Guardian Handbook

Thank you for choosing to send your child to KNC Camp! Many campers come to call KNC camp their home away from home. They enjoy weekly themes, take on new adventures, make new friends, and learn to have a positive impact on the natural world. Campers will splash around in Nature’s Playground, explore the gravel pits, and horse around with our farmyard friends. Older campers will explore team-building courses, onsite adventures, and campouts! We welcome kids of all abilities and will work closely with you to make sure your child has a great experience.

Please read through the following information for up-to-date details on your upcoming camp session. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us, and we look forward to seeing you at camp!

Junior Nats in Field

Age Groups

We are not able to move campers to age groups/grades higher than what they are.
There are times where we may make exceptions with moving campers into lower
age groups. Ex: 4 and 5 year olds are not able to be put in the Explorers group.

Junior Naturalists (Jr Nats): 4-6 year olds; *prek-kindergarten
Explorers (EXP): 1st through 3rd grade
Wild Child (WC): 4th and 5th grade
Adventure Skills (ADV): 6th through 8th grade

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday 9am-3pm. Varies by group, see below.

  • Junior Naturalists (Jr Nats AM) AM: Monday through Friday from 9am to 12pm
  • Junior Naturalists (Jr Nats PM) PM: Monday through Friday from 12pm to 3 pm
  • Neurodiverse (ND): Monday through Friday from 10pm to 1pm
  • Explorers (EXP): Monday through Friday from 9am to 3 pm
  • Wild Child (WC): Monday through Friday from 9am to 3 pm
  • Wild Child Campouts (sessions 5 & 7 only) (WCC): Monday through Wednesday
    9am to 3pm and overnight from 9am Thursday to 12pm Friday.
  • Young Farmers (YF): Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm
  • Adventure Skills (ADV): Monday through Wednesday 9am to 3pm and overnight
    from 9am Thursday to 12pm Friday.
  • Adventure Treks (ADV T): Monday (9am) through Thursday overnight and Friday
    3pm.

Transportation
Save fuel, ride the bus! Pick the schedule that works best for you and sign-up during
registration. $15 each way per session. We offer convenient stops throughout
Kalamazoo and Portage to and from camp Monday through Friday. See the bus
information below.

  • 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, enter “W” in
    the appropriate space (bus code) on the registration form.
  • Buses 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 Camp Barn,
    where an authorized person will need to pick them up.

2022 Bus Schedule (Monday through Friday)

Please arrive at least 5 minutes early to your stop. MORNING BUSES WILL LEAVE THE
STOP AT THE TIMES on our website. Afternoon buses arrive at the times below, will
wait minutes, then depart.

Meals

Full Day: Must bring their own lunch and snacks.
Half Day: Snack provided. May bring their own snack if you choose.
Overnights: Bring Lunch and Snacks for Monday through Thursday! Dinner
Thursday, breakfast, and snack Friday will be provided.

Staff

We conduct background checks and central registry clearance checks (21+) on all staff.
All staff are required to submit 3 positive references.
All staff are required to be trained before working alone with a camp group.

Group Mate Request

In the registration application families have the opportunity to list ONE camper they’d like to be placed in their child(ren) group. KNC staff will do our best to accommodate a group mate request. Due to limited spacing there isn’t a guarantee they’ll be able to be in the same group. It may be helpful to email or call a week before your child(ren) camp to check if the request will be granted.

Lost and Found

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

Camp will implement several methods of prevention at Camp to aid in limiting
chances for exposure while at camp. We know that campers may need extra reminders
and grace during this time. For this reason, several methods will be used, not just one.
It is important to note that due to the nature of COVID-19 even with all these practices
in place programming cannot eliminate all risk of exposure. These methods include
but are not limited to health screenings, face covering/mask-wearing, hand washing,
and cohort use (small groups).

Health screenings

  • Prescreening: Staff and campers (with the assistance of parents/guardians)
    should self-monitor for 10 days and conduct pre-screening activities before
    camp.
    These include:

    • Self-screening for the presence of symptoms (fever of 100.4 or greater,
      cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, tiredness/fatigue, headache,
      muscle aches, nausea, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting, etc.)
      within the past two weeks.
    • Determining if the individual has been in close contact with a person
      who has been diagnosed with, tested for, or quarantined as a result of
      Covid-19.

Daily staff screening: Before arrival, each day staff must perform a self-screening for symptoms before they are able to enter any building or interact with staff or campers. Staff members must text the assistant director daily to confirm they are symptom-free. Staff must call the Camp Director immediately if they have symptoms.

