Camp FAQs

General Camp Questions:

How do you protect camper safety in the outdoors?
Although the nature of our outdoor adventure activities has the potential for risk, we strive to provide our staff with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to keep campers safe. Our philosophy is prevention, which we pursue through organizing and planning strong programs. In the event of any injury, staff are trained in CPR/First Aid and will seek external medical assistance if necessary.

Safety is our #1 priority, and we know that individual attention is key to a safe & successful summer camp experience. Our camper-to-staff ratios vary depending on the age/camp. Please check the relevant camp descriptions for details.

Calleva’s “challenge by choice” philosophy is the foundation for training our staff to meet each child at their level and lead them into challenges as they progress. Calleva’s core, year-round staff set the tone and we train seasonal employees in the Calleva Way.  Always, our primary goal is to build self-confidence and encourage individual initiative.  We love to help kids discover new talents, new courage, and new friendships as they experience Calleva’s unique brand of outdoor fun.

Do you provide transportation?
Yes, transportation is included in the cost of camp. Bus stops are located throughout the DMV, and you’ll see details on our Camp Transportation page. You’ll find details about your child’s bus pick-up, including times, in your account after registration.

Do you provide food?
Yes, Calleva provides lunch for day campers that start their day at Riley’s Lock or Calleva Farm. Lunch costs $50/week and includes a deli-style sandwich, salty snack, fruit/vegetable, and a farm-baked dessert. You may add lunch by contacting the camp office ONE WEEK BEFORE your child’s camp week. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND CALLEVA LUNCH FOR CAMPERS WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.

Is Calleva a Peanut-Free camp?
No. Calleva is a “Peanut-AWARE” camp. Our staff pay special attention to allergies listed in camper “Health Issues,” including food-related special needs. We DO NOT prohibit nuts or other allergens across-the-board at camp. It’s important to note that we travel and use park picnic benches and public areas. We cannot guarantee that a camper will not be exposed to allergens.

Does Calleva have any indoor facilities?
Most Calleva campers visit a different location every day, and spend all their time outdoors! We do shelter during severe weather, and shelter plans vary depending upon the group/location.

    • Regarding restrooms: We do not have any indoor facilities for summer camp and we rely on porta-potties at Riley’s Lock and Calleva Farm. When in the field, campers learn & practice Leave No Trace principles for every aspect of life in the outdoors!

Will my camper(s) swim during the camp day?
Yes, as much as we can or are allowed to! With any water-related program or activity, campers and parents should expect that their campers will be in the water (rivers/creeks). Watercraft instruction is not complete without teaching water safety and river swimming skills. As with all watercraft, campers can fall or come out of their boat and be in the water and must know how to properly handle themselves. All campers wear PFD’s (Personal Floatation Devices) that are properly sized and fitted by our staff and when there are rapids they wear helmets.

Can my camper bring a cell phone/portable electronics?

What are Calleva’s policies concerning COVID?
Calleva’s very successful 2020 and 2021 summer camp seasons were achieved in large part due to our COVID policies, which were developed in coordination with the Maryland State Department of Health, Montgomery County Department of Health, and the American Camp Association. See the following document for a detailed overview of our summer 2022 COVID protocols: Keeping Campers Healthy.

My campers have their annual physical right before camp. Can I complete the health form after that visit?
Our new registration system allows parents to add updated health information as it becomes available.

When/why do I need to provide the Medication Authorization Form?
Maryland State Department of Health requires this form for any medication (prescription OR over-the-counter) a child might take while attending a Calleva Camp. This form needs to be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to attendance.

What is your refund policy?
Full payment is required for on-line registration. Calleva includes a NON-REFUNDABLE 10% registration fee as part of your camp tuition. This fee helps with administrative costs related to processing, database, systems needed to support camp registration.

    • Cancellations made BEFORE April 1 | Receive a full refund, minus the 10% processing fee.
    • Cancellations BEFORE May 1 | Receive a 50% refund 
    • Cancellations AFTER May 1 | Will NOT be refunded

Our Camp Director will consider special circumstances if you must cancel due to a medical reason that is verified by doctor note. 

How does your Waitlist work?
If your desired camp activity and week is “full”, you can add your name to the waitlist. We contact parents on the waitlist in the order in which they join, allowing 24 hours to accept the availability.

Additional ACA Standards: Calleva is an accredited ACA Camp.

Questions about Medications & Prescription Drugs: 
Staff will hold medication at all times, observe the camper taking their medication, and document the dose in the medical notebook noting date​, amount, and time the medication is taken.

