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Outdoor education

Find camps that specialize in the great outdoors listed below

Outdoor education is a key component of any healthy childhood. Experts from Richard Louv to David Suzuki have praised the value of spending time in natural environments and learning both in and about the natural world. The sheer variety of learning experiences out of doors makes it an exciting opportunity that is all too new and strange to too many children. Even for students who are mainly academically inclined, time outdoors is an ideal way to get perspective on studies and other learning.

Outdoor education camps will likely include activities like rock climbing, canoeing, rope games and courses and games for groups. It can also imply environmental education and experience with nature. Any summer camp – whether day or overnight - will almost certainly provide a rich focus on outdoor education, although certain summer camps may offer a variety of focuses that delve deeply into spheres of outdoor learning. Some examples of (with links to) types of camps are as follows:

  • Zoo camps or animal camps offer children firsthand experience with zoo animals, ideal for children curious about pursuing studies in relevant areas or for any child who simply loves animals.
  • Horse camps permit young men and women to interact closely with horses, learning essentials of horseback riding and even some other equestrian tricks and skills.
  • Adventure camps entail excursions deep into the woods, often over several nights or even weeks, where older teens gain firsthand experience in survival techniques, extensive hiking and canoeing and likely encounters with wildlife. This is immensely rewarding, intense learning about the real outdoors.
  • Numerous types of camps spend a lot of time outdoors offering deep training and education in a variety of activities such as golf, soccer, baseball, sailing and many other outdoor activities.

Outdoor learning and education is one of the major benefits of any summer camp, especially overnight camps, but this term can also apply to learning outside the classroom as practiced in some schools. Outdoor education at a March break camp provides an ideal counterpoint to life in school, with structured learning that helps keep young minds limber.

Read blog posts about outdoor living.

Outdoor education certainly teaches children about issues such as climate change and helps to combat nature deficit disorder. The following presents a list of camps that emphasize outdoor living as part of their activities of curriculum.


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List of outdoor education camps and programs

Camps that specialize in outdoor education
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   Special Needs Support: Light    Specialized
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  • YMCA Cedar Glen
    Give your child an experience they will never forget! YMCA Cedar Glen is an outdoor day camp just north of Toronto in King Township. Located on 263 acres, all programs are supervised by highly trained YMCA staff.

    King

    Traditional (multi activity)
    Offers outdoor education sessions.
    • Ages 4 to 16
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $210/session
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 210 4-16 0 King
    Camps offering outdoor education as an activity
    FEATURED CAMP    |
       Special Needs Support: Light    Specialized
  • Name
  • Cost
  • Relevance
  • Kandalore
    Kandalore is the finest traditional summer camp in Canada, providing the best of both canoe tripping and in-camp activities.

    Minden

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 16
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $2,250/2 weeks
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 2250 6-16 0 Minden
    YMCA Summer Day Camps
    YMCA Summer Day Camps offer 36 camps across the GTA. With over 48 camp programs, we are sure to have a program that meets the interests of your child! Busing & extended hours are available at many of our camp locations!

    Toronto Islands, Toronto; Oshawa; New Toronto, Toronto

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 16
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $210/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 210 4-16 1 Toronto Islands, Toronto, Oshawa, New Toronto, Toronto
    The Taylor Statten Camps
    Traditional summer camps with a balance of canoe tripping and in-camp programming. Activities include horseback riding, rock climbing, swimming, pottery and archery. Canoe trips range in length from 2 to 50 days.

    Algonquin Park

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 16
    • Girls, Boys
    • Overnight Camp
    from $750/session
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Girls, Boys 750 6-16 2 Algonquin Park
    Willowgrove Day Camp
    Located on a private 100 acre farm property that includes a forest, pond, clean running creek, sports fields, play grounds, in-ground swimming pools, wall climbing gym, animal barn and more.

    Whitchurch - Stouffville

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 3.5 to 15
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $292/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 292 3.5-15 3 Whitchurch - Stouffville
    YMCA Wanakita Family Camps
    YMCA Wanakita Family Camp offers similar activities and experiences to traditional overnight camps, but you can do it as a family! Participate in activities as a family or send the kids off for supervised programs.

    Haliburton Highlands

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 1 to 99
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $387/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 387 1-99 4 Haliburton Highlands
    Doe Lake
    Various summer, winter, and March Break camp programs offered for girls and their families.

    Doe Lake

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 17
    • Girls
    • Overnight Camp
    from $250/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Girls 250 5-17 5 Doe Lake
    JOY BIBLE CAMP
    An overnight summer camp with youth & family camp sessions. Summer sessions offer unique programs & activities including swimming, high ropes, canoeing, crafts & more. Lives changed forever through Jesus Christ.

    Bancroft

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 7 to 18
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $480/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 480 7-18 6 Bancroft
    Magical Horses Summer Camp for Kids & Teens
    A small low ratio horse camp, set on a farm in the Ottawa Valley that will nurture your child’s interests. With a natural and holistic approach we can be flexible to your child’s special requirements and personality.

