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  • Looking closely at iron pulled from the Humber River with a magnet

Jr. Naturalist Camp

The new Jr. Naturalist program is based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology, but campers will spend most of their time outdoors where Arboretum staff will guide them through specialized activities in the forest, river, meadows, wetlands, gardens, and ponds of the Humber Arboretum. This camp will also include offsite trips to explore adjacent greenspaces upstream and downstream along the West Humber River. 

Active and engaging, this program is for curious youth ages 12-13 and focuses on exploring the West Humber Valley’s flora and fauna in greater detail.

New for 2018, Jr. Naturalist Camp will run as one-week sessions for four weeks out of the summer. Planned and facilitated by the Humber Arboretum's Nature Interpreters, the camps will explore two themes: 

Aquatic Ecosystems

A camper reaches out to touch a crayfish in a net

July 16 - 20, 2018
August 13 - 17, 2018

This week will focus on the aquatic ecosystems in the area.  With in-depth explorations of the ponds, river, wetlands and nearby parks, the Jr. Naturalists will learn to handle and identify local aquatic flora and fauna, conduct field research on the health of these habitats, and learn important stewardship practices to help restore these habitats to more healthy states. Participants will use field guides, dip nets, hand lenses and other equipment to learn more about marsh plants, benthic invertebrates and other wildlife.

Terrestrial Ecosystems

Campers look at a deer in the forest

July 23 - 27, 2018
August 20 - 24, 2018

This week will focus on the terrestrial ecosystems in the area.  With in-depth explorations of the meadow, forests, and nearby parks, the Jr. Naturalists will learn to handle and identify local terrestrial flora and fauna, conduct field research on the health of these habitats, and learn important stewardship practices to help restore these habitats to more healthy states. Participants will use field guides, hand lenses, binoculars and other equipment to learn more about trees, birds and other wildlife.

Cost & Policies

Early Bird Special: Register by March 31st and get 10% off of your camp fee!

Jr. Naturalist Camp operates on a one-week basis, Monday to Friday from 9:00am until 4:00pm.

Before care (from 8:00am) and aftercare (until 5:30pm) is available for an additional fee; Jr. Naturalists will join Nature Campers (ages 5-12) for Before- and Aftercare, which will be run by Nature Camp Counsellors.

In 2018 the cost of camp is:

  • One week camp fee - $245
  • One week of before care - $45
  • One week of aftercare - $50
  • Both before and aftercare - $80
  • Daily rate for before and aftercare also available

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.

 

 

Campers follow a Nature Interpreter through the woodlands

Questions & Answers

To facilitate the best experience, Jr. Naturalist Camp is limited to only 10 participants per week, so please book earlier to secure a spot.

Occasionally, the Jr. Naturalists may participate in a larger group activity with campers from the Humber Arboretum's Summer Nature Camp.

Twelve-year olds are able to register for either Summer Nature Camp or Jr. Naturalist Camp; the right choice for your twelve-year old will depend on their interests. The Humber Arboretum's long-standing Summer Nature Camp mixes fun outdoor exploration with traditional camp activities including games and an afternoon of swimming. The new Jr. Naturalist Camp will offer a more in-depth investigation of the natural world for kids who are excited by the prospect of discovery, including hikes to explore further along the Humber River. Of course twelve-year olds are welcome to register for a different type of camp during different weeks of the summer (but will NOT be able to switch camps mid-week if they change their minds!).

Both Nature Camp and Jr. Naturalist Camp will be based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology. If you have children taking part in both camps, you will drop them off and pick them up together and they may cross paths throughout the day. However the Jr. Naturalists will be out "in the field" for longer times and farther from the Centre, which means snacks and lunch times may not match up every day - please pack their bags accordingly.

Our online registration system will not be able to apply our sibling discount automatically across different camps; if you register one child for Nature Camp and another for Jr. Naturalist Camp, please send an email to arboretum@humber.ca after registering with campers' names and week(s) attending. We will then apply the discount manually and you will recieve a refund for the difference, or a discount off future payments if you take advantage of the payment plan. 

Not at all! The Arboretum has all of the equipment Jr. Naturalists will need for their camp activities.

As with all camps, Jr. Naturalists will be responsible for arriving every day with appropriate clothing and footwear; weather-protection such as sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, and sunglasses; a lunch and snacks (which may be eaten in the field); a refillable water bottle; and a backpack which they are comfortable caring with them for the day. A full list of recommended items will be provided to registered camp families.

The primay leaders for Jr. Naturalist Camp are the Humber Arboretum's professional Nature Interpreters who work year-round providing educational programming to visiting school groups and the community. Individual activities may be led by other Arboretum staff or guests with specialized knowledge and skills. Nature Camp Counsellors, who are generally Humber College students, will assist with some activities and provide supervision during lunch and snack breaks at the Centre and during before- and after-care.

Yes, if a Jr. Naturalist chooses to attend both aquatic-themed weeks or both terrestrial-themed weeks, they will be repeating a very similar if not identical schedule of activities. However it is impossible to uncover even a small percentage of all there is to see in each of the Arboretum's habitats in one week, so campers are sure to discover something new even if using the same tools and techniques they learned about earlier in the summer.