  • The medication must be in the original pharmacy container labeled with the pharmacy name, prescribing physician’s name, medication, directions for taking the medication, and the camper’s name. Parents must ONLY send the amount needed while at camp.
  • Non-prescription drugs can only be given during the camp day if Calleva holds a written medical authorization form signed by a doctor. Ibuprofen (‘Advil’), Acetaminophen (‘Tylenol’/Non-aspirin), and Diphenhydramine (allergy meds like Benadryl) can NOT be given to a camper without a medication authorization form.
  • The exception is in the case of a suspected anaphylactic shock when Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may be given under guidance of health professional as an emergency medication.
    • For campers in Adventure,  Sampler, High Adventure and LIT Camps:
      Emergency medications are carried by the camper and administered by Calleva Head Counselors if needed in an emergency. Inhalers can be self administered with parental permission, and all use is documented in a medical log. A waterproof container (such as this) must be provided by the camper to ensure the medication is protected. If no suitable case/container is sent from home, then the group counselor will carry the emergency medication in a dry bag.
    • For All Cubs, Explorers:
      Counselors can hold emergency medications and will ensure they are kept close to the camper who might need them.  Emergency meds are administered by Calleva Head Counselors if needed in an emergency. Inhalers can be self administered with parental permission.
  • Other Maryland State Health Laws to be aware of: New State policy requires all campers to bring their own SUNSCREEN and BUG SPRAY to camp each day WITH their name clearly written on the bottles. Staff will also no longer be able to apply antibiotic creams, lotions or other topical ointments to wounds and rashes.
  • Can my Camper with Special/Extra needs come to camp?
    Calleva strives to provide positive camp experiences for children with various needs wherever possible. However we do not specialize in serving children with special needs, including children with significant physical, emotional, social, or behavioral difficulties. Please talk to us if your camper has extra or special/specific needs at camp. We can always provide a better and safer experience for your child if we know about potential challenges ahead of time and can be prepared to fully assist and support each individual camper.

    • To discuss your child’s needs, please call the Calleva office on 301-216-1248 or email [email protected] In some cases, after talking with families, our camp directors may feel it is necessary for an individual camper to have 1 to 1 support for behavioral or medical needs. If this is decided, then the family will be asked to pay extra to cover costs for an additional member of Calleva staff to support the child.*
  • Notes Specific to Diabetic Campers**
    We can accommodate most diabetic campers, however, depending on the camper’s needs, they may not be able to go on week-long high adventures. Our camp nurse is available to be on-site at both our Riley’s Lock and Farm locations for daily ‘check-ins’. Diabetic campers who are able to self carry and self administer their own medication may be able to join our traveling adventure camps after talking through their needs with camp directors and medical staff.* Overnights for campers with specific medical or behavioral special needs may not always be possible.** Additional paperwork signed by the campers’ physician is required for insulin-dependent diabetic campers.

Questions about Adventure Camps:

Are you an overnight camp or a day camp?
We are both! Adventure Camp is a traveling day camp Monday-Wednesday, with regular bus routes before and after camp.  After pick up on Thursday, Some Adventure Campers go on an overnight campout (within a two hour’s drive from DC), then return to their regular bus stop on Friday afternoon.

Overnights vary according to activity, and often vary from week to week within that activity. Each week, if the program has a scheduled overnight, instructors select a location based upon their group’s interests, skill level, and team dynamics (as well as weather!). Parents are notified by Wednesday about where their child will be overnighting.  Calleva has an Emergency Action Plan for every area we visit.  Instructors and Counselors carry cell phones and can contact our directors in the event of an emergency.

Can my camper bring cell phone/portable electronics?
No, they are not permitted. Time to unplug!

What policies will you have in place for camping during COVID?
We are prepared to make any necessary changes to follow the camping rules issued by the State.

At this time, we intend to continue our 2021 structure, which was successful in eliminating the spread of COVID-19 in our camp community.  We are planning to camp under the stars, using rain flys instead of tents as long as the weather allows. Campers are also invited to bring their own tent or hammock if they wish.

Questions about High Adventure Camps:

What is a High Adventure?
Calleva offers a variety of adventure trips for teens (ages 12-17), which are extended overnight trips ranging from 4 to 12 nights, and travel further than our typical adventure camps! Trips integrate Leave No Trace wilderness camping, adventure sports instruction, and leadership training for teens. While participating in physically challenging activities, students reach beyond comfort zones to experience incredible personal and team success while building strong skills and great friendships. See details about specific high adventure programs on the Summer Camp page.

Can my High Adventure Camper ride the Calleva buses?
No. Parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up students before and after the the trip. Details depend upon the trip, so please visit the various web pages.

Calleva provides all transportation and logistical needs once the trip has started.

Can my camper bring cell phone/portable electronics?
We ask that campers do not bring cell phones or other electronics on our High Adventure trips. If we need to communicate with you, High Adventure staff carry cell phones, and our office will be in regular contact with them throughout the week.

Questions about Calleva:

Calleva is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit, offering summer camp, school field trips, and programs for other youth and adult groups. Our campers visit the best, most beautiful wilderness areas in our region.  In addition, we use four locations as meet-ups for our activities:

    • Riley’s Lock (C&O Canal National Park)
    • Calleva Farm (Dickerson, MD)
    • Madeira School (McLean, VA)
    • Carderock (Great Falls National Park)

What else do you offer?  We hear it all the time: “I wish Calleva offered summer camp for adults!” | “My child wants Calleva year-round!”

At Calleva, we love making these dreams come true through a wide range of activities, including:

  • Outings for groups, businesses, and schools.
  • Farm to table dinners at Calleva Farm (Dirty Dinners & Pizza Nights)
  • Local kayaking instruction, race training, and trips to rivers in our area, Canada and Mexico
  • Our annual benefit performance, Markoff’s Haunted Forest.

Camp Form

Questions specifically regarding Summer Camps