ICG Summer Camp FAQ

What is the difference between full day and half day camp?

Full Day camp is for children ages 6-12 who have completed kindergarten by June 2017. The pace of the day, activities, and expectations reflect the development and abilities of school age children.

Half Day camp is for children ages 3-5 who are 3 years old on or before April 1, 2017. The pace of the day, activities, and expectations reflect the development and abilities of preschool children.

What are the camp hours?

Half Day Camp runs from 9am-12:30pm. Complimentary early drop off available beginning at 8:30am

Full Day Camp runs from 9am-4:00pm. Complimentary early drop off available beginning at 8:30am. Aftercare is available from 4:00-5:30 with a fee of $10 per day per child.

My child is 5, can they attend full day camp

5 year olds that complete kindergarten in June 2017 and will turn 6 by December 1, 2017 are eligible for Full Day camp.

Does my child need to be potty trained to attend half day camp

Yes. We understand that many 3 and 4 are still refining their skills and we will help them navigate occasional accidents with kindness. Children that still wear diapers or pull-ups/training pants during the day are not ready for Half Day camp.

Do you have a waitlist?What are the chances of getting a spot once on the waitlist?

Yes. Camps fill up fast and we do maintain a waitlist.We can’t accurately predict the chances of getting a spot when you’re on the waitlist. If an opening occurs, families are contacted in the order they were added to the waitlist. You’ll have 48 hours to notify us you’d like to take the spot before we call the next family on the list.

What does my child need to bring to camp?

  • Healthy camper who has sunscreen applied
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather
  • On rainy days, a raincoat or poncho
  • Footwear that can get wet (e.g. water shoes or crocs)
  • Dry change of clothes, in a labeled gallon-size ziploc bag, including socks & underwear
  • One morning snack.ICG will provide an afternoon snack.
  • Nutritious lunch
  • One full water bottle labeled with their name
  • Sunscreen labeled with their name
  • A towel
  • Signed All Community Agreement (on Mondays)

Do I need to pack a snack or lunch?

Yes. Please pack a morning snack and a lunch. We will provide afternoon snack. On Fridays, all campers have the opportunity to make pizza on the grill for lunch.They will most likely need a lighter lunch on Fridays.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. It is ICG policy to never turn anyone away due to inability to pay. The scholarship form is embedded in the registration form. You can fill it out as you register your child. Your spaces in camp will be reserved while we review your scholarship application and get in touch with you about what we can offer. Please don’t hesitate to call (607.319.4203) or email (register@ithacachildrensgarden.org) with any questions.

Do you offer multi-week discounts?

Yes. Each child registered for three weeks or more will receive $10 off their 3rd week of camp.

What are the benefits of membership?

Member benefits can be found on our Membership page.

Members receive $20 off their total camp order and access to early registration.

Do you offer sibling discounts?

Yes. Each subsequent sibling that registers receives $10 off their shopping cart.

What’s the cancellation policy?

Should you need to cancel your camp registration, please be advised of the following refund structure:

Cancellations made by MARCH 1 will receive a full refund, minus a 20% administration fee.

Cancellations made by APRIL 1 will receive a 50% refund, minus a 20% administration fee.

Cancellations made by MAY 1 will receive a 25% refund, minus a 20% administration fee.

No refunds will be granted after MAY 1 with the exception of cases of serious illness or injury, and this request must be accompanied by a physician’s note. A camper who does not arrive, arrives late, leaves early, or attends only a part of the session will not receive a refund. If a camper is experiencing a difficult adjustment to camp or is sent home because of a behavior problem, no refund will be granted. ICG refunds all payments for enrollments cancelled by us, unless otherwise noted above. Refunds will not be granted to weather-related cancellations.

Do you offer aftercare?

Yes. Aftercare is available for Full Day campers from 4:00-5:30pm. The cost is $10 per day, per child.

How do I sign up for aftercare?

When you check your child in each morning, our friendly staff will have the aftercare sign-up available. You may sign up for that day or multiple days that week.If you know you will consistently need aftercare for a week or a good portion of the summer, you may sign up and/or pay in advance. Please send an email to register@ithacachildrensgarden.org and we will follow up with you. Aftercare payments are expected on Friday for the camp week and can be made at pick up.

My child has dietary restrictions or allergies. Do you make any accommodations?

All the afternoon snacks we provide are vegetarian and nut-free. Staff are alerted each week to campers with allergies and their group leader will provide extra support as needed. Campers wash hands both before and after morning snack and lunch to prevent allergen contamination on program materials. Please contact us before the camp season begins should you have concerns about your child’s allergies at camp (register@ithacachildrensgarden.org)

What is pizza Fridays?

Quite possibly the best day of the week. Every Friday campers and staff make pizza on the grill for lunch. We’ll provide dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings. Campers will be able to harvest additional herbs and toppings from the garden.

If your child has a dietary restriction, they are welcome to bring gluten free dough, vegan or kosher cheese, or other items on Fridays. Check these in with camp staff in the morning so they can be labeled and added to the cooler.

