975 Indian Landing Road
Millersville, MD 21108
tel. 410-222-3822

Questions about summer camp? You’ve come to the right place!

Selection Process 

Will I receive a confirmation email after registering my student?

You will not receive an automatic confirmation email after submitting an application. You will receive a confirmation email in early May if your student has been added to the roster of a camp you applied for.

Who can apply to Arlington Echo summer camps?

Our camps are offered only to students who are currently enrolled in AACPS schools.

How does the selection process work?

Summer seats are not guaranteed for all students and seats are NOT filled on a first come, first serve basis.  The federal funds used to support summer offerings require us to consider students’ unfinished learning and student needs as student selections are made.  If the student demand exceeds the number of seats available, we will need to make final student selections.  Once your student is selected to attend, you will be notified by the program facilitator with additional information.

When will I be notified if my student is selected?

Initial notifications will be made in late April.

How long is registration open?

Registration will open on February 9, 2024 and close on March 15, 2024.

I am experiencing difficulty logging in to register my student.

If you are experiencing difficulty using your child’s Student ID Number and Birthdate to log in to the summer programs website, please contact Krista Boyd at 410-222-5491. 

What is the cost of camp?

Camp is offered at no cost to AACPS enrolled students.

What is your cell phone policy?

Cell phones will not be permitted at camp.

Though society has become increasingly dependent on internet-connected devices, the Environmental Literacy & Outdoor Education Office strongly believes the summer camp environment is one where cell phones simply do not belong, as they inhibit two key goals of summer camp: connecting young people with each other and with the natural world. 

As useful as mobile devices can be, they serve as an unwanted distraction drawing the user’s attention away from the people and environment around them. Connection to the internet raises a host of other issues including but not limited to cyberbullying, viewing of inappropriate materials, and uploading camper photos without parental consent. 

Cell phones also hinder our staff’s ability to resolve camper issues and effectively communicate with parents. If a camper encounters issues during camp, their first instinct is to call you, their parent, rather than speak with our staff. This leads to miscommunication and makes it difficult to manage issues that our highly trained staff are otherwise capable of resolving. 

Our staff will always arrange for necessary phone calls and will assist a child in getting in contact with their parent or guardian via our landline as needed. Likewise, parents and guardians can call Arlington Echo if they need to reach their child.

We take this cause very seriously, and will confiscate any cell phones or other electronic devices brought to camp. As in the school setting, the devices will be stored in a secured administrative office until camp’s conclusion. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Is there a nurse at camp?

Yes. Our camp nurse is a registered RN from the county health department.

My child takes medication. Who will administer the medication while at camp?

Our camp nurse will administer medications while at camp.

Will food be provided during camp?

Yes. Breakfast and lunch are provided for all day campers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for all overnight campers.

Still don’t have the answers you need? Give us a call! 410-222-3822

A collage of photos with a camper swimming under water, sitting in the stream, holding a chicken, standing on a mountain, practicing yoga, hiking, hiking over rocks, swinging on a rope, wearing lifejackets, standing next to a tree, holding a fish, standing next to an archery target, planting a fern and wearing lifejackets.

The 2024 application window for Arlington Echo summer camps will be open February 9, 2024 through March 15, 2024

Apply at aacps.org/summer

Summer seats are not guaranteed for all students and seats are NOT filled on a first come, first serve basis.  The federal funds used to support summer offerings require us to consider students’ unfinished learning and student needs as student selections are made.  If the student demand exceeds the number of seats available, we will need to make final student selections.  Once your student is selected to attend, you will be notified by the program facilitator with additional information. 

Elementary School Camp

Students currently in pre K- 4th grade are eligible for our free day and overnight camps held at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, MD. Campers will experience 3-4 days of classic camp activities like canoeing, swimming, archery, hiking and more! Camp Arlington Echo is the perfect place to meet new friends, learn about the environment and enjoy the great outdoors. All meals will be provided. Limited transportation is available. Go to aacps.org/summer and login to see specific camp dates and information.

Two campers smiling wearing neon yellow t-shirts.     A counselor rowing a row boat with three young campers.       A young camper holding a fish on his fishing rod.     A counselor painting a design on a young camper's hand.

Middle School Camp

Students currently in grades 5th- 8th are eligible for our free middle school overnight camp. Our middle school campers will stay in our cabins at Arlington Echo in Millersville, MD and also travel to a local State Park to sleep under the stars! If canoeing, hiking, eating smore’s, and making new friends sound like fun, this is the camp for you! All meals will be provided. Limited transportation is available. Go to aacps.org/summer and login to see specific camp dates and information.