  • Health screening questions for staff can be found at: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=yGMcyVUhJ0CUOwBEsVMx0eYqpGBH2pZIlTWncqLIkQlUMktBN0RNRDVPM0FONERWNUkwWlhCMzNURi4u
    • If a vaccinated or unvaccinated staff member has any fever, vomiting,
      diarrhea, or tests positive for COVID-19, they will be denied admission
      to programming or sent home immediately.
    • If a staff member has a household contact who has tested positive for
      COVID-19 they will be required to wear a mask to work for 5 days.
    • Vaccinated staff members will be allowed to continue to work after
      exposure if they remain asymptomatic. Unvaccinated staff members
      may be required to have a negative covid test.
    • Staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their doctor if they develop symptoms.
    • If a staff member has a positive test, they must quarantine for 5 days
      even if symptoms do not develop (regardless of vaccination status). If
      the staff member remains asymptomatic they may return to work after
      5 days but must wear a mask for 5 more days.
    • The employee must remain at home until:
      • They are symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever
        reducing or other symptom-altering medicine (e.g., cough
        suppressants). AND
      • Other symptoms have improved AND
      • At least 5 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or since they tested positive for COVID-19.
      • Staff should also follow CDC guidance: What to do if you are sick.
      • If a staff member wishes to get tested for COVID-19:
        • Staff can find a testing location in their community by
          visiting www.Michigan.gov/coronavirustest
        • If cost is a barrier, the state of Michigan also provides a
          list of locations that are providing testing at no cost.
        • Testing does not eliminate the need to implement the
          prevention measures outlined in this document.
          Someone can still become infectious or become infected
          with COVID-19 after the testing, but this is one imperfect
          step taken to screen out someone with an active
          infection prior to coming to camp.

✴NOTE: KNC may ask staff to self-quarantine for 5 days before returning to work.
Staff members may be asked to test for Covid-19 before returning to work. Test
sites near KNC can be found at www.Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest

Where Can Staff Members Get Tested? If a staff member is sick or if someone close to
them is sick or has symptoms, they may want to get tested. Staff members can identify
a testing site using the Testing Site Look Up Tool or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at
888-535-6136 for help finding a site near you.

Daily camper screening: As campers and families arrive, staff and families
should observe social distancing. Campers (and their families) must remain in
their vehicles until they are cleared to attend programming. Campers will
undergo a health screening each day before they are able to be signed in
conducted by a designated staff member. Parents/ legal guardians must stay
until their child(ren) is cleared to attend programming for the day.
Screening will include but is not limited to the following:

  1. Parent/guardian questions
    • Have you, your child, or anyone in your household been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19?
    • Has your child or anyone in your household felt unwell in the last 3 days? (Fever or chills, new uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tiredness/fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
    • If a parent/guardian answers yes to any of the above questions their child(ren) will not be admitted for the session.
  2. Camper questions
    • Have you felt unwell in the last 3 days? (Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea)
    • Are you feeling well today?
  3. Visual check
    • Check the camper for signs of illness, including flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), tiredness/fatigue, or extreme fussiness.
    • Check the camper for signs of illness that may be
      unrelated to COVID-19 including sore or discharging eye
      or ear, profuse nasal discharge, contagious disease, strep
      throat, etc.
  4. If a vaccinated camper has been exposed to COVID-19 they may return to camp as long as they remain asymptomatic. Camp may require a negative covid test.
  5. If an unvaccinated camper has any symptoms or has been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, they will be denied admission to programming and sent home immediately. All other children from the car/household will also be denied admission to programming (even if they have no symptoms).
  6. If it is found that a camper has had recent symptoms or a temperature
    of 100.4 or more, they’ll be sent home. It is at KNC’s discretion to deny
    admission for other reasons as well. The camper must remain at home
    until:

    • They are symptom-free for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicine (e.g., cough suppressants). AND
    • Other symptoms have improved AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
      or since they tested positive for COVID-19

✴NOTE: Families may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before attending programming. Families should also follow CDC guidance: What to do if you are sick

Ongoing Screening: Ongoing screening will be conducted by staff on an as-determined basis but not less than daily. The screening daily will be similar to the initial day one screening.

  1. After staff and campers arrive and are cleared to attend programming, staff will continue to monitor symptoms throughout the day and monitor temperatures when campers or staff appear ill or “not themselves”. If a camper or staff shows symptoms, they should report to the designated staff to meet for a screening.
  2. A re-check during the day will be required if an individual appears sick or displays symptoms of COVID-19.
  3. Campers or staff who appear sick or become sick at camp should keep on their face mask (if tolerated by the camper and developmentally appropriate) as soon as possible if it is not already on and limit their interaction with others.
  4. If a staff member becomes ill during the day, they will be sent home. If an individual is the only available caregiver, they should have on their face mask (if not already on) and limit their interactions with campers until they can be relieved by another staff member.
  5. In the event that the support staff is not available because they are helping with the group; the health officer, Camp Director, or the VP of Learning and Education or other designated staff will be called to go to the site and conduct the screening for the staff in question. Or the staff may be asked to go home immediately (as soon as possible, whichever is appropriate for the time and reported symptoms.
  6. If a camper or staff is suspected of having COVID-19 based on their screening they should put on a face mask if they do not already have one on. They should be sent home immediately or placed in isolation not less than six feet until they are able to be picked up. Campers should never be placed alone.
    • The support staff or other staff who are working with the individual must wear a face mask, eye protection, disposable gloves, and a disposable gown (if warranted) while working with individuals who have a suspected
      case of COVID-19.
  7. Staff must notify the Camp Director, who will notify the parent/legal guardian that they need to pick up their child(ren), and appropriate healthcare providers in accordance with guidance from local health officials.
  8. Staff will clean and disinfect surfaces that the individual touched as needed.

