Summer Camps

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When does registration begin?
Q: How can I register?
Q: Can I buy a membership and register for camp at the same time?
Q: I'm an individual member of the Friends of the Arboretum. Can I still register during the members-only period?
Q: I'm a grandparent who is a member of the Arboretum. Can I register my grandchild for camp?
Q: When is payment due?
Q: What types of payment do you accept online?
Q: When I try to register, it asks me to log in. How do I get a log in?
Q: Can I check out as a guest?
Q: I've forgotten my or password. What do I do?
Q: I'm a NC State University employee/student and have a Unity account. Should I log in using my Unity account?
Q: I'm still having trouble with my user account. What should I do?
Q: The camp I want to register for says "This activity is currently full." What should I do?
Q: Camps have ages and grades listed for them. Do I have to register my camper based on that? Is it the current school year or next school year?
Q: How many campers and staff are in each camp?
Q: What should my camper bring to camp each day?
Q: Is lunch provided?
Q: My child has food allergies and/or special needs. Are they able to attend?
Q: Where do camps take place?
Q: What happens on rainy days or extremely hot days?
Q: Where is camp drop off and pick up?
Q: What happens if I need to pick up my camper early?
Q: Our summer plans have changed and I need to cancel our registration. Can I get a refund?
Q: Are there any camp forms required? How can I get a copy?


Q: When does registration begin?

A: 2020 Camp registration dates are listed below:

  • Monday, January 27, 2020, 9:00 am – Registration opens for Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum at the Family/Dual level or above. Registration links will appear on the camp Web pages.
  • Monday, February 10, 2020, 9:00 am – Registration opens to the public.

Q: How can I register?

A: Registration is online through our Web site. On each camp's Web page, a red register button will appear near the top of the page to register for that camp. This link will take you to the Reporter registration system where you will be required to provide camper and contact information. Registration is not complete until after payment has been made. Payment is made online as part of the registration.

Q: Can I buy a membership and register for camp at the same time?

A: Yes and no. You can purchase a membership and register for camp on the same day. You will need to visit our membership Web page separately from the camp registration Web page.

If you join the same day, please type "joined today" in the membership number field on your camp registration.

Q: I'm an Individual member of the Friends of the Arboretum. Can I still register during the members-only period?

A: The two week early registration period is for Family/Dual level and above members. You can upgrade your membership so you can take advantage of this Family/Dual level benefit! To upgrade your membership, contact Kathryn Wall, membership and volunteer coordinator, at (919) 513-7004 or kbwall@ncsu.edu.

Q: I'm a grandparent who is a member of the Arboretum. Can I register my grandchild for camp?

A: Yes! What a wonderful gift! If your membership is a Family/Dual level or above, you can register your grandchild during the members-only registration period and use the member discount.

Please note that all communication will come to the e-mail address, mailing address, and/or phone numbers associated with the membership used for registration. Camp registration requires waivers and other forms to be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the camper. Please make sure to have these forms signed by and communicate all information to the appropriate person.

Q: When is payment due?

A: Full payment is due at the time of registration. During registration, you should be prompted to checkout. You will be asked to give your credit card information. Your registration is not complete until you review your order and place the order.

After you have completed the payment, you should receive an automated confirmation e-mail from the registration system.

Q: What types of payment do you accept online?

A: Our online registration system accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Q: When I try to register, it asks me to log in. How do I get a log in?

A: When you click on the “Login to Sign Up” button, a popup window will appear giving you the option to use your Guest Login or sign up for an account. If you have already set up an account in the Reporter system, use your account username and password. If you haven't created an account, choose to create an account.

Q: Can I check out as a guest?

A: No. In this registration system, you will complete health forms, waivers, and other required forms for camp online. Because of this, you will need to have an account so that you can access these forms for your camper and complete online prior to camp.

Q: I've forgotten my password. What do I do?

A: Click on the "Forgot Password?" link located on the Login window that appears when you click the “Login to Sign Up” button. Instructions for resetting your password will be sent to the e-mail address used to create the account.

Q: I'm a NC State University employee/student and have a Unity account. Should I login with my Unity account?

A: You must have an External Guest Account to register for camps. Reporter wants to keep your employee/student account and family account separate. To create a guest account for personal activities such as camps, click your name in the top right corner (if you are already logged into your Unity account), sign out, then use the 'No Account? Sign Up Here' button on the homepage. When creating your personal account, use a personal e-mail address rather than your NC State Unity e-mail account.

Q: I'm still having trouble with my user account. What should I do?

A: Click the Help link located on the top right of the screen. Choose “How do I log in to Reporter?” and then the Guest/External User option. There is a step-by-step instructional guide that includes screenshots and also a way to email Reporter.

Q: The camp I want to register for says "This activity is currently full." What should I do?

A: Camps are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. When a camp fills, a waitlist will start. To be placed on the waitlist, click the “Add to Waitlist” button. You will be prompted to select a child to add to the waitlist.

During the members-only registration period (January 27, 2020–February 9, 2020), only Arboretum Family/Dual level or above members are placed on the waitlist. Nonmembers registering for the waitlist during this period will be reordered behind any Arboretum members registered for the waitlist during the members-only registration.

