Parent Guide (Summer 2024)

Parent Guide (Summer 2024)

At the Alta Summer Camp, we steadfastly believe in and commit to upholding the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, irrespective of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or any other characteristic. We recognize that every individual possesses a unique set of experiences, perspectives, and values that contribute to the rich tapestry of our shared humanity.

We are dedicated to creating an environment where each camper, staff member and parents/guardian is treated with respect and empathy. Discrimination, prejudice, and bias have no place in our community. We commit to engaging in continuous education and self-reflection to challenge our biases and grow in our understanding of the diverse experiences of those around us.

Rooted in our commitment to GET BACK TO NATURE, by instilling values of respect, inclusivity, and mindfulness, we empower our campers to become confident explorers, and lifelong advocates for the environment.

Our Core Values

  • Curiosity and Exploration: Encourage a sense of wonder and curiosity, inspiring campers to explore their surroundings, learn about different ecosystems, and ask questions about the world around them.
  • Responsible Stewardship: Teach campers the importance of responsible environmental stewardship, emphasizing practices such as recycling, conserving resources, and leaving no trace when exploring nature.
  • Joyful Play: Encourage campers to engage in unstructured, imaginative play, allowing them to connect with nature in a fun and creative way.

How do we make sure the Core Values shine?

  • Instilling values of respect - Reviewing the code of conduct. Rewarding kindness and signs of respect. Train to always do positive reinforcement.
  • Inclusivity - Give them choices of activities or hikes. We provide meals. We welcome self-expression and celebrate it.
  • Mindfulness - We provide guided practices of mindfulness.
  • Confident explorers - we equip parents/guardians with a list of successful clothing and supplies for children to be confident in the outdoors. We provide additional supplies. Snow pants for every child to slide down hills in. We have a hiking checklist that reminds campers of what they will need on a hike in order to set them up for success. Our staff are always verbally encouraging the kids while preparing for a hike and on the hike.
  • Lifelong advocates for the environment - Parent feedback has included children recycle more and donate. We equip campers with tools and educate them about our environment, tools on how to respect and advocate. Write to leaders empowering their voice!
  • Sense of wonder and curiosity - We give them time. No technology. We say YES to explore. We show what wonder and curiosity looks like to inspire campers.
  • Explore their surroundings - Every day we go on 1-2 hikes with the campers, and this is a time in which we allow and encourage them to embrace their surroundings. The hikes we go to have final destinations, where campers are allowed to play and explore the area. We make sure we can see them, and they can hear us so that they can safely explore Little Cottonwood Canyon and the enriching wildlife it has to offer.
  • Learn about different ecosystems - Cloud lesson, Watershed lesson, plants and animals. Curiosity to learn more. We bring in specialists to educate the campers on topics such as reptiles, bugs, birds and plants.
  • Ask questions about the world around them - Fostering curiosity and a safe environment to ask questions. Small ratios allow us to build strong relationships.
  • Responsible environmental stewardship - We teach the campers about staying on trails, picking up trash, and preserving the watershed. As well as respecting vegetation and wildlife. We work with other stewards in the community to foster our own responsibility.
  • Emphasizing practices such as recycling - We have a recycling area to promote imagination as a form of expression and play. All children love this area. Mealtimes are consciously structured to promote autonomy while also instilling practices of no waste.
  • Conserving resources - We carpool and are mindful of gas emissions in LCC.
  • Leaving no trace when exploring nature - We provide trash bags that each counselor has on them while we are out on one of our hikes or playing nearby. In the afternoons we bring insulated backpacks for our snacks on the hikes, and we always carry our trash out. As well as having trash bags accessible for use during hikes, we carry “code brown bags”, which contain bags to clean up human waste so that we conserve the watershed.
  • Encourage campers to engage in unstructured imaginative play - We provide TIME for free play. There is a nearby hike that brings the campers to a place where they have built intricate forts, where they play and continue to build everyday.
  • Allowing them to connect with nature in a fun and creative way - Our scope of activities honing on different elements of the environment right here at Alta.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to ensure that our summer camp gives children the opportunity to learn and be happy in the outdoors.

What Do We Do?

Using nature right outside the backdoor as a springboard for environmental education, we will connect children to what they love about nature. We stroke their curiosity and use that to teach them about the mountains we love and live in! At camp the children will be hiking, inventing using recycled materials, building solar ovens, learning about the flowers and bugs at Alta, journaling, learning about our watershed, creating art, writing the President about our National Forests, and so much more. Our curriculum will focus on nature education and on what is so great about the Wasatch!