Although your camper might not need a full packed lunch on Fridays it is helpful for them to have some small items: peice of fruit, snack, some veggies, to round out their pizza meal.

What is a typical day like?


What is a Nature Play Corps Camp?

NPC camps feature child-led free play ALL DAY! Morning activity rotations are replaced by stations set with loose parts, prompts, and exploration materials based on the week’s theme. Campers decide what they want to do where and our staff follows their lead.

How are groups determined?

Groups are usually determined by age. We give consideration to siblings and friends and use our judgement on campers who do better in separate groups. Groups are together for transitions and morning activity rotations. During opening circle, lunch, afternoon free-play and snack campers will be free choose who they spend their time with.

Can I request my child be in the same group as or not in the same group as a friend or sibling?

Yes. It’s good for us know if siblings do better together or in separate groups. Friends often find being in the same group makes camp even more awesome. Please email your request to register@ithacachildrensgarden.org at least a week before camp begins. The earlier the better.

What is your staff to camper ratio?

The minimum ratio for our Half Day camp is 1:6 but is most often maintained at 1:5.

The minimum ration for our Full Day camp is 1:10 but is most often maintained at 1:6

Can I attend camp with my child?

The ICG camp day is structured to provide total care and enrichment for your child with your child’s safety, well being, and development in mind. It can be confusing and sometimes stressful for children to have parents stay or drop in without notice. If you anticipate a need to visit the site during the day, please alert the camp director.

We want every child to feel comfortable and welcome at camp. Parents are invited, especially if ICG camp is a new experience, to support your child in making a smooth transition into camp. If your child benefits from more leisurely transitions, please plan to utilize the 8:30-9am period to help your child feel prepared for their day. We request parents say goodbye to their camper by 9am with encouragement for a wonderful day at camp. Although campers are typically delighted to say goodbye to their adult and hello to their camp friends, if you find your child is requesting more of your presence than this time allows after the first day, please contact the camp director.

My child needs a 1:1 aide or special assistance to attend camp

Currently, ICG is not equipped with the staffing to provide 1:1 for campers in our care. Several campers have successfully participated in camp with outside special assistance and 1:1 aides arranged by families. Please contact Leigh MacDonald-Rizzo, Education Director at (607) 319-4203 or register@ithacachildrensgarden.org to talk more about your child’s needs and the support person that may be accompanying them to camp.

My child has special needs that may impact their camp experience. How do I communicate those with you?

Please provide as much information as possible in your registration form. Our Education Director will reach out to you with questions or for additional information well ahead of your camp experience.If at any time you’d like to ask questions or provide additional information please email register@ithacachildrensgardnen.org or call (607) 319-4203 and we’d be happy to discuss your concerns and answer your questions.

What do you do if it rains?

We play through sprinkles and light rain. During heavy rain, we’ll move activities into the Kids’ Kitchen or the adjacent Kiwanis Pavilion. Emergency shelter is available at the Just Be Cause Center (a short 7 minute walk from the Garden) should the forecast call for such precautions.

What if I need to pick up my child early?

Please let staff know at check-in that morning what time you will be picking your child up. We’ll do our best to have them ready to go by the time you arrive. Should something arise during the day that requires pick-up before 3:45pm, please call or text the Assistant Camp Director. Phone numbers will be provided in your reminder email and posted the first day of camp at check-in.

What if we will be late to camp?

If you know you will be late prior to that morning (e.g. a scheduled dr. appt), please notify our staff at check-in or pick-up the day before. Should you be running late or if your child is sick and won’t be attending camp that day please call or text the Assistant Camp Director. Phone numbers will be provided in your reminder email and posted the first day of camp at check-in.

Can my child come to camp if they are sick?

No. It’s very hard to participate and enjoy your time at the Garden if you are not feeling well. If your child is unwell due to vomiting, fever, or diarrhea, he or she may not return to camp until they have been symptom free for a full 24 hours. If a child is found to have symptoms which appear to be infectious or otherwise prohibit the child from enjoying his or her camp experience, he or she will be sent home for the day. Symptoms are based on, but not limited to: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent coughing, fever, or lethargy. If your child becomes sick during the day, you will be notified and asked to pick him or her up immediately. If your child is sent home sick, he/she will be expected to remain home the following day or until such time as his/her symptoms dissipate.

What is your sunscreen policy?

Campers should arrive wearing sunscreen. If your child has not applied sunscreen when they arrive our friendly camp staff will ask you and your camper to apply sunscreen before you say goodbye. After lunch each day, full day campers will reapply sunscreen. Our staff will encourage campers to apply their sunscreen as independently as possible but can assist if asked. If you’d rather your child not reapply sunscreen after lunch, we require a signed note from a parent or guardian. Should your child forget their sunscreen, we have backup on hand they may use.

Where do you go on Wednesday hikes?

Most Wednesdays we head up the Black Diamond Trail adjacent to the Garden. Should our camp theme or sense of adventure guide us elsewhere it will be posted Wednesday morning at check-in.