What is a Summit?

Who: Originally organized by the National Wildlife Federation, Family Nature Summits is continuing this 40+ year old tradition as a conservation and nature-oriented conference to educate attendees and help us be good stewards of the Earth. Despite its name, Family Nature Summits is for everyone – from singles to couples to families of all ages. We typically have 300+ attendees. 

What: Family Nature Summits are for people who love nature. During the day, kids enjoy educational and adventurous activities with their peers while the adults can sign up for guided hikes & classes of interest. There are family-oriented activities each evening. Family Nature Summits provide a fun and stimulating outdoor-oriented vacation, offering participants the opportunity to enjoy and learn about nature and the environment. When the age of the “family vacation” seems to have gone by the wayside, the Family Nature Summits is a chance for individuals and families to have fun doing age-appropriate activities with their peers and then attending evening programs together (dances, storytelling, puppet shows, nighttime owl walks, stargazing, etc)

Where:  Various locations in the US and Canada. The Family Nature Summits alternate between locations west of the Mississippi in even years and east of the Mississippi in odd years. Check out our Where we’ve been page to see some of the previous locations.

When:  One week in the summer. Check the Next Summit page for the latest information.

Why: Because you won’t want to miss this chance to trade “screen time for green time” and to share amazing experiences with family and/or friends (old and new), in some of the most beautiful places in the country.

How: Volunteers and expert faculty make it happen. It must be good if these people donate their time to make it happen each year! We are a keen, inspirational, dedicated group who just want to get people outside. The faculty are experts from many fields – biology, geology, ecology, early childhood education, photography, handicrafts, outdoor recreation – and more. You’ll get a personally guided experience of each new Family Nature Summit location.

We think we have something you won’t find any where else for your family vacation – with warmth, excitement and luxury all combined.

Still have questions? Feel free to email info@familynaturesummits.org or call 949-743-2567 and we’ll be happy to answer them.


Earn Family Brownie Points: You can vacation with your family, but you don’t have to spend every hour of the day together. Adults have fun with other adults. Kids have fun with other kids. And at the end of each day, you all come together for performances, dancing and festivals. It’s a unique experience where the grandparents feel equally engaged and excited as the toddlers.

This Land is Our Land: See the most beautiful places in America – and everything is figured out for you.

Get Your Vitamin D: We keep hearing how both kids and adults need more active time outside to be the best we can be. Family Nature Summits makes that easy and fun.

Like an Extended Family, Without the Thanksgiving Dinner: You can always do what you want: hikers climb mountains. Crafters make unique crafts. Maybe one day you want to be super-active. Maybe another you’d like to sit and chat. You can shape your Family Nature Summit experience to be the right mixture so your body and mind gets renewed.

Food Tastes Better When You Have Been Outside: And it tastes really good when you don’t prepare it or clean up afterwards.

Outside is Fun, but We Want Hot Showers: Family Nature Summits are held in comfortable places – so get your fill of the mountains and lakes during the day, but enjoy a comfy sleep at night.

Green Your Vacation:  Family Nature Summit facilities are chosen because they are green. We offer eco-tours and craft classes with focus on reusability and sustainability. Plus we all get inspired to protect the earth when we spend time in nature.

Your Teenager Will Talk With You: Our teen and young adult programs are EXTREMELY popular. Why not fit in one more vacation with your kids before they move out?