2020 Little Naturalists Summer Camp
Educational outdoor fun for preschool campers, age 3 & 4
The ENC has offered Nature Camps since 1977! Nature Camp provides quality science education in an outdoor setting. ENC Nature Camp emphasizes experiential learning. Campers spend most of their time outside, having a great time observing nature up close using tools like binoculars, magnifying lenses and microscopes. Science concepts are introduced in a fun environment, with crafts, games and nature activities. Each day Little Naturalist Campers will be led by an ENC Naturalist for a hands-on nature based outdoor play curriculum filled with adventure experiences and learning activities. (Families will provide snack, lunch, and a hearty breakfast before camp is recommended)
Note: Drop off and pick-up times are staggered, so please take note when you register.
The health and safety of our campers, staff, and volunteers is and always has been of utmost importance to the ENC. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly assessing the status of Orange County’s public health and making decisions related to our camp programs based on the most up-to-date and scientific information from the Centers for Disease Control and the OC Department of Health. To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all our campers, staff, and volunteers, we are transitioning to modified camp protocols to be aligned with best health practices:
Drop Off & Pick Up
- Drop off and pick-up times are staggered. See registration pages for exact options.
- In order to minimize the number of persons on our property, our camps will move to a car drop off system in our parking lot. Cars will pull into the U-shaped lot at the clearly marked entrance and pull up to the camp registration table at the curb. A staff member will greet your child and escort them to their camp group.
- At Pick Up, cars will come to the same place and as they pull up a staff member will check their ID, ask the caregiver to sign out the child, and radio to our other camp staff with the child’s name. Your child(ren) will be escorted directly from their camp group to their car.
- All parents are encouraged to read through the current CDC guidelines pages on COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, prevention, and when to seek medical attention.
- Parents will complete an at home self-screening each day prior to coming to Nature Camp. Per CDC guidelines a self-screening at home should include a temperature and symptom check. These symptoms include frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and recent loss of taste or smell. Campers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including a temperature of 100.4° or higher) are required to stay home.
- Health checks will be conducted at each vehicle or with walking families during drop off time. Staff Members will check health symptoms for each camper by asking them and their family member about:
- Any coughing?
- Any shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
- Any sign of body chills?
- Any muscles pain?
- Any sign of sore throat?
- Any loss of taste or smell?
- Any fever in last 24 hours? (fever over 100 degrees F will be excluded from attending camp)
- Does child have asthma, diabetes, any heart issues?
- Any gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns- like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
- Any conjunctivitis symptoms -red, itchy eye, or mucous discharge?
- Has (Child) or his/her family been in contact or near anyone that they know to be infected by COVID-19?
Staff member will take each campers temperature with infrared thermometer. If the temperature reading is 100 degrees F or more the temperature will be taken again. If the reading remains the same or higher the child will be excluded from camp.
- Staff First Aid kits will now include extra masks, hand sanitizer, gloves etc. Your child will be expected to apply their own sunscreen throughout the day. Please make sure your child is already wearing sunscreen when they arrive to the ENC in the morning.
- All campers must be completely proficient in restroom procedures – staff will not be permitted to help with any part of the process, including hand-washing. Restrooms will be disinfected between use by each camper.
Camp Group Size
- Our ENC camps will maintain a smaller camper to teacher ratio than we typically offer. Under these modified camp protocols, camp groups will never exceed 8 campers per naturalist. Camp groups may also include up to 1 teenage Leader in Training.
Increased Sanitation Practices
- ENC staff will be increasing the sanitation of our public use surfaces – door handles, restrooms, etc. These areas will be disinfected at least three times during the camp day. We will also have increased access to hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, which will be utilized after every activity. Camp groups will have their own dedicated materials (such as binoculars, paintbrushes, etc.)., which will not come into contact with other camp groups, and which will be disinfected between each use.
Public Visitation to the ENC
- The ENC will NOT be open to the public during the week. Campers are permitted on ENC’s grounds during camp hours (9am-1pm, M-F) only. The facility will be disinfected before Camp begins each Monday.
