NBTSC Refund Policy 2023
Here’s our detailed refund policy, in the hopes of being very, very clear. Occasionally somebody gets mad at us (even mean, sometimes) because we don’t give all their money back. The truth is that we do most of our work and incur many of our expenses long before camp, and we often expend a lot of time and energy on individuals who later choose not to attend. Please, don’t register for camp unless you are okay with this policy.* Thank you oh so very much.
*We suggest looking into camp cancellation insurance if you want more security than we are able to offer. (One easy option is to get insurance through CampDoc, our online registration provider. We do not know enough about this insurance to recommend it over others, but it is convenient for some families to purchase it while signing up for camp. NBTSC does not receive any of the proceeds from these sales.)
How to cancel
Contact our main office by phone or email to let us know that you won’t be coming. (Please do contact our office directly, rather than submitting a cancellation request through CampDoc.)
Cancel on or before March 31
We return all but $75 of your deposit(s), even if you registered for more than one session. (Yes, we know we call it a non-refundable deposit. Generally speaking it is exactly that, but this early in the year we are happy to return part of it.)
Cancel between April 1 and the cancellation deadline
We return anything you have paid above your $250 per-session non-refundable deposit. We are very busy during this time, and may not process your refund for a few weeks. If you haven’t received it within a month, please prompt us. You forfeit your entire $250 non-refundable deposit, for each session of camp you had registered for. However, if it is important to you to try to get some of your deposit back, you may send us an email explaining your circumstances. (Make sure to include the words “NBTSC deposit refund request” in the subject line.) We will hold onto your request until after the camp season is over in the fall and then consider. If it turns out that the session(s) you had registered for filled up, we will consider your situation individually and at our discretion, if we have the funds available we may refund up to $150 of your deposit for that/those session/s.
Cancellation deadline: June 1
Cancel after the cancellation deadline
We do not give any refunds until after our camp season is over. (It’s over in the fall and then we look at our finances and by around early November, we figure out what is possible.) At that point, we issue refunds thusly:
1) Full worktraders don’t get any of their $250 deposit back. It’s difficult for us to reconfigure the worktrader lineup this late in the season.
2) Worktrading (not just full-worktrading) campers who cancel do not normally receive refunds. (When worktraders cancel after our cancellation deadline, this is extremely inconvenient for us – and typically results in stress and extra work for logistics and kitchen staff.)
3) For campers other than worktraders: If your session/s of camp filled up, we retain your $250 registration deposit/s, but refund everything else.
4) If your session was not full: we do not give refunds except (at our discretion) in catastrophic, rare, and/or extreme circumstances (see below), or occasionally (at our discretion) when a camper must cancel due to illness (see below). Think of it this way: by registering, you contract with us to prepare a place at camp for you, and doing so means that we incur a significant financial obligation ourselves. (We sign contracts with our sites for lodging, purchase supplies, hire staff, and pay for administrative, organizational, planning, and preparatory work.) If it turns out your plans change and you can’t make it to camp, that’s a bummer and we’re sorry and we’ll miss you, but we still had to buy the stuff, sign the contracts, hire the people, and pay the administrators and helpers who plan and prepare for camp.
5) Unfortunately, we are not able to routinely refund campers who must cancel due to illness. But if this pertains to you, you’re welcome to email us a request, along with details regarding your situation. (Include the words “NBTSC Refund Request” in your subject line.) If our bank account allows, we may be able to issue a partial refund or (more likely) a partial voucher for the following year’s tuition. If this is concerning, you may wish to consider camp cancellation insurance such as that offered upon registration (through CampDoc).
Something truly catastrophic happens
(Someone in your family is told they have 6 months to live; a dam breaks and your house is underwater; you acquire an extremely serious health condition that makes camp impossible or life threatening for you; etc. )
By all means, contact us! We’re not heartless. We may ask for some kind of documentation and explanation, and we’ll be more flexible if we hear from you sooner rather than later, but if you can’t explain before camp, do so afterward. We’ll consider your situation individually, look at our bank account, and see what we can do. (Please email us, including the words “NBTSC Refund Request” in your subject line.)
What happens to your prepaid T-shirts, books, field trips, etc.?
We automatically refund them. We don’t ship these items. (But if you have a sibling or friend coming to camp, and they are willing to transport your T-shirt, books, hoodie, etc., you can inform our camper and family liaison (Maya), and we’ll tag your items with your sibling’s/friend’s name. If that sibling/friend neglects to pick up your stuff, we don’t offer a refund or shipping at that point.)
