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Summer Camps

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Growing Wild


Dates & Locations

June 29 - July 03, 2020
4-H Acres
July 06 - July 10, 2020
4-H Acres
July 13 - July 17, 2020
4-H Acres
July 20 - July 24, 2020
Ellis Hollow Community Center
July 27 - July 31, 2020
4-H Acres
August 03 - August 07, 2020
4-H Acres
August 10 - August 14, 2020
4-H Acres
August 17 - August 21, 2020
4-H Acres
August 24 - August 28, 2020
4-H Acres
August 31 - September 04, 2020
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.

Each day at Growing Wild in the woods around our camp kids discover wonders, 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 in, and puddles for stomping and splashing.

Small groups are formed based on age so even mature five-year-olds will enjoy this program among their peers.

Please use only FIREFOX or CHROME on a computer, as our software doesn't play well with Safari and Explorer and some smartphones/tablets.

Eligibility for Growing Wild Summer 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

  • 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 (receipts available upon request).

Scholarship Information

Our Locations

Frequently Asked Questions
  • 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
  • $220 - $320
    per session Scholarships Available

<<< Return to Summer Camp Catalog



Camp Hours Drop-Off Time Pick-Up Time
9-1pm 9-9:15am 1-1:15pm


Camp Hours
Drop-Off Time
Pick-Up Time
9-3pm 8:30-9am* 3-3:30pm*
Summer Day Camps include Forest Village Camp, Forest Explorer Camps, Pathfinder Camps, Advanced Camps and Specialty Camps.

*Optional Add-On extended care "Epic Day" runs from 8:00am - 5:00pm and is available at 4-H Acres and Ellis Hollow for an additional $40/child per week.

*Optional Add-On "Van Transportation" allows for drop-off and pick-up at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building during specific weeks. Campers must be ages 8 and up. Cost: $20; FREE for scholarship recipients! Register by checking the box if it is included as an option when registering for camps. Cannot combine with Epic Day.
Times : Drop-Off 8:15-8:30am. Pick-Up 3:45-4:00pm.


Camp Hours
Drop-Off Time
Pick-Up Time
9-3:45pm 8:30-8:45am 3:45-4pm

Travel Camps Camps include Wilderness Explorers, Trailblazers and River Scouts. Campers travel by van from the CCE Parking Lot/Garder at 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca

Camp Level Descriptions:

Growing Wild (ages 3-5)

Nature is our teacher. And like a good teacher, nature can guide us and nurture us through our entire lives if we learn how to listen and move with the rhythms. At Growing Wild we facilitate this life-long connection. We help young individuals connect with their abilities, the elements of nature and each other within a safe, explorative space in the outdoors.

Child must be 3 yrs old by May 1 st

Forest Village Day Camps (ages 5-7)

Our Forest Village is an intimate space where younger campers get to know each other and their instructors, with an opportunity to return for more. This focus on belonging and familiarity provides nurturing for younger campers trying out full day camps for their first time and for campers who may not be as familiar with wild nature. Our goal is for each camper to experience all the physical and emotional health benefits of time in nature, while learning important life skills.

Forest Explorer Camps (ages 6-8)

The Adventure continues! Our brave band of Forest Explorers will venture farther into the forest to navigate the landscape and delight in nature’s gifts and mysteries. Each day will take us to a different forest location to learn the names of the plants and animals that live there, and play fun woodland games. We’ll spend time creating forest shelters, making cozy fires, harvesting and cooking wild edibles and crafting with the materials nature provides. With a focus on fostering curiosity and learning through skillful questioning, and empowering challenges—kids will grow their forest skills while experiencing delight in nature and self-discovery.

Pathfinder Day Camps (ages 8-10)

Blaze yourself some wilderness skills with camps that explore unique paths each week. These more peer-specific groups allow campers the opportunity to further develop the skills and experiences of their choosing. Each week offers a new adventure! And each week offers returning campers fun and creative challenges for improving outdoor skills and knowledge.

Advanced Day Camps (ages 9-12)

Advanced Camps provide campers an opportunity to push their skills to the next level. Some Advanced Camps offer overnight options where campers can gain confidence and self reliance under the guidance of skilled wilderness instructors.

Specialty Day Camps (ages 11-14)

Specialty Day Camps include more intensive skills like bow making and hide-tanning, and may require higher levels of physical stamina and focus from participants.

Teen Leadership (ages 13-18)

We offer a CIT experience for teens 13-15 and Junior Counselor positions for teens 16-18. Please visit our Teen Program Page for CIT and Junior Counselor information.

Payment Deadlines and Information:

Deposit due upon registration to reserve your spot! Payment in full is due by May 1st.

We encourage you to complete payment several days before the deadline, in case of any unexpected technical difficulty. Be sure funds are available in the bank account, and use Firefox or Chrome on a computer (not phone/tablet) whenever you login to your Account Portal.

Epic Day fees are non-refundable/transferable.
Donations (payments above the base rate) are non-refundable.

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

  • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2020 with available space OR
  • partial refund : camp cost minus the non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate

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

  • partial credit : camp cost minus the non-refundable deposit, transferable to another summer camp in 2020 with available space OR
  • partial refund : 50% of the camp cost less the non-refundable deposit (and any donation above the base rate)

3. If you cancel between June 1st and June 22nd:

  • partial credit : 50% of the camp cost less the non-refundable deposit, transferable to another summer camp in 2020 with available space OR
  • there are NO refunds

4. After June 22nd there are NO credit transfers.

Immunization records (due upon registration):

As per NY State Health Department regulation, we require the most recent copy of all campers’ immunization records and keep this on file for the summer. The Health Dept. requires that we eliminate all immunization records at the end of each summer so you must submit them every year. You child cannot attend camp without these records on file.

Options for submitting:

  • Drop off or mail to our office: 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca NY 14850, ATTN: Primitive Pursuits
  • Email a legible copy to primitivepursuitscamp@gmail.com (this can be a scanned or downloaded file or a readable photograph) - include the camper’s name in the subject, one camper per email
  • Fax a copy to 607-272-7088, ATTN: Primitive Pursuits

Due to volume, we are only able to confirm receipt of immunization records received via email.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter!

Medication Policy:

All medications (prescription and over-the-counter) must be in their original container and must be accompanied by a written note from the doctor, including the patient’s name, the dates of the program, and dosing information. Pharmacy labeling on the medication is not sufficient for this purpose as the medication, dosage, and/or regimen may have been changed since the pharmacy filled the prescription. Bring the medication and doctor's note to camp together in a clear plastic bag with your child's name on it.

Please make sure to have the doctor's note with you at check-in on Monday morning - medications will be checked in to a designated instructor on the first day of the program and carried by this instructor until needed by your child.

By NYS Health Department regulations, all medications must be self-administered and instructors must carry all medications, with the exception of EpiPens and Inhalers. Your child may not be permitted to come to the program if he or she is unable to self-administer required medication. If your child has an EpiPen, our medically trained staff will assist them if necessary. When camp is over on Friday, be sure to sign out your child's medication.

We provide financial assistance!

Everyone deserves to benefit from time in nature! Please refer to our Scholarships page to learn more about financial assistance we can offer. All deposits (even "non-refundable deposits") will be returned if you are unable to participate in a program for lack of a scholarship request being approved.



Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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