2014 Parent Handbook 1

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1 2014 Parent Handbook 1

2 Table of Contents Introduction... 3 Day Camp... 4 Residential Camp Multi-Week Residential Camp Appalachian Adventure Teen Expeditions

3 Introduction Thank you for choosing Adventure Links for your camper s adventures this summer. Whether this is your first experience with Adventure Links or your camper has attended since age 8, I hope this handbook will be a valuable guide for you as you prepare for camp this year. Inside you will find answers to frequently asked questions, tips on getting ready for camp, and other useful information that may come in handy during the camp itself. Here at Adventure Links we recognize each of our campers as a unique individual, each with their own goals, concerns, and expectations for their camp experience. We take pride in offering personalized attention to both our campers and their families before, during, and after the camp experience. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to assure that your camper has the best experience possible, please feel free to give us a call! Mark Diedering Adventure Links at Hemlock Overlook Summer Camp Director The Adventure Links Administrative Team 3

4 Day Camp The Basics Days/Dates: Monday Friday throughout the summer Drop off and Pick up Times: 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Location: Locations vary depending on the designated meeting spot for the week. Preparation Checklist Register for camp at or by phone at Complete the pre-camp paperwork on our website This is different from the registration process, and includes a short medical form and other useful information we ll need before the start of camp. Please submit these forms at least two weeks before the first day of camp! Check out the pack list for your camp on the next page; make sure you have these items (and any necessary medications) ready for the start of camp. Double-check your confirmation to make sure you have the correct dates, location, and pick up/ drop off times for your camp. Make sure you know where that pick up/drop off location is, and the best way to get there when camp begins. Can t find the confirmation ? Give us a call and we can re-send that for you. Talk to your child about the camp. Let him/her know that our Instructors will be there to help them if they have any questions or concerns. Remind them about your expectations for their behavior during camp, as our expectations are similar to those at school or other extra-curricular activities. Ask your child what his/her expectations are for the camp, and if there is anything you want to share with us to improve your child s experience, give us a call to tell us about it! 4

5 flip-flops) Daypack/Small backpack Ultimate Adventure Pack List DAILY PACK ITEMS ( M - F ) Close toed shoes such as tennis shoes or hiking boots (no flip-flops, sandals, or crocs) Lunch 32 oz. re-usable water bottle/nalgene Bug Spray Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Rain Gear or Poncho SPECIFIC WATER DAY ITEM (in addition to daily items) One pair of water shoes or old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/closed toe sandals (no strapless sandals, crocs, or Swimsuit Lunch Considerations: Please pack lunch in a 1 gallon sized zip-lock bag Ensure that the camper's name is written on the bag in permanent marker * Note: All camper lunches are stored in a large dry bag that instructors carry with them in a boat. For this reason, large cooler boxes are not ideal for packing as there is limited space for them in our dry bags. Optional Gear (to be left on the bus for the end of the day) Towel Dry Clothes SPECIFIC CAVING DAY ITEMS (in addition to daily items) For Caving Day, the temperature in the cave is a constant 55 degrees all year long. We drive to Shepherdstown, WV and will stop at a nature preserve down the street from the cave, eat half of our lunch, use the restroom, and change into our caving clothes. The other half of their lunch will be eaten on the drive home. Our goal is to ensure that campers stay comfortable and warm within the cave, so please pack the following items. Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots / sneakers that can get WET & DIRTY! Trash bag, labeled with name, to store wet & dirty items Clean change of clothes for after caving Kneepads (optional) OPTIONAL ITEMS Camera/film (Adventure Links is not liable if camera is lost or damaged) PLEASE DO NOT BRING Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry Expensive Personal Belongings 5

6 Daypack/Small backpack Summit Adventure Pack List DAILY PACK ITEMS ( M - F ) WORN TO CAMP: Close toed shoes such as tennis shoes or hiking boots (no flip-flops, sandals, or crocs) Lunch 32 oz. re-usable water bottle/nalgene Bug Spray Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Rain Gear or Poncho CLOTHING Sturdy light hiking shoes or sneakers with tread on bottom Water Shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/fixed toe sandals (no strapless sandals or flip-flops): Camp Shoes (something comfortable to wear around camp) Wool / fleece pullover or light jacke Long sleeved shirt (2) T-shirts (4) Shorts (3) Long pants (1) Bathing suit (2 - can double with shorts) Underwear (5+) Cotton socks (4) SPECIFIC CAVING DAY ITEMS For Caving Day, the temperature in the cave is a constant 55 degrees all year long. We drive to Shepherdstown, WV and will stop at a nature preserve down the street from the cave, eat half of our lunch, use the restroom, and change into our caving clothes. The other half of their lunch will be eaten on the drive home. Our goal is to ensure that campers stay comfortable and warm within the cave, so please pack the following items. Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots / sneakers That can get WET & DIRTY! Trash bag, labeled with name, to store wet & dirty items Clean change of clothes for after caving Kneepads (optional) OPTIONAL ITEMS Camera/film (Adventure Links is not liable if camera is lost or damaged) PLEASE DO NOT BRING Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry Expensive Personal Belongings 6

7 Ultimate Adventure: Sample Weekly Itinerary Monday Activity: Challenge Course at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements year old age groups will experience the Zip Line, while 8-10 year old campers will experience the Flying Squirrel high ropes element. Tuesday Activity: Canoeing (8-10) and Kayaking (11-13) at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen, bug spray, an extra set of clothing for the ride home, water shoes or an old pair of sneakers to wear while on the water, sunglasses and/or a brimmed hat Description: Campers will enjoy a day of flat water canoeing or kayaking on the Bull Run River Wednesday Activity: Outdoor Living Skills at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will learn about the local ecology, wildlife, and flora and fauna while also learning about wilderness skills such as natural shelter building, map and compass skills, and fire building. Activities vary on a daily basis depending on the group and various weather conditions. Thursday Activity: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, WV What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, warm clothing and sturdy sneakers or boots that can get muddy and wet (temperature inside the cave is 52 degrees year round!), a garbage bag labeled with the camper s name and a comfortable change of clothes for the ride home. Description: Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave. Friday Activity: Rock Climbing at Carderock, MD 7

8 What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will challenge themselves to climb a variety of naturally occurring routes of varying skill and difficulty levels. Monday Summit Adventure: Sample Weekly Itinerary Activity: Challenge Course at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Tuesday Activity: Sailing on the Potomac River, Alexandria, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen, bug spray, an extra set of clothing for the ride home, water shoes or an old pair of sneakers to wear while on the water, sunglasses and/or a brimmed hat Description: Campers will enjoy a day of sailing on the Potomac River Wednesday Activity: Mountain Biking at Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will enjoy a day of beginner-level mountain biking on the trails surrounding beautiful Burke Lake. Thursday Activity: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, WV What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, warm clothing and sturdy sneakers or boots that can get muddy and wet (temperature inside the cave is 52 degrees year round!), a garbage bag labeled with the camper s name and a comfortable change of clothes for the ride home. Description: Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave. Friday Activity: Rock Climbing at Great Falls, VA What to Bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, sneakers, boots, or other closed-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, rain gear, backpack, sunscreen and bug spray. Description: Campers will challenge themselves to climb a variety of naturally occurring routes of varying skill and difficulty levels. 8

9 The First Day of Camp The first daily activity of camp will be Team Development Course at our home site at Hemlock Overlook Park in Clifton, VA. Please make sure your camper has had a hearty breakfast before dropping off - it will be a long, active day! Please assure that your camper has everything they need for their day at camp. This includes: closed toed shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, a packed lunch and water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, and optional items such as a hat, sunglasses, and camera. Please arrive promptly at the designated location at 8:00 AM. Our vehicles will depart by 8:15 M. Upon arriving at the pickup location, look for our camp vehicles and Instructors sporting the Adventure Links logo. Please be careful and drive slowly as you approach the parking area. Please be prepared to present a picture ID when dropping off and picking up, not only the first day of camp but throughout the whole week. We are very thorough when it comes to the safety of your camper! At the time of drop off and pick up, you will be asked to sign your camper in and out on our pick up/drop off forms. Please do not drop and run. Let our Instructor know if you are in a hurry, and he/she will help you finish this process as quickly as possible. On the first day of camp, our Instructors will hand out our scheduled itinerary for Tuesday Friday. Please note the schedule may change due to weather or other circumstances. We ll let you know if we have to make a change. During Camp After receiving the weekly itinerary on Monday, please assure that your camper arrives for camp fully prepared for each daily activity. You are welcome to call the Adventure Links office if you would like an update on how your camper s day is going. Check out the Adventure Links Facebook page for updates and photos from your camper s activity! If you experience an emergency and must contact your camper, please give us a call at the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child right away. 9

