Camp Frequently Asked Questions

///Camp Frequently Asked Questions
Camp Frequently Asked Questions 2020-01-03T10:04:38-05:00

Updated January 2020

Essential Information

Location: 358 Springside Ave, New Haven, CT
Phone: (203) 389-4333 ext 1213
Drop off time: 8:30 – 9:00 Pick-up time: 2:45 – 3:00
Latest pick-up time from extended day: 5:30
Due date for payments and doctor’s physicals: June 5, 2020

Registered families

Need to make a payment, or add morning or extended day care?

Log into your account now »

Important Camp Links

Financial Aid Online Application
Typical Day at Camp
Medical Form
Behavior Policy
Cancellations, Refunds, Overdue Balances
A Letter to Parents

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hours?

Our regular camp day is 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Any camper may be enrolled in morning care and/or extended day, offered daily from 7:30 – 8:30 AM ($10) and 3:00 – 5:30 PM ($15).

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Financial aid is available to qualified applicants from any town. Apply online HERE. We also accept Care4Kids.

Financial aid applies to camp fees, but not to AM or PM care.
Who are the staff?

Our camps are staffed by teachers, assistant teachers, counselors, and junior counselors.

Our teachers are professionals who have significant experience with children and lots of enthusiasm for outdoor play and exploration. Our teachers represent a diverse range of ages and backgrounds, and they all share a love of child-centered adventure and learning. Each camp has a head teacher that you will sign your child in and out with each day. The head teacher is joined by one or more co-teachers in each camp.

Assistant teachers are young adults who are exploring the possibility of a career in teaching or environmental education. We have one assistant teacher in each camp. The assistant teacher helps with activities and has a few opportunities each week to lead his or her own activity with the mentoring of one of the teachers. Assistant teachers (under the direction of a Camp Assistant Director) are also the staff for the extended day program. So, if you pick up your camper after 3 PM, he or she may be busy playing 4 square, doing art, exploring the garden, or making mud pies with one of our hard working assistant teachers!

Counselors are high school students who have earned a job working in camp by volunteering with children’s programs during the school year and/or by being an amazing Junior Counselor in a previous summer. Many of our counselors are Common Ground High School Students. Counselors assist teachers with activities, sing songs, play games, help make sure that hands are washed and water bottles are filled, and bring lots of fun to each camp day. They are learning about child development and are not primarily in charge of leading activities, guiding behavior, or caring for first aid needs (the camp teachers are responsible for these roles).

Junior counselors are our hard working volunteers! They are former campers, ages 13 and up, who love working with young children and may be interested in earning a counselor position in the future. They primarily help in camps for ages 4 – 10. Junior counselors are great friends – they read stories, tie shoes, fill water bottles, and hold hands on challenging hikes!

How many children are in the camp?

There are 24 children in each camp group. We have one teacher AND one counselor for every 12 children (Sprouts Camp has 1:8). We have approximately 250 children here each week (and more than 80 staff!).

Where are you located?

Our address is 358 Springside Avenue in New Haven.

Can I visit before enrolling in camp?

Yes! We love visitors. You can come to Open Farm Day any Saturday (starting April 4, 2020) from 10 AM – 2 PM. Open Farm Day is free and self-guided. It is a great way to explore and check out the campus.

How soon do I need to register?

Early registration is recommended. We are usually mostly full by early to mid-May, but you are always welcome to call and check on the status of camp spaces. It is especially important to register early if you are counting on specific weeks to fit into your other summer plans. Camps for children ages 8 and under fill especially quickly, sometimes within days of registration opening.

My child has an inhaler or epipen. What documentation do you need for camp?

We need an Authorization for Administration of Emergency Medication Form that is signed by the parent and the child’s doctor. Medication must be in its original container, in a clear plastic bag with the camper’s name on the outside. It is most likely the same paperwork and packaging that you are required to do for your child’s school.

What are your food policies? Can I pack nuts in my child’s lunch?

Please send a lunch each day for your camper and use an insulated lunch bag and an icepack if your child’s lunch needs to be kept cold (refrigeration is not available).

You may pack any foods you wish in your child’s lunch – we do not restrict any specific foods. If your child has a food allergy that could be triggered by being in the presence of a specific food, please contact us so we can discuss how to best provide for your child.

Do you provide a snack?

Snack is not provided. We eat lunch early (starting at 11 AM) because campers are very hungry by then! Packing several small snack options is a great idea so that your camper has the option for a quick snack later in the day if needed. Campers who are staying for afternoon extended day will need a snack, too, so please send an additional item in your child’s lunch bag if he or she will be staying past 3 PM.

How do Morning Care and Extended Day work?

Any camper may be enrolled in morning care and/or extended day, offered daily from 7:30 – 8:30 AM ($10) and 3:00 – 5:30 PM ($15). Parents may choose their dates and register for any number and combination of days. Extended day is supervised recreational time with activity choices including outdoor play (including garden and animal time in the afternoons), crafts, and quiet indoor games and activities. AM or PM care that is not used is not refundable or transferable. Space in Morning Care and Extended Day is limited – space is not guaranteed without pre-registration.

What does my child need to bring to camp each day?
  • Backpack (with camper’s NAME on the OUTSIDE). We often take our lunches with us on the trail, so a backpack your child can comfortably carry is very useful! 
    • Packed lunch, in an insulated bag if necessary. Lunches are not refrigerated.
    • a change of clothes (in case of serious messes or uncomfortable wet clothes)
  • Wearing sneakers, boots, or closed toes sandals (no flip flops or slides/open backed shoes)
  • Dressed for mess and for the weather
  • Long-lasting bug-spray and sunscreen applied (optional)
  • We provide a water bottle, you do not need to send one
What do you do in very hot or very rainy weather?

Campers should come prepared for the weather. We will be outside in any weather as long as it is safe (including rain). Campers usually love rainy days – it is not so hot, and they are allowed to get all wet!

When it is very hot we take frequent water breaks and make sure that all campers have a filled water bottle. We also turn on the sprinklers for campers (and staff!) who want to cool off in the water.

Can you make an age exception for my child to enroll in a particular camp?
  • Minimum age: Campers must turn the minimum age for a camp within 60 days of the start of the camp session. Sprouts Campers MUST be 4 years old by the day they start camp.
  • Maximum age: We may be able to make age exceptions to the upper age limit of most camps based on a discussion with the parent. Please call (203) 389-4333 x 1213 if you would like to ask about making an age exception.
What is your tax ID (for childcare reimbursement filing)?

Our tax-ID is 22-3171185

What are the summer 2020 due dates for fees and paperwork?

June 5, 2020: full camp balance and doctor’s physical are due.

  • The minimum deposit to hold a camper’s spot is 20% of camp fees, due at the time of registration.
  • New registrations on or after June 5, 2020: full payment due at time of registration.
What is your policy for transfers or cancellations?
  • Any transfer from one session to another session will be charged a fee of $8 per transfer – this covers the fees we incur to process the transfer.
  • Cancellations BEFORE June 5 will receive a full refund (minus the 20% non-refundable deposit per session).
  • Cancellations after June 5, but at least 2 weeks before the start of your camp session will receive a 50% refund of fees paid beyond the 20% deposit.
  • Cancellations within two weeks of the start of your camp session will not receive a refund.
  • After June 5, registrations for AM and PM care are not refundable or transferable to different days. We hire and schedule staff based on the number of pre-registered campers as of June 5.