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Camp Policies

Catamount Institute Camp Program


Sleeping Arrangements
Rates & Fees
Travel & Transportation
Sign in/Sign out
Late Pick-up
Late Drop-off
Personal Belongings
Food & Snacks
Cell Phones & Electronics
Contacting Participants
Policy of Discipline
Medicine Administration
Emergency Situations
Severe Weather
Lost Participants
Child Abuse Prevention
Non-Discrimination & Inclusion
Program Cancellation
Participant Withdrawal & Refund



Catamount Institute works to fulfill our mission of developing ecological stewardship through education and adventure, by providing outstanding outdoor adventure and scholastic standards-based experiences for students.   We provide placed based and outdoor education for children with a variety of enrichment activities that keep kids active, in touch with their natural surroundings, and healthy, both physically and mentally.



Catamount Institute’s office hours will be 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.  See camp details for camp hours and lengths.


Registration for camp is opened and closed at pre-determined dates that are posted and available to the public.  Our registration forms include a comprehensive information packet to be filled out by a legal parent or guardian of the participant including contact info as well as a detailed medical history.  This information is housed in a secure digital format.  Hard copies are also carried by our staff in case of emergency.   Procedures for non-admission (example, camp registration is full or closed) will be based on a case by case basis and done in accordance with all anti-discrimination laws and American with Disabilities Act guidelines to ensure impartiality.


Our goal is for your student to have an outstanding learning adventure. Each camp is designed to meet the emotional and developmental needs of students in specific age groups. Please remember that when you make a special request for a younger or older student to be moved into a different age group, you are asking us to put them into a camp with children that may be four years their junior or senior. There is a huge difference in maturity, for example, between an 8 year old and an 11 year old. This is why they are in different camp age groups.

Sleeping Arrangements for Overnight Camps

Campers will share cabins/tents with those of the same gender. No exceptions.

Rates and Fees

Camp fees are based on several factors: (1) Number of participants, (2) staff pay, (3) food costs (4) lodging for any overnights, (5) cost of transportation, and (6) cost of materials per participant.

 Travel and Transportation

Whenever participants are traveling over land or foot they will travel with staff and volunteers in the front and back of the group.  Camp staff will perform random as well as routine head counts every time the group changes the scene or area they are in.

When traveling in vehicles, students will be assigned to specific staff and vehicles so that everyone is accounted for again with regular checks before departure and at stops en route.  All participants must wear their seat belts at all times, whether the vehicle is in motion or not.  All vehicles will be equipped with a driver and front passenger who are camp staff or volunteers.  Only staff on our insurance policy will drive.  Staff or volunteers not driving the vehicle will be responsible for the supervision of the participants.

Sign in/Sign out

Participants must be signed in at the start of each camp session by the person dropping them off and signed out by a legal parent/guardian, or other authorized person on their registration form.  Participants will only be released to authorized and confirmed persons pending the person’s name and signature in the daily sign-out log. In emergency situations students may be released to an adult not listed as an approved sign-out on the registration form, at staff discrimination,  if and only if a listed parent or guardian can be contacted at a listed number to give a verbal confirmation to at least two camp staff.

Late Pick-up

A parent has until 30 minutes after the listed conclusion time for the program to pick up their child.  Staff will attempt to contact all approved adults on the registration form OK’d for student sign out and emergency contacts.  If the parent or designated ride cannot be contacted or arranged within 30 minutes, local law enforcement and/or child protective services will be contacted and the child will be remanded to said agency(s).  Two late pick-ups will be tolerated with warnings issued.  A third late pick-up may result in student removal from camp.

Late drop-off

There is a 10 minute grace period for late arrivals of participants in the morning.  If Catamount Institute has no knowledge of impending tardiness, or no notice of any extenuating circumstances, the camp will carry on with its posted schedule.  Any participant who arrives late and the camp has continued on its posted schedule, the parent has two options: 1) take the participant home for the day, 2) Attempt to contact camp counselors and drive the participant to the camp’s current location.  Catamount will not return to the pick-up site or attempt in any way to get the late arriving participant nor will the participant be allowed to stay at the pick-up site for any duration of time.