10 If there is an emergency involving your child, a member of our staff will contact you immediately. If you are running a bit late for a drop off or pick up, please call the Adventure Links office to let us know. If one of our camp vehicles is running a bit late for a pick up or drop off, we will notify you via text message and corresponding . If you have any questions, concerns, or special instructions you are welcome to speak to the Instructor at pick up and/or drop off, or contact the Adventure Links office. Day Camp FAQ s Q: What time is drop off and pick-up for day camps? A: Drop-off is at 8:00 AM, and pick-up is at 5:00 PM. Q: Where do the campers go after they are dropped off? A: For Ultimate Adventure: 3 days of the camp will be spent at Hemlock Overlook Park in Clifton, VA. The activities for these days are: Challenge Course, Canoe/Kayak Paddling, and Outdoor Living Skills. 1 day will be at Carderock, MD for Rock Climbing. 1 day will be at Shepherdstown, WV for Caving. 10

11 For Summit Adventure: 1 Day will be at Hemlock Overlook Park for Challenge Course. 1 Day will be at Great Falls, VA for Rock Climbing. 1 Day will be at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA for Mountain Biking. 1 Day will be at Bell Haven Marina in Alexandria, VA for Sailing. 1 day will be at Shepherdstown, WV for Caving. Q: Can I drop off or pick up my child at Hemlock Overlook Park? A: If you register for the camp with Hemlock as the meeting location, yes! If you registered for a different pickup location, you may be able to arrange to pick up and drop off at Hemlock for the days when the daily activity is at the park, such as Team Development Course, Outdoor Living Skills, and Canoe/Kayak Paddling. You would then need to drop off at or after 8:30 AM, and pick up at or before 4:00 PM. All other daily activities will require that you pick up and drop off at the designated location. Q: I have one camper in the 8-10 age group and another in the group. Will they see each other during camp? What is the difference between the two age groups? A: Campers in different age groups will see each other in passing during camps, but will ride on separate vehicles and participate in activities separately. Siblings or friends in different age groups may be able to hang out during lunch, or ride on the same vehicle upon request. There are just a few differences between the two age groups: On Team Development Course day, the 8-10 s will participate in our Flying Squirrel activity, while the s will participate on the zip line. On Caving day, the 8-10 s will visit a smaller, more openly spaced cave. The s will visit a larger cave with more opportunities to explore tight tunnels and caverns. 11

12 On River day, 8-10 s will use canoes while s will use kayaks. Q: How many boys or girls will be in the camp? A: Each camp will be different depending on who decides to register for that particular camp. Most of our camps have a good mix of both boys and girls. Q: Will my camper be in the same group as his/her friends? A: If they registered for the same dates, age, and pickup location, yes! If your camper s friends registered for a different date, pickup location, or age group, they will not be in the same group, and will not participate together in activities. Q: What kind of vehicles will the campers be transported in? A: Beginning in 2014, Adventure Links will have a new fleet of 15 passenger vans for transporting campers. One of our 14 passenger mini-buses may also be used. Q: What are the qualifications for the camp Instructors? A: Our Instructors must pass a rigorous screening process before leading a group of campers, and meet several requirements after hire: Interviews and reference checks Pre-Employment Federal Criminal Background Check Pre-Employment Motor Vehicle History Check Pre-employment Drug Screening Random Drug Screening Intensive two-week training program Minimum certification of First Aid/CPR Minimum age is 19 years old. Q: Does Adventure Links Provide Lunch? A: For Day Camps, campers must bring their own lunches. We recommend packing lunches in insulated lunch boxes with an ice pack. 12

13 Q: Will you make sure my child drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day? A: Yes. Water will be available to campers at all times, but campers must supply their own sunscreen. Instructors will remind campers to stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Q: What about ticks? A: Fairfax County Wildlife Management has been conducting a tick-control program at Hemlock Overlook Park since We still recommend that campers conduct a tick check at the end of each camp day. Q: What if my child has to go to the bathroom during an activity? Who will take them? A: Bathrooms are available throughout almost every activity with the exception of caving. Bathroom breaks will occur throughout the day, and an instructor and at least 1 other camper will walk together to the nearest bathroom if needed. During caving, a camper may need to exit the cave and make use of the natural bathrooms outside the cave entrance. Q: What is the Instructor to child ratio? A: 7 Campers per 1 Instructor. Usually each group will have 14 campers and 2 Instructors. Q: Will my child spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities? A: Depending on the activity, a camper may spend an average of 30 minutes to an hour traveling to and from an activity site. The longest travel time is for caving, as it takes hours to reach the cave. This still allows for 3-4 hours of cave exploration, which is one of our most popular (and exhausting) activities. Q: Are the buses air conditioned? A: While most of our vehicles are air conditioned, we do not guarantee that your camper s vehicle will have this feature. 13

14 Q: Can my child bring a cell phone to camp? A: We ask that campers leave all electronics at home. In the event of an emergency, the Adventure Links staff will contact you immediately. You may also contact our office with any questions or concerns. Some exceptions may be made for specific circumstances, such as medical or behavioral concerns. Q: How do you handle bullying or bad behavior? A: Our philosophy is that while we may not be able to control campers behaviors, we will address any inappropriate behavior that may occur. Instructors will participate in a bullying awareness workshop during staff training, and will watch carefully for signs of bullying within their groups. If bullying or other inappropriate behavior occurs, Instructors will implement the Adventure Links Behavior Management System, which includes a series of steps beginning with re-direction, and progressing to notifying parents and program directors if the behavior continues. Certain behaviors may result in immediate dismissal from camp, but in most cases campers are given several opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior before dismissal is necessary. The safety and well-being of the entire group of campers and instructors is the top priority in these matters. Q: What if there is an activity that my child is afraid to try? A: Our Instructors will encourage campers to try new activities, but they will not pressure or coerce campers to try any activity that they are not comfortable trying. The Instructors may look for other ways for campers to participate, such as taking pictures or helping to organize equipment. Q: How do you handle medications? A: Please note the specific medications and any specific instructions in the pre-camp medical form. At drop off, you can provide the medications to the camp Instructor, and they will be returned to you at pick up. Please supply prescription medications only in appropriate labeled containers with physician information included. 14

15 The Instructor will carry the medication with him/her throughout the day, and will record in our medication log each time they administer a medication. Q: Is it standard to tip the counselors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip? A: It is not standard practice to tip Instructors, however tips are welcome if you would like to recognize an outstanding Instructor. The tip amount is solely at the discretion of the parent or guardian. 15

16 Residential Camp The Basics: Days/Dates: Monday Friday throughout the summer Drop off Time and Location: 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Pick up Time and Location: 4:00 PM 5:00 PM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Preparation Checklist Register for camp at or by phone at Complete the pre-camp paperwork on our website This is different from the registration process, and includes a short medical form and other useful information we ll need before the start of camp. Please submit these forms at least two weeks before the first day of camp! Check out the pack list for your camp (included in parent handbook), make sure you have these items as well as any medications or personal belongings ready for the start of camp. Double-check your confirmation to make sure you have the correct dates for your camp. Can t find the confirmation ? Give us a call and we can re-send that for you. Drop off is from 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at our home site at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Make sure you know how to get to the park! Talk to your child about the camp. Let him/her know that our Instructors will be there to help them if they have any questions or concerns. Remind them about your expectations for their behavior during camp, as our expectations are similar to those at school or other extra-curricular activities. Ask your child what his/her expectations are for the camp, and if there is anything you want to share with us to improve your child s experience, give us a call to tell us about it! 16

17 Daypack/Small backpack for day trip Sleeping bag/blankets/bed sheet Pillow Re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2) Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Rain Gear (rain jacket) Small flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries) Bug Spray Towel (2) Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) One Week Residential Adventure Pack List PACK ITEMS CLOTHING Light hiking shoes or sneakers Water Shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/fixed toe sandals (no strapless sandals or flip-flops): O R *Due to the variety of activities during this camp, campers will be most comfortable if they have a separate set of Footwear for caving and river activities (old boots or sneakers), in addition to their everyday sneakers or boots. It is also a good idea to send your camper with a pair of shower shoes for use only during shower times. Wool or fleece sweater or light jacket Long sleeved shirt (1) T-shirts (4) Shorts (3) Long pants (1) Bathing suit Underwear (5+) Socks (4 pairs) Cap or brimmed hat CAVING GEAR Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY! Kneepads (optional) Camera/film Book Journal Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry Expensive Personal Belongings OPTIONAL ITEMS PLEASE DO NOT BRING 17

