We are hiring! Summer Camp Coordinator and Summer Camp Leaders

Spend a summer immersed in nature on the shorelines of the inspiring Cowichan Estuary located in Cowichan Bay, BC.

Science & Nature Summer Camp Coordinator

Nature shows us that life is balance, and this role of the Summer Camp Coordinator is perfect for the natural sciences enthusiast who also has a keen eye for detail, organization and creative program development, and has a heart of play and curiosity. When that smile of delight or awe of discovery flashes across the face of a camper, it is the Camp Coordinator who gets to relish in the satisfaction of a well thought out activity or program. We have one 16 week position ready for a youth (age 15-30) to hone their knowledge and offer their skills of event planning, facilitation, and leadership while enhancing their knowledge of child and youth development, nature interpretation, wildlife conservation, environmental sciences and habitat restoration.

Read more…detailed job description and application process

Science and Nature Summer Camp Leader (Two positions available)

Summer break is special, and the next best thing to being a summer camp attendee is being a summer camp leader. Envision your days immersed in nature, play and discovery. Gather your love and knowledge of the sea and science and build on your skills of sharing, facilitating and children development. We have two 10 week positions ready for 2 youth (age 15-30) keen to take their appreciation for the natural world and awareness of how to lead and support others to the next level.

Detailed job description and application process

Eric Marshall Wins Island Savings Award

We are delighted to recognize long-time Nature Centre Volunteer Eric Marshall who was selected as an Outstanding Volunteer to receive the Island Savings #SimpleGenerosity Award.

“Eric’s contributions to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre and the community in general are significant.” says Nature Centre Coordinator Haley Guest. “He generously gives his time as a volunteer nature interpreter, works with our school programs, and also works on the Operations Committee. I’ve learned so much from Eric and am grateful for his wisdom and commitment to our little Nature Centre!”

Eric received $1500 to give to a charity of his choice – and we are grateful that he kindly donated the funds to the Nature Centre.

Eric Marshall and Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Coordinator Haley Guest. Eric kindly donated the $1500 to the Nature Centre.

#SimpleGenerosity was a year-long campaign of Island Savings and other divisions of First West Credit Union as part of an effort to celebrate the Canadians who make communities great by recognizing local volunteers, non-profit organizations and charities that are making meaningful contributions in our communities.

In 2017, they recognized 52 outstanding volunteers or volunteer teams – one individual or group every week from communities throughout British Columbia. They believe that every act of kindness and every volunteer hour make our communities strong and vibrant.

The Nature Centre’s New Coordinator

We are pleased to welcome Haley Guest as the Estuary Nature Centre’s new Coordinator. Over the next ten months Haley will be taking a lead role in coordinating our Eco-Action Project: Adapting to Climate Change: Community Workshops and Volunteer Restoration Action Days in and around the estuary.  She’s keen to get to know our community partners in this work and to support and grow our volunteers who are the backbone of the Centre. She’s now our go-to person if you are interested in volunteering or otherwise supporting the Nature Centre’s work. haley@cowichanestuary.ca

Haley has a solid background in environmental education, including a degree in Environmental Science and Ecology from Dalhousie University. She is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads. Haley comes to us with years of volunteer and event coordination experience, and a passion to contribute to community resilience. For the past four years she has worked at Dalhousie leading an ocean literacy research project and coordinating the development of the innovative education program ‘Ocean School’, while also working as the Marine Conservation Biology Lab Manager.

Haley is keen to dive into the climate adaptation project saying, “The shoreline and eelgrass restoration work really interests me; I believe that time spent restoring natural spaces can empower people to feel a sense of agency and a greater connection with their human and non-human communities – building both ecological and community resilience.”

Welcome aboard Haley!

Summer science camp


Our popular five-day marine biology science summer day camps introduce your children to the birds and animals of the estuary. We’ll explore the beach, clam beds, eelgrass mudflats, and Hecate Park. Campers will use scopes on the observation tower, beach seines, plankton tows, shovels and buckets to find out who lives here. The region’s only sea creature touch tank and a salmon aquarium are accessible in our facility along with microscope stations, multimedia presentations, giant maps and an ecology library. There will also be other fun age-appropriate hands-on science activities, games, hikes, and crafts.

We are again excited to offer a  four-day Marine Biology Leadership Camp for youth aged 12-18 who are interested in leadership in the marine biology and/or child and youth care field. Participants will learn how to identify the plants and animals of the estuary and the bay and about their life histories. They will learn how to engage younger children in activities and games around the topics of eelgrass beds, intertidal mudflats, and the surrounding shore and sky of Cowichan Bay.  Once youth complete the four-day leadership training, they may apply to volunteer with one or more summer camps and earn our Estuary Leader Certificate.

All Camps run from 9 am to 3:30 pm

Schedule for 2017 Marine Biology Summer Camps:

July 4-7 Teen Leadership Camp, Ages 12 to 18 yrs
July 10-14 Children Ages 8 to 11
July 17-21 Children Ages 5 to 7
July 24-28 Children Ages 8 to 11
July 31-Aug 4 Children ages 5 to 7
Aug 7-11 Civic Holiday Monday – no camp – Centre open to the public
Aug 14-18 Children Ages 8 to 11
Aug 21-25 Children ages 5 to 7


Camp fees are $215 per child for a total of five days (or the four-day leadership camp, which also covers the cost of first-aid certification). Single Day Attendance: $40 per day per child, and only if the camp is not fully booked. Please register by phone or in-person for single days. Sponsorship may be available to eligible children from the Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society.


All Camps run from 9 am to 3:30 pm.  You may drop off your child between 8:45 am and 9 am.

As our camp leaders are busy setting up for the day, we cannot offer early drop off or late pick up. Parents will be charged late fees for not adhering to drop of and pick up times.

All camp participants must to be able to eat, dress and toilet independently.  For children with special needs, contact camps@cowichanestuary.ca to discuss possible accommodations.

How to Register

Registration is a two-step process:

  1.  Click here to select a camp, sign up, and make payment. Payment can be through a credit card on Eventbrite or cash/cheque dropped off at the Cowichan Land Trust office.
  2. Download and complete the required registration information and return by at least 2 weeks prior to camp start:
    – in person or mail to the Cowichan Land Trust at #5-55 Station Street, Duncan BC, V9L 1M2

IMPORTANT: Your registration is not considered complete until we have received the medical information and waiver forms. Payment and forms must be received at least 2 weeks prior to camp start date or your registration will be forfeited.

Questions?  Contact camps@cowichanestuary.ca. 250 746 0227,

or in July and August 250-597-2288