2021 Summer Nature Day Camp

Frequently Asked Questions

Download a copy of Camp FAQs 2021 or the Parents Guide to Camp

How much is each session?
  • School’s Out 1-day sessions are $70 each.  No extended care options are offered at this time.
  • June 21 – August 27, 2021:  Each 5-day session of camp is $290.  Before Care for Camp is $30 per week. After Care will not be offered this year due to COVID-19.
  • July 6-July 9 : No camp held on July 5th in observance of the Fourth of July
    • Mt. Pleasant and Belmont session prorated to $230
What are the hours of camp?

Camp and School’s Out programs typically run from 9:00 – 3:30 daily.  Afternoon pickup is from 3:30-3:45.  If your camper is arriving late or being picked up early, please inform our staff so that we can meet you.  There is a fee for late pickup: $10 for the first 15 minutes and $15 for each additional 15 minutes.

-Summer Camp sessions 1 – 10:  June 21 – August 27, 2021

Before Care:  8:00 – 9:00
Morning drop off: 8:45 – 9:00 ($30 per week)
Camp Day: 9:00 – 3:30
Afternoon Pickup: 3:30 – 3:45
     After Care not offered this year due to COVID-19

What are the Extended Care options?
  • Before Care starts at 8:00am and is $30 for a week of Camp.
  • After Care will not be offered for Camp this year due to COVID-19.
  • School’s Out days will not have extended care options for FALL 2020/ SPRING 2021 due to COVID-19.
  • Extended Care is not pro-rated.
  • Before and After Care feature unstructured play and challenge by choice activities.  Campers are encouraged to bring a snack, a book, or camp-appropriate activities to share.
How do I add or edit sessions for my child’s registration?

Log in to your account on the Registration portal.

Parent Dashboard image

  • Return Camp Families will receive an email with instructions to log in to their new account.
    • When you return to log in, click the blue “Sign In” button
  • New Camp Families will make a new account and either request information or enroll their family (white buttons below the Sign In)
  • To add sessions after your initial enrollment has been processed, you may log back into the Registration portal, and then click on “Enrollment” again.  You will see your previously-added sessions as well as currently available sessions.

To Cancel:

Something came up! I need someone to pick up my camper who is not on the authorization list. What do I do?

Email the director.  You should call as well to let us know about the changes, but we need to see the name in writing so we can check it against the driver’s license.

Please note:  If no one is listed on the Pickup Authorization, only the registered parent/guardian will be allowed to sign out your Camper.  Everyone must show ID and be on the authorized list, including parents not included on the registration, grandparents, non-custodial parents, and babysitters.

If I need to cancel, can I get a refund?

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please note that we have revised our refund policy to assist camp families during these unprecedented times. We will now refund your registration fees in full up to 10 days prior to the start of your camp session and will waive the cancellation fee. We understand that this is a difficult time for many, therefore we are making these changes to our refund policies to be as flexible as possible for our camp families.

  1. In accepting your online registration, the Camp reserves a place for your child and hires staff according to   registrations and deposits paid. Therefore, refunds are processed according to the schedule below, less a refund fee for each transaction.
  • There is a $10 refund fee for each refunded transaction. Refund fees are non-refundable, non-transferable, and may not be applied to your balance.
  • A full refund minus refund fees is permitted up to 10 days prior to the start of the session.
  • No refunds after 10 days prior to the start of camp session unless the camper suffers medical emergency, attested to by a physician, which keeps the child from attending. Refunds are not given for absence, sick days or if a camper is dismissed due to behavioral problems.
  1. Partial payments will be refunded based on the information above for the total session cost and subject to applicable Refund Fees.
  2. The refund and cancellation policy also applies towards tuition paid for Before Care, After Care, and the Junior Staff Program.
  3. Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to camp@howardnature.org or belmont@howardnature.org.Please see the Registration Policies and Procedures – Conservancy Summer Camps.

Start of campFull Refund available until
6/21/2021June 11
6/28/2021June 18
7/6/2021June 26
7/12/2021July 2
7/19/2021July 9
7/26/2021July 16
8/2/2021July 23
8/10/2021July 31
8/16/2021August 6
8/23/2021August 13

Do you serve lunch at camp?

No.  Campers should bring a filling, waste-free lunch.  (Hints on waste-free  methods.)  There is no refrigeration for lunches; include a freezer pack if needed.  If your child is staying for After Care, please pack a snack as well.

We may offer small treats or activities involving food (an example is making an edible fire to show how to build a fire circle and cooking fire), but we will send a specific letter home to parents beforehand with a list of ingredients.  Where possible, we will use items made in a peanut-free facility.  Parents may supply alternatives for campers.  At the end of hot weeks, we may give popsicles to the campers.

Pop-Ice/Fla•Vor•Ice Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fruit Juice (Contains One Or More Of The Following: Apple, Grape Or Pear Juice From Concentrate); Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Citric Acid and/or Fumaric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate And Potassium Sorbate, Red #40, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Blue #1.

What do I need to pack for my child?

