Cancellation & Refunds

If you have questions about our policies and procedures, please ask!

The purpose of these policies is to keep VWS fiscally sound. The number of staff we hire, and the equipment and venues we rent, are based on the number of registered participants. If you cancel, especially in the week before a program, we have no way to recoup these costs.

Each situation which causes people to change their plans is unique, please contact us as soon as possible, and we can discuss the available options. Sometimes there is a waitlist for a program, and someone can pay to fill your slot. Sometimes you can find a person willing to attend in the spot you paid for. 

If you must cancel your registration:

  • Cancellations 30 days or more prior to the program start date
    • You will receive a full refund, minus your non refundable deposit.
  • Cancellations between 30 days and 7 days prior to the program start date.
    • You will be refunded at 50% of the program fee.
  • Cancellations less than 7 days prior to the program start date OR during the course of the program. 
    • You will not be refunded. Please contact us as soon as possible.

However, if the program is at full capacity and someone from the waitlist is able to fill your slot, we WILL offer you a refund for any sessions not attended, minus a $10 processing fee.

Partial Attendance: We do not guarantee a refund or discount if you choose to participate in only a portion of the program. This includes if you are dissatisfied with the program and choose not to complete it. However, we welcome your feedback and a conversation about whether a full or partial refund is appropriate.

A note on summer camps: Some years the local school districts extend school into late June to make up for snow days. If your child is registered for our summer camp and you receive news (usually in April) that school will be extended and conflict with camp, we will refund your deposit if you choose to withdraw. The deadline for this exception is the last day of May. If you choose to stay registered, and your child will miss the first day or more of camp, we do not offer a pro-rated camp tuition.  This is because we still need to cover the costs of staffing and rental of the camp location for the entire week.


If Vermont Wilderness School needs to cancel a program session or sessions you or your family are registered for:


Vermont Wilderness School is adept at creatively responding to and running programs in a variety of weather conditions. However, in the case of extreme events, cancellation for the safety of program participants is determined at the discretion of VWS staff and includes, but is not limited to, extreme temperatures, unsafe air quality, flooding, widespread public health event (i.e. COVID), etc.

Refund Conditions in the case of VWS cancellations:

Multi-session programs. 


A week-long youth camp (e.g. Otter Camp, Shambhala Camp, April Break Camp, etc.)

A long-term youth program (e.g. Great Blue Heron, Wild Turkeys, Foxwalk, etc.),

A long term adult course (e.g. Hunter’s Heart, Essentials for Resilient Community, etc.)

If a single day of a multi-session program is canceled and cannot be rescheduled, no refunds will be made for that session. Makeup days will be scheduled at the discretion of the director of the program.

If additional sessions are canceled, VWS will offer program credit equal to the value of the missed sessions (credit valid for 1 year from issue) OR a refund equal to the value of the missed sessions, minus a $10 processing fee. 

We also may invite you to consider donating a portion of your refund in support of our staff who lose work hours in these types of extended cancellations.


Single-session programs. 


A single-session (typically 1 day long) non-residential program (e.g. Birding by Ear, Tracking in Winter, Track & Sign Evaluation, etc.)

A multi-day residential program (e.g. Lynx Tracking Trip (3 days), Land Stewardship Camp (4 days), Art of Mentoring (5 days), etc.)

If a single-session program is canceled and cannot be rescheduled, we will credit your payment toward a future program (credit valid for 1 year from issue) OR refund your payment minus a $10 processing fee. 

If a portion of the session is canceled no refunds or credits will be provided. (For example if a program with a stated back-up rain date needs to use it, or if we have to end a program 1 or 2 days early due to severe weather)


How will you know if your program is canceled?

The program director will send you a message via email if a program or program session will be canceled. They will give as much notice as possible but unpredictable weather unfortunately requires last minute changes occasionally.

For parents of children enrolled in academic-year VWS programs: 

If the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union cancels school due to snow or hazardous weather, or if the sheriff declares the roads are closed due to hazardous conditions, our programs will be canceled. 

If the Supervisory Union issues a delayed start, please monitor your emails for a decision from the program director.  Because our start time is a little later than the schools, often we are able to run on a regular schedule.  If we are not able to maintain a regular schedule, we typically cancel and opt for using one of our scheduled make-up days.

In addition, we encourage parents to travel only when you feel it is safe.

You can check here for current school closings.


Late Pick-Up Policy

If your child remains in our care beyond the appointed pick up time we reserve the right to charge you for the additional supervision costs incurred. Please be aware that our staff do have program wrap up duties after pick up times.  It is difficult to juggle those duties and doing additional child supervision.

The cost is $10 for each fifteen minute-increment. By signing the registration form you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly.