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University of Washington Botanic Gardens

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Washington Park Arboretum
Center for Urban Horticulture

Summer Programs

Step outside this summer.

looking
            close up

Summer camp at the Washington Park Arboretum is bounding into its fourth year with more weeks offered and new programs. Come join us for a week (or more!) of fun and educational adventures in our 230 acre outdoor classroom located in the heart of Seattle.  Our day-camp curriculums are designed in support of our mission:  to promote environmental conservation through education and recreation.  To achieve this we focus on hands-on exploration, play and experiential learning.  Depending on the weekly theme, campers may become ethnobotanists, artists, urban farmers or field biologists all while learning about the importance of teamwork and sustainability.   

 

 

Fiddleheads Camp for 4-6 year olds ----------- Summer Camp for 1st-6th Graders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiddleheads Camp

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

At age 4 and 5 the world is full of possibilities. During these years, wonder and excitement is the driving force behind each day. The experiences we have during early childhood are what propel our desire to continue learning for the rest of our lives. Through songs, stories, and exploration, campers will get to experience the limitless opportunity offered by 230 acres of classroom space that grow and change with each passing day. Here at the arboretum, children get to lead their own educational process; fostering creativity, independence, and joy while learning to approach the world a scientist.

WHO:  Preschoolers age 4, 5 & 6 year olds entering kindergarten
Max. 10-12 campers per week
WHAT:  Environmental Education Summer Day Camp 
WHEN:  July 7 – August 8; Mon – Fri; 9am – 1pm
WHERE:  Washington Park Arboretum; pick-up & drop-off at the Forest Grove
HOW MUCH:  $175 per week
(15% discount available to UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members - call to register)

About Field Groups and Staff

Each camper will be part of a small field group of 10 or 12 children. The camps will be lead by Kit Harrington, a Director and Lead Teacher at our Fiddleheads Forest School. In addition, Kit will be supported by an assistant for a minimum teacher to child ratio of 1:6. Our education team members are all well-trained and experienced environmental educators chosen for their expertise and commitment to improving the world by facilitating meaningful learning experiences in nature. In addition to their dedication, our Summer Garden Guides are CPR and first aid certified.

Interested in becoming a Summer Garden Guide? We are hiring! We are also seeking high school students for our volunteer Junior Garden Guide positions.

July 7-11
Great Growing Green Things: The Magnificent World of Plants

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

Do you know that some bamboo plants can grow up to 35 inches in a day? Or that most flowers have patterns of lines that act as airstrips for insects? A tomato plant will even use chemicals to call on wasp defenders when a caterpillar starts to munch on it. Plants are truly masters of their realm, and there is an astounding diversity of plant life here at the arboretum to learn about. During this week, children will learn the parts of plants and how they grow, but more importantly, they’ll marvel at the incredible things plants do to adapt and survive.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

July 14-18

Wild and Wonderful Wetlands: Invertebrates

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

In summer, wetlands burgeon with life. Dragonflies scour the air, and dragonfly nymphs patrol the water. These fearsome predators make up just one of the many species we’ll encounter during this wetland week. With a focus on invertebrates, children will learn about the many wonderful creatures that live above and below the surface of the water. Pond dipping will let us get up close and personal with a magical underwater world, while the discovery of butterfly eggs will provide fodder for the world’s tiniest egg hunt. Hands-on learning and concrete science activities foster awe and appreciation of the tiny creatures that form the underpinnings of the food chain. Join us for a week of learning, laughter, and exploration among the sights and sounds of Lake Washington Wetlands.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

July 21-25
Super Senses!

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

There are so many marvelous things out there in our wide world, and we rely on our senses in order to experience them. At age 4 and 5, children’s brains are beginning to absolutely explode with perceptual possibilities. During this week at camp, we will learn why each of our senses is important. We’ll forage for sweet tasting berries, learn to listen for birdcalls, use our noses to sniff out our surroundings, and begin to develop the basic observational skills that will allow us to approach the world as a scientist. Children can look forward to exciting experiments and creative crafts that will help them to reflect on what they’ve learned each day.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

July 28 – August 1 (10 kids)
Wild and Wonderful Wetlands: Vertebrates

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

Wetlands are a wildlife hub, and here at the arboretum children have the opportunity to engage with a stunning amount of diversity on the shores of Lake Washington. This week, we’ll focus on vertebrates, searching for those backboned creatures that make the wetlands their home. On our way we may encounter minnows, chorus frogs, spotted salamanders, painted turtles, red-winged blackbirds, and perhaps even a beaver or two. We’ll submerge ourselves in the sensory experiences the wetlands have to offer, and gain an appreciation for the incredible wealth of wildlife it supports while we’re at it.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

August 4-8
Out Among the Thickets

This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.

