VanDusen Nature Camps

2021 Summer Camps (5 – 10 year olds)

Summer Camps are sold out.

VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and often sell out quickly. Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts give children the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of VanDusen Botanical garden, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent almost entirely outdoors with access to indoor and covered spaces available in extreme weather. Below you can find the camp themes and descriptions, as well as the Covid-19 adaptations to programming, including staggered drop-off and pick-up times.

Please note: Children must have completed kindergarten to register and attend VanDusen summer camps. There are no exceptions. 

 Summer Camp Registration:

VBGA Member Priority Registration SOLD OUT
General Registration SOLD OUT

*A valid Family OR Individual plus One Child Membership is required to qualify for the 10% discount on camp programs.

To change an existing membership or to speak to our membership team directly, contact membership@vandusen.org or 604-257-8675.

  • +Summer Camp Fees

    VanDusen Summer Camps are 7 hours each day with staggered pick-up and drop-off times noted below in the Summer Camp Schedule. When you sign up for a theme you will be assigned a cohort prior to camp with more specific drop-off and pick-up times.

    Fees:

    Member Fee Regular Fee
    4 Day Camp $244.80 $272
    5 Day Camp $294.30 $327

  • +Summer Camp Schedule

    Each Camp Theme is split into two cohorts and each cohort will be assigned staggered schedules to ensure that drop-off and pick-up is a low-contact, safe experience.

    You will have the opportunity to express which cohort time is preferable to you and to express if your child would like to be in a cohort with a friend or family member. Siblings in different age groups can sign up for the same cohort but parents will be responsible for noting if their children will do better in the younger or older theme. Cohorts are a maximum of 14 campers each, no exceptions.

    View mobile friendly schedule here (or click image below).

     

Camp Themes and Descriptions

Summer Camps are sold out.

  • +Alien Invaders SOLD OUT
    July 5 – July 9 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    July 12 – July 16 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    Aliens have invaded the Garden and we need some Junior Naturalists to solve their strange mysteries! Explore concepts of invasive and native species while learning identification techniques, and search the Garden for the most unique natural curiosities. Make native plant seed bombs, do plant dissections, and create fun crafts to explore some of the coolest plant species. 

  • +Aquatic Adventures SOLD OUT
    August 16 – August 20 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 23 – August 27 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    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 discover the rhythms of the water cycle around us.

  • +Dirt to Dinner SOLD OUT
    July 19 – July 23 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    July 26 – July 30 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    August 3 – August 6 (4 day camp) Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    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 microgreens. Veggies, fruits, herbs, and honey have never tasted so good! 

  • +Micro Scientists SOLD OUT
    July 26 – July 30 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 9 – August 13 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    What will we see when we take a closer look at nature? This camp is for kids who want to zoom in on the microscopic! Campers will explore the Garden using magnifying glasses and microscopes to explore flowers, feathers, leaves, bees, and more.

  • +Naturally Crafty SOLD OUT
    July 5 – July 9 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    July 12 – July 16 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 16 – August 20 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    Calling all crafty kids! This camp will use Garden materials to create nifty crafts and amazing art pieces. Campers will create leaf fossils, keep a nature sketchbook, and practice using various materials and media to create a variety of crafts. This camp will help strengthen personal connections to nature while inspiring creativity and collaboration.

  • +Radiant Rainforest SOLD OUT
    August 3 – August 6 (4 day camp) Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 9 – August 13 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    Explore Vancouver’s rich temperate rainforest through a scientific lens. Get up close with native BC plants, bugs, birds, and more! Junior Ecologists will make hypotheses, observe local biodiversity, and share their discoveries as they unearth the treasures of our rainforest.

  • +Sprouting Imagination SOLD OUT
    July 12 – July 16 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 9 – August 13 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    Through imaginative and creative play, campers will learn about the natural world. Naturally creative kids will explore storytelling and myths, learn about music, dance and natural rhythm, create their own instruments from plant materials, and enjoy expressive performance art through the whimsical world of plants and animals.

  • +Strategizing Sustainability SOLD OUT
    July 19 – July 23 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    August 16 – August 20 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    Explore VanDusen Botanical Garden with conservation and sustainability in mind! Campers will learn how the Garden helps protect plants and urban wildlife, and what they can do at home to help out their favourite species. Conduct citizen science, create sustainable crafts, and investigate the UN sustainable development goals through games and activities.

