Alan Wormington Memorial Camp for Young Birders and Naturalists

About the Camp

August 3rd - 11th , 2024 in the heart of Algonquin Park

Each summer a group of teenage birders and naturalists converge at Algonquin Provincial Park for a camp experience of discovery and professional development under the guidance of seasoned naturalists and researchers. Birding is the primary focus, but all areas of natural history are explored amid the varied forest, meadow and wetland habitats in the park.

Algonquin is the oldest and best-known of Ontario’s provincial parks. With its high altitude and location near the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, the Park has a distinctly northern flavour. Its pine forests, spruce bogs, rocky bluffs, and myriad lakes and rivers have collectively been the setting for world-class wildlife research since 1944 when the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station opened. This will be your home base for the week, meaning there will be many opportunities to interact with the station’s resident researchers.

In early August, most birds have completed breeding and are moving through the park in family groups or preparing for migration. Boreal residents like Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Canada Jay, Spruce Grouse, and both crossbills are particular targets. With so much field time, you have many chances to encounter Moose, Beavers, Snowshoe Hares, and other mammals.

Algonquin has a rich history of nature exploration, education, and research. Be part of that story this summer.


The diverse slate of activities includes:

  • Birding in diverse habitats throughout the park
  • Insect collecting and pinning with a professional entomologist
  • Learning about research and field work in Algonquin
  • An exclusive tour of the Visitor Centre’s extensive specimen collection
  • Camping, canoeing, swimming, hiking, photography ....

Activities will be adjusted according to the interests of the campers. In previous years, campers have done herping, mammal tracking, mushrooming, dragonflying and mothing. Between scheduled activities, campers enjoy plenty of free exploration time and can swim and canoe in the small private lake at the Wildlife Research Station. The Wildlife Research Station itself is rich in birdlife, moths, other insects, and snakes.

Camper Testimonials

A new-found love for Algonquin has been established. – Q.W., 2017

I highly recommend the camp to anyone, no matter how strong their birding interest is! – G.M., 2018

I now have unbreakable friendships, expanded knowledge, and thousands of photos. – L.L., 2018

Each member of the group brought different knowledge and experiences with them. – I.H., 2019


Lynne Freeman has been a birder for over thirty years and specializes in breeding bird surveys, bird behaviour, and ecology.

Kiah Jasper holds the Ontario Big Year record for the most bird species found in a calendar year. He is also a professional naturalist and tour guide.

Alessandra Kite is a biologist and long-time birder who has worked professionally as a bird bander, nature educator, and field biologist.

Gisbert Segler is a life-long birder has explored Algonquin Park for over 20 years. He excels in field craft and observation skills.

Angela Skevington is a teacher and certified Outdoor Education teacher. Angela has canoed all over Canada including the far North and is an avid naturalist.

Jeff Skevington is a Research Scientist and the former Head of Diptera (flies) at the Canadian National Collection of Insects in Ottawa. Jeff spent six seasons as a Park Naturalist at Algonquin and is an expert on all facets of natural history. He regularly leads tours for Ontario Field Naturalists.


Campers will stay in rustic cabins at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station ( in the heart of the park. Set beside a small private lake in a mature forest teaming with wildlife, the station is a hub for wildlife researchers and a perfect base for exploring Algonquin Park’s natural environment.


The cost of registration is $1,000, which is heavily subsidized by OFO through fundraising and donations. This year, costs are higher, and for families who can afford it, we would appreciate a donation to cover the true cost of the camp which is closer to $1,600 per camper.  Tax receipts will be issued for donations. Bursaries and scholarships may be available for qualifying campers who cannot otherwise afford to attend. Please register, and email to discuss financing options.

Registration, Application Deadlines and Selection

Registration, which opens on February 11th , is available at the website under Events / Event Registration. Space is limited to a maximum of 14 campers. 

The camp is open to teen birders, ages 13 - 17. If there are more applicants than spaces, preference will be given to older applicants.

We are requesting that campers submit a paragraph or short video describing why they want to attend the camp. The deadline for registration is March 5th.

Registration (but not payment) is required to be considered for the camp.  However, please note that registration is not a guarantee of acceptance. The number of applicants will likely exceed the number of spaces again this year. OFO will review all applications when registration closes on March 5 and notify campers the following week. Payment is required when acceptance is confirmed.

More about what you will see

Key locations and habitats

Algonquin is a rich mosaic of habitats, each with a different species mix.

Campers will explore:

  • WRS and area
  • Old airfield
  • Mizzy Lake Trail (section)
  • Spruce Bog Trail
  • Visitor Centre
  • Bat Lake Trail

Species Targets

Bird targets

  • Barred Owl
  • Boreal specialities: Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Canada Jay, Spruce Grouse
  • Finches: Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Flycatchers: Up to 8 species
  • Warblers: ~20 species
  • Rusty Blackbird

Mammal targets

  • American Marten
  • Canadian Beaver
  • American Black Bear
  • Eastern Wolf
  • Moose
  • Northern Flying Squirrel
  • Northern River Otter
  • Red Fox
  • Snowshoe Hare
  • Woodland Jumping Mouse

Reptile and Amphibian targets

  • Northern Ringneck Snake
  • Mink Frog
  • Pickerel Frog
  • Northern Two-lined Salamander

Butterfly targets

  • Aphrodite Fritillary
  • Atlantis Fritillary
  • Green Comma
  • Grey Comma
  • Leonard’s Skipper
  • Monarch
  • Pink-edged Sulphur

Odonata targets

  • Black-shouldered Spinyleg
  • Calico Pennant
  • Dancers: Powdered and Violet
  • Darners: Black-tipped, Canada, Green-striped, Lake, Shadow, Variable
  • Dragonhunter
  • Fawn Darner
  • Jewelwings: Ebony and River
  • Meadowhawks: Autumn, Band-winged, Cherry-faced, Saffron-winged
  • Ocellated Darner
  • Stream Bluet
  • Swift River Cruiser
  • Zebra Clubtail

Contact for more information

Please email for more information.

Ring-necked-Snakes---Jeff-Skevington.JPG Ring-necked-Snakes---Jeff-Skevington.JPG

Photography-at-Provoking-Falls.JPG Photography-at-Provoking-Falls.JPG

Field-sketching---Jeff-Skevington.JPG Field-sketching---Jeff-Skevington.JPG

Feeding-Canada-Jays---Jeff-Skevington.JPG Feeding-Canada-Jays---Jeff-Skevington.JPG

Black-shouldered-Spinylegs-at-Basin-Road---Ian-Shanahan.JPG Black-shouldered-Spinylegs-at-Basin-Road---Ian-Shanahan.JPG

Mothing-with-Baz-Conlin---Jeff-Skevington.JPG Mothing-with-Baz-Conlin---Jeff-Skevington.JPG