Scales Nature Park provides immersive educational opportunities for students and young professionals through our Herpetology Internship Program and other co-op and internship opportunities. We also provide reptile, amphibian, and habitat-focused workshops for groups including companies, teachers, and volunteers, as well as a variety of certification courses. Every spring, we run Turtle Bootcamp, an intensive reptile-based field research training program, for staff, individuals, and participants from other organizations.

Herpetology Internship Program

The Herpetology Internship Program is a unique and immersive experience designed for students or recent graduates to enhance their career prospects in the field of herpetology. 

Training includes:

  • Identification of native reptile and amphibian species

  • Animal handling and husbandry of 70+ captive species

  • Field methods and outdoor skills

  • Data collection and analyses and GIS skills

  • Media, education and outreach 


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


A brief look at the HIP experience. If you're seeking a career in herpetology, this program is designed for you. Build your skills and learn lots, while having a great time with awesome people!


Workshops provide advanced training regarding a specific subject. Although they may vary based on the topic, workshops typically include theory-based classroom training as well as hands-on activities.


A few of our more common workshops are:

  • Teacher Reptile Workshop: including resource guides and curriculum-linked lesson plans

  • Advanced Reptile Workshop: including ID skills and detailed information on our native species

  • Rattlesnake Workshop: training employees, landowners etc. on identification, movement, and containment of rattlesnakes


Workshops can take place either at Scales Nature Park or at a location provided by you based on the nature of the program. Depending on the topic, group size, and intended use, workshops run as either a half or full-day.

To learn more and start planning your workshop, contact us.


Certification Courses

Scales Nature Park runs several certification courses based on community interest. Courses include, but are not limited to:


  • Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA): Basic levels 1-4 paddling skills

  • First Aid and CPR courses: multiple options available

  • Wilderness First Aid courses: Basic to First Responder levels

Any upcoming courses will be announced on our social media. If you, or your group, is interested in a course, contact us to see if it can be arranged. A fee will be charged for each course, as well as housing and food if you wish to stay at our facility for multi-day courses.

Co-ops & Internships

Scales Nature Park meets the requirements for high school co-op placements as well as work terms for a variety of Canadian and international higher education facilities. This may include an independent project to be created and completed by the student in their area of interest in addition to normal work/volunteering activities. Please contact us as far in advance as possible to make arrangements. Housing and food may be available.


Turtle 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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Core vs. Extended

The Core Turtle 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!