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Winter Camps

Winter Camp Programs

Discovery Camps are about fun, education and respect set in one of the most biologically diverse natural areas in Canada. What happens to nature in the winter? Register for outdoor and environmental education day camps for children aged 5 to 13 years old.

Come for the day or whole week – new adventures are happening every day.

The natural world is full of exciting things, and we are on an outdoor quest to find them! Join us to experience the magic of the forest, fields, and wetlands around RBG.  Each day will hold new and exciting opportunities to discover something new about the natural world and learn about the importance of diversity in the wilderness around you.  From exploring our trails and forests, to following animal tracks and see where they go, your child will have fun exploring nature with us.  Come ready to learn all about the hidden world outdoors!

  • Child Playing in Snow
  • Snow Covered Bench On Boardwalk
  • two young children dressed in winter snow attire sitting on a snow pile
  • Rock Cotoneaster Red Berries In Snow
  • Happy Kids in Winter snow

Register for Winter Camp 2023/2024

Registration for Royal Botanical Gardens’ 2023/2024 Winter Discovery Day Camps will be available for registration by late fall.

Camp Dates:

December 28 & 29, 2023
January 2 to 5, 2024

Camp program runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Drop off from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Pick up from 4 to 4:30 p.m.
Before and After Care is available each day for additional fee beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m.

Camp takes place at the Nature Interpretive Centre, 20A Old Guelph Rd. Dundas, ON

Age Groups

  • 5 to 6-year-olds
  • 7 to 9-year-olds
  • 10 to 13-year-olds

Programs are developed to meet the age and stage appropriateness of campers within the listed age range. Please register campers into their age appropriate group.

Camp Fees

  • Single day: TBC
  • 2-day camp (December 28 & 29): TBC
  • 4-day camp (January 2 to 5): TBC
  • Before and After Care: TBC

*RBG Members receive 5% off Winter Camp programming when logged in to your RBG account using the email address associated with the membership. 

FAQ — Camp Guide for Parents

How Do I Register?

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 You can find the links above, underneath the specific camp you are interested in (March Break, Summer, etc.)

Reminders Before Registering:

  • The fastest and easiest way to register is to do so online at
  • Full payment MUST accompany registration
  • Incomplete registration forms ARE NOT PROCESSED – please ensure all fields are filled out accurately

What is the Policy for 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 requests by purchasers.

Winter camp registration change or modification requests must be submitted in writing to and will be put in sequence to be processed.

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, virtual camp $35)

Changes to camp preference or date can be made prior to the start of the registered camp week, and are subject to availability.

What Does a Day of Camp Look Like?

Introductions, expectations, and icebreakers. Camp leaders will give your camper’s group some expectations for the week and let them know what they can look forward to during their week at camp. Campers will play games and participate in activities that will give them a chance to know each other and their camp leaders!  

Discovery. At RBG, the foundation of our programs is inquiry-based and experiential learning. We want campers to ask questions and follow their curiosity. This part of your camper’s day inspires curiosity, discovery, and connection in a natural setting. 

Games. Whether active or cool-downs, reflective or silly, the aim of our camp games is to have fun together. Campers will be able to engage in activities and games that foster a sense of community within their group and connection to the natural world.   

Snack and lunch breaks. Whenever possible, our campers will have snack and lunch outside. Campers will practice proper handwashing before and after meal breaks and will practice physical distancing while eating.  

Hike and nature exploration. Campers will spend time exploring RBG’s trails and gardens, learn about the animals and plants that make their homes here, and take advantage of all that nature has to offer. 

Creative adventures and/or skills sharing. We take time each day to foster your camper’s creativity. Whether it’s learning a skill or diving into their artistic side, your camper will come home from their week of camp having learned something new.  

Goodbyes. The group will wrap up their day with their counsellor, reflecting on the fun experiences they’ve had that day and looking forward to the next!   

What Should My Camper Bring to Camp?

