Scales Nature Park provides reptile, amphibian, and habitat-focused training for groups including companies, nature certification courses, teachers etc. Every spring we also run Turtle Bootcamp, an intensive reptile-based field research training program, for individuals or staff from other organisations.
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. If the workshop is held at your location, we may require access to resources (projector screen, water, etc.). Depending on the topic, group size, and intended use, workshops run as either a half or full-day.
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 soon as possible so that we may work out the details. Housing and food may be available.
The most intensive reptile-focused field training available in Ontario, Turtle Bootcamp is part of the Saving Turtles at Risk Today (START) 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.
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.
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!