Camps at RBG

Discovery Camps are about fun, education and respect set in one of the most biologically diverse natural areas in Canada.

Summer CampsGeneral Info / FAQ

We strive to provide hands-on, environmental-based programs that suit the ages, needs and interests of our participants. These award-winning programs feature hikes, games, crafts, activities and daily explorations of ecologically significant nature sanctuaries covering over 1000 hectares of wetlands, fields and forests. Our goal is to introduce your child to a lifetime of respect and appreciation for the natural world that sustains us all.

CAMP MISSION AND VALUES: Royal Botanical Gardens’ Discovery Camps strive to promote healthy environmental attitudes and lifestyles through safe, respectful, fun and diverse outdoor learning experiences.

 


girls with nets sifting in the creek

 

Summer Camps

July 3 to August 31, 2018

Nature Interpretive Centre or RBG Centre

Spend a week of summer at RBG! Nature-themed camps available for kids ages three to thirteen.

 

Click to Register    View Camp Descriptions

Download Summer Camp Brochure (pdf)


Registration / CancellationWhat to BringWhile At Camp

Safety and WellnessRights and ResponsibilitiesWelcome Letters

Junior Camps StaffGreen Angels

Camp Registration / Cancellation

Programs are developed to meet the age and stage appropriateness of campers within the listed age range. Please register your child in the appropriate camp for their age.

Online Registration

Advanced registration is required. The best way to register is to do so online. When available, registration links will be posted here at rbg.ca/camps. You can find this links above, underneath the specific camp you are interested in (March Break, Summer, etc.)

Register By Mail or In-Person:

In person on mail-in registrations are accepted and may be subject to input wait times. Please fill out the registration and health form in full and mail or deliver to: Discovery Camps Summer 2018, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4. Registration forms available by request to programs@rbg.ca. Registrations are accepted on a first-come basis, and are not accepted if they are missing any required information. You must include a working email address as you will receive a confirmation email outlining more detailed information about camp, including what to bring. Please read this confirmation email with your family so that everyone has an understanding of camp needs.

Reminders Before Registering

  • The fastest and easiest way to register is to do so online at www.rbg.ca/camps
  • Full payment MUST accompany registration
  • Payments may be made by VISA, Mastercard, cheque or cash
  • All NSF payments will be retried once by RBG and are subject to a $35 administration fee.
  • Incomplete registration forms ARE NOT PROCESSED and are returned– please ensure all fields are filled out accurately

Cancellation and Refunds

Royal Botanical Gardens reserves the right to cancel any camp program if the minimum number of participants is not reached. If RBG cancels a camp, registrants are fully refunded. Refunds are not issued for inclement weather. The Friday prior to the registered camp week is the cut-off date for camp refund consideration.

  • All changes to camp registration are subject to a non-refundable $25 administration fee.
  • More than 10 business days before the start of the registered camp week: Full refund less $25
  • Within 10 business days before the start of the registered camp week: Refund subject to a service fee (full-day camp: $100, half-day camp $25)
  • Changes to camp preference or date can be made prior to the start of the registered camp week, and are subject to availability

What To Bring to Camp

Campers need the following items to be prepared for all activities:

  • With your registration you are provided with a Discovery Camps T-shirt (one per summer) that you receive on the first day of camp (an additional t-shirt can be purchased for $15). Please wear your camp T-shirt everyday.
  • With all the fun we have, camp can be very messy. Please wear appropriate clothing (play clothes). It is recommended to bring an extra change of clothes in a backpack.
  • An indoor pair of shoes for those extra mucky days.
  • Wear a hat for sun protection.
  • Lightweight long pants are a great way to protect against mosquitoes and other bothersome creatures.
  • For safety reasons close-toed shoes (runners or croc-type clogs) should be worn, not sandals.
  • To protect yourself from the elements, please arrive pre-screened with sun screen and bug repellent and bring some along for reapplication at midday.
  • Every camper needs to bring a healthy and nutsafe lunch and snack for morning and afternoon snack breaks, as well as a refillable water bottle to help stay hydrated throughout the day. To help us model good environmental behaviour, please pack a litterless lunch. (See "food at camp" section further down)

RBG is not responsible for any items your child loses at camp. Please label all of your child’s belongings with their first and last name and leave all valuables at home. Campers are asked not to bring items of any significant value. RBG does not provide refunds for damaged or lost belongings. Please do not bring electronic devices to camp.

Food at Camp

Every camper needs to bring a healthy and nutsafe lunch and snack for morning and afternoon snack breaks, as well as a refillable water bottle to nourish them throughout the day. To help us model good environmental behaviour, please pack a litterless lunch.

Pizza Days

Pick up a pizza order form while at camp and enjoy a hot pizza lunch on Friday. Please pack all regular snacks and drinks for the day (including for lunch). Campers in half-day programs do not participate in pizza days.

Nut Safe Policy

To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our campers, please ensure that lunches and snacks are free of nuts, nut products and traces of nuts. Food that does not comply with our policy is replaced with a healthy alternative.

While at Camp

RBG Camp Leaders

Camps are led by mature, experienced and passionate leaders who have a personal interest in ensuring that your child’s experience is one that will be cherished and remembered for many years. Our leaders are enthusiastic, carefully screened high school, college and university students or graduates. Many leaders and support staff have been with us for several years. These individuals provide a safe and enjoyable environment in which your child can learn, play and have fun. Camp leaders are assisted by supervisors, support staff, junior staff and leaders in training from our Leadership Development Program, resulting in an average leader to camper ratio of 1:8. All of our staff members undergo intensive training that focuses on safety, healthy child development, environmental appreciation/education and program management. All leaders are certified in First Aid and canoeing. All staff members over the age of 18 are screened using local police criminal record checks.

