Nature Studies 2020

We have reimagined our Nature Studies program this year! 

Nature Studies, our foundational program for 30 years, is usually an in-school program where we take an entire classroom on a walking field trip from school to explore the nearby forests and beaches and to participate in hands-on learning in the outdoor classroom. With most schools occurring online, we are looking forward to offering in person programming for students who are otherwise only in school via distance delivery. 

Here’s our Nature Studies 2020 program at a glance:

  • Small groups of 6-8 students mixed grades 1st-5th to accommodate siblings participating together
  • 3 hour long programs either 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm at school sites and neighborhood locations near you
  • Suggested full tuition of $20/child/session.  However, we proudly offer sliding-scale tuition.  If full tuition is not appropriate for your family right now, simply enter the amount you’d like to pay, per child 
  • We’ll be focused on a theme for each month, so students at this time may only enroll for one program per month. September’s theme is Signs of Autumn! October’s is Decomposition!
  • Students should come prepared to spend the entire time outdoors in whatever the weather may be
  • We will follow our pandemic protocols which include: small groups, cloth face coverings, social distancing, and health screenings. More info on this is below in the description tab

See more details below, and please give us a call (907) 463-1500 or send an email info@discoverysoutheast.org if you have any questions. 

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Description

Discovery Southeast’s Nature Studies 2020 is an in person program for 1st-5th students in Juneau. Small groups of 4 to 8 children spend a few hours together discovering, learning, playing, and reconnecting with each other and our natural surroundings. Groups will meet directly at either a school or trailhead of the day and will carry all they need in their backpacks. This program is tied to our monthly take home curriculum packs and themes will rotate in conjunction with that program, and will be the guiding focus of the day program. September’s theme is Signs of Autumn: Seeds! Our themes will change with the seasons, here are some that we are preparing for fall and winter: Energy Cycles, Water & Weather, Signs of Winter, Tracking, Animal Adaptations and more. 

We are making adjustments in response to the current pandemic. We expect to continue to adjust as the year progresses and will update this page as we go. 

What should my child bring? 
  • In a daypack: A snack, water and warm layers
  • Please come to camp wearing a well-fitting, comfortable face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Having a dry spare on wet days is really nice!
  • Clothes for the weather… usually rain gear, boots, warm layers, and a change of clothes. *If these are hard to come by, just let us know; we may have clothing to loan or give.
How does tuition work?

Programs will primarily be 3 hours long for a suggested full tuition of $20/child/session.  However, we proudly offer sliding-scale tuition.  If full tuition is not appropriate for your family right now, simply enter the amount you’d like to pay, per child. 

Is there transportation? 

This year families are responsible for dropping off and picking up their child at the day’s trailhead or school site.  

If getting to or from the daily drop off location is a challenge for your family, please reach out to us by phone 463-1500 or email info@discoverysoutheast.org.

Can we sign up for multiple days?

This program has two options. The first program option is a one day session, the second is 2 sessions one week apart. In order to keep space available for many Juneau families, we ask that you register for one program/month. 

Will I ever get off the waitlist?

If a day is full, please do sign up on the waitlist, and there’s a good chance we can make it happen if a space becomes available.

What’s the paperwork?

After registering we have some important paperwork that includes Medical Information, Risk Acknowledgement, and Legal Waivers.  It’s all contained in our online Participant Agreement, which needs to be completed more than 7 days before the program starts. 

This year we’ll also require an online addendum specific to the pandemic.

(If you’d like to preview either form, you’re welcome to download a review pdf of the Participant Agreement, and a review pdf of the Pandemic Addendum.)

Registration is voluntary, so if you don’t agree with the terms there, please don’t register, and instead let us know at info@discoverysoutheast.org.

Can I cancel?
  • If you cancel more than 10 days in advance, there’s a $10 cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel 10 or fewer days in advance, a refund is only possible if we can fill your spot, and if so there’s still the $10 cancellation fee.
  • If you don’t submit a completed Participant Agreement within 7 days of the camp, or if a child is not allowed to participate due to behavior reasons, that is considered a cancellation 10 or fewer days in advance.
  • If your cancellation is due to a participant or household member experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, you can opt to be rescheduled for a later program day in lieu of a refund. 
What is Discovery doing for the coronavirus pandemic?

Many of the above details are new this year for the pandemic.  For additional discussion, you are welcome to read our blog post summarizing some considerations here. You can also review our protocols here

As described above, we will  have smaller groups.  We also will be minimizing supplies to avoid touching similar items, minimizing or totally avoiding group transportation, and supporting social distancing and mask-wearing. Campers will regularly be expected to wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth. Campers are expected to stay 6 ft apart from others outside their household during the whole day, and we will help them learn what 6 feet looks like. 

Those with symptoms of COVID-19, or living with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, will not be able to take part in camp. Upon arrival to camp each day, we will conduct a health screening of each participant. We will take the participant’s temperature with  no-touch thermometers as well as ask about any COVID-19 symptoms. We expect parents and children to answer these questions on a daily basis and let us know if anyone in their household develops symptoms of COVID-19. 

If the participant or anyone in their household has traveled, we expect families to be complying with the new health mandate requiring testing if traveling here from out of state.  We will be reliant on you and your family for your open communication about these things to keep our programs running.  

For the safety of our staff and other participants, we ask that you cover your face at drop off and pick up and maintain at least 6 ft from anyone outside of your household. We also remind you to practice social distancing even when you’re not at our program, to avoid large gatherings, and to keep a record of anyone you have come into close contact with.

What’s expected of my child?

Students are expected to follow directions from the adult Naturalists in order to keep them and the group safe. Any student unable to follow safety directions, especially with regard to our pandemic protocols may be asked to be picked up, stay home the next time, or to not return to our program. 

Nature Studies is possible thanks to a community of support.