FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


 

 

 

What programs does Ravenwood offer? And for what ages?

Ravenwood offers family outings and camp-outs, adult trainings and skills classes, and homeschool, day camp and week-long overnight camps for youth ages 4 to 17.

Family Programs:

      • We offer FREE quarterly family day events for our community.
      • Family Camp is a three-day overnight experience for families in early August.
      • Family Connections Adventure is a custom summer vacation package designed to help your family members connect more deeply to themselves, each other, and nature.

Homeschool Programs:

      • We run homeschool day outings for kids ages 4-12 every other week during the school year.

Day Camp:

      • Wilderness Kids Club for ages 6-12 runs for 4 weeks in June and July.  Session I, Mondays and Tuesdays, or Session II, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9-3 each day.  The week of July 4 there is no camp.
      • Wild Child Day Camp for ages 8-12 runs for three days the week of July 4th.
      • Music and Nature Camp runs for one week in mid-July.
      • Bigfork Day Camp runs for three days in July.
      • Spring Break Day Camp runs for one week during spring break in March.
      • Winter Break Day Camp runs for three days during winter break in the end of December.

Overnight Camps:

      • Camp Night Hawk for ages 10-12 runs from 12pm Monday to 3pm Friday.
      • Teen Overnight Camp for ages 13-16 runs from 1pm Monday to 4pm Sunday.

School Programs:

      • Camp Corvid runs during spring with outdoor learning programs designed specifically for school groups.
      • Other school programs run during the school year.

Adult Programs:

      • Volunteer trainings help adults connect with the Ravenwood community and give back to our youth through mentoring.
      • Our Elders Initiative enriches the lives of campers and elders alike
      • We run custom mentoring trainings for a number of local backcountry organizations.

Where is Ravenwood located?

Through a partnership with FH Stoltze Land & Lumber Co, Ravenwood’s homeschool programs and seasonal day camps are currently located on working timber forest land between Whitefish and Columbia Falls.  Directions to the site will be sent to summer camp families after registration is completed.  Our summer overnight camps also take place on FH Stoltze land.  Camp Corvid, our residential school program takes place at the Montana Council of Boy Scouts of America’s Grizzly Base Camp south of Kalispell, MT. Other school programs take place at school campuses and natural areas around the Flathead Valley.

How do I register for a Ravenwood program?

Ravenwood uses ActiveNetwork.com for safe and private online registration and payment. Click here to register. You will be able to set up your own account and view all financial and registration transactions.  Payments and forms can also be sent to Ravenwood at PO Box 1314 Whitefish, MT 59937 at your request.

Are scholarships available?  How do I apply for a scholarship?

Yes! Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center offers scholarship opportunities for families in need. We believe that deep nature connection mentoring should be available to all regardless of financial situation.  To apply, fill out a scholarship application, and return within 45 days prior to the start date of the program you wish your child to attend.  Please Note:  A submitted scholarship application DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SPACE IN ANY RAVENWOOD PROGRAM.  You must register your child through our online registration system in order for your child to be registered in a summer program.  This process includes the payment of the program deposit.  We can accept checks or cash as an alternative to an online payment if you let us know before you go into the online system.

A Scholarship Committee will review applications, letting applicants know if and how much award will be given on or before a specified date.  The committee will award scholarship money until such funds run out for each program year unless the demand does not match the funds available. The Scholarship Committee will take the utmost care and responsibility in protecting the privacy and confidentiality of each applicant.

Under exceptional circumstances, a scholarship award may be large enough to cover more than the balance due after deposit, in which case a refund check for the qualified amount on a deposit will be issued after the scholarship award has been confirmed.  If you pay the deposit, register, and submit a scholarship application and ARE NOT AWARDED ENOUGH SCHOLARSHIP ASSISTANCE to justify participation (at your determination), a refund of your deposit will be granted at your written request minus a $10 processing fee.