  • +Things with Wings SOLD OUT
    July 19 – July 23 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    August 3 – August 6 (4 day camp) Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    August 23 – August 27 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    You don’t have to fly high to see what kind of winged-creatures live near lakes, gardens, and forests. Using our observational skills, we’ll discover where birds, bats, and bugs sleep, what they eat, and what makes them unique. Campers will create a gift for their feathered friends, do citizen science, and use binoculars to spot things with wings in the Garden.

  • +Wild Investigation SOLD OUT
    July 5 – July 9 Ages 8-10 SOLD OUT
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    July 26 -July 30 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    Aug 23  – Aug 27 Ages 5-7 SOLD OUT
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    Who do these bones belong to? Where did all the seeds go? Campers will solve a daily nature mystery by exploring the Garden in search of clues! Campers will learn new investigative techniques

Covid-19 Adaptations

Our Camp Programs have been running safely since June 2020 with adapted protocols and structure to ensure we follow guidelines and recommendations from the BCCDC, Vancouver Coastal Health, WorkSafeBC, and the BC Ministry of Health. Our camps are informed by an extensive COVID-19 Safety Plan that is updated seasonally and approved by the Director of the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, the Park Board Garden Director and Business Team Lead, Park Board senior management, as well as the City of Vancouver Occupational Health and Safety team.

  • +Adaptations Include
    • Smaller group sizes by splitting themes into two cohorts of 14 campers.
    • An increased emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing will take place along with a reduction of shared materials.
    • Campers will be using outdoor porta-potties and handwashing stations to decrease use of shared indoor washrooms.
    • Increased cleaning and sanitation in camp spaces and of camp materials in accordance with the VGBA’s COVID-19 Health, Safety and Sanitation Policy.
    • Camps take place almost entirely outdoors as it is the safest place to be; this means campers will be asked to carry backpacks for up to 10 minutes at a time.
    • Camp planning ensures that games, crafts, and activities can all be done outdoors and allow for physical distancing.
    • Masks are mandatory for all staff and volunteers working directly with youth.
    • Youth participants are not required to wear masks in the Garden but are encouraged to wear masks in public indoor settings such as the Visitor Centre.
    • We are unable to provide 1 on 1 support for participants at this time due to the new program format.

    Please consider these changes when deciding if this program is right for your child. 

  • +Cancellation Policy

    If you need to cancel your program registration for any reason and provide at least 30 days’ notice in writing prior to the start of the camp in question, we will offer an education programming option in lieu of your cancelled camp(s). If we are able to fill the spot(s) with waitlisted participants, you will have the choice of receiving a refund minus a $15 administrative fee or registration in another education program. Program cancellation due to Public Health Restrictions will result in education program credit equivalent to the value lost.

    • No refunds will be issued in instances of expulsion due to disruptive behaviour, cancellations with less than 30 days’ notice, or absence from a Camp (including for illness or injury).

Weekend Nature Club

Sign your child up for the Weekend Nature Club at VanDusen Botanical Garden!

  • +2021 Weekend Nature Club Dates & Themes

    Taking place completely outdoors, this hands-on program explores fall themes and uses games, experiments and crafts to help young nature enthusiasts learn about changing seasons. With small cohort sizes and adapted activities, the Nature Club aims to be a safe and fun experience for everyone who attends. Suitable for ages: 6-10

    Nature Club Fees:

    VBGA Members $38.50 per day
    Non-Members $40 per day
  • +April: April Showers bring May Flowers!

    Date: Saturday, April 17th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Take a journey through the water cycle and explore why flowers bloom after April rain! Explore VanDusen Botanical Garden and observe the biodiversity in our temperate rainforest and complete a rainy craft.

    Register my child!

  • +May: Birds of VanDusen

    Date: Saturday, May 15th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Come celebrate Vancouver Bird Week at VanDusen Botanical Garden! We will explore the Garden in search of birds, listen to common bird calls, and do citizen science to help local bird communities!

    Register my child!

  • +June 5th: June Bugs!

    Date: Saturday, June 5th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    6 legs, 8 legs, 100 – oh my! Investigate some of the fascinating critters that crawl, skim, and fly through VanDusen Botanical Garden. Learn more about how bugs can be helpful and harmful, and take home a critter craft.

