Camp Little Feet (Babies & Toddlers), Camp Wonder (Age 4),
Camper Program (5-16), Explorer Camp (11-12), Teen Adventure Camp (13-16)

What should my child bring to camp?

Children are to bring a day pack each day with necessary items: swim suit and towel, old shoes, change of clothing, and a nutritious lunch. Ponchos are recommended on rainy days. All activities are outside, rain or shine! During thunderstorms, activities are held inside. Please label everything. A separate drawstring bag or day pack can remain in the child's cubby for clothes, poncho, and swimming clothes.

How do the Counselors determine the swimming ability of my child?

On the first, or second, day of camp, counselors take children individually into the pool, where Life Guards determine each child's swimming ability. Please be sure children have swimsuits and towels the first day of camp.

When does bike trail riding take place and what should my child bring?

Bike Trail Riding is offered every Wednesday. Campers must have a properly fitted bike WITH properly inflated tires, properly fitted helmet, water bottle, and bell/horn for a pleasant riding experience. Bikes may be brought to camp Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Bikes may kept at NC throughout the session. (Training wheels are not permitted on the NC Bike Rides.)

When are the Family Overnights and Concerts? What all is involved?

Wednesdays: June 24, July 8, July 22 and August 5, 2015. Children stay that whole day at camp and parents arrive after work. Come early for a swim in the pool; to head down to the Challenge Course; or to be mellow on endless porch swings with a cup of tea/coffee or hot chocolate.

Children are involved in activities until parents arrive. Supper is 6-ish. Tents are welcome, although many NC families, and certainly the NC Staff, sleep under the beautiful stars. Cabins are available in inclement weather.

All are most welcome for our vegetarian potluck dinner at the campsite, followed by all-family games and a relaxing, delightful evening concert. Following the concert, activities include "night walks," tie-dying (bring all cotton T-shirts), magic wish boats in the pool, and particular evening crafts: pottery, carving, rock shop, etc. There will be a campfire and songs before bedtime.

All children who stay are under the care of their parents at all times.

By 7:00 a.m. fires will be made, with hot cocoa and coffee ready -- with breakfast soon to follow: delicious blueberry pancakes, potatoes & onions and eggs, and orange juice!

When does the camp day officially begin?

Children are to arrive at camp by 8:45 a.m. Small group activity choosing begins directly at 9:00 a.m. The camp day is over at 3:00 p.m. (Extended hours are 7:00 am to 6:00 PM)

What are the hours of the Extended Day Program? What takes place during these hours?

In the morning children are supervised on the swings or doing crafts in front of the Nature Center. In the afternoon there are several options: swimming supervised by Life Guards, crafts take place in front of the Nature Center, the swings are busy as ever and the huge box is usually full of architects building elaborate structures. ALL extended hours are well supervised. Hours 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

How is food provided for the Family Overnights?

For our delicious feast on the Family Overnight each child will be asked to bring a pot-luck dish or food item, which the children and staff will use in their cooking supper, breakfast, and lunch for both days. All Nature Camps meals are served vegetarian style with both the staff and children creating the feasts. We ask families to share in bringing food items requested, even if they are unable to join us. Thanks!

Is there a carpool list?

In early June an extensive carpool list is sent to all registered families. NC believes in conserving our planet's resources. Therefore, Nature Camps encourages families to carpool whenever possible.

What are Staff Qualifications?

Nature Camps Staff possesses a strict safety constitution and adhere to the Nature Camps philosophy and guidelines. Staff members are certified in CPR, Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Life Guard certification, ACA (American Canoeing Assn.) trained, and Adventure Ropes Course Training and Group Facilitation. Counselors have thorough background checks, including the required Criminal Background Check. Meet the staff!

Where do participants come from?

All over the Baltimore metropolitan area, the I-83 corridor, and the Westminster, Bel Air and York, Pa. areas. Each summer we have students from other countries enrolled. Over 60 public and private schools attend camp each summer.

How long has Nature Camps, Inc. been in business?

We have been in business for four-decades!! For the first twelve years Nature Camps, Inc. was called Don Webb Nature Camp, at the old Happy Hollow Camp facility off Padonia Road and Happy Hollow Roads. Then with a change in location our name changed, but not our philosophy and unique ways of being with children and folks of all ages.

Can I talk to a past Camper/Teen Adventure or a parent who has attended?

Yes. You are also welcome to talk to educators, psychologists, and administrators. Nature Camps will be glad to give you these contacts. Call or e-mail Nature Camps, Inc.

You may also want to take a look at http://www.naturecamps.com/senseWonder/reflections.html

How safe is this camp?

Our mission is to provide the safest camp conditions and to provide for the physical, emotional, and psychological well being of all participants and staff. Outdoor adventure and environmental education have inherent risks that are different from a "classroom" setting. Nature Camps continues to minimize these risks through safety conscious staff, proper equipment management, always updated physical conditions, and daily 45 minute staff meetings at the end of the day. Risk management and safety guidelines are our top priorities.

Parents are invited to partake in Nature Camps' safety policy by performing an additional tick check at home (See http://www.naturecamps.com/supportServices/health.html)

Effective Outdoor Leaders must constantly upgrade their safety, environmental, educational, and risk management practices. NC's approach to safety and risk management is entwined with competence, sound judgment, and purposeful, substantial programming. Our staff implicitly guides every action and interaction, to reduce accident potential.

