Summer Science Camp FAQ

Please see below for a list of FAQ’s.

If the below does not answer your question please contact: Cassy Jo Brown at 970.827.9725 x114

Walking Mountains is launching a new registration system for the summer of 2024!

We will be using Smart Rec, which is the same system that local recreation centers use for their camps. We are hopeful that this will be familiar to most families in the valley and that it will improve the user experience during summer camp registration.

Our summer camp capacity has not changed, so camp spaces will still be limited! We encourage families to only pick a few summer camps per child so that more youth have the opportunity to attend.

Starting February 1 – Scholarship Applications Accepted
Scholarship applications are accepted February 1-26.

Apply for a 2024 summer scholarship

Starting February 14 – Fill Out Required Camp Forms

If you are interested in registering for Walking Mountains Summer Science Camp, you will need to create an account and add the youth that you plan to register for camp, which includes filling out required online forms.

Instructions for Creating Your Account and Filling Out Forms:

  1. Click here to access the Walking Mountains Summer Camp registration page.
  2. Click on Summer Science Camp > Required Summer Camp Forms > Adult and Camper Forms > Add Session Icon
  3. You will be prompted to log in to your Smart Rec account or “Create an Account.” If you have registered for local programs with Mountain Rec, or Vail Rec, you may already have an account.
  4. Once logged in, use the “add another person” button to add multiple adults and children to your account.
  5. Select the youth and guardians, then proceed to checkout, where you will be prompted to fill out the required forms.
  6. You will receive an invoice via email confirming you filled out the required forms. Please note this does not guarantee you a spot in a camp.  
    • If you are eligible for early registration: Walking Mountains Staff will review your forms. Before March 5, you will receive an email from notifying you that a skill has been added to your account. This indicates that you are approved for early registration on March 5 @ 6:00pm (if you don’t receive this email before early registration, or you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Cassy Jo, at 
    • If you are registering during open registration: Once your forms have been completed, you will be ready to select camps right when they go on sale during open registration, March 26 @ 6:00pm. If you have not filled out your forms ahead of time, you can still register on March 26 @ 6:00pm, but it will take you longer.

Starting March 5 @ 6:00 pm MST – Early Registration

Camp forms must be completed by the end of the day March 4th to register when early registration opens.

Early registration is reserved for:
Summer Camp scholarship recipients: One camp per child for income-qualified families.
Walking Mountains after-school program participants: Applicable for Girls in Science and STEM Hut Trips only.
Walking Mountains current donors at the $5,000 and above level: Those donating $5,000 or more from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.
If you qualify for early registration, Walking Mountains staff will be reaching out to you via email with more information.

Starting March 26 @ 6:00 pm MST – Open Registration

Fill out camp forms before March 26th @ 6:00 pm to register right when open registration goes live.

Summer Camp Cancellation Policy:
1. Refunds will be issued in the same manner that payment was made.
2. 100% of tuition paid, minus transaction fees and a $25 cancellation fee per camper, will be refunded if notice is received prior to April 30, 2024.
3. 50% of tuition paid will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received after April 30, 2023 and prior to within 14 days of session start.
4. Cancellations received within 14 days of session start date are not eligible for refunds.
5. Cancellation requests due to illness or accident prior to the camp session start date require a physician’s written verification. Upon receipt of verification, we will issue a full refund, minus transaction fees and a $25 cancellation fee.
6. Refunds will not be issued for missed days within a session.
7. Campers sent home for disciplinary reasons will not receive a refund.

Scholarship applications will be accepted from February 1st-26th.
Apply for a Summer Science Camp Scholarship

Priority Criteria for Scholarship Awards:
1. 80% of Eagle County Area Median Income
2. Eagle County Workforce
3. Scholarship applications received between February 1st-26th, 2024

Walking Mountain’s Scholarship Committee prioritizes scholarship awards based on the criteria listed above, but if you are in need of a scholarship and do not fit the criteria, we still encourage you to apply.

