Summer camp at Apps' Mill Nature Centre is all about being outdoors. 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 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 streams, 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.
Every camper receives a free t-shirt. Our staff to camper ratio is 1:8. All staff have first aid training.
All camps run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Supervision is provided from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m free of charge.
Every Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park. Campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park,119 Jennings Road.
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!
- Closed-toed footwear, (no open-toe sandals); closed-toed sandals must have heel straps
- 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.
Sunscreen and bug spray should be applied before your child comes to camp each day. Staff will remind campers to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Please be sure your child knows how to apply their sunscreen. We do not provide or apply sunscreen or bug spray due to the possibility of allergic reactions.
Who can I contact with 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 AppsMillNC@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.
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 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 opportunity to earn 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 Pinehurst Conservation Area is included in this week-long camp. Parents will need to drop off and pick up their campers at Pinehurst CA on the camp-out days. 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.
Art Outdoors (Ages 6-10) July 10-14
Let your creative side outside! This week, campers will get to experience nature through a variety of art forms, hands-on activities and games. Campers may build a “theatre in the trees” and explore the natural world through painting, sketching, sculpting, digital photography and puppetry. Campers will enjoy a week immersed in forest play while using their imaginations to create and explore art outdoors. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Buddy Adventure (Ages 6-10) July 17-21
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 scavenger hunts. After a week of fun-filled challenges take your buddy home with you. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Worst Case Scenario Camp (Ages 10 -13) July 17-21
Have you ever wanted to know how to ford raging rapids, make a fire without matches and survive in the wilderness if you are lost? Well here is your chance to learn these important survival skills in a safe place. Learn how to identify and harvest wild edible plants, navigate using nature’s signs and build weather-proof shelters. Each day will bring a fun new challenge! Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park,119 Jennings Road.
Nature Ninjas (Ages 6-10) July 24-28
Does your child love animals? In this camp, we will use nature awareness skills to observe and learn about local animals. Through games and experiential activities, campers will learn to move silently like a fox, camouflage like a tree frog and understand how birds are the alarm system of the forest. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Zombie Rangers (Ages 10-13) July 24-28
Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? This week you will learn how to defend yourselves against a zombie apocalypse using outdoor survival skills. You will learn stalking and camouflage techniques for outrunning and outsmarting zombie hordes as well as learning to identify medicinal and edible plants, shelter-building and fire by friction. Your survival skills will be put to the test with the zombie apocalypse on Friday! Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Dragons and Damsels (Ages 6-10) July 31 - August 4
Celebrate the magical folk of the forest and fields and inspire your imagination. Come explore 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? Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Nature Scene Investigation (Ages 10 -13) July 31- August 4
Do you like solving mysteries? Nature is brimming with “whodunits." To help solve some of these mysteries, campers will use detective skills to follow the tracks and trails of animals, examine mammal skulls and bones, and study other clues left behind by wildlife. Mystery-solving will be complemented by games, hikes and fun adventures. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Wilderness Skills for Girls (Ages 6-12) August 8-11
Outdoor adventure skills are not just for boys. During this girl’s only week, campers get 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. Learn to fish and track wild animals, learn to start a fire without a match and cook delicious meals over the campfire, catch bugs, and hunt for creatures that live in the creek. Girls get to take the lead and learn some outdoor skills to help them develop a lifelong love for getting outdoors. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
The 50 Things Camp (Ages 6-10) August 14-18
It's time to discover your wild side. We have come up with a list of 50 fantastic experiences that everyone should have before they are 12. Have you ever tamed a scary beast, caught a crayfish, flown a kite or found a geocache? We have a full week of outdoor experiences and challenges for campers to check off their bucket list. (Based on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things) Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Extreme Grand Adventure (Ages 11-14) August 14-18
Practice and perfect your outdoor skills during this week of extreme camp adventure. Hike remote areas, explore, search for geocaches, cook and eat your meals outdoors. We will spend a day canoeing the Grand River. The week will also include a full day guided bike adventure on the rail trail. Campers will have to supply their own bike and helmet. Bike and canoe days will require parents to drop off or pick up in Paris and Brant Park.
Gross Out (Ages 6-10) August 21-25
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! Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Grand Adventures (Ages 10-13) August 21-25
Develop and practise your outdoor skills this week. Create your own camouflage, build a shelter and learn a lot of useful knots. You will learn fly tying, fire making, animal tracking and the art of packing light for hikes and canoe trips. We will harvest and prepare edible wilds too. Games, team building and hikes will be part of this challenging week. We will use our new skills on a canoe trip down the Grand River. Parents will be required to drop campers off in Paris and pick them up at Brant Park on the canoe day.
Guardians of the Grand (Ages 6-10) August 28-Sept 1
Guardians of the Grand unite against the alien species invading the Grand River Watershed. Join our superhero training camp, to become Guardians of the Grand. Learn about and use nature’s powers and abilities such as super strength, flight and camouflage to battle invaders. Campers will design their own super-logos and more to create the perfect superhero secret identity. At the end of the week the Guardians will battle the Legion of Invasive Species lead by the Evil Doctor Lamprey of Doom! Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.
Best of Summer Camp 2017 (Ages 10-13) August 28-Sept 1
If your camper is keen to be outdoors, learn some skills and have some fun, this camp is for them. Our counsellors will choose from our campers’ favourite outdoor activities this summer and put them all together in one week. This week will be filled with discovery, exploration, adventure and fun. We think that this will be a great way to finish off the summer and experience the best outdoor activities that Apps’ Mill Nature Centre has to offer. Wednesday is swim day at Brant Park; campers must be dropped off and picked up at Brant Park, 119 Jennings Road.