2018 OUTDOOR KIDS PROGRAMMING: PA DAYS, MARCH BREAK AND SUMMER CAMPS
To register for our day camps, please download our registration form.
You may also wish to read some additional information for parents.
Ages: 4 to 10
Location: Ryerson Camp, 2202 Front Rd, Vittoria (Between Normandale and Turkey Point)
Pricing: $35/day/child, additional siblings $30/day/child.
Payment: Cash or Cheque only (no debit or credit cards accepted at this time)
To Register: Call Lauren Dehens at 519-410-7376 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spaces limited, register early!
P.A. Day Camps
Survival of the Fittest
PA Day – Friday, June 9th
Today, children will learn about how natural selection in the natural world results in plants and animals evolving adaptations to outwit, outplay, and outlast. Using fun and competitive outdoor games we will create scenarios in which kids will work in groups to act out and come up with solutions to beat the elements together. It’s a nature-based version of the popular reality TV show “Survivor” that will be a hit with your child(ren).
Nature’s Calling Eco-Explorer Summer Day Camps
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in July and August.
Our unique outdoor summer day camps emphasize experiential inquiry-based learning. Campers spend most of their time outside, observing nature up close using tools like binoculars, magnifying lenses and insect nets. Science concepts are introduced in a fun environment, with crafts, games and hands-on activities. Weekly nature themes drive the ecology focus of the camp, and are used as a catalyst for children to learn & experience the world around them. As the week goes on and children become more familiar with the staff and the facility, the activities shift into child-directed play and learning with the focus on creating a meaningful individual experience for each child and our groups as a whole.
WEEK 1: July 3rd – July 5th
Tuesday July 3rd
Let’s Make Forest Friends – Woodland Animals & Habitats
Become a friend… of the forest, of animals, and of other campers! To kick off our first day of camp, campers will get the chance to seek out the different animals, or “forest friends” that will be living among us all summer long. Children will learn to identify these animals and the habitats that they live in by immersing themselves in the forest… one leaf, bug, or pile of dirt at a time! Children will also get to create their own forest name and identity to share with campers as they engage in various games, activities and crafts to foster friendships with each other and our natural space. Campers can bring their favourite stuffed animal friend with them for this camp day.
Wednesday July 4th
Tadpoles to Frogs; Caterpillars to Butterflies – Investigating Life Cycles
Just like us, animals are constantly undergoing change! For some species, such as frogs and butterflies, these changes are considered truly mesmerizing phenomenon! On this day of camp, children will peek into the world of frogs and butterflies as they play games, make crafts, take hikes, face paint and sing songs that teach about their life cycles. As our campers are happiest with a bug jar and net in hand, they will get to hunt for caterpillars and butterflies, using field guides to identify their findings. This day of camp is perfect for any child wishing to learn more about animals’ fascinating life changes.
Thursday July 5th
Campfire Craze – The Element of Fire
There is something so comforting about gathering with friends and family around the warmth, crackle, and light of a campfire … as well as the delicious toasty marshmallows that go along with it! Campers will learn the importance of safety measures and practices around fire, fire lighting skills, fire building techniques, as well as the importance of fire for basic survival. Campers will set out on an adventure collecting the types of materials needed for a fire, and will work together to build a campfire. After the hard work is over, smiles will be shared, stories will be told, and of course … treats will be eaten!
WEEK 2: July 10th – 12th
Tuesday July 10th
Eco-Artists – Eco-Friendly Outdoor Art
A day full of creating, painting, and sculpting … with an eco-friendly twist! Campers will learn hands-on about the importance of recycling and re-purposing everyday items to reduce waste, using art as their platform! Campers will tap into their creative side to make beautiful pieces of art from recycled and natural materials, such as pop bottles, toilet paper rolls, newspapers, sticks, leaves, etc. and will get to take their masterpieces home as handmade treasures. As this is a crafty day, campers are asked to bring appropriate clothing or a painting smock/apron.
Wednesday July 11th
Children of the Wild – Wilderness Survival
Calling all wild ones! On today’s day of camp, campers will explore the basics of wilderness survival – food & water, shelter, fire, and way-finding. With a visit from an expert survivalist, campers will be engaged in various activities where they will learn what they can do to survive in the wild, all whilst having fun at the same time! Children will participate in outdoor survival games, learn how to tell time with a sun-dial, make an acorn whistle to signal for help, build a safe shelter, and treat an injury using nature only. After learning these important skills, campfire treats will be enjoyed!
