2012 Nature Science Camp Backpackers

Enrollment Information & FAQs

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Register NOW!

Online registration begins at 7:30 am on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
Full payment is required upon registration.

To make a payment or update information, returning users may access their existing Active Network account here.

Please Note: Supervision, instruction, accommodation, food, equipment, supplies and a Point Reyes Summer Camp t-shirt are included in the registration fee. Transportation to and from camp is not included.

Waiting Lists

When filled, sessions will have wait lists available online through our registration process. Parents of wait-listed campers will be immediately notified should space become available.

Changes, Cancellations & Refunds

A $50 processing fee is charged for all cancellations and/or switching between sessions. Full refunds are issued for cancellations received more than 8 weeks prior to the first day of the session in which your child is registered and 50% refunds for cancellations received between 4 to 8 weeks prior to the start date. No refund will be issued for any reason if a cancellation is received less than 4 weeks prior to the start date or if a child is sent home due to ill health or behavioral issues. If you would like to cancel your child's registration, please call 415.663.1200 x 306 or email summercamp@ptreyes.org

Point Reyes Summer Camp sessions are optimally designed for the stated age groups. If you register your child in a session for which they are not eligible, they will be dropped from the program and a $50 processing charge will be retained.

Point Reyes Summer Camp reserves the right to dis-enroll any child whose health concerns are found to be beyond our ability to manage. In this case, every effort will be made to provide as much advance notice as possible and a full refund will be issued. 

Scholarships

In 2009, PRNSA founded the Young Stewards Youth Scholarship Fund to engage youth who traditionally have had little to no access to national parks. Since then, PRNSA has raised $413,000 in dedicated funds to provide residential environmental, science and wilderness experiences for nearly 5,000 youth. As funds allow, Point Reyes Summer Camp awards full scholarships to eligible children.

Scholarship applications for the 2015 summer camp season will be available in early January. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I contact you?

415-663-1200 x 306
summercamp@ptreyes.org

Point Reyes Summer Camp
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
1 Bear Valley Road, Bldg 70
Point Reyes Station CA 94956

When camp is in session (mid-June to mid-August), we can best be reached at the camp office at 415.663.1920. Please Note: We do not have access to email at the camp office.

Where is Point Reyes Summer Camp?

The Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, home base for Point Reyes Summer Camp, is located in Hidden Valley, two miles from Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore in West Marin County, California.

What are the accommodations?

The Clem Miller Environmental Education Center is designed as a model of ecological sustainability with photovoltaic modules providing electricity, solar-heated water, and composting, recycling and waste monitoring practices. Facilities include a large cedar lodge with dining room, library/science center and commercial kitchen. Campers sleep in spacious dormitory-style cabins furnished with wooden bunkbeds and mattresses. The cabins are solidly built of pine and have an open-beam design with ample skylights but no electricity or running water. Bed linens are not provided; each camper brings their own warm sleeping bag and pillow. Each cabin is home to 12 campers, two Counselor Intern Naturalists and one Counselor-In-Training. A bathhouse with private, solar-heated hot showers is located nearby. The site also includes a large central meadow and a campfire center. There is no internet or mobile phone service, offering everyone a welcome respite from the fast-paced world.

What is the food like? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies?

The PRSC kitchen prides itself on providing fresh, nutritious, handmade meals and snacks. PRSC partners with Alvarado Street Bakery, Clover Stornetta Dairy, Marin Sun Farm meats and Straus Family Creamery, all of whom donate or provide their products at reduced cost, allowing us to incorporate locally-grown, humanely-treated, sustainably-harvested, organic ingredients in every meal. Vegetarian options are always provided and special accomodations can be made for children with allergies and other dietary considerations. Due to the growing incidence of peanut allergies, all meals and snacks provided by camp are peanut-free. Please contact us to inquire about specific dietary considerations.

Is camp safe?

Point Reyes Summer Camp hosts approximately 50 children per session and maintains a 3 to 1 camper to staff ratio. Our small enrollment enables us to ensure the emotional and physical safety of campers and permits plenty of individualized attention. All staff members are first aid and CPR certified and follow strict procedural protocol in the case of unforeseen incidents and in the administration of first aid and medication. We maintain a close partnership with the National Park Service rangers, all of whom are trained Emergency Medical Technicians. Naturalist Educators carry National Park Service radios on all field-based activities and excursions and are trained to contact the rangers if assistance is required.

What are the qualifications of your staff?

Point Reyes Summer Camp programs are staffed by a handpicked group of professional Naturalists and Counselor Intern Naturalists, many of whom are former Point Reyes Summer Campers themselves. Staff positions are highly sought-after which allows us to select experienced candidates of the highest caliber. Staff members are carefully screened, undergo fingerprinting and California Department of Justice and FBI background checks and possess current CPR and first aid certification. All staff members complete an intensive onsite 6-day training program at the start of the season.

Naturalist Educators serve as our expedition leaders. They possess Bachelor’s degrees in natural science or education and have at least 1 year of teaching and wilderness leadership experience. Counselor Intern Naturalists supervise cabin groups and assist with field expeditions; they have considerable experience working with children and have completed at least one year of college and/or one season in our Counselor-In-Training program.

Who is in charge?

Point Reyes Summer Camp is guided and directed by Julia Clothier, Claire McMurtry, and Fiona O’Kelly, career environmental educators dedicated to creating stimulating learning environments within a community of loving support.