18 Ultimate Residential Adventure Sample Itinerary Day 1, Monday: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After 8:00 9:00 AM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. The first evening activity will include s mores and games by the campfire. Day 2, Tuesday: Canoeing/Kayaking and Environmental Education, Hemlock Overlook Campers will enjoy a day of canoe/kayak paddling on the Bull Run River, while also learning through experience about the ecology of the Bull Run Watershed Evening activities include field games such as capture the flag or Ultimate Frisbee. Day 3, Wednesday: Rock Climbing at Carderock, MD Campers will challenge themselves to climb on a variety of naturally occurring routes of varying skill and difficulty levels. Tonight s evening activity is movie night in our camp lodge. Day 4, Thursday: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, WV Campers will learn first-hand about cave ecology while exploring the tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave. In the evening we will have our closing ceremonies over s mores at the camp fire. Day 5, Friday: River Tubing and Outdoor Living Skills. Campers will close out the week with a relaxing day of floating down the Bull Run River, learning to make friction fires and building natural shelters. Pick up will be 4:00-5:00 PM. Residential Adventure for Cavers Sample Itinerary Day 1, Monday: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After 8:00 9:00 AM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. The first evening activity will include s mores and games by the campfire. Day 2, Tuesday: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, WV Campers will learn first-hand about cave ecology while exploring the tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave. Evening activities include field games such as capture the flag or Ultimate Frisbee. Day 3, Wednesday: Canoeing/Kayaking and Travel to Natural Chimneys Campground Campers will enjoy a day of canoe/kayak paddling on the Bull Run River, and then pack up for a night of tent camping at Natural Chimneys Campground. 18

19 Day 4, Thursday: Caving at Glade Cave, Return to Hemlock Overlook Whiting s Neck was just a warm up for this larger, muddier cave with new cave formations and features to explore for hours on end. In the evening we will have our closing ceremonies over s mores at the camp fire. Day 5, Friday: River Tubing and Outdoor Living Skills Campers will close out the week with a relaxing day of floating down the Bull Run River, learning to make friction fires and building natural shelters. Pick up will be 4:00-5:00 PM. Residential Adventure on the Water Sample Itinerary Day 1, Monday: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After 8:00 9:00 AM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. The first evening activity will include s mores and games by the campfire. Day 2, Tuesday: Canoeing/Kayaking and Environmental Education, Hemlock Overlook Campers will enjoy a day of canoe/kayak paddling on the Bull Run River, while also learning through experience about the ecology of the Bull Run Watershed. Evening activities include field games such as capture the flag or Ultimate Frisbee. Day 3, Wednesday: Outdoor Living Skills, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA Campers will learn about the local ecology, wildlife, and flora and fauna while also learning about wilderness skills such as natural shelter building, map and compass skills, and fire building. Tonight s evening activity is movie night in our camp lodge. Day 4, Thursday: Sailing on the Potomac River, Alexandria VA Campers will enjoy a day of sailing on the Potomac River. In the evening we will have our closing ceremonies over s mores at the camp fire. Day 5, Friday: River Tubing Campers will close out the week with a relaxing day of floating down the Bull Run River. Pick up will be 4:00-5:00 PM. 19

20 The First Day of Camp Drop off time is 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Follow the signs to the specific meeting location within the park. Please make sure your camper has had a hearty breakfast before dropping off - it will be a long, active day! Please assure that your camper has everything they need for their week at camp. If you are running a bit late for a drop off (or pick up), please call the Adventure Links office to let us know. At the time of drop off, our Instructors will review your camper s paperwork to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Instructors will also perform a brief medical screening and review any necessary medications at that time. Please be prepared to present a picture ID when dropping off and picking up, not only at drop off but at pick up on Friday too. We are very thorough when it comes to the safety of your camper! At the time of drop off and pick up, you will be asked to sign your camper in and out on our pick up/drop off forms. Please do not drop and run. Let our Instructor know if you are in a hurry, and he/she will help you finish this process as quickly as possible. On the first day of camp, our Instructors will hand out our scheduled itinerary for the week. Please note the schedule may change due to weather or other circumstances. We ll let you know if we have to make a change. During Camp You are welcome to call the Adventure Links office if you would like an update on how your camper s day is going. We will also send out an update on Wednesday or Thursday to tell you how the week is going. Check out the Adventure Links Facebook page for updates and photos from your camper s activity! 20

21 If you experience an emergency and must contact your camper, please give us a call at the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child right away. If there is an emergency involving your child, a member of our staff will contact you immediately. If your child is feeling homesick, a staff member will contact you to decide the best remedy. Sometimes a call home is the best cure for homesickness. If you have any questions, concerns, or special instructions you are welcome to speak to the Instructor at drop off, or contact the Adventure Links office. Residential Camp FAQ s Q: What are the bunk houses like? Do the boys and the girls sleep in separate rooms? A: Yes, the boys and girls sleep in separate bunk houses. The dorm-style bunks have space for up to 16 campers each. They have electricity, screened windows, and fire exits. The bath house is just outside of the bunk houses. Instructors will be available throughout the night to assist with homesickness or other issues that may arise after lights out. 21

22 Q: Will my child be able to be in the same group and/or bunk house with his/her friends or siblings? A: Yes, you will be able to tell us in the pre-camp paperwork which campers are friends or siblings with your child. Q: How many boys or girls will be in the camp? A: Each camp will be different depending on who decides to register for that particular camp. Most of our camps have a good mix of both boys and girls. Q: What kind of vehicles will the campers be transported in for field trips? A: Beginning in 2014, Adventure Links will have a new fleet of 15 passenger vans for transporting campers. One of our 14 passenger mini-buses may also be used. Q: What are the qualifications for the camp Instructors? A: Our Instructors must pass a rigorous screening process before leading a group of campers, and meet several requirements after hire: Interviews and reference checks Pre-Employment Federal Criminal Background Check Pre-Employment Motor Vehicle History Check Pre-employment Drug Screening Random Drug Screening Intensive two-week training program Minimum certification of First Aid/CPR Minimum age is 19 years old. Q: Does Adventure Links provide meals, snacks, and water? What is the food like? A: Yes, all meals, snacks and water will be provided during Residential Camps. Meals will be provided by our cooks, and usually served in our lodge (although most lunches will be packed and enjoyed at the activity site). Our menus are designed to be healthy, hearty, and appealing to campers. We can accommodate most common food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. 22

23 Q: What does my child need to bring to camp? A: A full pack list can be found on our website. In general, clothing, bedding, and optional items such as sunscreen, bug spray, disposable cameras, and sturdy sneakers or boots make up most of the pack list. Q: Will you make sure my child drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day? A: Yes. Water will be available to campers at all times, but campers must supply their own sunscreen. Instructors will remind campers to stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Q: What about ticks? A: Fairfax County Wildlife Management has been conducting a tick-control program at Hemlock Overlook Park since 2012, greatly reducing the tick population at the park. We still recommend that campers conduct a tick check at the end of each camp day. Q: What if my child has to go to the bathroom while during an activity? Who will take them? A: Bathrooms are available throughout almost every activity with the exception of caving. Bathroom breaks will occur throughout the day, and an instructor and at least 1 other camper will walk together to the nearest bathroom if needed. During caving, a camper may need to exit the cave and make use of the natural bathrooms outside the cave entrance. Q: What is the Instructor to child ratio? Are there male and female Instructors? A: 13 Campers per 2 Instructors. There will be at least one male and one female Instructor per camp. Q: If my child forgot to bring something important to camp, can I drop it off at the park for him/her? A: You sure can! Just give us a call to let us know when you re stopping by. 23

24 Q: Will my child spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities? A: Depending on the activity, a camper may spend an average of 30 minutes to an hour traveling to and from an activity site. The longest travel time is for caving, as it takes hours to reach the cave. This still allows for 3-4 hours of cave exploration, which is one of our most popular (and exhausting) activities. Q: Are the buses air conditioned? A: While most of our vehicles are air conditioned, we do not guarantee that your camper s vehicle will have this feature. Q: Can my child bring a cell phone to camp? What if he or she feels homesick? A: We ask that campers leave all electronics at home. In the event of an emergency, the Adventure Links staff will contact you immediately. You may also contact our office with any questions or concerns. Some exceptions may be made for specific circumstances, such as medical or behavioral concerns. In the event of homesickness, a staff member will contact you to make a plan for how to help the camper feel more comfortable, which may include a call home or a visit from a parent. Q: What if there is an activity that my child is afraid to try? A: Our Instructors will encourage campers to try new activities, but they will not pressure or coerce campers to try any activity that they are not comfortable trying. The Instructors may look for other ways for campers to participate, such as taking pictures or helping to organize equipment. Q: How do you handle bullying or inappropriate behavior? A: Our philosophy is that while we may not be able to control campers behaviors, we will address any inappropriate behavior that may occur. Instructors will participate in a bullying awareness workshop during staff training, and will watch carefully for signs of bullying within their groups. If bullying or other inappropriate behavior occurs, Instructors will implement the Adventure Links Behavior Management System, which includes a series of steps 24

