CAMP DETAILS FOR WILD LIFE SUMMER CAMP
Greetings and Welcome!
Thank you for registering your child for our 2020 Wild Life Summer Camp. This page provides important information about preparing your child for camp; we know it’s long, but please read it thoroughly!
Earth Native Bastrop Campus at 137 Woodview Ln, Bastrop, TX 78602
Drop-off: Please arrive between 9:00am and 9:05am for sign-in all week. (Unless you have signed up for extended care.) We will meet at our Wild Life Forest Preschool play-yard for sign-in.
Pick-up: Please arrive to pick-up and sign-out between 1:55pm and 2:00pm all days. All children not signed up for extended care must be signed-out by 2:00pm.
Extended Care Hours: 8:00am – 3:00pm (Please sign-up and pay for this service in advance.) See below for details.
No Early Arrival/Late Pickup:
Although our staff is on-site both before and after sign-in and sign-out, they are NOT available to supervise children outside of the arrival and pick-up times indicated above. This time is used for program planning and debrief, and it is critical to us being able to provide each individual camper and the group with the best week possible. We know that this is challenging for working parents and appreciate your understanding.
Late Pick-up Fees:
Additional fees will be charged to parents who are more than 15 minutes late to pick-up at a rate of $1 per minute. Parents who are 10-15 minutes late will be given one verbal warning before being charged. Parents that are more than 15 minutes late will be charged without a warning.
Optional Extended Care:
Extended care is available 1 hour before and 1 hour after camp for an additional $20 per camp day. Extended care drop-off will begin at 8am and pick-up is available until 3pm. If you did not choose and pay for this at registration, please email us to have this added.
During registration we asked for you to list all adults, including parents, who are authorized to pick up your child from camp. If there are any additions/changes to this, please email us or let your camp instructor know on the first day of camp.
Sign-In and Sign-Out:
It is our policy that each camper be signed-in every morning and signed-out every afternoon! Please make sure that everyone who is authorized to drop-off or pick-up your child during the week is aware of the need to do this. We will check identification at pick-up until we know you, and this must match the names of individuals authorized to take home your child.
We also ask that if there is someone that your child knows well (parent, uncle, grandparent etc.) who is NOT authorized to pick them up due to custody issue or restraining order or similar situation that you let us know so we are aware of the situation.
What Your Child Should Wear:
Comfortable clothes that can get very dirty/wet and are appropriate for the weather
Sturdy, closed-toe shoes that can get wet and very dirty
Raingear or poncho if significant rain is in the forecast
What to Pack:
Please send the following items with your child in a small/medium backpack that can fit ALL of their personal items including their lunch and water bottle. (Please do not send your child to camp with a bag on wheels or a satchel they have to carry over one shoulder or send your child with a pack that is too small to fit all of their items in.)
FULL 27 oz. (or larger) water bottle or camelback style water system is REQUIRED (In the heat it is critical that your child drink enough water. If your child does not bring a water bottle they will not be able to attend camp until they have one.) If you ordered an Earth Native water bottle during registration it will be given to you at sign-in on the first day of camp and there will be a filling station near-by.
Extra pair of shorts/bottoms and undies
Personal supply of sunscreen – Please apply your child’s sunscreen before you drop them off. While our instructors will do their best to monitor and remind campers about re-application, it is very helpful if campers of a reasonable age are able to monitor and help themselves.
Bug spray!! – We highly recommend that you put bug spray on your children before camp. The chiggers are present during the warmer months. Don’t forget to put bug spray around their ankles/socks and around their waist under their shirt to help prevent chigger bites as well as on top of their clothing. Natural bug sprays do not seem to work well on chiggers. Having your child take a shower after camp is also a very good idea. Here is a link to a helpful article about chiggers
What NOT to Pack:
Excessive sugary snacks or “energy drinks”
We will be covering a fair bit of ground on foot each day, and heavy backpacks become a challenge for all. Bring what you need and nothing else. (Extra items can be stored at the preschool cubbies.)
We take safety very seriously at Earth Native and summer heat is definitely the number one hazard we face here in Texas. In order to prevent heat related illness, we will require your children to drink water throughout the day. If your child does not like to drink water, please consider adding about 1⁄4 or 1⁄2 juice to the water to give it some flavor. Alternately EmergenC or similar drink packets can help the kids to drink more and replenish their electrolytes. Also, please consider packing your child some salty snacks to encourage drinking and to help replenish the salt they are losing through perspiration.
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.
Our camps run rain or shine, however we will delay or cancel a day of camp in cases of dangerous/severe weather (such as tornado warnings, flash flood warnings, etc.) If camp is canceled for a day you will be notified via email and it will be clearly marked on the webpage for your camp. If you have questions about cancelations please first check our website, if you don’t get the answers you are seeking then please call/text the Camp Director or Dave Scott at 512-299-8870.
What to Expect:
Please arrive at the sign-in location (Wild Life Forest Preschool yard) between 9:00am and 9:05am to sign your child in. An instructor or our Camp Director will greet you at the sign-in table. Please keep your child with you until after he or she is signed-in! At that point your child will get a name tag, and then will be invited to join the rest of the group to play. This is a good time to check-in with an instructor if you have any questions or concerns.
At Earth Native School we encourage campers to really connect with the natural world! Often that means getting right in...be it mud, charcoal or berry-juice face paint. Don’t be surprised to see children and adults with dirty faces at the end of the day. Please send your child to camp in clothes and shoes that can get dirty and wet. Bringing a change of clothes and/or keeping some large trash bags in the car during camp week for kids to sit on at the end of the day is a great way to minimize the impact of dirty campers! We also recommend a bath/shower for your child each day after camp.
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
We look forward to seeing you this summer!
What did Your Child Learn at Summer Camp Today?
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.)