As of December 2020, Wilderness Youth Project (WYP) plans to run in-person summer camps in 2021 (as we did in 2020). The health and safety of our community is our top priority, and we will continue to monitor national, state and local guidelines regarding managing risks associated with COVID-19. Due to our unique outdoor camp environment and small group ratio model, WYP has been able to provide a much needed summer camp experience while maintaining COVID precautions.
Please check back with us in Jan 2021 for more details about our summer 2021 plans.
How do I register my child for a WYP Summer Camp?
Demand for WYP camps will likely outnumber the spots we are able to offer this summer. Therefore, as always, we are inviting families to register for waitlists for our Summer 2021. We are asking EVERYONE interested to register for waitlists, even those who are enrolled in school year programs. We will be giving priority to returning WYP families although we cannot guarantee spots based on the likely high demand. We will do our best to get as many families placed as possible!
What happens if I don't get a spot when I first register for waitlists? Do I have any chance?
You still have a chance of getting a summer camp spot if you were not included in the first round of selections, especially if you are a returning WYP family and have flexibility in your schedule. Simply join the waitlists for the camps you want and WYP Registrar will be notifying families on the waitlists as soon as spots open up.
How many camps can my child participate in this summer?
Does ability to pay does affect my chances of participating in a summer camp?
Thanks to our community-wide fundraising efforts, we offer scholarships of many levels, and our weighted lottery does NOT prioritize those who can pay full price. We simply ask you to state your family’s income as part of the application process, if you are requesting a scholarship. However, once our generous scholarship fund has been allocated, we do place full-paying families into any remaining spots.
What does a typical day of summer camp look like?
Each program begins with a thanksgiving circle where we have an opportunity to give gratitude and check in with each other. We move onto something active that gives kids an opportunity for body awareness, animal understanding, and/or tactile exploration with skulls, tracks and other mysteries of nature. Once we are all warmed up we pile in our 8 or 15-passenger vans for an adventure in the local area. Places we go include local beaches, creeks, the Santa Ynez River, Lizard’s Mouth and the Pines (East Camino Cielo). Learn more about Places We Go).
Each day there are elements of inspiration, skill focus, wandering, exploring, celebration, and storytelling. An example of a day in camps is:
9 am – Thanksgiving Circle
9:30 – Blindfolded drum stalk
10 am – Head for Rattlesnake Canyon in a 15 passenger van
10:30 – Creek wander discovering tracks, plants, birds
Noon – Lunch, story
1:00 pm- Hike down the trail stopping at any swimming holes
3 (or 4) pm – Back to park for closing circle and story sharing
What does my child need to bring?
Please pack lightly — kids carry their own packs. We ask that each day your camper shows up with:
1. Backpack (preferably with padded shoulders and not too big)
2. Bathing suit (for girls consider a two piece or swim shorts and rash guard–they are easier for using wilderness bathrooms)
3. Healthy lunch (low sugar) and plenty of snacks. Kids get hungry on our programs!
4. Water (minimum of 32 oz. reusable water bottle). We’ll refill during the day.
5. Sunscreen. Please apply before arriving. We’ll re-apply during the day.
6. Clothes that can get dirty. Please have children arrive dressed in layers because SB’s summers start cold and foggy and burn off to be hot later in the day.
7. Shoes that can get wet–water shoes or water sandals work great!
8. Small towel (no bigger than the length of the child’s body), sarongs work great.
9. Hat (optional, but if your child will wear it, they are a wonderful way to keep out the sun).
Lastly, we encourage parents to LABEL everything and toys & electronics need to stay at home.
The rest is provided by our staff and all that surrounds us!
How much food should I pack?
More than you would think, is the typical answer. We play hard outside and children get hungry. At least for the first day, pack more than you would for a typical school day and then talk to your child after camp to determine whether they need more or less. We’ve also noticed that children tend to need more food as the week progresses, so keep in touch with staff and your children to see how food supplies are doing.
Can my child bring a knife?
Yes. We believe that children have inherent competence. Children using knives will have to learn our unwavering rules around knife safety, which begins with the difference between a tool and weapon and that a knife, like words, can be used as both. We then go into how to create the space for using a knife and how to properly care for a knife. Lastly we show our participants how to safely carve. WYP counselors provide knives to participants, when carving projects are planned. We prefer locking blade and fixed blade knives for children as it creates more success in carving. Finally, if you are going to be sending a knife with your child, please let your counselor know, so that we are sure to be supervising how/when it is being used.
Can my child come for part of the session or split the session with a friend?
Usually, no. Part of the camp experience is forming a tight group that understands one another and works together (our core value of unity). Our days build on each other and end in celebration. We believe it is important to be able to attend all days of the camp, therefore we do not allow campers to attend only part of a camp. We also do not allow two children to split a two week camp, for many of the same reasons. Some exceptions can be made, however, so speak with our Registrar for further conversation regarding your specific need.
Program fees for summer camps are organized via sliding scale levels based on ability to pay.
- Program Fee: This is the actual cost of running the program for Wilderness Youth Project
- Scholarship Levels 1-6, Subsidy: For families that need financial assistance. Scholarship amounts are automatically calculated in our registration system based on the income/family size information you provide per the chart below.
If your family qualifies for a scholarship, and would like to pay above or below the amount shown for your preferred program in the “Price with Scholarship” column, you may enter a different amount on the “Review and Pay” page at the end of the registration process.
WYP has a limit of one session/week (School-year programs) or two weeks of camp (Summer camps), per child, with a scholarship below Scholarship Level 2. Additional sessions or weeks require payment of at least Scholarship Level 2.
Read even more on pricing.
Deeper Scholarship Request Policy: We are only able to grant deeper scholarships below Scholarship Level 2 for:
- up to two weeks of summer camp per child
- If a family would like to participate in more weeks of summer camp, they must pay at Scholarship Level 2.
- Each family must pay a minimum of $30/child/week.
Cancellations made 2 weeks before the start of camp will not be refunded, unless we can find a family to fill the vacant spot.*