Summer Programs 2023

Our team is excited to bring another summer of adventure to the Seacoast! Registration opens January 15 at noon! 
Keep reading to learn about our offerings this summer and please be sure to read the “fine print” at the bottom of this page for updated registration policies. Please note that we’ve **added** capacity to all sessions!

We believe that access to nature is essential for all humans and that spending time outdoors playing is crucial for healthy childhood development. In order to make our summer camp financially accessible for all, we have a sliding scale tuition model that allows all families to thoughtfully determine the amount affordable to them. Please read more about the model and how to support campers or ask for Financial Aid in the “Fine Print” section of this page.

Silly girls

Coastal Forest Summer Camp: Ages 5 – 10 (Entering grades 1 – 5)

Imagine embarking on a journey that will expand your child’s relationship with the natural world. Spark their inner curiosity and build their self-confidence. Together with experienced White Pine leaders, they will spend the day storytelling, playing games, doing sit spots, mapping the landscape, journaling, learning survival skills, and wandering throughout the fields and forests.

Children will leave camp with new experiences, friendships, sense of self and a deeper connection to our Earth. 

5 traits of a good human

Camp Details

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm
Friday, 9 am to 12 pm

Cost: $450 (financial aid is available)

Location: Coastal Ridge Elementary School, York Maine

Note: This is an all-outdoor camp. 

For More information and to Register Click Here

*Children can be entering kindergarten but must be 6 by October 15, 2023 (see fine print below for details)

Week #1: Nature’s Fairy Tales, July 3-7
Summer is a magical time, filled with fairy tales and wonderful myths and we invite campers to step into our world of magic and wonder at our Nature’s Fairy Tales Week! Our campers will immerse themselves in the enchanted world of fairy tales, using their imagination and creativity to bring beloved stories to life.

Some activities will include building fairy houses and other magical structures, creating crafts and art projects inspired by mythical creatures, and exploring the great outdoors through adventure and play.

In addition to all of the exciting fairy tale-themed activities, campers will also have the opportunity to participate in White Pine’s traditional summer camp activities such as arts and crafts, games, survival skill challenges and team building exercises.

Week #2 Wildlife Tracking & Birding, July 10-14
In nature, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might miss it. During the Wildlife Tracking & Birding Week, we explore the ins and outs of birding and tracking! Our campers will explore the natural world and learn about the amazing birds and other animals that call it home.

Activities will include bird watching and identification, tracking animals, and learning about the habits and behaviors of different species. Our knowledgeable staff will lead campers in hands-on activities and challenges that build skills and foster a sense of curiosity about the natural world. In addition to learning about birds and other animals, campers will also have the opportunity to participate in White Pine’s traditional summer camp activities such as arts and crafts, games, survival skill challenges and team building exercises.

Week #3 Heroes In Nature, July 17-21
Join us for an exciting and educational week of outdoor superhero adventures and environmental stewardship. Your campers will learn about the incredible animals and plants that call the natural world at CRES home, and discover how they can be heroes for the environment! Our amazing staff will lead campers in hands-on projects and activities that foster a love and respect for the natural world.

In addition to all of the exciting outdoor adventures and experiential environmental projects planned for this week, campers will also have the opportunity to participate in White Pine’s traditional summer camp activities such as arts and crafts, games, survival skill challenges and team building exercises.

Week #4 Outdoor Skills, July 24-28
Come learn essential skills for safe and inspiring hiking, camping, and backcountry exploration at our Outdoor Skills Week! Campers will develop their knowledge and abilities in a variety of areas, including mapping (using a compass and waypoints), carving, native plant identification, fox-walking, and animal behavior. Our talented staff will lead campers through hands-on activities and challenges that teach valuable skills and build confidence in the great outdoors. In addition to learning practical skills, campers will also have the opportunity to explore the beauty and wonders of nature through guided forest hikes, habitat exploration, and other team challenges. 

As always, campers will have the opportunity to participate in White Pine’s traditional summer camp activities such as survival skill challenges and team building exercises.

Week #5 Nature Crafting, July 31-August 4
Does your child see the forest as their canvas? Does your camper see an intricate fairy house in a plain pile of sticks? If so, we hope they will join us for a week of STEAM activities, creativity and nature at Nature Crafting Week!  Our campers will learn how to use natural materials to create beautiful and functional crafts and art projects. From pinecone bird feeders to leaf prints and so much more, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to nature crafting, campers will also have the opportunity to explore the great outdoors and learn about the environment through nature walks, skill building, and other outdoor games. Our wonderful staff will lead campers in hands-on projects and activities that foster excitement about the natural world. As always, campers will have the opportunity to participate in White Pine’s traditional summer camp activities such as survival skill challenges and team building exercises.

Week #6: Survival Skills Week, August 7-11
During our Survival Week, campers will learn essential survival skills such as shelter building, tinder bundle making, bush craft (such as making cordage, birch bark baskets, spoons, and more!), carving sticks for bow drills (ages 10 & up) and other ways they can live independently in the great outdoors. Our staff will lead campers through hands-on activities and challenges that teach valuable skills and build confidence in their ability to thrive in any environment.

In addition to learning practical survival skills, campers will also have the opportunity to explore the beauty and wonders of nature through hiking, nature exploration, and other outdoor challenges. Our campers will leave equipped to take on any outdoor challenge we can throw at them!

