Join the Otter Romp!
Like you, we believe that the outdoors has so much to teach us that we could never learn from a computer screen.
The Otter Romp is our educational membership program, designed to help you and your children enjoy our educational programs year round at below-cost rates. Through your membership, you support our ability to offer a variety of quality programs, and you support a growing movement that demands education through immersive outdoor activities.
Why is it called the otter romp?
River otters are known for their curiosity and playful ways on and off land. At Claytor Nature Center, we hope to foster a similar kind of outdoor attitude among our children and adult guests, so we have named our educational membership program after these exuberant creatures. An otter romp is the most playful collective name for a group of otters, and we hope you will join ours, as we seek to expand our accessibility to you!
Enjoy a YouTube video of “romping” otters: https://youtu.be/XuqEneup4zU
How it works
Since the pandemic closed schools and educational centers, hands-on group learning has become more difficult to find. So when we reopened, we did so with a new emphasis on hosting more educational programs that are open to the public. Visiting Claytor Nature Center grounds during open hours is still free of charge, and with the exception of member-only events, you may continue to join our education programs regardless of member status. Currently, the Otter Romp initiative supports at least three unique educational options each month. Most months will have five or more. Currently, the majority of activities are targeted for ages 6-12, and we anticipate expanding into the 3-5 and 13+ age groups as our capacity grows.
Benefits of Otter Romp memberships
- Discounted fees for educational programs.
- Tier options that include free programs.
- Members-only activities.
- At least three unique educational options each month. Most months will have more.
- Advance monthly activities calendar by email.
- An annual report that highlights our growth and how your contributions are used in our operations.
View and register for our publicly available events, via our University calendar.
Join the Romp
Individual memberships – For individuals six years and older OR one adult plus one child five years or younger
Family memberships (up to 7 people) – One adult member may be accompanied by up to 6 additional people or all children who reside in the same household.
|Tier||Type||6 Month||Annual*||Program Discounts||Member Only Activities||NatureEd Activities|
|Otter Pup||Individual Family||$35
|Little Otter||Individual Family||$44
|Big Otter||Individual Family||$94
*Each annual membership purchased in the Little Otter or Big Otter tiers will include a ticket for an observatory open house event.
Over the next few months, we will transition to a dedicated management system that will make registrations and payments easier on you. Until then, we are managing this program manually. When we receive your membership request, we will remit a PayPal invoice. Your paid invoice number will serve as your temporary membership number for event registrations during this introductory period. Once you pay, enjoy the benefits of membership in the Claytor Romp!
Romp With Us!
Which level is best for my family?
If you would like to support the center and help us increase our educational capacity, but are not sure how frequently you will engage in our programs, or you want to see what kinds of programs we will add as we expand, consider investing at the Otter Pups level.
If you think your family will attend 1-2 programs most months, consider investing at the Little Otter level.
If you believe you will attend three or more programs most months, consider investing at the Big Otter level.
How do the individual and family memberships work?
The family membership is intended for use by 5 or more people in the same household, or to allow you to include up to seven immediate family members (like grandparents) in your day’s excursion. Alternatively, the family membership can be used by a designated caregiver and children who reside in the same household.
Individual memberships are targeted memberships that allow individuals in a household to enjoy benefits, even if others do not take advantage of benefits as frequently. For example, the majority of our programs currently target 6-12 year olds. If your family includes children ages 7, 10, and 14, you may want to purchase two individual memberships for the 7 and 10 year old children who have the opportunity to engage with us more frequently, and pay by the program when your 14 year old child engages with us.
As our Otter Romp staff expands and we are able to offer programs for additional ages more reliably, you might consider adjusting the number and types of memberships you purchase.
Which programs are the NatureEd programs?
NatureEd programs are typically 1-1.5 hour exploratory excursions of a nature-based or outdoor subject. We cover a variety of topics, including plants, insects, birds, life cycles, water quality, wilderness skills, rocks, navigation, and on. Our event calendars will clearly delineate which programs are NatureEd programs in the event title.
Can I purchase a membership just for my child?
Yes, each child may have an individual membership if you are not investing in a family membership. If you have a large family or want to regularly accompany your children on programs, we suggest considering a family membership.
If my child has a membership but I don’t, can I still attend my child’s educational programs?
Yes, you may. However, you will need to purchase an additional ticket for yourself at the nonmember price. For example, if you purchase a Little Otter membership for your child, and your child is attending his/her free program for the month, you will need to purchase a ticket if you want to accompany your child.
When will you offer more programs for 3-5 year olds, middle school students, adults, and full families?
We thank you for your interest in the variety of program types we can offer. Feedback like the types of programs you want to see helps us determine which programs we try to expand next – please continue to provide feedback on what you’d like to see.
We take your long term investment in our programs seriously; therefore, we want to build sustainable programs that you can expect to see at a reliable frequency. We will continue to offer activities for 6-12 year olds at a similar frequency as in the past three months. As our staff expands, so will our capacity to offer programs for a greater variety of ages. We expect that an eventual lessening of covid restrictions will also raise our programming capacity. Thank you for your patience and support as we grow.
Still have questions?
This membership program is a unique way of operating for us, and we will grow with it. Please reach out to Danielle Racke firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, comments, concerns, or kudos.