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Details About Our Payment Policies

Our Sliding Scale System

At Primitive Pursuits we are committed to making our programs available to as many people as possible. To this end, we generate scholarships via our sliding-scale fee on a program-to-program basis. The base rate of our programs covers the cost of the program. Any payments above the base rate are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. When filing for taxes Primitive Pursuits is listed under “Cornell Cooperative Extension” Tax ID #16-6072897.

To learn more about financial assistance, please visit our Scholarships page.

Common Online Payment Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Please login to your Account Portal on a computer (not smartphone or tablet)
  2. Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser (not Explorer or Safari)
  3. Wait at least 30 seconds after submitting your payment for the screen to change (there is no visual symbol showing that the credit card payment is processing).
  4. If the payment does not go through and you are on a computer using Firefox or Chrome, it may be that your credit/debit card has a past expiration date on file. Try entering your current card as a 'new' card in the Account Portal.
  5. Check with your bank to determine whether your account has enough balance to cover the payment.
  6. If you have gone through the above steps, please email us for additional assistance:

Late Pick-Up Policy (all youth programs)

Please be aware, our staff have families, too! If your child remains in our care beyond the appointed pick up time we reserve the right to charge you for the additional supervision costs incurred. The cost is $20 for each fifteen minute increment or portion thereof per child. For example, if you are 1-15 min. late, the cost is $20. If you are 16-30 min. late, the cost is $40. By making payment for our programs you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly.

Late Arrival / Early Departure Policy (all youth programs)

For ANY late arrive or early pick-up needs, you must email at least 2 full business days' in advance (eg. by Thursday morning for Monday program). Our programs often happen away from the parking area, and so these situations require special arrangements among our field staff. We do our best to accommodate these requests as much as possible and will be in communication to confirm with you. If you have not given this notice, you will be charged $20 for each 15-minute increment (or portion thereof) that you drop off or pick up within set youth program times.

Receipt Requests

We issue annual receipts for all tax-deductible donations early each calendar year, before April.

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2017; spring of 2018). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime this may take longer.

Weather-Related Cancellations

If a single-day program (such as a school-break day) is canceled due to inclement weather, we will credit your payment toward a future program or refund your payment minus a $15 processing fee. If a single day of an ongoing program (such as a week-long camp, Homeschool program, or after-school programs) is canceled, no refunds will be made.

We will cancel our programs if the Ithaca City School District cancels school due to snow or hazardous weather. We will cancel Afterschool if ICSD cancels after school programs due to snow or hazardous weather. If the program takes place on a school break day or holiday, we will cancel our programs if the Tompkins County sheriff declares that the roads are closed due to hazardous conditions. If there is a 2 hour delay, we will delay our program for 1 hour. As always, we encourage people to travel only when they feel it is safe. You can check here for current school and road closings.


Please look for registration status in your Account Portal. If you see "waitlist" then that participant is on the waitlist. Our registration software will not accept payment for a waitlisted participant. If a spot opens, we call and email the next waitlisted person and include a deadline for reply and payment arranged through the office. Our field staff cannot accept payments for programs.

Cancellation Policies

  • In order for any program change or refund request to be considered, it must be made in writing through the registrar, even if you have discussed this with another staff person, such as a field educator.
  • The effective date of all refund requests is the date of the email notifying the Registrar of your request.
  • Changes and refunds are NOT guaranteed and only the Registrar can process these changes.
  • Epic Days and donations (amount paid above the base rate) are nonrefundable.
  • All deposits (even "non-refundable deposits") will be returned if you are unable to participate in a program for lack of approval of a scholarship request.

Please email with your full name, phone number, the participant's name, the full program name(s), and the program start date(s).
No phone calls.

Refer to the program-specific policies below:

Academic Year (except Ithaca Forest Preschool):

  1. If you cancel 30 or more days prior to the program starting date, you are entitled to a full refund, minus the deposit & any donation above the sliding scale base rate.
  2. If you cancel between 14 and 30 days prior to the program starting date, Primitive Pursuits will retain half the program tuition, after the deposit & any donation above the sliding scale base rate.
  3. If you cancel fewer than 14 days prior to the program starting date or after the program has begun, there will be no refunds.
  4. Epic Day fees are non-refundable/transferable

Ithaca Forest Preschool:

  1. Deposits are nonrefundable. If you cancel after a program payment in full due date (in 2019-20 these dates are August 1st, November 1st, and February 1st), there are no refunds.

Summer: Day Camps/Growing Wild

1. If you cancel before May 1st, choose:

  • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2019 with available space ($200 Growing Wild; $300 Day Camp) OR
  • partial refund of the full fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate ($100 Growing Wild; $200 Day Camp)

2. If you cancel between May 1st to June 1st, choose:

  • partial credit of the full fee minus the deposit, transferable to another summer camp in 2019 with available space
  • partial refund of 50% of the full fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate)

3.If you cancel between June 1st and July 1st:

  • partial credit transferable to another summer camp in 2019 (50% of fee minus deposit)
  • there are NO refunds

4. After July 1st there are NO credit transfers.

Epic Day Fees are non-refundable/transferable.
Donations are non-refundable.

Summer: Arnot Forest Camps

For more information regarding Arnot Forest Camp payment policies please visit our Arnot Forest Camps FAQ and scroll to the Registration and Paperwork Details section.

These policies are also available in a downloadable PDF here.

"I recognize so many trees and plants here that I learned about in my time with you and have been passing on my fascination with fire to many people since I arrived. This program has watered a seed in me that wants to grow tall and strong for the rest of my life." Wilderness Skills Alumna

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