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  • A  damselfly rests on a log.

Virtual Summer Nature Camp

Kids are invited to join the Humber Arboretum online for nine weeks of Virtual Nature Camp fun during the summer of 2021. Although the Humber Arboretum is located in North Etobicoke (Toronto), our virtual summer nature camp is suitable for nature-loving kids from around Ontario and beyond.

Screen capture of six camp counsellors as seen in a virtual meeting. They smile and wave. Their name tags read Bud, Mother Nature, Red Panda, Hummingbird, Sticky, and Beaver

About

Aimed at kids ages 6 to 11, Virtual Summer Nature Camp with the Humber Arboretum offers mornings full of fun and engaging online programming promoting curiosity and nature connection. Through games, challenges, and activities campers will learn about the natural world and discover new ways to explore outdoors

Every week of camp will include get-to-know-you and icebreaker games, nature journaling activities, nature mysteries to solve, fun games and activities that help develop observation skills and a deeper awareness of nature, and time for campers to share their own nature discoveries. Other activities will explore the weekly theme (see below).

 

Details

Camp registration is on a per-week basis. You may register for as many of the nine weekly sessions as you wish. Camp programming runs for two hours each weekday morning. 

Camp spaces are booked per family/screen, so siblings can join in together on the same screen with one registration. 

Dates: Seven weeks to choose from (Note: This is cut down from the original nine weeks, based on interest in our weekly themes).

Times: Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 11:30 am EDT (Tuesday to Friday the week of the August Civic Holiday)

Location: For summer 2021 Nature Camp is entirely online and does not involve visits to the Humber Arboretum in Toronto.

Some of the focus will be on the habitats, plants, and animals of Southern Ontario, and so Virtual Summer Nature Camp will be great for kids from places like Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Vaughan, Hamilton, London, Oshawa, Whitby, Kingston, Belleville, Guelph, Peterborough, Brantford, Barrie, Kitchener, Waterloo, St. Catharines, Niagara, and everywhere in-between. But most of the activities are adaptable no matter where you live, so nature-loving kids from the rest of Canada and even the rest of the world are encouraged to take part! (Time zone is Eastern Daylight Time)

Cost: $110 per family/device for the week. Multiple siblings may participate through the same screen. 

Optional camp t-shirts will be available for an additional fee.

Cancellation Policy: The cancellation policy is a full refund minus $25 administration fee if you choose to cancel two weeks or more in advance of the first day of camp, or a 50% refund if you cancel with less than two weeks before the start of camp.

 

Already know which weeks you're interested in? Head straight to the camp registration page (external link). If not, read on for all the weekly theme details.

Bring-Your-Own Supplies

Two straight sticks, string, and scissors sit on a table

Campers will need to provide their own basic supplies to fully participate in some activities. Registered families will receive a list of recommended supplies closer to camp time, tailored to the week selected. Most will be similar to supplies used for school or home crafts (such as tape, string, and scissors) or may be collected in nature (sticks, leaves, rocks). If you will have a problem providing any of the materials on your supplied list, please let us know. 

 

Nature Journal - Every Week

Every week of camp includes nature journaling activities. Recommended supplies include: 

  • Notebook / journal or loose sheets of paper and a way to keep them together (binder, folder, etc)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Pencil crayons

Tip: Campers who sign up for multiple weeks may want to start with a larger journal to use all summer long!

 

Upcoming Weekly Themes 2021

Based on the interest shown in our weekly themes, we've decided to reduce our camp season and will not be holding virtual camp the weeks August 16 & 23. Instead we're pouring more energy into developing our content for the popular themes of pollinators, wilderness survival, and birds!

Graphic of a bee approaching a flower

Powerful Pollinators

Tuesday August 3 to Friday August 6, 2021 

There are so many plants that can't survive without their pollinators, and pollinators who can't survive without their plants. And we can't survive without them, either! Get a deeper understanding of these essential relationships as we go beyond bees and butterflies to celebrate the unsung heroes of pollination, build insect habitat, and match plants with their "bug" buddies.

 

Please note this is a four day camp with no programming on Monday August 2, the Civic Holiday. The camp price is adjusted to $88.

 

Registration Deadline: Midnight (EDT) Sunday August 1

 

Graphic of a camp fire

Wilderness Survival Skills

Monday August 9 to Friday August 13, 2021 

Water, food, shelter, fire, and rescue are all keys to surviving in the wild. We'll hone our observation skills with scavenger hunts, practice making miniature shelters and tools, and test our instincts with challenging games. Can you cut it in the (virtual) wilderness? 

Registration Deadline: Midnight (EDT) Thursday August 5 

Graphic of a cardinal

Birds, Birds, Birds

Monday August 30 to Friday September 3, 2021 

The summer is nearly over, which means it's almost time for fall migration! Over 350 species of birds have been seen in Toronto, and many of them pass through for only a few weeks every spring and fall. Be ready for their arrival with this week dedicated to feathers, flight, calls, and everything else bird.

Registration Deadline: Midnight (EDT) Thursday August 26 

 

In-Progress/Completed Themes 2021

Graphic of a walking boot

Arboretum Adventures

Monday July 5 to Friday July 9, 2021 

What wonders await in the urban wilds of the Humber Arboretum? Join us to (virtually) explore the river, ponds, meadows, woodlands, and gardens while we also learn about the seasonal changes in each ecosystem and the wildlife that lives there. By the end of the week you'll know lots of fun and safe ways to have your own adventures in all kinds of outdoor spaces. 

 

 

Graphic of a garden trowel

Growing Up Gardeners

Monday July 12 to Friday July 16, 2021

From discovering how worm poop makes for healthy soil to sprouting kitchen scraps, we'll explore what plants need to thrive. You'll also learn about some of the wild edible plants that make up nature's garden, and test your knowledge of which seeds turn into which plants.  

 

Graphic of a fish

Rivers and Ravines

Monday July 19 to Friday July 23, 2021 

Water shapes our world - literally! One of the most amazing features of the Greater Toronto Area is its ravine system, and one of the greatest features of the Arboretum is the Humber River. Join us to explore both as we learn about the ecology and the history of these freshwater systems.

 

Graphic of a growing plant

Healthy Planet, Healthy Lives

Monday July 26 to Friday July 30, 2021 

All living things are connected - so how can you make a positive impact on yourself, your community, and the planet? From experiencing life as a bumblebee to finding ways to turn trash into treasures, this week is all about sustainability and stewardship of the natural world.

 

Ontario Camps Association Logo

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