Our pre-K camps are for 4 and 5 year olds. Our grade school camps are for children that will be entering 1st-6th grade in the fall (ages 6-12).
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?
Maybe. During registration, you can request they be together and we will do our best to place them in the same group. There is no guarantee that we can honor every request. If the children are more than a year apart, they most likely will be in separate groups that are appropriate for their respective physical and developmental abilities. We also separate our younger campers (rising 1st-3rd graders) and older campers (rising 4th-6th graders).
All grade school groups start the day together and often play large group games together. So even if your child and their sibling/friend are not in the same group, they will have a chance to socialize and support each other.
Pre-K campers and grade school campers cannot be placed in the same group. Pre-K campers can request to be with other Pre-K campers.
Are scholarships available?
Yes. Limited financial assistance is available on a first come, first serve basis to those who qualify. For more information, or to apply, please call the registrar at 206-685-8033. In the meantime, register for your desired camps and choose “Mail A Check” as your payment option. If you qualify for financial assistance we will adjust your cost accordingly.
Do employees or students of the University of Washington receive a discount rate?
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 encourage caretakers to send their campers to only one week of each curriculum that is appropriate for their age group. This increases engagement and makes for a better experience for all!
Will my child be with the same instructor every week?
Not necessarily. For grade school camp we rotate instructors through age groups to give campers who return for additional weeks a fresh experience.
For Pre-K we try to place campers with familiar teachers for the comfort of the child.
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?
Pre-K Camp pick up is at 1pm. Grade School Camp pick up is at 3pm. Aftercare pick up is anytime before 5pm.
Does Arboretum summer camp have before and/or after care options?
Yes, for grade school campers only. Before care begins at 7:30am and after care ends promptly at 5pm. Camper pick-ups after 5pm incur fines. More information and registration.
Do you have extended care options for preschool camp?
No, we do not offer before or after care for preschool camp.
I'm picking up my child for aftercare, where will they be?
Aftercare will post on the Greenhouse door where they are playing and relaxing. If you ever have any questions about where they are please call the coordinator phone. The number is also posted on the Greenhouse door.
What do I do if my child needs to be dropped off late or picked up early, like for a dentist appointment?
If you drop your child off outside the pick up and drop off hours you will be charged $15 for each late drop off or early pickup. When you arrive at the Arboretum, please call the Camp Coordinator phone, and allow extra time for us to find your camper’s group, as well as time to meet the group in the Arboretum.
Drop Off Window
Pick Up Window
Grade School Camp
Can my child sign themselves out after camp and walk home?
No. Regardless of where you live, we cannot allow your child to sign themselves out at the end of camp.
Is your camp nut-free?
No. We take food allergies very seriously but are not a nut free camp. We never allow food sharing and carry wipes for those who do choose to bring nut foods for snack/lunch.
My child has allergies, asthma or medications, what do we need to know/do?
Share this information on your registration paperwork and mail us a completed Allergy Plan form and/or Asthma Plan form immediately.
If your child may require another emergency medication while at camp, you must submit an Accommodation Plan. All Accommodation Plans must be submitted, reviewed and approved in order for your camper to participate in Arboretum Summer Camp. The review and approval process may require a significant period of time. To ensure appropriate time for review and subsequent communication, it is strongly recommended that you complete and submit the Accommodation Plan immediately after registering for camp.
All staff are certified in First Aid and trained in how to administer epinephrine auto-injectors and inhalers.
Please mail these documents to UW; Box 358010, Attn. Education, Seattle WA 98195-8010. You may also drop them off at the Graham Visitors Center (2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle)
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?
Yes. We have sunscreen that we encourage campers to apply throughout the day. We ask that campers come in the morning with sunscreen already applied. Campers are welcome to carry their own sunscreen. If you would prefer your child not use camp-supplied sunscreen please let us know in the medical form.
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.
Immediately after registering a child with special needs, please submit an Accommodation Plan for approval. If this special need involves asthma or allergies, please fill out and mail in or drop off the appropriate form below as soon as possible.
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?