Nature Camps

March Break Camp

Children at March Break Nature Camp

Monday March 13 - Friday March 17, 2017

This March Break, give your child the opportunity to get outside, get active, and develop a lasting appreciation for the natural environment.

With a focus on maple syrup harvesting, daily programs at the Humber Arboretum's March Break Nature Camp are geared to specific age groups ranging from 5 to 12 years. These specialized nature programs ensure a high level of activity and interest for each participant. The camp is facilitated by Nature Interpreters who work regularly throughout the year with school classes and community groups.

March Break Nature Camp 2017 will take place over five days, Monday March 13th to Friday March 17th. The regular camp day runs from 8:45 am to 4:15 pm with before-care (from 8 am) and after-care (until 5:30 pm) available for an additional fee.

Activities

Cost & Policies

Cancellation Policy

All withdrawals requested two weeks prior to the start of the camp week will be refunded the full camp fees, minus a $25 administration fee. Any withdrawals requested less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp week will be refunded 50% of all camp fees.

What to Bring

Meals and Transportation

*The children will bring their own lunches, snacks, and drinks each day except for Friday, when lunch will be provided by the Arboretum. Please inform us of any food allergies and please do not bring nut products of any kind to camp. We strive to minimize the amount of waste produced at the Centre, and a key part of that is promoting Litterless Lunches. Please bring only reusable or recyclable containers and utensils. We will ask campers to take their garbage and anything that can’t be recycled here back home and to compost any food waste using our on site compost bins. For tips, see WasteFreeLunches.org.

The Humber Arboretum and Centre For Urban Ecology is accessible by TTC - see our directions page for details.

Please contact us for more information.

Summer Camp

Children at Summer Nature Camp

This summer, give your child the opportunity to develop a lasting appreciation for the natural environment. The Humber Arboretum's summer nature camp is based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology, our environmentally-friendly building located on the Arboretum grounds.

Camp is an outdoors, hands-on experience geared to specific age groups ranging from 5 to 12 years old.

Activities

Scroll down for full information on weekly themes and activities for 2017.

Cost & Policies

Early Bird Special

Register by March 31st and get 10% off of your camp fee!

Summer Nature Day Camps operate on a one-week basis, Monday to Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm. Before-care (from 8am) and after-care (until 5:30pm) is available for an addtional fee. In 2017 the cost of camp is:

(Please note: We are closed for Canada Day on Monday July 3rd and the Civic Holiday on Monday August 7th and so the first and sixth weeks of camp are four days only. The price is adjusted as follows: $190 for camp, $32 for before-care, $36 for after-care, $60 for both before and after care)

If you are registering multiple children, a discount will be applied automatically in the system.

Cancellation Policy

All withdrawals requested two weeks prior to the start of the camp week will be refunded the full camp fees, minus a $25 administration fee. Any withdrawals requested less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp week will be refunded 50% of all camp fees.

What to Bring

*The Centre for Urban Ecology is a nut-free facility. Please inform us of any food allergies and do not bring nut products of any kind to camp.

*We wish to reduce the amount of waste that is produced at the Centre an as part of this initiative we promote Litterless Lunches. Please bring only reusable or recyclable containers and utensils. We will ask campers to compost any food waste using our on site compost bins and take their garbage and anything that can’t be recycled here back home. For tips, see WasteFreeLunches.org.

Weekly Themes and Activities

Every week at Humber Arboretum Nature Camps will include nature yoga, eco-games, and swimming. Campers will visit an organic veggie garden, help create a nature mural, make seed balls, construct a lean-to, and take part in many other hands-on activities and crafts.

Our weekly themes inspire other activities for the week (click on a week for details):