✴NOTE: Parents/guardians and staff should continue to monitor their households and contact the Camp Director directly to report possible illness if anyone in their household shows symptoms or has tested positive for COVID19, including the child, staff, roommate, or family member if they or their children experience possible symptoms or have a positive test.

Response Management of Case(s) and Probable Case(s)

If a staff member or camper is identified as having a potential or confirmed case of
COVID-19, isolate the individual in the designated location at KNC (camp office or near
it). Other locations may be chosen if necessary to limit exposure. Camp administration
will also consider the following:

  • Sending someone home:
    If someone becomes symptomatic at programming, they will be sent home immediately; as soon as possible.

    • If a camper or staff member warrants further clinical evaluation, Camp or the camper’s parent/legal guardian will make arrangements to do so, either in-person or via telehealth.
    • If a camper or staff member does not require immediate clinical evaluation but still calls for the individual to return home, staff will isolate the individual until appropriate return to home transportation can be arranged. They should also follow CDC guidance: What to do if you are sick.
    • If a camper or staff requires transportation from staff then an administration staff will transport the camper with another staff member in a KNC vehicle. No staff should be alone with a camper. All individuals must wear a face mask. Open the windows to increase air circulation if tolerable.
    • If an ambulance is being called to transport them to a hospital, they
      should be notified in advance that the person may have COVID-19

Reporting to the Health Department:
If someone becomes symptomatic at Camp, Camp administration will call the local health department to report exposure and determine whether close contacts need to leave programming.

  • Contact the local health department to notify them about the camper or staff with COVID-19 symptoms and determine if their close contacts should be sent home as well. They will provide guidance regarding how to determine who should be considered a close contact. They will likely require that Camp isolate close contacts and send them home as soon as possible.
    • When reporting to the health department staff should be prepared to answer the following questions:
      • When was the staff/camper in attendance?
      • Who is the staff/camper near (less than six feet) throughout the day
      • Has there been adequate physical distancing throughout the day?
      • Are there others at the camp that live with the staff or camper in the same household?
      • When are face masks worn in the camp?
  • It is crucial to carry out “contact tracing” immediately to determine the potential or confirmed case’s contacts with the other campers and staff members over the previous two or more days. The CDC defines close contact as interactions within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Contact tracing will be carried out by trained staff (public health staff, community health workers, trained volunteers) in conjunction with the local health development.
  • The Camp Director may utilize general principles of contact tracing to begin closely monitoring other potentially exposed individuals (following the guidance of the local health department). Campers and staff in the individual’s group should have enhanced surveillance for symptoms.
  • Camp operators are required to submit an incident report to the department if a camper is sent home for illness or stays overnight in a hospital or clinic. While not required, we encourage you to contact your licensing consultant to discuss any COVID19-related questions in your camp operation.
  • Camp program structure mitigates and minimizes the group’s exposure to other groups because they will be kept separate throughout the day. The local health department will also advise KNC Camp on when these close contacts can return. They will likely require the sick individual to have a negative COVID-19 test before close contacts (staff and campers) can return to programming or, if a test is positive (or not available), that staff and campers self-quarantine for 14 days.

PLEASE NOTE: Even if a family/student acknowledges and publicly discloses a positive test, staff must not participate in discussions or acknowledge a positive test.

When to seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

✴NOTE: This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call a medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. Call 911 or call ahead to the local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Hand Hygiene

When to Wash or Disinfect Hands- campers and Staff

  • Upon arrival and before dismissal
  • Before and after eating
  • After being in contact with someone who may have been sick
  • After using the restroom
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Before and after handling an animal
  • After playing in a body of water (pond dipping)
  • After the removal of gloves
  • After cleaning or disinfecting

How to Use Soap

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water. Turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Make sure to lather the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.)
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or an air dryer.

You may use paper towels to turn off the faucet and/or open the doors of the bathrooms.

How to Use Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizers should contain greater than 60% ethanol or greater than 70% isopropanol. Hand sanitizers are not a substitute for handwashing from kitchen and dining staff.

  1. Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  2. Rub your hands together. Make sure the product contacts the back of your hands, palms, between your fingers, and fingertips.
  3. Continue to rub your hands together until your hands are dry (about 20 seconds).

