Become a Young Leader!

RBG aims to be a leader in environmental stewardship and education, by engaging the young leaders of today we are preparing the way for a better tomorrow.

By engaging communities through stewardship programs, summer leadership development programs and grassroots events RBG is able to take a lead role in youth leadership, environmental stewardship and education.

YES AllianceJunior NaturalistsCamp LeadershipVolunteer
canoeing at Sunset

YES Alliance

Young Environmental Science Alliance

If you’re a high-school student who is passionate about nature, interested in environmental science, or aspiring to a career spent outdoors, join RBG for the fourth installment of Young Environmental Science (YES) Alliance.

The club runs every second Saturday afternoon from September to June.

Apply Now

Venture into natural environments while learning from professionals. Become part of a team of forward-thinking “ambassadors for nature,” while furthering your education in the environmental sector. This hands-on, active, but laid back and immersive program promises to explore all of the opportunities available to you at school and in your future career.

Made possible by a donation from the RBC Foundation as part of RBC Future Launch.

YES alliance logo

group of kids in front of a tree

Junior Naturalists Club

One Saturday per month: September to May

Celebrating their 100th anniversary of protecting nature in the Hamilton/Burlington area, RBG partners once again with Hamilton Naturalists’ Club for another year of fun and adventure while exploring the ravines, forests, fields and wetlands of RBG. These outdoor sessions are 2.5 hours long and are themed to match the season and hiking location. For ages 6 to 13.

$125 / child

Register Now

group of young camp staff posing on picnic table

Camp Leadership Development Program

Junior Camp Staff

Have the fun of 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.


Acceptance into this program is based on leadership experience, teamwork and flexibility as well as a sense of initiative and a willingness to learn new skills.

Application Requirements for Junior Staff

  • 14 years of age or older
  • Leadership experience (i.e. babysitting, Scout/Guide helper, sports captain, previous Royal Botanical Gardens leadership training)
  • Teamwork skills and flexibility; self-initiative and willingness to learn
  • Preference given to those who have outdoor experience, experience working with children in an organized environment, a demonstrated interest in outdoor education/environmental science, pure science or teaching or those who have participated in a previous leadership training at Royal Botanical Gardens.


All participants in our Summer Junior Staff program must participate in a weekend training session in June. Canoe certification is required in advance of the start of camp, at the Junior Staff participant's expense.

How to Apply

Winter and March Break Camps: express your interest at

Summer Camp: Download and fill out the Junior Staff Questionnaire found at the link below. Send in the completed questionnaire, a résumé, and a letter outlining your interest in the program by April 27, 2020. Interviews for qualified candidates begin in the spring and continue until positions have been filled.

Click here to download questionnaire (pdf)


Submit by email (preferred):

Submit by mail: Attention: Assistant Manager, Customer Programs, Royal Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 399, Hamilton, ON L8N 3H8

Submit in person: Nature Interpretive Centre/Arboretum, 16A Old Guelph Road, Dundas, ON L9H 5Y5

removing invasive bush


RBG is always looking for volunteers interested in making a difference in their community and in the natural world.

At RBG, you can choose the activities that fit your interests, skills and availability. Whether you’re interested in volunteering 4 hours a year, or 4 hours a day, we’ve got a place for you.

Find out more about volunteering here.