VanDusen Nature Camps

VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and often sell out quickly. Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts gives 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.

Our outdoor camps create a unique learning experience tailored for kids ages 5-10. Please note that all campers must be at least 5 years old and have completed or be currently enrolled in kindergarten.

Spring Break Camp 2022

Spring Break Camps at VanDusen Botanical Garden are full-day outdoor camps that allow children to learn about the natural environment through hands-on activities, games, and crafts! Campers will spend the entire day outdoors at VanDusen Botanical Garden investigating the plants and animals that call the Garden home. Camps will have access to outdoor covered spaces and indoor spaces for lunchtime, stationary activities, and in cases of extreme weather.

Please note that all campers must be at least 5 years old on the day of the program AND have completed or be currently enrolled in kindergarten to attend.

Spring Break Camp Fees
VBGA Members $61.20 per day
Non-Members $68.00 per day

Due to popular demand, Spring Break Camp 2022 will be offered in 3 cohorts per day. If you are hoping to register with friends or family, please ensure you register for the same cohort – due to our administrative capacity, we will be unable to accommodate a large number of transfer requests.

Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-In 8:40 am Sign-Out 3:40 pm
Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-In 8:50 am Sign-Out 3:50 pm
Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-In 9:00 am Sign-Out 4:00 pm

Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at noon for VBGA members and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

NEW! After Care for VBGA Spring Break Camps

Pick-up at 5:00 pm. Read more below!


 

  • +Monday March 14th | Nature’s Architects SOLD OUT

    Explore and replicate some of the fascinating structures and strategies living things use to survive in the Garden – from camouflage and biomimicry to wetlands and waterfalls. Campers will create their own mini ecosystem to take home, challenge each other in adaptation games, and discover some unique homes and habitats right in the Garden!

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist 

     

     

  • +Tuesday March 15th | Ancient Planet SOLD OUT

    Travel back in time to learn about the ancient history of plants and animals in the Garden! From billions of years ago through present day, discover plants that evolved millions of years ago, solve the mystery of continents on the move, and capture a moment in time with a fossil craft to take home! 

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT
    Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Wednesday March 16th | Brilliant Birds SOLD OUT

    Calling all aspiring birders – Join us in the Garden to search for some common local species and to learn more about different nest structures, beak shapes, and feather functions. Put your beginner ID skills to the test with bird calls, document your findings in your birding journal, and participate in citizen science with a bio-blitz! 

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm  SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm  SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Thursday March 17th | Dirt to Dinner SOLD OUT

    Explore the incredible journey that food takes to find its way to your plate! Learn about plant parts and life cycles, pollination, and decomposition through crafts and yummy taste tests. Visit the VanDusen Beehives and Veggie Garden and finally, give new life to food waste by taking home an orange-peel planter.

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Friday March 18th | Mini and Mighty SOLD OUT

    From mighty trees to mini seeds, explore the big and small at VanDusen Botanical Garden! Use microscopes to discover familiar objects up close, create a colourful craft, learn how the tiniest of seeds travel, and go on a scavenger hunt for giant plants that call the Garden home.

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Monday March 21st | Urban Wildlife SOLD OUT

    In the middle of a sprawling urban city, VanDusen Botanical Garden’s 55-acres of green space provides home and shelter to many creatures! Spend a day at the Garden searching for urban wildlife and exploring footprints, strange habitats, and bird calls. Learn about how we can support the animals we share our neighbourhoods with and understand how we all depend on one another.

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Tuesday March 22nd | Plants with Purpose SOLD OUT

    Explore just some of the fascinating ways people around the world use and appreciate plants, including medicine, food, transportation, shelter, music, and for ceremony. Campers will discover connections between some species found in the Garden and Indigenous Peoples and cultures of the Pacific Northwest, go on a scavenger hunt for some native and medicinal plants, craft a rain stick, and concoct an herbal teabag to enjoy at home!

