Homeschool Programming

Our homeschool programs are our oldest and longest running programs and very near and dear to our hearts.  It has been an honor to deliver an experience of connection with the natural world to such an extraordinary group of young people who choose to come back into the woods with us year after year since 2001 

4-H Acres

Fall and Spring Seasons

AGES 6-16

Thursdays 9:00AM – 1:30PM

Our Home Base camp! Come explore 400 acres of diverse environments: the Ash Grove, the Hemlock forest, the Beaver dam, bubbling streams, open meadows, and more.

Tracks + Trails

Winter Season

AGES 6-10

Thursdays 9:00AM – 1:30PM

We will will make our winter home in the forest and practice our tracking, forestry, navigation, storytelling, winter shelters and more at our home base in the woods of 4-H Acres!

Winter Explorers

Winter Season

AGES 10-16

Thursdays 9:00AM – 1:30PM

Boldly go places you’ve never been before! Join us as we explore different winter habitats each week around Tompkins County, and push our wilderness living skills in new directions.  

We welcome children from ages 6-16, and create time each day for community gathering, gratitude, individual interest, exploration, and peer-based projects. We hold a family celebration potluck at the end of the fall and spring sessions, where families and friends are invited to come share food and stories of the season. 

4-H Acres Fall and Spring

All-In! We create time each day for community gathering, gratitude, individual interest, exploration, and peer-based projects. 

AGES 6-16

Thursdays 9:00am – 1:30PM

Come explore 400 acres of diverse environments: the Ash Grove, the Hemlock forest, the Beaver dam, bubbling streams, open meadows, and more. Meet Grandmother Hickory and explore Village Camp, with its primitive shelter and cob oven. Have snack in White Pine Camp, then play epic games or watch the clouds from the grassy fields. On trail or off trail, animal signs and plant life provide a natural scavenger hunt for us here.

We hold a family celebration potluck at the end of the fall and spring sessions, where families and friends are invited to come share food and stories of the season. 

A note on the 2020-21 Season

We are living in a time of uncertainty. We know you have questions about what our Homeschool Program, a Primitive Pursuits classic, will look like in the Fall. We do, too! We want you to know that we are working on some various contingency plans to meet various realities that might be true at that time.

Optimistically, we are planning to run our program as usual, with slight modifications or enhancements to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission (we are currently working on what this will look like), at 4-H Acres. It’s possible that these modifications will include having smaller groups than usual and/or fewer students total. For this reason, it would be very helpful to know if you are planning for your child(ren) to attend.

We request that you put down a deposit at this time to state your intention and hold your spot. If we are forced to/decide to cancel before the program starts due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to get your deposit back. In this case, we do not plan to offer a remote version of the program as we did this Spring but will find other ways to stay connected to you and your family while we are apart.

If the program starts at 4-H Acres in mid-September but we are forced to cease in-person programming later in the Fall, we would give you the option of receiving a pro-rated refund (dependent on how far into the season we cancel, and minus the deposit) or contributing all or part of your remaining tuition to support whatever on-going efforts Primitive Pursuits is undertaking while we are apart as well as the continued existence of Primitive Pursuits as an organization.We are currently planning for the program to run through mid-December. The dates and price listed while registering are tentative at this time. We will share specific dates and pricing with you as soon as we are able to.

Fall $370 – $470  (Choose your price sliding scale)
Spring $310 – $410  (Choose your price sliding scale)

Our Fall program is currently FULL but we plan to add an additional day – PLEASE DO add your name to our waitlist!

Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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. 

Registration Information

Space is not held until we’ve received payment in full. Use a computer or laptop with Firefox or Chrome to register online, since Safari and Explorer, and phones and tablets, are not compatible with our registration software.

Program Policies

Our Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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:[email protected]

Pick Up/Drop Off Policy:

If your child is late to be picked up (or is dropped off early) you will be charged $20 per instance. By making payment for our programs you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly. We are unable to provide supervision outside of the times indicated when you signed up for the program.

Should you need to pick up or drop off during a program:

Our camps are unique in that our programming occurs away from the drop-off area. Due to this aspect of our programs, getting a child to the parking lot or getting them to their group during program time can require extra staff and/or a restructuring of that day’s planned activities. We understand that your family is busy and everyone has a lot going on! Advance notice helps our instructors maintain the program’s structure with minimal disruption.

Contact our office via email ([email protected]com) or phone (607-272-2292) at least 24 hours in advance to let us know if you need to pick up your camper early or drop them off late. (If your request is for Monday, please let us know by 4pm the Friday before.) The more advance notice, the better! Please understand that we reserve the right to deny these special requests if we do not have enough time to provide accommodations.

Receipt Requests

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email [email protected]including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2019; fall of 2018). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime this may take longer.

Waitlist

Please look for your 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.

Cancellations due to Weather and Other Acts of Nature

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.

Our programs may also be canceled by the mandate of the Department of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of disease outbreaks and other existing health hazards. We consider such causes to be acts of nature beyond our control, and therefore can not offer refunds for programs that are canceled for these reasons.

Family-Initiated Cancellations

This section applies to cancellations and refund requests made by the Account Holder:

  • 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.
  • If we are unable to approve a scholarship request which prevents you from participating in a program, all payments towards that program (even “non-refundable deposits”) will be returned if you.

Please email [email protected] 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

Tracks and Trails

We will will make our winter home in the forest and practice our tracking, forestry, navigation, storytelling, winter shelters and more at our home base in the woods of 4-H Acres!

