The Scout Island Nature Centre Fundraising Banquet is coming up on April 20. This is always a good gathering for conversation with good food. This year Rob Higgins will be returning to give a talk titled: The Old and Awesome vs the New and Terrible: stories of British Columbia insects. Now you may not be an insect lover but they are fascinating when Rob talks about them. Doors open at St Andrews United Church Hall at 6 pm. You can purchase tickets ($40) from the Open Book or at the Nature Centre.

See poster below for details

BanqPostr 2018 1a

The Threat of Illegal and Unsustainable Wildlife Trade to Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles


Presentation by Dr. Chris R. Shepherd

Wednesday, April 11   7pm at Scout Island Nature House

Illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of a long list of species around the world.    Among the most heavily traded, and most threatened, are the tortoises and freshwater turtles.  Traded for their shells – used in traditional medicines, their meat – for consumption, and live – for pets, this group of species is in serious trouble.  Efforts to tackle illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade are underway, but more work is needed, as many species are now threatened with extinction.  Dr. Chris R. Shepherd will share his expertise on these efforts.


Now living in Big Lake Ranch, Dr. Shepherd has been working in Southeast Asia on wildlife trade related issues for the past 25 years.  He has recently returned to Canada and founded the organization MONITOR, and will continue researching the global wildlife trade to support policy, enforcement and other conservation interventions.



Spring Break Programs Offered

There is still room in the March 19/20 program.  Any child 8-13 that loves to draw won’t want to miss this chance to learn from how to draw from Laura a local artist.  

There will be an Art in Nature program for ages 8-13 year olds March 19/20 and for ages 4-8  March 26/27.  The sessions will be from 8:30-4pm each day to allow for parents who work.   Mary Forbes is leading both sessions.  She will be assisted by others on various days.  Mammals and Birds in spring will be the focus.  Drawing techniques will be taught to the olders by Laura Ulrich for the March 19/20 sessions.  Mary will work on painting with the youngers for the 26/27 session.  There will be lots of active outdoor time, so dress appropriately and pack lots of no garbage lunch and snacks for the fresh air appetites.  Cost is $35 for the day.  Scholarship available if needed.  Call the Nature Centre 398 8532 or email shemphill at  to register children.  Only 12 available spots each day


CCACS Grant Acknowledgements

Agents of Discovery is at Scout Island and the River Valley Trail!


Have you heard of the super-secret Agents of Discovery mobile app? The game is downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play and then played at participating locations or “Mission Sites” across North America!  Agents of Discovery requires no WiFi or data connection while playing the mobile game.

How do you get started?

  1. With WiFi access, download the Agents of Discovery mobile app;
  2. With WiFi access, download the current Mission Sites for Williams Lake: Scout Island and the River Valley trail;
  3. Do all of this before you head to the Nature Centre or River Valley. Be sure you understand how the app works before you go so you don’t have to spend too much time looking at your phone instead of at nature.
  4. Head to a Mission Site and get ready for adventure, intrigue, and a whole lot of fun;
  5. Look at the map that shows where all of the challenges are. You don’t have to do them in any order or all in one day.  Take the trail that interests you and do the challenges along that trail.
  6. Let’s play! At the Mission site make sure your mobile device has it’s GPS on and that it vibrates or makes a sound. This will tell when you are near a challenge without you having to look at your phone.  Remember, you don’t want to miss what is happening around you.  You need your “Owl Eyes” open and ready for anything that comes across your path.  Don’t be looking at your phone just as a short tailed weasel flits by.
  7. Tuck your mobile device in your pocket and enjoy the outdoors. When you are at or near a challenge your mobile device will let you know. Then you can stop and take the challenge.

To learn more call the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex at 250-398-7665.

Or let Scout Island know how you like it and if you have ideas of how we can make it better.  Perhaps you want to help us make a spring summer set of challenges.

Jobs Available at Scout Island

Positions Available at Scout Island.  Come work with great people working and teaching about nature.

Scout Island Nature Centre needs high school students that want to be teacher naturalists in training.

This job involves taking care of live animals in the Nature House, helping with children’s programs, researching information about animals and plants, acting as a host that helps visitors at the nature house and lots of other cool interesting activities. You can start right now-3-5 hours/week.  If you like it and we like you it can grow into a 15-20 hours a week for the months of July and August.  You need to be a responsible, motivated, self starter for this job.  Please send a resume to that includes 3 references (teachers are fine as references).  Call Sue if you have questions—250 398 8532 or


Summer Staff-University Students-Teacher Naturalists

Scout Island Nature Centre will be hiring 2-3 summer staff as teacher naturalists this year.  As a teacher naturalist, you will plan and teach nature programs to children, learn the various flora and fauna of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region, care for the nature house live and static displays, and guide visitors to the nature centre.    The job will be 40 hours/week for 14 weeks between May 1 and Aug. 25.  You need to have at least one year of university completed and be returning to university in Sept.  Go to  to learn more the Nature Centre or to email a resume.  Interest in biology/natural history  and experience working with children is important.

