Summer camp at Laurel Creek Nature Centre is all about being outdoors and connecting with nature. We believe that the best camp memories come from exploring nature, making discoveries, building a campfire, hiking through the fields and forests, finding frogs and water creatures and connecting with the natural world. Along the way we know that campers will make new friends, learn new games and discover new skills. The camps are action-packed and full of different activities each and every day. All camps focus on environmental discovery and engage campers in the outdoors in a fun, yet educational way.
Campers can enjoy a different camp theme each week with hikes, crafts and activities designed to make the outdoors fun! Participants actively go outside daily to explore the fields and forests that surround the nature centre. Our highly skilled team will share their passion and knowledge of nature and outdoor adventure with your child. Our goal is to connect your child to a lifetime of appreciation for nature and the outdoors.
Intermediate and Senior camps offer kids something a little more challenging and are designed to provide an even more exciting camp experience for our older campers. These camps include much longer wilderness treks and adventures. Senior camps include a canoe trip down the Grand River.
Please scroll to the bottom of the page for a listing of camp themes and dates.
Camp programming is from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Supervision is provided from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m for free. Every camper receives a free t-shirt too!
What should my child bring to the camps?
Day camp programming takes place outside as much as possible.
To make sure that your child has the best possible experience at camp, please be sure to send them with the following items:
- A healthy, nut free lunch and drinks (a refillable water bottle is a good choice)
- Extra snacks – we work up a good appetite every day!
- Sun hat and sunscreen
- Rain gear – just in case!
- A change of clothes and shoes. On hot days we may play water games to cool down so a swimsuit may be a good idea.
Who can I contact the organizer with any questions?
About two weeks before camp starts you will be sent a camp information package. This will hopefully answer all your questions but if you have any specific questions feel free to email LaurelCreekNC@grandriver.ca.
What is the refund policy?
Full refunds will be granted if requested six weeks before the first day of camp. Refunds requested after that time and up to three weeks before the first day of camp will be subject to a $50 administration fee. Refunds requested less than three weeks before the first day of camp will be subject to a $100 administration fee.
Animal Safari (Ages 6-10) July 10-14
Are you an animal lover? Do you want to learn more about animals? This camp is for you. You will get up close and personal with the animals that live in and around the Nature Centre and learn about those that don’t. Find out what animals eat, where they live and some of the cool things they do to survive. Activities this week include safari hikes, survival games and nature investigations.
Naturalist-in-Training Leadership Level 1 and 2 (Ages 14-16) July 10-14
The Naturalist-In-Training (NIT) Level 1 and Level 2 are designed for teens aged 14 (or 13 entering grade 9 in September) to 16 who are looking for skills that will help with future employment and an opportunity to complete their community volunteer hours. During this leadership week, campers will have the chance to gain certifications such as emergency first-aid and ORCKA-level canoeing or swim safeguard. They will also develop leadership skills and build a knowledge base that will allow them to feel comfortable leading camp activities such as games, arts and crafts and natural history. An overnight campout at Laurel Creek Conservation Area is included in this week-long camp. Each camper will be able to choose to attend at least one additional week of camp where they can volunteer and apply their new skills! First year participants will be Level 1 with returning campers joining Level 2.
Oh Canada (Ages 6-10) July 17-21
Our imaginations will take us on a trip across Canada as we learn about the ecosystems and animals that live in our great country. We will explore the arctic, the oceans, the prairies, and the boreal forest. We will also be searching and finding out what lives in our own back yard.
H2O (Ages 10-13) July 17-21
Water has a huge impact on our lives and the lives of every living thing on earth. We will explore how water influences the weather, check out a dam, how to find and treat water in a survival situation, and how water impacts the animals that live in the wetlands and streams at Laurel Creek. We will also play and get wet! **New** includes an optional bike trip to Laurel Creek Conservation Area. Campers should bring a bike and helmet on the Wednesday of camp if they wish to attend.
Buddy Adventure (Ages 6-10) July 24-28
Adopt a stuffed buddy on the first day of camp and take part in an adventure together every day. A few adventures for your buddy will include building shelters, raft racing and nature hikes. After a week of fun-filled challenges take your buddy home with you.
Navigating Nature (Ages 11-13) July 24-28
People that are comfortable navigating are more likely to travel and see new places. Our campers will become more familiar with various ways of navigating (the sun, maps, compass, GPS) as they work in teams to complete challenges and as they find their way to the natural areas of the Laurel Creek property. Campers will also get to take part in a canoe trip down the Grand River.
Damsels and Dragons (Ages 6-10) July 31-August 4
Celebrate the magical folk of the forest and fields and inspire your imagination. Come exploring with us and meet some of the creatures that have inspired myths and legends. We will look for fairy rings and hunt for other magical creatures and places. Let a dragon land on your nose and find beautiful damsels living by the river. Is it myth, magic or Mother Nature?
Art Outdoors (Ages 10-13) July 31-August 4
Get your creative side outside! This week, campers will get to experience nature while using various art mediums. We will be letting outdoor activities and natural materials be our inspiration to create some imaginative art. Some topics we might cover include painting, sketching, sculpting, natural plant dyes and digital photography.
Great Outdoors for Girls (Ages 6-12) August 8-11
Outdoor Girls is a unique opportunity for girls to explore nature and get comfortable with all things creepy, crawly, muddy and slimy in an all-girl environment. Make new friends while having fun outdoors! The week will include hikes, edible wilds, art projects, animals, campfire songs, stories and outdoor skills. Girls get to take the lead and learn some outdoor skills to help you develop a lifelong love for getting outdoors.
SPLASH (Ages 6-10) August 14-18
This week you will not stay dry. Water covers over 70% of our planet. It is vital to our survival and a whole lot of fun! Join us as we look at water above and below the surface. We will wade in, get wet and make cool discoveries and most importantly we will have fun, learning about this incredible, but limited, resource.
Survival Challenge (Ages 11-13) August 14-18
Become more comfortable in nature while learning to read and understand the land and its wildlife. We’ll practice skills like tracking, shelter-building and fire-building. Campers will have the opportunity to take part in a canoe trip down the Grand River. We will also be testing your skills in a teamwork survival challenge!
Stones and Bones (Ages 6-10) August 21-25
Uncover mysteries of the past and present. From exploring rocks and minerals to discovering ancient animals and solving nature mysteries, this camp is sure to please young naturalists.
Zombie Ranger (Ages 10-13) August 21-25
Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? This week you will learn important survival skills such as finding medicinal and edible plants, shelter building, stalking and camouflage skills and fire by friction. Your survival skills will be put to the test with the zombie apocalypse on Friday!
Incredible Insects (Ages 6-10) August 28-September 1
It is time to explore the world of insects and other creepy crawlies. Campers will learn about pollinators and spend time in the wildflower garden. With magnifiers in hand, we will search the air, water and soil to find the places where bugs live, to discover what they eat, and how they survive. We might even build some pollinator hotels.
Grossology (Ages 10-13) August 28-September 1
Take a close look at nature and spend some time investigating scat, owl barf, pond slime, bones, misunderstood animals, worm droppings and more! Nature can seem weird and gross sometimes but we will explore how fascinating it can be through activities such as swamp water microscope study, owl pellet search, making edible scat, snail slime, and worm compost tea! By the end of the week you will be a Grossologist!