Youth Nature Immersion FAQs



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  • How does my child benefit from your nature programs?
    The benefits of being in nature have been well documented. Being immersed in nature supports every domain of development - physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social.
    According to the Children and Nature Network, spending more time in nature:
    * Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms
    * Supports Creativity and Problem Solving
    * Improves Self-discipline
    * Reduces Stress
    * Improves Academic Performance
    * Enhances Cognitive Abilities
    * Improves Social Relations
    We have seen the kids in our programs grow to become more resilient, responsible, self-aware and mindful as a result of our time in nature together. Our staff prioritize creating a meaningful community and helping kids develop emotional intelligence, problem solving, communication skills, and self-confidence.
  • What are the weekly themed experiences like?
    Our week long summer offerings will each have a theme and daily activity times focused around the topic for each week. We will still make plenty of time for play, rest and for kids to pursue their interests, but the days will be structured around a certain topic. There are two age groups for these weeks - ages 5-7 and 8-11.
  • Will weeks with the same theme be exactly the same, or can my child attend two weeks with the same topic and do different things?
    Weeks with the same theme can stand alone or build off previous weeks with the same focus, as Guides will adjust to accommodate experience and skill levels. 
  • What is the Homeschool Summer Immersion offering? Is this open to the public? 
    This is a program geared towards current or future homeschoolers who wish to continue through the summer with a program similar to our 9-month Homeschool Nature Immersion program. It is two days per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and participants can join for one, two or three months. There are no themed weeks or days. This is for ages 5-13.
  • What is Sprouts Half Day Program?

    The Sprouts Summer program is two days per week (Monday and Wednesday) from 9:30am to 12:30pm. Choose to enroll for the entire summer, one or two months. This program is for 4 and 5 year olds. Participants should have turned 4 years old by June 1. 

    In our Sprouts program, young children have the opportunity to cultivate a strong connection with the natural world through hands on exploration, story telling and imaginative play. The forest gives us ample opportunities to develop balance, resilience, focus and motor skills while climbing, running, jumping, digging and splashing our way through the landscape, learning about our plant and animal friends as we go. Together we practice being kind, mindful and respectful friends to each other and to all the living things in our ecosystem. Nature crafts, yoga, music, plant and animal identification and gardening all find their way into our magical mornings together. 

  • How does drop-off and pick-up work for families with children in different age cohorts? 
    Siblings in different age groupings can be dropped off together at the earliest time slot (9:00 am) and picked up at the latest time slot (2:45 pm), with the exception is Sprouts Half Day, in which children must be picked up at 12:30.
  • Is there a different price for the Survival Week with Overnight (ages 8-11) if my child does not stay for the campout?
    No, the cost for this program week is $435 and includes a campout on Wednesday night. If your child is signed up for Survival Week but does not end up staying overnight, we will not be able to offer refunds or price adjustments. If this doesn't sound right for your child, you may sign them up for one of our other weekly offerings for ages 8-11: Building Boats & Bridges or Witches, Wizards & Wildcrafting.
  • Is there a place for the kids to go swimming?
    We have both a brook and a pond on our land but neither is deep enough for swimming. 

The pond is quite shallow on the edges and is mostly used for frog catching and wildlife exploration. When we are near the pond, a guide is always supervising and children are expected to stay where we can see them and they can clearly hear our instructions when we are doing an sort of pond activity. 

When the weather is warm we allow kids to splash around in our shallow brook to cool off. Our policy is that if kids are in the water a guide must be within 10 feet of them at all times and attentively watching.

  • Where do kids use the bathroom?
    We have composting outhouses at each of our campsites and near the parking lot. These sometimes take a little getting used to for kids who are unfamiliar with using an outhouse, but with a little support the kids do great with these.
  • What is Aftercare?
    Aftercare is available Monday-Thursday until 5:00 pm at an additional cost. Participants will have more time exploring outside, working on self-created projects, playing games or just having fun with friends!

For the summer, aftercare will be available on a weekly basis only to those children (ages 5-11) who are also enrolled in that week's daytime program. In other words, you must be enrolled for that week's daytime program in order to enroll for that week's aftercare. Participants enrolled in Homeschool Summer Immersion (ages 5-13) can enroll in Aftercare for those two days of program. Please note that a minimum of 5 participants is required in order for our aftercare program to take place. 

  • Do you have a Handbook for me to learn more?
    Yes, we do! You can review it here.


  • What do you do when it rains?
    We play! We find that as long as children are dressed properly, they will happily play outside in almost any type of weather. It’s important that children have good waterproof clothing and footwear and have adequate backup clothing packed. The woods provide shelter from the elements, and we have large tarps that we put up to provide extra protection from pouring rain and wind and to provide shade on extra hot days. We also build a campfire and make hot tea on cooler/rainy days.