    Register my child!

  • +June 19th: Pollinator Power

    Date: Saturday, June 19th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Did you know that most bees are pollinators, but not all pollinators are bees? Learn more about the variety of animals that keep our flowers blooming and food on our tables. Construct a pollinator-friendly craft and take home a seed bomb for some lively blooms.

    Register my child!

Spring Break Camp: SOLD OUT

Camps take place in the beautiful surrounds of VanDusen Botanical Garden rain or shine!

  • +Spring Break Camp 2021: SOLD OUT
    • Camps and Public Health Restrictions

      Please note that the VBGA Camp Programs will continue to run under current restrictions in accordance with the BC Government Restrictions for Youth Extracurricular Activities.

      • Structured extracurricular activities for people 21 years of age and younger can continue to operate with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and must be supervised by an adult. This includes educational and recreational programs. Read more here.

    VBGA’s Spring Break Camps are full-day outdoor camps that allow kids to learn about the natural environment through hands-on activities. Using crafts, games, experiments and more, campers will be actively engaged in their own learning as they explore a diversity of daily themes. Campers will spend the entire day outdoors in VanDusen Botanical Garden investigating the plants and animals that call the Garden home. With extensive Covid-19 safety measures and adjusted activities, these camps provide a safe and meaningful experience for all campers. Suitable for ages 5 – 10.

    Spring Break Camps will take place from 9:30am to 4:00pm

    Drop off 9:15am – 9:30am
    Pick up 3:45pm – 4:00pm

    Fees (per day)

    VBGA Members $58.50
    General Public $65.00

    Spring Break Camps are sold out.

    Date Theme
    March 15 Blooming Artists Join the waitlist
    March 16 Don’t Eat Me! Join the waitlist
    March 17 Natural Curiousities Join the waitlist
    March 18 Bookworms Join the waitlist
    March 19 Junior Naturalists Join the waitlist
    March 22 Dirt to Dinner Join the waitlist
    March 23 Natural Curiousities Join the waitlist
    March 24 Whimsical Woodlands Join the waitlist
    March 25 Don’t Eat Me! Join the waitlist
    March 26 Eco Heroes Join the waitlist

     

Pro-D Camps 2021: (Grades 1-4)

The VBGA’s Pro-D Camps are full day outdoor camps where participants will have plenty of fun with hands-on activities to keep them busy while learning something new.

  • +2021 Pro-D Camps

    Campers spend the entire day outdoors in the garden investigating the plants and animals that live at VanDusen Botanical Garden. With new safety measures and adjusted activities this camp provides a safe and meaningful experience for all campers. Suitable for ages 5 – 10.

    Pro-D Camp Fees

    VBGA Members $58.50 per day
    Non-Members $65 per day

     

  • +April: In Pursuit of Pollinators SOLD OUT

    Date: Monday, April 26th
    Time: 9:15am – 4:00pm

    Buzz buzz! Are you ready to see the world like a bee? Look for ultraviolet landing pads on flowers, collect pollen, take the honey taste test challenge, visit our beehives, search for hummingbirds, and enjoy a butterfly craft.

    SOLD OUT
    Join the waitlist

    VBGA Member discount available at checkout.
    Become a VBGA Member!

Here's what parents have to say about our camps!

“Excellent protocols, best of  any camp of school we attended.”

“This summer it was wonderful for him to have time to socialize  and play with other kids – he has some good social distance games he can now share with friends.”

“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.”


Registration

For registration inquiries please contact hmoran@vandusen.org. We strongly recommend contacting us with registration inquiries prior to the registration opening day.

Do you have a question about our safety protocols and procedures? Contact hmoran@vandusen.org to learn more about our Safety, Wellness, and Covid-19 policies. Our safety plans and procedures have been approved by the City of Vancouver and are in line with BCCDC and WorkSafe BC Guidelines. You can also see our registration page for more information on program modifications.

*A Family OR Individual plus Child membership is required to qualify for priority registration and a 10% discount. Instructions for priority registration will be emailed to all eligible membership holders prior to the registration date. Contact hmoran@vandusen.org for member registration instructions after the registration date.


Contact Us

Have questions about the programs, or having difficulty registering online? Call 604-257-8443 or email us.