Summer Nature Camps
Camp was AWESOME!! The kids came home just the right amount of tired, happy, and full of songs and information they had learned each day. They don't get much science in public schools and it is really nice to see their powers of observation rekindled in the summer. - summer camp parent
My kids came home excited and chock full of information and beautifully dirty every day. - summer camp parent
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Important Dates for 2015 Summer Camp
* Monday, December 8, 2014: Last day to become and ANS member and be eligible for members-only registration
* Late December 2014: Catalog mailed to ANS members
* Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 9 am: Registration opens to members who joined by 12/8/14
* Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9 am: Registration opens to nonmembers and to new members who joined after 12/8/14
Can Kids Still Go Unplugged in the Summer?
Check out the CBS News report on Audubon Naturalist Society's Summer Camp.
Audubon Naturalist Society Summer Camps provide outdoor fun and discovery for campers ages 4 to 17. Located on 40+ acre nature reserves in Chevy Chase MD and Leesburg VA, we offer day and overnight camp that all include:
- Games, hikes, songs and lots of great camp traditions
- Environmental education in a natural setting
- Hands-on activities and investigations
- Small groups with experienced and trained leaders
- Volunteer CIT opportunities for campers 14 and up
Look at our catalog for more information. Or call the Camp Director, Karen "Chance" Vernon at 301-652-9188 x15.
Teen Naturalist Training
2014 session - register through the online summer camp system above. The $25 application fee will be applied to the $450 fee once accepted into the program.
Session 1 (June 16-July 3)
Session 2 (July 7-25)
Session 3 (July 28-August 15)
Medical Forms for Camp (if necessary - do not mail in, bring to Monday morning check-in)
- Asthma Action Plan
- Epipen Form
- Food Allergy Action Plan
- Prescription and Over the Counter Medication Form
- Rescue Inhaler Form
- Immunization Record Form
- What time do camps run?
- I need aftercare for my child. How do I register?
- Where can I get more information?
- Who do I call if I have questions?
- Do I have to be an ANS Member to register for camp?
- How do I become a member?
- How do I know what camps are available?
- How does the waitlist work? What are my child's chances of getting in?
- How do I cancel my registration?
- Who can I talk to about my child's special needs (learning, behavior, health and allergy etc.)?
- What summer job opportunities do you have available? Do you have a CIT program for high-schoolers?
- I am already registered for summer camp. What do I need to have ready for the first day?
- How do I file for a religious exemption for immunizations?
- Can I register for a PM session that has space and waitlist for the AM session?
- I missed the deadline to become a member and register for members-only registration. What can I do?
- My child's T-shirt is too big/too small. Can I exchange it for another size?
- How do pick up cards work?
- What if I don't have a pick up card?
- Do you run background checks on your summer camp staff?
- Why am I charged a cancellation fee if you end up filling a spot from a waitlist?
PreK/K camps are all half day, either 8:45am-12pm or 1pm-4pm. 1st/2nd grade camps and 3rd/4th grade camps run 8:45am-3pm. 5th grade+ camps run 8:45am-4pm. Note: If you have a child in a 1st/2nd/3rd/4th grade camp and one in a 5th grade camp or up, you may want to sign the younger one up for extended camp until 4pm so he or she can be picked up at the same time as the older one.
We offer extended camp options after full day camps end until 4:00 OR 6:00 (Smith Center extended camp runs til 6:00 only). Extended camp is limited to 24 children and fills like any other camp, so if you need aftercare for your child we recommend you register early. Extended camp is a financial option you choose when registering. If you don't see the time available, that means extended camp for that week and time period is full. However, we may be able to accommodate you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check on extended camp availability if it appears full.
For detailed descriptions of our camp offerings at Woodend (Chevy Chase, MD camps), please review our camp catalog. Information on camps at the Smith Center in Rockville. For detailed descriptions of our camp offerings in Loudoun County, VA, including summer camps and Girl Scout camps at Rust and summer camps at the Broadlands Nature Center, please review our Virginia camps catalog.
For Woodend Program (Chevy Chase, MD) Questions: Call 301-652-9188 x15. For Rust Program (Leesburg, VA) Questions: Call 703-669-0000. For Registration Questions: Call the Education Office, 301-652-9188 x16. For Membership Questions: Call the Membership Office, 301-652-9188 x12. For Volunteer Information: Call the Volunteer Office, 301-652-9188 x30.
You do not need to be an ANS member to register for camp. However, there are many advantages to joining, including discounted rates for summer camp and other ANS programs, bi-monthly newsletters, and discounts at our shop. You must be an ANS member at the time of registration to receive the summer camp discount. Membership fees are nonrefundable.
You can become a member when you register online for summer camp (link above). You can also join by calling 301-652-9188 x12 or through membership by clicking join online here.
You can identify camp availability by calling the EE office 301-652-9188 x16. You can also begin the registration process and the system will tell you what is available after choosing your child's grade.
