Young Naturalist Access Program (YNAP)

Thanks to a major gift, Young Naturalist Access Program (YNAP) provides Tompkins County young people facing difficult circumstances (aged 5 - 17) with free access to a special new membership that includes a week of summer camp at Cayuga Nature Center AND a one-year YNAP Youth Membership to PRI's public educational venues, the Cayuga Nature Center and the Museum of the Earth. YNAP provides young people and their families/caregivers all of the benefits of a regular PRI membership plus free access to all of our ticketed events, such as Maple Fest and local Fossil Field Trips, and free camp, as space is available.

Help Spread the Word! Connect Young Science and Nature Lovers to YNAP

YNAP Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible for YNAP?
    Youth between the ages of 5 and 17 living in Tompkins County who otherwise would not have access to camp or the ability to attend the events or programs of the Cayuga Nature Center and Museum of the Earth. Children who receive free and reduced lunch will receive priority acceptance, but other special circumstances will also be considered.

  • How does one apply for YNAP?
    There are a number of ways to apply. Applications can be found here, fill out a form at the admission desks of either the Museum of the Earth or Cayuga Nature Center, or they can mail their form. For camp, all of the documetns needed can be found at Teachers and other members of the helping community can also assist families with the application.

  • How long does the YNAP last?
    One year. During the period of a calendar year, each youth can apply once. If a child chooses to start with just the membership, they will be allowed to take advantage of camp within one year, as space is available. After one year, renewal will be an option.

  • Can more than one child in a family apply?
    Yes. Any youth of qualifying age may apply. This is especially relevant for youth interested in the camp option.

  • Who can join the youth on their visit to the Museum of the Earth or the Cayuga Nature Center?
    The youth can bring siblings or other children living in their household and up to two adults.

  • Is food provided at camp?
    Currently, camp provides 2 gluten-/peanut-/dairy-free snacks per day, and campers are required to bring a bagged lunch and a water bottle. We are currently seeking ways to provide lunches for those who would not be able to bring a lunch, so this is subject to change.

  • Transportation to camp might be a barrier for some families.
    There is a free TCAT bus to and from camp for the summer (except August 29 - September 4) that picks up and drops off in Ithaca. If one week of twice daily transportation from other areas would be a barrier, we currently suggest choosing simply taking advantage of the membership for occasional visits.

  • I’m concerned about privacy issues for the youth in this program.
    Privacy of YNAP youth is taken very seriously and every effort will be made to ensure the privacy of participants.

Our thanks to our sponsor!