From the bus schedule to what to bring, here are some tips, ideas, and important information that will help your camper have an experience to remember.
Meet the 2018 Summer Camp Staff!
What To Bring to Camp
For All Campers:
For Half Day Campers:
For Full Day Campers:
For Overnight Campers:
Thursday Dinner, Friday breakfast and lunch are provided
In addition to the items listed above for All Campers and Full Day Campers (Lunch for Thursday Only); please bring the following:
Please label all of your camper’s items with full name if they are unable to keep track of their own belongings.
For Trek Campers
Clothing: Outer Shell
Quick Dry Clothing (jeans and cotton t-shirts do not dry fast!!!)
Toothpaste (travel size, no big tubes)
Please bring a lunch for Monday! All other meals until pickup at 5pm on Friday, will be provided
We hope this information will help you prepare your children for the best camp experience possible and give you the information you need to feel comfortable exploring the outdoors with your family.
Certain Camps require certain medical forms or waivers. Please find your Camp listed below and click on the waiver to download.
For camp questions: Register (269) 381-1574 ext 24 or email email@example.com
Camp Director: Lauren Lott, (269) 381-1574 ext 24 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Save fuel, ride the bus! Pick the schedule that works best for you.
· Buses only run to and from KNC from the scheduled stops and at the scheduled times (see below.) Please arrive at least 5 minutes early to your stop.
·If you would like your child to walk home from camp or a bus stop, please enter "W" in the appropriate space (bus code) on the registration form.
·Busses will not leave campers unsupervised at bus stops unless you have indicated on the registration form that they will walk home. If no one is at the stop to meet non-walkers, campers will be returned to the KNC Adventure House where an authorized person will need to pick them up.
View the Bus Stops Here
Camp Bus Schedule (Monday through Friday)
Please arrive at least five minutes early to your stop. MORNING BUSES WILL LEAVE THE STOP AT THE TIMES BELOW. Afternoon buses arrive at the times below, will wait 5 minutes, then depart.
Behavior Management Policy
KNC believes that every child has the right to experience camp and all it has to offer. We also believe in setting limits and explaining boundaries to all participants. When these boundaries are tested, KNC uses specific procedures to support the camper in continuing his/her camp experience. All KNC Camp staff receive significant training in these procedures.
On the first day of KNC Camp, our staff go over camper and staff expectations, including ground rules of camp life. Campers have the opportunity to ask questions about policies and rules. In this way, we ensure that everyone clearly understands expectations.
However uncommon, some behaviors can disrupt KNC Camp staff’s ability to maintain physical and emotional well-being for a camper or campers. Such behaviors will not be tolerated. These behaviors may include, but are not limited to: leaving a KNC Camp group without permission, physical aggression towards staff or other campers (kicking, biting, hitting etc.), verbal aggression towards staff or other campers (cursing, screaming, name calling, inappropriate language or comments, etc.), and aggressive or disrespectful behavior towards any animal at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.
Procedures We Follow
1. First offense. The camper is removed from a problem situation. Removal gives the camper the opportunity to calm down, reflect on his/her actions, and to speak with their counselor about what happened. The counselor will check that the camper understands behavior expectations and reasoning, and the consequences of non-cooperation.
2. Second offense. If the behavior is repeated, the KNC Camp Director will become involved. The Director will again check that the camper understands expectations and consequences. Additionally, the counselor or Director will contact the camper’s parent or guardian with the goals of making them aware of the situation and asking for insight and guidance.
3. Additional offenses. If the behavior persists, the Camp Director will determine if the camper should remain at camp or be sent home. If the student needs to be sent home, parents/guardians will be contacted again. It is the parents/guardians responsibility, both logistically and financially, to transport the camper from KNC. The camper may return to camp the next day with the understanding that future offenses will not be tolerated. Future offenses will result in complete removal from all KNC Camp activities for the remainder of the summer.
4. Immediate removal from KNC Camp. There are some actions that may warrant immediate removal from KNC Camp. These actions include, but are not limited to: smoking or using tobacco products, using alcohol or illegal drugs, stealing, compromising personal safety, or compromising the safety of other campers or KNC staff.
