Rates and Regulations
Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center Rates
Program Rates (effective 1/1/19)
Program rates at Upham Woods include use of all facilities and equipment, overnight lodging (if applicable), access to the Wisconsin River and exclusive use of Blackhawk Island, educational programming (including evening programs), low ropes course programming, liaison support for your group, professional teaching staff, and access to our food service.
Arrival and departure:
- Arrival and departure times are variable and must be coordinated by the group leader and Upham Woods program director.
- Overnight programs: On departure day, groups must set a departure time that is three hours earlier than the schedule arrival time to allow for cleaning of campus and preparation of staff for arrival of another group. Example: Varney School arrives at Upham Woods at 1pm on Wednesday and is staying until Friday. Expected departure time will be 10am on Friday.
- Additional hours on arrival and departure days can be coordinated with the Upham Woods program director and are subject to day use fees.
- If arrival or departure is within 1 hour of a scheduled meal, that uses Upham food service, groups may be on site without additional program fees for the length of the meal. Departure must happen directly after the meal. No program will be offered during this time and all other areas of the facility will be closed for cleaning.
Group size dictates how many teaching staff are available for your group
- 10-25: 1 staff
- 26 – 59: up to two staff
- 60 +: three staff
- Additional staff may be used at a rate of $100/staff/day (if available)
PEAK Season Rates (March 1 – November 30)
Rates below are per person, per night (if applicable). Minimum Billing: 20 persons
|Overnight Lodging Choices|
|Cabin||Dorm *||Day Use (5-10 hrs)||Day Use (1-4 hrs)|
* Dorm rates: Rates do not include linens. If you would like sheets, blankets, and shower towels for your group, please add an additional $8/person/night. Contact Upham Woods with questions about this occupancy policy. Room rental prices do not include set-up & clean-up.
Outpost/Adventure Camp Groups:
Outpost/Adventure Camp groups can camp off-site (at a state/county park or as part of a downriver canoe trip), or on-site (on Blackhawk Island or behind the Nature Center). Equipment and canoe transport is provided for outpost groups. Participant transport is NOT provided. Maximum group size is 20 participants for Wisconsin River trips and 30 participants for State Park trips. Packed meal ingredients are available at the same rate as in camp dining. Group is responsible for preparing meals. One Outpost naturalist is provided for each group.
OFF Season Rates (December 1 – February 28)
Rates below are per person, per night (if applicable). Minimum Billing: 20 persons
|Overnight Lodging Choices|
|Cabin||Dorm *||Day Use (5-10 hrs)||Day Use (1-4 hrs)|
* Dorm rates: Maximum of 6 people per dorm room. Rates do not include linens. If you would like sheets, blankets, and shower towels for your group, please add an additional $8/person/night. Contact Upham Woods with questions about this occupancy policy. Room rental prices do not include set-up & clean-up.
Conference Rates at Upham Woods
Please contact Upham Woods about rate structure for your conference. firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-254-6461
Upham Woods reserves the right to schedule multiple groups for facility and program use based on staffing and accommodation availability. We are happy to accommodate exclusive use of our facility through an exclusive use rate of $2000/day. This fee is in addition to the per person rate on a groups contract.
Deposit Policy, effective May 2019
Seasonal Deposit Requirements:
- Summer Deposit: $2,000 or 20% of estimated billing, whichever is greater
- School Year Deposits: $500 or 20% of estimated billing, whichever is greater
Other Groups (meetings, smaller weekend groups):
- Group Size Minimum: 20 persons
- Group Deposit Minimum: $200
Rates Effective 4/15/19
All meal rates are non-negotiable. Any adjustments to the rates must be requested and approved in writing to the Director prior to contract signing.
|Breakfast||$6/ person||Lunch||$7 / person||Dinner||$9 / person|
Available for groups of 20 or more people. Smaller groups may also elect to purchase food service, but they will be billed the 20 person minimum for all meals. Upgraded catering menu for all meals is available upon request. Please contact the Food Service Director at 608-254-6461, ext. 208.
