What is the location of your program?
We have a building at 86 Beech Hill Road which will be used only during bad weather. Our outdoor programs are located at 79 Beech Hill Road on approximately 80 acres of woods and field. We will also be using other public outdoor locations. You can find a list of locations for our summer camp under the Parent Handbook tab.
What will children use for a bathroom during the outdoor programs?
We will provide a portable toilet, privacy screen and hand washing station when other toilets are not available. We have a beautiful composting toilet available at our woodland site.
Will there be shelter for days with extra precipitation or excessive sun and heat?
Shelter is provided at the woodland site in the form of a cabin with a wood stove. When we are off site, we will retreat to the 15-passenger van if needed. On days when the wind is unbearable, we may retreat to the school at 86 Beech Hill Road and remain inside for the day.
What will you do in an emergency?
All teachers will be CPR and First Aid certified and work towards obtaining Wilderness First Aid certification. Each group will carry a first aid pack. A Go Bag and extra first aid pack will always be stored in the van along with extra clothes and supplies. Emergency contact, medical information and a cell phone will be kept with the first aid pack wherever the group is located at any time. An emergency plan for illness, injury, severe weather, catastrophic events, etc. will be included in training new employees and kept with the vehicle on site. Parents will receive access to the emergency plan upon enrollment. There will be protection from precipitation and sun provided by a tarp or tent at each location. Emergency shelter is available in several buildings nearby. The 15-passenger van will be used as an emergency shelter at any off site locations. The vehicle will be maintained so that heat or air conditioning is available as needed.
What do children need to wear?
Parents are required to bring two complete changes of clothing, a pair of slippers (only for preschool afternoon care) and one set of socks and shoes appropriate for the weather. Soiled clothing will be sent home and a clean change of clothes will need to be brought back the next day. Good clothing is not recommended because children will be participating in messy activities daily. All items need to be labeled with your child's initials. If your child can not carry these things in his/her backpack then please bring an extra labeled bag to be kept with our van or in our building.
The school year programs will require a variety of layers. Children will need full waterproof outfits for rainy days- rain coat, rain pants, (or rain suit) and waterproof boots. It is a good idea to find rain wear that also fits over snow wear for colder months. Warm layers and waterproofing will be important for the winter months. We will be outside for hours and children will need some flexibility in their clothing depending on the activity. Layers provide flexibility for children to remove or add layers as needed throughout the program. Waterproof gloves/mittens make the most sense for the types of activities we will be doing. Knitted gloves/mittens are not appropriate.
If your child is new to potty training then please make sure the bottom half is easy to remove quickly. Stretch pants are best for this time period. Please avoid buttons, belts and overalls.
There are several local places to find good outerwear: LL Bean, Reny's, REI, Patagonia, Gear Me, Sweet Repeats and Woods + Water Gear Exchange. Some brands to look for may include Didriksons, Grundens, Tuffo, Oakiwear, Biddle and Bop, Ollie and Stella and Puddlegear. An inexpensive online store for kids outerwear is www.sierra.com.
What do children need to bring?
Children will be required to come dressed appropriately, carry their own backpack with extra clothes and a water bottle. Teachers shall have extra bottled water available, extra clothes appropriate for the weather, extra dry snacks or fruit/vegetables, hand washing water and soap, hand sanitizer, and an outdoor toileting facility with cleaning supplies. We also provide bug spray and sunscreen.
What if children get cold during a winter session?
In cold weather, a heat source such as an open fire will be used as part of the curriculum. Children will learn how to safely build and maintain a fire. Teachers will always create a safety zone around the fire area and explain the rules carefully during each session. Plenty of water will be available each time a fire is lit. We also have a cabin with a wood stove at the woodland site. On extremely cold days, we use the cabin as a warming hut.
What weather guidelines will you use for cancelling an outdoor program?
If the temperature is below 20 degrees for an extended part of the day then outdoor activities will be shortened depending on the location. The wind is usually a more limiting factor than temperature. It's much more difficult to enjoy outdoor adventures when the wind is persistent so we will move our program inside or to an open field location if the wind is consistently over 30 MPH. We will enjoy rain and snow outside, but thunder and lightning will force us to be inside. At this time, we are able to move our fun inside to 86 Beech Hill Road so most programs will not be cancelled unless the weather keeps everyone off the roads. We will not run a program for less than 4 children so it is important to let us know if you will or will not have your child attend on extreme weather days.