Frequently asked questions

General Camp Info

Summer Camp 2021


It takes a village, so we built one. Backpacks and Binoculars teaches children how to explore the world - the one around them and the world at large. We partner with parents to develop healthy, well-rounded children who become excited about serving their community and learning about the world. Throughout the year, our explorers experience different cultures while learning important insights and skills that prepare them to be caring, responsible citizens of a global community. Our explorers learn to value both the similarities and differences between themselves and others. They also participate in many exciting excursions carefully crafted to engage, excite, and explore.




Registration Process


1. Visit www.brooklyn.explorerkids.us 2. Click “Login” on the top right corner and create an account. 3. Select your bundle or single enrollment. 4. Complete checkout process. 5. Email Arlela at info@explorerkids.us with questions.




Age Groups


Camp groups (with the exception of Clubhouse Explorers) are organized by the entering grade for the 2020-21 school year Clubhouse Explorers preschool ages 2-4 Jr Backpackers rising kindergarten Backpackers rising 1st-2nd grade Trailblazers rising 3rd-5th grade




Itinerary


***Jr Backpackers, Backpackers, Trailblazers, Pathfinders Monday Field Day/In-The-Field Challenges Kicks off the week with themed games and activities in Fort Greene Park Tuesday Field Trip or Workshop Wednesday Water Day Trip to a splashground Thursday Field Trip or Workshop Friday Field Trip or Workshop Daily Schedule 8:00-9:00am Drop-off
9:00-9:30am Breakfast
9:30-9:45am Prepare for departure
9:45-10:45am Travel to trip location
10:45am-12:30pm Snack, Trip Activity (workshop, self-guided tour, etc)
12:30-1:00pm Picnic Lunch
1:00-2:45pm Free Play at playground near trip location
2:45-3:00pm Prepare for travel back to camp
3:00-4:00pm Travel back to camp location
4:00-4:15pm Snack
4:15-5:00pm Enrichment Activity
5:00-6:00pm Free play in enrichment centers
***SAMPLE TRIP ITINERARY specific timings depend on the day of the week/trip location




Drop-off / Pick up Procedures


Sign in/out attendance procedures. Sign-in/Sign-out is done by the adult dropping off or picking up using the mybrightwheel app. Each authorized adult will receive a unique 4-digit pin (which can be changed through the Edit Profile section of the app). Adults will sign in or out by scanning the QR code on the door and entering their pin. During drop off, adults will be prompted to answer two quick COVID-19 screening questions. Drop-off 8:00-9:00 am The earliest explorers can be dropped off is 8am. We request that all explorers are at our location by 9am. Pick-up Procedures Pickup is anytime from 4-6 pm at the same location as drop-off. As stated above, all parents and authorized adults should come knowing their 4-digit PIN and with the mybrightwheel app installed on their smartphone.




Water Day


On water days explorers should come well-sunscreened with water resistant sunscreen on all exposed areas and dressed in a bathing suit with dry camp clothes on top. Girls should wear a bathing suit under their dry shorts/skirts and a camp shirt. Boys should wear swim trunks and a swim shirt under their camp shirt. Please provide a towel and dry underwear/clothing for your explorer to change into. Label all items with explorers first and last names.




Camp Kit


All explorers must wear our signature camp shirt and carry our purple backpack everyday. One kit is included for the summer season which includes two camp shirts, a backpack, and binoculars. Additional t-shirts are available for purchase. ***A water bottle is required




Camp Groups


We keep a 1:6 adult to explorer ratio on trips with children ages 6 and up, and a 1:5 adult to explorer ratio on trips with children ages 4 and 5. Our homebase ratio is 1:10. We assign our explorers into smaller groups based on this ratio. This increases our group’s safety by providing the ability for super quick head counts on our excursions and also allows the children to bond with their counselor in a smaller, more intimate setting. Our explorers are broken into four age groups to ensure that each explorer enjoys experiences appropriate to his or her age. We also recognize the benefit of co-mingling between ages and occasionally do group activities with mixed age groups. • Jr. Backpackers is for Pre-K 4s entering Kindergarten 2020-21. The program focuses on play-based learning and introduces explorers to a variety of new skills and mediums while maintaining an age-appropriate structure. • Backpackers is for entering 1st-2nd graders 2020-21 school year. Backpackers focuses on introducing explorers to various interests and skills in a structured environment while still encouraging freedom of exploration. • Trailblazers is for entering 3rd-5th graders 2020-21school year. Trailblazers focuses on allowing explorers to further develop their personal interests and to pursue their passions by growing their confidence and independence. We try our best to divide our smaller camp groups with the following priorities in order: 1. A child’s established connection with an adult counselor 2. A child’s age 3. Parent’s request for a specific group 4. Our identification of new and existing camp friendships While we do organize explorers into smaller groups, our explorers enjoy ongoing flexibility to engage and interact with all of the explorers in their larger group, despite their small group designation. Many of our workshops and organized activities are designed for the group as a whole as well as time on the bus, during lunch, and playground. You can think of our groups as the desk groups in a typical elementary classroom setting. We’re all in class together with the benefit of added attention for each smaller group.

**Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, age groups will remain separate for the duration of their time at camp, with no co-minging.





Summer Camp FAQs

What should my explorer bring to camp?


