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Summer Nature Camps

Camp was AWESOME!! The kids came home just the right amount of tired, happy, and full of songs and information they had learned each day. They don't get much science in public schools and it is really nice to see their powers of observation rekindled in the summer. - summer camp parent

My kids came home excited and chock full of information and beautifully dirty every day. - summer camp parent


If you don't know your member ID, it's listed on the back of your camp catalog, or put your last name in as your member #.  Camp registration is limited to 4 camps per child. A note on waitlists: we take 8 campers on a waitlist, so if the system tells you there are 8 spots remaining, you would be first on the waitlist. If it says there is 1 spot remaining, you would be last on the waitlist. Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers recommended. Mobile devices must be Flash-enabled. Questions? Email pam.oves@anshome.org.

MD 2017 Summer Camp Catalog                                                        

   camp catalog 2017                    

View the 2017 MD Summer Camp Catalog                  

Can Kids Still Go Unplugged in the Summer?

Check out the CBS News report on Audubon Naturalist Society's Summer Camp

Audubon Naturalist Society Summer Camps provide outdoor fun and discovery for campers ages 4 to 17. Located on a 40-acre nature reserve in Chevy Chase, MD, we offer day and overnight camp that all include:

  • Games, hikes, songs and lots of great camp traditions
  • Environmental education in a natural setting
  • Hands-on activities and investigations
  • Small groups with experienced and trained leaders
  • Volunteer CIT opportunities for campers 14 and up

Look at our catalog for more information. Or call the Camp Director, Nora "Junebug" Kelly at 301-652-9188 x15.

Teen Naturalist Training

2017 session - register through the online summer camp system above. The $25 application fee will be applied to the $450 fee once accepted into the program. Cost for Session 4 is $150 for members. Registration limited to one session.

Session 1 (June 19-July 7)
Session 2 (July 10-July 28)
Session 3 (July 31-August 18)
Session 4 (August 21-August 25)

Medical Forms for Camp (if necessary - do not mail in, bring to Monday morning check-in). Health forms will be emailed with confirmation packets three weeks before your child's camp begins.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time do camps run?

PreK/K camps are full day, 8:45 am-3 pm, and most weeks we offer a half day option as well, either AM from 8:45am-12pm or PM from 1pm-4pm. 1st/2nd grade camps and 3rd/4th grade camps run 8:45am-3pm. 5th grade+ camps run 8:45am-4pm. Note: If you have a child in a 1st/2nd/3rd/4th grade camp and one in a 5th grade camp or up, you may want to sign the younger one up for extended camp until 4pm so he or she can be picked up at the same time as the older one.

I need aftercare for my child. How do I register?

We offer extended camp options after full day camps end until 4:00 OR 6:00 (no extended camp for PreK/K). Extended camp is limited to 24 children and fills like any other camp, so if you need aftercare for your child we recommend you register early. Extended camp is a financial option you choose when registering. If you don't see the time available, that means extended camp for that week and time period is full. However, we may be able to accommodate you. Please email pam.oves@anshome.org to check on extended camp availability if it appears full. You must sign up for the whole week, no daily/drop-in options available.

Where can I get more information?

For detailed descriptions of our camp offerings at Woodend (Chevy Chase, MD camps), please review our camp catalog

Who do I call if I have questions?

For Woodend Program (Chevy Chase, MD) Questions: Call 301-652-9188 x15. For Rust Program (Leesburg, VA) Questions: Call 703-669-0000. For Registration Questions: Call the Education Office, 301-652-9188 x16. For Membership Questions: Call the Membership Office, 301-652-9188 x35. For Volunteer Information: Call the Volunteer Office, 301-652-9188 x30.

Do I have to be an ANS Member to register for camp?

You do not need to be an ANS member to register for camp. However, you must be a member by the 12/1/16 deadline to register during members-only registration from 1/28/17-2/1/17. There are many advantages to joining, including discounted rates for summer camp and other ANS programs, bi-monthly newsletters, and discounts at our shop. You must be an ANS member at the time of registration to receive the summer camp discount.  Membership fees are nonrefundable.

How do I become a member?

You can become a member when you register online for summer camp (link above). You can also join by calling 301-652-9188 x35 or through membership by clicking join online here.

How do I know what camps are available?

You can identify camp availability by calling the EE office 301-652-9188 x16. You can also begin the registration process and the system will tell you what is available after choosing your child's grade.

How does the waitlist work? What are my child's chances of getting in?

ANS provides a waitlist for full camps. These waitlists are restricted in length to insure that they aren't indefinitely long. We require half the cost of the camp as a deposit to insure people on the waitlist are seriously interested. If a spot opens up in a camp, we will contact you and you will have the opportunity to decline or accept the spot. If you do not get into a camp or choose to no longer take part in the waitlist, you will receive a full refund, less the $5 registration fee. There is always a chance that spots will open up in a camp, so we encourage anyone who has some flexibility in his or her schedule to join the waitlist. We have no way of predicting which camps will have space open up, but in our experience many camps have at least one cancellation. Due to the number of children registered for waitlisted camps, we will only contact you if a space becomes available. Otherwise we will automatically refund the waitlist fee the week the waitlisted camp takes place, unless we receive a cancellation request in writing before then. Waitlist fees are fully refundable at any time for any reason, minus the $5 registration fee.

How do I cancel my registration?

You may email your cancellation in writing to pam.oves@anshome.org. Cancellation and refund policies are located on page 15 of the camp catalog.

Who can I talk to about my child's special needs (learning, behavior, health and allergy etc.)?

While ANS Camp is a traditional camp (not specialized for specific special needs), we welcome all children and we do our very best to accommodate every child. The camp director is always available to discuss whether ANS Camp is right for your child. Please call 301-652-9188 x15.