25 beginning with re-direction, and progressing to notifying parents and program directors if the behavior continues. Certain behaviors may result in immediate dismissal from camp, but in most cases campers are given several opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior before dismissal is necessary. The safety and well-being of the entire group of campers and instructors is the top priority in these matters. Q: Is it standard to tip the Instructors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip? A: It is not standard practice to tip Instructors, however tips are welcome if you would like to recognize an outstanding Instructor. The tip amount is solely at the discretion of the parent or guardian. The Basics Multi-Week Residential Camp Days/Dates: Monday, July 21 Friday, August 1 Drop off Time and Location: 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Pick up Time and Location: 4:00 PM 5:00 PM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Parent Day: Saturday July 26, 1:00 PM 4:00 PM Preparation Checklist Register for camp at or by phone at Complete the pre-camp paperwork on-line at This is different from the registration process, and includes a short medical form and other useful information we ll need before the start of camp. Please submit these forms at least two weeks before the first day of camp! Check out the pack list for your camp (included in parent handbook), make sure you have these items as well as any medications or personal belongings ready for the start of camp. Double-check your confirmation to make sure you have the correct dates for your camp. Can t find the confirmation ? Give us a call and we can re-send that for you. Drop off is from 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at our home site at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Make sure you know how to get to the park! 25

26 Talk to your child about the camp. Let him/her know that our Instructors will be there to help them if they have any questions or concerns. Remind them about your expectations for their behavior during camp, as our expectations are similar to those at school or other extra-curricular activities. Ask your child what his/her expectations are for the camp, and if there is anything you want to share with us to improve your child s experience, give us a call to tell us about it! Multi-Week Residential Adventure Pack List PACK ITEMS Daypack/Small backpack for day trip Sleeping bag Pillow Re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2) Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Rain Gear (rain jacket) Small flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries) Bug Spray Towel (2) Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) CLOTHING Light hiking shoes or sneakers Water Shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/fixed toe sandals (no strapless sandals or flip-flops): O R *Due to the variety of activities during this camp, campers will be most comfortable if they have a separate set of Footwear for caving and river activities (old boots or sneakers), in addition to their everyday sneakers or boots. It is also a good idea to send your camper with a pair of shower shoes for use only during shower times. Wool or fleece sweater or light jacket Long sleeved shirt (2) T-shirts (8) Shorts (5) Long pants (1) Bathing suit Underwear (8+) Socks (8 pairs) Cap or brimmed hat CAVING GEAR Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY! Kneepads (optional) OPTIONAL ITEMS Camera/film Book Journal PLEASE DO NOT BRING 26

27 Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry Expensive Personal Belongings Multi-Week Residential Adventure Sample Itinerary * Most days of this camp offer a choice of activities to our campers based on their interests and preferences. Each activity will have a minimum and maximum number of participants required to run that activity, and preference will be given to campers that sign up first for that activity. This itinerary may be subject to change due to weather, camper interest, or other factors. Day 1, Monday: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After 8:00 9:00 AM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Day 2, Tuesday: Choice 1: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, VA Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave. Choice 2: Climbing at Great Falls, MD Campers will challenge themselves to climb a variety of naturally occurring routes of varying skill and difficulty levels. Day 3, Wednesday: Overnight Field Trip Choice 1: Hiking at Mary s Rock, Shenandoah National Park, VA Campers will enjoy a leisurely 2 mile day hike to the beautiful peak of Mary s rock, then camp out in tents at a nearby campground. Choice 2: Caving at Glade Cave, Mt. Solon, VA Cave enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Glade Cave, a larger, muddier cave with more cave features for spelunkers to explore before camping out at Natural Chimneys campground. Day 4, Thursday: Travel and Rest Day, Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA Campers return to base camp at Hemlock Overlook Park and spend the afternoon and evening with field games, arts and crafts, and campfire activities. Day 5, Friday: 27

28 Choice 1: River Tubing on the Bull Run River, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA A leisurely day of floating down the Bull Run on a tube, a popular activity on a hot summer day Choice 2: Outdoor Living Skills, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA Campers will learn about the local ecology, wildlife, and flora and fauna while also learning about wilderness skills such as natural shelter building, map and compass skills, and fire building. Day 6, Saturday: Parent s Day Parents and families are welcome to visit campers between the hours of 1:00 4:00 PM. Our zip line will be open for family members that want to experience some of the adventure for themselves! Morning activities include field games, arts and crafts, or river tubing, and this evening s activity is movie night. Day 7, Sunday: Choice 1: Outdoor Living Skills, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA Campers will learn about the local ecology, wildlife, and flora and fauna while also learning about wilderness skills such as natural shelter building, map and compass skills, and fire building. Choice 2: Kayaking/Canoeing on the Bull Run River, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA Campers will enjoy a day of flat water canoeing or kayaking on the Bull Run River Day 8, Monday: Choice 1: Sailing on the Potomac River, Alexandria VA Campers will enjoy a day of sailing on the Potomac River. Choice 2: Mountain Biking at Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, VA Campers will enjoy a day of beginner-level mountain biking on the trails surrounding beautiful Burke Lake. Day 9, Tuesday: Overnight Field Trip Choice 1: Canoeing at Lake Moomaw, Washington and Jefferson National Forest, VA Campers will travel to beautiful and pristine Lake Moomaw for flat water canoeing and primitive camping at Greenwood Point Campground. Choice 2: Rock Climbing at Cooper s Rock State Park, WV 28

29 Campers will experience the beautiful scenery and rock climbing of Cooper s Rock, one of the premier rock climbing sites in the mid-atlantic region. Day 10, Wednesday: Overnight Field Trip Choice 1: Canoeing at Lake Moomaw, Washington and Jefferson National Forest, VA Choice 2: Rock Climbing at Cooper s Rock State Park, WV Day 11, Thursday: Overnight Field Trip Conclusion/Return to Hemlock Overlook Park Choice 1: Canoeing at Lake Moomaw, Washington and Jefferson National Forest, VA Choice 2: Rock Climbing at Cooper s Rock State Park, WV Day 12, Friday: Camp Conclusion/Pick up 4:00 5:00 PM Choice 1: Mountain Biking at Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, VA Campers will enjoy a day of beginner-level mountain biking on the trails surrounding beautiful Burke Lake. Choice 2: Kayaking/Canoeing on the Bull Run River, Hemlock Overlook Park, VA Campers will enjoy a day of flat water canoeing or kayaking on the Bull Run River The First Day of Camp Drop off time is 8:00 AM 9:00 AM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Follow the signs to the specific meeting location within the park. Please make sure your camper has had a hearty breakfast before dropping off - it will be a long, active day! Please assure that your camper has everything they need for their week at camp. 29

30 If you are running a bit late for a drop off (or pick up), please call the Adventure Links office to let us know. At the time of drop off, our Instructors will review your camper s paperwork to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Instructors will also perform a brief medical screening and review any necessary medications at that time. Please be prepared to present a picture ID when dropping off and picking up, not only at drop off but at pick up on Friday too. We are very thorough when it comes to the safety of your camper! At the time of drop off and pick up, you will be asked to sign your camper in and out on our pick up/drop off forms. Please do not drop and run. Let our Instructor know if you are in a hurry, and he/she will help you finish this process as quickly as possible. On the first day of camp, our Instructors will hand out our scheduled itinerary for the week. Please note the schedule may change due to weather or other circumstances. We ll let you know if we have to make a change. During Camp You are welcome to call the Adventure Links office if you would like an update on how your camper s day is going. We will also send out an update on each Wednesday or Thursday to tell you how the camp is going. Check out the Adventure Links Facebook page for updates and photos from your camper s activity! If you experience an emergency and must contact your camper, please give us a call at the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child right away. If there is an emergency involving your child, a member of our staff will contact you immediately. If your child is feeling homesick, a staff member will contact you to decide the best remedy. Sometimes a call home is the best cure for homesickness. 30

31 If you have any questions, concerns, or special instructions you are welcome to speak to the Instructor at drop off, or contact the Adventure Links office. Multi-Week Residential Camp FAQ s Q: Okay, so there are different options for the daily activity, how does that work? A: At the start of the camp, the options for each daily activity will be posted in our lodge so the campers can sign up at any time for their preferred activity. Each activity will have a minimum number of campers needed in order for that activity to be offered on that particular day. Alternative activities may be offered if a scheduled activity does not reach the minimum number of sign up s. Each activity will have a maximum number of campers that can participate on that particular day. Preference will be given to campers that sign up first for that activity. If we go over the maximum sign up s for an activity, we may offer it again later in the camp. Q: What are the bunk houses like? Do the boys and the girls sleep in separate rooms? A: Yes, the boys and girls sleep in separate bunk houses. The dorm-style bunks have space for up to 16 campers each. They have electricity, screened windows, and fire exits. The bath house is just outside of the bunk houses. Instructors will be available 31

