Quick Facts & FAQS · Camp Ravencliff
This page contains information specifically for Campers registered for this summer's program and their Parents. We are very excited that you will be joining us for a fun-filled YMCA Camp Ravencliff experience. We are already hard at work planning and preparing so you will have a great time!
Here are a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about YMCA Camp Ravencliff:
Q. Where is Camp Ravencliff Located?
A. Camp Ravencliff's physical location is in southern Humboldt County. Our summer business office is located at YMCA Camp Loma Mar, which can be reached by phone at 650 879 2100.
Q. How do I contact my parent/child while at camp?
A. Campers and parents are invited to write letters while at camp. Campers love to get mail while at camp and parents love to hear about their child's experience.
Please send mail to your camper at:
YMCA Camp Ravencliff
Attn: (campers name, session)
P.O. Box 2249
Redway, CA 95560.
All mail must be sent through the U.S. Post Office, we do not receive FedEx or UPS.
Note, even mail designated as overnight will take 2-3 days to get to camp.
Hot Tip - Because mail can take a few days to reach us, write a letter to your camper and get it in the mail by the Friday before they leave - it should be there for them on by the first mail day at camp. Just make sure to write the session number on the envelope and, if it arrives early, we'll hold it until your camper arrives.
Q. Can I call my child at camp?
A. Due to our remote location and the fact that we have only one phone line in camp, we do not give out our phone information. In the event of an emergency, call 650 879 2100 andaA Camp Staff member will call you from camp as soon as possible. If you reach our Voicemail, please leave a message and make sure to include your child's name and which camp they are attending.
Q. Can I send a care package?
A. We know many parents like to send packages to their campers. We provide nutritious meals for our campers and fruit is always available for snacking. Snacks can also be purchased from the camp store. While we stop just short of forbidding them, we ask parents to please not send food in care packages. Campers are not allowed to have food in their cabins (it attracts critters). All food is stored in our small office and campers only have access to it during one or two short periods of time during the day. Typically, most of the food sent is not consumed during their stay and is sent home with them. There are lots of fun things to send in a care package other than food. We suggest small games, card games, comic books, fun toys, photos from home, puzzles, etc. Please remember not to send valuables. For a quick easy way to send a food-free care package, visit www.camppacs.com. A portion of the proceeds from these care packages benefit Camp Ravencliff. If you are sending a package, make sure to send it through the U.S. Post Office. We cannot receive UPS, FedEx, or other shipping company deliveries.
Q. Is there a Camp Store? Should I send money?
A. All campers receive a camp T-shirt and photos as a part of their registration. We also offer a limited number of items for sale at the camp store. These include relatively healthy snacks and drinks (no candy or soda) and small souvenir items (stuffed animals, pens, cups). Most items are priced at $5 or less; nothing costs more than $7. All food and drinks are 50¢. Campers enjoy camp store snacks with their cabin group during the mid-afternoon. If you would like your camper to be able to buy things at the camp store, you will add the amount you would like your camper to have to your registration form and it will be kept in an account for him or her. We recommend no more than $15-20/week. Note, unused camp store money is not refunded.
Q. How do I/my child request to be in a cabin with someone?
A. We do not make cabin assignments in advance, campers are assigned to cabins upon arrival. We explain this process to campers upon arrival in camp, before assignments are made. If campers wish to share a cabin with a friend, they are asked to link arms when their age group is called. Because we have a limit of 8 campers per cabin, we typically cannot place groups larger than 2-3 friends in the same cabin. Larger groups will need to split, but can determine how that split is made. We typically do not house siblings together so they can have an individual experience, but will make an exception if necessary. In all instances, campers need to be the same gender identity and within 1 year in age of each other to be housed together.
