Outdoor Adventure Program

Rice Rivers Center

REGISTRATION FOR SUMMER CAMPS IS OPEN! Join us for the Nature Camp, Jr. Nature Camp, or LEAP onto the James. We also have a new Spring Break Camp, check it out!

The VCU Outdoor Adventure Program is partnering with the VCU Rice Rivers Center to offer environmental education and recreational programming at the 500-acre facility along the lower James. The Center supports academic instruction, applied research, and community outreach in disciplines that include conservation biology, environmental science, ecology, water resources, wetland restoration, and technology. With direct access to the James River, a new boat launch for canoes to access the tidal Kimages Creek, and the recent opening of the Inger Rice Lodge that can sleep up to 22 visiting researchers, students, or visitors, the Rice Rivers Center is a perfect location.

With the new partnership, we hope to increase the public knowledge and excitement about research programs currently taking place, and inspire future scientists through our educational summer camps. Check out the research being done on the Prothonotary Warblers and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program.

Events, Camps, and Instructional Courses 

Click the titles in the chart below to view full descriptions, trip costs, and registration. 

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: 2020 dates TBA

Check out the Nature Camp Parent Information Packet here.

Campers holding shells from the river.

Jr. Nature Camp:

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: 2020 dates TBA

Check out the Jr. Nature Camp Parent Information Packet here.


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: 2020 dates TBA

A kayak floating in the river.

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.

Custom Programming

If you are interested in doing custom programming and hosting your own event at the Rice Rivers Center, we can help! The facility has a conference room with state of the art technology, community education labs, plenty of open spaces, and canoes. The lodge has a community space along with a kitchen equipped for large groups. We can also facilitate a variety of team building programs with options ranging from a few hours to the whole weekend.

For more information, please contact Katie Schmidt at outdoors@vcu.edu

Please review our Trip Policies and Procedures.