1. Can I come to visit my child?
It is very complicated for parents to come and visit. For one, it is difficult to arrive at our remote location. Our space is very limited since campers occupy all of our house and tent space. We like to stay focused on the children 100% of the time and time required to host parents can be distracting. Children are often embarrassed if their parents show up and often other children feel it is unjust. If you would really like to see what it is your child is experiencing at camp, we recommend that you book a Family Camp visit where you and your family can share in the beauty and fun this canyon has to offer.
2. I would like to call my child, is that ok?
We do not have phone service. We do however have radios for emergencies. We usually make a radio call to Linares upon arrival or if there is important news. Our contact in Linares is able to contact parents if there are specific messages to deliver. For all the years we’ve taken children up, we maintain, “no news is good news”.
3. My child might wet the bed how is that handled?
We REALLY like to be informed previously if this is the case. We quietly work with the child to make sure they don’t drink too much at night and get to the bathroom before they fall asleep. We may even check their bed early and get them up. If the sleeping bag gets wet, we surreptitiously take it out back and hose it off and dry it in the sun. Often times, kids become so conscious that they overcome the problem at camp.
4. My child takes medication, how is that handled?
We assign one person to be in charge of meds and there is no problem keeping on schedule.
5. My child is a picky eater, how is this handled?
Picky eaters are our specialty. Again, this is a problem that is not always but OFTEN overcome at camp. We let them be picky for a few days but we tell them that eventually they ought to try some new foods. There is always a lot of peer support with fellow campers declaring, “I used to be picky but now I eat everything”. There is a lot of positive reinforcement for trying new foods because they are almost all picky eaters when they arrive. There is a lot of pride in at camp for making the quantum leap into “food that makes you strong”.
6. Can I send special food?
We have had parents send special healthy snacks (like peanut butter or veggie mite) and the children can use that in the case that they really need energy and are completely opposed to eating what we have prepared. If parents want to send different food for us to prepare we will have to charge extra.
7. My child is afraid of horses, does he have to ride horses?
Nobody is obligated to ride but usually they ask to ride before camp ends and it is a momentous occasion with lots of cheering for overcoming fears.
8. My child is not a good swimmer, will you teach him?
We do give some swimming lessons and also take inner tubes to cross the river and practice kicking. River time is highly supervised and organized so that no children are in the water unattended at any point.
9. I’m worried about my child applying sunblock; she has fair skin.
We slather gallons of sun screen on children but ask the parents to remind the children before camp. We also ask the parents to buy non-toxic sunscreen as this is not a regulated cosmetic and studies have shown some ingredients to be as dangerous as the sun. Check the EWG (environmental working group) website to inform yourself on the latest research about cosmetics and their toxicity.
10. What about teeth brushing?
We do our best to check their teeth brushing, especially at night.
11. I’m worried my child will feel lonely, what if he can’t make friends?
We are an inclusive camp. From the first day we explain what inclusion means and how important it is. During the two weeks a lot of progress is made in understanding the meaning of friendship and taking care of each other. Mary has extensive experience in improving social skills with children.
12. My child doesn’t speak any Spanish (or English) is language a barrier?
We are a bilingual camp. We mostly speak English and translate where necessary.
13. I would like my child to learn English (or Spanish) while in camp?
They will hear a lot of both languages and usually go home with a heightened understanding of the second language.
14. Do you give discounts, I have three children coming to camp?
We have a no discount policy, every child requires the same amount of care, we believe in feeding good quality food as well as providing an affordable vacation for your children. It is worth mentioning that camps in the United States cost anywhere between two to three times more than our price.
15. How young will you accept campers?
My daughter is 5 yrs old and wants to come with her brothers.
No problem. If the youngest sibling is particularly dependent, we may ask a little help from an older sibling. Often times the 5-8 year olds need extra help finding their belongings so we assign counselors to help them specifically.
16. What about ADHD?
Thank you for telling us ahead of time if your child is extremely curious or has wondering attention. We have had excellent results with children who are challenged with listening skills. We are very focused on safety often parents will write and tell of the great progress in maturity that happened during camp.
17. What about allergies, bee stings and EPI pens?
Please send your EPI pen and inform us of ALL possible allergies. We have not had a problem in 20 years: there are bees although no hives. If your child has a serious bug or grass allergy, please remind them not to go barefoot.
18 Sleep walkers?
Yes, we have had sleep walkers and we REALLY appreciate knowing this BEFORE camp begins. We will make sure they are in a lower bunk. There is always at least one adult in the house and it has not been a problem. Usually they are so tired at night that they sleep straight through.
19 Depression or mood disorders?
Yes, they do exist and we would like to be informed before camp so that Mary can have a conference with the parents and possibly the therapist. It has never been a serious problem. We sometimes need to spend extra time with the child but the power of the peer group experience and the health benefits of nature and natural foods have worked wonders on countless children over the years. Many, many children have overcome issues that they arrived with; it is not at all shameful, the children are supportive of each other and it is a growing experience for all.
20. Are there Chileans that go as well?
Yes.Besides Chileans we’ve had campers from: Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Japan, Belgium, Canada, France, England, Italy, Argentina, Mexico and the United States.
It’s a rich mix of countries, ages, customs, religions etc.