Skip to content
  • Collage: A young woman shows a young child a craft on a lawn, a camp counsellor and group of teens in masks made out of nature materials stand in front of a group of seated children, a camp counsellor works with a child using a net to explore a pond

Leading Youth in Nature Experiences (LYNX)

Teen Leaders Program

Are you aged 14 to 17 and interested in working with kids in the outdoors? The LYNX Teen Leaders program from the Humber Arboretum offers you the tools and skills to help you create exceptional experiences for the children who will be exploring nature under your guidance. 

Beside a river, a man shows a chlid a crayfish in a net

Leading Youth in Nature Experiences (LYNX)

Whether you are already volunteering with kids in your community, hoping to get your first job at a summer camp, or are planning a career in education, the LYNX series from the Humber Arboretum is here to help you become the best nature mentor you can be.

The levelled LYNX learning series expands on and replaces the Humber Arboretum's previous Leader-in-Training (LIT) program for teens interested in working at the Humber Arboretum's Summer Nature Camp. LYNX Teen Leaders is open to all; you do not need to have been a Nature Camper or be intending to work at our Nature Camp in the future to take part in LYNX.

LYNX Level One, Virtual

This stand-alone program combines virtual group sessions with self-directed activities for a four-day introduction to leading kids in outdoor activities. Participants who successfully complete LYNX Level One, Virtual (which includes full attendance, engaging in discussions, and completing all self-directed activities) will be issued a certificate from the Humber Arboretum recognizing their accomplishment.


LYNX Teen Leaders is open to participants aged 14 to 17.

No prior experience is required for LYNX Level One; this session is both an excellent introduction for those who are hoping to work with children in the future, and an in-depth look at designing and facilitating nature experiences for teens who are already working in leadership positions with kids.

Because it is entirely virtual, participants are welcome from anywhere in the world. Some specific examples and activities will focus on the ecosystems of Ontario, however the skills and concepts will be useful anywhere.


Under the guidance of the Humber Arboretum’s experienced Nature Interpretation team, LYNX participants will learn about topics such as:

  • An introduction to the two-eyed seeing approach to nature connection
  • Designing activities that help develop "ecosystems thinking"
  • The importance of activity sequencing, and why and how to debrief after an activity
  • The difference between “busy” and “engaged”
  • Hazards vs Healthy Risk
  • How to be a nature mentor
  • Asking and encouraging great questions
  • Adaptability, problem solving, and self-care in the outdoors
  • Communication skills: Explaining activities, communicating across cultures, and talking to parents
  • Citizen science and ecological stewardship
  • and more!


Next session dates TBA

  • 9:30 am to 11:30 am: Morning session
  • 11:30 to 1:00 pm: Lunch break/self-directed activities (offline)
  • 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Afternoon session 

 All times are Eastern Standard Time - Toronto


LYNX Level One is entirely virtual and will be held via Zoom. Participants may join from anywhere with an internet connection. 


The Virtual LYNX program is priced per family device*. Check back for future session pricing. 

*Siblings within the age group are welcome to share a screen under one registration. Families with three or more siblings participating may use up to two devices under one registration.


Questions? Email

LYNX Level Two & Placement

Outside in the garden of the Humber Arboretum, a teen gives instructions to a group of young campers in matching backpacks

Only teens who have successfully completed LYNX Level One will be able to apply to participate in LYNX Level Two.

Level Two takes place at the Humber Arboretum in Toronto and will give you the opportunity to put some of what you have learned during Level One into practice as you also develop more hands-on skills during in-person training. One week of training is followed by a two-week placement shadowing counsellors at the Humber Arboretum’s Nature Camps for ages 5 to 12.

LYNX Level Two 2024 offers two training week options to choose from:

  • July Session: Monday July 22 to Friday July 26 (Camp Theme: Brilliant Birds)

  • August Session: Monday August 12 to Friday August 16 (Camp Theme: Wilderness Survival Skills, Part Two)


For 2024, the cost for the full three-week program (one week of training, two weeks of placement) is $711.90, plus the system processing fee.

Families of Level One graduates who are eligible to register for Level Two will receive an email with further information and the link to register. If you do not receive this email by the end of May please reach out to  

LYNX for Adult Leaders

A man pours maple sap from a collection bucket into a cooler while two children watch

A little too old for the Teen Leaders program? Humber Arboretum staff have developed a version of LYNX designed for adult learners and partnering with City Wide Training at Humber College to offer this series of half-day workshops. These sessions are ideal for teachers, ECEs, and informal educators, and even for parents who want to enhance time spent outside as a family.

Visit the City Wide Training Professional Learning website to check for upcoming sessions of: 

  • Outdoors for All: Health, Safety, and Accessibility in Nature
  • Level Up: Playing Games in the Great Outdoors
  • Deeper Roots: Connect Learning to the Land