Camp Policies & Information
Information You Need to Know
Registration is first-come, first-served (Fall and Spring Break Camps) or is lottery-based with an initial submission period (Summer Camps). Deadline for registration is one week before the start date for each camp, but many camps fill shortly after registration first opens. Full payment of camp fees and completion of the Camper Information/Lottery Form is required for registration. Payment and forms must be completed online.
Dodge Nature Center is committed to serving families from all economic backgrounds. Families are encouraged to inquire about assistance in order to make camp affordable. Scholarships are available to those who qualify; scholarship recipients are given priority camp registration.Apply for a Scholarship
Camp waitlists are created through the Camper Information/Lottery Form. Fill out the form when it is available for the camp season you would like to register for and check the box next to “I would like to be added to the waitlist”. If space becomes available for your camper, you will be notified via email and will be given a limited number of days to complete payment before the next camper on the waitlist is offered the open spot. Specific registration instructions will be shared in the notification email.
Registration is typically limited to one camp per camper, in order to give the maximum number of children the chance to experience camp at Dodge. However, you are welcome to request your child be added to the waitlist for additional camps. If space opens in a camp, priority will go to campers who are not yet registered for any camps that season.
Cancellations and changes
Requests for cancellation must be made at least one week prior to the start of camp to qualify for a refund. All cancellations will be assessed the following fees:
– Summer Camp: $50 processing fee per camp cancelled
– Fall Break Camp: $20 processing fee per camp cancelled
– Spring Break Camp: $20 processing fee per camp cancelled
No refunds will be issued for requests made less than one week before the start of the camp. No substitutions or transfers will be permitted.
Things to bring
Campers will spend most of their time outside. Please have children dress for the weather in clothing that can get dirty. Campers should bring:
– Two snacks
– Full water bottle
– Backpack or bag to hold their gear
– Sturdy, closed-toed shoes/boots
– Weather-appropriate gear, such as a sweatshirt, rain jacket, coat, hat, and mittens
– Face mask, if desired
Health & COVID-19
Dodge Nature Center is committed to providing high-quality environmental education while ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved. Camps will be held mostly outdoors, with CDC and MN Department of Health procedures in place.
Campers are welcome to wear a mask based on personal comfort level, but masks are not required. Dodge continues to monitor COVID-19 levels to determine our safety guidelines. If your child is ill or showing symptoms, do not send them to camp.
Sunscreen and bug spray (if desired) should be applied before camp and can only be reapplied by campers, under the supervision of staff.
Check-in and checkout
Campers will be checked in and out at the location listed for the camp.
– Drop-off begins promptly at 8:15 am and ends at 8:30. Adults dropping off campers should park in the parking lot, follow the signs to find their child(ren)’s camp check-in, and share the name of the adult who will pick up their child(ren) at 3:00 pm that day.
– Pickup begins promptly at 3:00 pm and ends at 3:15*. Adults picking up campers should park in the parking lot, follow the signs to find their child(ren)’s camp checkout, and sign out their child(ren) with the naturalist. Campers must have written permission (including dates) to sign themselves out—no camper may walk or bike home without prior written permission.
*After camp checkout ends, there is a $5 charge for every 15 minutes an adult is late picking up a child.
Campers will be guided by trained naturalists and volunteers. All camps will maintain a 2 to 15 ratio of staff to campers. Campers requiring supervision beyond the nature center’s campers-to-staff ratio may need to provide a personal aide at their own expense.
If children are having a hard time controlling themselves, staff will intervene in an educational, rather than punitive, manner. We will help children see the connection between their behavior and its consequences. Methods of discipline will include clear rules, redirection, encouragement, planning ahead to prevent problems, and the use of logical and natural consequences.
In the rare event that a child’s ongoing disruptive behavior escalates to physical or verbal violence, Dodge Nature Center has the right to remove the child from camp without a refund. We strive to keep Dodge a safe and friendly environment for all our campers, staff, visitors, and animals.
Camps will not be cancelled due to inclement weather. Activities will be adjusted for the safety of the campers. Always dress campers to be comfortable in forecasted weather conditions.