2017 Weekly Themes
Week One: Urban Greenspaces (July 4-7)
Why are greenspaces so important in the city? During Urban Greenspaces week, campers will explore the urban ecosystems of the Humber Arboretum as they learn about the importance of biodiversity, the problems caused by invasive species, and other challenges of urban ecology. Special activities will include bat box building for senior campers, plus tree and wildflower planting, exploring biodiversity through leaf sorting, and taking part in the amazing waste race.
Week Two: The Humber River (July 10-14)
Did you know the Humber River is one of only 38 designated Canadian Heritage River Systems in the country? This week campers will explore the history, heritage, and life of this river, the West branch of which runs through the Humber Arboretum. Special activities this week will include river netting and planting willow stakes. Senior campers will portage, build rafts, and test water quality; younger campers will hold duck races, cheer on raft races, and make great use of the brand new miniature river channel that was built by our nature interpreters.
Week Three: Soils in the Environment (July 17-21)
This week campers will explore the importance of soil and how it relates to plants and biodiversity. We’ll look at compaction, erosion, and sedimentation. Themed activities will include seed planting, a greenhouse visit, beaver dam building, and natural paint brushes and mud painting. Soil testing for senior campers and soil exploration for junior campers will have everyone investigating the mysteries beneath their feet.
Week Four: Wetlands (July 24-28)
Wetlands are a vital and vibrant part of Ontario’s ecosystem. This week campers will learn how wetlands work and why they are especially important for migrating birds. Themed activities will include exploring the Humber Arboretum’s new constructed wetlands, pond dipping, planting aquatic flowers to help restore a wetland, and learning how natural materials can remove sediment from the water with a wetland in a bottle. Senior students will also compare water quality tests from a wetland and the river.
Week Five: Wilderness Survival (July 31-Aug 4)
Food, shelter, warmth, and way-finding – this week is all about the basics of wilderness survival. Campers will go orienteering, using clues in nature to help determine direction, and be introduced to basic edible and medicinal plants. We’ll look at the importance of water for survival and learn tips such as how to build a below-ground water capture still. Campers will also build natural shelters and learn fire building techniques, along with fire safety.
(Please note, this is a four-day camp as we are closed on the Monday for the Civic Holiday.)
Week Six: Powerful Pollinators (Aug 8-11)
Pollinators are key to our food supply, and affect our lives in many important ways. Campers will learn about different types of pollinators, their relationships with trees and plants, and why we need to protect native species of plants to help pollinators thrive. Activities will include a visit from the Humber Arboretum’s beekeepers, an up-close investigation of flowers using a viewing microscope, a visit to the greenhouse to compare tropical plants with native species, preparing a pollinator garden for fall plantings, planting a wildflower to take home, and building a solitary bee hotel.
Week Seven: Eco Olympics (Aug 14-18)
This week is full of active and educational nature games that encourage teamwork and fun competition. Campers will be divided into different Animal Countries so they can face off and cheer each other on in duck races or raft races, scavenger hunts, a recycling relay, water bucket relays, and the Amazing Waste Race. They’ll play leaf matching games, build a beaver dam and a wetland in a bottle, compete in a seed ball toss, try to construct a case that will allow their egg to survive the egg drop challenge, and much more. Join us this week and find out which Animal Country you’ll be playing for. Will it be Ant Arctica? Owlstralia? Or maybe Beavaria!
Week Eight: Early Settlers Wilderness Skills (Aug 21-25)
What was life like for early European settlers who came to Canada and lived alongside First Nations people? Campers will learn about the wilderness skills that were essential for surviving in the 1800’s, including fishing, hunting, farming, fence building, and bread making, and will play the same games settler children played to help them learn essential life skills. We’ll look at what kinds of plants the settlers brought with them and how they were used, and we’ll get hands-on experience with shelter building, water collecting, and making cordage (rope and string) out of natural materials.
Week Nine: Ecosystem Exploration (Aug 28-Sept 1)
Time to explore every ecosystem the Humber Arboretum has to offer! Wetlands, forests, meadows, shrub lands, ponds, and rivers are all home to many different types of plants and animals. Starting at the soil and working our way up, campers will explore the hidden and remote areas of the Arboretum to investigate flowers, seeds, cones, and insects, look for animal tracks and signs, and listen to and try to identify different bird calls. We’ll be engaging the senses, encouraging a sense of adventure, and exploring nature the way kids used to back when you didn’t go home until the streetlights turned on.

Meet the Staff

Nature Camp is directed by professional nature interpreters who work regularly throughout the year with school classes and community groups. They are supported by a well-trained team of dedicated camp counsellors.

Beaver - Camp Director
Redwing - Nature Interpreter
Mossy - Nature Interpreter
Ocean - Nature Interpreter
Bonobo - Camp Assistant

Winter Nature Camp

Children at Winter Nature Camp

Winter Camp is back! Kids aged 5-12 are invited to start the new year with four full days of seasonal outdoor fun, led by the Humber Arboretum nature interpreters. Give your child a chance to get outside and be active while they develop a lasting appreciation for the natural environment. Their days will be filled with nature walks and forest exploration; animal tracking and orienteering; bird watching, including owl prowls and chickadee feeding; shelter building; arts and crafts; introductions to citizen science projects, plus snowshoeing and tobogganing if weather permits.

Winter Nature Camp 2017 took place over four days, Tuesday January 3rd to Friday January 6th. Check back here for updates on the Humber Arboretum's Winter Break Nature Camp plans for 2018.

Cost & Policies

Winter Nature Day Camp 2017 ran from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. Before-care (from 8:00 am) and after-care (until 5:00 pm) was available for an addtional fee. In 2017 the cost of camp was:

Rates for individual days were also available. See the registation page for all the options.

Meals and Transportation

The children will bring their own lunches, snacks, and drinks each day except for Friday, when lunch will be provided by the Arboretum. Please inform us of any food allergies and please do not bring nut products of any kind to camp. We strive to minimize the amount of waste produced at the Centre, and a key part of that is promoting Litterless Lunches. Please bring only reusable or recyclable containers and utensils. We will ask campers to take their garbage and anything that can’t be recycled here back home and to compost any food waste using our on site compost bins. For tips, see WasteFreeLunches.org.

The Humber Arboretum and Centre For Urban Ecology is accessible by TTC - see our directions page for details.

What to Bring

Mossy’s Winter Clothing Tips

Nature educators demonstrate how to dress for winter

Please contact us for more information.