CAMP DETAILS FOR WILDERNESS SKILLS OVERNIGHT CAMP

Updated 7/21/2021

Thank you for registering your child for our 2021 Wilderness Skills Overnight Camp.

This page provides important information about preparing your child for camp; we know it’s long, but please read it thoroughly!

Camp Location:

Earth Native Bastrop Campus at 137 Woodview Ln, Bastrop, TX 78602

Click here for written directions and Google map link

Communication:

Please call the main school number at 512-299-8870, if you have any questions or have trouble finding our campus. On Monday and Wednesday evenings you will receive a camp update email.

 

Camp Times:

Drop-off: Please arrive at 10:00am on Monday for registration and sign-in. Please plan to stay with your child for the first 30-60 minutes to help set up their tent, meet the staff and get settled in. 

Pick-up: Please pick-up your child Friday at 12:00pm. No later pick up is available.

Sign-In and Sign-Out:

It is our policy that each camper be signed-in at the beginning of the camp and signed-out at the end. Please make sure that whoever drops off and picks up your child is aware of the need to do this. Please make a note at sign-in if your child will be picked up on Friday by someone other than the person who has dropped them off Monday.

Initial Health screening:

Upon arrival at camp, each camp family will be required to certify that neither their child, nor anyone in the child's household, is exhibiting any of the below symptoms:

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

At check-in campers will be screened for a fever using a no touch infra-red thermometer and blood oxygenation levels will be checked using a non-invasive fingertip pulse oximeter. Body temperature readings must be below 100 degrees, blood oxygenation must be above 94%, and neither the child, nor anyone in their household, can be experiencing any of the above symptoms for the child to be permitted to attend camp. Any child who does not pass the initial health screening will not be permitted to stay at camp and the camp family will be issued a full refund. 

Note: If your child has seasonal allergies or another chronic condition that causes any of the above COVID-19 symptoms, a doctor's note clearing them to attend camp will need to be presented before they can be dropped off. The note must include contact information for the doctor should we need to follow up.

What to bring:   (PLEASE LABEL ALL YOUR CHILD’S BELONGINGS)

  • 6 full changes of clothing

    • Comfortable clothes that can get dirty and are appropriate for the weather

    • Please pack a pair of light pants to help prevent mosquito bites

    • Also, please send shoes that are comfortable for playing running around games in addition to any other shoes packed.

    • Sleepwear

  • Swim suit (that covers maximum amount of skin - to protect against sticks in the creek and sunburn. Rash guards are ideal.)

  • 2 towels (one for showers and one for creek time)

  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes that can get dirty

  • Water shoes (will be needed for creek time)

  • Tent

  • Sheet or light weight blanket (sleeping bag are too warm)

  • Outdoor sleeping mat/camping pad

  • Pillow – if desired

  • Raingear or poncho

  • Bug spray and anti-itch cream/spray!!

  • Sunscreen/Hat

  • Flashlight or headlamp

  • Face Mask - Masks will only be required for campers and staff in the event that a group of campers needs to shelter in an enclosed area to escape inclement weather - OR - if a camper develops symptoms of illness (associated with COVID-19) during camp before they can be picked-up (if they are unable to be distanced at least 12 feet from others).

  • 1 full water bottle- 27 oz. (If you purchased an Earth Native water bottle during registration it will be given to your child at camp.)

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, etc.) – Avoid scented items because they will attract insects.

    • ​All shampoo, body wash, soap, etc. should be biodegradable

  • Small Backpack (Daypack)

  • Packed lunch for Monday (All other meals/snack are provided through Friday’s breakfast/AM snack. Please bring a packed lunch for pick-up on Friday)

  • Mess Kit (non-breakable plate, bowl, spoon, fork, knife, cup)

  • Medications (if applicable) – Please list all medications on your child’s registration form. Any prescription meds must be given to the staff member who is checking you in on Monday morning.

  • Sharp Mora Brand Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife. If you choose to purchase or rent a knife during registration it will be given to your child at camp. If you chose to purchase a knife on your own, please be sure to pack it. Note: We do not sell knives in-person at camp and instructors are not authorized to take any payments. Please purchase a knife in advance.

  • OPTIONAL ITEMS (to help beat the heat): Battery operated fans that can hang/set in tents (pack extra batteries). Water bottles that also spray mist or cooling towels that can be worn around the neck.

  • Lastly, feel free to pack playing cards, books, non-electronic games, etc. for tent time. (No phones or electronics are allowed)

Note: We do have a limited amount of gear that is available for rent if you don’t have an item on the list and would prefer not to buy it. If you did not choose this during your registration process but are still interested, please contact mikki@earthnativeschool.com. Rental gear is limited and is available to reserve on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in renting items from us, please let us know ASAP (and at least 1 week prior to camp) so we can hold them for you. 

 

What NOT to Pack:

  • Electronics – Including cell phones, iPods/iPads, video games, etc. If parents would like to check up on their campers, they can contact the Camp Director at any time.  

  • Any food beyond Monday’s packed lunch

  • Excess extra clothes

 

SAFETY POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Daily Health Screening:

Health screenings will be conducted each morning at camp and the camp staff will be vigilant in recognizing and identifying any of the common signs & symptoms of COVID-19. Any child experiencing any of these symptoms will be immediately separated from the group. We will have on-site COVID testing available and with parent permission will be able to will be able to administer a COVID test.