Transportation

The Alta Summer Camp provides transportation to and from the Little Cottonwood Park and Ride, located at 4385 Little Cottonwood Canyon Road, Sandy, UT 84092.

The extended day vehicles depart promptly at 8am and return by 4:45 pm for the latest time of 5pm pick up. Please let us know if you run into traffic as the vans depart and alternate arrangements need to be made for someone to stay with your child.

The Regular day vehicles depart promptly at 9am and return by 3:45 pm for the latest time of 4pm pick up. Please let us know if you run into traffic as the vans depart and alternate arrangements need to be made for someone to stay with your child.

The Alta Summer Camp has comprehensive insurance including transport liability insurance. In case of emergencies or unexpected situations, camp staff can quickly communicate with parents through Brightwheel, ensuring that parents are promptly informed and reassured.

The Safety Rules for van and bus travel include:

  • Seat Belts: Camp Counselors ensure that all passengers, including campers and staff, wear seat belts at all times while the vehicle is in motion. Seat belts are a critical safety feature and should never be ignored.
  • Age-Appropriate Seating: Ensure that children are seated in appropriate car seats or booster seats based on their age, height, and weight. We follow local laws and guidelines for child passenger safety which requires a forward facing booster for children under the age of 8. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, motorists must secure them in a high-back or backless belt-positioning booster seat.
  • Driver Qualifications: We verify that all drivers are qualified, licensed, and experienced in operating the type of vehicle used for transportation. They should be familiar with the specific rules and regulations related to driving a passenger van or bus. A clean driving record is required and kept on file.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Regular inspections and maintenance of the vehicles are performed when used for transportation. This includes checking the brakes, tires, lights, and other essential components to ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Emergency Procedures: All drivers are trained on clear communication and review emergency procedures, which includes evacuation plans, emergency exits, and how to respond in the event of an accident or other emergencies.
  • Supervision: During transport each vehicle has a non-driving camp counselor to ensure that there is adequate supervision during transit. Camp counselors or responsible adults are present to monitor and manage the behavior of campers while on the vehicle.
  • Communication: A reliable communication system between drivers, staff, and the camp headquarters is in place. This is crucial for coordination, reporting any issues, and staying informed about changes or updates.
  • Schedule and Route Planning: Transportation schedules and routes are carefully planned, taking into account traffic conditions, road closures for repairs and potential delays, allowing for extra time to ensure punctuality and minimize rushing.
  • Health and Safety Kits: As per the Department of Health, Childcare Licensing each vehicle has a first aid kit and other emergency supplies on board. ALL staff members are trained in emergency response and how to use these kits effectively.

Camper Release / Verification

As required by the Department of Health, Child Care licensing and to maintain security and supervision of children, the provider shall ensure that:

(a) each child is signed in and out in accordance with this section;
(b) only parents or individuals with written authorization from the parent may sign-out a child;
(c) photo identification is required if the individual signing the child out is unknown to the provider;
(d) individuals signing children in and out use identifiers, including a signature, initials, or electronic code;
(e) the sign-in and sign-out records include the date and time each child arrives and leaves; and
(f) there is written permission from the child's parent if school-age children sign themselves in or out.
(g) In an emergency, the provider shall accept the parent's verbal authorization to release a child if the provider can confirm the identity of:

  1. the individual giving verbal authorization; and
  2. the individual picking up the child.

The Alta Summer Camp ensures that each child's information is confidential and not released without written parental permission except to the department.

Special Health Needs?

PotenƟal campers with special health needs require clear information about the camp's philosophy and health management practices. This is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of all campers. Our camp strives to be inclusive and accommodate campers with a wide range of health needs. Here are some key elements addressing special health needs at a camp: Our policy regarding special health needs is that first - Our enrollment is open to ALL children. We very carefully review all enrollments and contact families should we need additional information to best support their child’s unique special health needs. At the Alta Summer Camp we hire staff with experience in a wide array of expertise, as we whole-heartedly strive to support every potential camper as best possible. Should the needs of a camper exceed our ability to best care for them parents/guardians will be contacted. We recognize that every individual possesses a unique set of
experiences, perspectives, and values that contribute to the rich tapestry of our shared humanity. We are dedicated to creating an environment where each camper, staff member and parents/guardian is treated with respect and empathy. Discrimination, prejudice, and bias have no place in our community.

