gift A Box option is intended for the Minnesota Writing Project to distribute. If you would like to purchase a box as a gift for someone you know, choose the Activity Box option.

For more information, please visit us at

All registered participants will receive an email with event-specific information the week before the event.

All Sales Final. No Refunds.