VanDusen Botanical Garden offers a variety of nature-based camps for children ranging from 5-10 years old including summer, spring break, and Pro-D programs. All of our camps include learning about the natural world and inspire youth to understand their role in ecosystems. Programming is developed and run by the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA). Want to keep up-to-date on our programming and registration dates? Sign up for our monthly Education Updates.
Here’s what parents have to say about our camps:
“This camp has ignited a spark – that it’s cool to be interested in nature, and all that’s in it.”
“My child gained an appreciation for plants, nature, and relationships humans have with nature.”
“The leaders were enthusiastic, professional and caring, and got to know my child really quickly.”
Pro-D Camps (Grades 1-4)
Registration is limited to 24 participants in each camp. Like all of our camps, participants will have plenty of fun, hands on activities to keep them busy while learning something new.
Fees: Member $58.50 / Non-member $65 per camp
Members must have Family or Individual plus one child categories in order to qualify for discounts.
Hours: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Drop-off available from 9:00 am.
Cancellations must be made in writing one week before scheduled camp date in order to receive a refund less a $15 admin fee.
Upcoming Pro-D Camps:
April Showers Bring May Flowers (Grades 1-4) – April 29
Take a journey through the water cycle and explore why flowers bloom after April rains. See for yourself how a plant drinks water in a xylem experiment. Join us for an evapo-race and create your own rain stick to take home.
Darling Decomposers (Grades 1-4) – May 17
Decomposers – some call them disgusting, we call them darling! This camp is not for the squeamish, as we will seek out all that is stinky, slimy or strange. Explore decomposition in action, create your own slug slime, and dig up worms to identify as you learn about Project WormWatch.
Summer Camps (5-10 year olds)
VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and often sell out very quickly – camps for 5-7 year olds are sold out and waitlists are open! Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts give children the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of the Garden and the Conservatory, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent mostly outdoors, but may also include time in the classroom, in the Visitor Centre, or at Bloedel Conservatory.
Waitlists are open. Click the REGISTER HERE button to add your child to the waitlist.
A Family OR Individual plus Child Membership is required to qualify for a 10% discount on all camps. You will be required to enter your valid membership number during registration. If you would like to purchase or have questions about your membership status, contact Member Services by email or call 604-257-8675 prior to camp registration.
For general registration (non-membership) inquiries please contact Chantal Martin, Youth Programs Manager, at 604-257-8443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camps run from 9:30am-4:00pm. Drop-off is available from 9am. Cancellations must be made in writing 2 weeks before the scheduled camp date in order to receive a refund less a $15 admin fee. Please note: Children must have completed kindergarten to register and attend VanDusen summer camps.
SOLD OUT Aug 6-9 (Ages 5-7)
SOLD OUT Aug 12-16 (Ages 8-10)
Dive into the wonderful world of water and get to know the plants and animals that live there. Peer into a pond to find and identify the creatures that lurk below, tour VanDusen’s lakes and streams, and comb the beach for crabs and kelp. Explore freshwater and saltwater ecosystems and splash around at the Stanley Park water park. This camp includes a field trip to Stanley Park.
July 8-12 (Ages 8-10)
SOLD OUT July 15-19 (Ages 5-7)
SOLD OUT July 22-26 (Ages 5-7)
Investigate connections between nature and art while gathering inspiration from the plants and animals at the Garden. Keep a nature sketchbook, complete a painting on canvas, and practice using various mediums and techniques such as watercolour, pastels, and mixed media. Campers will strengthen their personal connections to nature while inspiring creativity and collaboration. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
SOLD OUT Aug 19-23 (Ages 5-7)
Calling all junior ornithologists! Get to know birds at VanDusen, such as the barred owl, Anna’s hummingbird, spotted towhee and others. We’ll explore how birds eat, fly and build nests, and learn to identify and observe birds using our ears and binoculars. Campers will explore the new Backyard Bird Garden and over 300 tropical birds living at the Bloedel Conservatory. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
+-Bugs and Beyond
SOLD OUT Aug 12-16 (Ages 5-7)
Focus on the weird and wonderful world of insects and other amazing arthropods. Junior entomologists will explore ecology from the bugs-eye view: as pollinators, decomposers, predators, and prey. Search under logs, in the pond, in a flower, or in the air for bugs and learn which are helpful, harmful, or edible to plants or people.
+-Dirt to Dinner
SOLD OUT July 22-26 (Ages 8-10)
SOLD OUT July 29-Aug 2 (Ages 5-7)
SOLD OUT Aug 6-9 (Ages 5-7)
Get your hands dirty and discover what it takes to make your meal from the ground up. Starting from the soil we will explore decomposition, experiment with soil pH, dissect seeds, and plant micro-greens. Every day we will prepare and enjoy some delicious food together. Veggies, fruits, herbs and honey have never tasted so good! This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
July 2-5 (Ages 8-10)
Who do these bones belong to? Where did all the seeds go? Eco-Sleuths will solve the daily nature mystery by exploring the Garden in search of clues. Campers will learn new investigative techniques such as water pH tests and plant dissections, and use tools such as compasses, maps, binoculars, and microscopes. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
+-Naturally Crafty Kids
SOLD OUT July 29-Aug 2 (Ages 5-7)
Crafty kids will make nature-based arts & crafts, using the Garden as inspiration and a resource for materials. The week’s activities will include print making, dyeing fabric with food scraps, paper making, and nature crowns. Camp will include plenty of time out in the Garden, as well as opportunities to explore and play with materials with open ended projects. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
Aug 19-23 (Ages 8-10)
Find inspiration from nature’s master builders such as ants, plants, and spiders to build your own structures. Observe birds closely to inspire the design of your own kite. Build a parachute that floats like a seed blowing in the wind. Use sonar like a bat or create a new communication system like a bee. Practice using nature inspired technology such as collecting energy from the sun like a leaf or design your own nature inspired invention. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
+-Science in the Garden
SOLD OUT July 2-5 (Ages 5-7)
SOLD OUT July 8-12 (Ages 5-7)
SOLD OUT July 15-19 (Ages 8-10)
Unearth young biologists who want to learn about how the natural world functions. In the Garden, campers will explore trees, bugs, birds, soil, ponds and more. We’ll use microscopes, learn how to be a citizen scientist, and use words like ornithologist and metamorphosis as we have a fun week discovering the garden with a scientific focus. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.
Spring Break Camps (5-8 year olds)
Our carefully crafted camps offer a blend of science, exploration, games and crafts. Unique daily themes such as Dirt to Dinner, Blooming Artists, A Taste of the Tropics, and Things with Wings provide the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of the Garden and the Conservatory, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent mostly outdoors, but may also include time in the classroom in the Visitor Centre or Bloedel Conservatory.
Each day offers a unique nature-based theme, so you can register your children for the camps that interest them. Spring Break 2020 registration opens in December 2019.
The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association is pleased to provide bursaries for families in financial need. Apply for a bursary, or contact 604-257-8443 for information. If you are interested in donating to the bursary program, and giving a child the opportunity to go to camp, we would love to hear from you!