If you are selected for a summer camp scholarship, you will be notified via email with instructions on how to register for one camp per child.
Required summer camp forms must be filled out in SmartRec to be able to successfully register.

If a camp spot becomes available, everyone on the waitlist for that camp will receive an email from Smart Rec to notify them of the open camp spot. Camp spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

For Weeklong Day Camps at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon and at Brush Creek Elementary School in Eagle:
Drop off is Monday-Friday between 8:30-9:00 am.
Pick up is Monday-Thursday between 4:00-4:30 pm. Fridays pick-up is at 3:00 sharp.

For Earth Explorers Day Camps at the Science Center in Avon:
Drop off is between 8:30-9:00 am.
Pick up is Monday-Thursday between 4:00-4:30 pm. All campers must be picked up by 4:30 pm.

For Overnight Camps at The Science Center in Avon:
Drop off is between 8:30-9:00 am on the first day of camp.
Pick-up is at 3:00 sharp on the last day of camp.

Drop off and pick up locations:
Avon Camps, Overnight Hut Trips, and Earth Explorers Camps:
Walking Mountains Science Center – Walking Mountains Science Center (318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620)

Eagle Camps:
Brush Creek Elementary School (333 Eagle Ranch Road, Eagle, CO 81631)

Avon Camps
When arriving at Walking Mountains Science Center, proceed slowly up the driveway located behind Buck Creek Medical Plaza. You may stay in your vehicle, and camp staff will direct you to your camper’s drop off location (either at the Visitor’s Center or the Center for Sustainability). When in the pick up or drop off line, please do not pull around other vehicles to ensure safety for all campers and staff. If you would like to park and walk your camper to their classroom, you can park in the lower or upper parking lots. If walking your camper, please only utilize the gravel pathways. Do not walk your camper down the asphalt driveway as there is a blind corner. When you arrive at your pick up or drop off location, camp staff will sign your camper in or out.

Eagle Camps
At Brush Creek Elementary school, please park in the staff lot to drop off campers, or stay in your car to drop off from the bus drop off line. You will see Walking Mountains staff in front of the school by the staff parking lot when you arrive. They will check your campers in and show them to their camp groups.

If your camper is in an Earth Explorers Camp, they will not be traveling during camp and will stay on the Avon campus of Walking Mountains Science Center for the whole day.

If your camper is signed up for any of our Weeklong Day Camps, they will be traveling in 15-passenger vans to different USFS hiking trails, Eagle County Open Spaces, BLM sites, parks or playgrounds, and sometimes businesses or museums.

If your camper is signed up for an Overnight Hut Trip, they will be traveling in 15-passenger vans to a 10th Mountain Division Hut for a two night hut trip.

While most of the places we travel to are within Eagle County, we do go as far as Leadville, Glenwood, and McCoy to access sites with relevance to certain camps. A week prior to camp, you will receive an email with the specific site locations your camper will be traveling to. When you drop off your camper on the first day of camp, you will receive a camp agenda which includes a finalized list of the sites your camper will be traveling to, as well as their topics and activities for each day.

In accordance with Colorado State Law, If your camper is under 8 years old, they must bring a booster seat or car seat to camp with them for both Weeklong Day Camps and for Overnight Hut Trips. If your camper has a car seat that requires more set up than a booster seat, you must set the car seat up in the van for them upon dropping them off on their first camp day of the week.

Please notify one of our camp staff if you have a car seat that you need to set up and they will direct you to the location of the van for set up, as well as if you need to take it home with you after camp each day.

Please make sure your camper’s name is written on their booster seat or car seat to avoid it getting misplaced!

Our two-day Earth Explorers camps run with up to 10 campers and 2 Walking Mountains instructors. There may occasionally be a high school intern or volunteer helping out with Earth Explorers programs as a third instructor.

Our weeklong camps run with up to 13 campers and 2 Walking Mountains instructors.

Overnight hut trips run with up to 10 campers and 2 Walking Mountains instructors.