32 throughout the night to assist with homesickness or other issues that may arise after lights out. Q: Where will the campers sleep during overnight field trips? How will the food be prepared? A: The campers will sleep in tents at family campgrounds. The food will be packed up in coolers and prepared over camp fires or camp stoves under the supervision and leadership of our Instructors. Q: Will my child be able to be in the same group and/or bunk house with his/her friends or siblings? A: Yes, you will be able to tell us in the pre-camp paperwork which campers are friends or siblings with your child. Q: How many boys or girls will be in the camp? A: Each camp will be different depending on who decides to register for that particular camp. Most of our camps have a good mix of both boys and girls. Q: What kind of vehicles will the campers be transported in for field trips? A: Beginning in 2014, Adventure Links will have a new fleet of 15 passenger vans for transporting campers. One of our 14 passenger mini-buses may also be used. 32

33 Q: What are the qualifications for the camp Instructors? A: Our Instructors must pass a rigorous screening process before leading a group of campers, and meet several requirements after hire: Interviews and reference checks Pre-Employment Federal Criminal Background Check Pre-Employment Motor Vehicle History Check Pre-employment Drug Screening Random Drug Screening Intensive two-week training program Minimum certification of First Aid/CPR Minimum age is 19 years old. Q: Does Adventure Links provide meals, snacks, and water? What is the food like? A: Yes, all meals, snacks and water will be provided during Residential Camps. Meals will be provided by our cooks, and usually served in our lodge (although most lunches will be packed and enjoyed at the activity site). Our menus are designed to be healthy, hearty, and appealing to campers. We can accommodate most common food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. Q: What does my child need to bring to camp? A: A full pack list can be found on our website. In general, clothing, bedding, and optional items such as sunscreen, bug spray, disposable cameras, and sturdy sneakers or boots make up most of the pack list. 33

34 Q: Will you make sure my child drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day? A: Yes. Water will be available to campers at all times, but campers must supply their own sunscreen. Instructors will remind campers to stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Q: What about ticks? A: Fairfax County Wildlife Management has been conducting a tick-control program at Hemlock Overlook Park since 2012, greatly reducing the tick population at the park. We still recommend that campers conduct a tick check at the end of each camp day, and we will remind them to do so. Q: What if my child has to go to the bathroom while during an activity? Who will take them? A: Bathrooms are available throughout almost every activity with the exception of caving. Bathroom breaks will occur throughout the day, and an instructor and at least 1 other camper will walk together to the nearest bathroom if needed. During caving, a camper may need to exit the cave and make use of the natural bathrooms outside the cave entrance. Q: What is the Instructor to child ratio? Are there male and female Instructors? A: 13 Campers per 2 Instructors. There will be at least one male and one female Instructor per camp. 34

35 Q: If my child forgot to bring something important to camp, can I drop it off at the park for him/her? A: You sure can! Just give us a call to let us know when you re stopping by. Q: Will my child spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities? A: Depending on the activity, a camper may spend an average of 30 minutes to an hour traveling to and from an activity site. The longest travel time will take place during the overnight field trips, and may be up to hours. Q: Are the buses air conditioned? A: While most of our vehicles are air conditioned, we do not guarantee that your camper s vehicle will have this feature. Q: Can my child bring a cell phone to camp? What if he or she feels homesick? A: We ask that campers leave all electronics at home. In the event of an emergency, the Adventure Links staff will contact you immediately. You may also contact our office with any questions or concerns. Some exceptions may be made for specific circumstances, such as medical or behavioral concerns. In the event of homesickness, a staff member will contact you to make a plan for how to help the camper feel more comfortable, which may include a call home or a visit from a parent. 35

36 Q: What if there is an activity that my child is afraid to try? A: Our Instructors will encourage campers to try new activities, but they will not pressure or coerce campers to try any activity that they are not comfortable trying. The Instructors may look for other ways for campers to participate, such as taking pictures or helping to organize equipment. Q: How do you handle bullying or inappropriate behavior? A: Our philosophy is that while we may not be able to control campers behaviors, we will address any inappropriate behavior that may occur. Instructors will participate in a bullying awareness workshop during staff training, and will watch carefully for signs of bullying within their groups. If bullying or other inappropriate behavior occurs, Instructors will implement the Adventure Links Behavior Management System, which includes a series of steps beginning with re-direction, and progressing to notifying parents and program directors if the behavior continues. Certain behaviors may result in immediate dismissal from camp, but in most cases campers are given several opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior before dismissal is necessary. The safety and well-being of the entire group of campers and instructors is the top priority in these matters. Q: Is it standard to tip the Instructors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip? A: It is not standard practice to tip Instructors, however tips are welcome if you would like to recognize an outstanding Instructor. The tip amount is solely at the discretion of the parent or guardian. 36

37 Appalachian Adventure The Basics Days/Dates: Sunday Saturday throughout the summer Drop off Time and Location: 1:00 PM AM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Pick up Time and Location: 1:30 PM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park Preparation Checklist Register for camp at or by phone at Complete the pre-camp paperwork on-line at This is different from the registration process, and includes a short medical form and other useful information we ll need before the start of camp. Please submit these forms at least two weeks before the first day of camp! Check out the pack list for your camp (included in parent handbook), make sure you have these items as well as any medications or personal belongings ready for the start of camp. Double-check your confirmation to make sure you have the correct dates for your camp. Can t find the confirmation ? Give us a call and we can re-send that for you. 37

38 Drop off is from at 1:00 PM AM at our home site at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Make sure you know how to get to the park! Talk to your child about the camp. Let him/her know that our Instructors will be there to help them if they have any questions or concerns. Remind them about your expectations for their behavior during camp, as our expectations are similar to those at school or other extra-curricular activities. Ask your child what his/her expectations are for the camp, and if there is anything you want to share with us to improve your child s experience, give us a call to tell us about it! Appalachian Adventure Pack List Please Note: Campers are encouraged to bring only essential items for the trip. Campers should plan to arrive with one large duffle bag or backpack, one small day pack or back pack, and a small stuff sack containing a compact sleeping bag. Storage space is limited on our Mini-buses, so any bulky or non-essential items may be left at base camp for the length of the trip. PACK ITEMS Pack items in a Duffle Bag or Large Backpack for bus travel (no wheels on OR bags): Daypack/Small backpack for day trips: Sleeping bag: Small stuff sack 32 0z. re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2): 38

39 Eating utensils and a mess kit or sturdy bowl and cup (campers will be using to eat breakfast and dinners) Sleeping pad (recommended) Camping pillow (small packable size) Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Rain Gear (rain jacket) Small flashlight or headlamp Bug Spray Towel Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) CLOTHING Sturdy light hiking shoes or sneakers with tread on bottom Water Shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/fixed toe sandals (no strapless sandals or flip-flops): O Wool or fleece sweater or light jacket Long sleeved shirt (1) T-shirts (4) 39

40 Shorts (3) Long pants (1) Bathing suit Underwear (5+) Socks (4 pairs) CAVING GEAR Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY! Kneepads (optional) Trash bag, labeled with name, to store wet & dirty items OPTIONAL ITEMS Camera/film Book Journal/pen/pencils PLEASE DO NOT BRING Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry Expensive Personal Belongings 40

41 Appalachian Adventure Sample Itinerary Sunday: Challenge Course at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, VA Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Campers will then have an introduction to camp craft including Leave No Trace Principles, camp cooking, and campsite set-up, and camp out at our home base at Hemlock Overlook Park. Monday: Caving at Whiting s Neck Cave, Shepherdstown, WV Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Whiting s Neck cave, before camping out at Little Orleans Campground in West Virginia. Tuesday: Hiking at Cooper s Rock State Park, WV Campers will explore the lush landscape of Cooper s Rock, and may begin their introduction to rock climbing techniques and principles if time allows. Tonight s campground is Chestnut Ridge Campground, near Morgantown, WV. Wednesday: Rock Climbing at Cooper s Rock State Park, WV A whole day dedicated to rock climbing at one of the region s premier climbing destinations; campers will challenge themselves to ascend a variety of naturally occurring routes of varying skill and difficulty levels. Then it s back to Chestnut Ridge for another night of camping. Thursday: White Water Rafting in Ohiopyle, PA The group will meet up with the experienced raft guides of Wilderness Voyageurs for an exciting day on the rapids of the Youghiogheny River. Friday: Natural Waterslides and Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle, PA It s time for a day to relax after a full week of non-stop activity. Campers can cool off by splashing around in the swimming hole at Natural Waterslides Park in Ohiopyle, PA, and enjoy the majestic view of nearby Cucumber Falls. The First Day of Camp Drop off time is 1:00 PM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Follow the signs to the specific meeting location within the park. Please make sure your camper has had a hearty breakfast before dropping off - it will be a long, active day! Please assure that your camper has everything they need for their week at camp. If you are running a bit late for a drop off (or pick up), please call the Adventure Links office to let us know. 41