10 campers standing on sand at the edge of a river.       Five campers sitting on a bench and smiling.       Two campers roasting marshmallows over a camp fire.

High School Camps

A collage of photos with campers sitting on rocks next to a waterfall, a boy standing on a mountain, two campers wearing backpacks, a girl standing on a mountain.

High Adventure Backpacking

High Adventure Backpacking Camp is a free 7 day, 6 night backpacking experience for adventurous campers seeking to explore the natural world in the wilderness setting of Shenandoah National Park.  We’ll climb mountains, explore valleys, sleep under the stars, and splash through streams while making friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Interested students will need to submit a video or essay explaining why they wish to attend this camp as part of their application. Space is very limited due to the nature of the program. Parents will need to provide their own transportation to/from Arlington Echo.

High Adventure Canoe

Students in canoes on the water.High Adventure Canoe Camp is a free 7 day, 6 night canoe camping adventure. Campers will spend the first two days and nights building canoe and camping skills at AACPS’s Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. Then we’ll board a bus and head to the headwaters of the Patuxent River where our real adventure begins! We’ll be exploring the river, sleep under the stars, and explore the environment all while making friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Interested students will need to submit a video or essay explaining why they wish to attend this camp as part of their application. Space is very limited due to the nature of the program.  Parents will need to provide their own transportation to/from Arlington Echo.

Counselor In Training opportunities

A Counselor in Training will assist the Camp Directors, and counselors in providing our campers a fun and safe week of camp. This is an opportunity for young adults to learn management and leadership skills in a fun camp setting. Tasks may include set up and break down of activities, assisting with supervision of campers, and ensuring camper safety. CITs are essential, and help to keep camp functioning smoothly! CITs can apply through the AACPS summer program portal at www.aacps.org/summer.

Summer Camp FAQ


AACPS Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office


To empower students of all ages through authentic hands-on outdoor experiences with the environmental knowledge, skills, and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions.


  1. Develop and implement environmental literacy standards based curriculum and programs at all grade levels infused with Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.
  2. Provide outdoor and environmental programming that engages students in personal safety and responsibility, is hands-on, outdoors, and focuses on environmental issues and action.
  3. Empower Teachers to use environment and outdoors as a context for learning 
  4. Serve as a community resource for building environmental stewardship and educating the residents of Anne Arundel County  


FEET banner

Tired of being inside?  Take your family outside!  We are excited to introduce you to our F.E.E.T Programs!  Families Enjoying the Environment Together!  We’ve compiled a series of activities and challenges to get your family outside and enjoying nature.  These programs are designed with all ages in mind. F.E.E.T. Camps are open to all! No registration required!


 feet flyer web

 A Walk in the Park Camp
In this series, we have teamed up with Anne Arundel County Parks to challenge you to explore some of the true park gems in Anne Arundel County. In each of these parks we have challenges for your family to engage with nature and have fun. If you complete all the challenges, you receive a prize!! Check it out!


Step Outside Camp
Does your family have a passion for nature knowledge? Dip your toes into the naturalist field! We will be exploring different aspects of our natural world. Learn about local trees, insects, reptiles and more! Check it out!


Stepping up for Community Science Camp
Scientists and researchers need your help! Step up and step outside to collect important data in your backyard, neighborhood, or local parks. Community science programs allow anyone to take part in scientific research projects. You don’t have to be an expert – just willing to get outside and observe the world around you! Check it out!










Head Outside!
A video series.

Staff from the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education program of Anne Arundel County Public Schools are heading outside to explore nature! Follow Arlington Echo’s friends in their outdoor adventures to see what they discover. What can you find?

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Head Outside! Crabbing 101
Summer is coming to a close, but crabbing season isn’t! Keep the summer fun going all the way through December with these crabbing tips from #AEstaff Liz and Sarah!

Head Outside Summer 2020 Challenge!

The Arlington Echo Head Outside Summer 2020 Challenge is officially here! Each week, Arlington Echo staff will call on you to go outside and complete one outdoor feat. Play along at home to see if you can beat our staff’s personal records and work your way up the Summer Challenge leaderboard!

Are YOU up to the challenge?

Summer Challenge #8 
Melanie is challenging you to use your sneaky skills and camouflage yourself in nature! Can you spot her as she hides in plain sight?

Summer Challenge #7 
Sheen is challenging YOU to make the biggest splash in a puddle. There is rain in the forecast this weekend- perfect for this Head Outside Summer challenge! How big of a splash can you make?