Walking Mountains Summer Camps are divided by the grade that campers will be entering in the fall. We offer K/1st, 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th-9th grade camps. Our camp curriculum and activities are intentionally designed to be age appropriate. We have found that dividing our camps in this way creates the best camp experiences for both campers and staff. This division also allows campers to attend Walking Mountains camps every summer without repeating the same camp.

We discourage having campers in camps that do not match the grade they are entering in the fall even if it’s a family member or close friend. We reserve the right to cancel and refund your camp registration if the camper is not registered for the correct grade level camp. If you feel there is an outstanding circumstance in which a camper needs to be placed in a camp outside of their grade level, please contact Cassy Jo Brown, Summer Programs Manager, directly.

Walking Mountains Summer Science Camps are taught by qualified professionals who are graduate students pursuing their Masters of Natural Science Education through our Foley Graduate Fellowship, as well as qualified Walking Mountains staff with extensive backgrounds in leadership, outdoor recreation, and natural science education. All camp instructors are Wilderness First Responders. Most importantly, our staff are passionate about connecting campers with nature, exploring outside, and having fun!

Every camper enrolled in a Walking Mountains camp receives one free camp T-shirt! Additional camp T-shirts can be purchased at the front desk of the Visitor Center on our Avon campus.

We offer Earth Explorers day camps for youth that will be going into Kindergarten or 1st Grade in the fall. These two-day camps stay on the Walking Mountains Science Center campus in Avon. Earth Explorers runs Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Earth Explorers camps are offered in two-day packages and different themes are offered for each package. Campers will sign up for a Monday and Wednesday camp or a Tuesday and Thursday camp.

There are other programs we offer for younger preschool children at Walking Mountains Science Center, such as EarthKeepers, which is on Tuesday and Saturday mornings for youth between 3-5 years old. Click here to learn more about our Preschool programs.

Walking Mountains Summer Camp Essential Eligibility Criteria:
Walking Mountains Science Center believes that equity, inclusion, and cultural relevance are foundational values of a just world and sustainable future. We cultivate an equitable culture for staff and community members that embraces differences and offers respect in both words and actions for all people. We promote an inclusive culture where any individual or group feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and share their lived experiences. Walking Mountains acknowledges that historically underrepresented populations exist and are disproportionately affected by social and environmental problems. We commit to taking intentional steps to establish accessible, relevant opportunities for all groups.

Walking Mountains works hard to provide summer camps that are developmentally appropriate for participants based on the grade level they are entering in the fall of the upcoming season. Guardians receive a camp agenda on the first day of camp with specifics on the activities their camper will be engaging in, but you can contact Cassy Jo, Summer Programs Manager, if you need to know more about specific activities that will take place during a given camp.

Walking Mountains works to accommodate a wide range of abilities in programming. During summer camp, we will make reasonable accommodations for participants to create an accessible learning environment whenever appropriate and feasible. Please reach out to Cassy Jo, Summer Programs Manager, at least two weeks prior to camp if you have any questions about accessibility or if your camper requires accommodations to find out what is possible.

All Walking Mountains summer camp instructors have their Wilderness First Responder Certification. They are expected to respond to basic medical emergencies within the scope of their training and in accordance with Walking Mountain’s Risk Management Plan. Please look at our Medication Policies and Management Criteria to decide with your child’s doctor if your child can participate in our summer camps.

Medication Management–
If your camper will be bringing medication to camp with them, you must fill out a medication management form. This can be done in Amilia during camp registration or can be filled out in person upon drop off on your camper’s first day of camp.

A Medication Management Plan needs to include the following information:
1. Prescription/Name of Medication
2. Dosage
3. # of Times Taken per Day
4. Time Medication Needs to be Taken

Walking Mountains Medication Policies:
Medications– If campers need to bring medications to summer camp, parent/guardians must give labeled medications along with a Medication Management Plan detailing administration instructions and dosages to their camper’s instructors. Walking Mountains instructors should carry medications with them during camp and ensure that medications are administered following the instructions on the Medication Management Plan. It is the responsibility of the instructor to return any remaining medication to parents/guardians at the end of the camp day or week.