We do occasionally have a weather cancellation if the conditions pose a significant safety risk (high winds, thunderstorms, extreme heat index, etc...). We are unable to provide makeup days due to days cancelled because of weather conditions.  Please see our handbook for more information about our cancellation policy.

  • Do you use knives or tools in this program?
    Yes, participants may use knives, small folding saws and other tools with supervision and instruction from our guides. Our experienced and attentive staff have successfully taught children as young as five to safely and responsibly use knives and tools. Our youngest participants start out doing cooperative projects with an adult or teen mentor and gain independence as they show their ability to follow the rules and maintain safety. We find that when kids are tasked with taking responsibility during a higher risk activity, they rise to the occasion and display more self-control and focus than they are normally capable of.
  • Does my child/teen need any special gear for this program?
    Yes! It is important and required that every participant is properly clothed so they are comfortable and safe in our outdoor environment. We will provide a detailed gear and clothing list before program begins to help make sure your child is properly prepared for all weather.
  • What about ticks?
    Unfortunately, ticks and tick-borne illnesses are part of our current reality here in Maine. We are doing our best to mitigate the risk of tick bites so we can enjoy the natural world in the least anxious way possible. We use several tick mitigation strategies:
    1) Clearing of leaf litter in high traffic areas
    2) Regular, professional application of an all natural, essential-oil based tick spray in high use areas
    3) We recommend all participants use a tick repellent, tuck pant legs into socks and do thorough tick checks each day (we make time for tick checks during the program as well)


  • What are good food options for my child?
    Kids are very active throughout the day and eat a lot of food. Please pack extra snacks and lunch. Good snack & lunch options are foods with healthy fats and protein like avocado, nut/seed butter, nuts, trail mix, cheese, jerky, bacon, hard boiled eggs. Try to avoid foods high in sugar, soda, etc.
  • Can my child with food allergies join your program?
    Yes! If your child has food allergies or dietary restrictions, please inform Through The Trees staff on your child's registration form.
  • Do you provide any food or snacks?
    We will occasionally do some campfire cooking with kids, but participants are expected to arrive with all the food they need to get through each day.


  • Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?
    Yes! There is 10% OFF total cost using the coupon code FAMILY10 when enrolling more than one child/family member. We also have some scholarships available. If you are in need of scholarship support, please fill out a scholarship application BEFORE you register.

If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive a coupon code to enter at check-out. You will still be asked to pay a deposit, and the scholarship will be applied to your final payment total.

If your family needs additional financial support beyond what TTT is able to offer, you may consider external scholarship programs such as those offered by Freeport Community Services.

  • Can I use the Family discount even if my kids are signed up for different weeks?
    Yes! If other family members are signing up for any summer program at TTT you can apply the family discount.
  • What is your cancellation/refund policy?

    Summer programs can be paid in full at the time of registration or in payments ($100 at registration + payment on March 15 + payment on May 15). For each session, a non-refundable $100 deposit is due at the time of registration (this is part of the total price). If you need to cancel your child's enrollment, a full refund minus the $100 will be provided if cancelled before May 15. Refunds will not be provided for cancellations after May 15. Our system also charges a 4.5% processing fee on the total amount per session, which is non-refundableChanges in camps/schedules may be made based on space availability but aren't guaranteed.

  • Why does the registration system ask for my (parent/caregiver's) birthdate?
    Our system requires a birthdate from the adult registering to show that the person is an adult and can sign our acknowledgements/agreements.
  • Do you have any suggestions on how to navigate the offerings in your registration system?
    Yes! We do...
  • If you are seeking a scholarship, please complete the application before adding sessions to your cart on the registration page. You will only be able to complete one cart at a time.

  • Coupon codes will be applied on the page titled "Review Cart & Check Out"

  • The default view is the "Session List" which shows a full list of offerings this summer in date-order. You can change the view to "Calendar" by clicking on that tab at the top.

  • Use the "Filter By" options on the left side bar to see what's available for each age group. 

  • Add Items to Cart, click "Continue," complete required forms, then "Continue to Cart".

  • Coupon codes will be applied on the page titled "Review Cart & Check Out"

  • Although viewable on a phone, we find it's easier to see all the features on a computer screen.


  • What is your policy with illness?
    We ask that parents monitor their children’s health by taking their temperature and checking for symptoms at home. If they feel sick or have had a fever or any symptoms of sickness in the last 24 hours, please do not bring your child/teen to the program. We ask you to err on the side of caution. If your child arrives at TTT feeling unwell, we may ask for parents/caregivers to pick them up early. If our child misses Through the Trees due to illness, unfortunately we are not able to provide a refund.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?
We are happy to answer your questions! Please email