Upham Woods is available for outreach programs to your school, office, group meeting, etc. Programming includes 1 Upham Naturalist for up to 25 participants and fees include mileage to and from location. All outreach programs are subject to one hour of paid preparation time. Hourly Rate: $75/hour. Mileage: $.58/mile
Sponsorship of Educational Materials Display at Upham Woods
Upham Woods accepts inquiries to provide space for displaying educational materials. Cost begins at $500/year plus expenses to fabricate the display. Inquiries are subject to review by the Center Director to ensure alignment with the educational mission of Upham Woods.
Meeting Space Rental
Meeting spaces may be reserved at the per person day user rate listed above. Minimum billing number: 20 persons. The minimum deposit to reserve a meeting space is $200.
Groups of more than 20 may not bring in their own food without offering first right of refusal to Upham Food Service: Consolidated Management.
Please Contact Us, if you have any questions about our rates.
Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center Policies
Updated March 2018
These policies are designed to ensure the health and safety of Upham users and staff and the safe and efficient operation of Upham Woods. Many rules are mandated by state law. Citations of DHS 175 refer to State of Wisconsin Code of Administrative Rules regarding Recreational and Educational Camps. Failure to comply may result in assessment of additional fees, loss of privileges, and denial of future use of Upham Woods.
Group Leader Responsibilities
The Group Leader is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all group members follow all Upham policies. The group leader should handle all discipline problems within the group.
The group leader is responsible for completing and returning all necessary forms by the deadline dates. The Food Service Agreement and Program Coordination Form, along with a detailed schedule of program activities, are due at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the group’s visit. In addition, groups conducting outpost camps must submit completed Outpost forms at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the group’s visit. A late paperwork penalty fee will be assessed for each five day period that all required forms are not received.
Adult to Student Ratio
State law requires that all groups must provide a 1:10 ratio of adults to youth at all times, including in cabins at night (DHS 175.18(1)).
No firearms or archery equipment are permitted in camp except for use in an organized and supervised camp activity. All firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment not being used shall be securely stored under lock and key (DHS 175.18(3)(c)).
Explosives, alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs are not allowed on Upham Woods property. Anyone possessing any of these items will be immediately escorted off the premises.
No pets are allowed on Upham Woods property. Animals trained to assist participants with disabilities are exempt from this restriction.
State law requires that each visiting group bring a “First Aid Coordinator” with current certifications in First Aid/CPR, EMT training, RN or equivalent. The First Aid Coordinator should bring proof of certification(s) for our files (DHS 175.19(5)(a)&(b).
Each participant must bring a signed (by parent or guardian in youth’s case) health form. The First Aid Coordinator will keep these forms while the group is at Upham Woods. The health forms or a copy must be given to Upham Woods at time of group departure. Confidentiality will be respected (DHS 175.19(2) & DHS 175.19(7)(a)&(c).
If participants are under the age of 14, the First Aid Coordinator will keep all medications in a locked box in the Infirmary. The only medications allowed on the trail for youth under 14 years of age are prescription inhalers, epi-pens (bee sting kits), insulin syringes, or other medication or device used in the event of life-threatening situations. These items may be carried by the camper, parent, or guardian. If a visitor requires any other medications on his or her person, he or she must obtain permission from Upham Woods staff (DHS 175.19(6)(b)&(c)).
All medications must be brought to Upham Woods in the original prescription bottle with doctor’s instructions. Over-the-counter medications must be in the original bottle with the dosage written on it, camper’s name, and frequency of administration. (DHS 175.19(6)(a)).
Upham Woods staff may not administer any medications; however, staff carry First Aid kits and can provide basic first aid supplies.
Risk Management & Liability
All participants (youth and adults) must bring a signed copy (by parent or guardian in youth’s case) of the UW-System Agreement for Indemnification, Release, and Consent for Emergency Treatment.
Each group is responsible for its own health, accident, and liability insurance.
Upham Woods is the property of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and must comply with the University’s smoking policy. Smoking may only occur in the designated smoking area (the porch of the Administration Building). Smoking in any other location on the property is prohibited.
Persons under age 18 may not smoke or possess any tobacco-related products.
Fires are permitted only in designated fire circles and fireplaces and must be supervised by an adult at all times.
