Junior Naturalist Program

Junior Naturalist Program

Junior Naturalist Program

Community & Ecology



Ages 11-18 (6th-12th)

Cost: $25/ year Cash or Check payable to the Boy Scouts of America

  • Fee Decreases $2.00/month after January until the end of the year


Meeting Times: Fridays 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium


Mission: To empower young adults with knowledge of the natural world and, in doing so, develop critical thinking and analytical skills in concert with a strong sense of civic engagement.



Our Gatherings begin with an educational experience in which Junior Naturalists learn ecological concepts about the two major ecosystems present on the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium’s 105 acres.  They will also participate in natural awareness exercises that increase their abilities to become better naturalists. As the year progresses, field trips will be incorporated into the program to better showcase not only other ecosystem types, but also how humans in Florida interact with their environment.

The volunteer aspect of the Junior Naturalist Program begins with outside work helping to maintain the center’s grounds. As the Junior Naturalists progress with the program and increase their knowledge, they will be volunteering in more interpretive roles throughout the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. Past Junior Naturalists have created interpretive signs for the center and even performed the guided walks on our trails.

This program is designed so that  middle school aged students who go through the entire program will develop an intimate knowledge of their home state and develop a better sense of place and community.  The knowledge and critical thinking skills acquired in the program will benefit their future career choices whether in or out of the natural resources field.

Required Equipment (What a Junior Naturalist needs for Gatherings): A water bottle, clothes appropriate for fully experiencing the outdoors, a change of shoes and clothes, lunch.

Recommended Items: Sunscreen, hat, bug spray

Contact: Education Coordinator