General Camp Questions:
How do you protect camper safety in the outdoors?
American Camp Association Standards: Calleva is an accredited ACA Camp, and we comply with ACA standards, including specific leading practices for child safety.
Safety is our #1 priority. Our outdoor adventure activities have the potential for risk, so we strive to provide our staff with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to keep campers safe during their time at camp.
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.
We know that individual attention is key to a safe & successful summer camp experience. We always aim for 3 staff per camper group where possible.
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.
Does Calleva have any indoor facilities?
Most Calleva campers visit a different location every day, and spend all their time outdoors! The majority of the spaces we use are open to the public.
Campers are always with at least one staff member from their group. For each group, Instructors have developed an Emergency Action Plan for each space they use, which includes strategies for mitigating risk in public spaces. Foundational to these plans are: keeping the group together, making sure campers are properly supervised, and setting expectations beforehand with campers of where they can/can’t go, and guidance for how they can keep themselves safe.
We 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!
How much of each day is devoted to each activity in the sampler camp?
The vast majority of the day is spent on the activity!
We have a small all camp meeting in the morning (usually from 9:00 – 9:30) and another meeting in the afternoon (3:00 – 3:30), but besides that kids are off on their adventure.
Structure varies based on the activity itself. Generally: Campers are introduced to the activity, taught the skills needed, taught what they can do to keep themselves safe, and then are given the opportunity to participate.
Some campers jump right in and try everything, and others ramp up more slowly, but every camper is provided the opportunity to participate as much as they feel comfortable. We train staff to keep campers engaged with the group as they pace their own skill development.
Is there camp on Juneteenth and July 4th?
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.
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 PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) that are properly sized and fitted by our staff and when there are rapids they wear helmets.
What is done for a camper that doesn’t seem to be having fun? How do staff handle bullying and other behavior issues at camp?
A huge part of our staff training is based on how to build a strong community within the camp group, and how to help kids feel safe, respected, and engaged at camp.
Calleva staff are trained to set standards for how campers treat each other, and our goal is to create a space that is welcoming to everyone. Staff are trained to quickly address behaviors that don’t meet that standard, and to do so in a way that isn’t punitive.
If a camper doesn’t seem to be enjoying an activity, staff check in and try to problem solve in the moment. Senior staff & directors are available to support as needed.
We also reach out to parents when necessary to collaborate and generate ideas that will help create an optimal camp experience for their child. Homesickness is a reality — even at day camp! — and Calleva staff are trained to work with the camper to help them articulate what is going on and what might help.
Very rarely, corrective measures & adaptations are not effective, and negative behaviors persist. In some cases, Calleva directors may ask a camper to not return to camp.
Can my camper bring a cell phone/portable electronics?
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 you complete registration.
Do you offer food?
Yes, Calleva offers lunch for day campers that start their day at Riley’s Lock or Calleva Farm. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND CALLEVA LUNCH FOR CAMPERS WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.
Lunch costs $60/week and includes a deli-style sandwich, salty snack, fruit/vegetable, and a farm-baked dessert. Parents must purchase lunch IN ADVANCE of their camp week. If you wish to add lunch, please contact the camp office to pre-order on the Tuesday BEFORE your child’s camp week.
Is Calleva a Peanut-Free camp?
Calleva is a “Peanut-AWARE” camp. Our staff pay special attention to allergies listed in camper “Health Issues,” including food-related special needs. PLEASE visit your Camp-in-Touch account to review your child’s health record AND MAKE SURE IT IS COMPLETE.
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.
Health & Medical Questions:
What are Calleva’s policies concerning camper health?
Calleva’s very successful 2020, 2021 and 2022 summer camp seasons were achieved in large part due to our COVID policies, which were developed & evolved in coordination with the Maryland State Department of Health, Montgomery County Department of Health, and the American Camp Association. See our annual document for a detailed overview of our summer 2024 protocols: Keeping Campers Healthy. (coming soon)
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.
Maryland State Health Department rules also require that Calleva staff manage the medication, observe the camper taking their medication, and document the dose in a medical notebook noting date, amount, and time the medication is taken.
- Prescription medicationmust 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. This medication will be kept by our team for the duration of the week.
- Non-prescription drugs also require a written medical authorization form signed by a doctor. Ibuprofen (‘Advil’), Acetaminophen (‘Tylenol’/Non-aspirin), and Diphenhydramine (allergy meds like Benadryl) CANNOT 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.
More Specifics about Medication:
- For campers in Adventure Camp, Sampler, High Adventure, and LIT Camps
- Emergency medications are carried by the camper, both while on the bus and at camp
- Medications are administered by Calleva Instructors/Head Counselors if needed in an emergency
- Inhalers can be self-administered with parental permission
- 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:
- Bus counselors collect emergency medication as the campers arrive on the bus.
- Instructors/Head Counselors hold emergency medication throughout the day and will ensure they are kept close to the camper who might need them.
- Emergency meds are administered by Calleva Instructors/Head Counselors if needed in an emergency.
- Inhalers can be self-administered with parental permission.
- Other Maryland State Health Laws to be aware of: All campers are required to bring their own SUNSCREEN and BUG SPRAY to camp each day WITH their name clearly written on the bottles. Staff are prohibited from applying 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 ahead of time 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@example.com. 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 for daily ‘check ins’ at both our Riley’s Lock and Calleva Farm locations. 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.*Additional paperwork signed by the campers’ physician is required for insulin-dependent diabetic campers.
- Overnights for campers with specific medical or behavioral special needs may not always be possible.**
- We will ONLY be able to safely admit diabetic campers if you have discussed your child’s situation with the camp nurse AND the director and they are attending during a week when we have our nurse onsite. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com to discuss your child’s camp week!
Camp Admin & Financial Questions:
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 our processing system, database management, and other functions that 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.
If you wish to donate tuition from a last-minute cancellation, Calleva will provide you with a donation receipt for your tax purposes. You donation would help support Calleva’s scholarship program. Calleva is a 501©3 non-profit and our EIN is 52-2082054.
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. For more information visit our Overnights Info Page.
Can my camper bring cell phone/portable electronics on their overnight?
Can my camper bring their own tent?
If you have a single-person tent, then yes!
If you don’t, we will provide 4-person adult tents that will sleep 3-4 campers on the overnight.
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.
Can my High Adventure Camper ride the Calleva buses?
No. Parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up students before and after their High Adventure trip. Details depend upon the trip. See details about specific high adventure programs on the Summer Camp page.
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.
General 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 three locations as meet-ups for our summer camp activities:
- Riley’s Lock (C&O Canal National Park)
- Calleva Farm (Dickerson, MD)
- Madeira School (McLean, VA)
What else do you offer?
We hear it all the time: “I wish Calleva offered summer camp for adults!” and “My child wants Calleva year-round!”
At Calleva, we love making these dreams come true through a wide range of activities, including:
If you still have questions about camp, we’re here to help!