Questions about Classes

I want to register for classes, but I'm not sure how your online registration works. What do I need to do?

First, create a login if you do not already have one (here’s a How To Create a Login PDF), or login. Then follow the steps for registration outlined in this helpful How to Register PDF.

What are your class registration, payment, cancellation, and refund policies?
General Registration Payment and Refund Policies

All forms must be completed in their entirety and submitted with full payment prior to registration in order to secure a reservation for the class, program, or event. If you have any special concerns about any of the requested information or about making payments, please contact the NDC prior to registering. Please be sure to read any restrictions that may apply to the class, program, or event for which you are registering. The NDC is not responsible for errors made in registration. Falsifying or deliberate exclusion of information about any attendee on a registration form or other associated form may result in the immediate termination of participation. No refund or credit will be issued in such an instance.

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations Received:
• 10 days or more prior to the start date of the class, program, or event may receive a full refund less a 10% administrative fee or a transfer* to another scheduled class, program, or event in the same series for which there is available space.
• 6 to 9 days prior to the start date of the class, program, or event are not eligible for a refund but may transfer* to another scheduled class, program, or event in the same series for which there is available space.
• Less than 6 days prior to the start date of the class, program, or event are not eligible for a refund or a transfer.

  • *transfer requests must be received in writing, via email (mail@naturediscoverycenter.org)

Other Guidelines:
 Semester registrations are treated as a single registration and are only eligible for a refund – no transfers.
• Each child registered is considered a separate registration (even if two or more children are registered at the same time).
• NDC Staff reserve the right to dismiss any student whose influence and conduct becomes detrimental to the best interests of the class. No refunds will be made for dismissed students, absences, or withdrawals.
• Absences due to medical emergencies accompanied by a physician’s written verification may receive a refund less the 10% administrative fee.

Example: You have registered for a single class in the Curious Kids Semester of classes. If you cancel 10 days before the class start date, you will receive 90% of your payment as a refund or you can move to any open Curious Kids classes in the same semester. You may not receive credit/transfer to a different program category or calendar (semester) group.

FOR SCIENCE SUMMER CAMPS ONLY

Cancellations Received:
• 10 days or more prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration may receive a full refund less a 10% administrative fee, or may transfer* to another Science Summer Camp that has an open registration space.
• 6 to 9 days prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration may receive a 50% refund less a 10% administrative fee, or may transfer* to another Science Summer Camp that has an open registration space for a $50.00 transfer fee.
• Less than 6 days prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration are not eligible for a refund or a transfer.
• Partial absences of the week-long summer camps are not issued any refunds or credits.
• A prorated refund may be issued for Medical Emergencies if accompanied by a physician’s written verification.

*transfer requests must be received in writing, via email (mail@naturediscoverycenter.org)

Cancellations by the NDC

Minimum Enrollment: The Nature Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel any class, camp, or program if the minimum number of registrants have not been met. A full refund or a full value credit will be issued if this is the cancellation criteria. If it is necessary to cancel a class for an unforeseeable reason and it is impossible to reschedule the class, a refund or credit may be issued at the discretion of the Nature Discovery Center.

Inclement Weather: Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds or credits will not be given due to weather unless the cancellation is made by the Nature Discovery Center for safety concerns. If severe weather or dangerous weather is a possibility, the Nature Discovery Center will make every effort to contact affected parties regarding either a cancellation or a rescheduling. Please check our website for updates or call if you have concerns, 713-667-6550. If classes are cancelled by HISD, the Nature Discovery Center will not be open.

Do parents/grandparents/nannies have to stay for class?

An adult caregiver must stay with their child for preschool classes (Curious Kids and Sneak-a-Peek) and for Nature Story Time. Adults may leave during Junior Scientist classes and return promptly at the end of class.

Can we bring younger/older siblings to classes?

You may bring siblings to class. If they become disruptive to the class we may ask you to remove the from the classroom. if they participate in class, whether using class materials, interacting with live animals, or asking/answering questions, we ask that you pay for their participation even if their age falls outside the range for the class in question.

Where do we park for classes at the Center?

Please park in the parking lot at the north end of the park by the nature center building (entrance off Newcastle). If this lot is full, additional parking is available at the south end of the park in the lot off Evergreen Street, and on side streets in the neighborhood.

Questions about Camps

I want to register for camps, but I'm not sure how your online registration works. What do I need to do?

First, create a login if you do not already have one (here’s a How To Create a Login PDF), or login. Then follow the steps for registration outlined in this helpful How to Register PDF.

What are your camp registration, payment, cancellation, and refund policies?
General Registration Payment and Refund Policies

All forms must be completed in their entirety and submitted with full payment prior to registration in order to secure a reservation for the class, program, or event. If you have any special concerns about any of the requested information or about making payments, please contact the NDC prior to registering. Please be sure to read any restrictions that may apply to the class, program, or event for which you are registering. The NDC is not responsible for errors made in registration. Falsifying or deliberate exclusion of information about any attendee on a registration form or other associated form may result in the immediate termination of participation. No refund or credit will be issued in such an instance.

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations Received:
• 10 days or more prior to the start date of the class, program, or event may receive a full refund less a 10% administrative fee or a transfer* to another scheduled class, program, or event in the same series for which there is available space.
• 6 to 9 days prior to the start date of the class, program, or event are not eligible for a refund but may transfer* to another scheduled class, program, or event in the same series for which there is available space.
• Less than 6 days prior to the start date of the class, program, or event are not eligible for a refund or a transfer.

