Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Camps & Programs

What is the difference between Classic, Specialty, and Overnight Camps?

 

Classic
These are the award-winning Schoolhouse of Wonder camps you know and love — a unique environment of kindness, respect, learning, and nature-based outdoor adventures where your child can make new friends and learn new skills.
 
Specialty
As many of you know, our team of instructors make Schoolhouse special. Many organizations only hire instructors for summer which limits who can work with them. Yet, along with our wonderful seasonal staff, we have worked to hire, train, and support a year-round staff of professional mentors and educators. As a result, we are excited to take a few of our classic camps to a heightened level of fun and adventure this summer!
 
Overnight
Extending our outdoor adventures to sunset and beyond is a favorite of our campers and staff alike! Overnight camps offer a unique one-night opportunity to grow in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment. Our overnight camps are held rain or shine and offer an array of extraordinary experiences that can range from cooking over a campfire, a twilight dip in the river or creek, and a chance to sleep under the stars. 

 

What happens during an overnight camp?

Overnight camp weeks progress as usual, except for the day that the overnight takes place. The morning of an overnight camp, your child will arrive with all of the supplies they need to get through the end of the following day. This will include two lunches; toiletry items and medications; pajamas and clothes for the next day; sleeping bag or pillow and blanket; and, if you choose, a tent. If you do not have a tent, don’t worry — campers will have the option of sharing with a friend, and many choose to sleep under the stars!

After the regular camp day ends, staff will assist campers in setting up their campsite. Then, campers will be given dinner (provided by us), and then there will be an evening activity. Past evening activities have included classic Schoolhouse games, twilight water time, storytelling, or variety shows put on by campers. As the evening winds down, everyone will change and get ready for bed, and nighttime medications will be administered.

The next day, we will provide breakfast, and once everyone has eaten and changed, it’s time for another day of camp!

We always cross our fingers for clear skies, but in the event of inclement weather, we have alternate sleeping accommodations available. 

 

Does my child need to be able to swim?

No, we do not require that any of our campers know how to swim, regardless of age. Our 5-7 year old campers are never in water deeper than their belly buttons. Campers 8 and older may only enter water deeper than their belly button with a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), which we provide, and which are checked by staff to ensure proper fit.

 

What kind of pocketknife should I buy for my camper?

There are so many great options to choose from! Every knife is different. The only requirements are that the blade must be shorter than 3 inches, and there must be a locking mechanism on the knife — this ensures the knife can’t accidentally close while in use. Locking blades come in a few varieties including twist locks, button locks, lever locks and more. While we do not endorse any specific vendor, here are a few camper favorites: Case Mini Blackhorn Knife, Mini Buck Knife, Opinel #6 Pocket Knife, Opinel My First Pocket Knife (very popular because the blade is rounded), Gerber Mini Folding Knife, Nano Bantam Buck Knife.

 

What happens in the event of inclement weather?

Rainy days happen, and that’s not a bad thing! If the rain isn’t too hard, and it isn’t too cold, we’ll do our best to keep hiking, playing, exploring, and creating. Please help your camper come to camp prepared to be outside, even on a rainy day. If needed, all of our sites have access to shelter to get out of the rain, storms, or wind. Our Parent Handbook contains site-specific shelter information.

It is very unusual for us to cancel camp for the weather, but does happen in extreme circumstances such as flash flooding or hazardous winds. 

 

Can I drop off or pick up my child outside of the specified times?

We always try our best to be as accommodating as possible for our families. Please understand that late drop offs and early pick ups take staff away from the rest of the group, so availability is dependent on staffing, number of campers, and site location. Advanced notice is required. Please contact us at schoolhouse@schoolhouseofwonder.org or call us at (919) 477-2116 to let us know of your request. Most importantly, our site staff should be notified the day of the time change in order to make arrangements for this event. You’ll be able to contact site staff via a field phone number, which will be provided on your first day of camp. 


Questions About Registration 

I am registering both a camper and a CIT. How can I be sure they are in the same camp week?

 We recommend that you register your camper for the desired week, and then make a note in your CIT’s application that you are requesting a particular week because that is when your camper is registered. Since we assign weeks to CITs based on their applications, scheduling for CITs is much more flexible than it is for campers. If you wait until after your CIT has been assigned to a week, you run the risk of that camp week already being full. We understand how important this is for families, and will do our best to make sure your scheduling needs are accommodated!

 

How do CIT applications work?

