Summer Camp 

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. 

Thank you for an amazing SUMMER 2020! Camps for Summer 2021 will be up in January.


Summer Camp Course levels

Growing Wild

Ages 3-5
Half-day camp | 220-$320 PER WEEK
Nature is our teacher. And like a good teacher, nature can guide us and nurture us through our entire lives if we learn how to listen and move with the rhythms. At Growing Wild we facilitate this life-long connection. We help young children connect with their abilities, the elements of nature and each other within a safe, explorative space in the outdoors.A child must be 3 yrs old by May 1st to participate.

Forest Village Day Camps

Ages 5-7
Summer day camp | $285-$385 PER WEEK
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. 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. Our goal is for each camper to experience all the physical and emotional health benefits of time in nature, while learning important life skills.

Forest Explorers

Ages 6-8
Summer day camp | $300-$400 PER WEEK
The Adventures continue! Our brave band of Explorers will venture farther into the forest to navigate the landscape. Each day will take us to a different forest location to learn the names of the plants and animals that live there, and play fun woodland games.We’ll creating shelters, make cozy fires, harvest and cooking wild edibles and craft with materials nature provides. With a focus on fostering curiosity and empowering challenges—kids will grow their forest skills while experiencing delight in nature and self-discovery.

Pathfinder Day Camps

Ages 8-10
Summer day camp | $325-$425 PER WEEK
Blaze yourself some wilderness skills with camps that explore unique paths each week. These more peer-specific groups allow campers the opportunity to further develop the skills and experiences of their choosing. Each week offers a new adventure! And each week offers returning campers fun and creative challenges for improving outdoor skills and knowledge.

Advanced Day Camps

Ages 9-12
Summer day camp | $325-$425 PER WEEK

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.

Specialty Day Camps

AGES 11-14
Summer day camp | 
$325-$425 PER WEEK
Specialty Day Camps take older and returning campers to the next level. These camps include more intensive skills like bow making and hide-tanning and may require higher levels of physical stamina and focus from participants. 


Teen Leadership

Ages 13-15
Counselor in Training Program
Primitive Pursuits focuses heavily on our youth leadership development programs beginning with our CIT program and continuing with our Junior Counselor and Teen Assist programs for 16 and 17 year olds. Visit our Teen Leadership pages for CIT, Junior Counselor and Teen Assist information.

Summer 2020 Policies

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.