Welcome to the Young Naturalists Club!

Does your family love exploring and learning about nature? Do your kids want to meet other kids who love nature? JOIN THE YNC!

The YNC is a nature club geared toward youth and their families. Our programs run from September through June every year, and take place at fascinating natural spaces around the province. At YNC field trips and special events, we learn from expert naturalists, explore local parks & trails, and experience the many fascinating natural phenomena that make Nova Scotia so awesome.

Our presentations and field trips are led by volunteer adult naturalists and guest scientists. Our events are age-appropriate, engaging and interactive. Here’s what we are talking about…

What We Do

Discover Nova Scotia’s natural history and learn naturalist skills

A focus of the YNC is teaching young naturalists to identify many of the amazing wild plants and animals (and lichens, and mushrooms, and more…) that surround us in Nova Scotia. We learn how to use basic naturalist equipment such as magnifying loupes, binoculars, and field guides. Members get to connect with keen adult naturalists who share their love of exploring nature.

Meet local subject experts and other nature-nut families

Our chapters have regular meeting times each month, but attendance at each event is not necessary to stay in the Club. Come to all of our meetings and field trips, or just those that fit your family’s schedule. See our chapter locations and upcoming events in the menus on the right and at the top of this page.

Connect to the places dear to you

If you are interested in starting a Young Naturalists Club Chapter in your community, contact us! We’ll help you get started and support you as you grow. Please contact the YNC Coordinator.

Attention “grown-up” naturalists!

If you would like to volunteer as a guest presenter, field trip leader or by helping out at your local Chapter, let us know.

What’s Going on Now

Covid-19 has many of us stuck at home for the foreseeable future. Here are some things happening now that might help pass the time.

Nature Nova Scotia and the Young Naturalists Club are inviting Nova Scotian youth aged 7-18 to submit one original written piece or artwork inspired by their experiences, connections to, or feelings about nature to our 3rd Nature Art and Writing Contest. Submissions may feature or profile:
–        Native plants, animals, or other organisms of Nova Scotia/Mi’kma’ki
–        An adventure, personal moment, or other experience in Nova Scotia’s wild places
–        An injustice or issue that impacts nature in Nova Scotia and that you care about

Key Dates: Contest Opens June 15th 2020, Contest Closes Oct 31st 2020
Submissions will be judged by a team of experienced adult writers and artists, in November after the call for submissions ends.

Prizes: We have a total of $450 in prizes to distribute to 1st and 2nd place winners in both the art and writing categories. First place in all age groupings is $50, second place $25. Winners and “honourable mentions” may also have their work chosen to be published in the Young Naturalists Club’s “Youth Nature Writing” series, for written submissions, or “Nature Art Cards”, for art submissions.
Age Groups: Junior 7-10, Intermediate 11-14, Senior 15-18

·        Youth must be aged 7-18 and live in Nova Scotia (submissions from Mi’kmaq youth may come in from anywhere in Mi’kma’ki)
·        Youth may enter as many submissions as they like; however, each youth will only be eligible for one prize even if more than one of their submissions ranks high in the judges’ assessments
·        Writing Category:
o   submissions must be in either English, French, Mi’kmaq, or Arabic and a maximum of 600 words
o   original work written over 2019 or 2020, not yet published
o   they may take any form (short story, non-fiction, poetry, etc)
o   and they should be accompanied by a title page with the author’s name (do not put your name on the manuscript page to ensure anonymous judging) as well as a quick written summary of what inspired the piece (you may also include photos or drawings to help explain your process if you like)
·        Art Category:
o   submissions that feature wildlife or habitat must focus on wild species and systems native to Nova Scotia or Mi’kma’ki (exotic, domestic, or farm life will not be accepted)
o   can take any form except for photography (drawing, painting, collage, fibre arts, sculpture, digital works, etc)
o   can be submitted as originals or as high-quality photographs or scans of the originals (low quality images that prevent adequate judging will not be accepted)
o   and be accompanied by a covering/title page with the author’s name (do not put your name on the front of the artwork to ensure anonymous judging) as well as a quick written summary of what inspired the piece (you may also include photos or drawings to help explain your process if you like)

Submitting Pieces:
Entrants must submit their pieces by the end of the day on October 31st, 2020. Submissions and accompanying summary documents can be sent in via the google form at https://forms.gle/ChgZSWqkvk1N3nV87 , emailed to yncns@yncns.ca, or mailed or dropped off in person by appointment to the Museum of Natural History (ATTN: Young Naturalists Club, appointments and questions made by phone or email to yncns@yncns.ca or 902-412-2726)
ATTN: Young Naturalists Club
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
1747 Summer St
Halifax, NS
B3H 3A6

Entrants agree by submitting their piece(s) for consideration that the Young Naturalists Club or Nature Nova Scotia may use their work in future communications, including social media.