Please take a minute to review this information so your child can be prepared to make their camp experience as enjoyable as possible. As always, our staff is working hard to ensure that all campers are happy, learning, and enjoying nature. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to help you have a safe and fun experience at Free Spirit Nature Camp.
Our camp runs in 5 sessions beginning Monday July 10th and ending Friday, August 11th.
Please check your camp registration statements to confirm your session dates. Camp begins at 9:30am and ends at 4:00pm.
Morning drop-off begins at 9:15am. Please do not drop children off earlier unless arrangements have been made with the Director. Extended care is available mornings from 8:00 am and afternoons until 5:30pm on a weekly, daily, or as-needed basis (additional fee). Click Here for More Information about Extended Care.
CAMPER DROP-OFF & PICK-UP, and PARENT PARKING
Look for signs directing you to the parking area entrance from William Lain Road. Drop-off begins at 9:15. and ends at 9:45. You may park and walk your children up to their meeting tents, or you may drop your children off in this area. We provide staff supervision in the parking area and on the path to the arrival area.
CARPOOLING AND VAN TRANSPORTATION
We encourage you to carpool and if requested, will provide assistance with identifying other campers who live close to you. If you registered for Van Transportation, we will contact you Sunday night before the first day with exact details of the van times.
GEAR & CAMP CLOTHING
On the first day of camp, each camper receives a drawstring bag labeled with their name to be used to store their belongings. Please send a complete change of clothing for your child and a bathing suit and a towel to be left in the bag in a cubby. Most children wear shorts and t-shirts to camp. Please do not send your child in new or special clothes, as they will get dirty at camp!
We do lots of walking around the farm so comfortable shoes are a must. Well broken in boots, close fitting Velcro strapped sandals (Tevas), Crocs or sneakers are recommended. . A hat or visor is a good idea also. On rainy days, rain gear should be worn. Please label everything your child brings to camp. Staff will do their best to help keep track of everyone’s belongings, and labels are essential. Also, please check the lost & found. If you are missing something please let us know so we can look for it.
We offer an all natural snack and 100% juice or lemonade each morning. Please send an ample nutritious healthy lunch with a drink for your child each day in a clearly labeled closed reusable container. The lunches will not be refrigerated, so please pack in an insulated container with an ice pack. We stress environmental awareness and wholeheartedly support the concept of a “wasteless” lunch. Please use reusable containers, utensils, and beverage containers. We encourage the children to take responsibility for all the ‘garbage’ they generate by bringing home cans and bottles for recycling and putting their food waste into a compost bin. Send a small plastic baggie for your child’s lunch trash if their lunch includes wrappers. Please be sure to indicate food allergies on the medical form. We do not restrict peanut butter in lunches; if campers do bring peanut butter please have your child tell camp staff when they arrive so we can take precautions to protect our food allergic campers.
We provide cold fresh water in coolers at various sites around the farm to refill bottles. Campers are asked to bring a water bottle to carry with them or to leave on the table near the water jugs for use when needed. Please label water bottles.
Ticks and poison ivy are two things we do our best to avoid. However, you may want to send long pants and long sleeve light colored shirt for your child to change into before hiking or nature walks. We keep on hand a supply of natural non toxic bug repellent that we use liberally. We will also check children for ticks upon returning from hikes. All staff and campers are taught to recognize poison ivy; in case of contact we will wash with a poison ivy cleansing product (Tecnu) and advise continuation at home. Please protect your child’s skin with sunscreen at the start of the day. If you indicate on your health form that you grant permission, then staff will see that it is reapplied during the day.
RECYCLABLES FOR REUSE
We welcome donations of paper, old stockings, Styrofoam trays, fabric, yarn, clay, bottles, old cd’s or dvds, sheets, towels, soda can pull tabs, plastic grocery bags, used tennis balls, old tights and pantyhose, empty clean juice pouches, milk & juice half gallon paper containers, (especially ones with plastic screw top), metal mint tins, metal coffee cans, etc. for reuse in crafts.
OUT OF CAMP TRIPS
Our camper trips are to local natural areas that offer unique habitats and natural features to explore. There is one trip scheduled each session of camp. Over the course of the summer, each group (except Leaping Frogs) will be offered at least one trip. All trips are local with groups leaving camp approximately 11:00am and returning at approximately 3:30pm. Permission slips will be distributed before trips and strict behavior guidelines must be followed to participate. Trips are always optional for campers. Trips are also “weather permitting”.
If you are interested in visiting camp we welcome you, but ask that you check in at the camp office upon arrival. If you would like to visit camp with your children prior to their attendance at camp contact us for an appointment.
Our camp office is located in the stone barn in the Parlor area. Look for signs for the office, or ask any staff member. If you need to reach us during camp hours, please call (845) 361-2267. If you call and hear a voice mail message, please leave a message with your telephone number and we will call you back shortly. Camp staff can also be reached at that number after camp hours if you have any questions or concerns