After School Guide

Pick-up & Drop-off

Our days will begin at 3:45 pm and run until 5:15 pm. Please drop-off your child no later than 3:45 pm as we will begin our hike to base camp shortly after 3:50 pm. Please call or text Alicia at 352-283-1879 if you are running late and she will advise where is best to meet. Children will only be dismissed to parents and caregivers that have been authorized in writing. Any changes must be sent in writing before the child is dismissed. 

The map below shows the drop-off and pick-up location. We will meet by the park sign across from Bramhall Terrace, near to the parking spots. It is on the left side as you drive on Crest Drive. 


Communication and Updates

We use Slack (a simple messaging app) to communicate with families, as well as allow families to communicate with each other. We also highly recommend downloading Slack's desktop and iPhone or Android apps. If you haven't received an invite to our Slack channel, please email us.

Families will receive a weekly update on Sunday night via Slack that details the weather forecast, and the plans and activities for the week.

After each class. parents will be receive a brief on what their child did that day with pictures via Slack. 

Please always check the forecast each morning before class to ensure that your child comes properly prepared for our days together.

Families should feel free to reach out to Alicia at any time, with any questions. 


Inclement Weather Plans

When there is severe weather predicted in the forecast we will reschedule the class to another date. Families will receive an email and text by 11 am on the day of class if we are rescheduling the class. 


What to Bring

Each child may bring one bag labeled with his/her name. Please send: full water bottle, additional clothes if needed. Please do not send any toys from home as our goal is to explore the park. They are welcome to bring exploration tools: magnifying glasses, binoculars, field guide, etc. 


Sunscreen & Bug Spray

A helpful article for tick prevention can be found here. Please read and check your child for ticks after every class. 


What to Wear

Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. Their clothing should be comfortable and allow them to move and get wet and dirty. Please note that children will be encouraged to immerse themselves in their work, and clothes could become dirty or stained. 

On rainy days, rain coats and rain boots are necessary. Playing in the rain is an amazing experience when properly attired. It is important for your child to have proper footwear with rubber soles that will have good grip for running and climbing.  

For colder days, we recommend arriving in multiple layers for warmth that can be adjusted for the child's comfort. They should come dressed in: 

  • The first layer should be a top and bottom made of wool, silk or 'Heat Tech'.
  • The second layer should be warm pants and top.
  • The third layer should be a sweater or fleece.
  • The fourth layer should be a snow suit (to keep bodies warm).
  • Fleece or wool socks.
  • Insulated, water proof footwear with rubber soles for gripping.
  • Winter hat or balaclava, and/or a scarf.
  • Waterproof gloves/mittens, for cold days 2 pairs can be worn; one thin knit pair and a waterproof heavier pair on top.


What We Will Eat

We will provide a snack with at least one fruit or vegetable, as well as something packed with energy to help us keep exploring (rice cakes, veggie sticks, pretzels). We will have a hand washing station and then prepare our snack together. Please let us know if your child has any dietary restrictions. 


Things We Need to Know

Please remember that South Mountain Reservation is an outdoor environment and contains such hazards as bees and poison ivy and other irritants. While we will do our best to avoid these hazards, please let us know if your child is particularly susceptible to them.  

If your child has any medical conditions, or is taking medication, please let us know in writing if it was not specified in the Information and Release Form.