At NC it truly comes down to this: If there is a situation where safety would be compromised, it is a situation in which we will not participate.

How can I get a Nature Camps catalog?

Easily. All information is online, call us at 410-343-0223, or fill out an on-line request.

Where exactly is Nature Camps?

Monkton, Maryland. Map and driving directions.

Where are the van pick-up locations and times?

AM van window of time is 7:45 - 8:00, leaving directly at 8, returning window is 5 - 5:15. Van driver will call prior to child's session to get parent's best cell phone number to contact and to share the van phone number. If parents are running late (or the van) calls can be made.

Are van children also charged for the Extended Day Program?

"No! The children become part of that program, being involved in supervised activities."

Can parents visit camp during the camp day?

Definitely. A very important goal of Nature Camps has always been to welcome parents to visit or participate anytime. This has always been our policy and has always been stated on our website. Children feel so good about "their" camp when parents take the time to share the experiences their children have found to be meaningful.

What has been Nature Camps' long standing policy about children's lunches?

As stated on the Nature Camp website: "In keeping with our philosophy of trying to use the better part of wisdom with all growing folks, especially here at camp . . . PLEASE. . . NO candy, gum, artificial drinks, or sweets of any kind. Whole juices, fruits, nuts, and vegetables recommended." The Nature Camp Staff embodies this principle. Please pack only nonperishable items in your child's lunch, as the children often eat lunch on hikes or away from base camp. Nature Camps doesn't not provide refrigeration for campers' lunches.

I registered (by mail or fax or online) several weeks ago, and have not received any confirmation.

You will receive confirmation only after we have the following three items in the NC office: 1) Registration Form, 2) Complete Health Form (with all signatures), and 3) your deposit of $250 or more.

Can I register my 3½ year old for Camp Wonder? She's very mature for 3½

The Camp Wonder program is awesome for four year olds. However, our thirty-plus years of experience has proven that younger-than-fours are too young for Camp Wonder. 
 
Nature Camps is a Family Based Program. You and your younger children are always welcome to visit NC any time! When you bring the older children, you can hang out for a while in the cool, beautiful woods. You can even join in Big Circle. After Big Circle, when the campers disperse for their various activities, you and your little one can stay a while, swing on the swings, check out the sand box, walk up a trail, visit the stream, etc. This helps give her a small 'taste' of what her siblings are experiencing, while giving you both some fun, peaceful outdoors time. And, when you come to pick your children up in the afternoons, you and your daughter are welcome to take an afternoon swim in the pool, and/or hang out on the swings some more!
 
And, it gets even better! The Family Overnights are specifically designed to include the entire family, from little ones to grandparents. It's a wonderful opportunity to have some of the experiences that NC campers have, while the campers-to-be are still under the protective wings of their parents. If you haven't already been there, check out http://www.naturecamps.com/programs/cfamily.html

And, while it seems eons away to your three-year-old, she can look forward to joining Camp Wonder next summer! 

My 12-year-old is very mature, and I think she will enjoy the TA program.

NEW: Camper/Explorer Overnight Program (11-12 year olds)

The TA program is specifically designed for teens, 13-16. While not all 13-year-olds are the same, our many years of experience has proven that almost-13 year olds do not benefit as much from the TA program, often struggle to become a part of the group, and sometimes make the program more difficult for the other TA's. We have learned that a 12-year-old's needs, emotions, and abilities are much better met in the role of the 'older' camper at NC Day Camp.

I would like to choose my child's weeks a la carte -- a week here and a week there. Must I choose your session dates, or can I pick my own?

After forty-plus years of experience, Nature Camps has concluded that the optimal program for children 4-12 is a two-week program, progressing each day to new and more challenging activities: Camp Wonder (4 yr olds); Campers (5-12); Camper/Explorers (11-12).
 
Our program is designed so that each day builds upon the day before. Therefore, a child starting half-way through a session will be missing those important beginning camp days. This applies to many areas of your child's camp experience: making their own personal Nature Journal, taking the initial swim skills assessment, getting to know fellow campers, learning to identify poison ivy, how to perform a thorough tick check, becoming familiar with safety and nature-friendly guidelines, learning how our groups operate, and how to choose activities on a daily basis, beginning with a half-day, and building to whole day activity choices.
 
It is this building upon the prior experiences and learnings that makes Nature Camps unique. While we understand the desire to mold your child's schedule around vacations and other summer obligations, we request that you enroll your child for a full two-week session.
 
This same principle applies to the two-week Teen Adventure Programs. Again, each day builds upon the day before, and the teen benefits most from the two consecutive weeks of the TA program -- in the sequence we have designed.

We now offer the popular Add-a-Week option, where you can add a week at the end of a prior session.

Our Mission:

Nature Camps is an Outdoor Adventure and Environmental Education organization, that is committed to the use of experiential education programs to promote individual growth, and sensory awareness for both children and parents. NC is a family based program, specializing in mixed age learning.

What is your Federal Tax ID Number:

The Federal Tax ID # is 52-1774592.