Registration

All campers must be registered (enrolled in the session and payment received) before being able to participate in camp. Scholarships are available (see section below). All campers must have an up to date medical form and Covid waiver submitted. Your child(ren) medical form will be checked for updates on the first day of camp during sign in.

Forms

  • Medical Form – Required for participation (complete during registration and signed Day 1 of your camp).
  • Immunization Records OR Unimmunized Child Waiver – Required for participation (Please fax to the Registrar or bring Day 1 your camp).
  • Covid Waiver- Required before participation (complete during registration)
  • Self-Checkout Waiver – Campers who are permitted by a parent or guardian to walk home (as needed, complete during registration).
  • Permission to Administer Medicine – Campers who need to take any medication at camp including epi-pen or inhaler (as needed, Bring/complete on Day 1 of your camp).

Financial Assistane

It is important to eliminate barriers for campers to be able to participate in camp. If one of your family’s barriers is financial, please consider applying for a Financial Assistance. If awarded it applies to one session for each season; summer camp, spring break camp, and winter camp. Our Financial Assistance application is a 2 step process:

  1. Please enroll your child(ren) for the camp session of your choice
  2. Following your registration/enrollment for your session, please fill out and submit the Financial Assistance application during registration.

The last step is ours. We will match the names on the financial assistance application to the names in the registration system. We will review and award assistance based on need. We will contact you to let you know of your award amount and confirm your spot in your chosen session.

Please label all of your camper’s items with their full name. Please dress your child(ren) appropriately for the weather, as we will be enjoying the summer outdoors. Camp fun can be dirty and wet. Please send your child(ren) with clothes/shoes/bags that can get dirty/wet.

Junior Naturalists, Neurodiverse

  • 1 reusable water bottle (1 liter preferred)
  • Face mask (a disposable one will be given to campers who don’t have one)
  • Backpack (bags with wheels do not work on our trails
  • Extra clothes
  • Rain Gear
  • Hat
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Closed toe, comfortable (walking) shoes

Explorers, Wild Child (Full Day)

  • 1 reusable water bottle (1 liter preferred)
  • Face mask (a disposable one will be given to campers who don’t have one)
  • Backpack (bags with wheels do not work on our trails)
  • Extra clothes
  • Rain Gear
  • Hat
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Closed toe, comfortable (walking) shoes
  • Lunch
  • Snack

Young Farmers (Full Day)

  • 1 reusable water bottle (1 liter preferred)
  • Face mask (a disposable one will be given to campers who don’t have one)
  • Backpack (bags with wheels do not work on our trails)
  • Extra clothes
  • Mud Boots (if you have them)
  • Work Gloves (if you have them)
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Closed toe, comfortable (walking) shoes
  • Lunch
  • Snack

Adventure Skills and Wild Child Campout (Full Day plus overnight)

  • 1 reusable water bottles (1 liter preferred)
  • Face mask (a disposable one will be given to campers who don’t have one)
  • Lunch (no lunch needed for Friday)
  • Snack
  • Hat
  • Rain Gear
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Bathing suit and Towel
  • Closed toe, comfortable (walking) shoes

The below items are only needed for the Thursday campout

  • Flashlight
  • Sweatshirt and Sweatpants
  • Sleeping attire and a change of clothes
  • Hairbrush/ comb, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sleeping bags, pillow, blankets, mats
  • Extra Snacks (Thursday dinner, Friday breakfast and Friday snack provided)