Parents/Guardians and the camper's secondary emergency contact need to be reachable by phone 24 hours a day while camp is in session. 

CLICK HERE to learn about our COVID safety precautions at camp!

Tent Sharing:

Tent sharing is allowed as long as it is arranged in advance by parents/guardian. Spontaneous tent sharing will not be allowed.

Food:

Food will be provided for all program participants starting at dinner on Monday night. Please send a packed lunch with your camper for Monday. We have noted all food restrictions/allergies that you provided during registration and will shop accordingly. Please do not send any additional food with your child. If there is a need to send food, due to a food allergy/restriction, please contact us in advance. You will need to “check in” this food with an Instructor on the first day.

Hydration:

We take safety very seriously at Earth Native and summer heat is definitely a hazard we face here in Texas. In order to prevent heat related illness, we will require your children to drink water throughout the day. Though we have lots of tricks up our sleeves to get reluctant children to drink a safe amount of water, on occasion we have a child who is unwilling. If your child is unwilling to drink a safe amount of water throughout the day we will call you to help, or perhaps to pick them up if the unwillingness persists.

Knives:

Regardless of any prior student experience with knife use we require that each student participate in a knife safety training at camp. After the training, each student will be required to pass a knife safety certification before they can use their knife. Even after students pass the verbal and skill test and are “Knife Certified,” instructors will hold the students to strict guidelines regarding knife use that must be followed at all times to include:

  • Students must ask an instructor before using their knife. (If it is an appropriate time, the instructor will direct them to a safe location where they can carve.)

  • Students must maintain a minimum distance apart from other students and instructors while carving. (The distance must be equal to or greater than the distance of their arm length plus the length of the object they are carving.)

  • A knife is not a toy and can never be treated as such. (Using a knife in an inappropriate manner can result in the knife being taken away and a loss of knife certification. If this happens, the student will have to re-earn their knife certification by acknowledging that what they did that was inappropriate/dangerous and re-passing the knife certification at a later time/date deemed appropriate by the instructor.)

  • Never carve toward or on top of any part of your body.

  • Never leave a knife unattended.

  • Always put your knife back in the sheath and back in your backpack when you are done carving.

  • Knives must stay in backpacks when not in use.

Over the years we have found that Mora knives are the absolute best knife for your money

and a great knife for kids as they make carving very easy, which is safer.

Weather Policy:

Our camps run rain or shine, however, although it is very rare, we will delay or cancel a day of camp in cases of dangerous/severe weather (such as tornado warnings, flash flood warnings, etc.). If the first day of camp is canceled or delayed due to severe weather, you will be notified via phone or email and it will be clearly marked on the webpage for your camp. If unexpected severe weather hits or is imminent while camp is in progress, we will call you and have you come pick up your child from camp. Camp will resume after the severe weather has passed. If you have questions about cancellations please first check our website, if you don’t get the answers you are seeking then please call/text the main school number at 512-299-8870

Lastly, please take a moment to read our Student Code of Conduct - click here

If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 299-8870 or via e-mail at Info@EarthNativeSchool.com

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

What did Your Child Learn at Summer Camp this week?

Is it “enough” for your child to come home from camp with a sparkle in their eye and dirt on their knee? We think so, but some parents might wonder, “‘Where is the curriculum?’ Is my child actually learning anything at this nature camp?” And well you might wonder, for it is only what we teach that is right in front of us – how we teach it is what we like to call “invisible”. (It’s not really invisible, you just have to know what to look for!)

Our curriculum is taught in a variety of ways – through storytelling, games, hands-on doing, challenges, and the art of questioning. Furthermore, only a portion of our camp curriculum is set in stone – it is more important to us to notice who your child is and what in the natural world captures their excitement and curiosity! Nature provides many more opportunities for learning and discovery each week than we could ever follow. So, within very broad guidelines and intentions, we allow nature and the children to be our guide.

If your child says “We had fun! We sneaked and hid and ambushed and wandered around and got lost,” please understand that this is our pedagogical method at Earth Native School. Based on how hunters and gatherers taught their children, camp is designed to be an “invisible school” that flows with the energy cycles of your children and the opportunities that nature presents. We are confident you will find that, in one short week, we’ve begun to reach our goal for your child: to awaken awareness, to provide tools for inquiry; and to create learning routines for life-long naturalist studies.

So, if you ask your child what they “learned” at camp, you might get a vague answer, or none at all. Instead, we invite you to ask them questions that will allow them to show you what they know... here are some suggestions:

- Are there any wild plants that you like to eat? Can you show me? (Instructor Tip: Be sure to ask them if they know of any similar looking plants that cannot be eaten! Ask them how to tell the difference, and if YOU don’t know, look them up in a field guide! We emphasize and role model this important safety technique when eating wild edible plants and encourage you to do the same!)

- I’ve heard you can build a shelter out of branches and leaves; can you tell/show me how?

(Instructor Tip: To build a human-size shelter can be a several hour project in a location where all the natural materials are close at hand. You can build a doll-size shelter much more quickly, and then test its effectiveness with a “rain storm” from a water bottle.)


- Is there a way to move silently to get close to animals? (Instructor Tip: Ask your child if they learned any sneaking games that they’d like to show you.)

- Is this an animal track? How many toes does it have? Which way do you think the animal was going? Does it have claws? What kind of animal might have made it? (Instructor Tip: Asking lots of questions before deciding “who” it is can lead to more learning! Animal track field guides are lots of fun.)