What is the W. Alton Jones Campus?
The University of Rhode Island’s unique 2,300-acre campus is
devoted to preservation, research, educational conferences,
and year-round environmental education. Over 40,000 acres of
state parks and forests adjoin the Campus, making this one of
the largest preserved regions in southern New England. Special
features of the campus include Lake Eisenhower, the historical
Woodvale Farm, a 1,000-acre Environmental Research Area, and
the botanically unique Nettie Marie Jones Nature Preserve.
What is URI’s Environmental Education Center?
Located on W. Alton Jones Campus, the Center serves as a
year-round outdoor school for more than 10,000 students each
year providing experiences with nature as the subject,
classroom, and teacher. We strive to help children develop a
familiarity with our natural surroundings and an active
concern for the quality of the environment.
How do I get to Alton Jones?
Take route 95 to exit 5B in Rhode
Island. Continue on route 102 North for 2.5 miles. Take a left
onto Browns Corner Road. Follow Browns Corner Road for 0.6
miles and you’ll see a large sign on the left for W. Alton
Jones Campus. Continue straight onto Francis Horn Drive and
after 0.9 miles you will reach a T-intersection. At the
T-intersection take a left onto Wheatley Road towards the
Environmental Education Center (EEC). Follow Wheatley Road
into the camp parking lot.
9 Wheatley Road
West Greenwich, RI 02817.
This will get you to the Environmental Education Center Main
NOTE: This is NOT
our mailing address
What happens at Camp?
Alton Jones Camp offers children and teens an opportunity to learn about the
environment and each other in a safe and beautiful setting.
Your child will be involved in their chosen theme in addition
to a variety of camp activities such as swimming, canoeing,
campfires, story-telling, songs, arts and crafts, and games.
How are group assignments made?
You will find out your cabin assignment at check-in. Friends
and siblings of the same sex and similar age may request to
bunk together. Campers are assigned to small co-ed learning
groups by age and theme within which they spend most of their
daytime hours. Many evening programs involve campers in large
group all-camp activities. Upon request, every effort is made
to include one similarly aged friend in the same field group.
To preserve the experience for others, groups of more than 3
friends are sometimes separated. If your child is coming with
a friend or sibling and you have not yet made a cabin or field
group request please call the office as it can be difficult to
switch children around at check-in.
Who conducts the program?
Counselors, chosen for their ability, enthusiasm,
and dedication to children and the environment, lead the Alton
Jones Camp program. They receive on-site training and are sensitive
to the needs and interests of children. The staff is composed
of college graduates and undergraduates from throughout the
United States and high school age Junior Counselors who help
with the younger camp programs. All staff
are excited about being at camp and exploring nature with
What are the accommodations like?
Our kitchen is staffed with professionals from URI Dining
Services including our head cooks, who have been serving
children at the Environmental Education Center for 20 years.
The knotty pine dining lodge with fieldstone fireplaces,
hardwood floors, and five meeting rooms provide a rustic,
comfortable learning environment. Six year-round cabins have
bunk-beds, showers, and lavatory facilities. Each of these cabins sleeps
16, plus a counselor and junior counselors. When not on
expeditions teens stay in screen house cabins at the Poor Farm
Base Camp which has a central bathhouse.
How are severe discipline issues handled?
Alton Jones Camp offers active and positive learning experiences in
a well-supervised atmosphere, but if a camper’s behavior is
unmanageable, is adversely affecting others, or if a child is
engaging in activities that are potentially harmful to
themselves or others, we will regretfully send the child home.
No refunds will be given.
What if medical help is needed?
During camp there will be a Registered Nurse on site part-time
every day and on-call 24 hours each day. Our nurse has been
caring for campers and students at the Environmental Education
Center for over 15 years. An EMT will be on site and available
to campers 24 hours each day.
Kent County Hospital, in Warwick and Hasbro Children's
Hospital in Providence serve the
Center. All Alton Jones Camp Counselors are trained in CPR and First
Aid. Parents will be called if their child becomes sick to
his/her stomach, gets an imbedded tick, runs a fever, or
becomes ill or injured in any way that may require more than
just basic treatment.