Adventure Trek Campers

  • Backpack: simple
  • Sleeping pad: light-weight foam rubber mat
  • Sleeping bag: compression sack, minimum 40 degrees F temperature rating
  • Pillow: optional, small, if any
Clothing: Outer Shell
  • Rain gear: waterproof and wind proof, top and bottom also used as wind breaker (no ponchos) (optional)
Insulating Layer
  • Warmer top: (1) (expedition weight) or 100 weight fleece–no cotton
  • Wicking Layer (pulls moisture away from skin, making you feel dryer and warmer) Fabrics like polypropylene, light weight wool, and capilene are made to wick moisture quite well.
  • Long underwear bottoms (1) (mid weight)
  • Long underwear top (1) (mid weight)
Footwear
  • Socks: (5 pairs total) Synthetic fabric or lighter weight wool will work better than cotton in a backpacking setting.
  • Closed toed-comfortable shoes
  • Optional–Boots: comfortable with adequate ankle support, broken in Hiking Boots
  • Optional–Water Sandals/Athletic Sandals: (they have to have an ankle strap
Head Gear
  • Bandanas (3-4) —tons of uses!
  • Hat (that shades eyes)
  • Sunglasses
Quick Dry Clothing (jeans and cotton t-shirts do not dry fast!!!)
  • T-shirts (3 total) (Next to skin layer) a lightweight polyester, wool/capilene T-shirt
  • Shorts (1) Nylon soccer shorts and other nylon fabric shorts dry quick and are lightweight
  • Long Pants (1) (no jeans, they take too long to dry and are heavy)
    Recommended: zip off leg “convertible” pants will be acceptable for shorts and long pants)
  • Swimsuit (1)
  • Undergarments (4)
Toiletries
  • Toothpaste (travel size, no big tubes)
  • Toothbrush
  • Waterproof Sunscreen lotion (SPF > 15)
  • Bug repellent (lotion, not spray can type)
  • Medications (labeled and contained)
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • If you wear contacts, wear glasses this week
  • Towel (for beach or personal use)
Miscellaneous
  • Two 1-liter water bottles
  • (1) spoon lexan spoons are light and durable
  • Small flashlight, with AA or AAA batteries or head lamp
  • Small paperback book
  • Binoculars
  • Small drybag for weather sensitive gear
    Please bring lunch for Monday! All other meals until pickup at 3pm on Friday, will be provided.
Leave at Home- unauthorized items will be turned in to the Camp Director if brought to camp
  • Technology- cell phone, ipads, ipods, digital cameras, etc
    • Camp is a place for campers to unplug.
    • Camp has a phone that can be called to reach a camper in an emergency or where a camper can reach you if needed.
  • Special items- teddy bear blanket
    • Don’t want them to get lost or dirty
    • Pocket knives of any size, weapons, sharp objects, lighters, or matches
      If items are needed KNC will provide them.
Meals and Snacks

KNC Camp only provides meals and snacks to certain groups.

  • Half day groups receive a snack each day.
  • Overnight night groups are expected to bring lunch and snacks daily.
  • Thursdays (overnight) campers should bring lunch and extra snacks.
  • Overnight Campers will be provided with snack/dinner Thursday, and breakfast/snack/lunch on Friday.

KNC Camp has changed it’s sign in and sign out process to help limit risk of exposure.
Along with this section please also read the screening section. *More information about this summer’s specific registration/pick up/drop off process will be added.
Campers should arrive rested, nourished, and hydrated. Remember to keep your child(ren) home if they or anyone in the household is sick or experiencing any symptoms for any reason! Parents/guardians who are at a higher risk for severe illness or part of a vulnerable population are encouraged to not drop their children off or attend camp unless cleared by a physician.

Pickup and Drop Off Locations

  • This summer not every group will be picked up and dropped off at the same location to limit the number of people in each space. Please be on the lookout for your child(rens) specific location and process before arriving to camp.

Daily Process

  • Upon arrival families are asked to line up behind the first car at your designated health check location and remain in their cars at drop off and pick up times; *subject to change.
  • A staff member will conduct a health screening for campers as they arrive.
  • Campers will be screened inside the vehicle.
  • The staff member will be wearing gloves and a face mask.
    • See Camp Processes Related to COVID-19 Prevention section for more details.
      • The beginning of the health screen station will be marked by signage and or the presence of staff.
      • All campers must be dropped off by a parent, guardian or adult authorized person.
      • If staff gives a family consent to get out for any reason the family will be asked to wear a face mask and remain close to their vehicles AND
      • To limit the amount of people exiting the vehicle AND
      • Families should maintain physical distance with other adults and campers at the health screen/ pick up/drop off locations.
      • Late arrivals will not be accepted this summer. No later than 15 minutes or once initial health screenings have been completed for the day (whichever comes first). Note that a refund will not be issued.
  • If ALL campers in the vehicle pass the health screening a pass for each camper will be placed under the windshield wiper of your car and you will then be directed to the appropriate drop off location.
    • Along with staff wearing a face mask and gloves we ask the families wear masks as well (at least the parent/guardian who will be speaking to staff and the child(ren) being signed in).
    • Families must leave once their child(ren) is cleared for the day to limit exposure.
    • Once cleared for participation in camp for the day campers will be escorted to wash their hands, then join their group.
    • The counselor will lead games while they wait for all group members to arrive before beginning programming.
    • Staff and campers will maintain physical distance or wear a face mask if it can’t be maintained.
  • Parents/guardians will also be asked to verify contact information in case of emergencies. Multiple methods of contact are encouraged.
    • If a different person will be picking up your child(ren) please do ALL the following:
      1. Please verify that they are on the authorized pick up list AND their contact information is up to date.
      2. If they are not, please give their first and last name to the person who is signing your child(ren) in. They must write in on the sign in sheet.
      3. Email the Camp Director with the information along with their contact information.
      4. Remind them to bring their ID with them at pick up or the camper will not be released to them.
    • If the camper needs to be picked up early please do ALL of the following:
      • Please notify the person signing your child in; let them know what time you’ll be picking them up as well.
      • Email the Camp Director with the same information.