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Wednesday March 23rd | Blooming Artists SOLD OUT

    In a blooming Garden, art and inspiration are all around us! Explore many of the shapes, colours, and textures found in nature and learn about world-famous works of art that included flowers and plants. Campers will channel their artistry in this crafty camp and take home their own botanical creations and art pieces inspired by the Garden.

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +Thursday March 24th | Strategizing Sustainability

    Sustainability can look different for each of us – learn more about what being sustainable means for the environment and what each of us can do through fun games and exciting challenges. Create a wanted poster for an invasive species, discover food webs and native species in the Garden, and craft a seed bomb for some pollinator-friendly blooms at home!

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm Register my child!
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist

     

  • +Friday March 25th | Elaborate Earth SOLD OUT

    Discover the foundation of what plants truly need to grow – from the layers of the earth, to how soil forms, and some interesting places that plants can survive. Enjoy a tasty treat while you learn with our popular edible soil layers, search the Garden for unique landforms and biome representations, and take home a seed baby – just add love!

    Please note: links to registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Red (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 8:40am / Sign-out 3:40pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Blue (ages 7-10) Sign-in 8:50 am / Sign-out 3:50pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
    Yellow (ages 5 – 7) Sign-in 9:00 am /  Sign-out 4:00 pm SOLD OUT Join the waitlist
  • +NEW! After Care for VBGA Spring Break Camps

    Pick-up at 5:00 pm.

    After Care is located in the VanDusen Botanical Garden Classroom Courtyard. Space is limited to 24 children per day. There will be a fee charged for late pick-ups.

    We will not provide any food during After Care, including additional snacks or dinner. Please provide your child/children with extra nut-free snacks if they will be attending After Care.

    Find out more about After Care here.

    Please note: links to after camp care registration will be live on January 18th at 12:00pm, noon for VBGA members, and January 20th at 12:00pm, noon for the general public.

    Monday March 14 Register my child!
    Tuesday March 15 Register my child!
    Wednesday March 16 Register my child!
    Thursday March 17 Register my child!
    Friday March 18 Register my child!
    Monday March 21 Register my child!
    Tuesday March 22 Register my child!
    Wednesday March 23 Register my child!
    Thursday March 24 Register my child!
    Friday March 25 Register my child!

Pro-D Camps

Pro-D Camp Fees:

VBGA Members $61.20 per day
Non-Members $68 per day

Pro-D Camps at VanDusen Botanical Garden take place entirely outdoors and require children attending to be between the ages of 5 – 10 on the day of the activity.

  • +February: Diversity Defenders

    Date: Friday, February 18th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Calling all Eco-Heroes and Junior Naturalists! We invite you to the Garden to learn more about biodiversity, conservation, and what makes VanDusen so important in an urban city. Campers will get to do sustainable crafts, hear stories about conservation, and observe biodiversity in action.

    Register now!

  • +April: Wonderful Wetlands

    Date: Monday, April 25th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Feeling bogged down? Water-logged? Downright swampy? Join us in the Garden to learn about the main types of wetlands found in nature, as well as the benefits that wetlands provide to living things and the environment around us. Dip a net in the water and go pond peering – a Camps favourite!

    Register now!

  • +June: Brushes and Blooms

    Date: Thursday, June 30th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    As we move from spring to summer, VanDusen is bursting with different shapes, colours, textures, scents, and smells. Tap in to your inner artist and explore seasonal changes with games and sensory activities among the blooms; then, make a craft to bring a piece of the Garden home with you!

    Register now!

Weekend Nature Club

Weekend Nature Club Fees:

VBGA Members $36.00 per day
Non-Members $40 per day

Weekend Nature Club programs take place from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm on Saturdays at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Attendees are required to be at least 5 years of age on the date of the program.

  • +February: Bustling Birds

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

    As the ground thaws and the frost melts, the Birds of VanDusen Botanical Garden keep themselves busy! Search high and low for some common local species that brave the cold, and learn more about nests, food sources, and what it really takes to be a bird.

    Register now!

