Camp Audubon: Frequently Asked Questions

Dynamic and Engaging Nature-Based Summer Camps
for Youth Pre-K through High School


Woodend Sanctuary is a 40-acre oasis just outside Washington, DC in the middle of Chevy Chase, MD. Bordering Rock Creek Park, the sanctuary contains mature woods and meadows, a pond, and an intermittent stream that provide habitat for many birds, insects, deer, rabbits, and foxes. Open lawns provide activity space, and well-maintained nature trails permit safe nature exploration.

Audubon Nature Preschool is a nature-based preschool with education and environmental programs for children aged 5 and younger outside Washington, DC in Chevy Chase, MD.

Woodend Sanctuary
8940 Jones Mill Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 652-9188


For more information about Camp Audubon:

Nora Kelly
Camp Director
(301) 652-9188 x15.

Start with these links to begin your child's Outdoor Camp journey:

Who do I call if I have questions?

For Camp Program Questions: Call 301-652-9188 x15. For Registration Questions: Call 301-652-9188 x16. For Membership Questions: Call 301-652-9188 x35. For Volunteer Information: Call 301-652-9188 x20.

Do I have to be an ANS Member to register for camp?

You do not need to be an ANS member to register for camp. However, you must be a member by the 12/6/19 deadline to register during members-only registration from 1/22/20-1/24/20. There are many advantages to joining, including discounted rates for summer camp and other ANS programs, bi-monthly newsletters, and discounts at our shop. You must be an ANS member at the time of registration to receive the summer camp discount. Membership fees are nonrefundable.

How do I become a member?

You can become a member when you register online for summer camp. You can also join by calling 301-652-9188 x35 or through membership by clicking to join online here.

How do I know what camps are available?

You can identify camp availability by calling the EE office 301-652-9188 x16. You can also begin the registration process and the system will show what is available. Any camp that is full will have a "waitlist only" option.

How does the waitlist work? What are my child's chances of getting in?

ANS provides a waitlist for full camps. Waitlists are free. If a spot opens up in a camp, we will contact you and you will have 48 hours to decline or accept the spot. If the spot is accepted, payment must be made in 48 hours or the spot is forfeited.

There is always a chance that spots will open up in a camp, so we encourage anyone who has some flexibility in his or her schedule to join the waitlist. We have no way of predicting which camps will have space open up, but in our experience, many camps have at least one cancellation. Due to the number of children registered for waitlisted camps, we will only contact you if space becomes available.

How do I cancel my registration?

Full refunds, minus the $5 registration fee, $25 cancellation fee, membership fees, and scholarship donations will be given until the Friday before the camp's start date. If ANS cancels the whole week of your child’s camp due to COVID-19, you will receive a full refund minus the $5 registration fee, membership fees, and scholarship donations. If ANS cancels specific days of your child’s camp due to COVID-19, you will receive a pro-rated refund for the missed days minus the $5 registration fee, membership fees, and scholarship donations. You may email your cancellation in writing to 

Who can I talk to about my child's special needs (learning, behavior, health and allergy etc.)?

While ANS Camp is a traditional camp (not specialized for specific special needs), we welcome all children and we do our very best to accommodate every child. The camp director is always available to discuss whether ANS Camp is right for your child. Please call 301-652-9188 x15.

What summer job opportunities do you have available? Do you have a CIT program for high-schoolers?

For paid positions (must be over 18) see: Opportunities for Education Interns and Teachers. We do not have a traditional CIT program. However, we do have a Teen Naturalist Training (TNT) Program for students entering 9th or 10th grade in Fall 2020. These hours are eligible for Service Learning Credit. We also have a Junior Counselor Program for teens entering 11th or 12th grade or college freshmen. Junior Counselors are hand selected by the Camp Director from previous year campers and TNTs.

I am already registered for summer camp. What do I need to have ready for the first day?

We will EMAIL you a final confirmation packet three weeks before the start date of your camp. You will need to fill out the health form and bring it with you to check-in the first day of camp. This health form does not need to be completed by your doctor (we only need a doctor's signature for any prescription or non-prescription medication taken at camp, see form at top of page). If you do not receive a confirmation packet via email a couple of weeks before your child's first camp begins, please call 301-652-9188 x16. If your child does not attend a U.S. school, you will need a copy of his or her immunization record (a copy from your child's school or doctor will suffice).

Do you accept Allergy Action Plans and Asthma Action Plans that are signed by a primary care provider?

Yes, as long as all the information covered in the Medication Administration Authorization form is included on the action plan and it is signed by the primary care provider. ANS staff are authorized to administer these medications in the event of a life-threatening situation.

