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Forest Camp – Policies and Logistics

Forest Camp Rules, Policies, and Logistics

Thank you for your interest in the Friends of the Fells forest camp! Please review the following information carefully before registering your child in one of our summer sessions.  To register, visit our main Fells Forest Camp page or click on the link below that corresponds to your child’s age:

 

FOREST KINDERGARTEN          FOREST EXPLORERS          FOREST ADVENTURERS


We are looking forward to an exciting season of learning and exploring together!

[View our 2020 FOREST CAMP FLYER]


Before You Register

Before you electronically sign the “Waiver and Release Form during the registration process, please carefully review all information on the form here:  

COMBINED LIABILITY, FIRST AID & CPR, AND PHOTO PERMISSION WAIVER

Please have the following documents completed/ready to upload before you register online:

  1.  A current medical history listing allergies, required medications, and any health conditions or impairments which may affect your child’s activities while attending the camp. The medical history must be signed by a parent, guardian, or by a licensed health care provider;
  2.  A certificate of immunization;
  3.  Payment method
  4.  As applicable, please upload a signed, completed authorization to administer prescribed medication for our Health Care Consultant.  (See Mass.gov advisory for details.)


Parent Policies & Camp Rules

  1. Please respect our age ranges when choosing your child’s session.
  2. We have a firm zero tolerance rule for hitting and violent behavior. If your child deliberately hits anyone (camper or counselor), parents and/or caretakers will be contacted and the child will not be allowed to return to camp. No refunds will be issued for behavioral dismissals.
  3. Please work with us to let us know about your child’s needs. We are not a special needs camp, nor are we certified as such.  Contact us at:  forestcamp@fells.org, or (781) 662-2340.
  4. To accommodate the extraordinary circumstances this season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will provide a full refund to any family who wishes to cancel their registration for any reason. We ask that refund requests be providing in writing no later than two weeks before the session start date so we can adjust our staffing levels to accommodate the change. Session transfer requests will be honored if space is available. Please submit your refund request via email to forestcamp@fells.org.
    Refunds are not given for participant dismissal, absence, or sick days. If Friends of the Fells must cancel a session, you will promptly receive a full refund.
  5. The Middlesex Fells is managed by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Our forest camp programming is conducted under their purview, and therefore any aspect of our camp activities in the Fells may be altered at their request.

Thank you for understanding and abiding by these rules.

 


Our Staff

All instructors for our Fells Forest Camp will be CPR/First Aid certified and will have passed CORI/SORI background checks. In addition, a licensed Healthcare Consultant will approve the program’s health care policy, first aid training, and training in medication administration for staff — and be available for consultation as needed.


Child Pick-Up and Drop-off

Forest Kindergarten and Forest Explorers – Pick-up and drop-off for Forest Kindergarten and Forest Explorers will take place at the picnic area just outside the Botume House, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham.  IMPORTANT:  PLEASE PARK AT THE BOATING IN BOSTON SITE — see below.

Forest Adventurers – Pick-up and drop-off for Forest Adventurers will take place at DCR Flynn Rink at 300 Elm Street in Medford, one mile south from the Botume House. Programming begins at the north end of the lot, adjacent to Quarter Mile pond.


Parking

Forest Kindergarten and Forest Explorers – DCR requires families to park at the nearby Boating in Boston site, just a quick shortcut away from the Botume House site. PLEASE DO NOT USE THE BOTUME HOUSE LOOP FOR PICK-UP OR DROP-OFF.

Parking in this lot now includes a lateral, middle lane of spaces in the lot.  As needed, there is limited short-term parking in front of the MWRA pump station. Our staff and instructors will be on-site helping to facilitate traffic flow and parking.

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Forest Adventurers – Ample parking is available adjacent to our drop-off location at Flynn Rink.

Caregivers will be required to sign-in and sign-out their child with their instructors at the beginning and end of each session.  At no time should a camper be dropped off or picked up without ensuring that she/he has been signed in/out by a camp staff member.

Parents/guardians should indicate (preferably on the online registration form) all individuals that may be involved with their child’s pick-up.  Any individual that comes to collect a child without prior notification will NOT be allowed to check-out a child until our staff is able to directly contact a parent or guardian for confirmation.  We may also request identification from unknown adults picking up children for the first time.  We reserve the right to refuse the release of any child to an unknown individual when in doubt.

If someone other than a legal guardian will be dropping your child off, we also ask that you inform our staff.  Please ensure that these individuals are familiar with our program times, parking policies, check-in procedure, and all other relevant caregiver information.


Medical Issues

Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations require the collection of a current medical history and certificate of immunization from every prospective camp attendee.  You will be required to upload these documents during the online registration process.

If your child requires an EpiPen®, asthma inhaler, or other medication administration during their time at camp, Mass regulation requires your consent to store and administer said medication to the camper.  If applicable, please complete the attached authorization to administer medication prior to your child’s summer session.  For more on this regulation, see the Mass.gov Department of Public Health advisory for details.

Please indicate any other ongoing health issues in the fields provided on our online registration form.  Please contact us if you have any specific concerns you would like to discuss in detail so we can best attempt to serve your child’s needs.

Also, please do not send your child to camp if she/he is not feeling well.


Food and Allergies

Fells Forest camp is an allergen-free program.  Please refrain from sending any food that includes peanuts or nut-based ingredients.

To ensure the safety of our campers from potential allergic reactions, we do not allow the sharing of food without prior parental consent.

Please ensure that your child has sufficient food each day (minimum recommendations:  1 snack for half-day programming, 2 snacks and lunch for full day).  Keep in mind that campers will be very active throughout their day!  We will have limited stocks of allergen-free snacks for emergencies/special circumstances, but cannot provide regular meals to campers.


Special Requests

We strongly discourage parents from requesting exceptions to our age range cutoffs, session schedules, or other policies.  However, our camp management team will consider special requests on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us before registration to discuss your requests.

Friend/sibling requests:  Requests for children to be paired in the same session as another child must come from both parents/guardians, and are subject to available session space, logistical and programmatic concerns, and certain age restrictions.  All friend scheduling requests must be made in writing no later than June 15th to ensure consideration.  At this time, we are unable to accommodate more than 2 children per request, nor can we make age exceptions for more than one child per request.

We are unable to provide extended childcare before 9 AM or after 4 PM at this time.


Cancellations

Our Forest Camp programming has a mandatory four-child minimum per session.  In circumstances where a single age group is under-subscribed, our policy is to merge age groups into a single combined session.  In the rare case of under-enrollment for an entire week of programming, we will cancel programming for that entire week.  In such cases, we will fully refund your camp registration fee, or if you prefer, offer an alternative session or provide a camp credit for future use.

Camp cancellations (single days or sessions) that result from extenuating circumstances (dangerous weather, emergency situations, etc.) will be refunded on a prorated scale.


Policy Requests

At any time, parents may request copies of of our background check, health care, and discipline/behavior policies as well as procedures for filing grievances.

 

Questions? Contact us at forestcamp@fells.org or (781) 662-2340.