Frequently Asked Questions About Raintree Ranch
Can we visit camp prior to signing up? Yes. For safety reasons, however, we are very conscientious of who is visiting. We operate year round programs and very often have campers on site. So we ask you arrange a guided tour, or come for our free Family Fun Day 1:00-5:00pm which is always scheduled for the first Sunday in May.
How many adults are there to how many children? We follow American Camp Association guidelines in maintaining a 2-10 ratio of staff to campers on camp at all times. In addition to this we make sure there is no time when campers are left unsupervised.
What happens if my child gets sick at camp? We have trained health care personnel on camp at all times. The Health Center provides a good space for short-term care, but we prefer not to house ill children for more than a day. We call parents when a child is ill and required to stay in the health center. Experience has shown that many times rest and fluids is all they need to feel better. If however, an illness lasts more that a day, “there’s no place like home”. We will call you, ask for you to pick them up, and work toward re-scheduling the week.
If I have two children attending camp, will they see each other, or participate in activities together? The answer to this question is “it depends”. We group our into cabin groups by age, and campers rotate to day-time activities with their cabin. Raintree is a small facility so all the girls cabins are located in 1 large bunk house, and the two boys cabins are right next to each other. Campers have opportunities to mingle with other cabins during evening activities, free time, and meals.
How do I sign my child up for the wait-list? If a session if full, simply indicated “wait-list” on the camp registration page, then fax or submit online. You will not send any money, as we will not make any charges until there is an opening for your child. If a spot becomes available, we will contact you to find out if you are still interested. You may wait-list for as many sessions as you like.
If my child is on the wait-list, what are the chances of him/her getting in? Wait list availability is difficult to predict. We receive transfers and cancellations, right up to the day camp starts. Once we receive a cancellation, we contact all available phone numbers, leaving messages to contact us within a certain amount of time. If the first person is unavailable, we move on to the next family on the list. We often will call four or five names before we fill the spot.
My child doesn’t know much English, do the counselors speak Spanish? Although we have some bilingual staff, they are scheduled in program areas by skills and may not necessarily be working with your child. As long as your child understands some basic English, we can utilize our staff and also other Spanish speaking campers to help translate. We do our best to make sure everyone understands what is expected and what the cabin group is doing.
When are the “Care Packages” delivered? Care Packages that are purchased from camp are available for pick-up upon check-in. If you did not pre-purchase a Care Package upon registration, you may purchase one during check-in. This is a great way to show your camper you’re thinking of them while they are away at camp.
Can children bring a cell phone to camp? No, we do not permit cell phones at camp. YMCA Camp is a safe place to let your children have a bit of freedom and independence. We want them to make new friends and face challenges, not to spend precious camp time calling or texting their friends back home. Parents can choose to e-mail messages for their campers via an optional online service. Experience has shown that a call to Mom & Dad can often make an adjustment problem worse, not better. Lastly, the technology of cameras on cell phones also creates the potential problem of taking pictures in sensitive areas. Camper bathrooms and changing areas are not appropriate places for cameras. If your child needs to have cell phone with them because of travel or other reasons, simply have them submit it to camp staff upon arrival. We will return it to them when they leave.
What about bullies and teasing? Whenever you have groups of children together, teasing and bullying can occur. We do everything we can to prevent this from happening. Our staff are trained in how to spot this behavior and put a stop to it. We have no tolerance for this type of behavior and a camper could be sent home for bullying or intimidating actions.
What happens if my child gets homesick? Homesickness can be a challenge for some campers. We have several steps to work with it. In most cases we will simply encourage the camper to stay busy and think positively. Most times this works quite well. The camper starts to enjoy them self and make new friends. In some cases it may take a bit more help. At those times our practice is to call parents and talk to them about what steps we’re taking and what might work best with their camper. We want to make overcoming homesickness a success story for your child and may ask your help in doing so.
Who do I inform about my child ‘s food allergies? First, make sure you have listed all health concerns on our Health History form. Then, at Check-In, you can personally discuss your campers specific health issues with camp health care personnel. They will ensure the information is communicated to the other departments at camp, including your child’s counselor.
Do you control what children purchase from the camp store? We monitor what your child is purchasing in two ways. First, the cabin counselor helps them complete the store order form in the morning and double-checks that only one snack and one drink item are ordered per day. When the order is filled by our store personnel it is checked again. We are in compliance with the YMCA’s “Activate America” standards, which is a program designed to educate children toward healthy lifestyles.
When does registration for Summer Camp begin? Now! We will start registrations as soon as our first session of this summer is over. Just use our online registration, download a form to fax or mail, or call our main camp office at 760-765-0642. Tell them you would like to sign up for summer camp!
What happens if my child does not like the food? We think our camp food is some of the best around. We encourage each camper to try what is being served but we don’t force them to eat. If campers don’t like what is being served, we provide options. At each meal there is a well-stocked salad bar and fresh fruit. At breakfast, a buffet with hot and cold cereal is available along with the hot entrée. Our staff is trained to watch what campers are eating. If a child is not eating a healthy amount, they will report the matter to the health care staff.
What is a “holdover” and what do they do? Our programs are designed in one-week sessions but because some campers have such a great time, they wish to stay for more. In these cases we give families the option of having their campers “holdover” for two or more weeks without being picked up. So they “holdover” from one session to the next. During this time they are given a day where they do laundry and relax a little. Campers choose which activities they’d like to do at a slower pace then a normal camp day. When the next session begins, they join right in and are well rested to begin another week of camp. Campers may help feed the horses over the weekend, but riding is not a part of the holdover weekend.
How much time do the campers spend with horses? The short answer – half of each day. And, every camper has the opportunity to ride every day of camp. With 40+ horses, we split the camp into “AM and PM” riders. From there, the riders separate into their smaller groups for “ground classes”, arena lessons and trail rides. Ground classes are non-riding classes that teach all about horse anatomy, health care, tack, and more. Arena lessons provide specific instruction in western riding skills within one of the three fenced instructional arenas. Once campers are proficient on controlling their horse, they are eligible to go on a 1-hour trail ride around our 230 acres of forests & trails. Additionally Monday-Thursday we have a 6:30am Tack-up time. At Tack-up campers come down to the barn early to help groom and saddle the horses for the day before breakfast. Many campers find this to be the best part of the day as they enjoy the extra time with horses. Some campers are required to attend Tack-up once, twice or four times a week if they are going for a higher level Bolo. During arena lessons and ground classes, campers also learn and practice a riding pattern to be used on the Friday Horse show.