Epi Pens and Allergies– At least one summer camp instructor per camp is required to carry an epi-pen or Auvi-Q (which is outfitted in Walking Mountains provided backcountry first aid kits) while teaching summer camp to use in anaphylactic emergencies.

  • If a camper comes to camp with their own epi-pen, it is the responsibility of the camper to keep it with them during camp. Camper guardians should communicate with camp staff that their child is carrying their own epi-pen, and the camp instructor should know where the camper’s epi pen is located for the purpose of an emergency.
  • If an epi-pen is needed in an emergency situation, it is preferred that the camper’s epi-pen is administered, either by the camper themselves (if they feel comfortable and competent) or by the camp instructor with the highest medical training. In the event that staff can’t find the camper’s epi-pen or it is difficult to access in a timely manner, summer staff should administer the epi-pen or Auvi-Q provided in Walking Mountain’s backcountry first aid kits.
  • In the event that the camper’s guardian has asked a summer camp staff to carry the camper’s epi-pen for them or the camper is using their epi-pen in inappropriate manners, the camp instructor may carry the camper’s epi-pen for the day. The camper should still be aware of where their epi-pen is being kept by the instructor. Camp staff must return the camper’s epi-pen to the camper or their guardian at the end of the camp day.
  • Camper guardians are required to fill out allergy information for their camper during camp registration. This information is provided to summer camp staff via their roster. Rosters must be kept with camper staff while the camp is in session. It is the responsibility of camp staff to be aware of their group’s allergies and assist campers in managing their allergen exposure.

Insulin Dependent Diabetes– Walking Mountains instructors are not qualified to administer insulin to campers (it is outside the scope of their medical training). Campers who are dependent on insulin must be able to administer and manage their insulin on their own. If a camper is unable to manage their own insulin, their parent/guardian may be able to work with the instructor to schedule times throughout the day to administer insulin for the camper depending on the camp type and camp schedule. Campers with diabetes on overnight hut trips need to come to camp with a sick day plan for instructors to follow in case evacuation is needed.

WMSC Summer Camp Behavior Policy:
Upon the first occurrence of inappropriate behavior from a camper that is not deemed significantly unsafe, a 4-step process will be enacted by WMSC staff:

Step 1: The instructor will explain to the camper why their behavior was not appropriate and let them know that the consequence of repeating the behavior will be notifying their guardian at the end of camp.

Step 2: If the camper repeats the same behavior, instructors will let them know that their guardian will be talked to after camp and a behavior sheet will be sent home.

Step 3: If the camper repeats the behavior before the end of the day after knowing their guardian will be talked to, the youth programs manager and/or director will be contacted, and the guardian may get a call during camp.

Step 4: After trying methods recommended by the guardian, if the behavior is still continuing, it is at the instructor’s discretion to decide if they want to continue working on the behavior with the camper and their guardian, or if they need to be sent home from camp. This may be for the rest of the day, or for the duration of camp depending on the severity.

Significantly unsafe behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • A camper hitting, kicking, or otherwise exhibiting intentional physical aggression towards another camper or staff member
  • A camper verbally abusing another camper or staff member
  • A camper running away from the rest of the group in the wilderness or into unsafe environments
  • A camper engaging in inappropriate sexual displays or acts towards another camper or staff member
  • A camper physically harming themselves

Depending on the severity and risk of these instances, campers will either get one chance to correct the behavior, or the camper’s guardian will get a call and they will be sent home immediately.

Please contact:
Cassy Jo Brown | Summer Programs Manager | 970.827.9725×114

If you need assistance in Spanish, please contact:
Estefania Godoy | Bilingual Marketing and Outreach Coordinator | 970.827.9725×131

Edgar Tellez Soto | EVOM Coordinator