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

  • To ensure a healthier environment please pack a litter-less, nut-free lunch and two snacks from home. Extra masks, drinks or water bottles are encouraged.
  • The Nature Centre is a nut-aware facility. Please ensure that lunches and snacks are free of nuts, nut products and traces of nuts. Snacks that “may contain traces of nuts or nut products” are not permitted. Food that does not comply with our policy will be replaced with a healthy alternative.
  • We are outside in all sorts of weather— please send your child with weather-appropriate clothing including hats, sunscreen, and a refillable water bottle.
  • Please pack a pair of indoor shoes, and an extra change of clothing.
  • Camp is a time to make friends, learn, and explore all of the wonders of our natural world. To facilitate this, please make sure electronic toys, music devices, video games, trading cards and toys in general stay at home.
  • Please ensure that everything brought to camp is labeled with your child’s name.
  • 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.

Are There any Restrictions / Guidelines for Food at Camp?

Every camper needs to bring a healthy and peanut / nut safe 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.

Nut Safe Policy: To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our campers, please ensure that lunches and snacks are free of peanuts, nuts, nut products and traces of nuts. Food that does not comply with our policy will be kept in your camper’s lunch to enjoy at home. 

Who Are 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, and junior staff, 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

What Time Is Camp Available?

All full-day camp programs run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop off begins at 8:30 a.m., pick up ends at 4:30 p.m. In an effort to maintain cohorts and minimize mixing of campers, we will not be offering extended care this summer.

Which Location is my Camper In?

Winter camp programs are based out of the Nature Centre in the Arboretum, 16A Old Guelph Road, Dundas

FAQ — Safety and Wellness

Signing Campers In and Out

Winter camp programs take place at the Nature Interpretive Centre in the Arboretum, 16A Old Guelph Road, Dundas.  

Camper pick up and drop off will be in the same location outdoors each day. Only individuals authorized for camper pick up will be able to take their camper home. We check ID to verify authorized individuals for pick up.  

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:  

  1. a) a primary caregiver; 
  2. b) an individual authorized for pickup; 
  3. 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 addressed to Liz Jankowski, Education Programs Officer, Camp and Youth Programs and be accompanied by a listed caregiver’s signature. 

Health and Safety Protocols

COVID 19 Rights and Responsibilities

Royal Botanical Gardens understands and respects the rights of all staff, volunteers, and program participants to be protected from infectious diseases.  Royal Botanical Gardens follows the public health and workplace safety measures and regulations as indicated by local public health units, local municipalities, and the Province of Ontario. As such, program participants (including accompanying individuals) are mandatorily required to adhere to the processes and policies that are put in place to mitigate effects of infectious diseases.  Royal Botanical Gardens will make aware all program participants of required actions and measures in a reasonable amount of time before the start of a program and with a reasonable amount of time if and as regulations change within a program’s run time.  It is the right of Royal Botanical Gardens to restrict the access to or remove from its programs and properties to any individual who does not adhere to such processes and policies.

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.

Daily medical screening: We will be asking families to complete a self-assessment form prior to their first camp program. Participants are asked to conduct this screening the morning of each day of camp. If participants fail the screening for any reason, they are asked to stay home and notify RBG.

Inclement Weather Policy

Although we are an outdoor based program and campers are expected to come to camp prepared for the weather of the day, there may be times when we will shelter from inclement and extreme weather. The camp group will retreat to an indoor space used exclusively for that camp cohort until the weather event passes. Each camper has their own individual “camp zone”, distanced from other campers’ zones. They will spend time in their zone engaging in fun activities until the weather has passed and campers may go outside once more.  

Please note: should inclement weather last the full day, camp cohorts will be inside for the full day as well. Cohorts will stagger meal and snack breaks so that only one cohort is eating in the building at any one time. Camp leaders will maximize the time campers remain distanced and ensure camp spaces are as ventilated as possible for the duration of any camper indoor time.  

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.

FAQ — 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

Contact and Questions

For questions regarding your registration, please contact our program bookings office at 905-527-1158 ext. 270, or via email using the form at

For questions regarding programming, or any other camp question that is not answered in the Camps FAQ, please contact the camps office at 905-527-1158 ext. 340