Thursday July 12th
Animal Olympics – Survival of the Fittest
“Survival of the fittest” is a 19th century theory of evolution by Darwin that described the mechanism of natural selection. On today’s day of camp, children will learn about natural selection, and how animals have adaptations to outwit, outplay and outlast in the wild. We will then host our own “Animal Olympics”! Friendly Olympic-style competitions between groups will take place, ending with a finale for the ultimate survival contest! Campers will participate in team-building games, relay races, scavenger hunts and Olympic-style sports with a hint of nature! All participants will be awarded with tasty treat for their efforts following the games. This is a dress-up day: campers will be asked to dress in a specific color to represent their team.
WEEK 3: July 17th – 19th
Tuesday July 17th
Marvellous “Minibeasts” – A Bug Safari
It’s no doubt that kids love bugs! Crickets, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, and centipedes are a few common examples of the many types of “minibeasts” that crawl upon our Earth. There is no better time to spot these “minibeasts” than on a warm summer day, so let’s turn over every leaf, stump and branch on a wild bug hunt to find these creepy crawlies! Campers will get active and engaged in a day full of bug-themed activities, games, crafts, and snacks as they explore and learn about the mini world existing around them.
Wednesday July 18th
Finding Your Green Thumb – Going Green by Gardening
Due to issues such as air pollution and over flowing landfills, we have realized the importance of “going green”! Campers will learn what we mean by “going green”, and the simple things they can do to protect our Earth. Campers will spend this day “finding their green thumb” as they make and plant seed balls, plant their favourite flowers and veggies to take home and grow, and participate in decorating their own flower pots. They will also learn about the importance of planting native species only, and how they can plant their own pollinator gardens at home! Campers are encouraged to bring their own garden gloves if they wish for this camp day.
Thursday July 19th
Builders, Diggers, and Crafty Critters – Nature’s Engineers
Calling all creative masterminds! What do beavers, birds, spiders, and humans all have in common? They love to build! Nature is one of the best teachers when it comes to architecture and design, and campers will use nature as an inspiration to design and engineer dams, build natural shelters, construct a human-size birds nest, and express themselves using nature’s bounty. Our engineer campers will design and build structures using simple tools and their imaginations. Campers will also get to design and engineer their own stick rafts, which we will test to see if they float, and race in water! Let the inventions begin!
WEEK 4: July 24th – 26th
Tuesday July 24th
Nature Detectives – Mysteries, Maps and Riddles
Do you have a knack for exploring, investigating, and deciphering? During this day of camp, children will transform into nature detectives and embark on a critical mission where they must solve secret puzzles in nature. Campers will get to read maps, follow clues, solve riddles, and make discoveries with friends while unraveling the many mysteries of our natural world! Campers will use tools such as magnifying glasses, field guides, maps and binoculars to investigate the strange in nature, learning not only how things happen, but more importantly why they happen during experimentation, outdoor inquiry, and play.
Wednesday July 25th
Amazing Animals – Animals and their Coolest Traits
What is your favourite animal? Is it a smooth spring peeper, a happy cottontail rabbit, or a mysterious bald eagle? Whatever the case, animals sure are amazing! During this day of camp, children will get to live “in the shoes” of some of Norfolk’s finest fauna while learning about their coolest traits. Campers will partake in an animal rely race, explore the forest for signs of animals, play games, and create animal crafts and snacks. If we are lucky, we might even get a peek into the lives of some of these amazing wild animals! This is a dress up day and children can come to camp dressed up as their favourite animal.
Thursday July 26th
There’s no Waste in Nature – Worms & Composting
What has no teeth, but can eat almost one and a half times their own weight in one day? Let’s learn about nature’s decomposers – worms! Discover these tricky, little, slimy creatures, and how they can fool you! Campers will explore how there is no waste in nature, as worms were created to be the perfect recyclers and underground farmers to help the green grass grow all around. Children will participate in songs, stories about worms and their lifestyles, worm hunts and explorations, build their own worm farm, learn how to compost, and eat treats all from the goodness of worms!
WEEK 5: July 31st – August 2nd
Tuesday July 31st
Eco-Warriors – Caring for Mother Earth
Nature’s Callings’ campers are no ordinary campers. They are eco-warriors – lovers and protectors of our dearest Mother Earth! Why does Mother Earth need love and care, and why does she need protection? Today, campers will discover the answers to these questions, and will be engaged in games and stewardship activities that involve caring for the Earth! We will take a nature walk, feed the birds, read stories, and construct nature creations. This is a dress up day and campers are encouraged to dress up as their favourite super hero, or in their own eco-warrior costume. This way, we can use our super powers to make a positive difference!