Do you need a separate Medication Administration Authorization form for each medication (including over the counter meds)?

Yes. We need a form signed by a doctor, even for Advil, Benadryl, Dramamine, etc.

Can you accept the Medication Administration Authorization form from school or from another camp?

Yes, as long as it is the same form. The school version is only slightly different but should be recognizable.

What if our primary care provider will not sign off on my camper's authorization to self-carry or self-administer medication?

• For rescue medication, such as inhalers or epi-pens: staff can administer the medication, the provider does not have to sign the authorization to self-administer.
• For regularly scheduled medication for campers who are on the sanctuary during the day: we have staff who are certified to administer medications.
• For campers who have to take medications and are not on the sanctuary (camping trips, backpacking, etc): we need the doctor to sign the Self-Administration Authorization clause on the Medication Authorization Administration form. Call June Bug at 301-652-9188 x15 if you have any questions.

What if my camper does not reside in the U.S.?

Please complete this form and bring it with you to check-in: Immunization Records Form. This form must be completed by non-U.S. residents.

My son/daughter really wants to register for a particular camp, but it’s full. Can I register for the other session being offered that week while I wait to see if there is a cancellation in the camp my child wants to sign up for?

No, unless you want to pay the applicable cancellation fees if a spot opens up in the other session. Registering for a camp while waitlisting for the other camp offered that week prevents other parents from registering for a spot and is considered "placeholding."

I missed the deadline to become a member and register for members-only registration. What can I do?

The best thing to do is to become an ANS member when you register for summer camp online when registration opens up to new members and nonmembers. You will get the member rate and not have to worry about getting your membership ID number since you will be becoming a new member. A membership packet will then be mailed to you a few weeks later.

My child's T-shirt is too big/small. Can I exchange it for another size?

We understand the camp T-shirt you get at check-in may not fit perfectly. But we base the T-shirt order on the sizes parents choose during the registration process online. If we exchange too many sizes, parents whose children are coming to camp later in the summer will not have the T-shirt sizes they ordered available. We appreciate your understanding.

How do pick up cards work?

Each child is issued one set of three (3) pick up cards each summer, regardless of how many camps your child is registered for. Hold onto them! When you pick up your child, you will be required to show staff your pickup card. Pick up cards are returned to you each day.

What if I don't have a pickup card?

You will be asked to list all the adults authorized to pick up your child on the health form. As long as that person is on your list and has a photo ID, he or she can pick up your child without a pickup card. For the safety of your children, we will not allow your child to leave with an adult unless he or she either has a pickup card or is on your list and has a photo ID.

Do you run background checks on your summer camp staff?

The safety of our campers is our top priority at ANS. We do FBI and state background checks with fingerprints on all our summer camp staff. These include both criminal activity and sex offender registry records. We also conduct Child Protective Services background clearance checks on all employees. The Echo Hill Outdoor School with whom we partner on the Bay Quest programs also does the same background checks on their staff. Both our camp and Echo Hill are licensed by the State of Maryland as Youth Camp programs. That licensing requires that, in addition to the background checks above, we document our staff's CPR/First Aid training, Life Guarding certification, emergency plans, health plans, staff to camper ratios, and facility safety records.

We receive a surprise inspection when camp is in session to ensure that we are meeting all the requirements. In addition, we are both licensed and inspected by our county health department to ensure our physical grounds are safe, buildings are well maintained, and food is handled properly. Please contact the camp director at 301-652-9188 x15 if you have any questions.

Why am I charged a cancellation fee if you end up filling a spot from a waitlist?

Our cancellation fee is a uniform policy that applies to all camps (except extended camp, which has no cancellation fees) regardless of whether or not they have a waitlist. We can never predict which camps will have waitlists. If there is no penalty for withdrawing from a camp, our experience has shown that some families will "hold places" in a camp and then change their plans and withdraw at a much later date. By that time other families, who might have wanted that spot, will have made other arrangements and not be able to take advantage of the opening. Up until mid-April the penalty is only $25. It goes up appreciatively after that date because it can be difficult to fill spots as summer approaches.

Are you a nut-free camp?

No, we are not nut-free and campers may bring nut-containing foods to camp. If a child has a severe allergy we will ensure that they have a safe space to eat snack and lunch with other children whose food will not trigger the child’s allergies.

Can my child walk or bike home from camp?

Yes, your child can walk or bike home from camp as long as we have a signed consent form from the parent. This form can be found and filled out at check-in on Monday. You can also email to request the form be emailed to you.