Frequently Asked Questions...
Will SNFC have a program in 2021?
There are still many unknowns for 2021. Even if a reliable vaccine is available, we don't know if the University will be able to open the field campus. We are working on preparing some creative plans to allow a limited number of students or campers on site if no workshops or classes are allowed. If you are on our mailing list, we will notify you with a postcard if the schedule opens up. We will get through this! In the meantime, the field campus is undergoing some improvements and repairs. If you can, please donate to these efforts at friendsofsnfc.org
When can I register?
January 1. See the website for instructions on registering for College of Extended Learning (CEL) Classes and University Corporation workshops. All offerings are open to the public. Registering early in the year gives you a better chance of getting a tent on campus. If campus tents fill, you may have to either camp off campus at nearby campgrounds, or stay in accommodations locally.
What is the difference between UCorp workskhops and CEL classes on the SNFC calendar?
UCorp and CEL are two different administrative and education strands at San Francisco State University. UCorp is an entity that oversees and many aspects of administrative life at SF State, including services for the College of Science and Engineering (CoSE). CoSe is responsible for the Sierra Nevada Field Campus. SF State refers to these listings on the SNFC calendar as 'workshops.'
CEL stands for the SF State University's College of Extended Learning, CEL allows the Field Campus to offer a number of classes for university credit. They administer those classes for SNFC, which explains why there is a different registration and payment process. When you register for a class for credit through CEL, you will pay tuition through CEL, not Cashnet. Use Cashnet only to pay for SNFC tent and meals. SF State refers to CEL listings on the SNFC calendar as 'classes.'
What is Cashnet?
Cashnet is how you pay for things at SNFC. A link to Cashnet is provided on the bottom of the registration form and on the website home page at the top right column. Use Cashnet to pay for your workshop (UCorp workshops only!) tuition, and your meals and tent for both CEL classes and UCorp workskhops. At SNFC, we receive a report of payments made through Cashnet, but we cannot control or change any transactions. If you underpaid for some reason, you can simply go to Cashnet and pay the difference owed. If you have overpaid for some reason, you will need to apply for a refund. You can also donate to the Field Campus using Cashnet. See How to Support the Field Campus for other options for donating.
What should I bring?
If you will be using our tents, we recommend that you bring a sleeping bag, extra blanket, pillow, towels, lots of warm clothing as well as lighter layers for warm weather, a hat and sunscreen, water bottles, walking shoes, a flashlight or headlamp, and all personal items you will need for the week, including a raincoat just in case! Please don’t underestimate how cold the nights can be, even in the summer. If you’ll be pitching your own tent, don't forget a thick pad, ground cloth and rain fly.
You may also appreciate having a daypack, swimsuit, sandals or water shoes, hiking poles, and a camp chair to set up outside your tent. Some participants like to bring an insulated cup for hot beverages, and/or wine or beer to drink at dinner—including, perhaps, enough to share with a few tablemates. We like to encourage bringing containers to carry your lunch each day.
See your individual class or workshop page for additional items that might be required.
How will I know which tent I have been assigned?
If you will be staying in a field-campus tent, stop by the director’s cabin when you arrive. It’s just across the bridge from the parking lot, on the right, clearly identified with a big sign. There should be a tent map posted outside the cabin indicating the location of your assigned tent. If not, knock on the door, or go up to the dining hall building, 2nd floor; the director will be in one of those two places, and can tell you which tents are available.
Due to limited availability, your tent will most likely be double occupancy, or 'shared.' Feel free to request your tent-mate!
If you’ll be pitching your own tent, there are usually good sites available along the river, especially downstream from the director’s cabin. Wander around campus until you find a well-situated flat space that calls to you.
Can drive to my tent site?
When you arrive, you may drive across the bridge from the parking lot to unload your belongings near your tent site and the dining hall. Once you’ve unloaded, please return your car to the parking lot. We recommend backing into a parking space. If in the unlikely event of a fire, exiting the lot will be easier.
RVs may not drive across the bridge.
Can I bring my RV?
Yes! You can park your van or RV in our parking lot and camp in it. Fees will be for the facility only, as if you were using your own tent. Please note that you will be required to sign up for our meal plan. RVs cannot drive over the bridge.
What does it cost?
Food and lodging costs are in addition to class or workshop fees, and are paid through the "cashnet" link on your registration form, or the link on the top of the right hand side of the home page of the website. See the bottom of the individual class or workshop webpage you are interested in, to get a good idea of your total cost for atttending.
If you stay in our tents, the cost will be $30 per night per person. If you bring your own tent or vehicle, the cost will be $15 per night.
Our meal plan is required if you stay on campus (either our tents, your tent or vehicle) and costs $44 per day (3 meals). If you opt to stay off campus, you may either eat off campus or take advantage of our meal plan. Off campus students may sign up for all 3 meals per day @ $44 or dinners only @ $22 per dinner.
Can I come early? Can I stay longer?