Wednesday August 1st
Let’s Wing It – Birds, Bats, and Creatures that Fly
Join us as we have a flappin’ great time learning about all the creatures that fly, soar, and zoom in the sky! From birds and bugs to bats and squirrels, if it is up in the air we will explore it. We will discover the many wonderful birds that call southern Ontario their home – owls, crows, hawks, and several songbirds. Campers will create feathery works of art and flap around the trails searching high and low for our flying friends. We will build nests, guard our eggs, and share secret bird calls. We will discover winged creatures around every corner as we imitate bird calls and see who answers back. Pay attention – the birds have a lot to tell us about the forest! Come and learn their secrets! This is a dress up day and children may come dressed as their favourite flying crusader.
Thursday August 2nd
A Watery World – Lakes & Oceans
Earth is made up of 70% water; no wonder it is called the “blue planet”! We all depend on water to survive, and our camp site located right along Lake Erie is the perfect place for children to observe and learn about our watery world. Campers will discover all there is to know about Norfolk’s “great” lake – What feeds it? Where does it go? Who lives there? And most importantly, how can we help to preserve this local treasure? From lakes to oceans, discover how all creatures are connected through water – including you! Campers should come prepared to participate in water games, so be sure to bring clothes and a towel suitable for getting wet.
WEEK 6: August 7th – August 9th
Tuesday August 7th
Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales of the Forest – Outdoor Imagination
Magic, mystery, and adventure awaits in the forest! Upon arrival to camp, children will enter a fantasy world where their imaginations will lead the way. Foraging, creating nature legends and tales, making magical concoctions, acting out dramas and puppetry, as well as building fairy houses are just some of the activities children will participate in on this day at camp. Every child deserves the chance to live his or her own “once upon a time…”, and this day camp is the perfect place for it!
Wednesday August 8th
Nature’s Pantry – Natural Foods, Spa Products & Remedies
Nature is a busy kitchen, full of everything from edible foods, ingredients, products and remedies that we use every day. This includes fragrances, healing salves, exfoliates, teas, and essential oils. Campers will learn about the benefits that various products from nature’s own garden of life have for humans, and how to use them properly. This camp is perfect for children who love to create, as they will get the chance to work with various plants, berries, and herbs to make a collection of teas, soaps, balms and homemade spa treatments! Campers will also get to take part in nature yoga, mindful meditation, and guided imagery to start and end the day feeling completely relaxed!
Thursday August 9th
Tree-Huggers Unite – All About Terrific Trees
Norfolk County is southern Ontario’s forest capital – with a large diversity of tree species. Campers will spend the day playing games amongst the trees, identifying common tree species, and taking a forest-trail hike. Children will be introduced to coniferous and deciduous trees, and will learn to identify them at our camp. Just like us, every tree has a story, and campers will get the chance to investigate the rings of various trees to learn about its life story. Children will learn why trees are so extremely important on Earth, and give their gratitude to trees through crafts and songs. Yes, we are tree-huggers, and yes, we are proud of it!
WEEK 7: August 14th – 16th
Tuesday August 14th
Nature’s Palette – Outdoor Arts & Crafts
Calling all artists (no experience necessary)! Nature has inspired talented artists since the beginning of mankind. Come train your eyes, minds and hands as we pair together nature and the arts. Campers will get their creative juices flowing as they draw inspiration from nature to create beautiful pieces of artwork across multiple modes. Natural materials such as wood, clay, leaves, sticks, and nuts, in addition to paint, twine, and beads will be used to design masterpieces, such as nature wind-chimes, photo frames, garden decorations, ornaments, or anything else a child can think of! At the end of the day, we will hold an art show for campers to display their artwork to each other and parents. As this is a day for crafting and creative exploration, please dress appropriately or bring a painting smock/apron.
Wednesday August 15th
National Honey Bee Day – Protecting Powerful Pollinators
It’s National Honey Bee Day this weekend – a day dedicated to honoring honey bees and the beekeeping industry! Not only do honey bees provide us with delicious sweet honey (which campers will get a taste of!), but honey bees are important for all life on Earth as they are pollinators. Powerful pollinators such as bees and butterflies are critical for producing the food we need to survive! Your camper will explore and discover the world of bees and other pollinators as they play games, take hikes, and make crafts (such as beeswax candles!). Campers will also help identify ways that we can help protect these powerful pollinators in our everyday life.
