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University of Washington Botanic Gardens

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Washington Park Arboretum
Center for Urban Horticulture

Summer Programs

Please call 206-685-8033 to register for Grade School Camps with 2 or less spots available.

15% discount available to current UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members by phone. To receive the discount you must register by phone. Online registrations are not eligible for the discount and we cannot provide retroactive discounts for online registrations. Please have your AF member number ready.

Email uwbgeduc@uw.edu to be put on the waitlist for full camps.

Step outside this summer.

looking
            close up

Summer camp at the Washington Park Arboretum is bounding into its fifth 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.

 

Downloadable PDF forms for 2015 PreK and Grade School Camps

Completed forms can be returned to us a number of ways:
•    By Mail - UW, Box 358010, ATTN. UWBG Education, Seattle WA 98195-8010
•    By Fax -  fax to 206-616-2871
•    Drop Off – deliver to the to the front desk at the Graham Visitors Center. Please mark the envelope with ATTN: UWBG Education
•    By Email – send to uwbgeduc@uw.edu. If you choose this option, please bring your signed originals with you on the first day of camp for our records.

 

Fiddleheads Camp for 4-5 year olds ----------- Summer Camp for 1st-6th Graders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Fiddleheads Pre-K Camp-SOLD OUT

Fiddleheads PreK Camp is SOLD OUT for 2015. We will be starting a short waitlist. Please email uwbgeduc@uw.edu with your name, phone number, and child's age and gender 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 and 5
Max. 12-14 campers per week
WHAT:  Environmental Education Summer Day Camp 
WHEN: June 22 – August 28; Mon – Fri; 9am – 1pm
WHERE: Washington Park Arboretum; pick-up & drop-off at the Education Greenhouse
HOW MUCH:  $190 per week (Except Week 2 - June 30-July 2, $152, no camp July 3)
15% discount available to current UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members by phone. To receive the discount you must register by phone. Online registrations are not eligible for the discount and we cannot provide retroactive discounts for online registrations. Please have your AF member number ready.

About Field Groups and Staff

Each camper will be part of a small field group of 12 or 14 children. The camps will be led by an experienced outdoor early childhood educator. In addition, the lead teacher will be supported by an assistant, and a volunteer or intern for a minimum teacher to child ratio of 1:7. 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 guide? We are hiring! Preschool Camp Garden Guide and Preschool Camp Assistant and After-Camp Specialistpositions are open.

 

Week 1: June 22 –26 (Full)& Week 6: July 27-31(Full)

Great Growing Green Things: The Magnificent World of Plants

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

Week 2: June 29 – July 2 (no camp July 3) (Full) & Week 7: August 3-7 (Full)

Wild and Wonderful Wetlands: Invertebrates

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

Week 3: July 6-10 (Full)& Week 8: August 10-14(Full)

Super Senses!

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

 

Week 4: July 13-17 (Full) & Week 9: August 17-21 (Full)
Wild and Wonderful Wetlands: Vertebrates

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

Week 5: July 20-24 (Full)& Week 10: August 24-28 (Full)
Out Among the Thickets

 

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

 

2015 Summer Camp for 1st-6th Graders

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

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

WHO:  Children entering 1st – 6th grade (ages 6 – 12)
Max. 48 campers per week
WHAT:  Environmental Education Summer Day Camp 
WHEN: June 22 – August 28; Mon – Fri; 9am – 3pm
WHERE: Washington Park Arboretum; pick-up & drop-off at the Education Greenhouse
HOW MUCH: $260 per week (Except Week 2 - June 30-July 2, $208, no camp July 3)
15% discount available to current UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members by phone. To receive the discount you must register by phone. Online registrations are not eligible for the discount and we cannot provide retroactive discounts for online registrations. Please have your AF member number ready.

*Extended Camp*
Early Drop-off: 8:45am; Cost: none, no registration necessary
After Camp:  3pm - 5pm; Cost:  $80  (Except Week 2, June 30-July 2, $64)

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. 

Interested in becoming a guide? We are hiring! Summer Garden Guidepositions are open.

 

Week 1: June 22 – 26 & Week 6: July 27 - 31

1st – 3rd Grade: Woodland Wonders (1 spot left in the June 22 week, July 27th Full)
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 (June 22 Full)
“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: June 29 - July 2 (no camp July 3) AND Week 7: August 3 – 7

1st – 3rd Grade: Don't Bug Out (Both Weeks Full)
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: Bug Safari
There are more invertebrates on the planet than any other type of living thing; they swim, fly, crawl, make a slime trail to glide on, suck blood, eat poop and do a lot of other wonderful and terrible things!  In your time hiking in the woods, meadows and wetlands of the Arboretum, you will use magnifiers, nets, microscopes and other tools to study, identify and learn about these amazing organisms and how they help the world function.  Oh yes, and of course, there will be game playing!

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

Week 3: July 6 – 10 & Week 8: August 10 – 14

1st – 3rd Grade: Arboretum Detectives (Both Weeks full)
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 4: July 13 – 17 & Week 9: August 17 – 21

1st – 3rd Grade: Tadpoles & Whirligigs (Both Weeks Full)
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 Wildlife Rangers (Both Weeks Full)
The living things in a wetland can be microscopic or over 3 feet tall with a giant frog piercing beak!  Using tools to see above and below the water, you will get a chance to find, identify and study macro-invertebrates (arthropods big enough to see with the naked eye), birds like king-fishers and great blue herons, and big ole bullfrogs.  While doing all of this, through games, activities and discovery, you will get to know how the wetland itself helps keep the wildlife, and us, living healthy.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

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            of student looking at a pond critter in her hand

Week 5: July 20 – 24& Week 10: August 24 - 28

1st – 3rd Grade: Bird is the Word! (2 spots left in the July 20th week, August 24th week full)
Birds have so much to say – you just have to know how to listen and watch.  We’ll translate bird calls through games and role playing.  Different parts of the bird have a lot to say too; beaks, eyes, feathers and feet can tell us what kinds of food a particular bird eats and how they get it.  You will use binoculars to find, study, and identify our resident and migratory birds while hiking through the woodlands and wetlands of our amazing Arboretum.

4th – 6th Grade: Avian Adventures (August 24th Camp Full)
This week isn’t just all about birds, it’s about what the birds can teach us about our surroundings. Why do birds migrate?  How do birds fit into a food chain or a food web?  Why do birds act the way they do?   You will discover the answers to these questions and more when you go hiking throughout the Arboretum using binoculars and your keen senses.  Hone your Eagle eyes to spy the sparrow.  Learn why the Junco chips or how the Great Blue Heron hunts or why raptors have tools other birds don’t.

ONLINE REGISTRATION for Summer Camp

 

photo of
            kid with tiny carrot

 

Summer Camp Policies

Cancellation Policy:
For cancellation at least 14 days prior to camp, a full refund minus a processing fee of $40 per cancelled camp program and $10 per cancelled extended camp program will be provided. For cancellation less than two weeks prior to camp, or non-completion of camp, no refund will be provided.

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 aftercare 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 increases 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:
Monday, 08-Jun-2015 14:47:00 PDT