FAQ

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

 

I love your camp but I worry about the ticks.

Yes, ticks are a real hazard to Martha’s Vineyard when you spend time outside. However, with the right precaution, you can still enjoy the outdoors. We recommend that you download and read our tick policy letter for your child’s safety. 

What to wear? 

Weather appropriate clothing that includes the following:

  • In winter full body snowsuits, snow boots (no sneakers), wool socks (no cotton socks), gloves, and hats. Wear multiple layers that include wool (preferred) or fleece are a must, and please note that cotton is a poor choice as it attracts moisture.

  • Sturdy shoes are a must, even in summer flip flops and crocs are a poor choice. During water weeks and days, water shoes are needed.

  • In spring and fall, if there is any chance of rain, please bring a rain suit (in summer raincoats is suffices)

  • In summer we recommend long-sleeved t-shirts, lightweight long pants, and lightweight (light-colored) socks to protect you from ticks. A hat to protect you from the sun and ticks is also recommended. 

  • Label your child’s gear so we can help return lost items.

What to bring and leave at home?

  • For day programs (6 hrs), your child will need a nutritious lunch (NO candy), a snack and a full water bottle.

  • In the case of potential rain, be sure to bring a raincoat and rain pants.

  • In winter, pack an extra pair of wool socks.

  • Sassafras is an unplugged environment, please leave all phones, electronics, and watches at home. Same for toys, cards and other things that may distract your child from being in a relationship with nature.

What about “bad” weather and weather cancellations?

  • Sassafras programs continue in most weather conditions but there are some exceptions. We may cancel due to hazardous driving, extreme cold or icy, or other unsafe conditions. We will notify you via email if a program is canceled, and if it’s due to the weather, we will do our best to reschedule.

  • For weekday programs (Forest Kindergarten), we follow suit with the school system during the year. That means if there is no school, there is no Sassafras,  if there is a delay in school, we do too.

What are your knife usage and knife safety protocols?

You can download our knife policy here

Can I join my child in the program?

  • In general we do not invite parents to programs.

  • Due to the pandemic parents and family members are currently not invited to join us onto the land.

  • In the past, parents and caregivers have been welcomed to join us for closing circle at the end of the day. At the end of a program (summer camp week or program series), we have offered an extended closing circle to which all family was invited.

  • Sassafras also offers family programming and community events.

  • Some younger children are challenged by a leaving parent. We are okay with parents staying for a few extra minutes. In our experience, most children adjust very quickly after a parent leaves and we encourage a prompt exit to benefit group dynamics.

REGISTRATION & FINANCES

When is my payment due?

  • Summer Camp 2022 payments in full are due upon registration. Payment plans are due as agreed with each family. All first payments are due upon registration, Financial Aid recipients included. Exceptions can be made upon your request via email.

  • Year-round program payments are due before program onset. All first payments for payment plans and financial aid recipients are due before program onset.

  • Note that if you cancel or fail to show up for any program, you are responsible for payment in full.

How do I apply for financial aid?

  • No child is turned away from Sassafras for lack of funds, Our financial aid fund is limited and we ask you to please consider a spread payment plan, before applying for financial aid.

  • You can request Financial Aid on our registration form. We will follow up with a simple application form that needs to be completed for your registration to be final. Sassafras generally offers up to 50% of program costs in financial aid and will ask you how much you can afford.

  • If you need more than 50% aid, please email us and you will be asked to provide additional information.

  • Sassafras Repair Fund is optional and covers 100% of Wampanoag and BIPOC youth tuition. 

  • ALL participants (partially) funded through Sassafras are subject to an 80% attendance requirement (unforeseen family or health circumstances expected and these require prior communication).

  • In the event a family does not comply after our repeated reminders, your registration will be in jeopardy and funding will be temporarily discontinued. This is in order to safeguard a fair use of our funds.

Do you accept payment plans?

Yes, you can indicate wanting a payment plan on our registration form. You will be sent an e-invoice to make your first payment required to complete your registration. We offer either 2 or 4 installments and final payments are due as agreed and never past June 1 for Summer Camp and before program onset for year-round programs. Families can request other arrangements, however if we do not hear from you we will assume the above.

What is your cancellation policy?

  • Our cancellation policy is based on our planning, which includes securing staff and other resources. If you cancel, we incur the same expenses.

  • Canceling for any program at any time means that you will forfeit at least $100.

  • Summer Camp cancellations will receive a refund of program tuition minus $100 provided we can find a replacement.

  • If your plans change and you like to switch weeks in Summer Camp you forfeit $100.

  • Once a program has started you are responsible for paying your remaining balance regardless of attendance.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

What about phones?

  • Sassafras is an unplugged environment, meaning we ask all parents, teens, and youth to leave cell phones, electronics, and watches at home or in your car.

  • Exceptions are for staff and for camp use only. Staff is asked to keep cellphone usage to a bare minimum and away from participants and youth.

  • Exceptions can be made for certain medical conditions (for example diabetes) that require regular monitoring.

Have any other questions? Click here to contact us.