FAQ

Summer Camps Fine Print 2022

Deposits
All sessions have a non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $50. If this is a hardship for your family, please call our office and we can provide you a code to bypass it. If your family is not approved for financial aid, we will refund your deposit in full.

Age Requirements
We use grade levels as a way to group children and follow York’s enrollment cut off date of October 15, 2022. We know this causes a little bit of confusion, especially when so many children have waited a year to enter kindergarten. The minimum age to participate in Coastal Forest Camp is age 6 by October 15, 2022 (regardless of grade level).  This means a child can be 5 during the summer but must turn 6 by October 15, 2022. For Piney Tweens Camp, children can be 10 but must turn 11 by October 15, 2022 (regardless of grade level) to participate. This means your child can be 10 at the time of camp but must turn 11 by October 15, 2022.

Parent Handbook
When registering, parents will be asked to agree to the policies in our parent handbook, which you can read here. The handbook contains important information around our curriculum, safety protocols and disciplinary process. We especially recommend that families new to White Pine review the document together with their child.

COVID and Masking
COVID-19, as of February 1, 2022 is still a thing. Yuck. Our current protocols to minimize the spread of the virus to keep both our participants and our staff safe, is to mask when 3 feet of distance cannot be maintained and always when indoors. While this may change to be less stringent by July, we cannot, with certainty, say that it will. Our refund policy will remain the same and that can be found here. If you feel that your family cannot follow these guidelines, we ask that you consider waiting until next year to participate.

Transfers
We often get requests to switch weeks at the last minute and do what we can to accommodate those. However, once we are within a 2 week period of the camp starting, we are unable to make those shifts as we rarely can fill the open spots. These shifts are very labor and time intensive and we simply don’t have the human power to handle them. We appreciate your understanding.

Cancellation Policy
There is a non-refundable $50 administrative fee for cancellations anytime prior to the program’s start date. Cancellations made within 60 – 31 days of the program’s start date may receive a refund of 50% of full tuition, less the non-refundable administrative fee. Cancellations 2 weeks or less before the program’s start date receive no refund. Please Click Here for More Details

Financial Aid
We have worked hard to make applying financial aid as simple as possible. We offer tuition discounts of 25% and 50% which can be self-selected during registration. If your family needs more than 50%, please select the lower tuition and provide details to us in the financial aid section. We do everything we can not to turn families away, so please ask for what you need. Requests made for aid during registration are reviewed monthly. Should we not be able to fulfill your request, we will provide a full refund of monies paid and your deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot extend financial aid for more than one session to a single family member. If you have questions about the process or want to provide more information about your application, please call our office at 207-361-1911.

Special Needs
One of the most wonderful things about the outdoors is that nature is an equalizer. Many of the children who participate in our programs have IEPs and thrive at White Pine. It is very helpful when families share these plans with us so that we can communicate with teachers, counselors and parents/guardians about special accommodations and sensitivities. If, during the school year, your child has a one on one aid, please call Program Director Todd DuPont at 207-361-1911, prior to registering.

What is the Program Cancellation Policy?

As a small non-profit organization, White Pine Programs spends a significant amount of time and resources planning ahead for programs. We invest in our staff and commit to them months in advance for employment. When families cancel their registrations, it limits our ability to cover our costs and offer scholarships. Although we are committed to paying our staff a fair, living wage, the revenue collected from program registrations only cover two-thirds of our costs. As such, we ask that families think carefully about the negative impact to White Pine when cancelling their registrations and consider donating their registration fee, or a portion thereof, which for some, can be claimed as a tax free deduction. In transparency, White Pine pays ActiveWorks a flat fees for every registration, plus 3.75% of every transaction to use their credit card processing system.  This is the reason we require a non-refundable administrative fee.

Although we avoid doing so, we reserve the right to cancel a program or change a program’s duration or location. White Pine Programs is not responsible for costs associated in these cases. We recommend that you consider refundable tickets for travel.

