SUMMER CAMP FAQ

We know that parents need answers to lots of questions before they decide to send their kids to a Summer Camp. We have compiled answers to a list of the most popular questions parents ask Thorne each year and encourage you to e-mail info@nullthornenature.org or call 303.499.3647 if you would like to speak directly to a staff member about any questions you have regarding Thorne’s fun and educational Summer Camp.

I lost my registration email. What should I do?

You can always access registration information and account status, as well as update any account details by logging in to your CampInTouch account on the registration page.

CLICK HERE to access your account.

Where do I drop off and pick up my child?

In Boulder, the drop-off and pick-up location for most Camp Experiences is the Mapleton Early Childhood Center (840 Mapleton Ave). To provide the best educational experience possible, some of our “Camp Experiences” have an alternative drop-off and pick-up location. Please carefully read each “Camp Experience” description for specific drop-off and pick-up locations.

Ages 3-5: Meet at Various Locations
Ages 5 & 6: Meet at Sombrero Marsh Environmental Center
Ages 6-8: Meet at Mapleton Early Childhood Center or Chautauqua Park
Ages 9-11: Meet at Mapleton Early Childhood Center, Chautauqua Park, or Various Locations
Ages 12-15: Meet at Various Locations
Ages 5-11 Extended Care: Pick-Up at Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center

CLICK HERE for a parking map of the Mapleton Early Childhood Center.

In Littleton, the drop-off and pick-up location for all “Camp Experiences” is at the Kassler Center (11250 Waterton Canyon Road) which is located at the base of Waterton Canyon.

What are the times of Thorne’s “Camp Experiences?”

The majority of Camp Experiences are from 8:30a – 2:30p; however, the 12-15 year old birding camps run from 8:00a – 12:00p and the Parent/Child “Camp Experiences” for 3-5 year-olds are from 9:30a-11:30a. Please refer to the “Camp Experience” description for specific times. Extended Care is from 2:30p-5:30p (although you can pick up your child any time after the bus arrives from the Mapleton Early Childhood Center in Boulder).

How can I drop off my children who are attending camps at different locations in Boulder that start at the same time?

To accommodate parents who are picking up and dropping off campers at different locations, Thorne offers pick-up and drop-off windows. For camps meeting at Mapleton Early Childhood Center parents can drop off as early as 8:15am and as late as 8:45am with pick up at 2:30pm. For camps meeting at Sombrero Marsh, Chautauqua, or Various Locations parents can drop off as early as 8:30am and as late as 9:00am and pick up between 2:30pm and 3:00pm.

What natural areas will my child visit while at Thorne camp?

To provide the most fun and educational camp experience and expose campers to different types of natural environments, most of Thorne’s “Camp Experiences” visit a different natural area each day. In Boulder, one week, campers might travel by bus to visit Heil Ranch, Walden Ponds, Sawhill Ponds, Mt. Sanitas, and Chautauqua, while during another week they might visit Sombrero Marsh, NCAR, and Red Rocks. Eco-Explorers camps spend three days at the Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center and two days on field trips to nearby Sawhill and Walden Ponds. In Littleton, campers travel by foot (or bike) to nearby Waterton Canyon, Chatfield State Park, and Bob Taylor Ecological Area, visiting a different location each day and exploring trails, ponds, rivers, forests, and grasslands.

How are campers transported for Thorne “Camp Experiences” that require vehicle transport to sites?

In Boulder, a Boulder Valley School District bus and driver are used to transport campers enrolled in most Camp Experiences from the Mapleton Early Childhood Center to a different natural area each day and to Aftercare at the Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center. For the Fly Fishing Adventure Camp Experience, Thorne rents a van to transport campers during the overnight portion of the camp, to and from the campsite, and to various fishing locations. For Wild Skills Adventure and Survival Skills Adventure, campers carpool with parents to and from Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown. Thorne Instructors do not transport campers in personal vehicles nor does Thorne own company vehicles to transport campers.

Who are Thorne’s instructors?

All Thorne Instructors have passed background checks through the State of Colorado. All are trained in First Aid, CPR, Universal Precautions, and Medication Administration. Most are over the age of 25 and are elementary or middle school teachers. All instructors have two years minimum outdoor environmental education experience with children.

What is the camper-to-instructor ratio for each “Camp Experience?”

