Camp Wonder 2020 FAQ

Is Classic Day & Specialty Camp happening this year?

Yes!  We have implemented numerous protocols that are now in place to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and are looking forward to providing our community a place for kids to just be kids! We are calling Camp Wonder an Essential Day Camp this year.

So, how is Essential Day Camp different than our typical Day Camps? Because the health landscape has forever changed, our summer programs are now designed with necessary mitigating protocols against the spread of the Coronavirus. We are expanding upon the term ‘essential’ and positioning our day camp as follows:
  • As our community begins coming back to work and our economy begins the healing process, our program is essential for working parents who need well supervised summer programs for their children, especially among our vast, wide open spaces that HNC can uniquely offer.
  • Our program is essential in addressing much need time in nature, and pure outdoor play and socialization for children.
  • This camp plays an essential role, especially during this pandemic, in helping kids to heal, grow new skills and be active.

IMPORTANT:  Licensed by the State of Michigan, the Howell Nature Center will only be permitted to operate within PHASE FOUR of Governor Whitmer’s “MI Safe Start Plan.”

What safety measures are you putting in place to protect our kids?

Our summer programs are now designed with necessary mitigating protocols against the spread of the Coronavirus. Our plan is to facilitate our Project S.A.F.E. summer initiative (Safety at all times; Active programming with new and old friends; Fun and growth every day; and Essential Day Camp for our working community and their children). Project S.A.F.E. includes, but is not limited to:

  • New Health Office Coordinator position to oversee our newly updated health & safety protocols recommended by the CDC and sanctioned by local health officials.
  • Health screenings for staff and campers every morning followed by contact-free drop-off and pick-up.
  • Campers will stay in small group sizes as recommended by the CDC.
  • Handwashing before and after every program.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitation of shared spaces, including bathrooms.
  • When possible, programs will maintain social distancing.

Can you guarantee my child will not get coronavirus?

In our new health landscape, managing risk and safety protocols are being redefined. Unfortunately, due to the nature of COVID-19, at no point can we guarantee that we can completely eliminate the risk of coronavirus at camp. However, we are working with local health department officials and following the Center for Disease Control and American Camp Association guidelines to best mitigate the spread of the virus.

Are you requiring masks be worn by staff and campers?

When indoors, HNC staff will always be required to wear masks. Children will be strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear masks indoors. When outside in the fresh air, masks are optional while social distancing will strongly be enforced.

Will camp still be “FUN” with all of these safety measures?

Yes! Our Camp Leadership team has been working around-the-clock to develop new and exciting programs that promote social distancing, as well as modifying favorite activities such as zip lining and archery. We will still enjoy swimming and fishing in the lake, playing on the Aqua Toy, and learning outdoor survival skills. Our counselors will be trained to promote a positive atmosphere where kids can leave the stress of COVID-19 behind!

Will you have a VIRTUAL DAY CAMP option?

We understand that camp is not for every family this year. However, we know that children need camp more than ever after a difficult spring! As such, we are preparing a brand-new program—VIRTUAL CAMP!  We are formalizing affordable options that will allow children to experience the magical camp community from the safety of their own home. Stay tuned for more details.

Is Overnight & Excursion Camp happening this year?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our immersive overnight and excursion programs, we are not able to run these camps this year. We know this is difficult news.  The decision to cancel was not an easy one.  We exhausted every possible solution, and in the end, we decided that we could not uphold to the safety standards and quality of experience we have worked so hard to develop. For those Overnight Camper families living in close proximity to the Nature Center, we encourage you to sign up for Day Camp!

Will you have a VIRTUAL OVERNIGHT CAMP option?

We heard from our parents that they are worried about the mental health of their child(ren), and they were looking forward to their overnight camp experience and seeing their Camp Wonder friends. We know the important role camp plays in a child’s life. As such, we are preparing a brand-new program—VIRTUAL CAMP!

We are formalizing affordable options that will allow children to experience the magical camp community from the safety of their own home. Our virtual camp schedule will involve social meal times, bedtime songs, games and activities, all led by some of their favorite camp counselors. Stay tuned for more details!

Find Refund Information Below

Here is a summary of the modified Day Camp experience to best mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and keep all campers safe:

Is there Financial Assistance for Day Camp?

Camp Wonder at the Howell Nature Center strives to make programs available to all children and confidential assistance may be provided to the extent possible to cover a portion of your child’s program registration fees. Because Overnight Camp has been suspended for 2020, the Spirit of Alexandria Foundation has stepped up to offer increased assistance with special consideration made to the following:

  • Essential workers in need of financial assistance.
  • Families adversely and financially impacted by the pandemic.
  • Families interested in ‘prescribing nature as the best therapy’ to address growing mental health and anxiety in kids learning to cope through this pandemic.

To apply, go to our website at www.howellnaturecenter.org and select your child’s week and register online. Once you register and pay the deposit to reserve your child’s place in a program, then submit HNC’s Financial Assistance Application via email to request assistance on the remaining balance of your summer registration.

Once you have submitted the Financial Assistance Application, you will receive a follow up correspondence within 3 weeks to determine the amount of assistance that is available to you. Be sure to allow enough time for our staff to process your application before payment is required. If the amount of assistance offered is not adequate to meet your needs, you will have the option to cancel your child’s enrollment at that time.

How do I receive a refund?

We support our families in making the best decision for your child(ren). While we hope to see your camper(s) this summer, we understand that this may not be possible.

Due to the unique circumstances brought on by COVID-19, full refunds will be offered for canceled overnight and excursion programs. We feel it is the right thing to do to shield our camp families from any financial strain. In addition, if you are a day camp family that does not feel comfortable sending your child(ren) to camp this summer, see the options listed below.

HNC has been adversely affected by the financial fallout, so we are asking camp families to work with us to manage this process in a coordinated fashion.

Please let us know what your preference will be:

  • Donations: Making a gift of some or all of the funds you have already paid is a generous way to ensure that the Howell Nature Center remains strong and will be ready to provide an amazing 2021 camp experience.  Thank you to everyone who is able to make this a vital gift to the Howell Nature Center during a time of extreme hardship.
  • Hold as a Credit: We can hold your total 2020 payment(s) and credit your account for that amount. This would go toward summer 2021 Overnight and Day Camps at our lowest pricing.
  • Transfer: Please transfer my Overnight/Excursion balance over to Day Camp.
  • Full or Partial Refunds: We know that many families are also facing their own hardships. We can process a full refund in the amount paid, or you may choose to take a partial refund to either make a donation or hold as credit to be applied to next year’s camp.
    • Refunds checks will be mailed in the next six to eight weeks.

To select your option, please fill out THIS FORM.

Questions or concerns? We want to help you every step of the way. Speak to a member of our Camp Leadership team by calling (517) 546-0249 or emailing us at campregistrar@howellnaturecenter.org and we will assist you.