Camp FAQs

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Questions about Camp Registration:

  • What information do I need to have ready before I can complete the Calleva summer camp health form? You’ll need the dates of your child’s most recent tetanus shot and physical examination. If you attend a school outside of the US, you’ll have to upload a digital copy of your camper’s immunization records.  (A pdf or jpg file.)
  • Does the health form need a doctor’s signature? Our health form is a series of basic questions and is completed online so there is no need for a doctor’s signature. Some of those questions include Emergency Contact, Health Insurance Details, Physician Contact Information, Dates for Tetanus Shot and Physical Exam, Allergy and Medication Details.
  • I provided this information last year and nothing has changed. Don’t you still have it on file? The State of Maryland requires us to collect new health forms every year.
  • My camper attends school outside of the US and you require a digital copy of the immunization records. I only have a paper copy. What can I do?  If you have a paper copy you can scan it and upload the files that way. You could always take a picture with your phone and email it to us as well!
  • My campers have their annual physical right before camp; can I complete the health form after that visit? Since the health form is required to complete your camp registration, you will need to complete it with the most recent information you have available. If anything changes prior to them attending camp (new tetanus shot date, physical date, medications, etc), send the updates to Nicole by e-mail (Nicole (at) calleva.org).
  • When/Why do I need to provide the Medication Authorization Form? Due to Maryland State Health Laws, If your camper requires any type of medication while attending a Calleva Camp, we will need to have a Medication Authorization Form on file for each medication. This will be “required” during the registration process.
  • Medications and Prescription Drugs Policy: Prescription drugs shall be self-administered by the camper after written parental permission is provided via authorization form. The medication should be clearly labeled in the original pharmacy container with the prescription name, prescribing physician’s name, name of medication, directions for taking the medication, and the camper’s name. Parents should be advised to ONLY send the amount needed in the original container.Counselor will keep hold of medication at all times then observe the camper taking the medication.Counselor observation is needed that it is indeed the correct medication for camper and the proper amount is taken. Counselor will then document in Medical Log the date, amount, and time taken.

    All medication including unused medicine and/or empty containers MUST be returned to camper’s parent at the end of camp session or when no longer needed.

    For All Adventure, High Adventure & LIT Camps: All Emergency medication including Epi-Pens, Diabetic medications and inhalers stay with the campers (self-carry) but are administered by Calleva Head Counselors if needed in an emergency. Inhalers can be self administered if permission given in Medical notes. All use is documented in Medical log.

    For All CUBs, Explorers, ExpX & Island Day Camps: All Emergency medication including Epi-Pens, Diabetic medications and inhalers stay with the staff (staff-carry) and are administered by Calleva Head Counselors if needed in an emergency. Inhalers can be self administered if permission given in Medical notes. All use is documented in Medical log.

    Non-prescription drugs can only be given when accompanied by a written medical authorization note signed by a doctor. Ibuprofen (‘Advil’) Acetaminophen (‘Tylenol’/ Non-aspirin) and Diphenhydramine (allergy meds like Benadryl) can NOT be given to a camper unless provided by parent with accompanying authorization letter OR when verbal authorization has been provided over the phone from camper’s parent/guardian.

    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.

  • Other Maryland State Health Laws to be aware of: New State policy require all campers to bring their own Sunscreen and Bugspray to camp each day WITH their name clearly written on the bottles. Staff will also no longer be able to apply antiobiotic creams, lotions or other topical ointments to wounds and rashes.
  • Can I save the health form and come back to it at a later point? No, you can’t save the form and come back to it. Once you’ve started it you’ll need to finish it. To make sure you don’t run into that problem, please have handy: the last tetanus shot date, last date of physical exam, and a digital copy of your immunization records (if your child is enrolled in a school outside of the US).  For any other questions regarding Calleva’s Health Form please contact us at the office (301-216-1248) or by e-mail (Nicole (at) calleva.org).
  • What is your Refund Policy? A non-refundable $150/week deposit is required in order to register for Calleva.  This is credited to the tuition payment, which is due in full on May 1.  If you have not yet paid your tuition or completed our on- line health form by May 1, your child’s space in camp is NOT SECURE. No space in any Calleva program will be held without completed health form. The $150 deposit is non refundable. Parents are responsible to pay the entire tuition if their child withdraws after May 1st. If a participant leaves during camp by mutual agreement with the Director (health, etc.), the tuition can be pro-rated minus the $150 non-refundable deposit. Refunds (minus deposits) were available before May 1st.

