Autumn/Winter/Spring Registration & Youth Program FAQ

What do I do if I get to the end of the FAQ and still have questions?

  • For questions about registration, payment, medical form & waiver, scholarships, or questions that don’t fall into other categories –
  • For questions about groupings and what happens DURING the program, including discussing dynamics within your child’s group –  Program Director


How will the program be different because of COVID-19?

  • Youth and staff will follow VWS’s COVID-19 Prevention Protocols.
  • We will host a family orientation in mid-September. Please bring you questions about these protocols, or anything else.  Date TBA.
  • If you have further questions please attend our parent orientation, or contact us.


Fall 2020 Groups

Will siblings be attending the same day, and will they be in the same group? 

  • Our intention is to keep siblings attending on the same program day unless you indicate a desire to have them attend on different days.
  • In most cases, we will likely have siblings in different groups UNLESS you request they be in the same group.


Can my child be with other specific children?

  • We can’t grant all grouping requests, but we understand that part of the reason families come to our programs is to be with their friends, so we will do our best to accommodate them. Please include any requests in the registration form, unless you have already sent them.


Can my child switch groups or days later on?

  • Big Maybe….
  • Program Directors will strive to create groups on the different program days that we believe will create a good experience for all involved.  We are aware that with limited exchange between the small groups that having good small group chemistry is even more important this year.
  • We may be able to do some tweaking of groups if it just isn’t working — especially in the first four weeks of the program.  It all depends on where there are openings.
  • Switching groups or days later on may be possible, but we ask that parents not make this kind of request lightly. The smaller group sizes make this kind of request harder to accommodate. Clearly if scheduling conflicts or group dynamics make one group or day unworkable we will work with you. 


How many days of the week can a child attend?

  • To make our programs more accessible, parents should be aware that requests to attend a second day are considered at the end of our fall registration period. If there are still spaces open after the “new family registration” is closed, then we will respond to requests from returning families who which to attend more than one day.



How do I register?

  • Returning families will receive an email with a link to the registration form.
    • They will need to fill out one form for each child enrolling. The child’s spot will be secured once we have received: 
      • a completed registration form for each child attending,
      • a completed medical form & waiver, and 
      • a payment. 
    • If we do not receive these by the end of your registration window, your spot will not be secured. 
    • If you are mailing a check and are concerned that postal delays may make you miss the deadline, send an email to Elissa at
    • Be sure to save the automated confirmation email that you’ll receive after you complete the form! That is your proof of registration.
  • As it becomes clear how many spots we will have, waitlist families will start to receive emails with a link to the registration form. Your spot will be reserved according to the same terms described above.
  • Following the above, the registration form will be made publicly available and families who are signing up for the first time are welcome to register for the remaining spots. Any families who wish their children to attend multiple days will be contacted should their still be spots after that.


Are families required to sign up for the full year, or are there other choices?

  • We suggest reviewing our updated cancelation & refund policies. When you register you are committing for the whole year. The one exception is if you opt for the 4-week trial period (see below).  


Will there be a trial period option?

  • Yes, a 4-week trial period is available on request. 
  • A trial period would involve a $250 payment, the youth attending the first four sessions of the program (late Sept-late Oct), and then making a decision about the remainder of the year. To request this option:
    • Indicate your interest on the registration form and send in your $250 payment for the trial period and medical form & waiver. (If you are requesting scholarship funds and a trial period, send in a $100 refundable deposit instead.  See below for more details.) 
    • The student will attend the first four sessions of this program (late September to late October) and make a decision about the rest of the year at that point. We encourage youth to attend all four sessions before deciding. 

Cost and Scholarships

How do I apply for a scholarship?

  • On the registration form, select the low end of the sliding scale. You will be directed to a section where you’ll request the amount of scholarship funds and add any other information you choose to share.
  • You will need to send in a $100 deposit to hold your space. This deposit will be refunded if you decide not to attend the program. If the deposit amount is an obstacle please contact us.
  • Once most or all spaces in the program have been reserved VWS will allocate our scholarship budget and reach out to you individually with an offer. This will happen in early-to-mid September.
  • In that message you will be given an amount of time to consider the offer and either accept it and commit to attending the program OR let us know that the offer is not enough for you to attend the program. 


Withdrawal, cancellation, and refunds

If I need to withdraw my child during the program year will I be refunded? 

  • If you register for the trial period you may withdraw after 4 weeks with no other costs.
  • If you withdraw during the program year, VWS policy is that you will not receive any refund.  However, because we have a waitlist for Great Blue Heron Programs this year, we will be able to refund you for any remaining sessions, if there is someone from the waitlist able to take your spot.  See our Refund & Cancellation Policy for more details.
  • If you wish to withdraw and there is no one who can take your spot we may not be able to give you a full refund, but we will work with you to reduce the financial impact to your family as much as possible.


Payment Plans

What are the payment plan options?

  • If you cannot pay in full, you may request a quarterly plan (4 equal payments) or a monthly plan (8 equal payments)
  • You can make this request on the registration form.


How do I pay?

  • Visit the page where you registered to pay online by card or via a Paypal account (includes a 3% processing fee).
  • Mail us a check (or packet of pre-dated checks if you are doing a payment plan) to Vermont Wilderness School, PO Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303.