Resumes Due by March 1

If  you are interested send Sue Hemphill, Executive Director,  a resume’ including references and a cover letter as to why you would like to work at Scout Island   shemphill at or call 250 398 8532 for more information.

2018 Great Backyard Bird Count

Free Family Event at Scout Island on Saturday, February 17 from 1pm to 3pm

Learn to identify those fascinating feathered visitors with local birding expert Cathy Koot and Environmental Educator Paula Laita. Short ID introduction with frozen and stuffed specimens, to compare with bird books. Count birds at the Nature House feeders and play a game to learn about the different types of beaks that birds have! J

If you cannot come to this event, you can still be a citizen scientist by counting birds at your feeders on February 17th-20th and submitting and submitting your findings at  Help create a real snap-timeshot of where the birds are.

This is a free family event but space is limited. Please register phoning 250-398-8532.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Birding Adventures

in ExtramaduraSpain

Thursday November 2

7:30 at Scout Island Nature House

Travel through Spain with Connie Haeussler and Leo Rankin

The main focus of their trip was birding in theprovince of Extremadura, on the border with Portugal.  It’s the wildest, least developed part of Spain, and thus a haven for birds.  The region has Roman ruins, Arab fortresses and medieval towns as well asMonfrague National park, famous for its raptors. Birding highlights included hoopoes, great bustards, black storks, european rollers, bee eaters and hundreds of white storks.

Free presentation-no registration needed-Info 250 398 8532

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Vancouver Aquarium is coming to Scout Island Nature Centre

Our first family event for the season.

We will be doing a shoreline clean up and pulling night shade starting at noon.  Then come back to enjoy the ocean creatures.

A Bit of the Vancouver Aquarium is Coming

Live Ocean Creatures in the Aqua Van

Will be at

Scout Island Nature Centre

Sunday October 15 1-4pm—Free!

And to do our bit for the Oceans (yes we are connected to the ocean by water and salmon), there will be a Shoreline Cleanup starting at 12 noon

Come and Help at 12 noon- then visit the Ocean Visitors  for more info call 398 8532

Remember the water you wash your hands with will touch a sea star five weeks later.  So choose your soap carefully.

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Nature Fun Ends–Getting Ready for School Programs-Salmon Trip for High School Students

Nature Fun programs end tomorrow (Aug. 18).  It has been a good 3 weeks despite all the smoke.  Today the children are busy being bats and practicing their echolocation.  Sarah, and William are returning to university next week.  Gabrielle will be here to complete her work weeks (so many were lost during the order).  She will be busy cleaning animal tanks, doing all the feeding and developing nature learning materials for us.  But there will be no more Nature Fun for this summer.  Hopefully, we will be able to start the school season on time.  Nature Kindergarten children will be here all week.  There will be two grade 7 outdoor education classes visiting each month.  We will be offering school programs as usual.  The Salmon Trip for high school students (grades 10-12)is planned for September 18 -20 (if fire season allows it).  Students that want to take part in the Salmon Trip can call me (398 8532) or email me (shemphill at and request the application form.   

I am pleased to announce that Paula Laita is taking over for me as Education Coordinator starting in September.  I will be the Executive Director.  We will both be working with Frances McCoubrey, SD 27 Outdoor Education Resource Teacher, to provide nature education to schools and community.

The Nature Centre is still closed to the public because of the fire danger.  Go out and do a rain dance so the danger passes.  When you are feeling sad for yourself in all of this smoke, think of the 3 baby osprey trying to learn to fly and hunt in this smoke.  Their parents must be having trouble fishing (can’t see) as well as getting enough oxygen to have the energy to dive after the fish.

Be sure to find a way to enjoy nature on the less smoky days.

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Due to the extreme fire danger, Scout Island Nature Centre is closed to the public until further notice (this includes vehicles and walkers). The gate will be locked. The children’s program, Nature Fun, will continue from 10-2 each week day as children will be under the supervision of staff. This program will use inside the nature house when air quality is poor and outside when it is safe. Children are having fun and forgetting about fires for awhile. You can sign your child up for the program by calling 398 8532 or emailing scoutisland at Parents will need to walk their children in from the gate to the Nature House. As well, parents must be immediately available to pick their children up in case of another evacuation order.

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Nature Fun

Scout Island Nature Centre

Discovering Nature Up Close

A New Program Each Day

Exploring, playing, learning, creating

Despite the Smoke

Monday –Friday 10-2  Aug. 1-18

Ages 4-13

We will be outdoors when the air quality allows us to be and indoors when the air is too poor (the Nature House has air conditioning that keeps the smoke out)

Cost is $15 or what ever you can pay

Sign up by email scoutisland at or 398 8532 in advance so we know how many children to plan for each day

Send lunch and snack (remember “no garbage” lunches if possible). Sunhats, sunscreen, shoes they can walk in the water in. We won’t be swimming (no life guard) but might be getting wet in other ways.  Please ensure you are able to pick up your child as fast as possible if there is another evacuation order.
Posted by suehemphill at 22:35 No comments: 

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