Julia Clothier has served as Director of Point Reyes Summer Camp and the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center since December 2008. Her expertise includes designing, leading, and administering environmental education and wilderness recreation programs for youth, staff development, program evaluation, facility management, and land stewardship. Julia is trained in nonviolent communication and conflict mediation. She holds a B.A. in Botany and an M.A. in Natural History, both from Sonoma State University.

Fiona O’Kelly began her work as Program Coordinator in 2003, after serving as a counselor and naturalist with Point Reyes Summer Camp. She has also worked as a program naturalist at Hidden Villa Environmental Education Program in Los Altos Hills and with the San Joaquin County Outdoor Education Program. Fiona holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology from Sonoma State University.

Claire McMurtry, Assistant Director/Lead Naturalist, began her career on the staff in 2000 after enjoying nine years as a camper. In addition to her role at camp, she serves as Grants Manager at Vida Verde, a nonprofit organization that provides free overnight environmental learning experiences to underserved urban youth. Claire holds a B.S. in Botany from Humboldt State University.

What are the drop off and pick up times for camp? Is it possible to arrange times that are more convenient for me?

Camper check-in begins at 10:00 AM. We appreciate it very much if you do not arrive earlier. Please be aware that check-in may last between 20 and 30 minutes.

Parents are asked to pick up campers at 2:00 PM sharp. 

We strongly discourage parents from altering this schedule because we find that doing so may disrupt a child’s camp experience. Parents must contact the camp director in advance if they wish to arrange an early departure for their child.

May I telephone and/or visit my child during camp?

Direct telephone contact with children is not permitted except in case of emergency. Neither do we allow parents to visit camp outside of regular drop-off and pick-up times. We find that calls or visits from parents can trigger distress and homesickness. Parents are welcome to contact the camp administrative staff at 415-663-1920 to check on a camper.

What address should I use to send mail to my child when s/he is at camp?

Child's First & Last Name
Camp Session Number & Dates
Point Reyes Summer Camp
1 Bear Valley Road, Bldg 70
Point Reyes Station CA 94956

Parents may also slip camper mail to the director on arrival day to be delivered later in the week.

NOTE: Please do not send any food to your child while they are at camp. We do not permit candy or gum at camp and we do not allow the storage of food inside the sleeping cabins.

May my child be placed in a cabin with a friend?

Parents may designate one bunkmate per camper by completing the 'friend request' space on the Health History Emergency Treatment Form (emailed immediately following online registration and included in each scholarship application). We make every effort to accommodate these requests. Please be aware that we will not place more than 3 close friends in the same cabin; we find doing so often prevents children from reaching out and connecting with new friends.

What if my child feels homesick during camp?

Homesickness is not uncommon for children who are away from home overnight. Some children will naturally miss family members at some point during the session, especially at bedtime. We take special care to create a close-knit, engaging and loving environment to help ease and release any homesickness that arises. If you know your child is prone to homesickness or if they have never been to a “sleep-away” camp, please discuss the possibility with them and reassure them that it is normal and natural to feel this way and that you are confident in their ability to successfully complete their stay. Please do not tell them that they may call you or that you will come pick them up early if they are feeling homesick. We generally do not allow campers to use the telephone and your offering to pick up a child early can set up a situation that prevents him/her from settling in at camp.

What is your tax ID number? Are camp fees tax deductible?

Our organization’s tax identification number is 94-222-8894.

According to IRS Publication 503 (Child and Dependent Care Expenses), “The cost of sending your child to an overnight camp is not considered a work related expense.” Our Auditor has informed us that Point Reyes Summer Camp is not considered a “dependent care center” and therefore does not qualify for the tax credit. Please consult with a tax professional for more clarification on IRS tax rules.

What is the camp waiting list procedure?

Once a session is full, waiting lists are automatically generated via the Active Network (our contracted online registration provider). Parents may place their child on any waiting list for which the child is age-appropriate. No payment or credit card number is required to do so.

When a space opens up in a desired session, we contact parents of waitlisted children by phone. If we are unable to reach you, we will leave a message. We always give a deadline by which we must hear back from you (after which the spot will be offered to another child). Once a spot is accepted, full payment is required.

We strongly recommend placing your child on camp waiting lists. We place many waitlisted children in camp sessions every year. Cancellations are received regularly, often immediately prior to refund deadlines of 8 weeks (full refund) and 4 weeks (half refund) before each session begins. Often we will have a very late cancellation a day or two before a session begins. For every cancellation, no matter how late, the spot is offered to parents of waitlisted children.

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

A $50 processing fee is charged for all cancellations and/or switching between sessions. Full refunds are issued for cancellations received more than 8 weeks prior to the first day of the session in which your child is registered and 50% refunds for cancellations received between 4 to 8 weeks prior to the start date. No refund will be issued for any reason if a cancellation is received less than 4 weeks prior to the start date or if your child is sent home due to ill health or behavioral issues.

Point Reyes Summer Camp sessions are optimally designed for the stated age groups. If you register your child in a session for which they are not eligible, they will be dropped from the program and a $50 processing charge will be retained.

Point Reyes Summer Camp reserves the right to dis-enroll any child whose health concerns we believe will be beyond our ability to manage. In this case, every effort will be made to provide as much advance notice as possible and a full refund will be issued.