VanDusen Nature Camps

VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and sell out quickly. Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts gives children the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of VanDusen Botanical Garden, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent almost entirely outdoors with access to indoor and covered spaces available in extreme weather.

Our outdoor camps create a unique learning experience tailored for children ages 5-10. Please note that all campers must be at least 5 years old and  have completed or currently be attending kindergarten.

Weekend Nature Club

Weekend Nature Club Fees:

VBGA Members $36.00 per day
Non-Members $40 per day

Weekend Nature Club programs take place from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm on Saturdays at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Attendees are required to be at least 5 years of age on the date of the program and have completed or currently be attending kindergarten.

  • +October 29: Hoots and Howls

    Date: Saturday, October 29th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    For those who like feathered friends and sly foxes – this camp is for you! From ravens and crows to owls and coyotes, campers will play spooky games and uncover what the Garden has in store for Halloween – all ghouls and goblins are welcome to wear camp and weather-appropriate costumes!

    Register now!

     

  • +November 12: Happy Harvest

    Date: Saturday, November 12th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Enjoy this bite-sized take on our popular “Dirt to Dinner” camp, where campers will discover where the life cycles of their favourite foods begin and end. Play food-themed games and take home a harvest craft after learning about pollination, decomposition, and everything in between.

    Register now!

  • +December 10: Sensational Snowflakes

    Date: Saturday, December 10th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Winter is on it’s way to VanDusen – whether snow has fallen or not, campers will explore the science behind crystals, ice, and snowflakes, create a winter-themed nature craft, and find out how the Garden’s plants and animals adapt and prepare for the cold months.

    Register now!

Pro-D Camps

Pro-D Camp Fees:

VBGA Members $61.20 per day
Non-Members $68 per day

Pro-D Camps at VanDusen Botanical Garden take place entirely outdoors and require children attending to be at least 5 years of age on the date of the program and have completed or currently be attending kindergarten.

  • +September 23: Seasons and Seeds SOLD OUT

    Date: Friday, September 23rd
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Experience the wonders of VanDusen Botanical Garden as summer turns to autumn and the leaves begin to change. Campers will uncover why some plants persist year-to-year and why some start fresh each spring, before exploring how different seeds travel and have adapted to grow into thriving plants! At the end of the day, take home a tiny seed friend to experiment with the right conditions to watch it succeed.

    Sold out

    Join the waitlist

  • +October 21: Food Web Frenzy SOLD OUT

    Date: Friday, October 21st
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Have you ever heard the phrase “everything is connected”? Campers will learn about some species that rely on each other to survive in the Garden, and which ones cause a little bit of trouble. Go on a scavenger hunt for native species in the Garden, or test your luck at a game of Urban Wildlife Bingo – do you know which animals call VanDusen home?

    SOLD OUT

    Join the waitlist!

  • +November 25: Dirt Detectives SOLD OUT

    Date: Friday, November 25th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Discover the tiny world under our feet – decomposers, detritivores, and micro-organisms oh my! Campers will learn about the difference between dirt and soil, and how no two handfuls of earth are exactly the same.  End the day by indulging in a tasty “dirt” treat as you dig into how soil is made by earth’s processes.

    SOLD OUT

    Join the waitlist!

Covid-19 Adaptations

Our adapted Camp Programs have been running safely since June 2020 with protocols and structures to ensure we follow guidelines and recommendations from the BCCDC, Vancouver Coastal Health, WorkSafeBC, and the BC Ministry of Health. Our camps are informed by an extensive COVID-19 Safety Plan that is updated seasonally.

  • +Adaptations
    • Masks are no longer mandatory in all indoor public spaces in alignment with updates to the public health orders issued by the Provincial government. You are welcome to keep wearing masks, depending on your level of comfort.
    • Masks are mandatory for all staff and volunteers working directly with youth.
    • All VBGA staff are double-vaccinated.
    • Camp planning ensures that games, crafts, and activities can all be done outdoors as Camps take place almost entirely outdoors as it is the safest place to be; this means campers will be asked to carry backpacks for up to 10 minutes at a time.
    • Increased emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing; reduction of shared materials.
    • Increased cleaning and sanitation in camp spaces and of camp materials in accordance with the VGBA’s COVID-19 Health, Safety and Sanitation Policy.
    • Campers will have access to outdoor porta-potties and handwashing stations to decrease use of shared indoor washrooms (still available but limited).
    • We are unable to provide 1-on-1 support for participants at this time due to the current program format – please contact us for more information.

    Please consider these changes when determining if our programs are the right fit for your child. 

  • +Covid-19: Proof of Vaccination

    Children under 12 years old do not require proof of vaccination to attend camps, but accompanying parents or guardians in families that have returned to Canada from international travel in the last 14 days must provide proof of double-vaccination.

  • +Cancellation Policy

    If you would like to cancel your registration, please provide a written request at least three weeks (21 days) in advance of the start of the program(s) to nfriedmann@vandusen.org. If we receive the request with the required notice and are able to fill the spot, we will provide a refund minus a $15 administrative fee. If we receive the request with the required notice and are unable to fill the spot, we will provide an equivalent credit to be used in future programs, valid for 365 days.

    No refunds or credits (either complete or partial) will be issued for the following:

    • Requests made with less than three weeks’ (21 days’) notice.
    • Requests made over the phone, by voicemail, or in person.
    • Expulsion due to disruptive/unsafe behaviour or similar.
    • Absence from a program due to illness or COVID-19 symptoms, family matters, injury, travel, or similar.
    • Individual COVID-19 regulations, as mandated by the Federal and Provincial governments

    As per current government orders, unvaccinated, partially-vaccinated, and fully-vaccinated children that have returned from international travel within 14 days of attending camps ARE permitted to attend camps as long as all accompanying adults are able to provide proof of at least double-vaccination status upon arrival at Gate 2. If the adults that recently returned from international travel are unable to provide proof of this vaccination status, the child/children will not be permitted into the child-care space for 14 days, and the account holder that registered the child/children will not be eligible for a refund or credit based on time missed.

    Program cancellation by the VBGA due to Public Health Restrictions will result in education program credit equivalent to the value lost.

Camp Bursaries

The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association is pleased to provide bursaries for families in financial need.

  • +Applications

    The VBGA’s mission is to connect people with plants and we believe all children should have the opportunity to experience nature-based camps regardless of family circumstance or income.

    Apply for a bursary here or contact nfriedmann@vandusen.org or 604-257-8443 for more information.

Here's what parents have to say about our camps!

“Excellent protocols, best of  any camp of school we attended.”

“This summer it was wonderful for him to have time to socialize  and play with other kids – he has some good social distance games he can now share with friends.”

“This camp has ignited a spark – that it’s cool to be interested in nature, and all that’s in it.”

“My child gained an appreciation for plants, nature, and relationships humans have with nature.”

“The leaders were enthusiastic, professional and caring, and got to know my child really quickly.”


Contact Us

For camp-related inquiries, please contact Natasha Friedmann (Camp Coordinator) at nfriedmann@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8443.