Is the camp accredited?
The W. Alton Jones Camp is accredited by the American Camping
Association, which requires us to uphold strict safety rules,
regulations, and guidelines. All counselors are required to
have first aid and CPR certifications and there is always a
member of the medical staff available to handle special
situations. We also adhere to the Principles of Operation set
forth by the Rhode Island Association of Camps.
Can my child receive mail while at camp?
Yes! You can send your camper mail during camp, ahead of time,
or drop it off at check-in and the staff can distribute it
throughout the week. The mailing address is:
Session Number and Program or Cabin (if known)
W. Alton Jones Campus
401 Victory Highway
West Greenwich, RI 02817-2158
Allow plenty of time for delivery.
Keep in mind that it may take 2 or more days for
letters to reach your camper, even when mailed from nearby. So
mail early, even before camp begins!
Please refrain from sending food, candy, or electronic devices
to your camper. These types of items will be confiscated if
found. While they might be fun they can be distracting and
cause problems. You may also email your camper a brief message
(no photos or attachments) at email@example.com.
These emails are printed out by the office staff and given to
campers at their next cabin time.
We do not have the ability to allow campers to send
return emails. The best communications are upbeat and
supportive (please refer to Thoughts on Homesickness
and Summer Camp Prep Tips).
What will happen at Check-In?
Plan to spend about an hour for check-in and move-in. The
majority of people check in during the first half-hour. If you
would like to avoid the lines and you don’t mind a bottom
bunk, come between 2:30 and 3:00pm. When you arrive you will
check in and receive your cabin assignment.
Then you and your camper must visit the medical
personnel. Have all medications and medical forms ready. If
your camper has developed any communicable diseases, skin
rashes, a fever, serious cuts or bruises, or sustains an
injury please call during business hours the week before camp
or you may be turned away at check-in. You may reach us during
business hours at the numbers listed below.
Can I phone my camper?
Calls to and from parents tend to make homesickness much worse
or stimulate it in children who aren’t experiencing it
(please refer to Thoughts on Homesickness). You may call at any time to
speak with the camp coordinator about how your son or daughter
is doing. The coordinator may have to call you back after
checking on them, but they will give you an honest appraisal
of how they are getting along. If your child has persistent
homesickness a call will be placed to you to let you know and
seek advice. If you receive a letter from your child
indicating that they are having difficulty, please call us so
that we can address the issue and take steps to correct it. The following numbers are available; feel free to call at any
Main Office: Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm
Camp Office Hours During Camp: Sun-Thurs, 8:00am-9:00pm,
Friday 8:00am-3:00pm (People are in and
out of the camp office so you may have to leave a message
and/or call back.)
URI Police, 24 hour emergency
How often will my child shower?
Cabin counselors will have campers sign up for daily shower
times at check-in and the schedule will be adhered to
throughout the week. However, campers will not be forced to
shower. To encourage showering among those who are
self-conscious, campers may shower in their bathing suit.
What is the swim check?
On Sunday or Monday the lifeguards review the rules and each camper
finds a swimming “buddy”. Campers who wish to swim without
a life jacket in the deep end are given a swim check. The
check consists of swimming one length of the swim area (about
75 feet) using a forward stroke, swimming a second length
using any stroke (except dog paddle) and one minute treading
water. At the end of the swim check every camper is designated
as a “deep end swimmer” or a “shallow end swimmer.”
Group swim times last about an hour.
Is it possible that my child will get a tick?
Frequent tick checks, groomed trails, and staff diligence
greatly reduce the chances of a tick biting your child. You
may also encourage the use of insect repellent.
If your child does have an imbedded tick we will remove
it and call you to let you know. At that time you may wish to
consult with your family physician for further instructions.
Check out additional information on Ticks and Your Child.
Also check out Frequently
Asked Questions from Campers!