Yes, but only if space is available. You can check by emailing the field campus (email@example.com) 14 days prior to your class to see if we have availability. We encourage you to take advantage of arriving a day or so ahead of your class or workshop, to get acclimated to the altitude. Often, after a packed week of learning, students enjoy spending extra days on campus to relax and enjoy the area. Using a registration form, after you have confirmed by email that space is available, just add in those days and pay the usual rates for tent and meals through Cashnet.
Can I bring adult family members who aren’t taking a class or workshop?
Yes, but only when space is available. You can check by emailing the field campus (firstname.lastname@example.org) 14 days prior to your dates to see if we have availability. You must confirm in advance of registering additional people, unless you will be bringing your own tent. Adult family members can sign up using our registration form and pay for tent and meals through Cashnet. Each person should submit a separate registration form.
Are children allowed on campus?
SNFC is an adult learning setting. We don’t encourage children to stay on campus. The Field Campus is located on an open, fast-moving river, and the facilities are not child-safe. Children who do come with advance permission must be accompanied by a legal guardian at all times. Parents/legal guardians will be required to sign a statement acknowledging that the campus is not child-safe and that they will accompany their children at all times.
Can SNFC accommodate special diets?
Yes, happily. Be sure to note any special needs on your registration form. We always let the kitchen know of your special dietary needs, but we also ask that you introduce yourself to the kitchen staff when you arrive so they can match a face to your name and your request. In cases of extreme dietary needs that would be impossible to accommodate, we recommend that you stay off campus and prepare your own meals.Y
Can I bring my own food?
You are welcome to bring dry snacks and/or refrigerator items to supplement your required meal plan. There are labeled shelves for your dry goods in the dining-hall entryway and a fridge for your use in the dining hall. We ask that you label your items with your name and expected departure date, and remove them when you leave.
It’s best to seal your dry food in a plastic box or other impenetrable container before shelving it, as small critters sometimes get into the dining-hall building. Also, because bears occasionally move through the campus, no food is allowed in your tent. While no cars or RVs have ever been broken into by bears, we encourage you to store all extra food in the dining hall.
If I stay off campus, can I still take a class or workshop? Can I sign up for the meal plan?
Yes! Whether it is your preference, or our tents are all booked, many students stay off campus. We provide a link to local accommodations on the SNFC home page. Also, there are many campgrounds in the area, on Gold Lake Road and on Highway 49. If you are staying off campus, you may opt for a dinners-only plan or the full plan, three meals a day, your choice.
Are dogs allowed on campus? Read our Pet Policy.
Is smoking allowed on campus?
Can I charge my devices?
Yes, there are lots of available outlets in the dining hall building, upstairs and downstairs you can use 24/7.
Is there internet at the Field Campus?
The field campus has extremely limited internet access. You may check your email, but please do NOT download or upload pictures, videos, or files. We are allowed a small amount of data usage per month. If usage goes over our limit as it occasionally does, the internet has to be turned off!
Before you come on campus, please either turn off your phone and other internet-compatible devices or set them to “airplane mode” to prevent automatic updates and uploading of photos to the cloud (which can eat up our usage allotment in a hurry). You may also go to ‘settings’ to manually turn off auto-updates. It’s especially important to turn off the setting on your phone that will upload photos you may have taken in the field.
There is some internet access at the Sierra City library, 6 miles south on HWY 49, and in the town of Graeagle: 20 miles away off Gold Lake Hwy, take a left on HWY 89.
Is there cell service at the Field Campus?
No. Sierra City supports some Verizon connectivity, sometimes. Or, drive to Graeagle (ATT & Verizon) or to the big vista point on Hwy 49 downhill from Yuba Pass (Verizon only). The Field Campus has two land lines for emergency use only. 530-862-1230 (rings in the directors cabin) and 530-862-1112 (rings in the dining hall).
What are the bathrooms like?
We have two types of bathrooms. At either end of the campus, where the tents are, there are co-ed bathhouses with sinks, toilets, and unroofed hot-shower stalls. Some say taking a shower under the Sierran sky is a highlight of the week!
Our other bathrooms & showers are located in the lower level of the dining hall. Men & women have separate facilities. The Friends of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus has provided funding to remodel these bathrooms; substantial improvements have been made to the women’s room as of the 2018-19 season, and work will continue in the men’s room in 2019-20.
Is there a store nearby in case I forgot something like batteries or sunscreen?
The Field Campus has a small amount of toiletries and sundries available for your use. Check the plastic bins outside of the dining hall bathrooms. Bassett’s, a restaurant and store one mile downhill on Highway 49, has basic supplies, local maps, postcards, and cold beverages as well as ice cream and a small café. There is a grocery store in Sierra City, six miles down the highway from camp.
What happens if I have to cancel?
Check and read our cancellation policy! If WE cancel a class or workshop for any reason, we will notify you within 14 days and refund all of your fees. While we understand that unforeseen circumstances sometimes require students to cancel at the last minute, we cannot make individual exceptions to our policy. The SNFC may occasionally need to cancel a workshop due to low enrollment, instructor request, or circumstances beyond our control. We will notify you, whenever possible, 14 days before the start date, and in that case, you will receive a 100% refund.