  • Hat (recommended for sunny days)
  • Sunscreen **Please apply before coming to camp.
  • Water bottle
  • Extra set of clothes, if necessary **recommended for younger explorers




Is there anything my explorer should NOT bring?


Crocs and flip-flops are NOT allowed in camp! We’re very active and explorers can easily slip or trip on them. Shoes must have ankle straps. Personal toys are discouraged. Electronics such as video game devices are not allowed. Personal cell phones must be kept in explorers backpacks. Please do not send your explorer with money. We cover all trip expenses and do not visit souvenir shops. explorers will not need money for any reason unless explicitly noted in the itinerary details of the weekly email.




Can explorers bring outside food?


Yes. You are welcome to pack your explorer a lunch. Note that we are a nut free facility and do not allow nuts of any kind.




What if my explorer is a picky eater?


We will send out a weekly menu to all camp families. We encourage children to try our foods and always encourage healthy habits. If your child is a picky eater, we suggest nut-free healthy snacks to supplement, if necessary.




Can I request my child be paired with a friend?


We try our best to accommodate group and friend requests. Please make any requests 1-2 weeks in advance. Note that same day friend requests may not always be possible.




What if my child cannot attend camp, how should I notify you?


If your child will be unable to attend a day of camp, please e-mail info@backpacksandbinoculars.com or call 855-687-6923 x4 as soon as you are aware of the absence.




What if I am running late to pick up my child?


We understand things happen and offer a 10-minute grace period. Please let us know if you are running late by calling our main line 855-687-6923 x4. After the grace period a $10 late fee will be added for each additional 10 minutes. You may use a card, check, or cash.




Do you offer makeup days?


Due to the nature and structure of our programs, we do not offer any make up days. We are flexible with rescheduling, however, so please call 855-687-6923 if you would like to reschedule a week of camp.




What happens in the case of severe weather (i.e. heat warning, thunderstorms)?


Depending on the nature of the weather, on field trip days that are outdoors camp will find an alternative trip location. On water days or field days we may stay indoors at our camp location if deemed necessary. We follow heat advisory recommendations from the Dept of Health. For typical rain days that do not include severe weather we will try our best to continue our trip as planned. Parents will be notified via email or text message of any itinerary changes or delays. Our Inclement Weather location for both park locations will be Brooklyn Independent Middle School, located at 38 Lafayette Street in Fort Greene. Families will receive notification the night before a camp day if we will be moving to the indoor location the following day.





School Break Camp FAQs

What should my child bring?


  • Fully charged device
  • Device charger (in case of battery failure)
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Indoor-only shoes
  • Extra set of clothes, if necessary **recommended for younger explorers




What if my child has no schoolwork or live sessions?


Alternate activities will be offered for children who do not have live sessions or school work, including free play in our activity centers and staff-led enrichment activities.




Will my child have outside time?


We make every effort to provide a minimum of 30 minutes of play time on our on-site terrace every morning before lunch.




My child is on school break - can they still attend School Break Camp!


Yes! Our program is open for any child who is in need of care. For days or weeks when most schools are closed, we offer a themed day or week of activities.





Program Policies

Food Policy


Breakfast, lunch, and two snacks are included in the tuition costs. We focus on non-gmo organic foods. We encourage healthy eating choices. We are a nut-free facility. We accommodate most allergies and dietary restrictions. Communicate any issues with the camp director.




Behavior Management Policy


We focus on child engagement and interest as a number one behavior management tool. We use positive discipline methods which encourage self-control, self-direction, self esteem, and cooperation. We focus on positive reinforcement and conflict resolution. When it becomes necessary to discipline a child, certain steps are followed: • Talking to the child to help him/her see how he/she is misbehaving. • Separating the child from the activity being disrupted. • Separating the child from the group. • Holding a conference with the parents about the behavior. • Possible termination of future camp enrollment if issues persist.




Health Policy


Staff will assess the child's health and well-being visually and by asking questions to determine any causes of illness and to check for any demeanor changes. Parents/Guardians will be contacted at the discretion of the staff. If your child vomits or has a high fever at B&B he/she will be isolated and a parent will be called so that the child can be picked up as soon as possible as a precaution to maintain the health and wellness of other explorers and staff.




Cancellation Policy


If you cancel any enrollment 60 days or more before the first date of child participation, we will issue a 100% credit equal to the amount of money paid. This tuition credit can be applied to any Backpacks and Binoculars service for one calendar year and is transferable to another family for a $20 transfer fee. There is no fee for sibling transfers. If you cancel any enrollment 15-59 days before the first date of child participation, we will issue a 50% tuition credit equal to the amount paid. This tuition credit can be applied to any Backpacks and Binoculars service for one calendar year and is transferable to another family for a $20 transfer fee. There is no fee for sibling transfers. If you cancel any service 14 days or less before the date of service, we will not issue any tuition credit for any money paid. You may choose to transfer your exact enrollment to another family for a transfer fee of $20 given the following criteria is met: the new registrant is in the same age group as current enrollee and their family is able to provide enrollment paperwork prior to their child's first date of attendance. Canceling a service for any reason does not constitute a tuition refund or cancellation of a payment plan. Due to the nature and structure of our programs, we do not offer any make up days




Late Payment Policy


Some of our programs offer payment plan options. There is a $30 fee for declined installment payments. The fee will be charged to the credit card on file with Backpacks and Binoculars. If your tuition fees become over two months behind, our program services will be immediately terminated.