Thursday August 16th
Lakeside Living – Nautical Activities & Water Play
Summer can be HOT! And what better way to cool down on a hot summer day than playing with water! Today, our favourite camp games and activities will be made even more fun with the addition of water. Children will make masterpieces in mud kitchens, play tag with water balloons, hide and seek with water shooters, partake in nautical crafts such as beach glass art work and water color paintings, and stay hydrated with homemade sun tea. Campers will also get a taste of luxurious lakeside living with a lovely picnic lunch overlooking Lake Erie. Be prepared to get wet and go home happy! Campers are asked to pack appropriate clothes and shoes that can get wet, and a towel.
WEEK 8: August 21st – 23rd
Tuesday August 21st
The Fantastic Five – Animals Sensational Senses
Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste – we use our five senses every single day to live. And guess what, animals do the same! Through various games and activities, campers will discover how different animals rely on specific senses to move, to eat, and to avoid being eaten. Children will learn how to put on their “deer ears” to avoid predators, their “eagle eyes” to catch prey, and their “black bear nose” to sniff out the competition from miles away! On a nature hike, campers will tune in to their five senses separately and discover just how critical our senses are for survival – especially in the wild!
Wednesday August 22nd
Hooray for Herptiles – Reptiles & Amphibians
If it has scales, a shell, or slithers, it will be fair game as your camper is immersed in all things reptile and amphibian! Through nature exploration, games, and crafts, campers will leave no stone unturned learning about our cold-blooded friends – their cool traits, personalities, and why we need to protect them. Campers will get to view and feel replica models of our local reptiles and amphibians, learning various fun facts about them throughout the day. Shhhh … if we are quiet, we might even get to see some of these species in real-life on a nature hike as they bask in the sun, search for food, or slither and crawl around our camp site.
Thursday August 23rd
Hoo’s Hunting Who? – Predators & Prey
Predators are truly fascinating animals, from their sharp teeth and piercing eyes, to their long claws – they are magnificent! Campers will discover the impressive features and adaptations of several top predators in North America. Learn how animals stalk their prey, play games that encourage quiet invisibility, and think like a bird of prey as you spend the day sneaking and trying to be unseen. Join us as we learn about these and many other predators including some surprisingly small predators like the ladybug and praying mantis.
WEEK 9: August 28th – 30th
Tuesday August 28th
Can You Camouflage? – Nature’s Hide & Seek
What child doesn’t love to play hide and seek? Did you know that animals must play hide and seek in order to survive? They must hide from predators to avoid being eaten, and sneak up on prey to catch their food! During this day of camp, children will discover through games and activities how different animals use camouflage to hide and seek. We will go on a scavenger hunt to find camouflaged animals, create and hide our own treasures for others to find, practice our camouflage skills by playing Hawk Eye, and make camouflaged animal masks. This is a dress up day, and children can come to camp dressed in their favourite camouflage!
Wednesday August 29th
No Backbone About It – Spineless Creatures
Snails and slugs, worms and spiders, centipedes and pill bugs … what do they all have in common? They have no backbone! Campers will spend the day turning over every log they can find, scouring the forest for these well-adapted, spineless creatures. Campers will play games, make crafts and snacks that show the difference between these critters, and will make temporary habitats for them that match the ones they find!
Thursday August 30th
A Celebration of Nature – Nature Carnival & Parade
As camp comes to a close for another year, we celebrate all of the wonderful things nature has shown us this summer season. During the last day of camp, campers will get to re-live some of their favourite camp games and activities from the summer. Children will develop their own unique way to express gratitude to nature for all that it offers us: clean air and water, food, an abundance of amazing animals and plants, loads of beauty and many fun memories! Campers will craft spirit animal masks and partake in a spirit parade/hike to say goodbye to our space. Friendly smiles, laughs, and goodbyes will be shared over a campfire and picnic lunch, equipped with tasty fruit (thanks to our trusty pollinators), hot dogs, and marshmallows! Thanks for celebrating nature with us this summer!
Photo by Leanne Gauthier-Helmer
Nature’s Calling Environmental Education is an incorporated not-for-profit and charitable organization. Our mission is to connect youth and families with nature and the outdoors, to raise awareness and appreciation for our natural world, and to foster a strong environmental ethic through community-based education and engagement. Charitable number is 833705304RR0001.