I’d like to visit the farm before my child attends camp. What are my options?
April through September of each year, Nature Nurtures Farm holds an Open Farm Day on the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the best option for you to visit the farm before camp. We are not open to the general public outside of this event and are not able to accommodate individual tour requests.
What should my child bring to camp?
Your child should bring a healthy sack lunch and two healthy snacks each day. Our campers are very active and need plenty of food to fuel their adventures. Healthy meals that include protein and complex carbohydrates will serve your child much better than meals that include sugar. We do not have refrigeration for lunches; they will be stored in a cool room in the barn, but not refrigerated.
Please apply sunscreen to your child before he or she arrives. We are happy to help kids refresh their sunscreen, but cannot be held responsible for the consequences of children refusing to apply sunscreen. Also, please bring several bottles of water or a refillable bottle, as well as any applicable medications with detailed written instructions.
Things not to bring to camp: cell phones, iPods or MP3 players, Kindles, iPads, laptops, gaming systems, knives, or other weapons.
What should my child bring to before/after care?
Kids who are at camp for an extra-long day should bring extra food and a book or other entertainment. If your child wishes to bring electronics to before or after care, they are allowed between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; we will ask your child to stow electronics during the camp day. We do not have lockable storage and cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items.
What if I'm late to pick my child up?
For your convenience, we offer a flexible drop-off time
between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and a flexible pick-up time between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Drop-offs
and pick-ups outside of this window but within extended care time will be asked to pay a daily extended care fee of $20. (If needed for the week, extended care is available
from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for a weekly flat fee of $60.) Drop offs before 7:30 a.m. or pick ups after 5:30 p.m. will be charged a $50 fee on the first occasion and may result in your child's dismissal from camp on the second infraction.
What if I have to pick up my child early?
Please let counselors know what time you will need to pick up your child. We may be away from the barn area at that time, but can
accommodate your schedule if we know in advance.
What if my child has to miss a day?
While we're sorry to see your child miss a day of camp we are unable to offer discounts or refunds for missed days.
What is the refund policy if I have to cancel my child's registration?
Camper registration deposits ($100 per camp) are non-refundable, deposits may be transferred to another week of camp, contingent on availability, minus a $50 service fee. The balance of camp tuition is refundable up to two weeks prior to the beginning of that camp. Please contact our office if you need to adjust your child's camp schedule.
What’s the ratio of campers to counselors?
During a typical camp day, the counselor/camper ratio is never higher than one counselor to seven campers; during riding time, campers are always one-on-one with a counselor.
What safety certifications does your staff have?
All of our staff are certified in CPR/first aid.
Are the camps run by teenagers?
At least three adult staff members are with campers at all times. We also employ college-age counselors and a select few high school students.
What should my child wear?
Campers should dress for the weather and bring a change of clothes if the weather is likely to change throughout the day. Kids often need a jacket or sweatshirt for the morning and shorts and t-shirts for the afternoon. Please also only wear clothes that are OK to get dirty.
Horse Camp attendees, and Summer Camp attendees on riding day (announced Monday), should wear long pants (sweats or stretch pants are most comfortable) and sturdy tennis shoes or boots for riding.
How much riding will my child do?
Participants in Summer Camps ride once each week, Introductory Horse Campers will ride twice during the week, Horse Campers will ride each day of the week. Riding time is geared for beginner level riders with an emphasis on safety and building solid basic skills.
Is 6 years old too young? Is 14 too old?
Due to the more structured nature of our Horse Camps, we do have an 8 years and older policy, however for our Summer Camps and Introductory Horse Camp we are somewhat flexible. You know your child better than we do. If you think your 6-year-old would relate well to the 7-12 age range we would welcome
him or her in that group.
Most of our campers are in the 7 and 12 range; however, we will happily
accommodate older teens in that age group if you feel they will be comfortable with a largely younger group. During the day, most activities happen
with the campers broken into smaller groups, and during those times we tend to
break the campers into older and younger groups. Our camp is a traditional
camp experience, and we play a lot of active games. If this experience is not
appealing to an older teen, this may not be an ideal fit for them.
