VA Adventure Camp
Virginia Adventure Camps are at the heart of Calleva. For over 25 years, Calleva has taught outdoor adventure skills through week long Adventure Camps. We’ve found a week is the perfect length of time to introduce an activity, teach important skills, and let campers’ enthusiasm and skill levels grow. We love our Adventure Camps because even if a camper has never climbed or kayaked before, by the end of the week we’ll have them confidently out on the river, or up on the rock wall! We design our camps so campers can learn at their own pace, set goals for themselves, and celebrate their and the group’s achievements! Campers work within a group of 12-14 other campers, led by a trained instructor, counselor, and junior counselor.
Each activity’s fun-filled curriculum prepares campers for the Thursday overnight, a perfect way to end the week! Campers work hard Monday-Wednesday to build the skills necessary for the overnight, and when Thursday rolls around they’re ready and excited for the challenge. For our Adventure Camps, the overnight is not optional. If you’re child may not be ready for the overnight check out our Virginia Sampler Camp!
Optional GearBag to purchase: Calleva is offering campers the option to purchase a GearBag during checkout which includes all the camping gear you will need for your overnight. These duffle bags come home with your camper on the bus before the overnight so it can be packed with personal clothes and toiletries!
Rain Plan: We are aware that there are concerns regarding Rain & Storms at camp. For any programs that we can continue to do the activities with happy campers we will do so. If for any reason the rain or storm has us stop the activity, then all groups have an alternative plan and location under cover.
Scroll down for our 2020 Adventure Camps
Stand Up Paddle Board VA
*New for 2020*
Monday: Paddle strokes, games, and boat rescues on the Potomac River. Our goal is to build our “sea legs” and get comfortable standing on the boards. We will stay in flat water and build confidence.
Tuesday: Time to paddle around Offutt Island and wet our appetite on some class 1 rapids! The water is easy enough to float right side up, or if you’re feeling bold, upside down! While lapping around the island, there might be time for a bit of exploration before attaining the gentle waters back up to Camp.
Wednesday: We’ll take it up a notch and attain up to Maryland Chute where waves can be surfed, rapids run, and there’s plenty of FUN to go around! Our goal will be to get comfortable running rapids, reading white water, and learning how to fall off of our boards if we need to.
Thursday/Friday (Overnight): The Overnight! We’re now ready for our down river trip and to explore some waterfalls and hidden rope swings. Thursday is a trip down the Potomac down to Lock 10, where we’ll encounter class 2 and 2+ whitewater, and learn how to make moves and navigate in the middle of rapids. Thursday will prepare us for our class 3 whitewater day on the Mather Gorge on Friday! We’ll end things with the biggest whitewater yet!
Locations: Maryland Chute, Potomac Gorge, Anglers Inn, Lock 10
Overview: Paddle Boarding is a fun way to experience the river without having to worry about flipping a boat! Standing gives the rider unique views of the river, and forces them to work on their balance and coordination. This sport is all about balance, and as the current and waves hit your board, campers must react and go with the flow. During the summer, being on the river is a blast, and our staff provide quality instruction with loads of games, songs, and challenges that keep campers cool while staying active. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the hottest craze in the Metropolitan Area, and the core strength, skills, and confidence it gives our campers make it a very popular activity. We moved this activity to our Virginia campus because of Madeira’s proximity to the river and opportunity to increase the amount of time on top of our SUPS.
Monday: Paddle strokes, games, and boat rescues on Black Pond. Who will be our Hawaiian Challenge champion, our our best boat polo player?! This day is all about getting comfortable in boats, and learning how to effectively maneuver.
Tuesday: Time to get on the Potomac river! Campers will start paddling in moving water and practicing basic whitewater moves like peel outs, ferries, and attaining. They’ll also start to learn how to “read” the river, identifying the different features present. Today’s the day to start getting used to the waves!
Wednesday: Let’s start running rapids! Campers will paddle up to Maryland chute to start learning more advanced whitewater techniques. They’ll run rapids, eddy out and peel out, and even attempt to surf if the conditions are right and they’re feeling ready! Groups may also start to practice paddle rolls.
Thursday/Friday (Overnight): The Overnight! Campers will get in boats and run different sections of the Potomac River. They’ll use all of the skills they’ve learned to navigate some of the area’s best whitewater, camping out overnight along the Potomac. They’ll scout rapids to identify the best lines, and paddle the biggest whitewater of the week. What an amazing way to end the week!
