Summer Camps

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Growing Wild

Growing Wild (Ages 3-5)

Dates & Locations

June 25 - June 29, 2018
4-H Acres
July 02 - July 06, 2018
4-H Acres
July 09 - July 13, 2018
4-H Acres
July 16 - July 20, 2018
4-H Acres
July 23 - July 27, 2018
Ellis Hollow Community Center
July 30 - August 03, 2018
4-H Acres
August 06 - August 10, 2018
4-H Acres
August 13 - August 17, 2018
4-H Acres
August 20 - August 24, 2018
Ellis Hollow Community Center
August 20 - August 24, 2018
4-H Acres
August 27 - August 31, 2018
4-H Acres

Nature is the teacher. We are mentors and facilitators, helping young children connect with their bodies, the elements of nature and each other within a safe explorative space in the outdoors.

We help young children connect with nature and each other, while exploring a safe space in the outdoors. Each day at Growing Wild kids discover the wonders in the woods around our camp, sing songs, and share stories. They use natural materials, such as clay, rock-paint, bark, and leaves to create works of woodland art.

Our forest playground includes trails to explore, forts to build and play inside and puddles in which to stomp and splash!

Please use only FIREFOX or CHROME, as our software doesn't play well with Safari and Explorer.

*Please note, there is NO CAMP ON JULY 4. RATE IS ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY.


Eligibility for Growing Wild Camp is dependent on the following criteria:

  • Toilet Training: Children must be out of diapers/pull-ups and needing only minimal assistance with toileting. Children are encouraged to pee outside and to poop in a child potty that is kept at our base camp. Occasionally we are too far from a potty and need to use the nature bathroom (pee on the ground, poop in a hole) with assistance. There is also an indoor bathroom a short walk away.
  • Child must be 3 yrs old by May 1, 2018

  • Registration is complete and your child's space is held when:
    Payment has been made in full AND a NEW copy of your child's latest immunization records has been sent to the Primitive Pursuits office (we are required by the NY Health Dept. to collect these every year, even if your child was with us the previous summer).

† Tuition is based on a self-determined sliding scale. Funds received above the minimum go to our scholarship fund as a tax-deductible donation (you will receive a receipt at the end of the year).

  • 9:00am - 1:00pm
  • Flexible drop-off and pick-up time: You may drop off between 9-9:15am and pick up 1-1:15PM
  • $200 - $300
    per session

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Is food provided?

No. Please supply yourself/your child with plenty of healthy snacks, lunch, and water each day. These are active children, and they get HUNGRY! Protein, fat, and fiber are especially important for providing long-burning energy.


Is there public transportation or carpooling available?

For programs at 4-H Acres: it is an on-demand TCAT stop, and there is a bus that can arrive right around 9am. We do not arrange carpooling, but you are welcome to discuss this at drop off or pickup with other participants/parents who may be interested.

Is toilet-training required?

Yes. Children must be out of diapers/pull-ups and needing only minimal assistance with toileting. Children are encouraged to pee outside and to poop in a child potty that is at our base camp. There is also an indoor bathroom a short walk from our base camp. Sometimes we are too far from a potty and need to use the nature bathroom (pee on the ground, poop in a hole) with assistance.


Will my child be outside the whole time?​​

We are outside the vast majority of the time; however we do have access to several places to go “in”, including a tipi, a pavilion, and a heated building with bathrooms. Parents learn to dress their children for the weather, and children learn how to stay--or get--warm and dry. Our motto is, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing." And remember:

Whether the weather is cold
Or whether the weather is hot
Whether the weather is fair
Or whether the weather is not
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not.

Registration Details

What scholarships are available?

Primitive Pursuits is 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. Any contributions made over the minimum of the sliding scale for all our programs are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. Thus, scholarships are limited to the sum of these funds and are awarded based on equitable distribution.

ADDITIONAL OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR SCHOLARSHIPS:

Although we do our best to make sure that everyone can attend our programs, please also consider applying right away to the following supplemental financial assistance programs, to allow time for processing your application:

  • Ithaca Youth Bureau ECHO Scholarship - This scholarship is through the Ithaca Youth Bureau and intended for youth in Tompkins County, at any time of year.
  • Department of Social Services Day Care Subsidies - Primitive Pursuits (Summer Camp only) is eligible for DSS Childcare subsidies
  • If you live outside of the Town of Ithaca, inquire at your local town hall for possibilities of youth scholarships. Please let us know of any resources you find!

What to know about Primitive Pursuits scholarships before applying:

  • The maximum scholarship we can supply for any program is outlined below by program type.
  • Larger scholarships are considered under extenuating circumstances, and on a case by case basis.
  • Scholarship applications must be submitted a minimum of 30 days before the program start date to ensure consideration.

MAXIMUM Primitive Pursuits scholarships by program:

  • After School, Homeschool and School Break programs: 50% of program cost up to $100.
  • Growing Wild Summer Camp: $50 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks of camp per child.
  • Summer Day Camp: $100 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks of camp per child.
  • Overnight Camp: $225 per week of overnight camp for a maximum of 2 weeks of camp.
  • Forest Preschool Trimester: $100 in scholarship for the first day/week, then $50 for each additional day/week (e.g., If you are registered for Mondays & Wednesdays, the maximum amount in scholarship would be $150)
  • Adult Workshops: 50% of program cost up to $100.
  • Wilderness Skills Intensive: up to $300
  • Wilderness Year: up to $1000

How to apply:

  • Please complete a separate scholarship application for EACH participant and each course offering.
  • (eg. Robin Bird for Base Camp starting 7/1/18, requesting $50; Jay Bird for Growing Wild Camp starting 7/1/18, requesting $25).
  • When submitting a scholarship application, please remember that no space can be held without a deposit. If you do not receive the requested scholarship and cannot afford the program, your deposit WILL be refunded upon request.
  • If you are applying for a scholarship for more than the maximum amount listed above, please email our office at primitivepursuits@cornell.edu with information about your circumstances.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?

Should you choose to cancel an enrollment for ANY reason, our refund policies are as follows:

Refund requests must be made through the registrar, even if you have discussed cancelling your enrollment with another staff, such as a field educator. The effective date of all refund requests is the date in which you notify the registrar of your refund request. Email primitivepursuits@cornell.edu with your full name, phone, the participant's name, the full program name, and the program start date.

ACADEMIC YEAR:

1. If you cancel 60 or more days prior to the program starting date, you are entitled to a full refund, minus the deposit.

2. If you cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to the program starting date, Primitive Pursuits will retain half the program tuition, after the deposit.

3. If you cancel fewer than 30 days prior to the program starting date or after the program has begun, there will be no refunds.


SUMMER: Day Camps/Growing Wild

1. If you cancel before May 1st, choose

  • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($200 Growing Wild; $300 Day Camp) OR
  • partial refund (full fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate).
  • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($780 Overnight Camp) OR
  • partial refund (fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate = $530).

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

  • partial credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($100 Growing Wild; $200 Day Camp; $390 Overnight Camp) OR
  • partial refund (50% of fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate).
  • partial credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($530) OR
  • partial refund (50% of fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate = $265).

3. After June 1, there are NO refunds or credit transfers.


SUMMER: Overnight Camps

1. If you cancel before April 1st, choose

  • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($780 Overnight Camp) OR
  • partial refund (fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate = $530).

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

  • partial credit transferable to another summer camp in 2018 with available space ($530) OR
  • partial refund (50% of fee minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate = $265).

3. After May 1, there are NO refunds or credit transfers for Overnight Camps.

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