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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Skip Navigation LinksLake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority > Full Program List & Descriptions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Complete List of Outdoor Education Programs​

The Amazing Ra​​​​ce​​​

Grades: 9​, 10, 12
Seasons: all ​
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Explore Scanlon Creek using a map and compass to find 21 stations across the property. Along the way, roadblocks and detours present a variety of challenges teams must overcome to be successful. There are two versions of The Amazing Race to choose from: Focus on Forestry or Teambuilding Challenge.​  

Aquatic Adventures

Grades: 2, 4, 6
Seasons: fall and spring
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Discover the diversity of life found in Scanlon Creek. Using long-handled dip nets and identification sheets, groups will work to identify invertebrates that are collected. A discussion of animal characteristics, adaptations and life cycles will give a greater understanding of these fascinating critters and their habitats.

Arctic Winter Games

Grades: 2, 4, 6
Seasons: winter

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Take an adventure north to explore parts of traditional Inuit culture and animals that live in the Arctic.  Become immersed in a variety of traditional Arctic winter games created by the Inuit and Dene peoples. Discussions will include how the cold northern climate has affected the lives of the people and animals who live there.

​Beat of the Forest​​

Grades: K,1
Seasons: all​

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Explore the sights, sounds, plants and animals of Scanlon Creek through the magic of music! Through play-based learning, a sense of rhythm will be developed on an exploratory "beat hike" across the property. The basics of drumming, rhythm, pattern, numeracy, and problem-solving skills are incorporated into a final drumming circle activity.

Clima​te Escape

Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10
Seasons: all
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Learn about the carbon cycle, the greenhouse effect and climate change from global and local perspectives. This new learning will then be tested as teams participate in a Climate Escape game which challenges them to work together to navigate around the Scanlon Creek property and solve various puzzles to reveal the “solution” to climate change.

​Find-a-Bug Orienteering

Grades: K, 1, 2, 3
Seasons: all 
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Investigate insect models to learn about the physical characteristics of these cool critters! Then using newly learned mapping skills such as recognizing symbols, using a legend, estimating distances, keeping a map oriented, using landmarks, and problem-solving, groups will navigate to find the “hidden” insects around Scanlon Creek.

Friends of the Forest

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Grades: 1, 2
Seasons: all

Explore the forest of Scanlon Creek on this interactive hike to learn how the plants and animals that live here survive through different seasons. A greater appreciation for all the forest friends and how human interactions can affect them will be gained through a variety of activities and structured nature exploration.​ 

Getting the Dirt on Soil

Grade: 3
Seasons: fall and spring
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It's time to get your hands dirty! Become a scientist conducting experiments in the "soils laboratory" and an explorer in the field collecting soil samples in several locations across the Scanlon Creek property.

Habitats & Communities

Grades: 4
Seasons: all
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Learn about the different adaptations that plant and animal species have developed to survive while exploring the Scanlon Creek property.  The relationship of different organisms within a food chain will be studied using field guides and technology. Local species-at-risk and invasive species will be discussed and identified, along with their impacts on habitats. A final culminating game of web of life will keep your group moving and engaged as they assume the roles of herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores and exchange energy and try to survive!

Images in the Park

Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12​
Seasons: all
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Nature has inspired famous works of art for centuries by providing beautiful textures, colours, and shapes. Dabble in the principles of art and elements of design by taking nature-inspired photographs or create ephemeral art using natural, found objects and document your masterpiece with our digital cameras. Photos will be shared electronically after the visit.

Introduction to GPS

Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Seasons: all
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Explore the exciting sport of "geocaching" using handheld units to connect to and navigate with the Global Positioning System of orbiting satellites.  After learning how GPS technology works and how to use a GPS device, groups will test their new skills by inputting coordinates for a series of waypoints hidden throughout Scanlon Creek and use their GPS units to find and record these locations. After successful completion of the course, they will have the opportunity to find one of Scanlon Creek’s hidden geocaches. 


Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Season: winter (subject to snow conditions)
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Discover a new way to enjoy a winter day while keeping active and warm outside. Kicksleds can be described as a chair on runners that is powered by the driver like a scooter. It’s a fun way to exercise and enjoy the many trails within the Scanlon Creek property. A quick stop during the program to feed chickadees will ensure this is a memory making experience.

Know the Gnomes of Scanlon Creek

Grades: K
Seasons: all
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Join the make-believe world of Gnomes living at Scanlon Creek, to connect with the different habitats located on the property. Under the pretense of a general hike to learn about the forest, a secret map will be “discovered” that has been left behind by the Scanlon Creek Gnomes. The map will guide stops at different locations in the forest to learn about Gnome food, housing, games, ​music, and treasures. This will also offer a creative means to learn about the lives, food, and homes of other living things at Scanlon Creek, and connect to the beauty and magic found in nature itself.   