In the interest of creating a safe environment and minimizing impacts on local plants and wildlife populations, guests are prohibited from bringing pets to Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center. Service animals are permitted on site providing the appropriate documentation and service animals must where the appropriate service vest at all times while on the property.
Accessible Bathroom in Dorm
When not in use, the accessible bathroom on the first floor of the dormitory should remain unlocked and open at all times.
Dining Hall Procedures
All visiting youth groups must provide a designated “Dining Hall Supervisor” responsible for ensuring the group’s adherence to dining hall procedures. The Dining Hall Supervisor is responsible for reading the “Dining Hall Supervisor List of Responsibilities” and complying with all dining hall procedures.
Meal times are 7:30 am or 8:00 am breakfast (group’s choice), 12:00 pm lunch and 5:30 pm dinner. Requests for changes in meal times must be made prior to the arrival of the group and are subject to the approval of food service staff.
In cabins, all bunks must remain three feet apart with occupants sleeping head to toe (DHS 175.21(3)).
Only adults may operate wood stoves and electric heat in cabins.
Clear pathways to emergency exits must be maintained at all times (DHS 175.21(1)).
Exit lights and smoke detectors must remain on at all times.
Proper checkout procedures must be followed before the group’s departure. To help maintain low fees, youth groups are asked to complete the following clean-up tasks: floors must be swept; cabin trash must be emptied into the Pelican, dorm trash into the dumpster; ashes from the wood stove must be placed in the ash barrel; recyclable items must be placed in the proper containers; and all mattresses must be washed with soapy water (DHS 175.21(6)).
Before departure, one member from the visiting group must do a checkout walk-through with the group’s liaison. During check out, any damage, breakage or loss of equipment and/or facilities will be determined and appropriate fees charged to the group’s bill.
The paved emergency service road to cabin hill may only be used by groups for moving in or out of cabins and by people with special needs. Visitors must use the lighted steps to cabin hill in all other instances.
Onsite Accommodations for Staff and Other Program Facilitators
As it is required for programmatic purposes, Upham Woods management reserves the right to provide on-site accommodations for staff or other program facilitators. Accommodations can include but are not limited to cabins, dorm, and staff duplex. Approval and length of stay are based on availability of accommodations and impact to programming on site.
Prior to the beginning of any programming, all group members are required to attend an Upham Woods orientation to familiarize the group with Center policies and emergency procedures.
Upham Woods staff are available for programming between 8:30-11:45 am, 1:00-5:15 pm and for no more than 1.5 hours per naturalist between 6:30-9:30 pm.
Group size dictates how many teaching staff are available for your group:
- 10-25: 1 staff
- 26 – 59: up to two staff
- 60+: three staff
- Additional staff may be used at a rate of $100/staff/half day (if available)
A group may schedule an early morning program (prior to 8:30 am) that requires naturalist(s) if they do not use those same naturalist(s) for programming after dinner on the day of the requested early morning program. Naturalist led early morning programs may be scheduled no earlier than 6:30 am. Groups cannot schedule naturalist led early morning programs on the day of arrival or departure.
Trained staff must supervise high-risk activities. High risk activities include canoeing, kayaking, archery, and challenge courses (HFS 175.18(3)(b)).
State regulations require that all swimming and watercraft activities including boating and canoeing must have a certified lifeguard on duty (DHS 175.18(5)(c), and a check in/check out procedure must be followed in all waterfront activities (DHS 175.18(5)(g)).
All participants must wear a PFD while in any watercraft or while fishing off designated docks.
Specific staff/participant ratios must be followed for waterfront activities. These ratios are noted in the program guide.
Water Flow Rates – Barge to Blackhawk Island may be canceled if water flow reaches 14,000 cfs; canoeing and Voyageur program may be canceled if water flow reaches 12,000 cfs; swimming may be canceled if river flow exceeds 12,000 cfs or water temperature is below 60º F.