42 At the time of drop off, our Instructors will review your camper s paperwork to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Instructors will also perform a brief medical screening and review any necessary medications at that time. Please be prepared to present a picture ID when dropping off and picking up, not only at drop off but at pick up on Friday too. We are very thorough when it comes to the safety of your camper! At the time of drop off and pick up, you will be asked to sign your camper in and out on our pick up/drop off forms. Please do not drop and run. Let our Instructor know if you are in a hurry, and he/she will help you finish this process as quickly as possible. On the first day of camp, our Instructors will hand out our scheduled itinerary for the week. Please note the schedule may change due to weather or other circumstances. We ll let you know if we have to make a change. During Camp You are welcome to call the Adventure Links office if you would like an update on how your camper s day is going. We will also send out an update on each Wednesday or Thursday to tell you how the camp is going. Check out the Adventure Links Facebook page for updates and photos from your camper s activity! If you experience an emergency and must contact your camper, please give us a call at the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child right away. If there is an emergency involving your child, a member of our staff will contact you immediately. If your child is feeling homesick, a staff member will contact you to decide the best remedy. Sometimes a call home is the best cure for homesickness. If you have any questions, concerns, or special instructions you are welcome to speak to the Instructor at drop off, or contact the Adventure Links office. 42

43 Appalachian Adventure FAQ s Q: What is the sleeping situation like? A: Campers will sleep in tents provided by Adventure Links. Boys and girls will sleep in separate tents in different sections of the campgrounds. Campgrounds are family-style facilities with camp stores, bath rooms, and in some cases showers. Instructors will be available throughout the night to assist with homesickness or other issues that may arise after lights out. Q: What are the qualifications for the camp Instructors? A: Our Instructors must pass a rigorous screening process before leading a group of campers, and meet several requirements after hire: Interviews and reference checks Pre-Employment Federal Criminal Background Check Pre-Employment Motor Vehicle History Check 43

44 Pre-employment Drug Screening Random Drug Screening Intensive two-week training program Minimum certification of First Aid/CPR Minimum age is 19 years old. Q: Will my child be able to be in the same group and/or tent with his/her friends or siblings? A: Yes, you will be able to tell us in the pre-camp paperwork which campers are friends or siblings with your child. Q: How many boys or girls will be in the camp? A: Each camp will be different depending on who decides to register for that particular camp. Most of our camps have a good mix of both boys and girls. Q: What kind of vehicles will the campers be transported in? A: Beginning in 2014, Adventure Links will have a new fleet of 15 passenger vans for transporting campers. One of our 14 passenger mini-buses may also be used. Q: Will my child spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities? A: Depending on the activity, a camper may spend an average of 30 minutes to an hour traveling to and from an activity site. The longest travel time is the ride back to Hemlock Overlook Park on the final day of camp, which takes about 3-4 hours. 44

45 Q: Are the vehicles air conditioned? A: While most of our vehicles are air conditioned, we do not guarantee that your camper s vehicle will have this feature. Q: Does Adventure Links provide meals, snacks, and water? What is the food like? A: Yes, all meals, snacks and water will be provided during Appalachian Adventure. Meals will be prepared at the camp site using camp fires and/or camp stoves, with the assistance of campers and the supervision of Instructors. Our menus are designed to be healthy, hearty, and appealing to campers. We can accommodate most common food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. Q: What does my child need to bring to camp? A: A full pack list can be found on our website. In general, clothing, a sleeping bag and pillow, sturdy sneakers or boots and optional items such as sunscreen, bug spray, disposable cameras make up most of the pack list. Q: Will you make sure my child drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day? A: Yes. Water will be available to campers at all times, but campers must supply their own sunscreen. Instructors will remind campers to stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Q: What is the Instructor to child ratio? Are there male and female Instructors? A: 13 Campers per 2 Instructors. There will be at least one male and one female Instructor per camp. 45

46 Q: Can my child bring a cell phone to camp? What if he or she feels homesick? A: We ask that campers leave all electronics at home. In the event of an emergency, the Adventure Links staff will contact you immediately. You may also contact our office with any questions or concerns. Some exceptions may be made for specific circumstances, such as medical or behavioral concerns. In the event of homesickness, a staff member will contact you to make a plan for how to help the camper feel more comfortable, which may include a call home or a visit from a parent. Q: What if there is an activity that my child is afraid to try? A: Our Instructors will encourage campers to try new activities, but they will not pressure or coerce campers to try any activity that they are not comfortable trying. The Instructors may look for other ways for campers to participate, such as taking pictures or helping to organize equipment. Q: How do you handle bullying or inappropriate behavior? A: Our philosophy is that while we may not be able to control campers behaviors, we will address any inappropriate behavior that may occur. Instructors will participate in a bullying awareness workshop during staff training, and will watch carefully for signs of bullying within their groups. If bullying or other inappropriate behavior occurs, Instructors will implement the Adventure Links Behavior Management System, which includes a series of steps beginning with re-direction, and progressing to notifying parents and program directors if the behavior continues. 46

47 Certain behaviors may result in immediate dismissal from camp, but in most cases campers are given several opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior before dismissal is necessary. The safety and well-being of the entire group of campers and instructors is the top priority in these matters. Q: Is it standard to tip the Instructors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip? A: It is not standard practice to tip Instructors, however tips are welcome if you would like to recognize an outstanding Instructor. The tip amount is solely at the discretion of the parent or guardian. 47

48 Teen Expeditions The Basics Dates: North Carolina: Sunday, July 13 Saturday, July 26 New England: Sunday, July 27 Sunday, August 9 Appalachian Odyssey: Sunday, August 10 Friday, August 22 Drop Off Times for All Teen Expeditions: 2:00 PM Pick Up Times: North Carolina: 11:30 AM New England: 11:30 AM Appalachian Odyssey: 6:00 PM Location for all pick up and drop off is Hemlock Overlook Regional Park 48

49 Preparation Checklist Register for Teen Expeditions at or by phone at Complete the pre-camp paperwork on-line at This is different from the registration process, and includes a short medical form and other useful information we ll need before the start of camp. Please submit these forms at least two weeks before the first day of camp! Check out the pack list for your camp (included in parent handbook), make sure you have these items as well as any medications or personal belongings ready for the start of camp. Double-check your confirmation to make sure you have the correct dates for your camp. Can t find the confirmation ? Give us a call and we can re-send that for you. Drop off is from at 2:00 PM AM at our home site at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Make sure you know how to get to the park! Talk to your child about the camp. Let him/her know that our Instructors will be there to help them if they have any questions or concerns. Remind them about your expectations for their behavior during camp, as our expectations are similar to those at school or other extra-curricular activities. Ask your child what his/her expectations are for the camp, and if there is anything you want to share with us to improve your child s experience, give us a call to tell us about it! North Carolina Pack List Please Note: Campers are encouraged to bring only essential items for the trip. Campers should plan to arrive with one large duffle bag, one large backpack, one small day pack or back pack, and a small stuff sack containing a compact sleeping bag. Storage space is limited on our Mini-buses, so any bulky or non-essential items may be left at base camp for the length of the trip. 49

50 Large duffle bag for bus travel: PACK ITEMS Large overnight backpack for overnight hiking: Small backpack/day pack for day trips: Sleeping bag (rated between degrees/synthetic material): Small stuff Sleeping pad (recommended): Camping pillow (small packable size): 50

51 Re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2): Eating utensils and a mess kit or sturdy bowl and cup with lid: Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Bug Spray Rain Gear (rain jacket and rain pants no ponchos) Small flashlight or headlamp Extra batteries (2 sets) Towel Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) CLOTHING Note: Synthetic materials such as polypropylene, synthetic wool, or polyester, will wick moisture away from the body, maintain warmth when wet, and dry much quicker than cotton. Synthetic material clothing is essential to comfort and safety on this expedition. One pair of sneakers One pair of sturdy hiking boots with ankle support (make sure boots have been broken in before the trip!): One pair of water shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/closed toe sandals (no strapless sandals, crocs, or flip-flops): 51

52 O R Jacket or windbreaker (can double with raingear) Wool or fleece pullover Long sleeved polypropylene shirt (2) T-shirts (4) Polypropylene t-shirts (3) Shorts (3) Synthetic material long pants, i.e. jogging pants or warm-up pants (1-2) Bathing suit Underwear (13) Cotton socks (5 pairs) Wool or synthetic fiber socks (3 pairs) Cap or brimmed hat Winter hat and gloves Bandana Trash bag with name on it for dirty clothes Polypropylene or synthetic fabric long underwear (tops and bottoms) Gaiters (optional for backpacking): CAVING GEAR Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY! Kneepads (optional) OPTIONAL ITEMS $20 for spending on program Camera/film Book Journal/pen/pencils PLEASE DO NOT BRING Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry or other expensive items 52

