Avery House Nature Center Camp Information for Parents
Camp Activity Focus
Outdoor nature exploration with hands on science every day that includes active games, experiments,
journaling, themed art projects, storytelling and multi-sensory nature fun! Students learn about the
environment through mysteries, discovering local species and handling live animals.
- Age 4: We have three Caterpillar Camps (Slimy Soil Science, Toxic Creatures and Time Travelers) that we allow 4
year old children to attend. They are grouped with campers ages 5-6. They can attend half day or full day. (9am – noon
- Ages 5-13: Based on the age range of campers enrolled we divide into three age groups (5-7, 8-10, 11-13). There
may be some variation depending on whether we have any older children, the majority of our enrollment is ages
5-10 except for the advanced camps, where the ages are 10-13.
Off-site locations: As noted in the camp descriptions many of our camps meet off site, away from Avery House.
Meaning you drop off and pick up at the listed location. We will provide maps of every off-site location. In most
cases we are at Avery House every Monday and Friday.
What to bring: Appropriate clothes and shoes and gear for the activities listed in their camp detail including but
not limited to: a labeled backpack with lunch, labeled water bottle, lots of snacks, shoes for biking/wading and
for walking, sunscreen, a hat, and bathing suit and an extra set of clothes to change into after getting wet if they
are doing water activities. A letter will be sent to all parents 2 weeks prior to camp listing all items needed,
itinerary and other important information.
Snack: We offer a small snack each morning – however please pack them additional snacks if it is something
they do not like. We try our best to offer allergy foods, however we cannot always accommodate allergies so
please pack them the foods they can eat.
Rafting: This is an optional choice for ages 9-13 for $40. This year we will raft the Willamette River led by Free
Spirit Journeys on Thursdays for the River Riders Camp (July 23-27) and Time Travelers (August 13-17).
Field Trips by Bus: We travel out of town to several parks and natural areas through First Student bus services.
On these days we need campers to arrive by 8:30 with all needed gear.
Bike Camp Frequently Asked Questions
If your camper is interested in any of our bike camps it is very important that you read and understand the following information.
Q: My child still rides with training wheels; can he/she attend camp?
A: Bikers who are not yet comfortable on two wheels may attend our Buzzing Bikers camp June 25-29. This camp and is open to bikers of all ability levels. This is the only biking camp that is available to bikers who are in the process of transitioning from training wheels to independent two wheel biking and currently independent two wheel bikers. Camp participants will be grouped according to their ability and comfort levels.
In order to accommodate beginners we can provide peddle free balance bikes or you can take training wheels and peddles off of your own bike. By the end of this camp we hope your biker will be confident and capable on two wheels and ready to roll into any of our other bike programs.
The following camps are only open to campers who are already capable and comfortable riding independently on a two wheel bike:
- July 16-20 Wildlife Cyclers
- July 23-27 River Riders
- Aug 6-10 Kinetic Energy Rollers
- Aug 20-24 Aquatic Bike Adventures
- Aug 20-24 Advanced WaterWheelin’ Adventures
- Aug 27-31 Adventure Camp (one day of biking)
Due to the trails and terrain that these camps will traverse there will be no training wheels or balance bikes permitted in these camps.
Q: What is a balance bike/peddle free bike?
A: A balance bicycle, or run bike is a training bicycle that helps children learn balance and steering. It has no pedals, no crankset and chain, and no training wheels. This is a safe transition from training wheels to independent biking.
Q: Do I need to provide a bike for my child attending a biking camp?
A: Yes, your child will need to come to camp with their own bike each day of bike camp. This insures that the child is familiar with and comfortable on the bike prior to camp.
We have a very limited ability to provide peddle free balance bikes during Earth Energy Cycle Camp only.
Q: Can I leave my child’s bike at Avery House while they are attending camp?
A: Yes, there is a possibility to store your child’s bike over night at Avery House; however, we cannot offer transport of bikes to and from field trip sites. If you plan to store a bike over night at Avery House, you must also plan to pick up and drop of the bike when trips are not beginning or ending at Avery House.
Q: What will my child learn about bike safety? What kind of safety precautions are taken?
A: Children will learn about roadways right of way traffic rules, the importance of visibility, basic bicycle care, and use of safety equipment such as properly adjusting and wearing a helmet.
All children wear high visibility shirts on bicycling trips that takes us near, on or along roadways. Additionally, Avery House has child sized reflective cycling vests available for purchase.
Multiple camp leaders are positioned along the group of campers always keeping one at the head and one at the end of the line.
Q: What kind of foot wear should my child wear while biking?
A: Every camper should be wearing close-toed sneakers unless otherwise noted by the camp instructor. Campers may not wear crocs, flip-flops or other unsecured open-toed shoes while biking.
Q: What should my child bring each day to bike camp?
A: Every camper should come with a labelled backpack with the following labeled items:
- One or two full water bottles. Check and double check for leaks.
- If possible a water bottle holder/cage on bike
- Extra socks
- A light weight layer just in case the wind gets chilly or wet
If your child is an independent biker they should also be comfortable biking while wearing their backpack as we are on the move!