Summer Challenge #6 
Liz gathers other Arlington Echo staff members to put their rock skipping skills to the test! Can you beat our staff record? How many times can you skip one rock? Are YOU up for the challenge?

Summer Challenge #5 
Amber is challenging YOU to find shapes in the clouds- watch to see all of the cool things she found!

Summer Challenge #4 
Heather is challenging you to go outside and find shapes in nature! Can you beat her numbers?

Summer Challenge #3 
Mallory, Liz and Amber count fireflies in their backyard. How many fireflies can they count before the timer runs out? Can you beat their record?

Summer Challenge #2 
Can you beat Lauren’s fern count? Good Luck!

Summer Challenge #1 
Chloe beats her personal best in looking for insects! Can you beat her record?

Head Outside! Learning about Beavers and Hydrology

Head Outside! Learning about Beavers and Hydrology 

Ted talks with Hydrologist and Civil Engineer, Anne Connor about beavers and their connection to habitats. Watch with us to learn all about these magnificent creatures!

Head Outside! Let’s Learn About Sound

Head Outside! Let’s Learn About Sound 

How do you make a sound? What instruments can you find outside? Explore all of these things and more with Ms. Nan! What music can you find in nature?

Head Outside! Let’s Observe Insects!

Head Outside! Let’s Observe Insects!

Mallory shows us how to explore the different insects that live near our homes! You could say she’s “buzzing” about it! What kind of insects can you discover with this cool experiment?

Head Outside! Make Your Own Container Garden

Happy National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month! Eoin shows us how to build your very own container garden, filled with delicious home-grown vegetables! What a fun way to get into nature! Have you tried growing your own food?

Head Outside! Garbage to Garden – 5/29/20

Happy National Compost Day! Liz, Amber, and Gladney teach us about composting, and show us just three of the ways we can create our own compost at home. Composting can be a super simple way to help our Earth and it can be done almost anywhere, in many different ways. Let’s celebrate it! For more about composting, check out some basic compost instructions.

Head Outside! Let’s Explore the Water – 5/22/20

Happy National Biodiversity Day! Kyle and Sarah see what critters they can find living in their local rivers and streams! Join them as they discover organisms of all shapes and sizes. What aquatic organisms can you find near you?

Head Outside! Building a Water Safety Checklist – 5/15/20

Did you know that May is National Water Safety Month!? Heather and the Drownproofing team show us how to build a water safety checklist for exploring our waterways! What should you put on your water safety checklist? Follow along to find out!

Head Outside! Light Tree ID: Eastern Redbud – 5/8/20

Lauren shares a few quick tricks on how to easily identify Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Try putting your skills to the test in your neighborhood!

Head Outside! Meet Our Aquatic Friends – 5/1/20

This week, Chloe takes us on a tour to meet all of the aquatic animals that live at Arlington Echo! Each of these animals helps educate our visitors- and they are all unique in their own way. What wild personalities can you notice in your neighborhood?

Head Outside! All About Skunk Cabbage – 4/24/20

This week, Ms. Mel helps us explore a plant that you may see around Maryland this time of year- skunk cabbage! What does it look like, and why does it have that name? Watch this week’s episode to find out!

Head Outside! Light Tree ID: Pine – 4/17/20

Lauren shares a few quick tricks to help with some light tree identification. See if you can find the three pine species discussed in the video in your neighborhood! What other tree species can you identify?

Head Outside! DIY Backyard Bird Feeder – 4/11/20

Sarah shows us how to get crafty and make a DIY bird feeder! Follow along to make your own ‘tweet’ craft! What birds can you see in your area?

Head Outside! Let’s Remove Invasive Species! – 4/4/20

Mallory teaches us about invasive species, and how to remove them from your own natural spaces. What invasive species can you find? Arlington Echo is challenging you to help remove some invasive species and help natural spaces!

Head Outside! Explore the Forest – 3/28/20

Walk with Liz and her family while they discover the forest!


High school students can take advantage of internship opportunities through the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education program.

Education interns work with the Trees are Terrific kindergarten program or the Arlington Echo fourth grade program, teaching students through outdoor experiential learning.

Research interns undertake research projects at Arlington Echo. Current topics include SAV research, phytoplankton monitoring, establishing a database for water quality measurements, and mapping rare and threatened native plants. Interns develop authentic research questions and collect data to test a hypothesis based on their question.