- While it is unrealistic to expect children to maintain 6 feet of distance from each other at all times during the camp day, we will be doing what we can to maintain physical distancing. Camp groups will enjoy snack time as individual groups instead of as one large group at the log area.
- ENC staff will avoid team-teaching in order to keep groups small.
- Face masks: Children will be required to wear masks at pick-up and drop-off each day, as our parking lot is a high-traffic area. Campers must have their masks with them at all times (fastened around the neck is preferable), and may be asked to put masks on during activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
If you do not see your questions answered on this page (additional FAQs below), feel free to call us at 949-645-8489 or email Mindy the Camp Director!Read the Nature Camp Newsletter prior to your first day of camp! Questions? Call 949-645-8489 ext. 112
If you do not see your questions answered on this page, feel free to call us at 949-645-8489 or email the Camp Director!
*How old does my child have to be to go to Nature Camp? 3 or 4 years old by the first day of camp.
I have elementary aged children, can they be in the same group with my preschooler? Our Campers are divided into groups by grade level. Curricula and activities are designed for these different age groups, which are developmentally distinct from each other.
I am worried about leaving my child at Camp. May I attend with them? Little Nature Camp is an opportunity for children to learn about nature in a unique and safe environment where they can practice and build developmental skills such as language, problem solving, physical adeptness, and self-competence. Part of that developmental process is learning how to listen and learn with new teachers, build new relationships with peers, and get an opportunity to practice independence and separation from parents. Children will develop skills in handling changes, challenges and decision-making- which are all important foundational life-skills.
What is the registration deadline? Registration closes at noon on the Friday before each camp, but frequently camps fill long before that. An additional fee ($60 per camper) applies for late registration (less than 96 hours before the first day of a camp session). Please realize that Camp Staff does not work between 5PM on Friday and 8AM on Monday, so contacting us about late registration over the weekend may not guarantee a spot in camp for your child.
Who are the Camp Teachers? The Little Naturalist staff consists of a Naturalist with Early Childhood Education (ECE) and an Assistant Outdoor Classroom Specialist with ECE. High School assistants may also be included with additional staffing.
- Refund requests made 4 weeks or more prior to the start date of camp are subject to a $25.00 fee per week of camp.
- Refund requests made 2-4 weeks prior to the start date of camp are subject to $50.00 fee per week of camp.
- Refund requests made with 1-2 weeks notice 50% refund.
- Less than 1 week notice no refund requests will be processed.
- All session changes will incur a $25.00 fee. Session change requests require at least 10 days notice. Requests to change from full day to half (or vice versa) fall under this fee.
You must complete a separate registration form for each child enrolled. Please note our policies regarding late pick-up, registration and withdrawals (below).
Nature Camp News
Approximately one week prior to the start of each Camp session, you will receive a Camp email newsletter with specifics about the session including: daily schedule, appropriate clothing, parking/drop-off info, etc.
The ENC provides a limited number of partial (1/2 the camp fee) scholarships each year. Limit one per family. Sessions are determined based on availability. Campers are eligible for a scholarship based on financial need and interest in nature and science. Parents must submit a completed Scholarship Application Form, and a letter of recommendation from a current teacher. Students whose families are eligible for the school lunch program receive priority.
Scholarship recipients are required to write a thank you letter to the scholarship provider, within one week of the completion of the session. Scholarship applications must be submitted by May 28, 2020 by 8AM. Scholarship recipients will be notified on May 29, 2020 by 5PM. Questions? Call Valerie at 949-645-8489 ext. 112.
Full Day Camp ends promptly at 3:00 PM each day. Half Day Camp ends promptly at 1:00 PM. Please be on time.
If you know you are going to be late please notify us. A $5 fee for each 15 minutes late will be charged.
Change in Session Choice
Be sure you sign up for the correct session(s)! There is a $20 session change fee PER CAMPER PER SESSION. (i.e. if you have two kids and want to switch them from session 1 to session 2 it will cost you $20.)