Sherwood Forest is so much more than “just” a camp – it changes lives.

While our programs are anchored in a summer camp experience, as a year-round youth development organization, we offer both experiential adventures and evidence-based programs that reinforce and support school-year learning. Traditional camp activities such as overnight camp-outs, extended backpacking trips, and river excursions are balanced by programs including Book Club and the Arthur and Helen Baer Foundation Creative and Performing Arts Program.

Sherwood Forest offers an environment of acceptance, support, self-discovery, and learning like no other. Here, kids cultivate their individual interests and talents, immerse themselves in nature, and develop important life skills like teamwork and responsibility.

Journey through our Programs

Each summer brings something different for campers at Sherwood Forest as they build upon the skills they learned the year before. Our programs are designed to reduce summer learning loss, foster a love of learning, and build the soft skills that research has shown are critical to academic achievement, high school graduation and success in post-secondary education.

Introduction to Camp

1st & 2nd Grade
During their 5 day stay at camp, Shire campers learn the ropes of camp life as they develop independent living skills

Reading to Learn, Loving to Read

3rd Grade
During the last year of Shire Camp, 3rd graders develop a love of learning by participating in our award winning Third Grade Book Club. Campers read a book while also participating in hands-on activities (like fire building, fishing and more!) to engage them with the story.

Hands on Science

4th & 5th Grade
For both 4th and 5th grade campers, summer is centered around exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) with a special focus on nature and the outdoors. Campers develop a thirst for knowledge and a greater understanding of the world around them.

Discovering the Leader Inside

6th & 7th Grade
6th grade marks the start of Leadership Training, a 4-year program which helps campers become self-sufficient, well-rounded, life-long learners. In 6th grade, campers undergo a process of self-exploration to help them learn and grow as individuals. This work continues in 7th grade when campers achieve a large project together as a group ­– either planning and producing an all-camp musical production or a 100+ mile backpacking and canoeing trip.

Leadership in the Community

8th & 9th Grade
After 2 years of developing independence and teamwork skills, campers put them into action as they plan extensive trips. As 8th graders, campers focus on impacting their local community as they travel across Missouri to visit colleges and participate in service projects. 9th graders expand their focus to impacting the national community as they plan and execute a 12-day trip to Washington, D.C., visiting college campuses, historical sites, and participating in community service along the way.

Supports for Success

10th, 11th, and 12th Grade
Throughout this three-year program sequence, Sherwood Forest aims to provide youth with the life skills and supports needed to be self-sufficient, solve problems, and resolve conflicts. There is a focus on developing healthy social and emotional skills, which enable youth to develop into well-rounded adults and committed members of their communities after successfully completing a postsecondary education program. They learn to succeed in the workplace, and are guided through planning for their post-secondary education.

Continued Support
Upon completing high school, program participants continue to receive support through their transition to their next step.