The story of Scugog Nature School begins with Camp Scugog nearly 100 years ago. Camp Scugog opened in 1931 with a goal of helping children, youth, and mothers affected by poverty access the outdoors and have an opportunity to experience summer camp. Over the years, Camp Scugog has connected countless families with nature, with many campers returning year after year before eventually becoming staff themselves. Camp Scugog has operated under the leadership of Dana Leahey for over 40 years. It’s been a dream of Dana’s to transform our beautiful site into a year-round facility.
In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the perfect opportunity arose to help bring this dream to fruition. Thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Camp Scugog was able to take steps to become a year-round facility by installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in the main Dining Hall and to hire staff to open what we now know as Scugog Nature School.
Scugog Nature School opened in September 2021, with the goal of continuing Camp Scugog’s mission to help children experience the outdoors. Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Foundation provided further funding to make this happen, particularly to support families from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) communities to attend our programs. Children attending SNS spend their days playing, learning, exploring, and growing, all while expanding their knowledge of themselves and the world around them.
As Camp Scugog and Scugog Nature School are working towards the same goal, revenue generated from SNS fees are used to support summer camp programming. Our hope is to continue to build a community of “Nature Protectors,” following Camp and SNS’s shared values of Community, Stewardship, Growth, Play, and Respect.