53 North Carolina Sample Itinerary Day 1, Sunday 7/13: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After a 2:00 PM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Campers will then have an introduction to camp craft including Leave No Trace Principles, camp cooking, and campsite set-up, and camp out at our home base at Hemlock Overlook Park. Day 2, Monday 7/14: Caving at Glade Cave, Mt. Solon, VA Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Glade cave, before camping out at Natural Chimneys Campground in Augusta County, VA. Day 3, Tuesday 7/15: Pilot Mt. State Park, NC Today the group will travel to Pilot Mt. State Park, NC for a short hike to a local waterfall before camping out under the stars. Day 4, Wednesday 7/16: Rock Climbing at Pilot Mt. State Park, NC A full day of rock climbing for all ability levels at one of the region s premier climbing sites. Day 5, Thursday 7/17: Green River, NC Today is a travel and rest day, with the destination of Wilderness Cove Campground on the Green River near Asheville, NC. Day 6, Friday 7/18: Whitewater Kayaking on the Green River, NC The first day of kayaking on the Green River includes basic paddling instruction, and moves on to more advanced techniques of wet exits and rolling. Day 7, Saturday 7/19: Whitewater Kayaking on the Green River, NC After a day of learning and practicing techniques, today is a full day of whitewater kayaking on the green River. Day 8, Sunday 7/20: Backpacking in Pisgah National Forest, NC Day 9, Monday 7/21: Backpacking in Pisgah National Forest, NC Day 10, Tuesday 7/22: Backpacking in Pisgah National Forest, NC Day 11, Wednesday 7/23: Backpacking in Pisgah National Forest, NC Day 12, Thursday 7/24: DuPont State Forest, NC 53

54 After concluding the 4 day backpacking section of the trip, today is the perfect day to rest up at DuPont State Forest and cool off in the local waterfalls near the campsite. Day 13, Friday 7/25: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, VA Travel back to our base camp at Hemlock Overlook in Clifton, VA Day 14, Saturday 7/26: Trip Conclusion/Pickup at 11:30 AM 54

55 New England Expedition Pack List Please Note: Campers are encouraged to bring only essential items for the trip. Campers should plan to arrive with one large duffle bag, one medium/large backpack, one small day pack or back pack, and a small stuff sack containing a compact sleeping bag. Storage space is limited on our Mini-buses, so any bulky or non-essential items may be left at base camp for the length of the trip. Large duffle bag for bus travel: PACK ITEMS Medium/Large overnight backpack for overnight hiking: Small backpack/day pack for day trips: Sleeping bag (rated between degrees/synthetic material): Small stuff Sleeping pad (recommended): 55

56 Camping pillow (small packable size): Re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2): Eating utensils and a mess kit or sturdy bowl and cup with lid: Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Bug Spray Rain Gear (rain jacket and rain pants no ponchos) Small flashlight or headlamp Extra batteries (2 sets) Towel Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) CLOTHING Note: Synthetic materials such as polypropylene, synthetic wool, or polyester, will wick moisture away from the body, maintain warmth when wet, and dry much quicker than cotton. Synthetic material clothing is essential to comfort and safety on this expedition. One pair of sneakers One pair of sturdy hiking boots with ankle support (make sure boots have been broken in before the trip!): 56

57 One pair of water shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/closed toe sandals (no strapless sandals, crocs, or flip-flops): O R Jacket or windbreaker (can double with raingear) Wool or fleece pullover Long sleeved polypropylene shirt (2) T-shirts (4) Polypropylene t-shirts (3) Shorts (3) Synthetic material long pants, i.e. jogging pants or warm-up pants (1-2) Bathing suit Underwear (14) Cotton socks (5 pairs) Wool or synthetic fiber socks (3 pairs) Cap or brimmed hat Winter hat and gloves Bandana Trash bag with name on it for dirty clothes Polypropylene or synthetic fabric long underwear (tops and bottoms) Gaiters (optional for backpacking): Service Learning Project Gear A set of clothes that can get DIRTY - old t-shirts and jeans work well! Boots or sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY 57

58 New England Expedition Sample Itinerary Day 1, Sunday 7/27: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After a 2:00 PM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Campers will then have an introduction to camp craft including Leave No Trace Principles, camp cooking, and campsite set-up, and camp out at our home base at Hemlock Overlook Park. Day 2, Monday 7/28: Travel to Wild Waters Outdoor Center, Hudson River Gorge, NY The drive will take about 8.5 hours, the group will camp here tonight and raft the next day. Day 3, Tuesday 7/29: White Water Rafting on the Hudson River, NY Experienced white water guides from Wild Waters Outdoor Center will assist our group in safely navigating the exciting rapids. The group will also camp out one more night in this location. Day 4, Wednesday 7/30: Travel to the White Mountains of New Hampshire After reaching our campsite near Gorham, NH, the group will have some time to visit Glen Ellis Falls or take a scenic drive on the famous Kancamagus Highway. Day 5, Thursday 7/31: Hiking at Mt. Washington, NH Campers will ascend the beautiful Mt. Washington and stay overnight at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, enjoying some of the most breath taking views in New England. Day 6, Friday 8/1: Hiking at Mt. Washington, NH Campers will descend Mt. Washington and visit nearby Conway, NH for a pizza dinner. Day 7, Saturday 8/2: Service Learning Project at Camp Dodge, Pinkham, NH Campers will get a firsthand experience of local ecology while assisting the Appalachian Trail Club with preserving the forest for future generations. Day 8, Sunday 8/3: Rock Climbing at Square Ledges, Pinkham Notch, NH Today s activity will include an introduction to climbing techniques and belay school, with plenty of time to get on the rock wall to test these new skills. Day 9, Monday 8/4: Zip Lining at Wildcat Mountain, NH The Zip Line at Hemlock was just a warm-up for this thrilling 2.5 hour canopy tour. 58

59 Day 10, Tuesday 8/5: Rock Climbing at Cathedral Rocks, Pinkham Notch, NH A full day of rock climbing at the one of the premier climbing destinations in the Northeast Day 11, Wednesday 8/6: Sunset Sail near Portsmouth, NH Today our group will travel to the coastal town of Portsmouth, NH and enjoy an interpretive sunset sailing experience led by local naturalists. Day 12, Thursday 8/7: Coastal Kayaking or Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Portsmouth, NH Today s activities include coastal kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding off the coast of New Hampshire, depending on weather conditions and preference. Day 13, Friday 8/8: Travel back to Hemlock Overlook Park, VA It s time to make the trip back to Virginia for the closing ceremonies of this amazing adventure. Day 14, Saturday 8/9: Trip Conclusion and Pickup at 11:30 AM 59

60 Appalachian Odyssey Pack List Please Note: Campers are encouraged to bring only essential items for the trip. Campers should plan to arrive with one large duffle bag, one large backpack, one small day pack or back pack, and a small stuff sack containing a compact sleeping bag. Storage space is limited on our Mini-buses, so any bulky or non-essential items may be left at base camp for the length of the trip. Large duffle bag for bus travel: PACK ITEMS Large overnight backpack for overnight hiking: Small backpack/day pack for day trips: Sleeping bag (rated between degrees/synthetic material): Small stuff Sleeping pad (recommended): 60

61 Camping pillow (small packable size): Re-usable water bottle/nalgene (2): Eating utensils and a mess kit or sturdy bowl and cup with lid: Sunglasses Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) Bug Spray Rain Gear (rain jacket and rain pants no ponchos) Small flashlight or headlamp Extra batteries (2 sets) Towel Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) CLOTHING Note: Synthetic materials such as polypropylene, synthetic wool, or polyester, will wick moisture away from the body, maintain warmth when wet, and dry much quicker than cotton. Synthetic material clothing is essential to comfort and safety on this expedition. One pair of sneakers One pair of sturdy hiking boots with ankle support (make sure boots have been broken in before the trip!): 61

62 One pair of water shoes, old sneakers that can get wet, or fixed heel/closed toe sandals (no strapless sandals, crocs, or flip-flops): O R Jacket or windbreaker (can double with raingear) Wool or fleece pullover Long sleeved polypropylene shirt (2) T-shirts (4) Polypropylene t-shirts (3) Shorts (3) Synthetic material long pants, i.e. jogging pants or warm-up pants (1-2) Bathing suit Underwear (13) Cotton socks (5 pairs) Wool or synthetic fiber socks (3 pairs) Cap or brimmed hat Winter hat and gloves Bandana Trash bag with name on it for dirty clothes Polypropylene or synthetic fabric long underwear (tops and bottoms) Gaiters (optional for backpacking): CAVING GEAR Warm layers that can get DIRTY - old sweatshirts and jeans work well! Boots sneakers what can get WET & DIRTY! Kneepads (optional) OPTIONAL ITEMS $20 for spending on program Camera/film Book Journal/pen/pencils PLEASE DO NOT BRING Cell Phones ipods Electronics Knives Jewelry or other expensive belongings 62