First Day of Camp (addition to daily)

  • Along with a health screening families will be asked to verify that the information on their medical form is up to date.
  • ALL medication must be signed in including epi pens and inhalers. All other medication must be stored in the camp office. No camper or staff will be permitted to carry medication with them except rescue medication.
    • Parents/ guardians of campers who need to take medication at camp must fill out and submit the Permission to Administer Medicine form.
    • Campers who are prescribed an epi pen or inhaler are strongly encouraged to bring them to camp with them even if they don’t usually need them at home. Camp is full of walking, excitement, and heat which campers may not be used to.
    • To minimize putting a camper at risk, campers who don’t bring their epi pen or inhaler may not be permitted to participate in camp without them. It is at the camp’s discretion

Daily Process

  • Pick up will be similar to camper drop off. Families will go to the same location that they dropped their camper off earlier in the day and line their vehicles up upon arrival, unless otherwise directed.
  • Families must stay in their vehicles with their mask on and a staff will come to their car to check their Photo ID to verify that they are a person authorized to pick up that camper.
  • All campers must be signed out daily by a parent/guardian or adult authorized person.
  • Staff will write the full name of the person picking up the camper and the time of pick up on the form. You may be asked to sign and date as well.
  • Campers will only be released to their parents/guardians or a person on the authorized pick up list. The person picking the camper up must have their ID.
  • Parents/guardians will be called to verify pickup for any person not listed. The camper will not be released until authorization is given permission or the parent/guardian arrives to pick the camper up instead.
  • Sending a note with a camper or person not listed will not be accepted as permission to release the camper. Parents may call or email the Camp Director ahead of time to do so.
  • If families wish to have their camper bike home unsupervised they must fill out the Self-Checkout Waiver form. Campers will only be released at the scheduled program ending time, or at another designated to the KNC in writing or in person by the parent/guardian. If KNC does not have this slip your child will not be released without authorized adult supervision. You will be called to pick them up from camp.
  • If a camper hasn’t been picked up within 10 minutes after the scheduled pick up time staff will begin calling parents/guardians and those authorized to pick up the camper from the authorized pick up list and emergency contact list.
  • If we are unable to reach anyone within 45 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department will be called as the camper will be considered an abandoned minor. Two KNC staff will stay with the
    camper until a designated person assumes responsibility.

Camp Cancellation/Refund Policy

We are grateful for all families and children getting outdoors, learning and exploring nature with KNC Camp. We understand life can hold unexpected changes. In hopes of offering quality programs with sustainable support, the following policy will guide KNC’s Camp refund practices.

Please notify us as soon as possible if you decide to cancel your camper’s enrollment in any session so we can open the spot to waiting campers. Please send in writing (email or mail) your name, the camper’s name and the session you are cancelling.

Registrant Cancellations

Registrants who cancel more than 30 days before their camp session start date will receive a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee.

Registrants who cancel 14 to 29 days before their camp session start date will receive a 50% refund, minus a $50 processing fee.

Registrants who cancel within two weeks of their session start date will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Cancellations due to camper illness, injury or other emergency, provided the camper is unable to attend an alternate session, will require a physician’s written verification before a refund, minus a $50 processing fee, will be issued. Cancellations due to personal reasons will not be refunded. Session fees will not be refunded if a camper is sent home due to behavioral or health issues.

Switching Sessions

Prior to session registration closing, there is no fee for switching to another available camp session of the same price.
If the new session price is higher, the registrant will pay the difference. If the new session price is lower, the difference will be refunded.
Requests to switch sessions after registration has closed will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are subject to session availability.

KNC Camp Cancellations

If KNC cancels one or more camp sessions due to Covid-19 or other circumstances beyond our control, provided the camper is unable to attend an alternate session, all fees will be refunded (or prorated if a camp session was in process).

In the event of inclement weather, KNC will provide prorated credits only if there are 2 or more camp days cancelled due to weather. Cancellations made after 12:30pm will not count towards the 2 day minimum.

No credits will be otherwise provided due to weather cancellations.

All refunds will be issued in the same manner as payment. If the payment was
made in cash, then a check will be issued.

We are so grateful for our camp families. Thank you for your trust and support!

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 Medicine form and provide enough of each medication to last the entire time at camp.

  • Medications must be brought in the original pharmacy container.
  • Staff can only administer medications as prescribed and to the person they were prescribed to.
  • Bring only enough of the medications needed while at camp.
  • It would be preferable if medication for the whole week could be sent on Monday morning.
  • Any unused medications will not be carried home by the camper. Medications are returned to the parent/guardian at check-out.
  • All medications must be checked in at registration with the Health Officer, or designated staff. All medications will be stored inside the Camp Office except for inhalers and epi pens (which will stay with the camp group but still must be checked in).
  • Designated staff will ensure that your camper takes their medication when needed.

