Summer Camps

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River Scouts

Specialty Camp (Ages 11-14)

Dates & Locations

Become the eyes and ears of the river! As we follow the waters through gorges and wetlands, we’ll get off the beaten path to explore and connect with the abundance of creatures that call these places home. With our tracker hats on, we’re sure to find some otter sign and do a few belly slides ourselves! We’ll look for treasures that wash up on the shores, craft a few of our own, and take time to relax, listening to the songs of the river. At least one of our days will be spent paddling as well! Please note that this camp runs 8:30AM - 3:45PM. Add $20 transportation fee.

Dropping Off at CCE:

The parking lot at the office can be a bit of a challenge with lots of coming-and-going at CCE.
To help everyone navigate drop off and pick up more easily, we ask that you use the following system in the morning and afternoon:

1) JUST CIRCLING THROUGH:
Feel free to circle through the CCE lot if you're simply letting child/ren in or out of your vehicle. An instructor will be on hand near the CCE garden to receive them in the morning and guide them to your vehicle in the afternoon.
2) NEED TO PARK to deal with gear, discuss something with an instructor or another parent?
Please park along the side streets. Dey Street is usually the easiest to access and park on. There will be an instructor near the CCE garden gate on Dey St. to receive kids in the morning or send kids to you in the afternoon.

We appreciate your help in keeping the CCE parking lot safe and accessible for all the folks that come through!

† 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).

  • 8:30am - 4:00pm
  • Campers arrive at CCE between 8:30AM and 8:45AM and depart in the van at 9:00AM. Pick up at CCE is between 3:45 and 4:00PM (we plan for a 3:45PM arrival but the van may arrive slightly later on some days).
  • $300 - $400
    per session Add $20 transportation fee. Scholarships Available.

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.

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?

Scholarship Information

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. 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.

We review donations the first week of each month, and make decisions regarding scholarship awards soon thereafter.

Recipients will be notified by email and given a timeframe within which to accept or decline the amount awarded and complete payment of the balance.

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 them 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.
  • The Town of Danby offers grants to youth up to age 21 for camps and afterschool programs. Info & application: youthgrants@danbycc.org or on the Town Hall bulletin board.
  • If you live outside of the Towns of Ithaca and Danby, inquire at your local town hall for possibilities of youth scholarships. Please let us know of any resources you find!

What to Know About Our 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. You may apply closer to the start date, but we cannot guarantee a response before the program begins.

Maximum Scholarship Amounts 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/Nature Mentoring: up to $300
  • Wilderness Year: up to $1000

How to Apply:

  • Create an Online Account Portal using a computer and Firefox or Chrome (not Safari or Explorer, not on a tablet or smartphone)
  • Sign up for your selected program(s) and pay a deposit (EXCEPT summer camps after May 1, email primitivepursuitscamp@gmail.com to arrange deposit payment thru Registrar).
  • Complete a separate scholarship application for EACH participant and EACH program. Epic Days are not eligible for scholarship funds.
  • (eg. Robin Bird for Base Camp starting 7/1/18, requesting $50; Jay Bird for Growing Wild Camp starting 7/1/18, requesting $25).
  • 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?
Different programs have different program-specific policies.
Please see our Payment Policies page for more information.
  • 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 a scholarship request being approved.

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

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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