Thorne’s camper/instructor ratio policy is 12:1 but we strive for 6:1 (one instructor and one volunteer teaching assistant for each “Camp Experience”). The maximum number of campers is 12 for most “Camp Experiences;” however, some may have a lower maximum number, such as 8 or 10, for safety or to provide the optimal environment for safety and learning reasons.

Can I register with you right now over the phone?

Yes, you can call us to register over the phone; however, for most parents online registration is an easier and faster option.

What paperwork do I need to fill out to register for my child to attend Thorne Summer Camp?

For 3-5 Year-Olds: Because you retain care of your child during the “Camp Experience,” very little paperwork is required to enroll in a Parent & Child “Camp Experience.” We need general registration information (contact information and payment), but we do NOT need medical information (Medical History & Emergency Contacts Form, Immunization Form, or Parent Authorization Form).

For 5-15 Year-Olds: Because your child/ren are under Thorne’s care during these “Camp Experiences,” we need paperwork to ensure their safety and comply with Child Care Licensing. In addition to the Registration Information completed during online registration, we need the following forms that can be accessed from your CampInTouch account: Medical History & Emergency Contacts Form, Immunization Form, Parent Authorization Form, and Medication Action Plan (if your child will be bringing ANY medication to camp such as an inhaler or EpiPen). Medication Action Plans (if applicable) must be completed annually, however the Medical History & Emergency Contacts Form, Immunization Form, and Parent Authorization Form only need to be updated if there have been any changes. Examples of changes may include new emergency contact information, the list of people authorized to drop-off and pick-up your camper, or your camper’s medical information. Please review these forms each year to ensure they are correct.

When is payment due?

Full payment is due at the time of registration, unless enrolling in a payment plan. We are unable to reserve a spot in camp without completed registration and payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Amex. A Payment Plan is available at the time of registration. See below for more information about Payment Plans.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes. In order to ensure that all youth have the opportunity to attend a Thorne Summer Camp, Thorne offers a payment plan that meets the needs of most families. In all instances, full payment must be received prior to the start of the “Camp Experience.” The Payment Plan is available to choose as a payment option during registration. A $45 deposit is required for each week-long “Camp Experience;” Parent and Child “Camp Experiences” must be paid in full at the time of registration. Payment Plans are set up with an eCheck and the remaining balance will be automatically charged across 3 equal payments on April 1, May 1, and June 1. An invoice will be e-mailed the day prior to being charged to notify you of the impending transaction, and in case changes need to be made. If you prefer to pay off your balance more quickly, additional payments may be made at any time by logging into your CampInTouch Account.

How much does a “Camp Experience” cost?

For the majority of Thorne Camp Experiences, tuition breaks down to less than $11 an hour for award-winning, educational child care in nature with experienced, enthusiastic staff. Tuition is listed with each Camp Experience description. Aftercare is an additional $75. Thorne offers more than $110,000 in scholarships each year to ensure no child is turned away from participating in Thorne Summer Camp because their family is facing economic hardships.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes, we offer discounts!

Early Bird Discount: Register between 12/15/16 through 2/28/17 and save 15% on Camp Experiences when you use the coupon code EB2017 at checkout*. Register early and don’t miss out!

Multi-Experience Discount: Register for two or more Camp Experiences and receive $20 off tuition for each camp when you use the coupon code MULTI2017 at checkout*.

Multi-Child Discount: Register two or more children at the same time and receive $20 off tuition for each “Camp Experience” when you use the coupon code KIDS2017 at checkout*.

Parent Ambassador Discount: Thorne is always looking for parents to help us spread the word about our programs! Stay tuned for more information on how to promote Thorne and receive a $20 off discount*.

*Discount does not apply for Extended Care.
*Discounts may not be combined.

Do you offer scholarships?

