Day Camp FAQs

How many camps may I sign up for?

You may sign up for any camps for which your child meets the age range requirements

What is the difference between the five sessions of Summer Field & Forest Camp?

Each of the 5 camp sessions for 1st-3rd and 4th-5th graders are logistically identical, with similar content, activities, and structure. While they are planned as very similar camp experiences, there may be slight variations from one week to the next depending on the interests and abilities of the camp cohort. Camp staff will also take advantage of the weather and other seasonal or land-based opportunities that pop up. 

Where do I pick up and drop off my child for camp? 

Parents and other authorized guardians are required to park their vehicles in the parking lot below the Visitor Center; camp will meet and be dismissed from the stump circles on the path just beyond the kiosk. You must sign your child out with a camp staff member before departing with them.

When will I get the registration forms? 

Once you have paid for the camp(s) that you are planning to attend through the link provided on our website, visit the Day Camp web-page for links to Basic Camp Information packet and the two forms which you must complete and submit.

What is the deadline for registering for camp?

The deadline to register for each camp is 30 days prior to the start date of that camp. This includes completing all registration forms in addition to paying for the camp. 

What do I/ my child need to bring to camp?

Packing lists vary depending on the camp, but a camp-specific list of all mandatory and optional items to pack for camp will be included in the Basic Camp Information packet. 

Where will campers go to the bathroom during camp?

There are several outhouses on site; one is located down at the Yurt, one is at the farm across from the Saphouse, and one is located outside the Visitor Center. We encourage campers to use these facilities rather than going to the bathroom in the woods. These outhouses are very rustic and simple, and we use basic camp-style handwashing stations and hand sanitizer for cleaning up after using the outhouses. More information is included in the Basic Camp Information packet. We recommend visiting the outhouses with parents/guardians before the first day of camp for families that anticipate the outhouses to be a challenge for their child. 

What is Camp Closing, where is it, and what if I can’t attend?

Camp Closing is an opportunity at the end of camp on Friday for campers to showcase their week and share their experience in a variety of ways with their families and guardians. It includes a short ceremony, interactive activities, and some show-and-tell. Camp staff will communicate with parents and guardians ahead of time about the location of Camp Closing for your child. We highly encourage parents and guardians to attend Camp Closing if they are able; for those who cannot attend, regular camper pickup will still take place at the usual time and location. Further details are included in the Basic Camp Information packet. 

Can I donate to the Camp Scholarship Fund to support families in need of financial aid?

We are currently in the process of developing a way to offer scholarship opportunities for camp participants. If you would like to support Merck Forest & Farmland Center’s Educational Access Fund or Merck Forest’s work in general, we would love to have you join our community by donating or becoming a member. Follow the “Become a Member” link on our website to learn more.

Can I get a receipt for camp payment or donation?

Upon payment for camp, you will receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. If you find that additional receipt or proof of payment is needed, please contact to request this and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

What if I’ve registered and need to cancel?

What is the refund policy? Refunds and changes in registration may be subject to a $50 non-refundable processing fee according to these policies: Registration is not considered complete until all forms have been submitted. Failure to submit completed registration forms will result in a loss of space in the camp and any tuition paid. Cancellation requests received 28 days or more before the first day of camp will receive a refund, less the $50 processing fee. Cancellation requests received fewer than 28 days of the first day of camp will not be refunded, unless we are able to fill your reservation with a child from the waiting list. In such a case the $50 administrative fee will be levied. We will not refund registration fees if a child misses one or more days of camp due to illness, unexpected family obligations, dismissal, or any other foreseen event. Other children may not be substituted into your child’s vacant spot. We reserve the right to cancel a camp program due to low enrollment; in this situation we will work to place campers into another camp or we will issue a full refund. We reserve the right to cancel a camp program due to unforeseen circumstances, in which case full refunds will be issued.

Are lunch and snacks provided at camp?

We do not provide lunch or snacks for campers; campers are responsible for bringing enough food to meet their needs each day of camp. We suggest packing a nutritious lunch and snacks for each day, as well as plenty of water to last the full camp day. Suggestions and more details about how to plan for your camper’s lunch and snacks are included in the packing list in the Basic Camp Information packet. (For some camps there may be an occasional special activity that involves food, such as a campfire with s’mores or berry-picking at the farm.) 

What can I do at Merck Forest while my child is at camp?

Stop into the Visitor Center, grab a map, and explore Merck Forest for yourself! Take a quick hike or make it a day trip, visit the farm, have a meditative sit-down and enjoy the views, or download the iNaturalist smart-phone app and document and identify any plants or animals you encounter. 

How much hiking/walking will campers be doing?

Because Merck Forest & Farmland Center has a rich availability of landscapes and habitats to explore, we try to visit and hike to as many different locations as possible over the course of the camp week. While we do adjust and take into consideration the capability of the campers, it is best to expect to be walking/hiking an average of one to two miles each day of camp. 

What if I’m late to drop off or pick up my child from camp? 

We do not provide aftercare for camp, and late pick up beyond 15 minutes of camp ending will result in a late fee. Further information about our lateness policy and how to communicate with camp staff during camp hours regarding any updates or issues is included in the Basic Camp Information packet.

Are there accommodations for differently-abled campers?

We do our best to work with and accommodate challenges or special needs that your child may have in order to participate in camp. Please contact us so that we can have a conversation about your child’s needs and whether we can accommodate them for a successful Merck Forest camp experience.

Still have questions that you need answered before you pay and receive the Basic Camp Information packet? Email or call 802-394-7836.