Summer Day Camp Catalog

Primitive Pursuits has offered Summer Camps to kids and teens in the Finger Lakes since 2003. Our talented leaders craft each week to bring growth, fun, and discovery through wilderness survival skills, nature mentoring, and community resilience-based activities. 

Primitive Pursuits affirms that Black Lives Matter. We promise to do our best to, and to continue to learn how to, be a part of the work to eliminate structural racism and white supremacy in all of the spaces of our camp and the rest of our lives.


Primitive Pursuits is committed to the ongoing work of equity, diversity and inclusion. More importantly, we let all families know up front that Primitive Pursuits is a safe spacefor youth and bullying, harassment, or anything less than exuberant acceptance is not tolerated.  

4-H Grows Here Logo

Primitive Pursuits is a non-profit 4-H program in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County.


Growing Wild

Ages 3-5
Half-day camp (Mon-Fri) | $265-$365 PER WEEK
Nature is nurture. As mentors and friends, we help young people connect to profound discovery by engaging nature’s elements and navigating its wonders. Within a safe explorative space in the outdoors, imagination and fascination are set free through stories and adventures. 

Growing Wild - Half Day Camp

Each day at Growing Wild children wander in nature, sing sun-filled songs, and share heart-felt stories. Each week features a different theme to guide our journey, and a variety of natural materials, such as clay, rock-paint, bark, and leaves to create works of art that reinforce learning. Our 4-H Acres forest playground includes a meandering stream, towering oaks, logs and hills to climb, trails and forts to explore, a fire circle and our beloved peace-making bench. At Growing Wild children grow in their comfort, confidence, and appreciation for the wonders of life.

Ages: 3-5
Fee: Sliding Scale $265-$365
Monday – Friday: 9:00AM-1:00PM
Drop off: 9:00AM-9:15AM
Pick up: 12:45PM-1:00PM
Weeks Offered: 8


Forest village camp

Ages 5-7
Day camp (Mon-Fri) | $365-$465 PER WEEK
Welcome home to the Forest Village, where children learn to feel at home in the outdoors and meet new friends. 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.

Forest Village - Day Camp

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.

The Forest Villagers play outside all day, trying out all the fun adventures we offer: hiding behind trees, building homes, playing imaginative games, discovering wildlife, telling stories and eating snacks around a fire – just to name a few! This is a time of laughter, song and nature wonder tailored specifically for our youngest full day campers. Come join the Village!

Ages: 5-7
Fee: Sliding Scale $365-465
Monday – Friday: 9:00AM-3:00PM
Drop off: 9:00AM-9:15AM
Pick up: 3:00PM-3:15PM


Forest explorers

Ages 6-8
Day Camp (Mon-Fri) | $365-$465 PER WEEK
The Adventure continues! Our brave band of Forest Explorers will venture into the forest to further explore the landscape and delight in nature’s gifts and mysteries. We will navigate the terrain, learning the names of plants and animals and playing exciting woodland games. 

Forest Explorers - Day Camp

Forest Explorers spend time creating forest shelters, making cozy fires, harvesting and cooking wild edibles and crafting with the materials nature provides. This camp focuses on fostering curiosity and learning through skillful questioning, empowering challenges and centering each child’s experience of delight in nature and self-discovery.

Ages: 6-8
Fee: Sliding Scale $365-465
Monday – Friday: 9:00AM-3:00PM
Drop off: 9:00AM-9:15AM
Pick up: 3:00PM-3:15PM


Pathfinder Camps

Ages 8-10
Day camp (Mon-Fri) | $385-$485 PER WEEK
Discover the power of wilderness skills and the company of friends with camps that explore unique skill sets each week. Pathfinder camps are designed to offer a more peer-based experience in which campers can further develop the skills and paths of their choosing.

Pathfinder - Day Camps

You might carve a stick to help forage for food. You might learn to shoot a bow and arrow or practice the art of invisibility as you explore the hidden trails within the forest. You might write and act in an original forest production...Together we will laugh, explore, and ignite the adventurer within!

Pathfinder Titles Include: Pathfinder Camp, Raven's Camp, Arnot Adventures (New), Wildcrafting and Adventure Academy.