Thorne offers more than $110,000 in scholarships each year to ensure that no child is turned away from participating in Thorne Summer Camp because his or her family is facing economic hardships. Scholarship assistance is available for families with children who would otherwise not be able to attend camp with Thorne. To apply for a scholarship, fill out our online Scholarship Application, available on March 1, 2016. The first round of scholarship applications will be reviewed after April 1 and awarded based on financial need. You may not register in advance to hold a spot for a scholarship. The Scholarship Application is located within Summer Camp registration. To apply, begin the registration process and select Scholarship Application as an option. Do not select Boulder or Littleton, rather select the button below entitled Scholarship Application. Before you begin your Scholarship Application, it is important that you visit Thorne’s Online Catalog to determine which currently available “Camp Experiences” and dates are your top choices.  Within the application you will be given the opportunity to request your preferred “Camp Experiences.”  After you have completed your application, a Thorne staff member will contact you after March 31 with a decision regarding your request.  When possible, Thorne will offer you one of your top choices; however, due to limited scholarship resources and limited spaces within some of our most popular camps, it may be necessary for us to offer you a scholarship to an alternate “Camp Experience” or date than those you prefer. Please do not contact Thorne to inquire about your request. Everyone will be contacted once decisions have been made.
Thorne would like to thank the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Boulder Brands, and Sheila Fortune Foundation for their generous support of our scholarship program.

CLICK HERE to visit the Online Catalog.

How can my child become a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Student Teaching Assistant (STA)?

If your child wants to get even more involved with Thorne, they might want to become a Summer Camp TA or STA.  Thorne’s volunteer program matches up individuals who want to gain experience working in a Summer Camp setting with Thorne’s professional Instructors.  Volunteers will spend the camp week (M-F, 8:15am-2:45pm) outdoors assisting an Instructor with a group of campers as they explore nature.  TA’s must be at least 16 years old and can volunteer with any of Thorne’s Camp Experiences.  STA’s are between 13-15 years old, are still under Thorne’s childcare license, and can volunteer with Camp Experiences that meet at the Kassler Center, Sombrero Marsh, Chautauqua, or Various Locations (excluding Adventure and Biking Camp Experiences).

CLICK HERE for more details about applying for these positions.

Are you a licensed child care provider? What does this mean?

Yes, Thorne is licensed by the State of Colorado as a child care provider. We are supervised by the State and adhere to all of its regulations while carrying out our programs. A copy of our State of Colorado Child Care license and inspection reviews are available upon request.

Can my child and his/her friend be in the same “Camp Experience?”

Yes, if you register for the same “Camp Experience” for the same week, they will be together. When you register, please be sure to record friends’ names in the space provided. If an Experience fills, Thorne will sometimes split a “Camp Experience” into A and B sessions and the friend information you report will be taken into account when dividing the sections.

Do “Camp Experiences” fill?

Typically, “Camp Experiences” begin filling up in March/April and 90% of all Camp Experiences fill to capacity. Register as soon as possible to ensure your children and their friends get a spot in their preferred “Camp Experience.” Please check the Thorne registration website to see the number of spots remaining. If a “Camp Experience” is full, we will give you the option to be placed on a waitlist and will notify you of your status if there is an opening. The waitlist is free and we encourage you to use it as each year more than 100 of our waitlisted campers end up being able to attend the “Camp Experience” of their choice due to a cancellation or if Thorne adds a second session of the same “Camp Experience.”

How do I find out how many spaces are left in a “Camp Experience?”

You can find out how many spaces are left in a “Camp Experience” by going to our secure registration page. If a “Camp Experience” shows up on the registration screen, there is still space!

What happens if the “Camp Experience” I want is full? How do waitlists work?

If a “Camp Experience” is full, you have the option to be placed on a waitlist. If a space becomes available, we will contact you via phone or email to see if you are still interested in the space. We accept up to 10 children on a waitlist. If a “Camp Experience” does not appear on the registration page in CampInTouch, it is already full. You can register for the waitlist by sending an email to info@nullthornenature.org with the following information: your child’s name, “Camp Experience” name, “Camp Experience” date, and “Camp Experience” location. To guarantee your camper will get to experience Thorne Summer Camp this year, you might instead register for your second choice at this time.

What do campers need to bring to camp?

Campers should bring the following items to camp every day:

  • A full bottle of water (at least one liter)
  • A healthy snack
  • A hearty lunch
  • Waterproof rain gear
  • Footwear appropriate for hiking (please no flip flops or Crocs)
  • Water shoes  (many of our Camp Experiences involve walking in water and muddy areas while exploring nature), again, no flip flops or Crocs
  • A brimmed hat
  • A sweatshirt or fleece
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent labeled with the camper’s first and last name
  • Please no electronics, games, toys, wallets, gadgets, or money.
Is it ok if my child is late to camp, gets picked up early, or misses one day of camp?

