Summer Camp: FAQ

SUMMER CAMP: FAQ

BLNC Small Group Summer Camp Update and FAQ- 5.15.2020

We know that picking the best summer camp for your children is a big decision, and you may have some questions along the way. Here is a list of frequently asked questions that may be useful. Please feel free to contact Maggie Willden, our Director of Operations, at maggie@blufflake.org.

WHAT DO CAMPERS NEED TO BRING?
Please provide your child with a backpack containing: a full water bottle, sunscreen, hat, bug spray, a long-sleeved shirt, a raincoat, an extra pair of socks, a small hand towel and water shoes (we will provide water shoes if you do not own them). We will do a lot of walking, so please make sure your child is wearing comfortable shoes with socks. NO sandals or Crocs, please. Children my also bring exploratory tools such as binoculars or magnifiers. (In many cases, we will also provide these items.) Children will not be allowed under any circumstances to use electronics such as video games, radios, or cell phones.

All campers need to bring a morning snack. Full-day campers also need a lunch. Campers staying for post-camp care should bring an afternoon snack. We do not have refrigeration on site, so please make sure all food is non-perishable or is stored in a personal, lunch-bag sized cooler.

Please provide your child with AT LEAST one full 16 oz. water bottle per day, as Bluff Lake does not have running water on site. We will have hand-washing stations available prior to snack time and lunch.

WHERE DO I DROP OFF AND PICK UP MY CAMPER?
All campers should be dropped off at Bluff Lake Nature Center (3400 Havana Way, Denver CO 80238) before the camp day begins at 9 a.m. (Campers registered for pre-camp care can be dropped off at Bluff Lake anytime between 7:30 and 9 a.m.)

Half-day campers should be picked up at Bluff Lake (3400 Havana Way, Denver, CO 80238) at 12:30 p.m.

Full-day campers should be picked up at Bluff Lake at 3 p.m. (Campers registered for post-camp care can be picked up at Bluff Lake anytime between 3 and 5 p.m. A $20 late fee will be charged for pickup after 5:15 p.m.)

DO YOU OFFER EXTENDED CARE HOURS BEFORE OR AFTER CAMP?
Yes! During the first 8 weeks, we offer extended care hours both before camp (7:30 – 9 a.m.) and after camp (3 – 5 p.m.). Visit the camp schedule to see the available weeks.

Pre- and post-camp care will take place at Bluff Lake Nature Center (3400 Havana Way, Denver CO 80238). Campers can be dropped off and picked up at Bluff Lake any time during the pre- and post-camp periods.

Extended care is purchased in weekly bundles ($75 for pre-camp care, $100 for post-camp care, or $150 for both). Please note that a $20 late fee will be charged for pickup after 5:15 p.m. There must be a minimum of 4 campers registered for any given week of pre- or post-camp care, or it will be cancelled.

WHO ARE THE STAFF AT CAMP?
All Bluff Lake Nature Center Summer Camp staff have passed background checks through the Sate of Colorado and are trained in First Aid and CPR. In addition, our Camp Directors are also trained in Universal Precautions and Medication Administration. Most of our staff are over the age of 21 and have multiple years experience in classroom teaching and outdoor education.

WHAT ABOUT FOOD AND WATER DURING CAMP?
All campers need to bring a morning snack and water. Full-day campers also need to bring a lunch and an additional afternoon snack if they are staying for extended post-camp care. Please make sure all food is non-perishable or is stored in a personal, lunch-bag sized cooler.

Bluff Lake does not have access to running water, so please provide your child with AT LEAST one full 16 oz. water bottle per day. We will have hand-washing stations available prior to snack time and lunch.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY CAMPER’S MEDICATION?
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 as it must be given directly to the camp staff member. Camp staff must be informed of any medication the child may need to be administered during camp hours. BLNC 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 ACTIVE account after you register.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS AND/OR IS VERY HOT?
Rain and heat are part of the outdoor experience, so we plan to hold camps regardless of weather. We do understand the dangers of lightning, however, and we will take appropriate shelter if lightning is present. If lightning storms persist, we will notify parents, and camp sessions will end early, or will be moved indoors to our Welcome Building. During Ozone Alert days we will take precautions to stay in the shade, rest in the afternoon and can also move inside in extreme heat. Please make sure your camper is prepared for all likely weather conditions by bringing a raincoat, sun hat, and plenty of water.

WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS MEDICAL, PHYSICAL, OR EMOTIONAL NEEDS?
Bluff Lake Summer Camp 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 Maggie Willden, Director of Operations, at maggie@blufflake.org to discuss your child’s unique needs before signing up for camp. We will do our best to accommodate your child, but we cannot guarantee we can meet your child’s specific medical needs at Bluff Lake.