Ages: 8-10
Fee: Sliding Scale $385-$485
Monday - Friday: 9:00AM-3:15PM
Drop off: 8:45AM-9:00AM
Pick up: 3:15PM-3:30PM


NEW! Arnot Adventures

Ages 8-10
Day camp | August 22 – 26 | $365-$465 PER WEEK
Good-bye 4-H Acres, hello Arnot Forest! Together we will ponder the mysteries of our new landscape as we wander the woods, splash in the stream and navigate the endless fields. Our days will be spent developing life skills in the outdoors: knife and tools safety, fire building, learning the art of invisibility, playing strategy games across the landscape and more!

NEW! Bear Camp

Ages 9-12
Day camp | August 22 – 26 | $365-$465 PER WEEK
Come survive and thrive in the Arnot Forest! Together with your fellow adventurers explore the hundreds of acres of Arnot Forest. Build fire from friction, craft and use tools from stone and wood, identify and harvest edible plants, cook over open fires, sleep in a rain-proof shelter you build yourself…and more! This camp offers an optional overnight for an additional fee.

Advanced Camps

Ages 9-12
Day camp (Mon-Fri) | $395-$495 PER WEEK
Advanced Camps provide campers an opportunity to push their skills to the next level. We offer a wide variety of camps (from fire wizards to forest bards) choose from.

Advanced  Day Camps

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.

Ages: 9-12
Fee: Sliding Scale $395-$495
Monday - Friday: 9:00AM-3:15PM
Drop off: 8:45AM-9:00AM
Pick up: 3:15PM-3:30PM

Advanced Camps Include: Capture the Flag, Forest Engineers, Forest Sports, Primitive Cafe, Archer’s Apprentice, Fire Wizards, Bear Camp (New!), and more!


Specialty Camps

Ages 11-14
Day camps with varied hours and pricing
Specialty Day (and evening!) Camps take older and returning campers to the next level. Camps include more intensive skills and unique opportunities with mentors and peers.

Night Owls

Ages 11-14
Evening Camp | August 19 – 23 | $395-$485
The stars are lining up for a few lucky campers looking for nighttime adventure and camaraderie around the campfire. Camp runs from 4:30pm-10pm!

Luna's Rising

Ages 13-15
Day camp | July 29 – Aug 2 | $395-$495
Deep in the forest under the light of the moon a group of young women are connected by the hum of the earth and their hearts beating as one.

Gender Creative Camp

Ages 11-15
Day Camp | July 8 – 12 | $395-$495
This camp is for youth identifying as transgender, gender-nonconforming, questioning, or non-binary (TGQN) and is led, in part, by adult mentors who also identify as LGBTQIA+.

Gifts of the deer

Ages 13-16
Day camp | August 5 – 9 | $395-$495
Campers to experience the art of crafting with the natural materials provided by our native White-Tailed deer and deepen their understanding of this majestic being.

Bow Making

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | August 12 – 16 | $425-$525
Advance your carving skills to the next level as you craft the iconic longbow and fletched arrow. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and learn to harvest bow staves and more.

Forest Archer

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | August 5 – 9 | $395-$495
Bowyers, take your mark! Whether you’ve made your own bow, or just want to aim toward the fine arts of bows, arrows and shooting, this is your week!

Wilderness Explorers (Traveling)

Ages 9-12
Traveling Camp | July 23 – 26 | $395-$495 

Follow the way of the explorer in an unrivaled adventure! Hop along and discover a new wilderness area each day. Over rock, river, rim and gorge…

Nature Mystics

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | July 15 – 19  | $395-$495 
Tucked along the banks of the stream lies an oasis for the mystic at heart. Here we’ll create a camp designed for aesthetics and quiet minds to explore…

River Scouts (Traveling)

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | July 23 – 26 | $395-$495
Become the eyes and ears of the river. Practice creek camouflage. Become the bayou. And cool off among secret headwaters of area streams, gorges and waterfalls.

Color Foragers

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | August 12 – 16 | $395-$495 
The forest is full of color! As Color Foragers we will harvest the brightest hues of the forest. This camp centers natural dyeing with wild plants and developing related skills. 

Finger Lakes National Forest

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | August 6 – 9 | $395-$495 
Travel into the wildness of the Finger Lakes National Forest to celebrate the peak of summer and feast on berries! Practice natural navigation and leave no trace principles…

ChillZ and SkillZ

Ages 11-14
Day Camp | August 26 – 30 | $395-$495 
Call it vacation within a vacation or a well-deserved nature retreat for older campers. For this week of choose-your-own adventures by the bank of the river…