Wilderness Camp

 *2023 Update - Please e-mail questions to Ande at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
All Invoices, forms, and registrations will be handled electronically this year. 


Ages 9-10
Monday - Friday $400

June 26 - 30, 2023 $400 
Group 1 M-F 8am-3pm
Group 2 M-F 8:30am-3:30pm
Group 3 M-F 9am-4pm

Designed for adventurous fourth graders (ages 9-10) who have attended Animal Camp at least once! (No first time Pet World campers, sorry.) Wilderness Camp is a week long day camp designed for returning campers who just can't get enough of our private nature reserve and the tortoise farm!

Every day is an outing at the Pet World nature preserve including hiking, creeking, frogging, climbing, snake hunting, trailblazing, fort building, and lunch! Each day we'll begin and end with free time at PW. On Thursday evening, parents and families of 10 year olds (who will be too old to return next year) are invited to pick up at the private nature preserve instead of PW. Kids can take their families on a private tour of the property! 9 year old campers will return to PW for pick up at their normal time.

Why Wilderness Camp? Every year our older kids had a hard time facing their last summer of PW camp so we created this advanced level camp for kids who really loved the nature preserve and had already mastered the lower levels. Most kids attend Critter Camp at age 5 or 6 (although they can now start in Lil' Critter Camp at 3!), move up to Animal Camp around age 7 or 8, then repeat Animal Camp for a second time. Before Wilderness Camp, kids found themselves sad with no higher level camp for them to look forward to the next summer. Even though our camp kids are allowed to start volunteering at age 10 (instead of waiting until 11 like other youth volunteers) many of the really adventurous kids needed something more.

The truth is, Pet World's private nature preserve is a pretty magical place and most kids just can’t get enough of it. So Wilderness Camp was designed to take these kids to the next level and provide a camp for kids up to age 10. PW's huge nature preserve is private with no public access. Very few people are allowed to use the property so it stays pristine and natural. The experience is about as primitive as a kid can get these days.

Because Wilderness Camp enrollment is limited to returning campers only, kids have considerably more independent, free time while at PW and only moderate refresher training is offered. In addition, we forego the traditional field trips and spend time at the nature preserve every single day with the Family Farewell on Thursday night. Even though they go home every evening, kids build forts and set up campsites a little each day while blazing trails, seining the creek, hiking, snake hunting, caring for the tortoises, and basically just enjoying nature with no interruptions from the modern, outside world. They learn to navigate using the sun and a compass and communicate with two way radios. (Families of 10 year olds are invited to join us Thursday night so kids can take them on a private tour of their last Wilderness Camp experience!)

Spots are very limited in all PW camps. We can only have as many kids as we have seatbealts. Early registration begins March 15 (with additional fees) and open enrollment starts on April 15.

Indoor, outdoor, rain or shine! (But mostly outdoors!)

The most all-inclusive of the PW camps, WC includes camp shirt, laundry service M-R, free transportation from PW to the farm and back, lunch M-F, drinks, snacks, and extra campfire snacks on Thursday night.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Unfortunately the PW kitchen will not be open this summer and all participants will need to bring their own lunches from home. We hate this limitation and are SO SORRY for the parent inconvenience! We have added extra precautions to reduce the risk of spreading germs, including open car windows and face coverings for the kids and counselors during transport when adequate social distancing will not be possible (provided and cleaned daily by us).

Wilderness CampCampers navigating trails (L).
Camp counselor teaching the kids how to start a campfire to cook their lunch - take note of the MUD (R).

Wilderness CampCampers with wild, baby ringneck snakes they found herping with camp counselors.

Brave camper crossing the famous tree bridge to go see the tortoise enclosure.

Ages 9-10
Monday - Friday $400

June 26 - 30, 2023 $400
Group 1 M-F 8am-3pm  0 of 6 spots available
Group 2 M-F 8:30am-3:30pm 0 of 10 spots available 
Group 3 M-F 9am-4pm  0 of 10 spots available
0 of 19 total spots available SOLD OUT!
Kids will be transported in a group of 10 via passenger van or groups of 3 in SUVs. As soon as one time slot exceeds six that will probably be the 10 child group and the other time slots will be limited to six. If you have friends in camp together, please note that on your enrollment form and we can seat them together.
Click here to ENROLL NOW in Wilderness Camp SOLD OUT!
Enrollment Form will be activated at 10am, March 15

2022 SOLD OUT March 16
2021 - SOLD OUT March 25

2019 - SOLD OUT May 1
2018- SOLD OUT April 2
2017 - SOLD OUT May 7

Super Early Registration opens March 15
(additional fee)
Early Registration opens April 1
(additional fee)
Open enrollment begins April 15!
(no additional fee)

The Fine Print: Online registration forms are updated by 10am on March 15. Please check the year on the form before submitting or the price may be incorrect. Parents, please submit completed forms at your earliest convenience. We call our programs "summer camps" for convenience but actually they are classified as instructional, topic/task specific classes under K.S.A. 65-501 which are exempt from licensing requirements (similar to a sports training camp or Vacation Bible School). Our programs are private and sometimes used for childcare, however, because they are less than five weeks in duration, they are not classified as daycare. Even though licensing is not required, our instructors and leaders are fully trained in animal husbandry, local nature, certified in rescue, first aid, and CPR, and we maintain an adult to child ratio of 1 adult to 6 kids. Enrollment is limited because we keep our groups very small.   

Open Enrollment
Registration with no additional fees is first come, first served, beginning when the store opens on APRIL 15 (tax day).

Early Enrollment

It's possible to pay an additional, early registration fee and register beginning March 15. Early, prepaid registrations are processed in the order received as long as they are accompanied by the early fee. Stop by in person and we'll help you through the process or you can enroll from your own computer.The numbers of available spots are updated every day from March 15 until all camps are sold out (which happens every year by mid May (except 2020, of course).

 *2023 Update - Please e-mail questions to Ande at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
All Invoices, forms, and registrations will be handled electronically this year.