Frequently Asked Questions
What Should My Child Wear?
Our programs are all-outdoors. Your child must come dressed to be comfortable in whatever weather is forecasted for the day. Though we will likely take shelter in the event of heavy rain or snow, it’s just as likely they will be out in the rain. Any child who arrives in the morning without proper clothing will not be allowed to attend that day. Below is a list of appropriate outdoor clothing, but if you’re unsure please ask us.
Sturdy, close-toed shoes that can get wet and very dirty (no flip flops).
Raingear or poncho if significant rain is in the forecast.
Comfortable clothes that can get very dirty.
COLD WEATHER CLOTHES: When the outdoor temperature is regularly dropping below 55˚F (mid-Fall through mid-Spring) it is necessary that children have clothing that will keep them both warm AND dry. Add a bit of rain to a cold day and, if your children are not appropriately dressed, there is a very real risk of hypothermia. Appropriate cold weather clothes include the following items…
Waterproof rain/mud boots
Wool Socks(plus and extra pair in their backpack in case the first get wet)
Wool or synthetic Long Johns(thermal underwear), top and bottom
Rain coat AND rain pants, or rain poncho
Wool or synthetic hat that will cover the ears
Warm mittens or gloves
NOTE: Cotton clothing can be dangerous on very cold and wet days and should be avoided in those instances. Cotton is totally fine and appropriate for mild sunny days, but can quickly wick heat from the body when cold and wet, even when the ambient temperature is well above freezing. Wool and synthetic materials are much better at keeping children warm.
What Do We Need to Pack?
Please send the following items with your child in a small backpack. DO NOT send your child with a bag on wheels or a satchel they have to carry over one shoulder – due to the nature of how we spend our days (moving across the land, often off-trail), these lead to unhappy children, unhappy groups, and unhappy staff.
- FULL 1 liter water bottle.
- Sack lunch.
- Mid-morning or afternoon snack.
- Personal supply of sun block if appropriate for the weather.
- Bug repellant if desired (herbal based, as opposed to DEET-based, is strongly encouraged).
- Extra pair of dry socks
What NOT to Pack:
- A change of clothes – extra layers/rain-gear are fine if necessary but please do not pack a change of clothes for after camp in their backpack. Keep these, and/or garbage bags for your muddy child to sit on, in your car.
- Extra items of any sort. We will be covering a fair bit of ground on foot each day, and heavy backpacks become a challenge for all. Bring what you need and need what you bring.
- Sandals or other open-toed shoes.
- A knife(unless it has been cleared by their instructor before hand).
What are Your Behavioral & Discipline Policies?
With the goal of providing a learning environment that is safe and supportive, both physically and emotionally, we have developed this short list of Community Agreements. These agreements are one of the first things we discuss with the children on our first day of each program:
Safety: both for yourself and others
Respect: for yourself, other people, plants and wildlife
Participate: give every activity at least a try before deciding whether or not you want to continue
Once all the children understand the importance of each of these and have agreed to abide by them, we then explain the consequences if they choose to break any of these agreements:
1st time: a verbal reminder(“Remember our agreement about Safety?”)
2nd time: sit out(3-5 minutes) to cool off and think about the agreement
3rd time: sit out again, this time with an Instructor, to talk about why they are having difficulty keeping their agreement. At this point one of the instructors will also communicate with the parents at pick-up or via phone call to discuss the child’s behavior and work together to develop a strategy for helping their child keep their agreements.
The final two consequences are shared with the child once they’ve reached 3 times:
4th time: on returning to the program the next week, if the child again breaks the agreement 4 times an instructor will again communicate with the parents and the child will be asked to take a day off of the program.
5th time: on returning after their day off, if the child again breaks the agreements their parents will be asked to remove their child from the program for the season, with no refund provided.
What is Your Refund Policy?
One of the major factors contributing to the power of our programs are the incredibly passionate and skilled mentors we are fortunate enough to have at Forest Floor. In order to secure these top-notch individuals and keep them coming back season after season, we do our best to provide a fair wage and guaranteed work for the season. So, to provide that security to our instructors while also providing your children with an amazing experience that costs less than most day cares, its necessary for us to maintain a very clear Financial Agreement & Refund Policy.
Refund Policy: Up to 30 days before the first day of the program a full refund(minus the non-refundable deposit) is available. Between 30 days and the first day of the program, a 50% refund is available. Beginning on the first day of the program, no refunds are available, and no substitutions or transfers will be considered.
Once a child has started the program we require full payment of tuition, even if your child misses any program days or is for any reason removed from the program before it ends. If your family is making monthly payments you will be expected to make the remaining payments as if your child were still attending.
Non-Refundable Deposit: The $100 deposit supplied upon completion of online registration is non-refundable. If full-tuition is paid upon completion of online registration, $100 of that full payment becomes the $100 deposit. This deposit covers administrative expenses that occur even if a registration is ultimately canceled.
What is Your COVID Cancellation & Refund Policy?
A family is eligible for either: (1) a full refund if the cancellation occurs before the start of the program; or (2) a pro-rated refund for any unattended program days; under the following conditions:
- Forest Floor cancels any programs due to COVID-19 or the Sars-Cov-2(novel coronavirus) pandemic.
- A family needs to cancel because they are adversely impacted by COVID-19 (job loss, illness, caring for sick family members, etc.)
AND in the event of cancellation (either on our part or yours), if you are in a position to donate your registration as a scholarship it would be a huge help to both Forest Floor and families in need.
Our standard cancellation & refund policy will apply for all non-COVID related cancellations.
COVID Safety Policies
Our COVID-19 safety policy is based primarily on pre-screening and monitoring. It is our current position that the single largest preventative factor at our programs is the fact that we are open-air and outdoors(with the exception of van travel).
Pre-Screening and Monitoring
- We will take every child’s temperature each morning upon arrival. If any child registers a fever (thermometer reading of 100.4˚F or higher) or are showing any signs of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) we will not allow them to attend. If during the program day a child displays signs or symptoms of illness they will be separated from other students and parents contacted to pick them up.
- All staff will be self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. If they develop symptoms, they will notify their supervisor and stay home. Any staff person who develops symptoms of illness during the work day will be separated from students and other staff and sent home ASAP.
- While on Haw Creek Commons property(NOT our forested Shope Creek program location), everyone ages 3 and up are required by the owners of the property to wear a mask anytime they are less than 6 feet from another person.
- While in vans all students and staff are required to wear masks for the duration of the trip.
- At our Shope Creek Wilderness location children will not be required to wear masks, but will be fully supported if they choose to do so.
- Staff will wear a mask anytime they are less than 2 feet from another person.
- Children will wash or sanitize hands each day immediately upon arrival and throughout the day.
- Children are asked to carry a personal supply of hand sanitizer and will be asked to use it before and after activities that could result in cross-contamination.
We will do our best to fully support any child or staff who self-selects for more restrictive social distancing or mask wearing than the policies outlined above.