Howard Christensen Nature Center

Howard Christensen Nature Center

“The earth has music for those who listen.”

Scouts Programs

Your pack may choose a five-hour program or an overnight program from our Tour Programs. We will help cub scouts complete most, if not all of the requirements for their needed badges. Cub Scouts from Wolves through Webelos can explore the outdoor environment and the natural sciences through indoor and outdoor games, projects, stories, and interpretive hikes. Come join us for a wonderful experience enjoying the great outdoors!

Our Scouting programs will meet electives and badge requirements!

Birds – Indentification, Habitat and more

Scout Programs

Wolf Program

Wolf's Scouts will be taken for a bird hike through prairies, woodlands and pond areas to observe and identify birds.  They will make feeders, and hear a story about birds. We ask that the Wolfs keep a list of all of the birds they see for one week; they can bring a list of birds they are currently working.

Michigan Wildlife

Bear Program

Bear's Scouts will discover what wild animals live in Michigan. Program will introduce scouts to some of      Michigan's wildlife through hands-on experiences with artifacts and visits with live animals as well as our huge array of taxidermy's. Scouts will learn about Michigan endangered species. We will enjoy a journey into the woods to search for our forest friends and speak of their lives in the wild and so much more.

Scout Programs


Webelos Program

Webelo Scouts can earn your Outdoorsman Merit Badge with HCNC! An overnight program of one night and one day for completion. Come prepared to camp outside or in our at Camp Lily's, we have fire-pits, open camp area and indoor camping if the weather is inclining. Kitchen facility and heat if needed.

Scout Programs

Programs for Academic Belt Loops and Pins

Forester: Webelos

Explore the trees in the forest! Learn about local forests and go on a hike to identify some native trees of Michigan. How does a tree grow? What does it need to live? You will find out through activities and games.

Naturalist: Webelos

A naturalist is always observing the world around him. We will explore everything we can find outdoors.

Science: Wolf, Bear, and Webelos

Roll up your sleeves and come prepared for some science exploration! Be wowed by the wonders of science through hands-on experiments and discoveries.

Scout Programs

Wildlife Conservation: Wolf, Bear, and Webelos

Through games and hands-on activities, learn what it means to be a good steward to the animals that share our planet. We will hike to see natural resources up close and do a small service project to help wildlife.

Plan your outing – Call (616) 675-3158 to arrange a program. Please have the following information ready before you call:

  • Contact Name & Phone Number
  • Program Choice
  • Ideal Dates
  • Group Size

The fee for two-hour programs is $4.75 per scout with a minimum payment of $60. There is no charge for adults.

The fee for overnight programs is $30 per scout with a minimum payment of $300, and a maximum of 35 scouts. There is no charge for adults. Cost includes one of our staff leading your group, activities, snacks, and breakfast. Your group may sleep in the Camp Lily's housing on floors or outside in your own tents. All overnights are from 5:00 p.m. Friday – 11:00 a.m. Saturday or 5:00 p.m. Saturday – 11:00 a.m. Sunday, and dates are available year around. Scouting programs are offered one free night of camping and Camp Lily's rental in exchange for a service project.

Custom programs are available; please call (616) 675-3158 for more information.

Scout Programs

Overnight Visits

What you need to know:

    • Cost: $30 per scout. Minimum charge $300
    • Maximum Group Size: 50 scouts
    • Time: From 5:00-9:00 p.m. Friday or Saturday until 7:00-11:00 a.m. Saturday or Sunday
    • Your group may sleep Camp Lily's on the floor or outside in your own tents (we have three cots and one couch)
    • We require a deposit of the minimum payment within one two weeks from the date you schedule your program
    • Overnight programs can accomplish one or two different badges, depending on the desired badges

How to plan an overnight visit:

      • Number of scouts & their ages; number of adults attending
      • Name of contact person; contact person's address & phone number

Scout Programs

Click here for Scout Program Registration Form

Suggestions of possible Eagle Scout Projects

    • Repair board walks and rails (primarily thunderwood swamp area) 
    • Make and replace informational signs and arboretum trail signs
    • Children Safe play equipment 
    • Repair/replace shelf feeders
    • Build and place birdhouses
    • Trailblazing a new trail
    • Build a “screen room” at our Interpretive building entrance
    • Make new signs
    • Build new animal enclosure 
    • Install a Split Rail Fence around play area
    • Build/donate furniture for our study room
    • Help build, till, weed our organic garden and pumpkin patch (coming 2015)

Donate Online

Your donations help us educate our community on the importance of ecology, stewardship, and nature.

Contact Us

If you have a question, please feel free to contact us!


 Google Plus iNaturalist


Business Hours

Contact us: (616) 675-3158
Hiking all days during daylight hours.
Interpretive Center Hours:

Winter Hours

  • Monday-Thursday: 9am to 4pm
  • Friday: 9am to 3pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 11pm to 4pm