General Policies

When to Register

Field trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis after the opening dates. To schedule a field trip you may fill out an online registration form after the appropriate opening date.

Each program format has different registration dates. See the corresponding program for those details.

How to Register

Find the program format (Field Trip, At Your School, Live Distance Learning, Homeschool, Nature PreK, Custom) you wish to schedule below to register.

On the opening days of registration periods, please fill out our online registration form. We will process the requests in the order in which they arrive. After you have registered, we will contact you to confirm the dates.

We often cannot schedule rain dates for programs due to the demand for our programs. If your program needs to be cancelled due to dangerous or inclement weather, we will do our best to reschedule your program. See below for our cancellation policies.

Program Day Logistics

  • Lunch: Lunch is not provided by Merry Lea so please bring along a sack lunch and a water bottle.
  • Clothing: Dress for hiking and exploring the outdoors. Be prepared for the forecasted weather conditions. We recommend old clothes and closed-toe shoes. 

Cancellation Policy

Reservations for some of Merry Lea’s programs fill quickly, and quality experiences require the help of volunteers and advance preparation. A last minute cancellation is disruptive to us and may prevent a wait-listed group from coming. Therefore, if you cancel a program that involves Merry Lea staff or volunteers, you may incur cancellation fees.

  • Cancellation less than 48 hours before scheduled date: 100% of scheduled fee
  • Cancellation 48 hours to 1 week before scheduled date: 50% of scheduled fee
  • Cancellation 1 to 3 weeks before scheduled date: 25% of scheduled fee
  • Cancellations more than 3 weeks before the scheduled date will not incur a cancellation fee.

This cancellation policy will not apply to cancellations due to dangerous weather, unscheduled school closings or unforeseen emergencies.

Please double-check your master calendar and transportation reservations well in advance of your visit to Merry Lea.

Program-Specific Policies and Registration

Field Trips at Merry Lea Policies and Registration

When to Register

Merry Lea programs are divided into seasons: spring (April – May), fall (September – November), summer (June) and winter (January). Because spring and fall schedules fill quickly, schools cannot sign up for these programs prior to a set opening date. 

Programs are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis after the opening dates. To schedule a program, fill out an online registration form after the appropriate opening date.

  • Registration opens August 20, 2020 for programs occurring Spring 2021
  • Registration opens April 1, 2021 for programs occurring Fall 2021
  • Registration is open any time for programs occurring in Winter/Summer. If you would like to schedule a program for the summer or winter, please contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869

Fee Policies

Please provide payment (cash or check) on the day of your program. If you require an invoice, please contact us ahead of time. Payments in full will be required within 30 days of your program. Be sure to note the cancellation policies above.

Fee Structure

*Groups of 10 or fewer students, see Custom Programs below.

*Groups of 10 or fewer students, see Custom Programs below.

Chaperone Policy

We require 1 adult (teachers, aides, chaperones) for every 10 students.

  • Teachers and aides: free of cost
  • Chaperones: 1 free for every 5 students
  • Additional chaperones: charged at the student rate*

*If you have special circumstances that require your group to arrive using personal vehicles (thereby requiring additional chaperones), we will waive the additional chaperone fee. In this case, please contact us prior to your visit and submit a (one-time) letter from your school stating that they are unable to provide bus transportation.

Register for a Program

Please review our health and safety protocols for field trips at Merry Lea.

Please do not hesitate to contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869 with any questions or issues that arise when using this form.

At Your School Policies and Registration

When to Register

Merry Lea programs are divided into seasons: spring (April – May), fall (September – November), summer (June) and winter (January). Because spring and fall schedules fill quickly, schools cannot sign up for these programs prior to a set opening date. 

Programs are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis after the opening dates. To schedule a program, fill out an online registration form after the appropriate opening date.

  • Registration opens August 20, 2020 for programs occurring Spring 2021
  • Registration opens April 1, 2021 for programs occurring Fall 2021
  • Registration is open any time for programs occurring in Winter/Summer. If you would like to schedule a program for the summer or winter, please contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869

Fee Policies

Please provide payment (cash or check) on the day of your program. If you require an invoice, please contact us ahead of time. Payments in full will be required within 30 days of your program. Be sure to note the cancellation policies above.

Fee Structure

Register for a Program

Please do not hesitate to contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869 with any questions or issues that arise when using this form.

Live Distance Learning Policies and Registration

When to Register

Merry Lea programs are divided into seasons: spring (April – May), fall (September – November), summer (June) and winter (January). Because spring and fall schedules fill quickly, schools cannot sign up for these programs prior to a set opening date. 

Programs are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis after the opening dates. To schedule a program, fill out an online registration form after the appropriate opening date.

  • Registration opens August 20, 2020 for programs occurring Spring 2021
  • Registration opens April 1, 2021 for programs occurring Fall 2021
  • Registration is open any time for programs occurring in Winter/Summer. If you would like to schedule a program for the summer or winter, please contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869

Fee Policies

Please provide payment (cash or check) on the day of your program. If you require an invoice, please contact us ahead of time. Payments in full will be required within 30 days of your program. Be sure to note the cancellation policies above.

Fee Structure

Register for a Program

Please do not hesitate to contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869 with any questions or issues that arise when using this form.

Homeschool Programs Policies and Registration

When to Register

Registration for the series opens July 1st of each year. We strongly recommend advanced registration, as the sessions fill quickly.

Fee Policies

Please provide payment (cash or check) on the day of your program. If that is not possible, please contact us to set up alternative arrangements. Be sure to note the cancellation policies above.

Fee Structure

Register for a Program

If you belong to a homeschool co-op and would like to schedule a program for your group, please contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu. We will need specific information about your group a week prior to the scheduled program, including the number of students and their ages.

Please do not hesitate to contact Katie Tipton at kctipton@goshen.edu or 260-799-5869 with any questions or issues that arise when using this form.

Custom Programs

We encourage you to contact us about custom program options at Merry Lea! We evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis. Prices for custom programs are in addition to standard rates. Custom programs include:

  • Topics outside our standard Field Trip offerings (view our Field Trips webpage)
  • Program lengths longer than our standard offering (4 hours for K-12; 1.5 hours for PreK)

Fee Policies

Interested in having a Merry Lea staff person provide a facilitated experience for your group? Go on a guided hike through forests, meadows, or wetlands. Experience the wonder of the natural world with one of our naturalists!

Fee Structure

  • The naturalist fee is $50/hour during business hours on weekdays. 
  • The rate for a weekend hike is $100 for the first hour and $45 per hour for additional time.

This fee applies to homeschool/school groups of 10 or fewer students during program seasons. It is also available to organized groups seeking programming outside of our typical seasons. Scheduling a custom program is dependent on availability. Contact us for details.

Chaperone Policy

We require 1 adult (teachers, aides, chaperones) for every 10 students.

  • Teachers and aides: free of cost
  • Chaperones: 1 free for every 5 students
  • Additional chaperones: charged at the student rate*

*If you have special circumstances that require your group to arrive using personal vehicles (thereby requiring additional chaperones), we will waive the additional chaperone fee. In this case, please contact us prior to your visit and submit a (one-time) letter from your school stating that they are unable to provide bus transportation.