It is best if a camper is present for the full day, every day of camp, so that the group can bond and campers don’t miss any of the adventures Thorne Instructors have planned. If your child will be late, must be picked up early, or will miss a day, please notify your Instructor and Thorne’s Field Coordinator on the first day of camp. Refunds are not available for missed days (except for 3-5 year old Camp Experiences where a transfer is an option).

If your child’s camp meets at Mapleton Early Childhood Center in Boulder and you are late and miss the bus, please contact the Field Coordinator to drop your child off at the day’s site. Contact information for the Field Coordinator will be given to you on the first day of camp.

I’m worried that my child will have a hard time adjusting to camp; can I stay at camp for a while after check-in?

In general, kids are happiest and adjust to camp most quickly if parents leave promptly after check-in. Thorne Instructors have many fun activities planned to engage the kids immediately in their new surroundings, so having parents present after check-in can often make it more difficult to get kids involved in games and projects. If parents want to visit their child’s camp group for a day during the week, they are welcome to do so. Please arrange your visit ahead of time with your child’s Instructor.

My child has special medical, physical, or emotional needs – can you accommodate us?

Whenever possible, Thorne tries to accommodate youth with medical conditions, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities. In order to ensure a fun and safe experience for all campers, please contact Thorne’s Program Director at erin@nullthornenature.org or 303-499-3647 ext. 101 to discuss your child’s unique needs. We are most able to accommodate children with medical needs beyond allergies and asthma with advance notice. We will do our best to accommodate your child, but we cannot guarantee we can meet your child’s specific medical needs at Thorne Summer Camp. Be advised that Thorne will not issue refunds to families if, in our opinion, the camper needs to be removed from camp in order to ensure a safe and quality experience for all of our participants.

My child has allergies and/or asthma but rarely needs to use medicine – can I pack it in his/her backpack just in case? Do I still need to complete your medical forms?

ALL medication (including over-the-counter medicine) requires medical forms to be completed and signed by the child’s physician. Medicine should never be placed in a child’s backpack; rather, it should be given directly to the instructor, and the instructor must be informed of any medication the child may need to be administered during camp hours. Thorne is not able to accept medication without a physician-signed form. The forms and instructions on how to complete them can be found in your CampInTouch account after you register.
Medication forms are available to download on the list of Downloadable Forms on your Camp InTouch dashboard.

My child is not a fluent English speaker. Can you accommodate us?

Whenever possible, Thorne tries to accommodate youth with limited English skills. We offer camps each summer with Spanish speaking instructors, so if your child’s primary language is Spanish, these camps are a great option.

CLICK HERE to download the schedule of bilingual (English/Spanish) “Camp Experiences.”

Please refer to our registration page to see which camps are offered this summer.  If your child speaks a primary language other than English or Spanish, please contact Thorne’s Program Director at erin@nullthornenature.org or 303-499-3647 ext. 101 to discuss your child’s unique needs. We will do our best to accommodate your child, but we cannot guarantee we can meet your child’s specific language needs at Thorne Summer Camp.

My child is 2 years old, can s/he attend a “Camp Experience” for 3-5 year-olds?

If your child is 2 years old and you believe s/he will benefit from coming to a Parent and Child “Camp Experience,” with their older sibling, then yes, s/he can attend a 3-5 year old “Camp Experience” as a registered camper. All exceptions to age requirements must go through Thorne’s Administrative Director, Stephanie Brudwick. Please call 303-499-3647 ext. 100 or email info@nullthornenature.org with inquiries.

My child is almost 5 years old, can s/he attend a “Camp Experience” for 5-6-year-olds?

Thorne’s Child Care License is for children ages 5 and older. Your child must be 5 years old at the time of the Camp Experience in order to participate. We are unable to make any exceptions to this Colorado law.

My child is almost 6 years old, can s/he attend a “Camp Experience” for 6-8-year-olds?

Your child must be 6 years old at the time of the 6-8-year-old Camp Experience in order to participate. We are unable to make any exceptions to this Colorado law.

Which “Camp Experience” is most appropriate for my 6-year old, the 5-6-year-old or 6-8-year-old “Camp Experience?”

