Nature Ninjas: Urban Camping in Stanley Park
Explore the wilds of Stanley Park by day, sleep under the stars at night. Under the leadership of skilled educators, students spend two days exploring forest, wetland and intertidal ecosystems and learn survival skills. They set up tents and cook meals on camp stoves. An evening hike to Beaver lake is always exciting, where students often encounter beavers, bats and owls.
Visualize: your class playing games, singing songs and having fun in nature
Experience: the science curriculum coming alive
Witness: young people developing life skills and building strong bonds with the natural world
For grades 4-7, Nature Ninjas overnight field trip adventure starts on Tuesdays and Thursday in April, May and June.
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What are Nature Ninjas, you ask? Nature Ninjas:
- Learn to read the book of nature through animal tracks and signs, listen to the language of birds, understand how plants contribute to survival and recognize interconnections between all species
- Honour their bodies with healthy food, physical exercise and mental cunning
- Move through the environment with wisdom and stealth, leaving the world better than they found it
City dwelling students can have a transformative opportunity to connect deeply with the natural world, and experience the life science curriculum come to life. Stanley Park Ecology Society has a unique arrangement with the Vancouver Park Board which allows us to offer the only educational overnight camping program in the city of Vancouver for elementary school students.
The program structure is modeled after Urban Camping which saw over 5000 students camp in Stanley Park since 1992. With refreshed program content, you can expect students explore, sing songs, play games and have fun while learning!
Nature Ninjas is easy for teachers
Included in the program are tents, sleeping pads, cooking equipment, dishes and most meals. Students supply sleeping bags, personal items and lunch for the first day.
Our educators and program volunteers are highly skilled and take strong leadership of the program, allowing teachers the unique opportunity to observe and enjoy.
Vancouver students can easily take the number 19 transit bus to the meeting location. We’ve even had a class walk over from the North Shore!
Students will help cook and clean up camp style meals.
If your students are hesitant to camp out, our skilled educators can come to your classroom in February with a tent, photos, props and stories to answer any questions and set their minds at ease.
Nature Ninjas is Highly Educational
Program content is aligned with the BC science, social studies and physical education curriculum.
We now have available pre-program activities to help prepare students for their experience and connect their learnings to the curriculum. Available for download here.
Nature Ninjas is safe
Stanley Park Ecology Society has been operating an overnight program, Urban Camping, safely since 1992.
Our highly skilled educators have first aid training, have clear criminal records and carry cell phones at all times.
Students camp in Mystery Meadow, a secluded campsite surrounded by tall cedars and salmonberries, with a babbling creek running nearby. The site is within a large fenced enclosure (invisible from the road for a real nature feel), and is monitored by a professional security guard at night.
In the event of inclement weather, a large indoor space with washrooms is available for group use.
Nature Ninjas is affordable
The program fee is $60 per student, with a minimum of 25 students and a maximum of 30. For classes with fewer than 25 students, a $1500 minimum fee will apply.
- A teacher and up to 3 adult chaperones are free of charge.
Please contact us about possible subsidies for Vancouver inner city schools.
Nature Ninjas is FUN!
Now, more than ever, we need nature as a balancing agent. We tend to block off many of our senses when we’re staring at a screen. Nature time can literally bring us to our senses.
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods
Going on an overnight school field trip is often one of the highlights of the year for elementary school students. Students will go home with powerful memories, knowledge, skills and a new relationship to nature that will carry forward into their daily lives.