    Eganville

    Sport: Horseback Riding/Equestrian
    • Ages 9 to 14
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $990/session
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 990 9-14 7 Eganville
    Meadowlarke Stables Sport and Farm Camp
    Our kids love spending time with the farm animals, riding horses and playing team sports. Including soccer, basketball and volleyball. Enjoy nature walks on our 173 acre farm. Have fun playing games and arts and crafts.

    Mississauga; Erin

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 7 to 14
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $199/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 199 7-14 8 Mississauga, Erin
    Camp Wanapitei
    Overnight wilderness canoe-tripping camp based in Northern Ontario, paddling Ontario, Quebec and the Territories. A strong tripping program is complemented by caring staff, community focus and a diverse in-camp program.

    Temagami

    Adventure: Wilderness Out-tripping
    • Ages 7 to 18
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $725/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 725 7-18 9 Temagami
    Camp Selah
    A Christian summer camp on Pigeon Lake. Two one week sessions in August. Activities include swimming, canoeing, survival lessons, archery and many more. Children to Staff Ratio is 2:1. Only $349/week.

    Lakefield

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 7 to 14
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $349/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 349 7-14 10 Lakefield
    HUMBER ARBORETUM NATURE CAMPS
    A nature-focused exploration and adventure camp set within a beautiful urban green space. This hands-on camp helps children foster an appreciation for the the many wonders of the natural world.

    Rexdale, Toronto

    Science: Environment
    • Ages 5 to 12
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $225/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 225 5-12 11 Rexdale, Toronto
    YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka
    A variety of values based camp programs offered through our day, family, leadership and overnight camps throughout the Simcoe Muskoka region

    Orillia; Midland; Barrie

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 17
    • Coed
    • Day & Overnight Camp
    from $175/week
    sessions & dates
    Day & Overnight Camp Coed 175 6-17 12 Orillia, Midland, Barrie
    Oxford Learning High Park
    Oxford means a personalized learning experience for your child. Brain Camps explore creative themes through engaging activities and field trips. Tutoring takes a fun turn. Our students are excited to learn!

    Bloor West Village, Toronto

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 10
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $300/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 300 4-10 13 Bloor West Village, Toronto
    Camp Wenonah
    An overnight Summer Camp in beautiful Muskoka, with activities ranging from archery to sailing to tennis, along with leadership focus and more.

    Bracebridge

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 5 to 17
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $740/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 740 5-17 14 Bracebridge
    Bytown Brigantine Tall Ships Adventure
    Haul the line, set the sails, take the helm & climb aloft! Come for the adventure or work toward crew certification: sail, swim, play games, & options for summer school credit, kayaking or scuba

    Ottawa; Brockville; Kingston

    Adventure (multi)
    • Ages 12 to 19
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $605/session
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 605 12-19 15 Ottawa, Brockville, Kingston
    Kids of Canada Summer Camps
    WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. We offer 4 Day Camps in Richmond Hill & an Overnight Camp near Haliburton. Choose traditional multi-activity or specialized Sports, Dance, Hockey & CIT Programs.

    Thornhill; Haliburton Highlands

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 16
    • Coed
    • Day & Overnight Camp
    from $800/week
    sessions & dates
    Day & Overnight Camp Coed 800 4-16 16 Thornhill, Haliburton Highlands
    City of Pickering Camps & Programs
    Summer day camps with choices to meet every childs interest and every parents expectation!

    Pickering

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 3 to 15
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    Cost Varies
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 0 3-15 17 Pickering
    Black Creek Pioneer Village Day Camp
    An educational day camp for children 8 to 15. Kids get to experience life in the 1860s while playing games and learning new skills.

    Downsview, Toronto

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 8 to 15
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $200/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 200 8-15 18 Downsview, Toronto
    Camp Can-Aqua
    An overnight summer camp experience where future leaders come to thrive. 160 acres and a private lake are simply the starting point to this amazing camp experience. With 170 campers per session, no child goes unnoticed!

    Northern Kawartha Lakes

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 6 to 16
    • Coed
    • Overnight Camp
    from $835/week
    sessions & dates
    Overnight Camp Coed 835 6-16 19 Northern Kawartha Lakes
    Harbourfront Centre Camps
    Since 1979, Harbourfront Centre Camps has provided a a unique setting in which learning and fun intersect. Our campers gain life skills through meaningful participation and in all facets of arts and contemporary culture.

    Harbourfront, Toronto

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 4 to 16
    • Coed
    • Day Camp
    from $188/week
    sessions & dates
    Day Camp Coed 188 4-16 20 Harbourfront, Toronto
    Haliburton Hockey Haven
    Lead by NHL player Troy Binnie, this hockey camp offers kids daily ice-time with some traditional camp fun. Just north of Toronto.

    Haliburton; Haliburton Highlands

    Traditional (multi activity)
    • Ages 8 to 14
    • Coed
    • Day & Overnight Camp
    from $350/week
    sessions & dates
    Day & Overnight Camp Coed 350 8-14 21 Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands

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