Due to COVID-19 precautions inside places are limited. If the day is forecast to have inclement weather, camp may be canceled if indoor spaces are not available or if it is expected to rain for the duration of camp that day. Families will be notified as soon as possible of the cancellation.
If the temperature is forecasted to be extremely hot counselors should work with their group indoors (if indoor spaces are available and open). Individual groups should be in their own room or building. Group mixing should not happen! If indoor spaces are not available counselors should do their best to make sure their campers stay hydrated. Also, find opportunities to be in the shade or doing water activities

Supervision/Ratios

KNC camp follows a 1:10 ratio for campers and staff. This summer our groups will be staffed with 2 counselors for every 10 campers. There may be times when there is only 1 counselor or when there are more than 10 campers with 2 counselors. Ratios should not exceed 1:10. *Emergency situations are rare exceptions and staff will still do their best to maintain proper ratios.
Counselors will have campers in their group in their eyesight at all times; with the exception of bathrooms in which counselors will do their best to be in earshot of campers.
Counselors are expected to count their campers before moving on to the next activity/area and when arriving to ensure all campers are accounted for.
Camp staff will follow a truddy system (groups of three) when necessary (Examples: 2 campers/1 staff/, 1 camper/2 staff).
No campers, two campers or camp group should be alone without adult supervision, and no staff should be alone with a camper. *

Behavior Management

We believe that every child has the right to experience camp and all it has to offer. We believe in setting limits and explaining the boundaries for all participants. When these boundaries are tested, we use specific procedures to help the camper to continue his/her experience at camp.
All of our staff receive training in these procedures.
On the first day of camp, our staff will go over the group expectations and ground rules of camp life. Campers have the opportunity to create group norms, and ask questions about policies and rules, so that everyone is clear about expectations. Behaviors that disrupt Nature Camp staff from effectively minimizing physical and emotional risk for the camper or campers, will not be tolerated.

Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • Leaving the camper 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.)
  • Aggressive or disrespectful behavior towards any animal at the Nature Center.
  • Refusal to comply with Covid-19 policies and guidelines.

Procedures We Follow:

Minor Issues: (Ex- Not following directions*)

  1. The camper’s counselor will redirect them, speak with the camper, and check whether the camper understands why the behavior is unacceptable and knows what the consequences are. The counselor will restate the desired behavior, with clear consequences given for not following the desired behavior.
  2. If the camper does the behavior, again the removal of a camper from a problem situation in a time out may be a consequence in this first stage. Removal gives the camper time to calm down, reflect on his/her actions and the staff a chance to discuss with the camper what happened.
  3. If the behavior is repeated, the counselor will let the camper know that this is still unacceptable and will then involve the Assistant Director and/or Camp Director. At this stage, Camp will contact the parent or guardian of the camper to make them aware of the situation and to ask for cooperation and insight.
  4. If the behavior persists, the Camp Director will determine if the camper should remain at camp or be sent home. Parents will need to make transportation arrangements, and there are no refunds for campers sent home for behavioral reasons. The camper may return to camp the next day if the behavior is corrected, but repeat offenses will not be tolerated and the camper will be removed from camp activities for the remainder of the summer.

Moderate Behavior Issues: (Ex-Leaving the group without permission*)

  1. The camper’s Counselor will redirect them, speak with the camper, and check whether the camper understands why the behavior is unacceptable and knows what the consequences are. The Counselor will restate the desired behavior, with clear consequences given for not following the desired behavior.
    a) The removal of a camper from a problem situation in a time out may be a consequence in this first stage.
    b) Removal gives the camper time to calm down, reflect on his/her actions and the staff a chance to discuss with the camper what happened.
  2. If the behavior is repeated, the Counselor will let the camper know that this is still unacceptable and will then involve the Camp Director. At this stage, Camp will contact the parent or guardian of the camper to make them aware of the situation and to ask for cooperation and insight.
  3. If the behavior persists, the Camp Director will determine if the camper should remain at camp or be sent home. Parents will need to make transportation arrangements, and there are no refunds for campers sent home for behavioral reasons. The camper may return to camp the next day if the behavior is corrected, but repeat offenses will not be tolerated and the camper will be removed from camp activities for the remainder of the summer.

Severe Behavior Issues: (Ex- Injuring self, another camper, or staff)

  1. The camper will be immediately removed from the group or the group sent away for the camper to stay with the Camp Director (Assistant, or designated person) and another designated staff member until they can be picked up.
  2. Once the camper is removed from the group their parent/guardian will be called to pick them up immediately. Parents will need to make transportation arrangements, and there are no refunds for campers sent home for behavioral reasons.
  3. The camper may not return to camp for the remainder of the session. A discussion will be held to see if they may be able to return for the remainder of the season.

There are some actions that may warrant immediate removal from Camp. These actions include, but are not limited to;

  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Using alcohol or illegal drugs, or stealing
  • Endangering their own safety or the safety of staff or campers, racism or discrimination, or sexual harassment.

A diagnosis will not affect your camper’s admission into camp however; campers with severe emotional disturbances or violent behavior may not be able to participate effectively.

