Day Camp FAQs

How many camps can I sign up for?

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

Why are there more than one “Field & Forest” camps?

We’re offering two separate weeks of this camp for each age range (Gr. 1-3 and Gr. 4-6) in an effort to make this camp opportunity available to as many campers as possible. The two Field & Forest Camp Gr. 1-3 weeks are identical in content and activities, and both Field & Forest Gr. 4-6 weeks are identical; the dates these camps are offered is the only difference.

Can I sign up for both Field & Forest camps? 

In order to offer as many children as possible the opportunity to enjoy our camp experience, we prefer that you enroll your camper in only one Field & Forest session. 

If your child registers for both Field & Forest camps they will  experience identical weeks of camp activities and content, with the only difference being the camp cohort (see above FAQ). That being said, if you feel strongly that your child would benefit from a second round of the same camp content, you may enroll him/her in the second session of the Field & Forest camp for the proper age group. 

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 kiosk on the path from the parking lot.

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, the Basic Camp Information packet will be emailed to you, along with a link to fill out our online registration form. 

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 that you receive. 

Where is the yurt?

Our yurt is located about a quarter mile down the Discovery Trail, which begins across from the Visitor Center. From the parking lot it is about a 10-15 minute walk. 

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 Closing will take place at the yurt for all camps except the Dragonflies & Cattails Camp and Aqua Camp, which will take place at the Saphouse.  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 will be 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. Although we are not accepting donations for this at this time, we hope to be able to do so in the future. If you would like to support Merck Forest & Farmland Center’s work in general, we would love to have you join our community by becoming a member. Click HERE 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 learn@merckforest.org to request this and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

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 learn@merckforest.org or call 802-394-7836