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Summer Nature Day Camp

Humber Arboretum day camps are based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology, but campers will spend most of their time outdoors where they will make their own discoveries in the forest, river, meadows, wetlands, gardens, and ponds of the Humber Arboretum. Active and engaging, our nature camps are designed for ages 4-12 and take place within the northwest part of the City of Toronto.

Forest exploration, pond dipping, ecology games, swimming, and so much more. Camp runs weekly during the summer, beginning the week of July 11.

Camp Overview

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

 Weekly activities include:

  • Nature Walks 
  • Forest Exploration
  • Ecology Games
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Pond Discovery
  • Camp Songs and Games
  • Free-Swim Fridays (Supervised time in an indoor pool)

Every week is made unique with the addition of theme-specific activities. Scroll down for full information on weekly themes and activities.

Three Age-Based Programs Available

 

Beaver Camp (ages 4 and 5)

This small group of younger campers will explore the same weekly theme as other campers but through activities tailored to their age and run by dedicated Beaver Camp counsellors who have experience with younger children.

 

Nature Camp (ages 6 to 12)

Our core nature camp program features fun, hands-on programming adapted to different ages and abilities within camp. Campers are split into smaller groups with two dedicated counsellors for the week, but will take part in whole-camp activities as well.

 

Also: Junior Naturalist Camp (ages 12 to 14)

Twelve-year-olds have the option to sign up for regular Nature Camp or for Junior Naturalist Camp which is exclusively for 12- to 14-year-olds. Led by a Humber Arboretum Nature Educator with support from camp counsellors. Junior Naturalist Camp takes a more in-depth look at each week's theme and is ideal for youth who are already passionate nature lovers. Visit the Junior Naturalist Camp page for details. 

COVID Precautions

Along with enhanced cleaning protocols and smaller overall camp size, COVID precautions will be put in place in keeping with the public health situation and Humber College policy at the time camp takes place. Registered camp families will be updated on any such requirements closer to the start date.

New pick-up and drop-off procedure

New for 2022, pick-up and drop-off will take place right in the turn circle. Parents/guardians will not need to leave their vehicles, as camp counsellors will be at the turn circle to greet arriving campers and sign them in. Counsellors will also summon campers when you arrive to take them home. More details will be provided in your registration package.

Drop-off window: 8:30 am to 9:00 am

Pick-up window: 3:45 pm to 4:15 pm 

 

Weekly Themes from 2022

Every week at Humber Arboretum Nature Camps includes nature walks, art & ecology, all-ages games, and swimming. Weekly themes inspire other activities. Explore the weekly themes from 2022 (2023 details TBA).

Week One:

Healthy Planet, Healthy Lives

Children look at a deer

Monday July 11 to Friday July 15, 2022

This week campers will learn about the importance of nature in their lives and why it is essential to protect nature not only for ourselves but for the diversity of life that depends on it for survival. Through interactive games and activities campers will expand their knowledge in areas of health and wellness, waste reduction, ecological stewardship, and energy and water conservation to help them understand how our actions affect the health of the planet and show them ways that we can help make a positive impact at home and in our communities.

Week Two:

Brilliant Birds

Monday July 18 to Friday July 22, 2022

Did you know that over 350 different species of birds have been seen in Toronto? We might not get to all of them, but we will spend the week discovering the amazingly diverse world of birds and their many adaptations. Be ready for five days of fun exploring feathers, flight, calls, and everything else bird.

Week Three:

Nature in the City

A leopard frog

Monday July 25 to Friday July 29, 2022

From wildlife to wildflowers there’s wealth of nature to be found right here in Toronto. This week campers will take a close look at the places, plants, and animals in the city, and develop a new appreciation for the nature all around them.

Week Four:

Fantastic Freshwater

Rubber booted feet in the river

Tuesday* August 2 to Friday August 5, 2022

This week campers will have a chance to discover the life that exists within the ponds, river and wetlands of the Humber Arboretum! They will learn about the importance of freshwater for our own survival and why the Humber River watershed is so important to the Toronto region’s biodiversity.

