Why should I allow my child to attend ECOS Institute?
There is a large body of research that shows the benefits of allowing children to grow and explore their independence in a safe environment. Joining their class for an overnight experience is beneficial to develop self-esteem and confidence which enhances independent thinking for junior high and beyond. They build leadership skills including conflict resolution, relationship with peers, and problem solving as indicated by 67% of all students.
In addition, as they explore and understand science content, they develop new interests and skills encouraging career opportunities, particularly important for girls. At ECOS, the “whole child” philosophy infuses fun and teamwork while learning.
How can I prepare my child for ECOS Institute?
The Parent Guide is a wealth of information for parents and answers many questions in one document (under FORMS section for parents).
Who is in charge of healthcare at ECOS?
There is a Registered Nurse (RN) who supervises the health care operations at ECOS. When the lead RN is not on site, care is provided by another RN, LVN, or EMT.
How close are paramedics and hospitals?
The average response time for an ambulance during a 911 emergency is less than 15 minutes. The nearest hospital can be reached within 20 minutes, possibly longer in inclement weather.
Do I need to send Over-The-Counter medication for my child?
Refer to this list of OTC medications provided by ECOS Institute. Parents can directly authorize the ECOS Nurse to administer these OTC medications as needed.
Prescription or scheduled OTC medications sent from home require an ECOS Medication Authorization form, signed by a physician.
If my child has a food allergy, who should I inform?
ECOS Institute does not serve food containing nuts. Parents of students with restrictive food allergies (i.e. gluten, dairy, etc.) should submit a special diet request when completing the online student registration.
Staff & Facilities
Who supervises the students in the cabin at night?
ECOS Institute staff stay in the cabins and supervise the students at night. There are no volunteer parent chaperones or high-school students.
Do you do background checks on your staff before they are hired?
Yes. In addition to an extensive reference check to determine work history and performance, potential staff are fingerprinted and undergo a multi-agency background check.
What are the qualifications of the cabin counselors and activities staff? Do they have first-aid or other certifications?
ECOS Institute staff are carefully interviewed, referenced and fingerprinted. They have extensive experience working with children. They are certified in first aid and CPR. Training and evaluation is on-going to ensure they are the best in the field. They act as teachers, supervisors and supporting adults for your child while attending ECOS.
What is the ratio of student to counselors? Will my child’s teacher remain with the students?
Cabin groups are on average a ratio of one to 12 or 15 students per Instructor. With the additional ECOS support staff and visiting school personnel, the student to staff ratio is 8:1. Yes, classroom teachers remain on site at all times. Their classroom teachers eat meals with students, check in regularly with them, and participate in many of the activities. The teachers do sleep in separate quarters (on site) while the Instructors supervise all activities and overnight hours.
What is the weather like?
Search the forecast for Green Valley Lake, CA at www.weather.gov.
What are the cabins like?
At ECOS Institute, students stay in clean, fully winterized cabins with private restrooms and showers.
What are the menu options if my child has a dietary restriction?
When completing the online registration, parents/guardians can choose ONE of the following options: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and pork-free. Students who are vegetarians can start with the 100% plant-based vegan option, and then add dairy or egg items as they wish.
If one of these options is not sufficient, parents can get permission from their school to send supplemental food.
Where can I find the packing list?
There is an extensive packing list in the Parent Guide (under the FORMS section for parents). Please note that school guidelines need to be followed and cell phones are not allowed at camp.
Is there anything my child should not bring to camp?
Please note that school guidelines need to be followed and cell phones are not allowed at camp. A cell phone with a camera is considered a cell phone. Money, valuables, food, candy or gum are not permitted at camp. Personal beauty items such as curling irons, make-up, hair spray, body spray or cologne/perfume is not necessary. Most importantly, anything not allowed at school is not allowed at ECOS Institute (including such items as knives, razors, sharp tools, drugs or other harmful items).
What is a typical day look like? What time do they get up and what time is lights out?
The 3-, 4- and 5-day sample schedules are available under Schedules section. Meals are typically at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast, 12:30 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 p.m. for dinner. There is a rest period after lunch in their cabins. Lights out is at 9:00 p.m.
Lessons, which are typically 1.5 to 2.25 hours, are sectioned into morning, afternoon and evening hikes or activities. Any unscheduled time between lessons and meals is used in team building activities, led by Instructors for each cabin group.
What time will my child return home? Do I need to pick them up?
Pick up time is at the discretion of the school administration. Students depart camp at 11:00 a.m., after enjoying a snack and watching a video of the experience. Travel time and dismissal policies vary from school to school.
Policies & Procedures
Can I talk to my child during their week at ECOS Institute?
In the event of an emergency at home, parents may choose to contact ECOS and speak to their child. Non-emergency phone calls can divert valuable staff resources, can increase homesickness, and are generally discouraged. Students may not bring cell phones to ECOS.
Will I be informed if my child is missing home?
If a student is missing home, we will encourage and support that child as they work through a normal and common emotion. If anxiety persists through the second day, ECOS staff will contact a parent or guardian and discuss further strategies.
How are disciplinary issues handled?
Our #1 priority is the physical and emotional safety of all students. ECOS Institute is school, not camp, and all of your school rules apply. There are additional rules for safety in the outdoors.
Students will be guided by adults toward healthy choices. However, students who continue to make poor decisions will see consequences such as the following: Miss a fun activity to have a conference with their teacher. They may call home and explain behavior to parents. Even more rare is the removal of a students from ECOS Institute.
Are parent chaperones allowed?
Parents are not allowed in order to provide the opportunity for students to practice independence and to focus on the experience. ECOS staff are highly trained to provide growth experiences and supervision. As employees, they receive the same background check as teachers. This provides the best supervision and safety for your students.
Will there be pictures of ECOS?
A media specialist takes pictures of all the students throughout the week. These pictures and a video of your school will be viewed by the students on the last day and given to the teacher to share.