Because you know your child best, we encourage parents to decide which “Camp Experience” will be most appropriate for their 6-year-old. Some 6-year-olds are more mature and will thrive in a  “Camp Experience” with older campers, while for others, a “Camp Experience” for 5 & 6-year-olds is more appropriate. If your 6-year-old has not attended a summer camp in the past or completed kindergarten, we recommend registering them for a 5-6-year-old “Camp Experience” prior to their first 6-8-year-old “Camp Experience.” Thorne does not require that 6-year-olds attend a 5-6-year-old “Camp Experience” as a prerequisite for attending a 6-8-year-old “Camp Experience.”

My child is almost 9 years old, can s/he attend a “Camp Experience” for 9-11-year-olds?

If your child is almost 9 years old and you believe s/he is mature enough to go to camp with older youth, then yes, he/she can attend a 9-11 year old “Camp Experience.” All exceptions to age requirements must go through Thorne’s Administrative Director, Stephanie Brudwick. Please call 303-499-3647 ext. 100 or email info@nullthornenature.org with inquiries.

My child is almost 12 years old, can s/he attend a “Camp Experience” for 12-15-year-olds?

If your child is almost 12 years old and you believe s/he is mature enough to go to camp with older youth, then yes, s/he can attend a 12-15-year-old “Camp Experience.” All exceptions to age requirements must go through Thorne’s Administrative Director, Stephanie Brudwick. Please call 303-499-3647 ext. 100 or email info@nullthornenature.org with inquiries.

What is the refund & cancellation policy?

Thorne understands that sometimes a family’s summer plans change, family emergencies occur, or a camper becomes sick or is injured. In these instances, Thorne offers transfers and refunds as follows:

Transfers – To make a transfer, please e-mail info@nullthornenature.org with your child’s name, and the names and dates of the “Camp Experiences” you desire to transfer to and from. Prior to April 30: All “Camp Experiences” can be transferred at no cost. After April 30 and up to 21 days prior to the “Camp Experience” start date: Full Day “Camp Experiences” can be transferred for a $10 fee; and, Extended Care and Parent and Child “Camp Experiences” can be transferred at no cost. Within 20 days of the start of a “Camp Experience”: Full Day “Camp Experiences” can be transferred for a $45 fee, depending on availability; and, Extended Care and Parent and Child “Camp Experiences” can be transferred at no cost. Within 7 days of the start of a “Camp Experience”: Transfers will not be made; refer to the cancellation policy.  All transfers are dependent on availability.  If desired “Camp Experiences” are not available within the current year, refer to cancellation policy.

Cancellation – If you must cancel, please e-mail info@nullthornenature.org as soon as possible. Prior to April 30: Full Day “Camp Experiences” will receive a full refund less a $45 administrative fee per program; and, Extended Care will receive a full refund less a $10 cancellation fee per program; and, Parent and Child “Camp Experiences” will not be refunded, but are transferrable at no charge. After April 30 and up to 21 days prior to the “Camp Experience” start date: Full Day “Camp Experience” will receive a full refund less a $45 administrative fee per program if we can fill the spot, or a 50% refund if we cannot fill the spot; and, Extended Care will receive a full refund less a $10 cancellation fee; and, Parent and Child “Camp Experiences” will not be refunded, but are transferrable at no charge. Within 20 days of the start of a “Camp Experience”: Refunds will not be given.

Last-Minute Medical Transfer/Credit – In the event of illness or injury prior to the start of a “Camp Experience,” please e-mail info@nullthornenature.org as soon as possible. Thorne will transfer the camper to another available “Camp Experience” or issue a credit good for up to 1 year for a future “Camp Experience” for the same camper for a $45 administrative fee (free for Parent and Child “Camp Experiences”). A doctor’s note stating the camper’s inability to participate will be required. Requests for a medical cancellation will not be granted after a “Camp Experience” has ended.

What is your Tax ID number?

Thorne Summer Camp may be deductible on your taxes as child care. Thorne’s EIN/Tax ID number is 84-6029250. Please consult a tax professional for specifics.

Does Thorne have a policy on bullying?

Thorne Nature Experience has a zero tolerance policy on bullying which is defined by The American Camp Association as “when one or more people exclude, tease, taunt, gossip, hit, kick, or put down another person with the intent to hurt another.” Bullying can occur “overtly and directly, with physical behaviors, such as fighting, hitting, or name calling, or covertly through emotional-social interactions, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose.”  Bullying, as determined by Thorne staff, is cause for suspension or expulsion from camp, and that if a child is suspended or expelled for bullying that no refund will be provided.