Environmental horticulture interns assist Arlington Echo staff with environmental horticultural processes such as removing invasive species from natural areas, designing and maintaining native garden habitats for butterflies, humming birds and other organisms, worm and kitchen composting, natural fertilization, mulching, pruning, growing submerged aquatic vegetation, caring for Atlantic White Cedars and maintaining the cold frame.

Chesapeake Connections interns support classroom outreach and field projects that lead to environmental stewardship. Topics include aquatic grasses, terrapins, storm water restoration projects, and monarch butterfly gardens. Interns assist with all aspects of the project, including classroom outreach, maintenance of plants and animals used in the projects, and the end of year projects that involve plantings and the release of terrapins.

Contact Tanya Marushak at Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

A collage of photos with groups of students standing with an award.

The Envirothon is a statewide competition for high school students. Students study topics such as aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife and participate annually in an outdoor competition. Envirothon teams are made up of five students who work together to study Maryland’s natural resources over the course of the school year. All topics are hands-on and include practical skills. Training is conducted by experts in each field. Students train in the fall and spring with resource professionals in four content areas and one topic that changes annually. County competitions typically occur in April, and the county winners compete at the state level in June. The Arlington Echo site is used for training and competitions. Our staff also provide instructional support to teachers and students.

Contact Tanya Marushak at Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Maryland Envirothon 

Every AACPS fourth grade class visits Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, MD as part of their environmental literacy learning. We offer the experience in two different formats: a one-day or an overnight experience. Arlington Echo programs are linked to the science curriculum throughout the school year. Through exciting, hands-on activities, students investigate the human impact on climate, land, water and living things in the Chesapeake Bay in its watershed. They are challenged to put environmental ideals into action.

Students travel to different learning stations on site, gathering information to develop an educated and environmentally responsible answer to an overarching question: How can we help the Chesapeake Bay? Activities include canoeing, seining, stormwater investigation and more.

Supervision and instruction are provided by Arlington Echo staff and Chaperones recruited by classroom teachers. All Chaperones undergo background checks.

Meals are provided in the dining hall through AACPS Food and Nutrition Services. We challenge students to minimize their food waste by following the philosophy “Take what you like; Eat what you take” and by participating in our on-site composting program. Students aim for a “Zero Waste” meal.

Climate controlled cabins with bunk beds and bathroom facilities provide overnight accommodations. Arlington Echo is a 24-acre outdoor education site owned by AACPS. It includes forest, stream and wetland habitats and is located on the Severn River.

 A collage of photos with students hiking, using microscopes, looking at bees and holding paddles. A collage of photos with students standing near a garden, holding a net, using a clipboard and standing with lifejackets on.  


If your school has an upcoming experience scheduled and you are volunteering, you will receive an email with detailed information from EHall@aacps.org. If you have not received an email and your program is scheduled with in the next 2 days please contact Ted Hall at EHall@aacps.org.

Ted Hall ehall@aacps.org

Jason Toraldo jtoraldo@aacps.org 

Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Please Contact Food & Nutrition Services at 410-222-5900 with any dietary concerns

In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the nation to implement an environmental literacy high school graduation requirement. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) instituted Pre-K through 12 Environmental Literacy Curriculum Standards to be integrated into the curriculum of each school system.

These actions gave a new name and new mandate to the AACPS Outdoor Education Office, which became the AACPS Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office.

It is now our responsibility to take environmental literacy into schools and classrooms by providing curriculum and training to teachers.

Each grade level or course listed below includes an interdisciplinary environmental literacy unit or focus in which students investigate and take action on a local environmental issue. We continue to strive to get every student outdoors every year!


Prekindegarten students investigate “What’s the Trouble with Trash?” Students describe trash, explain how trash goes to landfills, recognize materials and items that can be re-used and recycled, identify litter in the school yard, and contribute to an environmental action plan.


Students investigate “Why are Trees Terrific?” They participate in classroom learning and outdoor experiences to identify tree needs, parts of trees and how trees survive. Students engage in a one-day field experience to learn about the life cycle of a tree and how trees and forests provide food and homes for living things. Back at school, students take action by planting and caring for a tree.

Grade 1

Student drawings of a monarch caterpillar

How Can We Help Monarch Butterflies? Students investigate and take action on issues related to Monarch butterflies. Students care for and observe Monarch caterpillars and study Monarch habitat needs, migration and causes of Monarch population decline. Outdoor learning takes place at school. Students take action by tagging/releasing the butterflies and by maintaining schoolyard Monarch gardens.

Grade 2

Students cutting and pasting a monarch activity

How Can We Improve Wildlife Habitats? Students conduct research on local and global habitats and the human impact on them. Students take action by propagating native plants for use at home.