  • +April: Friends of Ferns

    Date: Saturday, April 9th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    From fuzzy fiddleheads to enormous fronds, learn more about the life cycles of ferns and explore the diversity of ferns in VanDusen Botanical Garden. Channel your inner paleobotanist and make a keepsake fossil to take home based on a group of plants that evolved hundreds of millions of years ago.

    Register now!

  • +May: Riveting Raptors

    Date: Saturday, May 14th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Owls and hawks and eagles oh my! Go searching for some of the elusive raptors that call the Garden home, learn how to identify some local species of these birds, and get a close-up look at what they might have had for lunch. Whether you’re an avid birder or just starting to learn, you’ll have a hoot with us!

    Register now!

  • +June: Bugs and Beyond

    Date: Saturday, June 18th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Did you know that all bugs are insects but not all insects are bugs? Look down by your feet, in the water, and up at the sky for things that fly, crawl, skim, or burrow; From introductory classification to learning how these creatures grow and eat, we’re buzzing for you to join us in the Garden for a day of exploration!

    Register now!

Covid-19 Adaptations

Our adapted Camp Programs have been running safely since June 2020 with protocols and structures 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.

  • +Adaptations
    • Masks are mandatory for all campers ages 5+ when indoors.
    • Masks are mandatory for all staff and volunteers working directly with youth.
    • All VBGA staff are vaccinated.
    • Camp planning ensures that games, crafts, and activities can all be done outdoors as 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.
    • Increased emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing; reduction of shared materials.
    • Increased cleaning and sanitation in camp spaces and of camp materials in accordance with the VGBA’s COVID-19 Health, Safety and Sanitation Policy.
    • Campers will have access to outdoor porta-potties and handwashing stations to decrease use of shared indoor washrooms (still available but limited).
    • We are unable to provide 1-on-1 support for participants at this time due to the current program format – please contact us for more information.

    Please consider these changes when determining if our programs are the right fit for your child. 

  • +Cancellation Policy

    If you would like to cancel your registration, please provide a written request at least three weeks (21 days) in advance of the start of the program(s) to nfriedmann@vandusen.org. If we receive the request with the required notice and are able to fill the spot, we will provide a refund minus a $15 administrative fee. If we receive the request with the required notice and are unable to fill the spot, we will provide an equivalent credit to be used in future programs, valid for 365 days.

    No refunds or credits (either complete or partial) will be issued for the following:

    • Requests made with less than three weeks’ (21 days’) notice.
    • Requests made over the phone, by voicemail, or in person.
    • Expulsion due to disruptive/unsafe behaviour or similar.
    • Absence from a program due to illness or COVID-19 symptoms, family matters, injury, travel, or similar.
    • Individual COVID-19 regulations, as mandated by the Federal and Provincial governments

    This includes the condition that unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are not permitted to attend school, camp, or daycare (even if outdoors) for 14 days after returning to Canada from international travel, even if they were accompanied by fully-vaccinated parents or guardians.

    Program cancellation by the VBGA due to Public Health Restrictions will result in education program credit equivalent to the value lost.

  • +Camp Bursaries

    The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association is pleased to provide bursaries for families in financial need. The VBGA’s mission is connect people with plants and we believe all children should have the opportunity to experience nature-based camps regardless of family circumstance or income.

    Apply for a bursary here or contact the Youth Programs Manager at hmoran@vandusen.org or 604-257-8423 for more information.

  • +Covid-19: Proof of Vaccination

    Children under 12 years old do not require proof of vaccination to attend camps. Masks are mandatory for all campers age 5+ when indoors.

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.”


Contact Us

For inquiries about Spring Break Camp, Pro-D Camps, Weekend Nature Club, or any Camps refunds, cancellations, or waitlists, please contact Natasha Friedmann (Camp Coordinator) at nfriedmann@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8443.

For other inquiries or for more information about VBGA youth programs, please contact Hailey Moran (Youth Programs Manager) at hmoran@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8423.