Youth & Scout Programs at Matthaei

After school programs for youth groups are offered Wednesdays with start times between 4:30 and 6pm.  Programs last 1.5 hours and cost $6.00/child. 
Working on a particular badge or accomplishment? Contact Liz ( for info about options.

Bugs are beautiful

There are almost a million different kinds of insects in the world! And each has a special role in nature. Explore the amazing world of insects and learn how important they are to a healthy environment. Capture and release butterflies and beetles to learn more about them close up.


Trail Treks

Discover tracks and trees

Hike the Sam Graham Trees Trail at the Botanical Gardens, discover the special trees unique to Michigan along the trail, and learn about Sam’s pioneering ideas in forest ecology. You’ll also receive a booklet to make leaf rubbings and you’ll learn what makes Michigan ecosystems so special.


Sketchbook Detectives

Put the world on paper

Find out how artists and scientists both uncover the secrets of nature through close observation. In this workshop, paints, pastels, and colored pencils are the tools you’ll use to rediscover the natural world.


Exploration Nature

Uncover botanical treasures and take home a terrarium

Discover botanical treasures rich in shape, color, and function and find out why we need so many trees, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Learn about the roles plants play and why they’re important. Also, build a terrarium to take home.


Docent Nancy Smith with Girl Scout Daisies


Go green and make a difference in the health of the planet

When it comes to the health of the planet and the environment, kids can make a difference! Make paper; learn how composting works or plant a tabletop garden to explore ways kids can change their world.


Girl Scouts ed class

Wetland Explorer

(Offered May/June & early October)

Clean water is important to everyone and everything! Use dip nets to discover how wetland creatures and plants tell a story about ponds and streams.