General questions about Camp:

  • There are so many camps, how do I know which to sign up for? Well lots of it is dependent on age and whether or not your child is ready for an overnight exprience. Our camps are designed as stepping stones to build skills and confidence. Much of the scheduling really depends on time spent within each of our activities. Camp will always be fun, however lesson time vastly grows as campers get older and more proficient and interested in adventurous activities.  For instance, Cubs Camp activities are broken down to 25 minutes; Explorers Camp spend 55 minutes per activity; Island Day Camp have half-day activities; ExpX campers (like Sampler Camp) spend a full day on each activity; Adventure Camp focus on one specific activity for the entire week and end with a Thursday overnight; High Adventures spend typically 5 days and 4 nights on an adventurous activity; and LIT’s activity is primarily “discovery of self” with some activities that help achieve discovery! Of course each Camp’s activities differ  and are designed with the appropriate age range in mind!
  • What is your summer camp philosophy?  The Markoff brothers grew up at camp.  Our grandmother started Valley Mill Camp (in the 1950s!) and for as long as we can remember we have been a part of the DC area’s outdoor adventure camp community. We know that individual attention is key to a successful summer camp experience.  Calleva’s summer camp staff share our passion for introducing kids to the outdoors.  We train our staff to meet each child at their level and lead them into challenges with the primary goal of building self confidence and encouraging 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.  Calleva’s core, year-round staff set the tone and train seasonal employees in the Calleva Way.   We are committed to running the best programs in the area for both camps and schools. Although we are a small company, chances are we have run a program for a school or friend that you know.
  • Safety at Calleva? Saftey is our #1 priority. Although the nature of our activities have the potential for risk, we strive to provide our staff with the knowledge, tools, and resources to run empowering camps. Health concerns are  overseen by our Health Care Administrator and reviewed with staff at the beginning of the week. In situations where campers have specific medical needs, staff are encouraged to take further steps and use their resources, and to ensure all medical needs are met and that each camper feels comfortable and safe throughout theircamp experience. Our philosophy is prevention, 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.
  • What discounts do you offer? Campers registering for 9 weeks or more receive a 15% discount*. Campers registering for 4 or more weeks receive a 5% discount*. Two or more members of the same family enrolled at the same time receive a $25 discount off each additional camper*. * The discounts are only applied during a single transaction. If camper weeks are added to the original transaction, no discounts will be applied.  You can find information about our scholarship program on the Summer Camp page.
  • How do I know if there is room? Our Schedule shows availability in real time, but will only be marked “full” or “open”. If you need to know how many spots are available for friends, you will have to contact the office.
  • How does your Waitlist work? If your desired camp activity and week is “full”, you can call the office and add your name to the waitlist. We contact “parents” on the waitlist in the order in which they join. We give each “parent” 24 hours to accept the availability. The office manages this waitlist until April 30th. On May 1st, all openings that appear on the schedule, are available to anyone on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • What is “council”?  Our morning bus routes bring every camper to Riley’s Lock, where we separate into activity camp groups, sing, play games, have contests, awards, and — most of all — have fun!  Every afternoon, activity camp groups return to Riley’s Lock for council before the bus routes take off for the return trip home.  There are two “councils”:  one for Explorers and another for Adventure Campers.
  • What are your activity/group sizes?  Staff to camper ratio? Camper ages? Each activity has about 8-14 campers, a Head Instructor, Head Counselor, Junior Counselor or Assistant Instructor, and a CIT. Campers are ages 9-15 (Adventure Camp), 6-9 (Explorers Camp), and 4-5 (Calleva Cubs).  Groups are co-ed (boys & girls together).
  • What are your sessions?  At Calleva, campers register for one week at a time!  This makes it easy to build a summer of activities that includes one or more weeks of Calleva camp. Calleva families can register for 1 week or as many as 12 weeks of camp . . . whatever suits your schedule.
  • My child is 9.  Should she be registered as an ExpX, Island Day Camp or as an Adventure/Sampler Camper?  Of course, each child is different, and we are happy to talk with you about which program will best suit your child’s personality and physical abilities.  Please contact the office staff to discuss.  Adventure Camp includes a Thursday overnight campout, and Explorers is a traditional DAY CAMP only.  EXPX is designed specifically for 9 year olds who are ready for a bigger challenge but not interested in an overnight campout experience.  Adventure Camp is more focused on instruction, with more intense activity level, and Explorers and Island Day Camp are focused on …. exploring the outdoors on the trail, water and farm depending on the camp.
  • Do you provide transportation? Yes, for Calleva Cubs, Explorers & all Adventure Campers, transportation is provided to Riley’s Lock from Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, & Washington DC Area pick up points. Transportation is included in the cost.  Bus routes are finalized on the Tuesday BEFORE your camp week.  We cannot make changes after that time.
  • Do you provide food? Yes, Calleva provides all the food for overnight in Adventure Camp, but we encourage parents to pack snacks to keep their hungry camper satisfied and full of energy throughout Friday. In addition, parents can purchase lunches through Calleva for $35/week. This is done through the registration process. If you would like to add lunches, you must call the office the Monday before your camper is enrolled. Lunch consists of Deli-style sandwich (no choice), Salty Snack, Fruit/Vegetable, HonestKids juice and a home-baked dessert. If your camper has any allergy or dietary restrictions, we highly suggest that they bring a lunch from home.
  • What does it mean to be a mobile camp?  Are their restrooms available?  Is there a central, indoor facility for campers to access?  Our mobile philosophy enables awesome adventure for our participants at a different location every day!  It also requires us to be creative about communication, planning logistics and other aspects of camp.  Our office, the main hub for camp activity, is a small building located at Riley’s Lock in the C&O National Historic Park.  We do not have any indoor facilities for summer camp and we rely on porta-potties for bathroom facilities both 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!
  • Do you allow animals/pets at your Camp?  While there are lots of animals on the farm, and other visitors in Parks may have pets; Calleva campers and Staff are NOT allowed to bring pets to Camp.
  • Additional ACA Standards: Standards that require being addressed. We support and are an accredited ACA Camp.