Personal Belongings

All participants will be responsible for their personal belongings and any money that they choose to bring.  Please note that it may only be in limited circumstances where a participant may need money.  Catamount Institute will not be held responsible or liable for any lost, stolen, or damaged property owned by participants.

Food and Snacks

Participants must provide their own food and snacks, unless otherwise specified for their specific program (i.e. overnights). At no other time will Catamount Institute provide food, unless the participant’s meal lacks the 1/3 daily nutritional value. It will be at that time when Catamount Institute will supplement food for the participant in need. Parents or guardians will be contacted if staff needs to supplement a participant’s lunch.

Cell Phones & Electronics

We ask that participants not bring or use cell phones or other personal electronics to our programs.

Contacting Participants

If there is an emergency at home, and parents/guardians need to contact one of our program participants during a program session, they may call Catamount Institute Director Christopher Aaby at 719.471.0910 x106 who will pass along messages to Catamount Institute staff.

Please note that many of our programs are located in backcountry or wilderness settings, and contact may be limited. We will do our best to contact staff by phone.


At Catamount Institute, we strive to provide a positive learning experience for all of our participants. The realities of overnight programs may include homesick students. If a student becomes homesick, our policy is to sit down with the individual and provide support to help them reintegrate into the program.

We discourage contacting parents/guardians during the camp, as it can often lead to a dissolution of group dynamics, and distress the student even further. Our staff will try their best to help our students overcome homesickness. As a last resort, we may allow students to contact their parents/guardians at staff discretion.


No visitors will be allowed and no person will be allowed to follow, observe for an extended period of time, or participate in any Catamount activity unless they have been authorized by Catamount Institute to be present during the program. The lead guide or volunteer will deal with unauthorized persons who attempt to follow, participate, observe or engage in any program session, and may contact the local authorities if appropriate.

Policy of Discipline

Students who are not following directions or who are being distracting or aggressive towards others will be dealt with in the following manner:

  1. The student will be warned that their behavior is inappropriate and give an explanation as to why. Their behavior will be redirected.
    • If the inappropriate behavior continues, the participant will be warned and redirected again and may be asked to sit out for a portion of the activity away from group. Students sitting out portions of activities will still be in sight of staff, in a safe place, and not sit out for more than 20 minutes.
    • A staff member will talk with the student to form a plan to prevent the inappropriate behavior in the future. The student will then be allowed to return to the group.
  1. Students who continue to misbehave may be sat out up to three times before a parent/guardian/emergency contact is requested to pick up the participant immediately at the program location. Staff will not bring the participant to the parent(s)/guardian. If a pickup cannot be arranged, the parents/guardians may get their child at the end of the regular program. Whether or not a participant will be allowed to return for the duration of the program will be left up to the program leader.
  2. We have a zero tolerance policy against gross physical and verbal abuse.  Any participant that engages in aggressive physical contact or word use may be removed immediately from the group without other warnings or being sat out.

Medicine Administration

Catamount Institute will only administer medicine to a participant in emergency situations.  Please reference our medical letter of intent for further clarification and see the Emergency Situations section below.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication must be handed in to Catamount Institute staff accompanied with written parental permission and with written approval from a licensed person with prescriptive authority (a licensed doctor or pharmacist). As ordered by the State, no medication will be administered except in emergency situations unless you adhere to these strict guidelines.

Medication must be in the original bottle or container with the original label and include the following:

  • Child’s fist and last name
  • Prescribing practitioner or Pharmacist name approving this medication, Pharmacy or Office, Telephone number
  • Date authorized
  • Expiration date of medication
  • Name of medication and dosage
  • Time of day medication is to be given
  • Route of medication (taken orally, eye drops, in ears?)
  • Length of time medication is to be given (3 days?  As needed?  Daily?)
  • Reason for medication (unless confidential)
  • Side effects to be watched for
  • Special instructions

Emergency Situations

An emergency situation is any serious, unexpected, or dangerous event requiring immediate action to preserve participant’s safety.    Staff will deal with emergencies by providing immediate attention at the level of care for which they are trained, deferring to the most highly qualified person available.  Some of our programs take place in wilderness settings where communications are unavailable or limited.  Each emergency situation is unique and we look to our most highly qualified staff to make the best possible decisions for the group at the time of the emergency event.