If a space becomes available, families will be contacted and given the opportunity to accept or decline the space. The open camp spot will be held for 48 hours. Upon accepting the open space, payment will be due to finalize registration for the camp.

Q: Camps have ages and grades listed for them. Do I have to register my camper based on that? Is it the current school year or next school year?

A: For our preschool camp, Garden Critters, campers must be four years old prior to the first day of camp and fully potty trained. For all other camps, register your camper based on his or her 2020–21 school year grade level (current kindergartener = rising 1st = will be in 1st grade during the 2020–21 school year).

Our camps are designed with grade levels and ages in mind. Activities and content are based on age level expectations and abilities. Please double check that you are registering your camper for the correct grade level camp to help ensure they have the best possible camp experience.

Q: How many campers and staff are in each camp?

A: The number of campers varies for each camp according to age levels and also camp staffing. The largest possible ratio we have is 1 staff member for every 9 campers. On each camp Web page, the number of spots is listed at the end of the camp description.

Camp staff is made up of a camp teacher and a camp assistant and may also include additional support provided by JCRA volunteers. Staff and volunteers are supervised by the children's program coordinator and must complete a background check and training prior to working with camps.

Q: What should my camper bring to camp each day?

A: Prior to camp, you will receive a letter welcoming you to camp. This camp letter will give you more details about your camp week and review camp policies that were given at registration.

Q: Is lunch provided?

A: No, campers are asked to bring a snack and lunch each day.

Q: My child has food allergies and/or special needs. Are they able to attend?

A: Food allergies are handled easily since campers bring their own snacks and lunches. In cases of severe allergies to food, we can request other families to avoid those foods in their campers' snacks and lunches to help protect your camper. Please let us know of any allergy and severity in the registration information so we are able to make accommodations.

If your camper has serious behavioral, physical, or psychological considerations, please contact Elizabeth Overcash at (919) 513-7011 or elizabeth_overcash@ncsu.edu prior to the registration period to discuss the camp experience.

Q: Where do camps take place?

A: Camps take place on the grounds of the JC Raulston Arboretum with the exception of Cultivating Science that may include off-campus field trips. The indoor portion of camp takes place either in the Education Yurt or the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Outdoor activities take place in various gardens of the Arboretum.

Q: What happens on rainy days or extremely hot days?

A: The best part of our camps is the ability to explore and use the gardens as part of our camp activities. We aim to be outside everyday as much as possible. When the weather doesn't cooperate, the camp activities are adapted for indoors. Make sure to pack rain boots and a raincoat on rainy days as we may still go out if it's only drizzling or light rain!

We have severe weather procedures that include guidelines for activities based on the heat index and air quality. This is a camp in a garden setting, so campers and their families should expect they will be outside in the North Carolina summer temperatures!

Q: Where is camp drop off and pick up?

A: Campers are to be dropped off and picked up at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center. You may enter the parking lot and use the brick circle to drop off and pick up instead of parking. If you are going to linger with your camper, please park in the parking lot and walk up to the Visitor Center.

If you are late arriving to camp in the morning and don't see the group, you will need to walk your camper out to the Education Yurt or to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Please do not send them unattended to find the camp.

We require parents or caregivers to sign campers in and out each day. Make sure to initial the attendance sheet each time you drop off or pick up your camper to help us maintain a safe environment for our camp families.

Please try your best to be on time for drop off and pick up. We want each camper to feel part of the camp group and don't want to start the day's activities without all our campers. When you are late arriving, there are other campers anxiously waiting to get the day started. When you are late to pick up your camper, they are excitedly waiting to tell you all about their day and worrying where you are. Late fees may be charged as explained in our policies.

Q: What happens if I need to pick up my camper early?

A: Let the camp staff know at drop-off or as early as you can. We can let you know where pick up your camper and also make sure they are at a point in their day that they can easily leave the activities.

Q: Our summer plans have changed and I need to cancel our registration. Can I get a refund?

A: If you can no longer attend camp, you will need to log in to your Reporter account. Under “Upcoming Youth Activities,” select the camp/child that you need to cancel. Click "View Details” and select “Cancel Registration” on the "Youth Activity Details" window. After providing a reason for the cancellation, click “Cancel this Registration" and your request will be sent to the children’s program coordinator. Once the cancellation has been received, you will get an e-mail letting you know that your camper has been removed from the camp.

Participants withdrawing from a camp prior to May 22, 2020, will receive a refund minus a 15% administrative fee per child per camp. No fees will be refunded if registration is canceled after May 22, 2020. Membership donations made in association with a camp registration are not refundable.

Q: Are there any camp forms required? How can I get a copy?

A: Yes, we have four forms required for camp participation: NC State University General Participation Agreement, an insurance and medical form, a photo release form, and an emergency contact form. Cultivating Science campers will also need a vehicle release form.

Forms are all available online through the Reporter registration system. Once you have paid for the camp, you will have the option to complete the required forms on the order confirmation page. If you do not complete the forms at that time, you can access the forms from the home screen under "Upcoming Youth Activities." Any camp you have a child registered for will be listed. Choose the "View/Edit Forms" option to view and edit the camp forms. Completed forms are required prior to the first camp day, and campers will not be able to be dropped off at camp without completed forms.