Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accredited?
Yes. The American Camping Association, a nationally recognized certifying body, accredits Adventure Links (accreditation reviewed and approved October 2011).
How are my children transported?
Participants are transported by both van and mini-bus. All drivers are screened and must be approved by our insurance company. All of our drivers are required to complete a supplemental Adventure Links driver training program. Adventure Links strictly adheres to regulations set forth by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
What are your staff’s qualifications?
Our Instructors must be over the age of 19 years old, hold a minimum current certification in Wilderness First Aid and CPR and are subject to pre-employment drug screen, random drug screening, and Federal Criminal Background Checks. Overnight camp activities will have at least one instructor with a minimum certification of Wilderness First Responder.
All of our Instructors are selected based on their skills in outdoor leadership and a high degree of commitment to working with youth.
Does my child need to be physically fit?
Participants do not need to be skilled athletes to be successful in our programs. Some of the activities may be more difficult for a child who is less physically fit. To best prepare for any active camp program, it is helpful for a child to consistently exercise and maintain good health.
My child has never done these activities before; is this camp suitable?
Our programs are designed at mainly an introductory level. A large percentage of campers are trying at least one activity for the very first time. The structure and philosophy of the program allows for personal growth and development at a variety of skill levels.
My child has done a lot of these activities before; is this camp suitable?
The unique quality of adventure activities is that each child can choose their challenge level. For example, when at the rock site, all levels of climbs are available for campers to try. In addition, if a child has had exposure to any of the activities in camp, they approach the week with an increased level of confidence.
Where is Adventure Links?
We are located at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Clifton, VA. Just 20 miles from Washington D.C. in Fairfax County. The 228 acre park is part of a network of 5000 acres of park land that run along the Bull Run River.
Can I contact my child at camp?
In the event of an emergency, you may contact the Adventure Links office and we will relay the message to your child. Instructors are equipped with cellular phones but due to the nature and location of our activities, the phones may be out of service and we rely upon messages. The Instructors on overnight and expedition programs are instructed to contact the office at least once per week during their program and immediately in the event of an emergency. It is at this time that updates and messages can be delivered. It is not feasible to receive updates on a daily basis.
What if my child gets sick or injured during camp?
Minor injuries and illnesses will be documented and reported to parents at the end of the camp day. If a major injury or illness occurs during camp, Adventure Links will attempt to contact the parent or guardian utilizing the emergency phone contact information provided on the medical form. Placed on each medical form is the authorization to provide advanced medical care in the event of a major emergency.
Do campers sign up with friends or come on their own?
It is common to see campers sign as a part of a group of friends, and every effort is made to keep these campers in the same group or in the same bunk during overnight camp.
It is also very common to see groups of campers that are all meeting each other for the first time, as Adventure Links is a great place to meet new people and make new friends.
What happens in the event of inclement weather?
Please see our Summer Camp Policies for a detailed description of our inclement weather policies.
In summary, our camps run in all weather conditions. Adventure Links reserves the right to make changes to the scheduled itinerary as necessary to ensure the safety of our campers, and refunds will not be provided for activities that are altered or replaced due to inclement weather.
What happens if I am late to the drop off or pick up?
In the morning, staff members are instructed to wait 15 minutes past the pickup time. If you do not arrive within 15 minutes, you may contact our office to arrange dropping your child off directly at the activity site for the day. In the afternoon, we stay with all children until each parent or guardian arrives. Parents have historically been courteous and timely to avoid holding Adventure Links’ staff members late. Please see our Summer Camp Policies for more information on the topic.
What should I do if my child will not be attending a day of camp?
Please contact the Adventure Links office at your earliest convenience, preferably the evening before. We can then relay such messages to the staff departing early each morning.
For day camps, can I drop off my child at the Adventure Links Base Camp at Hemlock Overlook or other pick-up/drop off sites?
We ask that parents pick up and drop off only at the designated pick-up location for their camp session due to space limitations on our vehicles.
The exception if you’d like to pick up and drop off at Hemlock Overlook for days when the camp activity will be on-site. Please contact the Adventure Links Office to make arrangements.
What is the ratio of campers to counselors?
We maintain a ratio of 1 Instructor per 7 campers for day camps and expeditions. Residential camps have a ratio of 1 Instructor per 6 campers.
How high are the rocks that my child will be climbing? Does my child have to go to the top of every climb?
The rocks range from 15 to 60 feet in height. Our philosophy places choice in the hands of the camper, not our staff or fellow campers. We encourage all campers to try to push their limits, but clearly define the difference between support and coercion. Success is not measured by the campers’ ability to reach the top of the climb, but in the courage and effort they display in participating in the activity.
Where are each of the activities located?
Our activities are located throughout Northern Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Please refer to the specific itinerary for the program or inquire with the Adventure Coordinator who will check your child in the first day of camp. If you have specific questions about a location you can call the office and we would be happy to address all your questions.
Where are the pick-up locations for day camps?
We have convenient sites located throughout Northern Virginia; please refer to the Day Camp Pickup Locations page for further details.
Can parents join their child for a day of camp?
No. We like to involve and communicate with parents openly about their child’s camp experience. However, we have found that having a parent present during the camp day has a detrimental effect upon a camper’s ability to fully immerse and focus on the experience.
What kind of food do we have on overnight and expedition programs?
The food chosen for the trips is both youth and expedition friendly. We design meals with variety and nutrition in mind. We have vegetarian options and, if provided ample information and pre-trip notice, have very successfully worked with food allergies and restrictions. A “picky” eater may struggle a bit as there is not normally the option to prepare another meal at the last minute.
Where do most of the camp participants come from?
There is a strong participation from the Mid-Atlantic region. However, our campers have come from all over the United States and even from other countries.
Should I send money with my child?
This is at your discretion. Due to the nature of the overnight programs and expeditions, students do not have many opportunities to purchase items. Students have brought spending money for mementos (t-shirts at the rafting company) during the trip.
Does my child need a physical examination before camp?
Yes. We require that a child has had an examination within 24 months of the camp program.
Is there any special equipment I need to buy for the trip?
Campers must be prepared to bring the items listed on the pack list for their specific camp. This may include specific items such as backpacks, sleeping bags, or certain types of clothing. All other adventure equipment such as helmets, harnesses, or paddles will be supplied by Adventure Links.
Can my child bring a cellular phone or other electronic device to camp?
No. The Adventure Links camp program is designed to immerse campers into the natural environment and dynamics of the group experience. The use of camper cellular phones or other electronic devices is severely disruptive to maintaining this atmosphere. In the event of an emergency, it is the responsibility for the staff to maintain contact with the Adventure Links office and the parents of the camper.