  • There is a non-refundable $50 administrative fee for cancellations anytime prior to the program’s start date. For programs over $1,500, there is a non-refundable $100 administrative fee for cancellations anytime prior to the program’s start date.
  • Cancellations made within 60 – 31 days of the program’s start date may receive a refund of 50% of full tuition, less the non-refundable administrative fee. We ask that families consider donating the unused portion of their tuition, if they are able.
  • Cancellations made within 30 days of the program’s start date may receive a refund of 25% of full tuition, less the non-refundable administrative fee. We ask that families consider donating the unused portion of their tuition, if they are able.
  • Cancellations 2 weeks or less before the program’s start date receive no refund.
  • We are unable to offer refunds if any duration of a program is cancelled due to inclement weather, government mandate for closure, or circumstances out of our control.
  • If a program is cancelled due to low enrollment, tuition will be fully refundable or transferable to another program within 1 year.

NOTE: If, during registration, a “support” tuition is selected (supporting another participant or camper) or a donation is added to a registration, we make the assumption that the intent is to support White Pine and our scholarship fund. As such, unless requested, only the “actual” cost of tuition (less the cancellation fee) will be refunded. Donations will not be refunded. If this creates a hardship for your family, please call our office and we will make accommodations. 

Is there special gear needed to participate in your program?

Dressing appropriately for weather conditions and for one’s ability to carry personal gear are imperative. Along with specific guidelines for this, a gear list is provided for each program’s needs. Please view the specific gear list for your program through the link on the program’s page or in your confirmation email (after registering). Please know creative solutions to acquiring proper gear are encouraged! Secondhand, borrowing from friends and reaching out to us for hard to acquire gear are all great options.

Is there any structure to a day at White Pine?

Our staff is prepared at balancing planned and unstructured time, with a very careful chartered flow to each day. For all of the programs we offer, a day in the field generally looks like this … welcoming everyone as they arrive, the whole group coming together to begin the day in unity, then off on adventures either together or in smaller, more intimate groups. The group reconvenes at day’s end. We are generally outdoors exploring for the duration of our programs.

What can I expect with a day at White Pine?

Getting down in the dirt or snow or mud or swamp etc… kids, teens or adults alike. Expect to be moving at times and stationary at others, to carry all your personal belongings for the day with you, including all your food and beverages, and to get a lot of fresh air- that along with the outdoor activity can make for tired bodies at day’s end.

What is the difference in programs offered to the same age group?

Our programs have similar philosophies, curriculum goals and structure. What varies program to program, is specific activities and curriculum based on program focus, location, season, weather, age of participents, and interests of those involved.

How do you handle adverse weather conditions during a program?

We are out in all sorts of weather — rain, sun, cold, heat, wind or biting insects. Dressing in proper clothing for the conditions is important for safety and the enjoyment of the individual and group. For extreme weather events during a program, our staff follows safety protocols to ensure group safety.

Can my child be grouped with their friend?

Making groups can be a complex task here. Our staff has many factors to consider when creating the groups for a program. Any special requests for your child’s group will certainly be considered — and whenever reasonable, accommodated. However, we cannot guarantee requested pairings. When it is not possible, we encourage families to see the opportunities and possibilities that arise when we learn to adapt and stretch ourselves to uncomfortable places.

How is your staff trained?

All of our Lead Instructors have at minimum Wilderness First Aid certification, experience with leading children in nature connection programs, and a genuine love for the natural world. Staff undergo ongoing training throughout the program year and receive positive and constructive feedback to help them with continuous growth professionally.

Along with the above certifications, Trip Guides in Maine are certified as Registered Maine Guides.

Do you require background checks?

Yes, all adult staff and volunteers who have direct contact with participants at White Pine undergo a background check before they become involved.

What is your ratio of staff to participants?

We generally do not exceed a ratio of 1 staff to 10 participants. There are special programs and circumstances that may alter this ratio. However, more often than not, groups will have other staff on site and volunteers assisting. This low ratio allows for more intimate experiences geared towards the group and individuals.

Do you offer custom experiences?

Yes! We currently offer custom experiences based on your nature connection goals. Custom experiences often depend on staff availability, amount of advanced notice, and our assessment of how well we can meet your goals. Custom experiences can include wildlife tracking, fire making, navigation, games, woodland shelter building, local flora and fauna, leadership and team building… experiences may be for youth, teens, adults, corporate trainings, clubs, etc… They can be designed from indoor needs to wilderness experiences.

Do you do birthday parties?

No, we don’t offer birthday parties.