Can I come take pictures?
In general we have found that parents' presence at camp distracts campers from participating fully. While we won't tell you "no," we encourage you to minimize your time at your child's camp to allow them to most fully participate in camp activities. We do take pictures of all campers throughout their week at camp, we charge a nominal $5 fee for this, and will provide parents with a link to the online album where their child's photos can be found, printed, or ordered.
My child is shy and nervous in new situations. What should I expect that would help with this?
We understand. Our counselors
are mature and sensitive to individual kids’ needs. We make every effort to
ensure that each child feels comfortable, welcome, and included. We are very
deliberate the first few days (and throughout camp) to foster a safe
environment wherein friendships and confidence grow. In addition, we take a
strong and proactive stance against bullying. Counselors and campers will
discuss and complete a behavior agreement at the start of camp.
What if my child doesn't want to participate in an educational activity?
Often when we break the camp into groups we offer one group to participate in an educational activity and another to play a game or do something more active. We don't believe in trying to force kids to sit still and learn something when what they really want/need is to run around and burn up some energy. While we encourage participation in some demonstration based educational activities we will not force a child to participate.
What if my child has special needs?
Nature Nurtures Farm strives to accommodate all interested children. Please understand that our camps are very active, with multiple transitions and sensory changes throughout the day. All campers are expected to follow directions and safety rules. If you have specific concerns, please call or e-mail to discuss your child’s needs. While we are a traditional camp (not specialized for specific special needs), we welcome all children and do our very best to accommodate every child.
Do you offer scholarships?
We offer a very limited number of partial scholarships to needy families. Please e-mail to request an application form.
What safety precautions do you follow?
All campers are taught broad safety guidelines for being around horses. During riding time, all campers must wear solid shoes, long pants, and ASTM/SEI-approved equestrian riding helmets (provided). Camper/counselor ratio is always one to one while campers are riding, their counselor will maintain contact with the horse via a lead rope, while allowing the camper to control the horse as much as their skills and level allow. We assess campers' riding ability and are very safety-minded when making determinations about what level of riding they can participate in.
How much riding experience does my child need to have to attend?
None. Our horse camps are designed as a beginner-friendly space for kids to learn about the basics of horses and riding from the very beginning.
My child has extensive riding experience, is this camp a good fit for her or him?
If your child has significant equestrian experience he or she may not feel challenged in our environment with largely beginner riders. We do not recommend our camp for advanced riders.
Can my child bring his or her own horse?
Not at this time.
Do campers ride English or Western?
Our horses direct rein (English) but wear both English and Western saddles. Each horse wears whichever saddle fits that horse best. Our emphasis is on basic, foundational riding skills, which can be transferred to any style of riding.
Will my child be able to choose which horse he or she rides?
Camp staff will assign campers to horses based on rider size, experience, and personality.
What conditions cause riding to be canceled?
Riding time may be canceled or shortened in the unlikely event of extreme heat, rain, or wind that will jeopardize the safety of campers or horses. In this case, traditional camp activities will replace riding time.
How much riding will my child do?
Horse campers ride every day. They will receive an equitation lesson, obstacle course lesson, trail ride, bareback ride, and other riding experiences. We divide the camp into multiple
groups for riding. During riding time, one group will ride while the remaining
groups do other activities; we then switch, until all groups have ridden. Each
group rides for approximately 20-30 minutes per day.
What kind of riding skills will my child learn in a week?
We teach the basics of safety knowledge, mounting and dismounting, starting, stopping, steering, navigating simple obstacle courses, the basics of trail riding, different terrain, and what to do in an emergency. Horseback riding is a lifelong pursuit. It is not something that can be picked up in a day, week, or even a year. It takes significant muscle control and body awareness that can take a long time to learn. Learning to ride horses is mostly learning about how to control your own body. Progress depends on an individual camper's maturity, focus, and body control. Safety is our top priority at Horse Camp. Our camp is a progressive recreational riding experience and is not intended to replace formal riding lessons.
If I have more questions, who should I contact?
Please e-mail us at Info@NatureNurturesFarm.org or call 360-878-7730 with any additional questions.