The forest is a place filled with wonders. The many different ecosystems here at the arboretum are the perfect backdrop against which children can discover the unknown and explore the uncharted. We’ll spend the week adventuring and exploring, learning how to take advantage of everything the outdoors have to offer. We’ll head out on fairy-tale hikes that develop our observational skills, work as a team building tree-nests and forts, lie in the grass to imagine life as an ant, and experience the joy of cloud-watching. Children will develop story-telling and investigative skills while engaging in dramatic play and exploration. Summer is ours for the taking, and we’ll enjoy as much as each and every minute has to offer. ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Summer Camp for 1st-6th Graders

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

For more information, e-mail uwbgeduc@u.washington.edu or call (206) 685-8033

WHO:  1st – 6th graders (ages 6 – 12)
Max. 48 campers per week
WHAT:  Environmental Education Summer Day Camp 
WHEN:  June 30 – August 22; Mon – Fri; 9am – 3pm
WHERE:  Washington Park Arboretum; pick-up & drop-off at the Graham Visitors Center
HOW MUCH:  $250 per week (except week 1)
(15% discount available to UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members - call to register)

*Extended Camp*
Early Drop-off: 8:45am; Cost: none, no registration necessary
After Camp:  3pm - 5pm; Cost:  $80  

photo of
            students birding

About Field Groups and Staff

Each camper will be part of a small field group based on age for their week at camp.  Each group will be led by an experienced environmental educator and a Jr. Summer Camp Guide creating a counselor to camper ratio of 1:6.  Our education team members are all well-trained and experienced environmental educators chosen for their expertise and commitment to improving the world by facilitating meaningful learning experiences in nature.  In addition to their dedication, our Summer Garden Guides are CPR and first aid certified. 

We are seeking high school students for our volunteer Junior Garden Guide positions.

 

Week 1: June 30 1 - July 3 (no camp July 4)

HOW MUCH: $200 (15% discount available to UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members)

*Extended Camp*
After Camp:  3pm - 5pm; Cost:  $64

1st – 3rd Grade: Woodland Wonders
Through inspirational stories, game playing, crafts and hands-on activities, our woodland campers will expand their nature awareness. Going on berry hunts, finding out what plants can heal us, learning our native trees, acting out and telling native plant stories, and fort building will grab at our natural curiosity, hone our natural intelligence, and help us feel at home in the woods.  

4th – 6th Grade: Northwest Naturalists - This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 to be put on the waitlist.
“Living off the land” is a phrase that describes how people have survived throughout much of human history. Even today, we still depend on what the Earth provides but it can be hard to see that connection with modern inventions like grocery stores and restaurants. During this week of camp, we will learn how to use our environment to obtain the things we need. From edible and medicinal plants, to basket weaving and fire-making, campers will come to view the forest through new eyes.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Week 2: July 7 - 11

1st – 3rd Grade: Arboretum Detectives - Call for availability: 206-685-8033
Nature is full of mystery just waiting to be explored. Join us for this fun and exciting week of camp and bring along all of your powers of observation: your eyes to see with, your ears to hear with, your nose to smell with, your hands to touch with, and your mouth to taste with. If you like exploring the back yard, poking at animal scat or peering through binoculars and magnifiers, you will love this week. Each day will be dedicated to learning about and looking for a different taxa group: bugs, birds, mammals, mushrooms, reptiles and amphibians. This week is like one big scavenger hunt! 

4th – 6th Grade: Arboretum Explorers
Discoveries are made by those who seek them out. New species of plants and animals are still being discovered today, even in the Washington Park Arboretum. During this week –long scavenger hunt, you will learn skills and techniques used by explorers and scientists as we comb our 230 acre outdoor classroom for any and all signs of life. Campers will have the opportunity to learn from and talk to scientists who will share his or her profession with us through workshops and activities. Daily scavenger hunts will provide ample opportunities for campers to adventure through all the nooks and crannies of the Arboretum as well as gain a sense of place in a fun, hands-on way.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Week 3: July 14 - 18

1st – 3rd Grade: Don't Bug Out - This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 to be put on the waitlist.
Turn over logs, flip over rocks, dig in the mulch, investigate the compost pile, run through the meadow with nets and dip nets into the ponds – this is a short list of some of the ways we’ll look for the diversity of insects and bugs living at the arboretum. We will build our very own insects, explore bug habitats and learn about the wealth of ways insects and bugs are beneficial to our lives.  

4th – 6th Grade: Intrepid Invertebrates
Explore the amazing adaptations of invertebrates and create your ideal insect from your favorite adaptations. From land to water we’ll explore the farthest reaches of the UW Botanic Gardens in search of a diversity of invertebrates. We’ll explore the role insects play in our lives as well as what we can do to support their habitat.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Week 4: July 21 - 25

1st – 3rd Grade: Tadpoles & Whirligigs - This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 to be put on the waitlist.
Seattle dries out in the summer time, but all plants and animals (including us) need water to survive – some more than others. During this week of camp we’ll explore our ponds, streams and wetlands in search of animals that make their homes here: tadpoles & whirligigs for sure, fish, waterfowl, beavers, birds of prey, turtles and more!