Applications for our CIT program are available here, and will be open from December 2, 2019 until February 29, 2020. You can read more about the CIT program and the application process on our Leadership Training page. 

 

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes! We understand that the cost of camp can be a significant financial burden. You can apply for need-based financial assistance here. Priority will be given to applications submitted by February 29, 2019. 

 

Do you offer discounts?

  • Yes! Most programs are eligible for a discount when you register for two or more programs for the same child or siblings in the same household in the same order. We understand that it can get a little complicated when you’re adding different camps for different children. The good news is that the discounts automatically apply, so you don’t need to get too into the math side of things.  Please note that discounts only apply to camps that are included in the same order, so ensure that all of your camps are in your cart before you check-out.

  • Multi-camp: Did you add a camp to your cart? Did you add another? You will automatically receive a $15 discount off the cost of a second and any additional camp seat purchased in the same order (that don’t qualify for the sibling discount).  This could apply to one child signing up for several camps, siblings signing up for partial-week camps or Discovery Days, or many other combinations. This discount can apply to full-week camps, partial-week camps, and Discovery Days.

  • Sibling:  We love having siblings in camp! When you sign up one child for a full-week of camp (a “qualifier week”), you’ll receive a $25 discount for one full-week of camp for each sibling. If you’re signing up your 8 children for two weeks, you’ll have one qualifier week which will earn the 7 other siblings a week of sibling discounts, and you’ll have a second qualifier week which will earn the 7 siblings a second week of sibling discounts. This discount applies to full weeks of camp only (5 days).

  • Please note that it is possible to receive both of these discounts on the same order, though it is not possible to receive both of these discounts on the same camp.  Here are some examples of how this works.

 

I have added a camp to my cart, then left the cart page. How do I return to my cart?

This is a bit of a tricky one, and we are working on a more convenient solution. Currently, our website does not have a link that allows you to return to your cart once you have left it. However, we do have a way to work around it. What you’ll do is add another item to your cart, which will take you back to the cart page. Then you will remove that item before checking out. 

  • From the “Learn About” tab in the main menu, select “Camp Store.”

  • Pick an item and add it to your cart. (It doesn’t matter what you choose; you’re going to be removing it.)

  • You will be taken to your cart. On the far right side of the line where the item is displayed, click “Remove.”

  • Double-check that your total price is correct before proceeding to checkout. 

 

How do I cancel a camp registration?

First, please review our program policies for specific policies about cancellations and refunds. Then, make a written cancellation request to schoolhouse@schoolhouseofwonder.org. Once we have processed your written request, we will notify you of how we can proceed with your cancellation. If refunded via credit, your refund will be processed within 5-10 business days.

 

Can I transfer my registration to a different week?

Yes! We understand that plans change, and you can transfer to a different week as long as there are spots open in that week. There will be a $15 administrative fee associated with a transfer. Transfer requests must be made in writing at schoolhouse@schoolhouseofwonder.org. Once we have processed your written request, we will notify you of how we can proceed with your transfer. 

 

Can I transfer my registration to another person?

Unfortunately, you cannot transfer your registration to a different person. If you cancel your spot in a camp, it will automatically be offered to the first person on the waitlist.

 

Can I add pick-up people to my child’s account?

Absolutely! To add folks as approved pick up people, please log into your account. Once you’re logged in, scroll down and select the camper whose pick-up permission you wish to update. That will take you to their camper profile. Scroll down a bit and you will see a box marked “approved pick-up people.” You can add names in that box — just be sure to click save when you’re finished!

 

How do I use a promo code?

Our promo codes are issued as a dollar-for-dollar credit towards cancellations. Promo codes can be added on the last page of check out before you finalize your registration. Please note that if your promo code brings your order total to $0, you will still need to enter your credit or debit card information in order for our system to process your registration. Promo codes expire at the end of the year; however, since Spring and Summer camps are posted in early December, you’ll be able to apply promo codes to camps occurring in the next calendar year, as long as you register before the code expires. 

 

There’s a Processing Fee on my order that I don’t remember seeing before. It this new?

Yes. Last year we paid out more than $40,000 in total payment processing fees and as a nonprofit, we are not able to continue absorbing that level of expense while continuing to offer such high-quality programming. This is the first year that we’ve passed the 3% fee directly to our customers so that everyone pays a little. This charge is incurred for both credit and debit cards with the payment processing software that we currently use. We’re overhauling our registration system in 2020 and will make as many payment options available as we can (e.g. ACH).