Frequently Asked Questions
Where do your campers come from?
We mostly draw from the mid-Atlantic region, though some students have come from Florida and New York.
Does my child need to be physically fit?
Not necessarily, though it helps and makes some activities easier. Some activities include hiking and some destinations require uphill climbs.
What is your camper/staff ratio?
For overnights camps 3:1, for day camps 4:1.
What are the qualifications of your staff?
We believe that a strong staff team is the backbone of a high quality program. We take hiring the best staff possible for all of our programs seriously and ensure that they are mature, responsible, good role models. At a minimum, all staff have 1st Aid/CPR. Most staff are trained as Wilderness First Responders, which is an advanced 10 day medical training. A certified lifeguard is on duty at all times for swimming. Staff are selected based on their wilderness skills, leadership qualities, and dedication to working with youth. We also do background checks on all our staff.
Where are the camps held?
Our camps are held near Charlottesville, Virginia against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Can I contact my child at camp?
In an emergency please call first, so that we can relay the message as needed. We ask that parents do not just show up at camp unannounced as that can often be disruptive to the group. If you would like to remain in contact with your child we encourage you to send letters along to them.
What if my child gets sick or injured at camp?
If a child is injured or sick, a parent will be notified right away and every incident will be documented. It is important that the emergency form is carefully filled out in case of an emergency. We are about 20 minutes from 2 full service hospitals. We have a great safety record, and take great care in protecting your child from injury.
Is it okay to sign up with friends or on their own?
Both are relatively common, so it is up to what the camper prefers. We do our best to keep them together if requested.
What do you do in case of inclement weather?
We run our camps rain or shine. All staff are trained in what to do if lightning, severe rain, or high winds become an issue. The camp center has covered pavilions and buildings for our use and we will take the best cover available.
What should I do if my child will need to miss a day of camp?
We ask that you contact us at the earliest convenience so that we can let the staff know, and make necessary arrangements. Though we strongly encourage campers remain at camp for the full duration of their camp session.
Can parents come along?
It is our experience that having a parent present at camp can take away from a campers experience. It tends to be harder for the camper to immerse and be present with the experience. We will be glad to fill you in on how your son or daughter is doing.
What kind of food do you serve at camp?
Day campers bring their own sack lunch. At overnight camps we provide kid friendly food, that is 95% Organically Certified. We find that campers love the food. Every meal has both Vegetarian and meat options. We focus around a balanced whole foods diet, that stays away from additives and artificial ingredients. We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions (including allergies), though we do need adequate notice. We often have multiple options available in case someone doesn’t like something.
Can I send food to my child at camp?
We discourage this because it proves to be a distraction, and we try to keep sugar to a minimum. If your child has special dietary needs, please notify us in advance and we can make exceptions.
Can my child bring along a cell phone, ipod, or other electronic devices?
No. We are trying to create an experience where the camper is immersed in nature and involved with their group and these things tend to be distractions.
Do we need any special equipment?
No, though a carving knife is needed for overnight camps. An excellent carving knife can be purchased from us directly if needed. We will mail you a list of what to bring upon registering. Only the backpacking expeditions require special equipment.
Where can I get a good carving knife?
A lot of outfitters sell knives. We prefer non-folding knives with a straight shaft. If you do go with a folding knife, make sure the blade locks (the Swiss Army knives do not lock). It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a knife. I have bought fancy knives only to have them break. We sell a solid knife that is great for carving for $25 that has so far withstood any abuse a camper or myself has inflicted upon it. If you bring a knife to camp, make sure it is sharpened and ready to go. A dull knife is a dangerous knife. If you have more questions please give us a call or email. We take knife carving seriously and have strict safety measures at all times.
Does my child need money at camp?
In most cases no. If your child needs a knife we prefer they purchase it upon arrival. We remain at camp, so the need for money is not necessary. On our backpacking expeditions, we do stop into towns while we travel in vehicles, so a little money is necessary.