Youth group and scouts: Guided adventures

Share unique discoveries with your youth group or scout troop during a guided adventure at The Morton Arboretum.

Fill out the youth group and scouts online form.

REGISTER NOW for Fall and Winter programs.


Awesome Insects

Kindergarten–8th grade | Spring, Summer, Fall
Investigate different insect groups and learn about their lifestyles and lifecycles as you sweep the fields with bug nets and dip for macro-invertebrates.

Botany Lab

4th-8th grade | Year-round
Explore flowers in a new way. Dissect them to see how all their parts work, and use a microscope to get an up-close look.

Caching the Wetlands

4th–8th grade | Year-round
Venture on an intermediate geocaching exploration while discovering the wonders of wetland ecosystems. Cool Cache is a prerequisite for this program.

Camping at the Cabin

All ages (all boys or all girls) | Year-round
Come to the Arboretum for an exciting indoor camping adventure. Hike and explore the night life of the woodlands and wetlands, enjoy a campfire perfect for roasting marshmallows, and discover the early-morning scenery around the Arboretum’s West Side. Note: Camping at the Cabin is in a heated building with a large bunkroom, several bathrooms, a kitchen, and large common room. For your safety, the Arboretum staff stays overnight. Each group must provide at least two troop or den leaders plus all food and beverages.

Cool Cache

4th–8th grade | Year-round
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.

Fun-tastic Fall

Kindergarten–6th grade | Year-round
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.



Complete the requirements to earn your Forester badge.  Certain activities may need to be completed with leader at future den meetings
Spring, Summer, Fall; Badge/patch not included.

Go Green

Kindergarten–6th grade | Spring, Summer, Fall
Uncover nature’s recycling techniques and discover easy ways to make eco-friendly choices and recycled projects at home.

Green Thumb

3rd–8th grade | Spring, Summer
Explore the Arboretum’s gardens and plant your own. Learn what certain plants need to grow, and plant starter seeds in pots to take home for your own garden.

Hidden Habitats

Kindergarten–6th grade | Year-round
Explore theArboretum ecosystems and search for animal homes as you hike and participate in hands-on activities and games.



Complete the requirements to earn your Naturalist badge.  Certain activities may need to be completed with leader at future den meetings.
Spring, Summer, Fall; Badge/patch not included

Nature Crafts


Head out on a collection hike and explore the Arboretum.  Use the awesome nature items you find to create fun nature crafts.
Year Round; Badge/patch not included.

Night Spies

Kindergarten–6th grade | Spring, Fall | Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Spy on nature’s night critters, find out whose croaking, prowling, hooting, and howling as you hike the moonlit trails. Please note: times vary by month - this program is offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings only; March 7 – 8:30 pm; April 7:45 – 9:15 pm; May 8 – 9:30 pm; September 7 – 8:30 pm; October 6:30 – 8 pm; November 5:30 – 7 pm.

Signs of Spring

Kindergarten–6th grade | Spring
Engage your senses while exploring the sights, scents, and sounds of spring on a sensational hike around the Arboretum.

Tree House Tales Geocache

4th–8th grade | Spring, Summer, Fall
Explore the Tree House Tales exhibition then head out for a geocaching adventure to discover how to identify trees.

Tree Time

4th–8th grade | Spring, Summer, Fall
Discover the wonderful world of trees from tiny acorns to mighty oaks while participating in hands-on activities and games and exploring the Arboretum collections.

Winter Wonders

Kindergarten–6th grade | Winter
Experience the wonders of winter as you hike the trails and discover how plants and animals survive the cold months.


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

Guided adventure times: most programs are 1.5 hours

  • Afternoon adventures: Monday-Thursday, 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.
  • Night spies: Tuesdays and Thursdays, evenings; March 7 – 8:30 pm; April 7:45 – 9:15 pm; May 8 – 9:30 pm; September 7 – 8:30 pm; October 6:30 – 8 pm; November 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Saturday mornings: Saturdays, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Camping at the Cabin: Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday, 6:30pm - 8:30 am

The guided adventure fee is $115 per guide.

  • Fee includes up to 15 scouts, 4 chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee
  • Patches are available for purchase at time of registration and cost $4.00 each.
  • Additional chaperones are $12 per person.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations made less than 2 weeks in advance.
  • Camping at the cabin is $38 per person, minimum 10 people, maximum 20, patch is included

CALL: Call the registrar at 630-719-2468, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Fill out the youth group and scouts online form. REGISTER NOW