Medication administration is completed by a director only. The written form has to be on file and parents/guardians are contacted via our app when administered. Campers with dietary restrictions are accommodated by providing them with meal items approved for their diet.

Our emergency response protocol is outlined in our Health and Safety guide. All staff are trained in basic first aid and CPR.

Parents are required to provide detailed information about their child's health condition, including any medications, allergies, dietary restrictions, and other special requirements.

The camp facilities and activities are accessible to campers with physical disabilities. This includes elevators, and accessible restroom facilities.

We promote a culture of inclusivity and awareness among campers and staff. Campers are encouraged to be understanding and supportive of their peers with special health needs. The camp evaluates its ability to meet the special health needs of campers based on information received in the enrollment process. We review and update health management practices and procedures based on feedback and experiences from previous camp sessions. We have developed a clear and comprehensive emergency response protocol to handle health-related emergencies. All staff are trained in these procedures. The Alta Summer Camp provides training to all staff members about recognizing and responding to special health needs and emergencies. ALL camp staff respect the privacy and confidentiality of campers' health information.

Meals

We provide breakfast, lunch, and a late afternoon snack! Here at Alta Children's Center, we know the importance of feeding our children healthy and nutritious food, which is why we strive to purchase organic and GMO free products whenever possible. We also emphasize whole grains and a large variety of fruits and vegetables. We avoid highly processed foods and make our snacks from scratch using real ingredients. Why organic? Growing organically boosts key nutrients in food such as Omega 3’s as well as antioxidants, and organic produce has virtually no harmful pesticide residues. It is also much friendlier to the environment to grow organically. We choose to serve organic food for all these reasons!

Please highlight food allergies and/or sensitivities during registration. We ensure to be aware of any allergies or dietary restrictions among the campers and have alternative options available. Keeping the menu diverse to cater to different tastes and preferences and aim to include a mix of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for balanced nutrition. The meals are visually appealing to encourage campers to try new foods as we serve family style at a buffet table. We use mealtimes as an opportunity to teach campers about the importance of making nutritious food choices. They are encouraged to serve themselves what their body needs and will eat. They can always have seconds. For the few left overs we have a chicken scrap bucket that goes home to Ms. Ilse’s home to feed them and reduce waste.

Ages

6 – 12 years old. Groups will be created with a mix of all ages as the counselors see fit. Your child should be able to follow direction in a group setting. Know how to do the checklist themselves – Fill their own water bottle or backpack bladder, go to the restroom independently (even in the outdoors), put on additional sunscreen, take their mini first aid kits and a snack with them. Hike up to 2 hours in a group and follow safety guidelines.

Pricing and Packages

Full Pricing and Package details are located here.

Registrations and Cancellations

As summer plans evolve from when you first registered, we understand that families may need to 1. cancel a week, please do so by replying to the confirmation email, the $75 deposit paid at time of registration is non-refundable. Or 2. Should you wish to change or add more weeks, a new registration will need to be made on the website. 

The final invoices which are created in our communication app called Brightwheel, are due 5 days before for weekly camp and upon receipt for daily camp but can be paid at any time. A child's paid for spot is final and non-refundable by Friday 5pm before the camp starts.

Daily Schedule

You can take a look at our Daily Schedule page here.

Personal Property Policy

The Alta Summer Camp has a comprehensive Personal Property Policy covering various aspects of participant behavior and possession. Here is a breakdown of the general considerations that is included:

  • Alcohol/Drugs are prohibited: Absolutely NO possession and use of alcohol and illegal drugs is permitted. Consequences: The consequences for participants found in violation of the alcohol/drug policy would result in immediate expulsion from the camp and reporting to authorities.
  • Personal Equipment: Cellphones are used as the Brightwheel is the only way camp counselors communicate activities, pictures and updates with camper families. Personal use of own devices may only be used during breaks away from camp counselor responsibilities.
  • Animals: Participants are NOT allowed to bring pets or animals to the camp. We have 4 axolotl pets in the center.
  • Weapons are Prohibited: Absolutely NO possession and use of weapons, including firearms, or any other potentially dangerous objects are permitted while at camp. The consequences for participants found in violation of the weapons policy, would result in immediate expulsion from camp and reported to authorities. We have a strict and clear stance on safety.