Swimming – No swimming will take place without an Upham staff lifeguard present. There must be one lifeguard present for every 25 swimmers, with a maximum of 50 swimmers in the water at any given time (with 2 lifeguards present). All adult participants (including visiting lifeguards) must take a swim test to be allowed in the swim area and must have a Buddy tag. Adults who do not plan to swim, but who do plan to enter the swim area, must pass the “green” swim test. Each group must schedule and complete a swim test prior to scheduled swim time, free swims, or water carnivals. More than 50 people are allowed in the swim area for specific scheduled activities, such as water carnivals, provided everyone in the swim area has a buddy tag and the design of the activity keeps many of the participants on the beach waiting in line (i.e. relay races) so that there are never more than 50 participants in the water at any given time.
Swimming is available June 1 – August 31.
Blackhawk Island Access
Blackhawk Island hikes may be led by group leaders provided any adult joining the program has proof of a current first aid/CPR certification and leader of hikes attends a Blackhawk Island orientation on the first day of the scheduled group stay. Orientations are required with every visit. Upham Woods staff will lead all river crossings to the island.
Please Contact Us, if you have any questions about our regulations.
Outpost Rules and Regulations
The outpost staff maintains the authority to bring a group back to base camp if any of the following rules are not met. If a group consistently disregards the regulations or the outpost staff, they will not be asked to return in following years.
Printable VersionOutpost Regulations (PDF Document – 3 pages, 287 KB)
Please Contact the Upham Woods Program Director, if you have any questions about Outpost Programs.
Please READ ALL of the following regulations. These regulations have been created to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for your group. For these reasons we need you to familiarize yourselves with and abide by the Outpost regulations.
Participants and Adult Leaders
Outpost ratios are one adult to every ten youth. One adult must be CPR and First Aid or higher certified or have current certification as an EMT, paramedic, national athletic trainers association trainer, Red Cross emergency responder, or be a Wisconsin licensed physician, nurse, or physician assistant.
Your group must provide an adult to serve as Group Leader. The Group Leader is responsible for the management, discipline and overall Outpost experience for the participants.
A maximum of 20 youth may attend any canoe trip Outpost program. The other Outposts have a maximum of 30 youth.
Every youth and adult on Outpost must have a completed and signed health form and UW System Agreement for Assumption of Risk form. For youth, a parent or guardian must sign these documents. Without these documents, state law forbids a person from attending the trip.
All medications, prescription and over the counter, must be turned in to your Outpost First Aid person before the trip. The Outpost First Aid person will dispense the medication and record this in the Outpost health log. Youth are allowed to keep inhalers, bee sting kits and other medicines as indicated on the health form by their parents or guardians.
We expect Outpost groups to follow a minimal environmental impact philosophy while participating in Outpost. For example, there should be no cutting of live trees and campsites should always be left cleaner than when you arrive.
Participants are responsible for setting up and taking down their own campsite. This includes all tents and gear. Upon return to Upham Woods, the Outpost group must clean up and put away all equipment.
Participants must clean up the campsite every night to discourage the arrival of nuisance wildlife.
Possession or use of alcohol or controlled substance drugs on Outpost is strictly prohibited. This applies to adult leaders and youth participants. Possession and use of tobacco products by adult leaders is greatly discouraged.
Participants must always be in sight and/or sound of one of the Outpost adults.
Youth should be discouraged from bringing food, music/video/game players and cell phones on Outpost or to camp.
Participants and adults should treat each other and the Upham Woods staff with respect and obey the Outpost guidelines and regulations.
One Upham Woods staff member will be assigned to your Outpost group. That staff member will accompany the group on the trip.
Your group may schedule up to 2 activities to be led by the Upham staff per day in addition to swimming. Please indicate on the Outpost scheduling sheet and information sheet which activities you want to be led by the naturalist and when.
Programming and Scheduling
We encourage your group to choose one of the package options listed on the Outpost information sheet. We have created these packages based upon logistics, equipment, staff training, etc. If you choose to customize any portion of the trip logistics, please communicate your plan to the Upham Woods Program Director so that we can check the feasibility of your plan. Keep in mind that some changes will not work due to constraints on equipment, transportation, routes, etc.
Communication is one of the most important ways to ensure a safe and successful Outpost experience for your group. The 4-H Agent, Outpost Group Leader, the Upham Woods naturalist and the Upham Woods Program Director should communicate throughout the planning process to afford the best possible trip for the participants.
