Program Policies

Following are details about our most asked about policies, if you don’t find what you are looking for please be in touch!

Payment & Registration related

Our "Choose-Your-Price" Sliding Scale System

To make our programs as accessible as possible, we offer sliding-scale fees. When registering, you choose your “Pledge to Pay” price based on what your family can afford. If you choose to pay above the minimum price, you make camp possible for those in need by donating to our scholarship fund. All donations (payments above the base price) are tax-deductible. For information about scholarships visit our Scholarships page.

When filing your taxes Primitive Pursuits is listed under “Cornell Cooperative Extension” Tax ID #16-6072897.

Scholarships

Everyone deserves to benefit from time in nature! We are committed to making our programs available to as many people as possible and have an entire page related to Scholarships here.

Scholarships are generated with our choose-your-price sliding scale format, collected and distributed on a program-to-program basis. Contributions made over the minimum of the sliding scale are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. Scholarships are limited to the sum of these funds but we may be able to draw on additional resources for families needing more financial assistance.

Cancellation Policies - 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:

SUMMER 2021 Family-Initiated Cancellations:

  1. If you cancel before May 1st, choose:
    • full credit transferable to another summer camp in 2021 with available space ($220 Growing Wild; $300 Forest Village and Explorers, $330 other Day Camps) OR
    • cash refund of: paid fees minus non-refundable deposit and any donation above the base rate
  2. If you cancel between May 1st and June 1st, choose:
    • camp credit of: paid fees minus any deposits and donations, transferable to another summer camp in 2021 with available space
    • cash refund of: 50% of the above credit
  3. If you cancel between June 1st and June 24th:
    • camp credit of 50% of: paid fees minus any deposits and donations, transferable to another summer camp in 2021 (50% of fee minus deposit)
    • no cash refunds are offered after June 1st
  4. After June 24th there are NO credit transfers.

Deposits are non-refundable.
Epic Day Fees are non-refundable/transferable.

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

Ithaca Forest Preschool:

  1. Deposits are nonrefundable. If you cancel after a program payment in full due date (in 2020-21 these dates are August 1st, November 1st, and February 1st), there are no refunds.

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 cancelled by mandate of the Department of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of disease outbreaks and other existing health hazards. Due to the continued need to plan for coronavirus-related program closures, we have updated our refund policy for our programs starting in 2021:

  • All Programs except Ithaca Forest Preschool: At this time, we are reserving the right to retain up to half of payments made to programs, if necessary, should our programs be cancelled by authorities due to COVID-19. The sole reason for implementing this policy, should we choose to do so, would be to continue paying our staff a minimum amount of income to prevent lay-offs and harmful loss of income. Should a new COVID-19 stimulus package help us prevent such losses, then we would credit program payments to the extent we are able.
  • Ithaca Forest Preschool: At this time, we are reserving the right to retain up to half of payments made to programs, if necessary, should our programs be cancelled by authorities due to COVID-19. This amount would be retained as a program credit that you would be able to use toward tuition for any Primitive Pursuits program before the end of 2021. The remaining half of unused payments would be refunded in full upon request.
  • This policy acknowledges a shared risk, both for families and for Primitive Pursuits, in continuing to achieve our shared mission at this time.
  • We will consider exceptions to this policy based on financial hardship. For more information, please email our office: [email protected]

Mandated Cancellations due to COVID-19

Our programs may be cancelled by local or state Departments of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of concerns around COVID-19.

The following policy only applies to situations in which the program you are signed up for is cancelled due to mandates from state or local authorities based on concerns around COVID-19. Please note that all other cancellation policies still apply, including our policies for family-initiated cancellations for any reason.

Due to the continued need to plan for coronavirus-related program closures, we have updated our refund policy for our programs starting in 2021:

  • All Programs except Ithaca Forest Preschool: At this time, we are reserving the right to retain up to half of payments made to programs, if necessary, should our programs be cancelled by authorities due to COVID-19. The sole reason for implementing this policy, should we choose to do so, would be to continue paying our staff a minimum amount of income to prevent lay-offs and harmful loss of income. Should a new COVID-19 stimulus package help us prevent such losses, then we would credit program payments to the extent we are able.
  • Ithaca Forest Preschool: At this time, we are reserving the right to retain up to half of payments made to programs, if necessary, should our programs be cancelled by authorities due to COVID-19. This amount would be retained as a program credit that you would be able to use toward tuition for any Primitive Pursuits program before the end of 2021. The remaining half of unused payments would be refunded in full upon request.
  • This policy acknowledges a shared risk, both for families and for Primitive Pursuits, in continuing to achieve our shared mission at this time.
  • We will consider exceptions to this policy based on financial hardship. For more information, please email our office: [email protected]

Payment deadlines and information

A deposit is due upon registration to reserve your spot! If the payment due date has passed, you will only be able to make a full payment when registering. If this is a barrier for registering, please contact us ([email protected]).