ANS provides a waitlist for full camps. These waitlists are restricted in length to insure that they aren't indefinitely long. We require half the cost of the camp as a deposit to insure people on the waitlist are seriously interested. If a spot opens up in a camp, we will contact you and you will have the opportunity to decline or accept the spot. If you do not get into a camp or choose to no longer take part in the waitlist, you will receive a full refund, less the $5 registration fee.There is always a chance that spots will open up in a camp, so we encourage anyone who has some flexibility in his or her schedule to join the waitlist. We have no way of predicting which camps will have space open up, but in our experience many camps have at least one cancellation. Due to the number of children registered for waitlisted camps, we will only contact you if a space becomes available. Otherwise we will automatically refund the waitlist fee the week the waitlisted camp takes place, unless we receive a cancellation request in writing before then. Waitlist fees are fully refundable at any time for any reason, minus the $5 registration fee.
You may email your cancellation in writing to email@example.com. Cancellation and refund policies are located on page 15 of the camp catalog.
While ANS Camp is a traditional camp (not specialized for specific special needs), we welcome all children and we do our very best to accommodate every child. The camp director is always available to discuss whether ANS Camp is right for your child. Please call 301-652-9188 x15.
For paid positions (must be over 18) see: Opportunities for Education Interns and Teachers. We do not have a traditional CIT program. However, we do have a Teen Naturalist Training Program at Woodend in Chevy Chase for students entering 9th grade and 10th grade in Fall 2014. These hours are eligible for Service Learning Credit. For more information click here (info coming soon).
I am already registered for summer camp. What do I need to have ready for the first day?
We will EMAIL you a final confirmation packet three weeks before the start date of your camp. You will need to fill out the health form and bring it with you to check-in the first day of camp. This health form does not need to be completed by your doctor. If you do not receive a confirmation packet via email a couple of weeks before your child's first camp begins, please call 301-652-9188 x16. If your child does not attend a MD school (for Woodend camps) or a VA school (for Rust camps), you will need a copy of his or her immunization record (a copy from your child's school or doctor will suffice).
If you wish to file for a religious exemption, please complete this form and bring it with you to check-in:
Immunization Records Form
No, unless you want to pay the applicable cancellation fees if a spot opens up in the AM session. We understand that for many parents the morning session is preferable, but there are many parents who would like to enroll their children in a PM camp. Registering for a PM camp while waitlisting for an AM camp prevents these parents from registering for a spot and is considered "placeholding."
The best thing to do is to become an ANS member when you register for summer camp online when registration opens up to new members and nonmembers (January 30, 2015). You will get the member rate and not have to worry about getting your membership ID number since you will be becoming a new member. A membership packet will then be mailed to you a few weeks later.
We understand the camp T-shirt you get at check-in may not fit perfectly. But we base the T-shirt order on the sizes parents choose during the registration process online. If we exchange too many sizes, parents whose children are coming to camp later in the summer will not have the T-shirt sizes they ordered available. We appreciate your understanding.
Each child is issued one set of three (3) pick up cards each summer, regardless of how many camps your child is registered for. Hold onto them! When you pick up your child, you will be required to show staff your pick up card. Pick up cards are returned to you each day.
If you are not the person picking up your child, give one of the pick up cards to your spouse/friend/neighbor, etc. You will be asked to list all the adults authorized to pick up your child on the health form. As long as that person is on your list and has a photo ID, he or she can pick up your child without a pick up card. For the safety of your children, we will not allow your child to leave with an adult unless he or she either has a pick up card or is on your list and has a photo ID.
The safety of our campers is our top concern at ANS. We do FBI and state background checks with fingerprints on all our summer camp staff. These include both criminal activity and sex offender registry records. The Echo Hill Outdoor School with whom we partner on the Bay Quest programs also does the same background checks on their staff. Both our camp and Echo Hill are licensed by the State of Maryland as Youth Camp programs. That licensing requires that, in addition to the background checks above, we document our staff's CPR/First Aid training, Life Guarding certification, Captain's Licenses, emergency plans, staff to camper ratios, and facility safety records. We receive a surprise inspection when camp is in session to ensure that we are meeting all the requirements. In addition, we are both licensed and inspected by our county health department to ensure our physical grounds are safe, buildings are well maintained, and food is handled properly. Please contact the camp director at 301-652-9188 x 15 if you have any questions.
Our cancellation fee is a uniform policy that applies to all camps (except extended camp, which has no cancellation fees) regardless of whether or not they have a waitlist. We can never predict which camps will have waitlists. If there is no penalty for withdrawing from a camp, our experience has shown that some families will "hold places" in a camp and then change their plans and withdraw at a much later date. By that time other families, who might have wanted that spot, will have made other arrangements and not be able to take advantage of the opening. Up until mid-April the penalty is only $25. It goes up appreciatively after that date because it can be difficult to fill spots as summer approaches.