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?

  • Parents and caregivers are welcome to join us for closing circle at the end of the day and at the end of a program (summer camp week or program series), we have an extended closing circle to which all family is 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, however, most children adjust very quickly after a parent leaves.


When is my payment due?

  • Summer Camp 2021 payments in full are due by April 30, and for payment plans this date is July 1.

  • Year-round program payments are due before programs starts, payment plans excepted.

  • 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 download our financial aid application here. It's a simple form operating on a trust basis and you will be asked how much you can afford. We generally offer up to 50% of program costs in financial aid.

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

  • Sassafras Repair Fund covers 100% of Wampanoag and Indigenous youth tuition. 

  • ALL participants (partially) funded through Sassafras are subject to a 90% 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, funding will be temporarily discontinued. This is in order to safeguard a fair use of our funds.

Do you accept payment plans?

Yes, our programs ask you to pay a deposit at registration (this can be less than $100) and the balance is due by july 1 for Summer Camp 2021, and before program start dates in general, unless we make other prior arrangements. If you would like a payment plan, please let us know and we will create agreement with you via email and invoice accordingly.

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 lose your $100 deposit.

  • Cancellations 30 days or more before the first program date (July 6 for Summer Camp 2020), will receive a full refund minus the non-refundable deposit).

  • Cancellations from 7 to 30 days before the first program date (July 6 for Summer Camp 2020), will receive a 50% program credit that is valid for one year, the other 50% balance is forfeited, minus the non-refundable deposit.

  • Cancellations less than 7 days prior to a program will receive no credit and no refund.

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

  • If your plans change and you like to switch weeks, you lose your $100 deposit also.


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.