  • *transfer requests must be received in writing, via email (mail@naturediscoverycenter.org)

Other Guidelines:
 Semester registrations are treated as a single registration and are only eligible for a refund – no transfers.
• Each child registered is considered a separate registration (even if two or more children are registered at the same time).
• NDC Staff reserve the right to dismiss any student whose influence and conduct becomes detrimental to the best interests of the class. No refunds will be made for dismissed students, absences, or withdrawals.
• Absences due to medical emergencies accompanied by a physician’s written verification may receive a refund less the 10% administrative fee.

Example: You have registered for a single class in the Curious Kids Semester of classes. If you cancel 10 days before the class start date, you will receive 90% of your payment as a refund or you can move to any open Curious Kids classes in the same semester. You may not receive credit/transfer to a different program category or calendar (semester) group.

FOR SCIENCE SUMMER CAMPS ONLY

Cancellations Received:
• 10 days or more prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration may receive a full refund less a 10% administrative fee, or may transfer* to another Science Summer Camp that has an open registration space.
• 6 to 9 days prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration may receive a 50% refund less a 10% administrative fee, or may transfer* to another Science Summer Camp that has an open registration space for a $50.00 transfer fee.
• Less than 6 days prior to the start date of a specified Science Summer Camp registration are not eligible for a refund or a transfer.
• Partial absences of the week-long summer camps are not issued any refunds or credits.
• A prorated refund may be issued for Medical Emergencies if accompanied by a physician’s written verification.

*transfer requests must be received in writing, via email (mail@naturediscoverycenter.org)

Cancellations by the NDC

Minimum Enrollment: The Nature Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel any class, camp, or program if the minimum number of registrants have not been met. A full refund or a full value credit will be issued if this is the cancellation criteria. If it is necessary to cancel a class for an unforeseeable reason and it is impossible to reschedule the class, a refund or credit may be issued at the discretion of the Nature Discovery Center.

Inclement Weather: Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds or credits will not be given due to weather unless the cancellation is made by the Nature Discovery Center for safety concerns. If severe weather or dangerous weather is a possibility, the Nature Discovery Center will make every effort to contact affected parties regarding either a cancellation or a rescheduling. Please check our website for updates or call if you have concerns, 713-667-6550. If classes are cancelled by HISD, the Nature Discovery Center will not be open.

What is my child expected to bring?

Your child should bring a lunch and a refillable water bottle. Week long summer camps include a “water play activity”. For those days, campers will need a bathing suit and a towel. Camp instructors will tell campers whether or not water toys may be brought to camp for water play.

What should my child wear?

Your child should wear weather appropriate clothes and, preferably, close toed shoes for outdoor activities.

How early can I drop my child off? And do I need to come inside to drop them off?

Camp drop off begins at 9am. The building will remain closed until that time as instructors and counselors prepare for the day’s activities. At this time we do not offer pre-camp care. Parents or caregivers are required to come inside to check-in each day.

How late can I pick my child up?

Camp ends at 3:30 pm. An adult you have pre-approved for camp pick-up must come inside the Center to check-out your child each day. After Care is available until 5:30 pm for an additional $15 per day. You must alert Center staff of your after care needs and pay in advance for this service. Children in after care may be picked up by a designated adult anytime between 3:30 and 5:30 pm. Parents who are continually late for after care pick up may be assessed a fine of $1/minute.

What does a day at camp look like?

Our camp instructors determine their daily activity plan based on the camp topic, the weather, and camper ages and abilities. Campers will spend part of their day inside and part of their day outside weather permitting. Each camp will include a mixture of activities from crafts, to hands-on exploration and experimentation, to live animal encounters, nature walks, active games, and self-selected “down time” activities. Weather permitting campers also spend some time at the playground after lunch each day.

Will campers spend time outside if it is hot/cold?

Yes. Our camps are indoor/outdoor camps. Please have your camper dress appropriately for the weather.

Do campers need sunscreen or bug spray?

Please apply sunscreen and bug spray before dropping your child off for camp. We have bug spray on site and can reapply during the day as needed.

What are the qualifications of your camp staff and volunteers? What are the ratios of campers to camp staff and volunteers?

Our camps are taught by degreed NDC Educators and current and/or retired local elementary school teachers. There are no more than 22 campers in each camp. In addition to their camp instructor, campers are supervised by a Head Counselor and 3 or more additional camp counselors, who are teenage volunteers ages 13 and up. Counselors, many of whom were once our campers, are interviewed and trained for their counselor positions, and most serve as counselors for us throughout their teen years.

Do you have scholarships?

We do occasionally have summer camp scholarships. Please contact Anne Eisner at 713.667.6550 to inquire about the availability of these opportunities.

Do we have to pay our whole bill up front?

Campers enrolled in day camps and school break camps are required to pay their camp balance up front before the start of camp. Campers enrolled in summer camp may make an initial payment and then pay the balance due in installments.

Do you take children with allergies?

Yes. Students with allergies are welcome in our camps. Please make notes of specific food allergies when registering your child so that we can plan ahead for safe snacks. And be sure to leave allergy medications (including epi-pens when necessary) with camp staff.

Do you accept children with special needs in your camps?

Absolutely. All children deserve a chance to learn about the wonders of nature and the world around us. However, we maintain the requirements that 1) your child be able to attend camp without your supervision, and 2) be able to follow camp rules in a class setting that encourages socialization and independence. Lastly, your child should be able to respect the inherent risk of learning in an outdoor setting without the tangible barriers of four walls. Call Program Coordinator Anne Eisner at 713.667.6550 to discuss your child’s attendance further.

What are the behavior expectations for campers?

Camp Rules are introduced by the camp teachers and discussed by campers on Monday morning and are emphasized throughout the week. In the event of a serious behavior problem, we will call you to pick up your child. At our discretion, your child may be allowed to return to camp the following day.

Whom can I contact during the day if I need to leave an emergency message concerning my child?

Please call the NDC Office at 713.667.6550 and a staff member will deliver your message.