What summer job opportunities do you have available?
Do you have a CIT program for high-schoolers?

For paid positions (must be over 18) see: Opportunities for Education Interns and Teachers. We do not have a traditional CIT program. However, we do have a Teen Naturalist Training Program at Woodend in Chevy Chase for students entering 9th or 10th grade in Fall 2017. These hours are eligible for Service Learning Credit. New in 2017, we will have a Junior Counselor Program for teens entering 11th or 12th grade or college freshmen. Junior Counselors work for a three-week session and are paid a stipend of $100 a week. Apply as part of the online registration process.

I am already registered for summer camp. What do I need to have ready for the first day?

We will EMAIL you a final confirmation packet three weeks before the start date of your camp. You will need to fill out the health form and bring it with you to check-in the first day of camp. This health form does not need to be completed by your doctor (we only need a doctor's signature for any prescription or non-prescription medication taken at camp, see form at top of page). If you do not receive a confirmation packet via email a couple of weeks before your child's first camp begins, please call 301-652-9188 x16. If your child does not attend a U.S. school, you will need a copy of his or her immunization record (a copy from your child's school or doctor will suffice).

Do you accept Allergy Action Plans and Asthma Action Plans that are signed by a primary care provider?

Yes, as long as all the information covered in the Medication Administration Authorization form is included on the action plan and it is signed by the primary care provider. ANS staff are authorized to administer these medications in the event of a life-threatening situation.

Do you need a separate Medication Administration Authorization form for each medication (including over the counter meds)?

Yes. We need a form signed by a doctor, even for Advil, Benadryl, Dramamine, etc.

Can you accept the Medication Administration Authorization form from school or from another camp?

Yes, as long as it is the same form. The school version is only slightly different, but should be recognizable.

What if our primary care provider will not sign off on my camper's authorization to self-carry or self-administer medication?

  • For rescue medication, such as inhalers or epi-pens: staff can administer the medication, the provider does not have to sign the authorization to self-administer.
  • For regularly scheduled medication for campers who are on the sanctuary during the day: we have staff who are certified to administer medications.
  • For campers who have to take medications and are not on the sanctuary (camping trips, backpacking, etc): we need the doctor to sign the Self-Administration Authorization clause on the Medication Authorization Administration form. Call Chance at 301-652-9188 x15 if you have any questions.

What if my camper does not reside in the U.S.?

Pease complete this form and bring it with you to check-in: Immunization Records Form. This form must be completed by non-U.S. residents.

Can I register for a PM session that has space and waitlist for the AM session?

No, unless you want to pay the applicable cancellation fees if a spot opens up in the AM session. We understand that for many parents the morning session is preferable, but there are many parents who would like to enroll their children in a PM camp. Registering for a PM camp while waitlisting for an AM camp prevents these parents from registering for a spot and is considered "placeholding." The same policy applies to those who register for a 1st/2nd or 3rd/4th grade camp while waitlisting for the other camp being offered that week.

I missed the deadline to become a member and register for members-only registration. What can I do?

The best thing to do is to become an ANS member when you register for summer camp online when registration opens up to new members and nonmembers. You will get the member rate and not have to worry about getting your membership ID number since you will be becoming a new member. A membership packet will then be mailed to you a few weeks later.

My child's T-shirt is too big/small. Can I exchange it for another size?

We understand the camp T-shirt you get at check-in may not fit perfectly. But we base the T-shirt order on the sizes parents choose during the registration process online. If we exchange too many sizes, parents whose children are coming to camp later in the summer will not have the T-shirt sizes they ordered available. We appreciate your understanding.

How do pick up cards work?

Each child is issued one set of three (3) pick up cards each summer, regardless of how many camps your child is registered for. Hold onto them! When you pick up your child, you will be required to show staff your pick up card. Pick up cards are returned to you each day.

What if I don't have a pick up card?

If you are not the person picking up your child, give one of the pick up cards to your spouse/friend/neighbor, etc. You will be asked to list all the adults authorized to pick up your child on the health form. As long as that person is on your list and has a photo ID, he or she can pick up your child without a pick up card. For the safety of your children, we will not allow your child to leave with an adult unless he or she either has a pick up card or is on your list and has a photo ID.

Do you run background checks on your summer camp staff?

The safety of our campers is our top concern at ANS. We do FBI and state background checks with fingerprints on all our summer camp staff. These include both criminal activity and sex offender registry records. We also conduct Child Protective Services background clearance checks on all employees. The Echo Hill Outdoor School with whom we partner on the Bay Quest programs also does the same background checks on their staff. Both our camp and Echo Hill are licensed by the State of Maryland as Youth Camp programs. That licensing requires that, in addition to the background checks above, we document our staff's CPR/First Aid training, Life Guarding certification, emergency plans, health plans, staff to camper ratios, and facility safety records. We receive a surprise inspection when camp is in session to ensure that we are meeting all the requirements. In addition, we are both licensed and inspected by our county health department to ensure our physical grounds are safe, buildings are well maintained, and food is handled properly. Please contact the camp director at 301-652-9188 x15 if you have any questions. 

Why am I charged a cancellation fee if you end up filling a spot from a waitlist?

Our cancellation fee is a uniform policy that applies to all camps (except extended camp, which has no cancellation fees) regardless of whether or not they have a waitlist. We can never predict which camps will have waitlists. If there is no penalty for withdrawing from a camp, our experience has shown that some families will "hold places" in a camp and then change their plans and withdraw at a much later date. By that time other families, who might have wanted that spot, will have made other arrangements and not be able to take advantage of the opening. Up until mid-April the penalty is only $25. It goes up appreciatively after that date because it can be difficult to fill spots as summer approaches.

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