Questions about Explorers Camp:

  • Are you an overnight camp or a day camp?  Explorer Camps are your normal “day camp” and are transported home at the end of every day.

Questions about Island Day Camp:

  • Are you an overnight camp or a day camp?  Island Day and Sampler Camps are your normal “day camp” and are transported home at the end of every day.

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.  On Thursday, Adventure Campers go on an overnight campout (within a two hour’s drive from DC).
  • Where are your overnights for the Adventure Camps? Overnights vary according to activity, and often vary from week to week within that activity.  Each week, instructors select overnight locations 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.

Questions about High Adventure Camps:

  • What is a High Adventure? Calleva offers a variety of adventure trips for teens (ages 12-17).  For a list of trips, go to the Summer Camp section.  Trips integrate Leave No Trace wilderness camping, adventure sports instruction, and leadership training for teens. While participating in physically challenging activities, CLS students reach beyond comfort zones to experience incredible personal and team success while building strong skills in their chosen activities. CLS trips enable increased confidence and self discipline which contributes to success in school, sports, friendships and family relationships. Some trips include volunteer service activities that enable students to earn Student Service Learning hours.
  • Can my High Adventure Camper ride the Calleva buses? Calleva provides all logistical needs once the trip has started, however parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up students before and after the the trip. Depending on the trip, parents will need to drop off students at the Calleva Office between  7-8am on Monday Mornings, and pick them up between 5-6pm on Friday Evening at Riley’s Lock. There will be a light breakfast and pizza dinner served for families, campers, and staff.

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. We’re known for our unique, mobile summer camp programs.  Our campers visit the best, most beautiful wilderness areas in our region.  In addition, we use two Calleva locations for some of our activities:
  • Riley’s Lock (C&O Canal National Park) – is great for water-based programs like kayaking, canoeing and fishing.  Safety lessons and other introductory activities happen here, especially when groups are getting acquainted with gear for their excursion.  Riley’s Lock is also the “hub” for our mobile adventure summer camp.
  • Calleva Farm (Dickerson, MD) – is the hub for our agricultural education and horseback riding programs.  Growing Green, Building Green and Calleva horse adventures take place on our 165-acre working farm, where we grow hay, vegetables and livestock (including bees!).  Schools, scouts and other community groups have found Calleva Farm to be a great venue for enabling groups to discover how a farm interacts with its surrounding environment.
  • Calleva’s unique blend of fun and learning makes every Calleva program unique and excellent!  Calleva provides highest quality instruction, customized & goal-oriented itineraries, and high-energy facilitators.

What else do you offer?  We hear all the time, “My child participated in a Calleva camp, what else do you offer?”

  • Outings for groups, businesses, and schools.
  • Farm to table dinners called “Dirty Dinners”
  • 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