WHAT WILL I NEED WHEN REGISTERING MY CHILD FOR CAMP?
Our online registration system ACTIVE is quick and easy to understand. You will be asked to create a camp account where you can see your purchases and download paperwork. At the time of registration, you need the contact information for your children’s healthcare providers and emergency contacts. You will also upload the required Health and Medication forms, as well as a photo of your child (so we can learn his or her name).

You MUST have all your forms in before your child starts camp, or your child will not be allowed to attend. This includes all waivers, immunization records, medication authorization forms, necessary medical forms for asthma, allergies, etc., and sunscreen authorizations. No refunds will be given for failure to provide the required forms.

CAN I GET ON A WAITLIST WHEN CAMPS FILL UP?
Yes, when a camp week is full, we will create a waitlist. We will contact you if there is an opening in the session. Through joining the waitlist is free, payment will be due upon acceptance. We will fill camp openings in the order campers are placed on the waitlist. You must join the waitlist for each camp session you are interested in.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COSTS, DISCOUNTS, AND SCHOLARSHIPS?
Please view Prices & Registration HERE.

WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?
You must pay at least 50% of camp fees during the online registration process. The full amount is due by May 31st.  You can make additional payments through the registration website (if you created an account), or you can contact maggie@blufflake.org and she will input your payment. If you are registered and have not paid your full camp fees by the end of May 31st, your credit card will automatically be charged for the remainder. If this charge is rejected, you will be removed from the registration list. No refunds will be given for failure to make full payment by the deadline.

WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY?
Because our programs require intensive staff preparation and often fill early, we have developed the following cancellation and refund policy:

We have a variety of options for you if you choose to cancel your child’s camp registration. If you are financially able, we encourage you to consider donating your registration fee or switching your camp registration to 2021. As a small nonprofit, we rely on the income we make each year at summer camp to maintain our education programs throughout the entire year, including paying for our education staff, providing free field trips to Title 1 schools, providing over 30 free family programs a year, and more. If you would like your registration fee returned, we are happy to do so as long as the cancellation occurs before June 1, 2020 (as per our regular cancellation policy). We are also happy to do a combination of multiple options if that is what works best for you (ex: donate one week’s registration, refund one week’s registration). If we are forced to cancel camp for any reason, families will receive a 100% refund. If a camper is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has any symptoms as defined within current public health guidelines pertaining to COVID-10 for day care centers or camps that require the camper not to attend camp, families will receive a 100% credit for the unused portion of the camp to be used through Summer 2021, or a 50% refund.

  1. Switch camp registration to a later week in 2020
    1. If you would feel more comfortable having your camper in a later week of camp, we are happy to work with you to find a different week that might work! This year the last week of camp is August 10-14.
  2. Switch camp registration to 2021
    1. If you know you’d like to send your camper to BLNC summer camp in 2020, we can save your registration fees and credit you next year. We will send you an email in early January before registration opens giving you a code to use which will make your registration free.
    2. Why does this help Bluff Lake? Every year, the summer camp registration funds we receive in the spring help us pay for all of the free programming we offer to schools and families throughout that year. It also makes it possible to employ a full-time Education Manager, which gives us the full year to prepare for the following summer’s camp, and helps ensure the quality and consistency of our camp programming. If we are unable to have camp in 2020, Bluff Lake will have a hard time providing these opportunities. However if we can spread the financial impact over both 2020 and 2021, it will allow us to keep operations at a normal level!
  3. Donate your registration fees to Bluff Lake
    1. We know that COVID-19 has impacted families in a major way and this may not be financially feasible for your family. If you are in a position where this might be possible, we have a donor who has offered to match all donated summer camp registrations at 50%! So your $315 registration would then turn into a tax deductible donation, and would be matched by an additional $157.50 donation from our donor!
    2. Why does this help Bluff Lake? As a small nonprofit, we rely on the income we make each year at summer camp to maintain our education programs throughout the entire year, including paying for our education staff, providing free field trips to Title 1 schools, providing over 30 free family programs a year, keeping the site open, and more.
  4. Donate your registration fees to our summer camp scholarship fund
    1. Want to help another camper experience Bluff Lake camp this year? Every year we provide 20+ free summer camp registrations for low-income families. If you donate your registration fee, it will allow us to continue to provide these scholarship slots this year and for years to come!
  5. Have your registration refunded back to you
    1. No problem! We will process this in the system, and ACTIVE will refund the account that paid for the registration (minus any processing fees).
    2. Any camp registration cancelled after June 1, 2020 will not qualify for a refund.

If you have any questions or would like to pursue one of the above options, please contact Maggie Willden at maggie@blufflake.org

HOW DO I REGISTER?
Camp registration for 2020 opens on January 8th. Bluff Lake 2019 donors will receive an early registration invitation via email on January 1st.

EARLY REGISTRATION SOUNDS GREAT! HOW DO I QUALIFY?
Donate any amount to Bluff Lake in 2020 and qualify for early registration.