A diagnosis will not affect your camper’s admission to KNC Camp. However, campers with severe emotional disturbances or violent tendencies may be unable to effectively participate in KNC Camp activities. If your child has severe behavioral diagnosis, please speak with the Camp Director prior to registration to assess how KNC Camp can best serve your child. If it is determined that KCN Camp cannot appropriately minimized risk to the camper, other campers, or KNC staff, you will be referred to other camps that are equipped to handle these special needs.
We ask that all personal belongings be marked with the camper’s name. At the end of each day we will make an effort to match lost items with their owners. Lost & Found will be kept for one week. All unclaimed items will be given to a local charity. Please do not bring items of great value to camp. KNC is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
We are unable to give refunds for cancellations within one week (5 business days) of the camp’s start date. A $50 processing fee will be charged for any cancellation prior to one week before a camp’s start date. There is no fee for switching to another available camp of the same price in the current camp season. If prices differ, you will need to pay the difference or we will refund or credit you the difference.
ALL campers MUST be signed in and out DAILY by a parent/adult guardian. Photo ID is required at the time of pick-up. Please have your license or photo ID ready to show to our staff whether we know you or not. There is space on the health form to list additional adults authorized to pick up your child. Anytime someone other than those designated will be picking up your camper(s), you must add those extra persons to your child(ren)’s registration form. Whether or not we already know you, you must bring your ID to your child’s counselor. This procedure is to ensure the safety of your child. If your child is walking/driving home from camp or the bus stop, they may check in and out themselves with a signed waiver from a parent/guardian (see Self Check Out Authorization.
This schedule will vary depending on the scheduled off site trips and guests particular to each session.
8:00 am Buses begin scheduled routes
8:45–9:00 am Campers arrive at KNC
9:00 am All camps begin their day
9:00–9:30 am Opening Ceremonies
9:30 am–12:00 pm Program activities
12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–4:30 pm Afternoon Program activities
4:30–5:00 pm Closing Ceremony
5:00 pm Day Campers leave KNC
6:00 pm Buses finish scheduled routes
We view e-mail, IM and social networking sites such as Facebook. com and MySpace.com as positive ways for campers to express themselves and keep in touch with friends. Campers have the right to exchange emails or IMs with other campers and invite other campers to be on their “friends” list in any way that they and their parents see fit. When it comes to exchanging contact with anyone on our staff, parents must take full responsibility for that contact. This includes giving or getting an e-mail or IM address, cell phone number, social networking profile, weblog, or any other Internet contact. Staff are instructed not to exchange contact information with the campers. If campers would like to send an email or letter to their counselor after camp, they may send it to the Nature Center and we will facilitate the communication.We believe that the relationships between campers and their counselors are important. However once they leave camp we can’t take responsibility for what happens between them—only their parents can.
“Medication” is any substance a person takes to maintain and/or improve their health. This includes vitamins and natural remedies. If your child will be taking medication while at camp, fill out and return the Permission to Administer Medication form and provide enough of each medication to last the entire time at camp. Medications must be brought in the original pharmacy container. Bring only enough of the medications needed while at camp. Any unused medications will not be carried home by the camper. Medications are returned to the parent/guardian at check-out.
Should there be any emergency involving your child, or if your child becomes ill while at camp, we will contact you immediately. If you cannot be reached, we will call the individuals you have designated as alternate emergency contacts. Please make sure all information provided is accurate. If you have a family emergency at home and need to pick your child up early, please call the Camp Office Phone 269-381-8865 or Camp On Duty Cell Phone at 269-815-8326.
You will be notified in advance if your camper’s group has a planned visit to our gift shop. Not all camp groups schedule a visit to the gift shop. The gift shop is open all year during KNC’s normal business hours, 9 am - 5 pm. There are many value-priced souvenirs in the shop, and we ask that you send no more than $10.00 with your camper per session. We do not encourage the purchasing of candy, snacks, and soft drinks. Select items will be for sale at the Camp Office.
It is possible that while exploring the habitats at the Nature Center and beyond, your child may come in contact with ticks, mosquitoes or other biting flies, or poison ivy. Our staff will do their best to remind campers to check themselves for ticks and reapply their bug spray. However, you must check your children each night when they get home because ticks hide in places that it is only appropriate for parents to check. We will teach your children how to identify and avoid poison ivy and other plants that may irritate the skin. The general recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics to limit the use of DEET-containing products on kids to those that contain 10% or less DEET. Check the parent section of our website for information on how to choose the right bug spray, how to check for and remove ticks, how to identify the signs of a tick bite, and the symptoms and signs of poison ivy.
