Skip to content
  • At the top of Mount Arb Humber Arboretum Environmental Stewardship Coordinator Mother Nature speaks to the Junior Naturalists and their leader

Junior Naturalists (ages 12 to 14)

Specially designed for youth who fall between the age range for Summer Nature Camp and the LYNX Teen Leader Training program, Junior Naturalist day camp is led by the Humber Arboretum's year-round nature education staff and focuses on building skills while exploring local ecosystems in greater detail. Camp is based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology, but Junior Naturalists spend most of their time outdoors engaged in specialized activities in the forest, river, meadows, wetlands, gardens, and ponds of the Humber Arboretum. 



Junior Naturalist Camp operates on a weekly basis, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm (Drop off 8:30 to 9:00 am; pick-up 3:45 to 4:15 pm)


The Humber Arboretum is at the back of Humber College North Campus in North Etobicoke, near the intersection of Finch Avenue and Highway 27 (205 Humber College Blvd, Toronto, M9W 5L7). See the location of the Centre for Urban Ecology on Google Maps.

2024 Pricing

  • 5-day camps: $367.50
  • 9-day camp: $630

Please note the above pricing applies to everyone. There are no discounts available for Humber College staff or alumni.

Cancellation Policy

All withdrawals requested at least 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.

Each week of Junior Naturalists Camp requires a minimum number of registrants to run. If the minimum threshold is not reached, any camp families who have registered will be given the opportunity to transfer their registration to another week of Junior Naturalists Camp or to the corresponding week of Nature Camp at no fee, or to choose a full refund with no administrative charges applied.

How to Register

Registration is open. Register online now.

(Tip: To see only the Junior Naturalists options, use the sort by age filter on the camp registration page)

Registration Deadline

Please note that online registration for each week of camp closes the week before, on midnight of the Sunday prior to the first day of camp. However there may still be spots available. If the cut-off for online registration has passed, you may email the Humber Arboretum on the Friday to inquire: 

Standing on a small landing of rocks in the Humber River, a Junior Naturalist looks down into his net to see what creatures he has scooped out of the water.

2024 Sessions and Themes

Planned and facilitated by a professional Nature Interpreter from the Humber Arboretum, Junior Naturalist Camp offers young nature lovers a deeper dive into different camp themes.

Roots of STEM

Monday July 15 to Friday July 19, 2024

A camper looks into a net she has pulled out of the pond

Fascinated by animal and plant biology? This week we'll take a deep dive into environmental science, looking at adaptations, water and soil testing, the physics of animal movement, careers in science, and much more. Grab your microscope* and get ready to get to the bottom of things!

*Don't actually bring your own microscope. All equipment will be provided.

Brilliant Birds

Monday July 22 to Friday July 26, 2024

Collage of birds at the Arboretum - a red-winged blackbird, a red-breasted nuthatch, a yellow warbler, and an American robin

Did you know Toronto Ornithological Club records show 399 different bird species in the Greater Toronto Area? It’s time to bust out the binoculars and discover the diverse world of birds that can be found right here in the city. We’ll also take an in-depth look at feathers, flight, calls, and everything else bird.

Wilderness Survival Skills

Tuesday August 6 to Friday August 9, 2024


Monday August 12 to Friday August 16, 2024

A Junior Naturalist has successfully sparked a small fire using a rod and flint

Are you up to the challenge? In this 9-day session, Junior Naturalists will be tasked with building successful shelters, learning about starting friction fires and fire safety, and finding their way using clues from the natural world.

Growing Up Gardeners

Monday August 19 to Friday August 23, 2024

A camper wearing gardening gloves uses pruning sheers to cut invasive phragmites reeds

Grab a pair of garden gloves and let’s get growing! This week we’ll focus on plants and what it takes to keep them healthyLearn about soil types and why they matter, explore plants from around the world that grow in the Arboretum gardens, and learn from some of the Arboretum’s garden professionals if a career in horticulture might be right for you!  

The Great Nature Games

Monday August 26 to Friday August 30

 Three Junior Naturalists smile as they try to hide a block of wood from camp leaders view during a game.

Are you a competitor at heart? This week is all about taking on exciting nature challenges. Junior Naturalists will compete both against each other and join with other ages of nature campers for some larger-scale games. Wrap up the summer with some high-energy fun!


Frequently Asked Questions


How many Junior Naturalists will there be?

To facilitate the best experience, Junior Naturalist Camp is limited to only 10 participants per week.

Occasionally, the Junior Naturalists may participate in a larger group activity with campers from the Humber Arboretum's Summer Nature Camp, including Friday afternoon swimming at the Humber indoor pool.


Which camp is right for my 12-year-old?

Twelve-year-olds are able to register for either Summer Nature Camp or Junior 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 and games. Junior Naturalist Camp offers a more in-depth investigation of the natural world for kids who are excited by the prospect of discovery.

Of course twelve-year-olds are welcome to register for a different type of camp during different weeks of the summer, but please note they will not be able to switch camps mid-week if they change their minds!


Will my Junior Naturalist see their sibling who is attending Nature Camp?

Both Nature Camp and Junior Naturalist Camp are 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 Junior 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.


What about the sibling discount?

Our online registration system is able to apply our sibling discount automatically across different camps. Whether you register multiple youths for Junior Naturalist Camp or one child for Nature Camp or Beaver Camp and another for Junior Naturalist Camp, you will automatically receive a discount. 


Do Junior Naturalists need to bring any special equipment?

Not at all! The Humber Arboretum has all of the nature-exploration equipment Junior Naturalists will need for their camp activities.

As with all Arboretum day campers, Junior 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
  • a face mask
  • portable hand sanitizer (recommended)
  • and a backpack which they are comfortable carrying with them for the day

A full list of recommended items will be provided to registered camp families.


Who are the leaders for Junior Naturalist Camp?

The primary leader for Junior Naturalist Camp is one of 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 or graduates of our Leaders-in-Training program, will assist with some activities and may provide supervision during lunch and snack breaks at the Centre for Urban Ecology.

Ontario Camps Association Logo

Humber Arboretum day camps are accredited by the Ontario Camps Association.