Grade 3

How Can We Make a Positive Change in Our Environment? At the end of third grade, students participate in an interdisciplinary unit. They investigate and take action on an environmental issue of their choice, applying the 21st Century skills they have acquired throughout the year: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.

Grade 4

Students investigate environmental issues through their science curriculum. Topics such as animal adaptations (applied to pollinators), erosion, and energy use are connected to the impact of humans on the Chesapeake Bay, its watershed and the things that live there. The science curriculum includes an environmental action project for each topic.

Grade 5

Within their social studies curriculum, students investigate “How do state and local laws address environmental issues?” Students “promote the common good” by investigating and taking action on local environmental issues such as litter, plastic bags, pet waste or fertilizers. Action may include informing people about a law or issue and how they can help, persuading people to change their behavior, creating items to help people change, or persuading lawmakers to improve a law or create a law. 

Grade 5 students also complete water safety lessons in language arts and science that reinforce the in-pool lessons they will get when they participate in the Water ready with Drownproofing water safety program. Using their student Drownproofing handbooks, students read about personal water safety and summarize important information. They also collaborate to create a cold water “quilt” that has drawings to summarize key points.

Grade 6

How Do We Use the Chesapeake Bay Sustainably? Through the ecology of Chesapeake Bay species and restoration projects, students examine the human interaction with the environment including policy, economics, and historical significance in addition to stormwater runoff, the biology of living things, restoration, and pollution. Students participate in a field experience and action projects depending on the project for their school. All projects use water quality and environmental issues affecting living things to investigate the Chesapeake Bay.

Family & Consumer Science students investigate the green movement’s impact on the fashion industry and present research on a chosen topic.

Grade 7

How Can You Make A Difference? Students investigate the impact of human population growth on the availability of natural resources and environmental quality. Students use a Green School Report Card to evaluate their school. Students make personal choices to make positive environmental changes at school and in their community.

Grade 8

How Are Humans Affecting Our Global Environment? Students investigate the causes and effects of environmental change. Students work in cooperative groups to research one of the ways that humans impact the natural change process. Students learn about global issues such as climate change and invasive species.

High School

CAT North Bioblitz from Twitter


 How Have Human Activities Impacted Biodiversity? Students analyze manmade and human features in the environment on school grounds, and determine if these features promote effect surrounding aquatic ecosystems. Students conduct a Bioblitz on school grounds, select one human activity, and analyze the impact of this human activity on the environment and biodiversity. Students design a solution to reduce the negative effects on environment and biodiversity.

Environmental Science

Students study Next Generation Science Standards through the lens of the environment. The first unit focuses on chemical reactions taking place on Earth, with a culminating project that addresses air quality. The second unit focuses on the atmospheric history of Earth, with a final project focused on the effect of chemical contaminants on organisms that live in the Chesapeake Bay. In the third marking period students investigate how changes in Earth’s energy flow affect biodiversity. Students work to remove invasive plant species from their local environment. The fourth marking period is focused on climate change, and students are challenged to model a solution to the impacts of local rising waters.


How should federal, state, and local governments collaborate to create policies to protect ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay? Students investigative the interaction of government and non-government agencies on environmental issues. Students examine the Federal government’s influence on nationwide environmental issues, the Chesapeake Bay region and Maryland. Students consider the actions and influence of state and local governments and non-governmental entities influence on government action and public opinion. Students present their findings to inform the public, persuade government action, or add support to non-governmental entities.


Students investigate how the changes in the environment affect health. They examine how global climate change effects the spread of infectious disease and how the environment influences the emergence of disease. The new 9th grade environmental science course encompasses the assessed next generation science standards through the lens of climate change. There are four units in the course that correspond with each marking period. The first unit focuses of human impact on the environment, with a culminating project that addresses local climate change issues. Units 2-4 use climate change as a foucs to teach concepts ranging from Newtons laws to genetics. The course includes a wide array of hands-on environmentally focused labs and activities.

Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center is the headquarters of the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office. AACPS purchased Arlington Echo in 1971 from the Arlington Presbyterian Church of Baltimore. The 24-acre youth camp was named Arlington Echo because a call from the bluff would echo back from across the Severn River. AACPS had previously rented the property to be used as the “Arlington Echo Outdoor School.” In 1974, the site became known as the “Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center.” Arlington Echo now serves as the outdoor education site for the fourth grade environmental literacy program and the “home base” for the many other programs overseen by ELOE Office.

Large welcome sign that says "Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center"