For medical emergencies this includes calling additional emergency medical services if necessary, filling out a Patient Assessment Form, and forming and implementing a treatment plan when appropriate.

For non-medical emergencies such as severe weather, fire, or floods, staff should create an action plan to move participants to a safe area as quickly and safely as possible.

For vehicular or driving emergencies, this includes stopping the vehicle and moving it to a safe nearby location if possible, treating any medical emergencies as outlined above, and setting out road cones or flares if available.

After the immediate emergency has been dealt with, staff will call & notify Catamount Institute leadership of the emergency including what happened, treatment, and action plans.

For major illness, accidents, and injuries, parents or guardians will be contacted as soon as possible.  This should also include a description of the emergency, the manner in which it was treated, and the plan for further treatment if appropriate.   Note that a letter of intent by parent(s)/guardian for emergency and non-emergency care will already have been provided as a part of camper registration.  All injuries, illnesses, and accidents will be cared for within our ability and training and pursuant to the parent(s)/guardian letter of intent for care as well as our letter of intent for care.

Parents and guardians will be notified of minor illnesses, accidents, or injuries such as paper cuts, bruises, bumps, and scrapes no later than the end of each camp session.

Severe Weather Policy

All participants will be brought into an appropriate shelter, (i.e. building at Biedleman Environmental Center) if available.  If participants are on a trail or in a wilderness setting and access to buildings or vehicles are not available or pose a safety concern, campers will be moved to the safest outdoor location available under direction and instruction of camp staff.  Alternative programming and sheltering will continue until the severe weather situation changes.  Regularly scheduled programming will continue at that time.

Lost Participants

If a participant is lost or their whereabouts are unknown, the program leader will be notified immediately of the event, as well as the last known location of the participant. Participants will be put in “lockdown” (defined as a controlled, safe environment where campers are not allowed to leave the sight and control of staff) with the supervision of one or more staff. Other available staff will begin an immediate search for the lost participant. Searching staff will split up and search determined areas for a maximum of one hour. After that time, if the participant is still missing, emergency personnel will be contacted and dispatched.

Child Abuse Prevention

If any staff member suspects a participant of being the victim of neglect and/or child abuse, that staff member will immediately consult with the camp director and lead counselor, and report their findings and beliefs.  It will then be left to the camp director to decide the veracity of the suspicions, what, if any follow ups will be done with the participant and/or parent(s)/guardian, and whether or not to report any findings to the appropriate agency.  Catamount Institute is a mandatory reporting agency.  If a report if filed, all state guidelines and laws will be followed strictly and all involved parties will be notified.

Non-Discrimination and Inclusion

 The Catamount Institute provides equal opportunity for all qualified participants and does not discriminate in providing services to any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, veteran status, or any other protected status.

Program Cancellation

If Catamount Institute has to cancel a program or cannot serve a participant for any reason, Catamount Institute will provide advanced notification within 24 hours of the program to all teachers, parent(s)/guardians, and will do so verbally and in writing.

Participant Withdrawal and Refund

It is the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian to notify Catamount Institute verbally 24 hours in advance of withdrawal from a Catamount Institute program.  In accordance with our guidelines, any cancellation within fourteen (14) days of the start of the program will not be accorded any refund; in addition, any parent(s)/guardian who withdrawals a participant during the camps will also be accorded no refund. Before fourteen (14) days a full refund will be given less a $35 administrative fee.


Anyone who wishes to file a complaint may contact Catamount Institute staff, including our Executive Director to inform us of their complaint or intent to file a complaint.

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Catamount Institute
740 West Caramillo St.
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
Phone: (719) 471-0910
Fax: (719) 471-0910
Website: www.catamountinstitute.org
Email: info@catamountinstitute.org