Registration is done online. We cannot take registrations by phone or email. If this is your first year attending camp, you will need to create a login and password. We accept Mastercard or Visa, American Express or check. Checks must be mailed within 2 weeks of registration. You may also apply for financial aid through the system.
What age and grades does your camp serve?
Youth ages 4-5 who have not yet attended kindergarten
Youth ages 6-8
Youth ages 9-12
Youth ages 13-14
A teen volunteer program for youth ages 15-18 (application required)
What is your cancellation policy?
For cancellation at least thirty days prior to camp, a full refund minus a non-refundable deposit of $40 per cancelled camp program will be provided and $10 per cancelled aftercare program. For cancellation between 14 and 29 days prior to camp, a 50% refund of all fees will be provided. For cancellation less than two weeks prior to camp, or non-completion of camp, no refund will be provided.
I signed my child up with a sibling/friend, will they be in the same group at camp?
At the time of registration, you may request that one friend or sibling be assigned to the same camp group. We will always do our best to honor your request, but please understand that we can never guarantee two campers will be grouped together. If the campers are more than a year apart, they will most likely be in separate groups.
Fir and Cedar camp groups start the day together and often play large group games together. So even if your camper and their sibling/friend are not in the same group, they will have a chance to socialize and support each other every day.
For privacy reasons, we are not allowed to share all information that influences the formation of our camp groups. We ask for your patience and respect around this potentially sensitive subject.
Are scholarships available?
Yes. Financial assistance is available on a first come, first serve basis to those who qualify. Aid can cover between 10-85% of the camp cost.
In our online registration form, there will be an opportunity to apply for financial aid by self-reporting your household income and the number of people supported by it. In the registration form you will also find instructions about how to reserve a space in camp free of charge while you wait to hear back about your financial aid application.
If you qualify for financial assistance we will adjust your cost accordingly. If we can’t offer enough aid, you can cancel the camp with no cancellation fee.
What is the Tax ID or EIN number for camp? I need it to fill out some tax forms.
The University of Washington Botanic Gardens Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-6001537
Should I send my child to multiple weeks of Summer Camp?
Our camp programs are structured as weekly sessions with three different thematic curricula offered to each age group. Because the three thematic curricula remain the same throughout the summer, we strongly discourage signing up for any theme more than once in a summer. This increases engagement and makes for a better experience for all! Due to the structure of Hemlock Camp, campers may only sign up for one week of The Amazing Nature Race.
Will my child be with the same instructor every week?
Not necessarily. Our instructors rotate through ages groups throughout the summer. There is frequent collaboration between summer camp staff every week which allows campers time to interact with instructors other than their own group leader for the week.
DROP OFF/PICK UP
Where am I supposed to park?
Parking at the Washington Park Arboretum can be difficult, especially during the summer months. The nearest parking to the Summer Camp check-in station is at the Graham Visitors Center. If this lot is full, parking can be found in graveled lots along Foster Island Drive and the summer camp overflow parking along Arboretum Drive just south of the Visitors Center (map of summer camp parking).
Please help us protect the safety of our campers and all park visitors by:
Parking only in designated parking stalls, our gravel lots on Foster Island Drive, or in summer camp overflow parking. Fire lanes, vendor loading zones, and trails must be unobstructed at all times.
Not parking on the shoulder of Arboretum Drive. Please keep all wheels on the pavement to protect tree roots and grass.
Observing the speed limit of 5-10 mph while on Arboretum Drive. We share the road with pedestrians who may not expect to see a vehicle.
What time and where is morning drop off?
8:45-9:00am at the Greenhouse near the Graham Visitors Center (2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle)
What time is pick up?
Alder Camp: 1-1:10pm*
Fir, Cedar, and Hemlock Camp: 2:45-3:10pm**
Aftercare pick up: 3:10-5pm*
*Late pick-ups are subject to fees as described in the family handbook
** Campers not picked up during this window will be automatically enrolled in aftercare at $16 per day
Does Arboretum summer camp have before and/or after care options?
Yes, for Fir, Cedar, and Hemlock camps only. Before care begins at 7:30am and after care ends promptly at 5pm. Camper pick-ups after 5pm incur fines. See the Summer Camp Handbook for more information about cost and how to sign up.
Do you have extended care options for Alder camp?
No, we do not offer before or after care for Alder camp (preschool age).
I'm picking up my child for aftercare, where will they be?
Unless posted otherwise on the Greenhouse door, aftercare will take place in the “Bee Meadow” which lies about 30 yards directly south (behind) the Greenhouse. We will post a map on the Greenhouse door as well as the number for the camp cell phone if you can’t find us!
What do I do if my child needs to be dropped off late or picked up early, like for a dentist appointment?
Because the Arboretum is large and our camps explore it extensively, it can take a significant amount of time to move individual campers to and from their groups. If you are picking up or dropping off outside of the drop off and pick up windows a $15 fee will be charged UNLESS you do so at lunch/recess in Crabapple Meadow. No fee will be charged during this mid-day time when all of our Alder, Fir, and Cedar* campers are in one location together. Please let us know to expect you at morning drop off or call the camp cell phone.
