Scout Groups

Help your scout group share adventurous discoveries in the great outdoors at The Morton Arboretum.

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Search for hidden geocaches, spy on nighttime critters, or uncover easy ways to recycle and save trees during guided or self-guided group outings.

Programs are offered for groups of 5- to 12-year-olds during weekday afternoons, nights, or weekends at a reasonable cost. Activity patches are available for purchase with all youth group programs. Self-guided expeditions for groups are available Spring, Summer, and Fall. Guided adventures available in Spring (April through early June), and Fall (September through mid-November).

Scout adventures (guided or self-guided) are perfect for:

  • Girl and boy scout troops
  • School and church youth groups
  • Homeschool and parent groups
  • 4-H and ecology clubs
  • Summer day camp field trips
  • Daycare field trips

For groups larger than 30 youths looking for summer programming, please visit the Field Trips and School Groups page for additional options. 

 

The Morton Arboretum provides guided adventures that inspire the explorer in children. Programs are 1.5 hours in length, and there are morning, afternoon, and evening options. 

Guided adventures are available throughout the year. Please dress for the outdoors, and wear sturdy shoes. Programs are not canceled due to inclement weather, such as cold, heat, rain, or wind.

Guided Adventure Times

Afternoon adventures: Monday through Thursday, 4:15 to 5:45 p.m.

Night Spies: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, March 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.; April 7:45 to 9:15 p.m.; May 8:00 to 9:30 p.m.; September 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.; October 6:30 to 8 p.m.; November 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday mornings adventures: Saturdays, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Guided Adventure Fees

  • The $150 fee includes up to 15 scouts, four chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee.
  • The $250 fee includes 16-30 scouts, eight chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee.
  • Patches are available for purchase at the time of registration and cost $4 each.
  • Additional chaperones are $15 per person.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations made less than 3 weeks in advance.

Guided Adventure Programs

 

Cool Cache

Fourth through Eighth Grade | Spring, Fall

Get ready for a guided geocaching adventure using our hand-held GPS units. Learn the basics of geocaching, and explore the ecosystems at the Arboretum. This program meets most of the requirements for the Junior Geocacher badge.

Into the Woods and Trees

Webelos and Cadettes | Spring, Fall

Work on the requirements to earn your Into the Woods or Trees badge. Certain activities may need to be completed with a troop leader at future meetings. Badge/patch not included.

Into the Wild

Webelos | Spring, Fall

Work on the requirements to earn your Into the Wild badge. Certain activities may need to be completed with a leader at future den meetings. Badge/patch not included.

Night Spies

Kindergarten through Sixth Grade | Spring, Fall

Spy on nature’s night critters to find out who's croaking, prowling, hooting, and howling as you hike the moonlit trails. The program meets most of the requirements for the Cadettes Night Owl badge.

Please note: Night Spies times vary month to month. This program is offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings only; March 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.; April 7:45 to 9:15 p.m.; May 8:00 to 9:30 p.m.; September 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.; October 6:30 to 8 p.m.; November 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Register your youth group, scout troop, day camp, or daycare for a self-guided adventure at The Morton Arboretum. Adventures can expand throughout the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres of trees, woodlands, and prairies. Backpack programs include tools to inspire hands-on learning.

Self-guided adventures are available throughout the year. Please dress for the outdoors, and wear sturdy shoes. Programs are not canceled due to inclement weather, such as cold, heat, rain, or wind.

Self-Guided Adventure Times

Children’s Garden adventures: March through October, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily; Thursdays, open until 6:00 p.m.; November through February, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily

Backpack adventures: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Self-Guided Adventure Fees

  • The self-guided adventure fee is $105 per group.
  • The fee includes up to 15 youth, four chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee.
  • Patches are available for purchase at the time of registration and cost $4 each.
  • Additional chaperones are $15 per person.
  • Additional youth are $6 per youth.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations made less than three weeks in advance.

Self- Guided Adventure Programs

 

Backpack Program: Arboretum Adventures

Kindergarten through Fourth Grade | Spring, Summer, Fall

Investigate different insect groups, and learn about their lifestyles and life cycles. Backpack reservations are required (30 youth maximum).

Backpack Program: Fun-tastic Fall

Kindergarten through Fifth Grade | Fall

Fall into fun at the Arboretum. Explore the seasonal changes of trees and wildlife in the woodlands, and learn about the science behind these amazing changes. Backpack reservations are required (30 youth maximum).

Backpack Program: Hidden Habitats

Kindergarten through Sixth Grade | Spring, Summer, and Fall

Explore the Arboretum ecosystems, and search for animal homes as you hike and participate in hands-on activities. Backpack reservations are required (30 youth maximum).

Backpack Program: Signs of Spring

Kindergarten through Third Grade | Spring

Engage your senses while exploring the sights, scents, and sounds of spring on a sensational hike around the Arboretum. Backpack reservations are required (30 youth maximum).

Backpack Program: Tree-mendous Trees

Third through Sixth Grade | Spring, Summer, Fall

Explore The Morton Arboretum, and take a fresh look at trees! Learn about the intricate workings of the inside of a tree, and discover how to identify trees. Backpack reservations are required (30 youth maximum).

Children’s Garden

Kindergarten through Third Grade | Spring, Summer, and Fall

Enjoy the wonders of nature in the Children’s Garden. Splash through secret streams, climb colossal acorns, and slide down giant tree roots.

Throughout the Arboretum

For all ages | Spring, Summer, and Fall

Plan your own adventure at the Arboretum. Walk our 16 miles of paved or wood-chipped trails; be sure to notice the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and critters as you go. Touch the rough bark of trees, or study the different shapes of leaves. Biking is also allowed on paved roads (helmets required).