We are looking forward to a summer full of exploration and outdoor FUN and we are glad that your child with be joining us!
It has been proven that time spent in nature helps kids develop their creativity, problem solving skills and helps them do better academically!
At Leadership Academy, we believe that outdoor play and connection to nature increases confidence, creativity, social intelligence and grit. Leadership Academy Camp at Warner Park engages children in outdoor play and informal environmental education to raise awareness, foster respect and share enthusiasm for the natural environment.
Our unique program emphasizes developing independence, a sense of exploration and creativity in our campers. Each small group, lead by a counselor, will have a set of activities, games and challenges to work on throughout the day, without the stress and restriction of a closely monitored schedule.
The groups will gather in the morning to talk about their goals and plans for that day. Then, they will travel through the park with their counselor and their lunches, learning and exploring as they go.
For example, if they are enjoying their time at the river, the group may decide to forgo another activity to hunt for crayfish. This will require cooperation within the group and with the guidance of their counselors, we know that our campers will have fun, learn and thrive.
What To Bring
Your camper will need to be dressed and ready for an active day of outdoor exploration. This often means getting wet and muddy. We love that.
Here is a list of things you need each day:
- WEAR tennis shoes or hiking boots; PACK sports sandals or closed-toed water shoes. No flip-flops. A separate shoe for the water will help prevent blisters – wearing sport sandals instead of sneakers is okay but we suggest still having separate water shoes.
- WEAR sunscreen & bug spray; PACK more for later. Spray is easiest for us to apply. We may ask your camper to use our bug spray if they have trouble not playing with it.
- WEAR a hat to keep the sun off of delicate faces; PACK a rain jacket or poncho. Camp adventures will not be stopped by rain. We will seek shelter during lightning or severe weather.
- Additional packing items:
- An extra set of clothes (or swimsuit)
- A lightweight reusable water bottle
- Trash-free lunch: we encourage campers to participate in our trash-free lunch challenge! We practice leave-no-trace principles and campers will pack out what they pack in each day. Camp is a great time to work on reducing our footprint by eliminating single-serving packaging.
*If a child forgets their lunch, the camp director will call the listed contact person. Lunch can be dropped off or camp will provide a pre-packaged lunch for a fee of $5.00.
*Leadership Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please label all of your child’s belonging. Unclaimed items will be held for 1 week, displayed at check-out, then donated to charity.
What NOT to Bring
Leadership Academy Camp at Warner Park is a place to explore your natural surroundings so we ask you not to send any electronics or items that could distract from your child’s experience in the park.
This includes but is not limited to:
- cell phones
- iPods or MP3 players
- trading cards
- handheld video games
- DIGITAL CAMERAS
(Camp staff will post photos each day on Facebook)
Also, do not bring: personal vehicles, drugs, alcohol, pornography, weapons, fireworks, pets or tobacco.
*Personal sports equipment is allowed with the permission of the camp director.
Camp Behavior Policy
*Please review this with your child*
Leadership Academy Camps wants to cultivate the naturalist in your child and engage them with their immediate environment. It will be a FUN week at camp, especially if the campers already know what is expected from them. Read these guidelines with your child.
To guide us, we use the ACORNS philosophy.
Leadership Academy Camp at Warner Park’s campers aim to be…
Be active in your group. Participate and try new things
Ask questions & try and find out answers. Explore your environment.
Pay attention to the world around you. Listen. Notice small things.
Respect all things; people, animals, plants and our environment.
- in Nature
Being outside makes us mentally and physically healthier! Unplug & enjoy!
Make good decisions. Be careful with ourselves, others and our words.
(Adapted with permission from Kalamazoo Nature Center – PDF)
Camp staff will work with your child to redirect minor behavior issues with listening, cooperation or positive participation. More disruptive behavior will be brought to the attention of the camp director and the parent will be notified at check-out or called by phone.
A camper may be asked to leave camp (without a refund) if the director determines that the camper is compromising the safety of themselves or their group. This could include verbally threatening other group members or acts of aggression/violence such as hitting, kicking or biting. Also, if a camper repeatedly leaves the group unannounced and are unable to be kept safely supervised, they may be sent home without a refund.
Rain brings the field flowers to life and replenishes the Little Harpeth River. We wouldn’t want to miss out on that! Our campers should bring rain gear and be ready for new adventures when the rain falls. Our staff will monitor the weather and if lightning or thunder is detected campers will be moved to shelter. Inclement weather may force us to change our River Day and Friday Meet ‘n’ Greet plans to ensure the comfort and safety of our campers and staff. In this case we endeavor to notify parents by email as soon as a decision is made.
Boo-boos Happen Sometimes…
Our camp staff is trained in First Aid and CPR, so they are ready to help keep your child safe at camp. Sometimes scrapes, cuts, bumps and bruises happen while we play and explore. Every staff member has a first aid kit in the backpack and is ready to care for your camper as they need. For simple first aid injuries, like a band-aid fixes, we just take care of it and move on with the day. For any injury that requires a bit more attention, we will give you a call/text to let you know what is going on. We do stock a few children’s over-the counter medicines in the camp director’s first aid kit including Benadryl, Advil and Tylenol. The camp director will call you before giving these to your child.
Itchy Things: Mosquitoes, Ticks, Poison Ivy & Chiggers
Due to the outdoor location of our programming, your camper may come in contact with something that makes them itch, like bug bites, poison ivy and other stings. Our staff will educate your camper about these hazards, will help them try to avoid contact with hazards and remind campers to check themselves for ticks. We do request that you thoroughly check your camper when they arrive home as ticks will often hide under clothing in areas that will not be checked by our staff. In addition we stock our first aid kits with Calamine Lotion, hydrocortisone cream and Neosporin for basic relief of these symptoms. All camp staff are trained in first aid and CPR, so they are ready to help keep your child safe at camp.
Too sick to play?
Our camps do not have on-site health care facilities for resting or sick campers. If you suspect your child is sick, please keep them home from camp. If your child gets sick at camp, we will troubleshoot the basics first, for example, do they need more water, a shade break, a snack, a popsicle (these can work miracles on sick campers!!) or just a bit of chill time??? If these simple fixes don’t work, and your child is too sick to play, then we will give you a call to figure out when you can pick them up.
Please administer all medications before bringing your child to Warner Park each camp day. Please alert the camp director of any issues or if your child will be bringing an inhaler or Epi-Pen.
Emergency Communication Plan
Although we do our best to stay safe and prevent injuries and accidents, sometimes accidents happen. In the case of an injury or an emergency, we will do our best to communicate with parents (or emergency contacts) as soon as possible. Please note, that Camp Warner Park does not provide any transportation. In case of an injury or emergency, the camp staff will assess the situation and call emergency services as appropriate. Once the nature of the injury/emergency has been established, parents will be notified by the camp director or the CEO. If the child’s parents cannot be reached, the designated emergency contacts will be called. If the injury or emergency is not life-threatening but requires further medical attention, the parents or emergency contacts will need to provide transportation to seek care.
Nature Deficit Disorder
This term was coined by Richard Louv to describe the effect that increased time indoors has on children. Examples range from increased rates of obesity and behavioral problems to lack of focus at school. Time spent outdoors quickly combats many of these issues. To learn more, visit his website: childrenandnature.org.