Campers sit on a circle in the grass outside with Park Rangers and OMSI instructors, with tents in the background.

Participants in the Fur to Fossil camp learn about life at Fort Vancouver in the 1840s as part of their week-long experience.

NPS Photo

Fur to Fossil: Earth & People of the Northwest

In partnership with OMSI, adventure from Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument on a five day camping trip!

Fur to Fossil is a free camp open to middle school students who are interested in science, history, and teamwork. After meeting for introductions and orientation at OMSI, campers spend 2 1/2 days at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, learning about history and cultural resources, and 2 1/2 days at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon, learning about science and the environment. Fur to Fossil camps are fun, educational, and full of adventure! No previous camping experience is required.

At Fort Vancouver NHS
Campers will spend 2 1/2 days learning about history and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. Participants camp in tents at the park, eat meals prepared in the historic kitchen, and engage in fun activities throughout the camp session, including hands-on archaeology activities, games, and park tours.

At John Day Fossil Beds NM
Campers will spend 2 1/2 days at John Day Fossil Beds NM, where they will learn about paleontology and the environment. Participants will stay in cabins at the Hancock Field Station, explore the beautiful national park, and get to know their fellow campers.

2015 Dates
In 2015, camp sessions are scheduled for the following weeks:
  • June 22-26, 2015
  • July 6-10, 2015
Informational Parent Nights (required):
  • May 20 & 21, 2015, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA)
With a goal to offer opportunities in national parks to economically disadvantaged and underrepresented youth, registration is open to organizations that connect with this important audience. Interested organizations can email park staff for more information and obtain registration packets.

To be considered, applications are due (along with a $20 deposit refunded upon campers' arrival) to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site personnel by June 8, 2015. The mailing address is:

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Attn: Fur to Fossil Summer Camp
612 E. Reserve St.
Vancouver, WA 98661

Parents or guardians of registered campers will be required to attend at least one informational Parent Night. Parent Nights are scheduled for May 20 & 21, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at OMSI.

More Information
For more information, contact the park by email or phone at 360-816-6230.

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