But Survival Week isn’t just about individual skill building – it’s also about building community! Campers will have the chance to share their skills with each other and work together to complete group challenges and projects.

Piney Tweens Camp:  Ages 11-14 (Entering grades 6-8)

This camp is designed specifically for Tweens. White Pine educators will focus on exploring the natural world along with acquiring the skills required to be comfortable and safe in the wild outdoors. Campers will join their peers on a 5 day program (all) outside, learning about local ecology and survival skills like fire making and navigation, all culminating in an overnight on the fourth day. While each week has a theme, naturalist skills, hand crafts, mapping, orienteering and team building will be a part of every session.

Camp Details:

Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 9 am to 3 pm
Thursday – 9 am drop off with overnight, 9 am pickup Friday

Cost: $525 (financial aid available)

Location: Weeks 1 & 2 in York, Maine, Week 3 in Epping, NH

Note: This is an all-outdoor camp. 

For More Information and to Register for the Tweens Click Here 

*must be 11 by October 15, 2023 (see fine print below for details

Sylvia at Burley

Note: While we have themes each week of camp, the basis of our days are built on activities campers love and appreciate learning at White Pine, such as survival skills, bush craft, and navigation. In addition, tweens will participate in stewardship projects and team building exercises.

Week #1: July 3-7, York, ME
Ever wanted to learn more about friction fire, the proper and safe use of tools, shelter building, knot tying and much more? Join White Pine Educators for a week of expanding skill sets to be comfortable and successful in the outdoors no matter the season.

Week #2: July 10-14, York, ME
Maine has an abundance of natural resources that make foraging an exciting opportunity for all. Participants will learn proper identification and use of many resources, including wild edibles, trees and materials from the river. In addition, we will discuss respectful harvesting and regeneration practices.

Week #3: July 17-21, Epping, NH
During this week at Burley Farms, a Southeast Land Trust property, participants will build their survival and outdoor skills by trying their hands at creating important survival items from natural materials. We’ll carve bowls, make friction fire tools, learn about natural dyes and inks and so much more. With the vast landscape at Burley, Tweens will learn also about mapping and orienteering and have the chance to test their skills during the overnight with fun nighttime hikes and exploration. 

Teen Expeditions:  Ages 12-17 

What better way to end a crazy school year than with some intense outdoor time? Teens interested in backcountry exploration and more advanced bushcraft and naturalist skills will enjoy overnight trips throughout Maine and New Hampshire with our experienced guides.

White Mountain Jaunt July 11-14
Designed for tweens ages 12 – 14, this is a great trip for students new to backcountry camping and hiking. Our theme this week will focus around wildlife tracking and ecology.

 Designed for teens ages 14 – 17 with hiking and camping experience. Students carry packs that are approximately 20- 25 lbs for the duration of the trip. Our theme this week will be practicing outdoor skills and backcountry navigation.

Click Links for detailed descriptions.
 
Hikers

CIT’s – Counselor’s In Training

Join our team of educators as a CIT and get on-the-job leadership and mentoring training. CITs have the opportunity to develop and strengthen their naturalist skills as well as be part of a dynamic and fun community-minded team. CITs directly support the Piney staff by assisting groups with adventures, playing games, singing songs, telling stories and tackling chores and projects with a positive, helpful attitude.

For more information click here.

CITs are an important part of our program

The Fine Print

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, 2023. 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, 2023 (regardless of grade level).  This means a child can be 5 during the summer but must turn 6 by October 15, 2023. For Piney Tweens Camp, children can be 10 but must turn 11 by October 15, 2023 (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, 2023.

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
White Pine follows the latest CDC guidance around camp attendance and masking. As of January 2023, that means campers can attend 5 days after the first day or symptoms, if the camper is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and they are not experiencing any other symptoms. Masks will not be required for any camper, but we are a mask-supportive community, if your family chooses to mask anytime.  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

Sliding Scale Tuition
This model leans on families who are well resourced financially to help subsidize families who may be choosing between summer child care and basic needs. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or would like more information on how to select your child’s tuition. 

To ensure we have enough money to provide a robust scholarship program, we need families to help support our financial aid program by selecting the “support a camper” tuition or by making a donation at checkout. As a small 501(C)3 non-profit, our participant fees do not cover all our actual costs for programming and we rely on generous individuals and businesses to help cover the gap. Any and all donations will be receipted for tax purposes. 

Financial Aid
Our new process is super easy – simply select the tuition your family can afford, then answer a few short questions during registration. Applying for aid does not guarantee we can provide you with the requested amount, however, we will do the best we can based on enrollment and the fundraising we do during registration. Applicants will be notified within 45 days of their registration. If making the non-refundable deposit is a hardship, please call our office at 207-361-1911. 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 to avoid turning 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.

Groupings & Friends
We understand that, often, friends and family members sign up for camp on the same week to be together, and we do the best we can to honor those requests. However, balancing groups is tricky business! We appreciate your understanding.

Special Needs
One of the most wonderful things about the outdoors is that nature is an equalizer. Some of the children who participate in our programs have IEPs and 504s 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, your child has a one on one aid during the school year or your child has specific medical needs that might require individual attention or training, please call Program Director Todd DuPont at 207-361-1911, prior to registering.