Loose Parts Play

Grades: K, 1, 2
Seasons: spring and fall 
kindergarten iconHealth and Physical Education iconThe arts icon ​

Come for an unstructured journey, full of excitement, curiosity, imagination, and wonder. Using natural materials of all sorts, groups will play and guide themselves through stations that focus on art, music, math, literacy, physical education, and inquiry. Watch them wonder and be amazed!   This program takes place at Scanlon Creek’s Discovery Play Garden, the home base for our Forest School program.


Grad​es: 5, 6, 7
Seasons: all
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Learn what to do when lost using the STOP method. Then, working in groups, shelters will be constructed to contain heat and cope with the elements. A lesson in fire building will lead into groups working together to start their own fires in a controlled setting. Emphasis is placed on group problem solving and cooperation skills. ​​​​​

Math Trails

Grades: 3
Seasons: spring and fall
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Uncover math in the wondrous natural world around us through a combination of a scavenger hunt, forest exploration hike and team challenge that is designed to engage math learners at all stages. Being creative and working together to solve problems is the key to these challenges rather than getting the correct answer. This program takes place at Scanlon Creek’s Discovery Play Garden, the home base for our Forest School program.

Nature Scavenger Hunt​

​Grad​es: K, 1
​Seasons: spring and fall ​

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This exciting scavenger hunt uses a map, legend, and compass to find secret locations aro​und Scanlon Creek. At each location a nature-related challenge is completed to earn a puzzle piece. The challenges guide explorations of the local birds, plants, animals, and seasonal changes. Once all the puzzle pieces have been collected, a secret message is revealed that will help unlock a final prize.​


Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Seasons: all
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Develop spatial sense and map reading skills in our fun, competitive orienteering courses.  Learn the skills necessary to read and interpret a variety of maps, including symbol recognition, estimation, map orientation and problem-solving. A progression of grade-appropriate orienteering courses, ranging from schoolyard level to large scale, allows groups to navigate around the Scanlon Creek property to seek out and find a variety of orienteering markers.

Runners of the Woods

Grades: 5, 6, 7
Seasons: all
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Discover what life was like for the Coureurs de Bois and Voyageurs, in a role-playing game that brings history to life. As "runners of the woods", groups will navigate through uncharted wilderness to different First Nation villages, where they will barter and trade European goods for pelts and furs while also gaining a better appreciation and understanding of Indigenous history. Map reading skills are developed and used and the roles that fur traders and First Nations played in shaping our country are examined.​​​​


Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Seasons: winter
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Snowshoeing is an incredibly fun and active way to get outside during winter. A brief history of snowshoes and their importance to many people around the world, past and present, will be explored, before heading out on a hike to explore the wonders of winter found within the Scanlon Creek property. A quick stop during the program to feed chickadees will ensure this is a memory making experience.

Teambuilding 101
Grades: 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 
Season: all
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Develop effective group relationships by working together to accomplish various activities and challenges. Emphasis is placed on listening, problem-solving, communication and cooperation skills to successfully accomplish each task. Group dynamics and character development are also key features that help build a positive learning community.

Tech for Nature

Grades: 6, 7, 9, 11
Length: half day
Seasons: all
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​Who says you can’t incorporate technology and the great outdoors? Use of traditional field guides will be introduced along with apps such as iNaturalist and Seek. Groups will use these tools to practice their plant and animal identification skills in various habitats while gaining a better understanding of biodiversity, species-at-risk, invasive species, human impacts, and the dynamic balance of interactions in the environment.  Students will also contribute important data to various community science programs and leave with a greater appreciation of the natural world. 

This program is proudly supported by the RBC Foundation​.​

Treasure Hunt

Grades: 2
Season: all
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There be treasure here!  After learning about the Scanlon Creek pirate legend, groups will work to finish a partial pirate map. Following written clues and using their newly acquired map reading skills, groups will attempt to track down a key that will open the mysterious treasure chest, hidden long ago with incredible riches. Basic map reading skills are explored including how to use a legend, recognize symbols, estimate distances, keep a map oriented, and follow compass directions. 

Water Quality Indicators

Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Seasons: fall, spring
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The health of an aquatic ecosystem can be determined by the presence, absence and abundance of different types of benthic macroinvertebrates and certain chemicals.  Samples of water will be collected from Scanlon Creek to perform both physical and biological tests. By referring to a benthic chart and chemical result sheet, the water quality of Scanlon Creek will be assessed. In doing so, a better understanding will be gained of the current threats and impacts to the Lake Simcoe watershed, including invasive species and climate change.

Weeds, Seeds & Wildflowers

Grade: 3
Seasons: fall and spring
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An investigative hike will explore the needs of plants and how these most vital elements of our global ecosystem live and survive in their own habitats. ​Programs booked in April, May or June will highlight a myriad of wildflowers that thrive at Scanlon Creek, while those booked in September, October or November will take a closer look at how plants produce and distribute their seeds, and what happens to them over the winter.