Like all of you, we are uncertain what the near-term and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be to our community and our programs. We are watching this situation closely and will make updates to our summer camp as appropriate. We are currently planning on running summer camp as we normally would and the usual refund policy is in place. We are also preparing for the worst; the coronavirus pandemic could cause us to close part or all of camp.

In the event that UW Botanic Gardens cancels a camp, we will notify registered participant families and offer you a choice of a transfer to a later camp in 2020, if available, full credit towards a summer camp 2021, or full refund.

We are self-sustaining entity within UW and rely entirely on tuition and donations to operate. The majority of your registration fee, now as always, goes to staff wages for both camp planning and preparation and for program hours. We are striving to maintain these salaries despite the closure and appreciate the concern several of you have expressed for them. If you would like to help and are able, here is some guidance on how you can do that.

Consider making a donation to UW Botanic Gardens Youth and Family programs to help us offer additional scholarship help to families facing financial hardship this summer and to help us support our staff in these uncertain times.

Step outside this summer with summer camp at the Washington Park Arboretum!

Join us for a week (or more!) of fun and educational adventures in our 230 acre outdoor classroom located in the heart of Seattle.


2020 Registration Open!

Alder Camp: 4-5 year olds (Preschool)

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 keep learning for the rest of our lives. Through songs, stories, and exploration, Alder Campers will create and play while learning to approach the world as a scientist.

Alder Camp (Preschool) Details

Fir Camp: 6-8 year olds (1st-3rd grades)

Make new friends and explore the outdoors with UW Botanic Gardens! Our Fir Camp is designed to promote environmental conservation through education and recreation, while having a ton of fun. Camp activities 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.

Fir Camp (6-8 year olds) Details

Cedar Camp: 9-12 year olds (4th-6th grades)

Cedar Campers are our oldest grade school summer campers. The Cedar Camp experience offers youth an opportunity to practice independence and take on more responsibility all while building connections to place and the natural world. Games, activities, explorations, and projects empower Cedar Campers to discover their inner naturalist and take advantage of all the Arboretum has to offer.

Cedar Camp (9-12 year olds) Details

Hemlock Camp: 13-14 year olds (Middle school)

Hemlock camp is an exciting opportunity for curious 13 and 14 year olds who like asking questions, trying new things, problem solving, and working together. Through explorations of ourselves, our relationships to others, and our relationship to place, we will reflect on the intersection of community and environment. The Hemlock journey will allow campers to strike out as their own unit, not only to all corners of the Washington Park Arboretum, but also to other UW Botanic Garden locations such as the Union Bay Natural Area, the UW Farm, and the Seattle Japanese Garden. Let wonder and heart lead the way in this unique camp experience.

Hemlock Camp (13-14 year olds) Details 

Junior Naturalists: 15-18 year olds

Junior Naturalists are teens volunteering with the Arboretum Summer Camp. We’re looking for teens that are enthusiastic with working with kids, playing outside, and gaining leadership skills. Junior Naturalists will be paired with a Summer Naturalist and assist them in their responsibilities for a group of 12 campers. Jr. Naturalists will have the opportunity to lead games and activities with the guidance of their Naturalist. This position is designed to provide experience and skills in teaching and working with children, expand environmental knowledge, and develop leadership skills.

Junior Naturalists (15-18 years old) Details 

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