Q. What if my camper is transgender?
A. We welcome all children to camp and want each child to feel safe and comfortable. We respect each child’s identity and will assign them to cabins based on their gender identity. Please make sure to indicate your child’s appropriate gender identity and name they prefer to be called where indicated on forms. It is important, in the event of emergency, that we have your child’s name and gender information that corresponds to their health insurance. We also cannot give campers medication if it is not prescribed to them. If information for health insurance or medication is different than any part of their preferred name or gender identity, please make sure to include this information on the camper health form. This information will be kept confidential and only used in the event of emergency or by our medic as necessary. As we tell all camp families, if you or your child would like to speak with our camp director in advance to discuss any concerns or questions to help you or us best help your camper have a great week at camp, please feel free to contact Daniel “Shibby” Alpers at 925-455-7975.***
Q. What if my camper is gender nonconforming/gender expansive?
A. We welcome all children to camp and want each child to feel safe and comfortable. We do currently make cabin assignments designated by boy cabins and girl cabins and we do not currently have the ability to have gender neutral restrooms. Your camper should consider whether they will feel more comfortable being put in a boys cabin or a girls cabin and then please register for that cabin. If your child changes their mind closer to camp, just please give us a call and let us know and we can easily make that change. For the sake of cabin dynamics, we do not allow campers to change cabin groups once they have joined their assigned cabin. If your camper is staying for multiple weeks and decides they would prefer to be in the opposite gender cabin the subsequent weeks, they can notify the camp director, Daniel "Shibby" Alpers, before the end of their current session and he can make sure that is arranged. While we do currently need to set cabin groups up distinguished by gender, one of the first things cabin groups do is introduce themselves to their cabin group. At this time, campers are invited to share their preferred gender pronoun and this preference will be respected, affirmed and supported by their cabin leader. As we tell all camp families, if you or your child would like to speak with our camp director in advance to discuss any concerns or questions to help you or us best help your camper have a great week at camp, please feel free to contact Daniel “Shibby” Alpers at 925-455-7975.***
Q. What if my child becomes homesick?
A. Homesickness is quite normal, and typically not something to be worried about. Our staff has received training on how to deal with homesick campers. In most instances, a camper is able to move past their homesickness within a day or two of arrival. Staff talk with the camper, encourage them to get involved in camp activities and also to write a letter home. You may receive a letter from your child indicating they are homesick, but if you haven't received a call from us by the time you receive the letter, there is no cause for worry; this means they have moved past their homesickness and are having a wonderful time. Campers are not allowed to use the phone while at camp. Our experience indicates that, once a child talks to a parent, their homesickness increases and may become difficult to manage.
It is rare, but on occasion we do have a camper who is unable to get past their feeling of being homesick. In those cases we will contact the parent and work with the parent on the best resolution for the camper. If it is determined that a camper needs to speak with a parent in order to relieve them of their homesickness we ask that you provide positive words of encouragement, as this often proves to be all they need. We keep in contact with parents of campers who continue to be homesick and if it is determined that the camper would best be served going home, arrangements will be made for the parent to pick up their child.
Hot Tip - You can help reduce homesickness in a number of ways: Speak to your camper about camp in a positive way. Many campers don't even think about being nervous, scared or sad until and adult says to them "There's no need to be nervous, scared or sad."' If you went to camp, share fun stories from when you were a camper with your child. Send a letter early, by the Friday before their session, so they get mail on their first day. Remember that often its harder for you to say goodbye to them than it is for them to say goodbye to you, so keep it all positive. We'll also be sending all of our first-time camp parents digital access to the Secrets to Summer Camp Success video that has been shown to cut homesickness intensity by an average of 50% in first-time campers. We also encourage you to check out www.campparents.org/homesickness to get started on how to prepare. and the book, Homesick and Happy by Michael Thompson.
Q. What are the safety guidelines for swimming in the river?
A. During the campers' camp tour on arrival day, they will participate in a swim skill check with one of our certified lifeguards. Based on their ability, they will be given a wristband denoting their swim level. Campers are not allowed to enter the river without their wristband. The river is only open during specified times. During these times we have certified waterfront lifeguards on duty at a ratio of at least 1:25. In addition we have a "shore guard" on duty to assist with any issues that may arise on shore or to assist the lifeguards as needed. The swim area is roped off by the different swim levels and campers may not go beyond their level. Cabin groups may also participate in activities in the river, but must have a certified lifeguard with them to do so.
***Please Note: Our registration system hasn't quite caught up with our philosophies. Due to size limitations and staffing at camp, we have to set our sessions up with capacities for boys and girls. As such, campers need to register as either male or female to be able to process the registration when signing up online. We apologize that this is how it is set up and are working with our registration software provider to increase the flexibility here. In the meantime, please select session/gender your camper identifies with and/or will feel the most comfortable with at the time of registration; if that should change prior to camp, please call us at 925-455-7975 and we can easily make that change.