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Reptile Bootcamp

The most intensive reptile-focused field training available in Ontario, Turtle Bootcamp is part of the Saving Turtles at Risk Today (S.T.A.R.T.) Project. Participation is mandatory for staff, but volunteers or staff of other organisations are welcome. Training includes:


  • Identification of native reptile and amphibian species

  • Turtle measurement, marking methods, blood sampling

  • Survey methods, capture, handling techniques

  • Gear selection, paddling skills, digital data entry

  • Outreach skills, industry connections, risk management

Participants should be physically fit, able to swim in cold water, tolerant of extreme environmental conditions, and ready for a challenge! Time will be split between field sites, preparatory exercises, and the classroom.

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The Reptile Bootcamp training program is 14 days, including evenings and weekends. You must complete all training activities to pass the course. Extended Turtle Bootcamp includes both the Core portion as well as an additional 3rd week. This 3rd week includes participation in other projects across southwestern Ontario, with a greater focus on snakes and amphibiansrs. 



Free accommodations are available in an 8 person dorm-style room, with single, double and quad rooms available for a cost. Bedding and some storage space will be provided. You may choose to live off site, but be aware that hours will often exceed a regular workday.  


All participants living onsite pay a fee for meals, which everyone helps to prepare. Due to time constraints and limited storage space, we are unable to allow individual cooking (note some exceptions may apply). You may bring snacks if you wish; some snack items will also be provided onsite and for field activities. If you have allergies or food preferences, please let us know.

Program Costs

Due to the time and resources that go into running Turtle Bootcamp, there is a fee associated with the program for non-staff participants. This fee can be offset in exchange for volunteering during the field season. Typically, a week of free training requires two weeks of volunteering.


Core Turtle Bootcamp:             2 weeks of bootcamp = 4 weeks volunteering

Extended Turtle Bootcamp:     3 weeks of bootcamp = 6 weeks volunteering

Please Contact Us for more information, bootcamp fees, or to sign up!

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