AGES 6-10

Thursdays 9:00am – 1:30PM

A note on the 2020-21 Season

We are living in a time of uncertainty. We know you have questions about what our Homeschool Program, a Primitive Pursuits classic, will look like in the Fall. We do, too! We want you to know that we are working on some various contingency plans to meet various realities that might be true at that time.

Optimistically, we are planning to run our program as usual, with slight modifications or enhancements to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission (we are currently working on what this will look like), at 4-H Acres. It’s possible that these modifications will include having smaller groups than usual and/or fewer students total. For this reason, it would be very helpful to know if you are planning for your child(ren) to attend.

We request that you put down a deposit at this time to state your intention and hold your spot. If we are forced to/decide to cancel before the program starts due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to get your deposit back. In this case, we do not plan to offer a remote version of the program as we did this Spring but will find other ways to stay connected to you and your family while we are apart.

Winter $260 – $360  (Choose your price sliding scale)

Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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. 

Registration Information

Space is not held until we’ve received payment in full. Use a computer or laptop with Firefox or Chrome to register online, since Safari and Explorer, and phones and tablets, are not compatible with our registration software.

Program Policies

Our Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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:[email protected]

Pick Up/Drop Off Policy:

If your child is late to be picked up (or is dropped off early) you will be charged $20 per instance. By making payment for our programs you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly. We are unable to provide supervision outside of the times indicated when you signed up for the program.

Should you need to pick up or drop off during a program:

Our camps are unique in that our programming occurs away from the drop-off area. Due to this aspect of our programs, getting a child to the parking lot or getting them to their group during program time can require extra staff and/or a restructuring of that day’s planned activities. We understand that your family is busy and everyone has a lot going on! Advance notice helps our instructors maintain the program’s structure with minimal disruption.

Contact our office via email ([email protected]com) or phone (607-272-2292) at least 24 hours in advance to let us know if you need to pick up your camper early or drop them off late. (If your request is for Monday, please let us know by 4pm the Friday before.) The more advance notice, the better! Please understand that we reserve the right to deny these special requests if we do not have enough time to provide accommodations.

Receipt Requests

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email [email protected]including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2019; fall of 2018). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime this may take longer.

Waitlist

Please look for your 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.

Cancellations due to Weather and Other Acts of Nature

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.

Our programs may also be canceled by the mandate of the Department of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of disease outbreaks and other existing health hazards. We consider such causes to be acts of nature beyond our control, and therefore can not offer refunds for programs that are canceled for these reasons.

Family-Initiated Cancellations

This section applies to cancellations and refund requests made by the Account Holder:

  • 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.
  • If we are unable to approve a scholarship request which prevents you from participating in a program, all payments towards that program (even “non-refundable deposits”) will be returned if you.

Please email [email protected] 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

Winter Explorers

Depart from Cornell Cooperative Extension weekly to practice tracking, forestry, navigation, storytelling and more in locations throughout the county.

AGES 10-16

Thursdays 9:00am – 1:30PM

Boldly go places you’ve never been before! Join us as we explore a different winter habitat each week around Tompkins County, and push our wilderness living skills in new directions. We’ll bring along snowshoes, and hop on the Primitive Pursuits Express to practice tracking, forestry, navigation, storytelling and SURVIVAL!

Winter $285 – $385  (Choose your price sliding scale)

Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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. 

Registration Information

Space is not held until we’ve received payment in full. Use a computer or laptop with Firefox or Chrome to register online, since Safari and Explorer, and phones and tablets, are not compatible with our registration software.

Program Policies

Our Choose-Your-Price 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 choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, 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:[email protected]

Pick Up/Drop Off Policy:

If your child is late to be picked up (or is dropped off early) you will be charged $20 per instance. By making payment for our programs you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly. We are unable to provide supervision outside of the times indicated when you signed up for the program.

Should you need to pick up or drop off during a program:

Our camps are unique in that our programming occurs away from the drop-off area. Due to this aspect of our programs, getting a child to the parking lot or getting them to their group during program time can require extra staff and/or a restructuring of that day’s planned activities. We understand that your family is busy and everyone has a lot going on! Advance notice helps our instructors maintain the program’s structure with minimal disruption.

Contact our office via email ([email protected]com) or phone (607-272-2292) at least 24 hours in advance to let us know if you need to pick up your camper early or drop them off late. (If your request is for Monday, please let us know by 4pm the Friday before.) The more advance notice, the better! Please understand that we reserve the right to deny these special requests if we do not have enough time to provide accommodations.

Receipt Requests

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email [email protected]including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2019; fall of 2018). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime this may take longer.

Waitlist

Please look for your 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.

Cancellations due to Weather and Other Acts of Nature

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.

Our programs may also be canceled by the mandate of the Department of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of disease outbreaks and other existing health hazards. We consider such causes to be acts of nature beyond our control, and therefore can not offer refunds for programs that are canceled for these reasons.

Family-Initiated Cancellations

This section applies to cancellations and refund requests made by the Account Holder:

  • 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.
  • If we are unable to approve a scholarship request which prevents you from participating in a program, all payments towards that program (even “non-refundable deposits”) will be returned if you.

Please email [email protected] 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
Primitive Pursuits has been one of the highlights of our sons’ learning, and a joy to our whole family.”
JM, Homeschool Parent