No refunds for partial camp attendance
We do not give refunds when someone chooses to leave camp part way through, whether due to illness, homesickness, pre-planned event (like the start of college or a soccer tournament or a family wedding), or any other reason. Virtually all of our expenses are incurred before the start of the camp session. Also, the staff typically spends a lot of extra time with these individuals before they leave. We are more than happy to do so, but tend to feel frustrated if they later ask to have their money back.
Similarly, we cannot give refunds to people who have registered for more than one session if they choose during their first session not to attend another session. (Unless that session fills up anyway – see above.)
What if you don’t get your information or money in on time and don’t contact us to work out alternate arrangements, and don’t respond to our attempts to contact you, and we eventually cancel your registration?
Sorry, you don’t get your deposit back.
How to change a registration from one session to another
Contact us. Your deposit and other camp fees will be applied to the session of your choice. After March 31st there will be an additional fee as follows:
Between April 1st and the cancellation deadline, $35.
After the cancellation deadline, $125 per switch.
What if you’ve canceled, requested a refund beyond our normal policies, and are anxious about what we will decide?
We understand! It can be uncomfortable to live with any kind of financial uncertainty, especially when your family is also dealing with health or other issues that caused you to cancel in the first place.
Please, try to also understand that we cannot consider refunds (except those in keeping with our regular procedures spelled out above) until the fall, after our camp season ends and we are able to look carefully at our bank account and see what is feasible. Contacting us repeatedly before this time does absolutely nothing to hasten a refund nor to improve the chances of getting one. Sometimes we feel a bit harassed by these unnecessary and repeated (and sometimes rather bossy) reminders, although we do our best to just take a deep breath and remind ourselves that folks don’t mean to be unkind; they’re mostly just worried and uncomfortable.
What if NBTSC needs to cancel an event?
In the event that NBTSC needed to cancel an entire session due to a pandemic, extreme weather, or some other large and unforeseeable event, we would offer to return all camp tuition. We would not, however, be able to cover any additional expenses you had already incurred, such as for airfare. (But, you should know that we’re good at rolling with Life. In 2011, when Hurricane Irene forced our Vermont hosts to cancel our reservation a few weeks prior, our admins Sarabeth and Matt hustled until they found us a new site just 115 miles away in New Hampshire. Since most campers travel to Vermont by car, they were able to simply drive to New Hampshire instead. We arranged van transportation at no extra cost for all the folks whose buses and trains took them to Vermont.) We promise to continue to do our best to keep camp happening, but of course we are not omnipotent. By signing up for NBTSC you do participate in some risk, which alas, seems to be part of human life on planet earth. Some folks like to mitigate this type of risk by purchasing trip cancellation insurance from a reputable agency.
What if NBTSC needs to evacuate or cancel part way through a session?
This has never happened, and we hope it never will. But, weather and fire-related events do continue to increase, so we want to broadly anticipate the possibilities and be clear with you. One scenario, for example, would be that in Oregon, regional wildfire smoke would impact air quality to the point that we needed to evacuate and end a session early. While NBTSC has never been faced with that reality, other camps in the Pacific Northwest have. If we needed to evacuate or cancel part-way through, for any reason beyond our control, our default policy would be no refunds. This is because most of our costs are incurred prior to a camp session. Moreover, an evacuation would likely involve additional expenses. In other words, we would probably not be able to provide refunds. Our focus would be on safety and communication—and the emotional/social as well as physical well-being of our community. For those campers who were unable to leave the area promptly (such as if flights couldn’t easily be changed on short notice), we’d also need to find safe places to host them. All that said, if possible, we would certainly make an effort to issue partial refunds. This might be for non-incurred expenses like prorated site rental fees, etc. If we were to evacuate or cancel part way through, we would at minimum send out an email to camp families explaining the circumstances (where we saved money, where there were unforeseen additional expenses, and how much if any we were able to refund).
Some camps purchase insurance which makes it possible to issue refunds in evacuation/cancellation situations, and that’s something we’ve considered—but, such insurance is expensive and getting moreso every year — meaning that it would definitely bump up tuition. At this time we do not carry that type of insurance. You may want to individually consider an insurance policy that would cover your family in the event of an evacuation or cancellation.