If you are signing up for a Wisconsin River Canoeing Outpost, we recommend that one of your Outpost adult leaders have previously paddled the route.
Canoeing and Swimming
An Upham Woods staff person will administer a swim/canoe training and test for the participants and adults of all applicable Outposts, regardless if they have been to camp before. For canoe Outposts, tests will be administered at main camp prior to departure.
Any canoes which are used during your Outpost will not be available to your main camp group at Upham Woods. Be sure Outpost and main camp canoe usage is scheduled correctly.
Swimming can only occur when an Upham Woods lifeguard is on duty. Lifeguard certified participants can help guard, but they can not lifeguard by themselves. All participants must pass a swim test.
For Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake Outposts, a swim test with buddy tags will be conducted at the park before the first free swim time.
Because Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake have water conditions that make it less difficult to life guard, the 1:50 ratio applies. (Outpost group size limit is a maximum of 30 youth participants). The ratio of lifeguard to swimmers is subject to change based on the judgment of the supervising lifeguard in consideration of local weather/water conditions and group management needs, etc.
The Upham Woods staff decides availability of swimming due to weather or water conditions.
Swimming/canoe boundaries will be set and enforced by the Upham Woods staff. All participants must abide by these boundaries; your adult leaders are expected to help in their enforcement.
It is dangerous for participants to intentionally tip their canoes during the river trip. The Upham Woods naturalist may administer a canoe tip training session under controlled conditions.
A maximum of three participants may ride in a canoe at one time. To keep the canoe from tipping, the middle person does not paddle.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) must be worn at all times while canoeing.
All equipment must be returned in the same condition as it was checked out.
Groups will be charged for any damaged, missing, or destroyed equipment. This is above and beyond the equipment usage charge. We ask for cooperation on this matter so that we can continue to run Outposts that are appropriately and safely equipped.
Tents must be dry before they are returned at the end of the trip. If this is not possible, the participants must set up the tents upon return to Upham Woods so they can dry.
In addition to a First Aid person, groups must also designate a Meals Supervisor PRIOR to arrival at Upham Woods.
The Meals Supervisor must be an adult (at least 18 years old), but younger participants may help the Meals Supervisor with his/her duties.
The Meals Supervisor is responsible for assigning and supervising cooking groups and clean up groups for each meal on Outpost. For safety and efficiency, the cooking and clean up group schedules should be completed PRIOR to the start of your Outpost.
It is the responsibility of the Meals Supervisor to ensure that meal times adhere to the group’s schedule. If a meal runs late, Upham Woods Outpost staff reserves the right to modify the programming schedule in response.
Besides water, FOOD AND DRINK ARE NEVER allowed inside the tents.
Remember that your total in-camp numbers should not exceed 150; this includes in-camp Outpost participants.
Vehicle access to the North Shore campsite is not guaranteed since we have to get permission from private property owners. Participants using this site should be ready to carry in all gear.
Campfires are normally allowed at our camping locations, but Upham Woods staff and the Wisconsin DNR have the authority to restrict campfires based on environmental conditions.
Upham Woods does not have a vehicle for transporting participants. Participant vehicular transport must be arranged by your group.
Upham Woods can provide some equipment transport, including canoes, using the camp pickup truck. If needed, we will provide one equipment drop off and one equipment pick up at a maximum one-way distance from Upham Woods of 20 miles (the approximate distance to Devils Lake State Park). Any additional equipment transportation trips or trip distances greater than 20 miles away will incur a nominal transportation fee to cover vehicle gas, oil, wear and tear, etc. The fee will be assigned based upon the mileage and the state mileage rate.
The Upham Woods staff will have access to a cellular phone and a weather radio. When possible, we recommend an adult bring a cellular phone for additional assistance.
Each Outpost group must provide a vehicle for emergency use.
Outpost is an independent experience from base camp; thus, Outpost emergencies such as a medical situation or a weather emergency need to be addressed and handled independently by the Outpost adults in association with the Upham Woods staff.
Upham Woods does not have the capacity to retrieve Outpost groups back to base camp as a result of inclement weather.
In the event of a life-threatening situation, professional rescuers should be contacted immediately.