The payment due date for each program is listed on page 3 of the registration form as well as on the Make a Payment screen in your Account after you have completed registration. Please contact our office ([email protected]) if you have any additional questions about payment due dates. 

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.

Direct link to the payment page of your Account Portal: Make a Payment

Waitlist

Please look for 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 participant on the waitlist. If a spot opens, we call or email the next waitlisted person and include a deadline for reply with payment arranged through the office.

Troubleshooting Online Payments

Please login to your Account Portal on a computer (not smartphone or tablet).
Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser (not Explorer or Safari)

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).

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.

Check with your bank to determine whether your account has enough balance to cover the payment.

Payments to Primitive Pursuits are listed as "Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkin" on bank statements.

If you have gone through the above steps, please email us for additional assistance: [email protected]

Receipt Requests

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email us at [email protected] including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2020; fall of 2021). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime, this may take longer.

Program Logistics

Pick Up/Drop Off Policy

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

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

Our camps and programs 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 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]) 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 4 pm 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.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS & AUTHORIZED PICKUP

In your Account Portal is an important section called Contacts.

This is where you designate additional adults to whom you give permission 1) to be contacted in an emergency if we can't reach you AND/OR 2) to pick up your child from our programs. We require at least 1 adult other than the Account Holder be listed there.

Please do NOT enter your own name as a Contact; as the Account Holder you are already included by the registration software.

If you need to add anyone fewer than 5 days before the program starts, you must ALSO email [email protected] at least one day before the pickup: include the contact's name, relationship to the participant and a phone number.

If you have entered a Contact into your Account Portal fewer than 5 days before the program starts but do not email us, the staff on site at the program will NOT have been notified of the Contact updates.

Health & Safety related

Diversity and Inclusion

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 at ccetompkins.org/diversity. 

COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk

By completing registration for Primitive Pursuits programs, you agree to the following:

(downloadable version available here)

 

Assumptions of the Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus:

I understand Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (“CCE”) has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, CCE cannot guarantee that I or any of my contacts will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, entering the facilities of, or participating in programs of, CCE could increase my risk of contracting COVID-19.

By participating in CCE programs and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, or death. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 diseases may result from the actions, omissions, of myself and others, including, but not limited to, CCE employees, volunteers, other participants, visitors or vendors.

I voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to myself or my contacts (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death, illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind), that I or my contacts may experience or incur in connection with my entering CCE or participation in CCE programming (“Claims”). On behalf of myself and on behalf of my heirs and estate, I hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless CCE, its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, agents, and representatives, of and from the Claims, including all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. I understand and agree that this release includes any Claims based on the actions, or omissions of the CCE, its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, agents, and representatives, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after my participation.

And in addition: As a volunteer, program participant or the guardian of a program participant under the age of 18, by signing the attached, I acknowledge that I have reviewed the plan for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. I will abide by the guidelines and continued updates as released by NYS Forward and the CDC.

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.

Immunization Records (due with registration, SUMMER ONLY)

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 the first program check-in (Monday mornings for camps) - 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 they are unable to self-administer required medication. If your child has an EpiPen, our medically trained staff will assist them if necessary. When the program is over, be sure to sign out your child's medication.

Emergency Contacts & Authorized Pickup

In your Account Portal is an important section called Contacts.

This is where you designate additional adults to whom you give permission 1) to be contacted in an emergency if we can't reach you AND/OR 2) to pick up your child from our programs. We require at least 1 adult other than the Account Holder be listed there.

Please do NOT enter your own name as a Contact; as the Account Holder you are already included by the registration software.

If you need to add anyone fewer than 5 days before the program starts, you must ALSO email [email protected] at least one day before the pickup: include the contact's name, relationship to the participant and a phone number.

If you have entered a Contact into your Account Portal fewer than 5 days before the program starts but do not email us, the staff on site at the program will NOT have been notified of the Contact updates. For your child's safety, the staff will have to speak to you personally by phone before they can release your child to someone not on the paper attendance list they have at camp.

What About Ticks?

Ticks and tick-borne illnesses 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 the program. Please see our page What about ticks? for more information about Primitive Pursuits tick protocols and resources.

Sick Participant Policy

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

If your participant 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 participant displays contagious symptoms during the program, we will call you to pick them up.

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

If your child's program or individual flock (group) at the program is canceled due to COVID-19, your prorated program fee is transferable or refundable.

View or Download Community Agreements, preschool expectations and To Bring Lists

Ages 5+

Ages 3-5