Compliance with all camp rules and regulations for the safety and well-being of everyone involved. We encourage participants to seek clarification if they have questions about any aspect of the policy and to report any concerns related to the possession or use of prohibited items promptly. The consequences for violations of the Personal Property Policy may include warnings, written notices, temporary suspension, or expulsion from the camp, depending on the severity and frequency of the violation.

Camper Release/Verification:

As required by the Department of Health, Child Care licensing and to maintain security and supervision of children, the provider shall ensure that:

(a) each child is signed in and out in accordance with this section;
(b) only parents or individuals with written authorization from the parent may sign-out a child;
(c) photo identification is required if the individual signing the child out is unknown to the provider;
(d) individuals signing children in and out use identifiers, including a signature, initials, or electronic
code;
(e) the sign-in and sign-out records include the date and time each child arrives and leaves; and
(f) there is written permission from the child's parent if school-age children sign themselves in or out.
(g) In an emergency, the provider shall accept the parent's verbal authorization to release a child if the
provider can confirm the identity of: (a) the individual giving verbal authorization; and (b) the individual picking up the child.

The Alta Summer Camp ensures that each child's information is confidential and not released without written parental permission except to the department.

Emergency Communication

In case of emergencies or unexpected situations, camp staff can quickly communicate with parents through Brightwheel ALERTS, ensuring that parents are promptly informed and reassured. The directors will be the primary responsible staff to send out the emergency messages.

Should public media be present only the directors and owner of the camp will be addressing the questions.

Activity Information and Permissions:

We go on a hike twice a day! Play in nature and be free spirited children of the earth.
Each camp will have a theme for example Rocks, Sticks, Birds, Water, and Plants.
Hikes are combined with an activity and learning goal that is environmentally and science focused.
In conjunction with Alta bird enthusiasts, learn about the species around Alta and make feeders.
Art will include a variety of open-ended activities.
Children will go on picnics too!

Every week will be different as the nature around us changes. We will do a variety of fun things throughout the summer, like make ice cream in a bag, walking sticks, solar ovens, leaf rubbings, Twig boat races, Music in the mountains, First Aid Kits, etc.
Hiking with children can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it's essential to consider potential risks and the degree of difficulty based on their ages. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Terrain Difficulty: Uneven terrain, steep slopes, rocky paths, or difficult trails can pose challenges for children. The Alta summer camp chooses well-maintained and easy trails suitable for the age and experience, and avoids trails with high levels of difficulty.
Distance: Long distances may be challenging for younger children, leading to fatigue or boredom. We often opt for shorter trails with frequent stops and interesting features. Ensure the hike is suitable for the endurance levels of the youngest participants.
Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions like heat, cold, rain, or strong winds can be problematic for children. We check the weather forecast and plan hikes on days with mild conditions. Dress children appropriately and carry extra clothing layers.
Wildlife Encounters: Although we love seeing moose and other wildlife, encounters with wildlife may pose risks. We educate children about wildlife safety and proper behavior and choose trails with lower risks of encountering dangerous animals.
Supervision: Lack of supervision may lead to accidents or getting lost which is why we maintain a low adult-to-child ratio. Keep children within sight, and educate them on the importance of staying on the trail.
Equipment: Inadequate or uncomfortable gear can affect children's experience. We send families a packing list and help ensure children have appropriate footwear, clothing, and backpacks with essentials like water, snacks, and a basic first aid kit.
Physical Fitness: Children may struggle if the hike requires a level of physical fitness beyond their capacity. We choose hikes suitable for their fitness level. Start with shorter, less challenging trails and gradually progress.
Hydration and Nutrition: Dehydration and inadequate nutrition can affect children's well-being during a hike. Before every hike we do a hiking checklist and ensure they pack plenty of water and nutritious snacks. Encourage regular breaks for hydration and snacks.
Educational Aspect: We plan educational activities, such as identifying plants or animals, or sharing interesting facts about the environment.
Emergency Preparedness: All counselors carry a fully charged phone, a basic first aid kit, and know the location of the nearest medical facilities. Educate children on basic safety rules.
 

Using nature right outside the backdoor as a springboard for environmental education, we will connect children to what they love about nature. We stroke
their curiosity and use that to teach them about the mountains we love and live in! At camp the children will be hiking, inventing using recycled materials,
building solar ovens, learning about the flowers and bugs at Alta, journaling, learning about our watershed, creating art, and so much more. Our curriculum
will focus on nature education and on what is so great about the Wasatch!

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