Locations: Black Pond, Maryland Chute, Potomac Gorge, Anglers Inn, Lock 10
Overview: Kayaking is one of Calleva’s original Adventure Camp activities, and we’re incredibly excited to share our love of whitewater boating with our Virginia campers and families! For 25 years Calleva has been teaching kayaking on the Potomac, and over the years we’ve been able to develop the perfect program for kayakers of all levels. Our week long kayaking camp starts by teaching the basics on flat water, but then gets our kids out on the river and out in the waves! We keep the staff to camper ratio low to ensure that all our campers get the instruction and supervision they need. Campers will play games, run rapids, and of course take some time to enjoy the river while working towards the Thursday overnight. On the overnight campers will use all the skills they’ve practiced to paddle rapids like Yellow Falls, or river sections like the Potomac Gorge! It’s an awesome way to end the week!
Rock Climbing VA
Monday: Campers will learn the basic knots and techniques used to climb safely. We’ll set up multiple climbs to allow campers to push themselves and try different levels of challenge. Today is the day to get comfortable on the wall and off the ground!
Tuesday: Campers will learn about belaying, the process used to raise, hold, and lower climbers that are off the ground. They’ll also continue to learn new knots (Figure 8’s, hitches, and Munters), and potentially get the chance to rappel!
Wednesday: This is the day to really up the challenge level in preparation for the overnight! Campers will practice more advanced climbing techniques, and also learn how to spot and boulder.
Thursday/Friday (Overnight): The Overnight! Climbers will paddle to Offutt Island and climb out of our boat to climb the cliffs. The Great Falls area has an amazing variety of climbs, so it’s a great place to really use all of the skills campers have learned during the week. We may climb any of the numerous locations available via a short hike or paddle. There’s also the chance to participate in climb relays, or blindfolded climb challenges! The day ends with a campfire and smores at beautiful campsite along the Potomac River. On Friday, campers will continue to climb on campus, or at Great Falls, and of course practice for the end of the week song contest!
Locations: Calleva Virginia campus, Carderock, Great Falls park VA, Offutt Island.
Overview: It’s been amazing seeing the sport of rock climbing grow in popularity around the country, and especially in the D.C. area. A lot of people have experienced climbing in a gym, but what we’re excited to offer is a full week of climbing on REAL ROCK! Communication and partnership are the foundation of rock climbing, and campers will need to work together, problem solve, and encourage each other both on and off the rock wall. Every day our instructor will set up a range of different climbs or rappels for the group, from easy warm-up climbs to tough technical challenges. Throughout the day the Calleva staff will use games and activities to teach climbing technical skills and knots. Climbing campers may also have the opportunity to learn how to belay (with a backup) to further ingrain the sense of partnership between belayer and climber.
Camper vs. Wild VA
Special Schedule Change: This Adventure Camp is only offered as a 5 day/4 night High Adventure during week 4.
Monday: Introduction to Base Camp and Shelter Building – Campers will hike down to the Camper vs. Wild base camp and start learning about shelter building skills. They’ll learn different ways to frame, reinforce, and water proof simple wilderness shelters. They’ll then have the opportunity to build their own using the skills they learned!
Tuesday: Rappelling and Fire Building – Campers will learn the knots and skills necessary to rappel down a cliff face. What an awesome way to explore the Potomac river Gorge! They’ll then get a chance to build fires from scratch, learning how to effectively and safely start a fire in the wilderness.
Wednesday: GPS Skills & Geocaching – Campers will use maps and GPS equipment to explore the 300+ acre Calleva Virginia campus! Along the way they’ll find supplies and rewards for their Thursday overnight.
Thursday (Overnight): Base Camp Build Day – Campers will get the day to work on the projects that most interest them! Do they want to help construct a wigwam, collect extra food for the overnight by fishing or foraging, or work on camp improvements like a garden or primitive kitchen? The choice is theirs! The overnight ends with a campfire and smores, as well as a night hike to a secret swimming spot!
Friday: Primitive Skills Palooza – Campers will put themselves to the test in our primitive skills challenge!
Locations: Calleva Virginia campus
Overview: Does your camper love to explore in the woods? Are they excited to build and use the resources around them? Then Camper vs. Wild is the camp for them! Camper vs. Wild has moved over from our Maryland campus this summer and is sure to be better than ever. Everyday, your camper will learn a new skill that they will have the opportunity to put into practice at their very own Primitive Base Camp. Campers will have the opportunity to work on daily, weekly, and summer long wilderness survival projects. Daily and weekly projects include shelter building, fire building, foraging and fishing, geocaching, and small camp improvements like planting gardens, building stone or wood walls, and creating a primitive cooking space. Our summer long project this year will be creating a community of wigwams for campers to potentially sleep in on overnights! A week of Camper vs. Wild culminates with an overnight in the camp they’ve helped build with a night hike to a secret swimming spot to build their confidence in the wild. This camp is an awesome option for a camper who is eager to learn an array of skills and make use of everything that the woods has to provide!