63 Appalachian Odyssey Sample Itinerary Day 1, Sunday 8/10: Challenge Course and Zip Line at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA After a 2:00 PM Drop Off, Campers will get to know each other and begin learning to work as a team while participating in a series of interactive initiative games and challenge course elements, including the Zip Line. Campers will then have an introduction to camp craft including Leave No Trace Principles, camp cooking, and campsite set-up, and camp out at our home base at Hemlock Overlook Park. Day 2, Monday 8/11: Caving at Glade Cave, Mt. Solon, VA Campers will learn about cave ecology first hand as they explore the various tunnels and caverns of Glade cave, before camping out at Natural Chimneys Campground in Augusta County, VA. Day 3, Tuesday 8/12: Ducky paddling on the Upper New River in West Virginia A Ducky is a 1-2 person inflatable kayak, and experienced white water guides from Rivermen Rafting will assist our group in safely navigating the exciting rapids. The group will also camp at Rivermen s site for the next three nights. Day 4, Wednesday 8/13: White Water Rafting on the Lower New River Rivermen Rafting guides show us the way down the Lower New River in traditional white water rafts. Day 5, Thursday 8/14: Rock Climbing at New River Gorge A full day of rock climbing for all ability levels at one of the region s premier climbing sites. Day 6, Friday 8/15: Shopping and Backpack Prep Create Menus and go shopping for our backpacking trip that begins tomorrow. Camp at Tea Creek Campground in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, and learn the basics of backpacking such as how to pack your pack, and how to avoid blisters! Day 7, Saturday 8/16: Backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness, WV The backpacking trip begins! The next three days and two nights are spent enjoying the natural beauty of the Cranberry Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest. The group will bring only what they can carry in their packs, and camp out each night in primitive camp sites along the trail. Day 8, Sunday 8/17: Backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness, WV Day 9, Monday 8/18: Backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness, WV Day 10, Tuesday 8/19: Spruce Knob and Seneca Rocks 63

64 Today our group will drive to the summit of Spruce Knob, the tallest peak in West Virginia, before a leisurely hike to the lookout point at Seneca Rocks. Seneca Shadows campground will be the campsite for tonight. Day 11, Wednesday 8/20: Tubing on the Shenandoah River A relaxing day of tubing down the Shenandoah River, the current will bring the group to their destination before traveling to their campsite in Shenandoah National Park Day 12, Thursday 8/21: Hiking at Old Rag Mountain What better way to bring our trip to a close than to reach the summit of the most popular peak in the Shenandoah National Park? With a little help from the weather, the group will enjoy 360 degree panoramic views from the summit of this historic mountain. We finish the trip back where it all began, camping at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Day 13, Friday 8/22: Burke Lake Park/Trip Conclusion After sleeping in and enjoying a hot breakfast, our group will help in wrapping up all the equipment used on the expedition before heading to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA for a relaxing day of mountain biking, volleyball, and Frisbee golf. Campers will enjoy one last dinner together before pick-up at 6:00 PM. The First Day of Expedition Drop off time is 2:00 PM at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Follow the signs to the specific meeting location within the park. Please make sure your camper has had a hearty breakfast and lunch before dropping off - it will be a long, active day! Please assure that your camper has everything they need for their two weeks at camp. 64

65 If you are running a bit late for a drop off (or pick up), please call the Adventure Links office to let us know. At the time of drop off, our Instructors will review your camper s paperwork to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Instructors will also perform a brief medical screening and review any necessary medications at that time. Please be prepared to present a picture ID when dropping off and picking up, not only at drop off but at pick up on Friday too. We are very thorough when it comes to the safety of your camper! At the time of drop off and pick up, you will be asked to sign your camper in and out on our pick up/drop off forms. Please do not drop and run. Let our Instructor know if you are in a hurry, and he/she will help you finish this process as quickly as possible. On the first day of camp, our Instructors will hand out our scheduled itinerary for the week. Please note the schedule may change due to weather or other circumstances. We ll let you know if we have to make a change. During the Expedition You are welcome to call the Adventure Links office if you would like an update on how your camper s expedition is going. We will also send out an update on each Wednesday or Thursday to tell you how the group is doing. Check out the Adventure Links Facebook page for updates and photos from your camper s activity! If you experience an emergency and must contact your camper, please give us a call at the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child right away. If there is an emergency involving your child, a member of our staff will contact you immediately. If your teen is feeling homesick, a staff member will contact you to decide the best remedy. Sometimes a call home is the best cure for homesickness. If you have any questions, concerns, or special instructions you are welcome to speak to the Instructor at drop off, or contact the Adventure Links office. 65

66 Expedition FAQ s Q: What is the sleeping situation like? A: Campers will sleep in tents provided by Adventure Links. Boys and girls will sleep in separate tents in different sections of the campgrounds. Campgrounds are family-style facilities with camp stores, bath rooms, and in some cases showers. For certain sections of the expedition, campers may sleep at primitive camp sites in back-country areas. Instructors will be available throughout the night to assist with homesickness or other issues that may arise after lights out. Q: What are the qualifications for the camp Instructors? A: Our Instructors must pass a rigorous screening process before leading a group of campers, and meet several requirements after hire: Interviews and reference checks Pre-Employment Federal Criminal Background Check Pre-Employment Motor Vehicle History Check Pre-employment Drug Screening Random Drug Screening Intensive two-week training program Minimum certification of First Aid/CPR Minimum age is 19 years old. 66

67 Q: Will my teen be in the same group and/or tent with his/her friends or siblings? A: Yes, you will be able to tell us in the pre-camp paperwork which campers are friends or siblings with your child. Q: How many boys or girls will be in the camp? A: Each camp will be different depending on who decides to register for that particular camp. Most of our camps have a good mix of both boys and girls. Q: What kind of vehicles will the campers be transported in? A: Beginning in 2014, Adventure Links will have a new fleet of 15 passenger vans for transporting campers. One of our 14 passenger mini-buses may also be used. Q: Will my teen spend a lot of time on the bus traveling to and from activities? A: Expeditions include several travel days that may include up to 8-10 hours of travel to reach their destination region. Once the destination is reached, travel time throughout the trip will be an average of 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. Q: Are the vehicles air conditioned? A: While most of our vehicles are air conditioned, we do not guarantee that your camper s vehicle will have this feature. Q: Does Adventure Links provide meals, snacks, and water? What is the food like? A: Yes, all meals, snacks and water will be provided during Expeditions. Meals will be prepared at the camp site using camp fires and/or camp stoves, with the assistance of campers and the supervision of Instructors. Our menus are designed to be healthy, hearty, and appealing to campers. We can accommodate most common food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. Q: What does my teen need to bring to camp? A: A full pack list can be found on our website. In general, clothing, a sleeping bag and pillow, sturdy sneakers or boots and optional items such as sunscreen, bug spray, disposable cameras make up most of the pack list. 67

68 Q: Will you make sure my teen drinks water and applies sunscreen throughout the day? A: Yes. Water will be available to campers at all times, but campers must supply their own sunscreen. Instructors will remind campers to stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. Q: What is the Instructor to camper ratio? Are there male and female Instructors? A: 13 Campers per 2 Instructors. There will be at least one male and one female Instructor per camp. Q: Can my child bring a cell phone to camp? What if he or she feels homesick? A: We ask that campers leave all electronics at home. In the event of an emergency, the Adventure Links staff will contact you immediately. You may also contact our office with any questions or concerns. Some exceptions may be made for specific circumstances, such as medical or behavioral concerns. In the event of homesickness, a staff member will contact you to make a plan for how to help the camper feel more comfortable, which may include a call home or a visit from a parent. Q: What if there is an activity that my teen is afraid to try? A: Our Instructors will encourage campers to try new activities, but they will not pressure or coerce campers to try any activity that they are not comfortable trying. The Instructors may look for other ways for campers to participate, such as taking pictures or helping to organize equipment. Q: How do you handle bullying or inappropriate behavior? A: Our philosophy is that while we may not be able to control campers behaviors, we will address any inappropriate behavior that may occur. Instructors will participate in a bullying awareness workshop during staff training, and will watch carefully for signs of bullying within their groups. If bullying or other inappropriate behavior occurs, Instructors will implement the Adventure Links Behavior Management System, which includes a series of steps 68

69 beginning with re-direction, and progressing to notifying parents and program directors if the behavior continues. Certain behaviors may result in immediate dismissal from camp, but in most cases campers are given several opportunities to correct inappropriate behavior before dismissal is necessary. The safety and well-being of the entire group of campers and instructors is the top priority in these matters. Q: Is it standard to tip the Instructors at the end of camp? How much do parents usually tip? A: It is not standard practice to tip Instructors, however tips are welcome if you would like to recognize an outstanding Instructor. The tip amount is solely at the discretion of the parent or guardian. 69

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