Camp grades are based on the grade your child is going into, so a current 3rd grader should be looking at Wild Child Camps. A current kindergarten student would go to the Explorers camp. A current 5th grader should look at the Adventure Skills or Adventure Trek camps.
During the registration process there is an opportunity for you to list one camp mate for your camper. Please list the camp buddy here and we will make every effort to make sure they are in the same group.
I have children who are going into 1st and 3rd grade. Can they be camp buddies?
We do not recommend that siblings be in the same group for many reasons. We divide camps up by age and grade. So generally we have a 1st grade group, a 2nd grade group, and so on. We don’t like to put a 1st grader with a 3rd grade group because 1st graders aren’t able to keep up with the 3rd graders. That means the 3rd grader get put with 1st graders, and let’s face it, the 3rd grader will get bored. Afternoon blends is a time when campers get to break out of their camp groups and explore in all-age groups and this is a great time for siblings to see each other in camp.
What is expected of me while attending a My First Nature Camp with my 3-year-old?
Come dressed to hike! As you work to make sure that your little one is dressed for camp, please remember yourself as well. Wear something you don’t mind getting a little dirty, and don’t forget comfortable shoes!
We also ask that you stay with the group. While we always encourage families to come back and explore KNC’s trails, please stay with the group during the actual camp session so that your child's counselor can keep to the day’s schedule.
Please keep technology tucked away. While we understand the temptation, please resist the urge to check emails and/or text so that you can stay present in the moment, and model camp engagement for your 3-year-old.
Lastly, while the participation level is dependent on each adult’s comfort level, the educators encourage you to get a little silly. Feel free to join in on the games, songs, and activities. You can be a camper too!
What should I expect when I send my child to farm camp?
Farm campers will go to the DeLano Homestead 2-3 days during the week and work with the animals or help in the greenhouse or garden. They also have the opportunity to help with our farm animals in residence at camp and in our camp gardens. There will be farm activities each day as well as the fun camp activities that all campers know and love.
What is the difference between “registered” and “enrolled” when I sign up for camp online?
A registered camper is a camper who has paid the registration cost in full and has a spot in camp.
An enrolled camper has shown interest in camp, but has not paid, so their spot is not saved.
If someone pays for camp it can potentially fill up camp, so that there is not room for an enrolled camper.
If you are having problems paying in full, please call the Registrar at 269-381-1574 x 24.
How many adults do I need to list during registration online?
We ask for three adults to be listed for every child. In case of an emergency we generally start by calling Guardian 1, then Guardian 2 and lastly the Emergency Contact. You may be unable to finish registration until you have entered information for three adults.
My camper normally rides the bus but needs to be picked up from camp one day.
No problem! Please let the registrar (269-381-1574 x 24 or email@example.com) or the camp office (269-381-8865) know as early as possible so we can communicate the change to your camper’s counselor. Please refrain from giving notes to the bus driver or bus counselor; they sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
When will I know to pack my camper’s bathing suit?
Here at the Nature Center, you never know when we will be playing with water! Best practice is to pack the swimsuit everyday, especially if it will be over 75 degrees. We also send out a weekly newsletter at the beginning of the week, giving you the details about what campers are doing that week.
How much should I pack for lunch?
We are constantly active, both physically and mentally, all day long. Pack a good lunch filled with protein and carbohydrates to give them fuel throughout the day. We also encourage extra food for a morning AND afternoon snack. We want to give them back tired, not hungry as well!
Bonus points: We do an activity called Lunch Junk, where we weigh the amount of “stuff” that would go into a landfill, after eating lunch. While it’s not a requirement, packing less single use items would help your camper’s group win the Golden Gallon!
My First Nature Camp | 3 Year Olds
Jr. Naturalists | 4 & 5 Year Olds
Explorers | Grades 1-3
Wild Child | Grades 4 & 5
Adventurers | Grades 6-8
Teens | Grades 9-12
Family Campout | August 26-27
Register for Camp
For camp questions: Registrar
(269) 381-1574 ext 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org