(*We are closed on Monday for the Civic Holiday. The cost of camp and before- and after-care are reduced accordingly.)

Week Five:

Tune into Nature

A camper holds a cherry tomato in his teeth

Monday August 8 to Friday August 12, 2022

This week campers will use their senses to explore the wonders that nature has to offer! From bat sonar to soil texture, activities will help campers better understand how humans and animals use their senses to engage with their surroundings.

Week Six:

Wilderness Survival Skills

A bee approaches a flower

Monday August 15 to Friday August 19, 2022

Explore the necessities of survival including shelter, water, and way-finding. Campers will use clues in nature to help determine direction, try their hand at shelter building, and learn tips such as how to build a below-ground water capture still.

Week Seven:

Bees and Blooms

A bee visits a flower in a meadow

Monday August 22 to Friday August 26, 2022

Gardens need pollinators and pollinators love gardens, so this week we’re exploring them together! Campers will take part in hands-on gardening activities and visit the Humber Food Learning Garden while they learn about different types of pollinators, their relationships with trees and plants, and why we need to both grow and  protect native species of plants to help pollinators thrive.

Week Eight:

 Nature Olympics

Campers take part in the eco-olympic flag ceremony

Monday August 29 to Friday September 2, 2022 

We'll wrap up the summer by exploring the Arboretum through play and competition! This active week is full of fun games that build teamwork and various outdoor skills. Campers divide into different teams to face off and cheer each other on. Together you’ll design a flag, create an anthem, and get active in the great outdoors!

Camp T-Shirts

Close up of a Nature Camp t-shirt logo featuring trees in front of tall buildings

Close up of a Beaver Camp t-shirt featuring a beaver wearing a bucket hat

$15 plus tax

While supplies last

Cost & Policies

Summer Nature Day Camps operate on a one-week basis, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Drop-off time begins at 8:30 am; pick-up runs from 3:45 pm until 4:15 pm.

Before care (from 8:00 am to 8:30 am) and aftercare (until 6:00 pm) is available for an additional fee.

Pricing for 2023 has not been announced. For reference, in 2022 the cost of camp was:

  • One week of camp - $275
    • The four-day camp session (Week 4, Fantastic Freshwater*) is $220
  • One week of before care - $45
  • One week of aftercare - $50
  • One week of both before and aftercare - $80
  • Daily rates for before and aftercare also available

(*As we are closed for the Civic Holiday on Monday August 1st the corresponding week of camp is four days only. The price for before & aftercare is also adjusted as follows: $36 for before care, $40 for aftercare, $64 for both before and aftercare.)

Sibling Discount 

If you are registering multiple children in Beaver Camp, Nature Camp, or Junior Naturalist Camp, a sibling discount will be applied automatically in the system. You will receive $10 off the registration fee for each child after the first.

Registration Deadline

Please note that online registration for each week of camp closes at midnight on the Wednesday prior, however there may still be spots available. If the cut-off for registration has passed, you may email the Arboretum to inquire: arboretum@humber.ca

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.

 

Registration Closed

2023 details are TBA. In the registration system, please click on a Beaver Camp Week to register a 4- or 5-year old and a Nature Camp Week to register a child ages 6 to 12.

What to Bring

  • Morning and afternoon snacks and drinks*
  • Lunch (except Friday, pizza day)*
  • Backpack or bag
  • Hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bathing suit (every day)
  • Towel (every day)
  • Water shoes/sandals
  • Swim goggles (Friday)
  • Rain coat
  • Rubber boots (for River Study day)
  • Extra socks
  • Portable hand sanitizer (recommended)
  • Face mask (currently optional; may become mandatory depending on public health situation at time of camp)

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

*We wish to limit the amount of waste that is produced at the Centre and 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 How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch on Recycle Nation.

Ontario Camps Association Logo

Humber Arboretum Summer Nature Camp is accredited by the Ontario Camps Association.