What are the camp hours and locations?
- PWC camps are all outdoor, nature-based camps located in three locations: Leigh Farm Park in Durham County, Umstead Park in Wake County and Blackwood Farm Park in Orange County.
- Camp hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with before and after camp care options available for an additional fee
- Each camp location will have different drop off and pick up instructions and you will receive an email from the camp site director or from our office with those details a week prior to camp start date.
What time can I arrive to check my camper in for the day?
- We ask that you do not expect to check-in until 8:50 a.m. unless your child is enrolled in early care in which case you may drop your child as 7:55 a.m.
- Monday drop-off is busier, and you may want to arrive and park by 8:45 a.m.
What should my camper bring to camp?
- Sunscreen and bug spray should be applied before campers arrive camp each day. Additional product may be packed in the backpack for re-application by camper.
- Campers should bring their own lunch and snacks, change of clothes and refillable water bottle, preferably packed in a backpack that they will carry independently.
- Flip flops and crocs are NOT recommended footwear as they come off easily.
- Campers should dress in clothing appropriate to the weather and wear shoes. We recommend older clothes that can get dirty and wet.
- A bathing suit is not needed but campers will play in sprinklers and water during the warmer months. A towel is helpful in summer months for drying off.
Is there anything my camper should leave at home?
- Please do not bring electronics such as cell phones to camp or other electronic toys or devices
- Please do not bring toys unless you ask the counselor after the first day of camp
Can my child attend a camp even if they don’t meet the age requirements?
- We realize children mature at different rates; however, to be fair to all, we thoughtfully adhere to age requirements for camps.
What does camp cost?
- For 2017 a full week of camp costs $260 for non-members and $235 for members. There is an additional early bird discount offered prior to set dates indicated on the camp website. (Rates subject to change.)
- A day of camp/Wild for a Day camps are $55 for non-members and $50 for members. (No early bird discount for one-day camps)
- We do not offer a multi-child discount
- Scholarships are available to families in need of assistance. Please follow the application instructions on our website.
Should I become a Member?
- In short, yes! Membership (currently $35 per year and fully tax-deductible) allows you discounts on programs all year round.
- Only one membership per year, per family is needed to receive discounts for anyone in your family.
Refunds, Cancellations and Transfers
- Camp fees are non-refundable after a certain date. Check the camp season for which you are registering. Prior to the designated date, you may cancel and receive a refund minus a $25 cancellation fee per camp, per child. If the camp is less than one day long, we will pro-rate your cancellation fee.
- After the designated date (“no refunds after x date”) you do need to cancel due to change in family plan, please notify us immediately and we will make every effort to ‘fill’ your spot in camp. We need at least two weeks’ notice to try and fill your spot. If we cannot fill your spot, you will not receive any refund. If we can fill your spot, we will refund your camp fees minus a $25 cancellation fee.
- Please contact us if your child needs to be excused from camp per a doctor’s direction.
- If you need to transfer your camper from one week of camp or location to another, we can do that for $10 transfer fee as long as there is room in that camp.
- Please check the Camp or Program selection details to see cancellation deadline as it varies each season.
The camp I wanted is full. Is there a wait list?
- When each camp session becomes full, you will see that only a ‘wait list’ option is available. If you want to be put on the wait list, please do so. If and when a space opens up, we will contact families in the order in which they added their name to the wait list. There is no obligation to register for camp if you are on the wait list.
- If you added your child to the wait list, but then make other plans, please let us know and we’ll be happy to remove you from the list.
Who is in charge of my camper during the day and how do I meet my child’s counselor?
- Each clan group has a designated Lead Counselor, generally a college student or college graduate with a passion for the outdoors experience working with kids. Some of our Lead Counselors are school teachers during the year, while many are environmental educators year-round. Each lead counselor is assisted by support counselors and also designated Counselors in Training/CITs.
- All counselors are required to go through our camp training, are background checked and are employees of Piedmont Wildlife Center. Lead Counselors are CPR/First Aid certified, and the Site Directors for all locations are also Wilderness First Aid certified.
What happens in inclement weather?
- Piedmont Wildlife Center camps take place outdoors in most kinds of weather. In the event of severe storms, we move campers indoors.
- During winter camp, we may need to cancel camp if driving conditions are not safe for families or staff. We generally follow cancellation policies set for the county in which we are holding camp; Durham Public Schools, Wake County Schools, etc. We will notify families 24 hours in advance via email if we know , but there are occasion when we have to cancel camp mid-day due to unexpected weather changes and will sending out multiple communications, via email, phone or text if we have your mobile #.
- We are primarily outside but do have air conditioned indoor spaces if needed.
- Counselors make kids refill water bottles frequently and make sure they drink. When necessary we use water play with sprinklers to stay cool and refreshed.
- We spend most of day in the shade of the forest because it is typically several degrees cooler
- In extremely hot weeks, we will sometimes provide homemade lemonade for electrolyte replenishment.
- First aid training includes heat safety, so all staff are aware of heat-induced illness symptoms and treatments.
What is a typical day of camp like?
- At PWC, we strike a balance between community fun and small-group focus. From the moment your child arrives, counselors are waiting to help integrate them into field games or to introduce them to other campers through quiet nature crafts or stories. When it’s time for the day to begin, we all participate in a Morning Circle to set the mood for the day. Campers get the wiggles out with animal form stretches and movements or sing silly songs before the daily theme is introduced.
- For the main part of the day, your child will be with a small group of same-age campers, called a Clan. Clans typically have 15-20 campers and multiple counselors. Each Clan has its own lesson plan for the day’s theme, tailored to the interests and needs of the group. A typical day may include activities like nature walks, learning skills, practicing observation and the use of all your senses, or animal-themed games. Clan time will also involve breaks for snacks!
- All four Clans reunite for a communal lunch, followed by a story. Our counselors tell stories about the environment from many folklore traditions to complement camp themes and give your child a chance to reflect on morals and lessons and to think about nature in new ways.
- In the afternoon, we alternate between two different activities: Games and Guilds. On Game days, all the Clans will unite for an epic game or challenge, with a “Calm and Quiet” option for campers who would prefer a restful break. Guilds are camper’s choice activities, where your child can pick their favorite out of a range of lessons and activities.
- We end our days by returning to our Clans for closing circles, to reflect on the joys, challenges, and lessons of the day before it’s time to go home.