Need to Know

Some basic information and important logistics to get you oriented

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

We create a space where each participant can feel at home among peers and mentors and within the elements of nature. Experiencing the non-judgmental simplicity and expansiveness of nature within a supportive group creates a powerful space for healthy personal growth. More about our commitment to diversity here:

Community Agreements

All-Program Agreements are given to families and participants before program begins. We want all of our students to have a rich, rewarding, enjoyable experience at our programs, and these simple guidelines provide a safe and supportive environment for students and staff to make the most of their time together. Care-givers are asked to share and discuss these with their child(ren) before the first day of our program.


Read our Community Agreements
Read our Growing Wild Roles and Expectations

What to Bring

For the health of each participant and to facilitate high quality programming, we provide a list of required items that each participant must bring to each day of each program. If a participant does not arrive equipped with all of the outlined items, they may be sent home for the day without a refund. This list will vary from season to season.

To-Bring Lists by Season (view or download):

What about ticks?

Ticks and tick-borne illness have become a fact of life in our area. The fact is, you can’t avoid ticks by not playing in the woods. Ticks also like lawns and woodchip-covered areas. “We’ve gotten more ticks on playgrounds than we have at Forest Preschool,” one of our parents told us. If you have pets that go outside, they may also bring ticks inside. Living in our area requires regular (at least once a day) full-body tick checks whenever the temperature is above freezing. At our programs, we instruct kids how to visually scan clothing and exposed skin and what to do with non-attached ticks. We role model the practice and roughly every three hours remind campers to do the same. As developmentally appropriate, our instructors may assist campers in this process. With your permission (granted in our registration form), we would also remove an embedded tick if one were found on exposed skin during camp. Please see our page What about ticks? for more information about Primitive Pursuits tick protocols and resources.



Refund Policy

As an exception to our stated refund policy, we are committed to returning 2020 Summer Camp fees, by request, for camps that you are currently registered for if they are canceled by state or local authorities due to COVID-19 (a COVID-19 cancellation). Your financial support is crucial to our financial well-being at this time, and we encourage you to show your support by signing up now! Our refund policies for cancellations that you request still remain. But 100% of your camp fees will be refundable in the event of mandated COVID-19 cancellations.

Payment deadlines and information

A deposit is due upon registration to reserve your spot!

Rolling Deadlines: We have changed our due date policies for refunds, transfers, and payment deadlines. 

  • The extended Payment In Full date for Weeks 1 and 2 (camps starting June 29 and July 6) is now June 12th.
  • The extended Payment In Full date for all other weeks is now June 26th. 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.

Cancellation Policies

This is a time of great uncertainty. 

This year, we have extended our Summer Camp 2020 refund/cancellation policy to better align with the needs of our community while staying true to the needs of our organization. 

We recognize that this summer there will be two types of cancellations for summer camp enrollments:

  • Family-initiated cancellations (including cancellations for individuals based on health and travel concerns related to COVID-19)
  • Mandated COVID-19 cancellations (initiated by the Health Department or Primitive Pursuits as an organization). All mandated COVID-19 cancellations will be fully refundable to families if their camper is registered at the time of the cancellation.

Please see additional COVID-related policy updates here.

Sick Camper Policy

At this time, we are not changing our policy on sick campers:

If your camper is sick, we ask that you keep them home so they can get well. If they have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, please keep them home until they are symptom-free for a full 24 hours. If your camper displays contagious symptoms during the camp day, we will call you to pick them up from camp.

Refunds are not available if your camper is unable to come to camp or is sent home from camp because they or a family member have symptoms of an illness.

If your child’s camp or group at camp is canceled due to COVID-19, your prorated camp fee is transferable or refundable.

Immunization Records (due with registration)

As per the 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. Your child cannot attend camp without these records on file.

Options for submitting:

  • Mail to our office: 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca NY 14850, ATTN: Primitive Pursuits
  • Email a legible copy to [email protected] (this can be a scanned file, a 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.

Financial Assistance

    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.


    COVID-19 Impacts, Updates and Protocols

    We have an entire page dedicated to COVID-19 Impacts, Updates, and Protocols here. This page will be updated regularly to reflect any changes.