4th – 6th Grade: Wetland Rangers
Our site is unique among botanic gardens in that our property includes a diverse wetland. Our wetlands have always been a valuable part of the Lake Washington ecosystem, and during this week of camp we’ll get down and dirty to learn about all the valuable services they provide. Be prepared to build boats, study the wetland ecology, conduct water-related science experiments, go bird watching and play water games.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

photo
            of student looking at a pond critter in her hand

Week 5: July 28 - August 1

1st – 3rd Grade: Weeds, Seeds & Lunch- Call for availability: 206-685-8033
Our vegetable garden may be small, but so are you!  We need your help to tame the weeds and plant some seeds to grow into our lunch.  During this week of camp we’ll become farmers, chefs, scarecrows and earthworms as we grow delicious food to fill our bellies. This week will culminate in a feast and art show for campers and their families.

4th – 6th Grade: Art in the Park
Artists have always found inspiration for their works in nature.  During this week of camp, we’ll do the same while exploring various artistic styles, techniques and mediums.  From sculpture to paper making, performance art to painting this week is designed for the designer.   Our wetlands, forests, meadows, ponds and trails abound with natural beauty. Campers will play, discover and inquire at the intersection of creativity and nature, the culmination of which will be an art show to share with families.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

 

Week 6: August 4 - 8

1st – 3rd Grade: Woodland Wonders
Through inspirational stories, game playing, crafts and hands-on activities, our woodland campers will expand their nature awareness. Going on berry hunts, finding out what plants can heal us, learning our native trees, acting out and telling native plant stories, and fort building will grab at our natural curiosity, hone our natural intelligence, and help us feel at home in the woods.  

4th – 6th Grade: Northwest Naturalists
“Living off the land” is a phrase that describes how people have survived throughout much of human history. Even today, we still depend on what the Earth provides but it can be hard to see that connection with modern inventions like grocery stores and restaurants. During this week of camp, we will learn how to use our environment to obtain the things we need. From edible and medicinal plants, to basket weaving and fire-making, campers will come to view the forest through new eyes.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Week 7: August 11 - 15

1st – 3rd Grade: Arboretum Detectives
Nature is full of mystery just waiting to be explored. Join us for this fun and exciting week of camp and bring along all of your powers of observation: your eyes to see with, your ears to hear with, your nose to smell with, your hands to touch with, and your mouth to taste with. If you like exploring the back yard, poking at animal scat or peering through binoculars and magnifiers, you will love this week. Each day will be dedicated to learning about and looking for a different taxa group: bugs, birds, mammals, mushrooms, reptiles and amphibians. This week is like one big scavenger hunt! 

4th – 6th Grade: Arboretum Explorers
Discoveries are made by those who seek them out. New species of plants and animals are still being discovered today, even in the Washington Park Arboretum. During this week –long scavenger hunt, you will learn skills and techniques used by explorers and scientists as we comb our 230 acre outdoor classroom for any and all signs of life. Campers will have the opportunity to learn from and talk to scientists who will share his or her profession with us through workshops and activities. Daily scavenger hunts will provide ample opportunities for campers to adventure through all the nooks and crannies of the Arboretum as well as gain a sense of place in a fun, hands-on way.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

photo of
            kid with tiny carrotWeek 8: August 18 - 22

1st – 3rd Grade: Weeds, Seeds & Lunch This camp is FULL. Call 206-685-8033 or email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist.
Our vegetable garden may be small, but so are you!  We need your help to tame the weeds and plant some seeds to grow into our lunch.  During this week of camp we’ll become farmers, chefs, scarecrows and earthworms as we grow delicious food to fill our bellies. This week will culminate in a feast and art show for campers and their families.

4th – 6th Grade: Art in the Park
Artists have always found inspiration for their works in nature.  During this week of camp, we’ll do the same while exploring various artistic styles, techniques and mediums.  From sculpture to paper making, performance art to painting this week is designed for the designer.   Our wetlands, forests, meadows, ponds and trails abound with natural beauty. Campers will play, discover and inquire at the intersection of creativity and nature, the culmination of which will be an art show to share with families.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Summer Camp Policies

Cancellation Policy:
For cancellation at least thirty days prior to camp, a full refund minus a processing fee of $40 per cancelled camp program will be provided. For cancellation two weeks prior to camp, a 50% refund of all fees will be provided. For cancellation less than two weeks prior to camp, or non-completion of camp, no refund will be provided. If we can fill the spot you are vacating then we will only charge the $40 processing fee and waive the cancellation policy.

Late Pick-Up Policy:
If you are more than 10 minutes late to pick up your child at the end of camp (after 3pm) then we will enroll your child in aftercare until you arrive. The cost for one day of after care is $16 and you can pay by cash, check or credit card upon pick up.

After Care Late Fees:
If you are late to pick up your child from aftercare we will charge you $1 for every minute after 5pm. Starting at 5:15pm the rate jumps to $3/minute. You can pay by cash, check or credit card upon pick up.

 

Explorer Packs

Explorer packs are also available in summer for self-directed learning perfect for small groups.

Last modified:
Friday, 04-Apr-2014 13:59:29 PDT