Drop Off Window
Pick Up Window
Alder Camp: 4-5 year olds
Fir and Cedar Camps: 6-12 year olds
Hemlock Camp: 13-14 year olds
*Because Hemlock Camp frequently operates off site, we are only able to accommodate late drop-offs and early pick-ups under very limited circumstances. Contact us for more information if you are in a bind.
Can my child sign themselves out after camp and walk home?
Only legal guardians of Hemlock Campers (youth ages 13-14) may complete and submit a release form to allow their camper to sign themselves in and out of camp on their own. Campers under the age of 13 are not allowed to sign themselves out regardless of where they live.
Is your camp nut-free?
Yes. We take food allergies very seriously band are a peanut and nut free camp. We also never allow food sharing.
My child has allergies, asthma or medications, what do we need to know/do?
During the registration process, we will ask you to identify health conditions such as these. We will contact you for further information where needed. Please contact us if you would like to provide additional information or have any questions (206-685-8033, or email@example.com). All staff are certified in First Aid and trained in how to administer epinephrine auto-injectors and inhalers.
Does camp have potable water available?
Yes. We do have a potable drinking water sink in the Greenhouse available for campers to fill up their water bottle throughout the day but there are no drinking fountains in the park.
Does camp provide sunscreen?
No. We ask that all campers come in the morning with sunscreen already applied. We also ask that all families provide sunscreen for their campers to re-apply throughout the day.
If this presents a hardship for your family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance!
Can you accommodate neurodiverse campers, differently-abled campers, and campers with special needs?
Our highest priority is providing a safe and positive experience to all campers in our care. Experience shows that successful participation in Arboretum Summer Camp requires the ability to do the following, with appropriate guidance from staff:
Understand and follow directions of staff
Maintain proper nutrition and hydration
Communicate needs and concerns to staff
Refrain from abusive behaviors (physical or verbal) toward self and others
Identify and avoid health/safety risks
Adapt to a positive environment, with very little downtime from others
Maneuver rugged terrain and distances
Participate fully in all scheduled activities and programs
Follow a varied individual schedule and manage free time
Demonstrate social and emotional skills in managing stress and conflict
Assume responsibility for personal hygiene
Contribute to the positive community and spirit of Arboretum Summer Camp
Arboretum Summer Camp endeavors to accommodate children with special needs—within the limitations of our resources, natural surroundings, minimalistic facilities, staff ratios, and program standards—while preserving the nature of the camp experience for all campers. We are not able to provide an attendant (one-on-one staff member) to address a camper’s personal needs, nor can we accommodate medical conditions or impairments requiring treatment beyond the scope of our staff’s First Aid/CPR certifications. Please let us know in the medical form any special needs your child might have.
Can you accommodate English Language Learners at Arboretum Summer Camp?
Our highest priority is providing a safe and positive experience to all campers in our care. Safe and successful participation in Arboretum Summer Camp requires the ability to do the following, with appropriate guidance from staff:
Understand and follow directions of staff
Communicate needs and concerns to staff
Some of our staff may have previous experience working with English Language Learners in an education setting while some may not—but all will have basic training in teaching techniques that support English Language learning campers.
Air Quality at UW Botanic Gardens Summer Camp
We take the health and safety of our campers very seriously. Adjustments to our programs will be made to ensure that our campers are safe if air quality decreases in our area because of wildfires. Like weather events, poor air quality is beyond our control. Programming location and activities will be impacted when air quality is at unsafe levels to be outside for extended periods of time.
We will decide whether or not to cancel a program based on our judgment of the safety of running our program according to the information and resources we have access to at the time. We acknowledge and respect that families each have unique needs and levels of comfort. We encourage families to make the attendance decisions that are right for them.
Camp cancellation is rare. If camp is cancelled for any reason, we will do our best to make fair compensation for families by offering make ups or spaces in future programs. If camp is being offered in an alternate location and/or with alternate activities, we are not able to offer any refunds, make-ups, or credits to families who choose not to attend program that day.
Alternate Locations and Activities
While our preference, always, is to hold camp at the Washington Park Arboretum, there is not adequate indoor space available. UW Botanic Gardens Summer Camp may have access to indoor space at the Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st St). Camp families will be notified of this location change as soon as possible.
Staff have prepared indoor theme-related activities for each week of camp. These activities can be conducted inside with limited space.
How do we make this decision?
Staff are monitoring both federal and state air quality monitoring websites to get the most accurate picture of local air quality conditions that we can. In making decisions regarding changing, moving, or canceling our programming due to air quality concerns, we are following advice from the Washington State Department of Health on air pollution and outdoor school activities.
What age does my child need to be to volunteer as a Junior Guide?
15-18 years old. Applications will be available soon.
Is Summer Camp the same as Fiddleheads Forest School?
No. Fiddleheads Forest School is another youth education program run by the UW Botanic Gardens.