Do you know someone who would be interested in becoming a camp leader? Current opportunities are posted at rbg.ca/careers

Canoeing

Camps that take place at the Nature Interpretive Centre participate in canoeing as part of the weekly program. Half-day programs do not participate in canoeing. We own a fleet of canoes that can accommodate over 30 people on the water at any one time. Experienced canoeing specialists lead canoe programs which stress comfort on the water, fun and skill-building. All canoe instructors are certified by the Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association. Canoeing takes place on Cootes Paradise Marsh, a shallow wetland which is located a short walk from the Nature Interpretive Centre. All canoeing equipment, including personal flotation devices and paddles, is provided.

Royal Botanical Gardens’ Discovery Camps promote active participation in all activities; however no camper is pressured to participate in any activity they are not comfortable with. If you do not wish your child to participate in canoeing please notify your child’s leaders and the camp coordinator.

Shuttle Bus

Discovery Camps employs a school bus for its use in order to fully explore and enjoy the multiple gardens and naturalized areas that we offer. Camp programs may utilize this service in order to explore other areas of our property. This is a valuable service that adds to the camp experience. Speak with your camp leaders if you wish to find out when your child’s camp group will be riding the bus. The bus is driven by a certified, licensed contract driver. Half-day camps for children 3- and 4-year-olds do not make use of the bus.

Dress-Up Days

Dress-up day takes place every week. Join in on the fun and dress up to match the theme!

  • Thursday, July 5 – Canada Day
  • Wednesday, July 11 – Heroes
  • Wednesday, July 18 – Friends of the Forest
  • Wednesday, July 25 – Winter Holidays in July
  • Wednesday, August 1 – Monochromatic (one colour only)
  • Thursday, August 9 – Crazy Outfits
  • Wednesday, August 15 – Sports and Games
  • Wednesday, August 22 – Waterfriends
  • Wednesday, August 29 – Into the Future

Safety and Wellness

Signing Campers In and Out

In order for anyone other than the person who dropped off and signed the camper into the program, to sign out and pick up a camper they must show photo identification and must be listed on the child’s registration as either: a) a primary caregiver; b) an individual authorized for pick up; c) an individual listed as an emergency contact. The individual must be over the age of 18 years. Any changes to these names on your initial registration must be noted in writing by letter or fax (905-527-5752) addressed to the camp director and be accompanied by a caregiver’s signature.

Health and Safety Protocols

We are vigilant in our concern for the health and safety of all participants. Children are required to wash their hands several times a day, especially before they eat. We do not allow children to share food, drink or utensils. If your child is not feeling well please keep them home. If a child arrives at camp with an obvious illness, their caregivers are immediately contacted and asked to take the child home.

Weather Policy

RBG camp staff modify camp activities to promote the health and safety of all participants in hot and/or rainy weather. This includes frequent water breaks, water activities, less active games and the use of shaded, indoor and cooler areas of the camps. These precautions allows all campers to enjoy a fun and safe camp experience, even on hot or rainy days.

Behaviour Management Procedures

Royal Botanical Gardens’ Discovery Day Camps strive to create a positive and safe community through safe, respectful, fun and diverse learning experiences. Communication and coaching are used to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. Behaviour that is seen to go against a positive atmosphere and is seen as unacceptable behaviour is dealt with swiftly and according to RBG’s behaviour management procedures. Campers who, given guidance and opportunities to correct their behaviour, fail to comply with these guidelines, are subject to progressive discipline up to and including having their privilege to participate in camp revoked. Refunds are not given for any camper who is sent home or removed from program for disciplinary reasons.

Rights and Responsibilities...

of Parents

  • to be observant of signs of distress or suspected negative incidents at camp
  • to report any suspected incidences of physical or emotional violence

of Campers

    to enjoy the benefits of a safe and inclusive environment
  • to be observant of signs of distress or suspected negative incidents at camp
  • to respect camp expectations as well as the physical and emotional safety of others
  • to report any acts of physical or emotional behaviour against themselves or another camper

of Leaders and Volunteers

  • to be role models in words and actions
  • to be observant of signs of distress or suspected negative incidents at camp
  • to report and record all incidences of physical or emotional violence
  • to handle all situations with compassion and objectivity

Welcome to Camp!

Click the links below to access the "Welcome to Camp!" letters that outline everything you need to know before sending your child on his/her first day of camp at RBG.

Junior Camp Staff

Have the fun of summer camp but reap the benefits of being a leader! Work with an enthusiastic staff team who share a common interest and learn more about the environment, camping and working with children. Junior staff learn to care for children in an educational setting through training, job shadowingand supported leadership activities. Junior staff have the opportunity to lead games, crafts, create and brainstorm activities and facilitate camp programs. Learn More >>

Help Send a Child to Camp

Please consider increasing your camp registration fee with a charitable gift to Green Angels. Your generous donation provides children and families in financial need the opportunity to explore, learn and let their imagination grow in a safe environment – the natural world of Royal Botanical Gardens. Following your online registration you are prompted to top-up your fee with a charitable gift. Please give generously and be a Green Angel to a child in need today.

RBG is proud to partner with Reach for the Rainbow to provide children with physical and developmental disabilities with inclusive camp experiences. Please consider making a donation to Green Angels to help out.