  • If your child has severe behavior problems, we ask that you talk with the Camp Director to assess how Camp may serve you and your child best.
  • If it is determined that our camp will not meet the camper’s or parents’ needs of minimized risk, we can refer you to facilities and camps that are equipped to handle these special needs.

Although some examples are in specific categories listed above it does not mean that they can’t be categorized differently given the circumstances. It is up to the KNC’s discretion whether a camper can remain at camp or return to camp due to behavior issues.

Encountering Individuals That Aren’t Apart of Your Group

KNC’s trails are open to the public and there are usually other KNC staff on-site besides camp staff. It is possible that a camp group will encounter a person from the public. Campers and staff are to maintain at a minimum 6 ft of physical distance between anyone from the public, other KNC staff that are not a part of their group, and other camp groups.

  • Parents, guardians, and other non-essential visitors or staff will not be able to visit during camp hours.
  • Other staff that program with camp groups will be limited. When programming they’ll be asked to keep a physical distance from the group. Examples include: farm staff, and animal care staff for creature features.
  • It is important to remind campers to stay with the group and limit their interactions with people who aren’t a part of the group; even if the camper knows the person.
  • Parents, legal guardians and families are not permitted to visit during camp hours to limit exposure and the number of people on site.
  • No camper will ever be sent to interact with someone from the public even if they know them. If the person wants the camper to come with them they must go through the sign out process.
    • The camper will stay with their camp group until approval is given from the Camp Director or Assistant Camp Director(s) for the camper to be signed out.
    • If the person is not on the authorized pick up list the camper will not be released to them without staff getting parents/guardian permission first!
    • First step in this process is to contact the Camp Director. This must go through the Camp Director or Assistant Camp Director(s) when the Camp Director is not available.

Minor Injuries (ex: scraped knee, small cut, small bruise)

  • Minor injuries are usually ones that only need to be cleaned and bandaged.
  • The counselor will aid in helping the camper to clean and bandage the injury
  • Parent notification: The counselor will let the parent/guardian know at pick up time about the injury.

Moderate Injuries (ex: a knot of the head, finger jam, sprain)

  • Moderate injuries are ones that need a little more attention than a bandage (may need to be monitored by staff but don’t warrant being sent home or to the hospital).
  • The counselor would aid in helping the camper to take care of the injury. Also, will monitor to be sure the injury is not worse than originally thought.
  • Parent notification: The Camp Director or designated staff will call the parent to inform them of the injury as soon as possible. Also, to discuss if they want any further action taken.

Severe Injuries (ex: allergic reaction, and broken bone)

  • Severe injuries are ones that warrant being sent home or to the hospital. Emergencies are included.
  • Staff will aid in first aid and CPR to the level or their training (or good samaritan) and other staff will call 911 if needed. Or transport the camper to the hospital if it isn’t life-threatening.
    ○ Two staff will transport a camper in a KNC vehicle to either Borgess or Bronson Hospital.
    ○ Parents may elect to pick up their child and take them instead of staff transporting them. Only if they can arrive within 30 minutes and the emergency does not warrant immediate care.
    ○ The Camp Director will make the decision on whether or not an emergency vehicle needs to be called when there is doubt.
  • Parent notification: The Camp Director or designated staff will notify parents/guardians immediately.

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Kalamazoo Nature Center Camp Staff are all considered mandatory reporters by law. If staff has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or has observed the child being subjected to the circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect will do the following:

  • Immediately report the cause to fact to the Camp Director.
  • The staff and Camp Director will make a report to Michigan’s central intake.
  • If a staff member is alleged to have abused a camper that person will be separated from all campers until the incident is resolved, until the threat is removed, or as long as necessary to protect the safety and welfare of campers.

We hope you and your child(ren) have a wonderful summer with us.
Should you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about your campers or your experience, feel free to talk to the Camp Director.

Contact Us

Tanequa Hampton
Camp Director
(269) 381-1574 ext 15

For Camp Questions
Guest Services (269) 381-1574 ext 0
Registrar (269) 381-1574 ext 24

Financial Assistance
We are grateful to a KNC donor community that believes all young people should have the chance to enjoy and learn from formative, summer experiences. Our donors make it possible for KNC to minimize financial barriers that would otherwise limit access to KNC Camp. If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please fill out the form during the Camp registration process. Contact the Registrar above with questions.

Campers at River

Summer Camp

8 weeks of camp run from June – August, with camps for Age 4 – Grade 8. Registration opens February 15, with early bird discounts through April 15.

Learn more >

Winter Camper

Winter Camp

Typically held the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, daily activities and themes include sledding and making snow slime on Winter Wonderland Day. Registration opens November 15.

Archery

Spring Camp

Typically held the week of area schools’ spring breaks, daily activities and age-appropriate themes. Registration opens February 15.