Please pack the following:

  • a properly-fitted mask
  • water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • waste-free, filling lunch
  • sturdy closed-toe shoes for running around
  • water shoes with closed toes (no flip flops or open sandals, please)
  • change of clothes
  • towel
  • rain or snow gear if the weather calls for it
  • a backpack in which to store your campers’ items.

For a full list of items to pack and items to leave at home, please see our Parent’s Guide to Camp.

Can the Conservancy staff administer medications?

No.  Children who need to take medications while at camp must be able to take their own medications under supervision of Conservancy staff.  To do this, we must have parent authorization for over-the-counter medicines and a physician’s authorization for prescription medications.  A Medication Form must be filled out for each medication the camper is taking while at camp, including regular prescriptions and emergency medications.  The Medication Form may be found on our camp webpage.

My child is young. Will you put sunscreen on them?

No.  Sunscreen is considered to be a topical medication by the Maryland Health Department and we are not allowed to help apply it.  We will remind and encourage campers to apply sunscreen and will stay in the shade through most of the day.

What are the rules of camp?

Summer Nature Camps and School’s Out programs at the Howard County Conservancy are safe places for all campers.  To accomplish this, our camp rules require respect for oneself, each other and the environment.  Please read these guidelines with your camper to help them fully understand the expectations and behave appropriately at camp.

        Campers agree to:

  • Show respect to other participants and treat them with courtesy
  • Show respect to staff and cooperate with their instructions
  • Know and follow behavior guidelines and camp rules
  • Use program equipment, natural areas and facilities properly
  • Respect the property of others
  • Work out disagreements in a non-violent manner with the help of staff
  • Communicate appropriately, which means not using foul language or gestures, unwelcome teasing or harsh words
  • Respect the health and safety of other campers and staff, understanding that pushing, kicking, hitting, bullying or fighting are not acceptable and will not be tolerated

Camp is a special place where we prioritize all campers’ right to physical and emotional safety.  All campers deserve to try new things, make new friends, explore and have fun in a safe environment.  Conservancy staff will work with each camper individually to resolve minor behavior issues and will seek positive parental support when necessary.  The Conservancy reserves the right to dismiss a camper who exhibits unsafe behavior or endangers other campers.  No refunds are provided if a camper is dismissed due to behavioral problems.

Download a copy of the Code of Conduct

Can my camper be in a unit with his/her friend?

Sure!  Please tell us prior to the camp.  You may include this information on the registration or email the camp director.  This information needs to be given to administrative staff at least a week prior to the start of the camp session.  We will try to accommodate requests within reason but will likely not be able to group more than four campers.

How do you break up units at camp?

We will differentiate our activities by age and ability.  Generally, we will have a unit for campers ages 5-7, a second unit for campers ages 7-9, and a third unit for 9-12 year old campers.  The age breakdown is determined by the age of registrants and may change depending on the session.

Can my child be a Junior Staff member?


Students ages 13 and over may apply to be members of our Junior Staff.

  • Junior Counselors:   13-15.  A limited amount of spaces are available.  There is a $50 fee for the summer
  • Assistant Counselors: 16+.  Fee waived

Please check the website for updates.  If your child is accepted to the Junior Counselor position, you will be sent a link to a registration page including a health form.

My child has special needs. Can they attend camp?

If your child is able to participate in normal daily camp activities, they are welcome to join us.  However, we are unable to provide one-on-one assistance for camps.  Please give us as much information as possible to allow camp staff to most appropriately assist your camper.

How can I contact you during the day?

For important issues while camp is in session, please use the following methods to contact us:

  • Mt. Pleasant Camp Phone (during Before and After Care) (number assigned in June)
  • Mt. Pleasant Office Phone (during business hours) 410-465-8877
  • Belmont Office Phone (during business hours) 410-465-8337

Our Camp Directors may not be at their desks while camp is in session. Please allow 24 hours for an email reply or call our office for assistance.

What is STEM?

Traditionally, STEM incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  At Camp, we integrate Arts into so many of our activities, turning traditional STEM planning into STEAM!  See our STEM@Camp page for more details.

How does STEM/STEAM fit into Camp?

We have always focused on science and nature at Camp, and we love to investigate over the course of our sessions and summer!  This year’s STEM Mission of the Week (MotW) will highlight the ways in which Campers use technology to solve problems, work together to design and test engineered structures and devices, and leverage mathematical reasoning to conduct science experiments. We find many imaginative ways to incorporate STEM into our daily planning; i.e. instead of a chemistry demonstration, Campers may participate in a Potion Class!  We encourage hands-on investigative learning, not edutainment. 

What are the STEM Missions of the Week?

We don’t want to give too much away!  Each week, Camp groups will receive their Mission of the Week briefing.  They will work together with other Campers to complete the investigation or solve the challenge. See our STEM@Camp page for more details.

Sample STEM Mission of the Week (MotW):

Castle Crashers Design Team  –  Work with a team to design a castle base. Then, create a catapult to storm a different team’s base. Can your structures withstand natural disasters as well as other Campers?

Where can I find more information?

Other questions? Email us:

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