Are there any discounts available? How much is the deposit? When is the final payment due? What is Ravenwood’s cancellation policy?

Ravenwood offers two discounts: a Sibling Discount (10% off for each additional sibling) and a Mulit-Program Discount (10% off of an additional program that summer).

All summer programs have a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure a spot. The final payment is due two weeks before the start of the camp program.

If Ravenwood is notified of a cancellation at least 7 full days before the start time of a program, then all but the deposit amount will be refunded.  If notified before 7 full days of the program start time, the entire non-refundable deposit is eligible to be transferred as credit for future programs only for the child who was originally registered and only through the end of the calendar year following the original registration.  In order to be eligible for a deposit credit transfer, Ravenwood must be notified of this intent at the time of cancellation.

If cancellation notification is given within 7 full days of the program start time, no refund will be issued.  In this situation, we will offer a 50% credit of the non-refundable deposit amount toward a future program for the originally registered individual taking place before the end of the calendar year following the original registration. In order to be eligible for any deposit credit transfer, Ravenwood must be notified of this intent at the time of cancellation.

What will my family, child, grandchild, or I experience at Ravenwood?  What will the day be like?

With the mentoring of trusted adults, Ravenwood children experience nature in ways that strengthen their connections to their community, themselves, and the natural world around them.

Each day is built around a set of core routines that help us become more aware of our surroundings and build a sense of community among our group.  We’ll start with a morning circle where we set our intentions for the day and get oriented.  Games and exploration follow, lunch, then some outdoor skill work, and finally a closing circle with songs, stories, and snacks.  We also leave lots of room in our day to let the landscape inspire our learning and fun. From exploring a nearby stream bank or wetland to playing games, singing songs, building shelters, learning survival skills, and telling stories around the fire, Ravenwood participants come home tired, happy, and filled with the inspiration that only a good day (or week) in the woods can provide!

We see ourselves more as mentors than teachers, and will be asking a lot more questions than giving out answers.  This approach gently stretches a participant’s awareness of their world through their senses and, over time, brings them a rich and natural connection to their place, their community (all of it, not just the people!) and ultimately to their own unique set of gifts and talents.   For more information on our mentoring approach, ask us about purchasing “Coyotes Guide to Connecting with Nature.”

What is the mentor to student ratio?

Ravenwood Camps have a mentor to student ratio of 1:8 but is often even better as we have a number of trained volunteers who help out when they can.

What do participants need to bring and wear to Ravenwood?

Upon registering, an Orientation Packet will be sent to you which will include more information about the program, a list of what to bring, directions to the site, and more!  We’ll be setting up tipi lodges for rainy day shelters, but most of the time we’ll be outside so please make sure each participant has clothing for any type of weather in their pack EACH day.  A port-a-potty is available at the site.  A water bottle, nature journal (can be any type—blank pages with no lines is best), sunscreen, sun hat, and proper footwear for outdoor adventuring are all important items.  We strongly recommend participants wear long pants, and closed-toe shoes for each session.  Many of the games we play can result in scratches and scrapes and mosquitoes are easier to handle with less skin exposed as well.   We’ll be carrying a first aid kit for minor bumps, scrapes, etc.  If you would like to use commercial insect repellents, please do so before the program begins and away from others.  Participants should be prepared for any seasonal weather possibilities.  If it’s cold and rainy, participants should dress as if they were going to be in a cold shower for six hours.

Can I drop my child/grandchild off late for a Ravenwood program or pick them up early?

We ask that only in the case of the extreme do you drop off a child late or pick him/her up early.  In general, early pickups are easier for us to accommodate than late arrivals and lunchtime is the best option.  We often let curiosity and inspiration direct where on the land we explore, making it a disruption to come back to the center of camp to meet a parent. Please call Brett Holmquist 406-260-8620 if you need to consider a late drop off or early pick up.

Are meals provided?

All children involved in Day Camp need to bring their own sack lunch, a healthy snack and a water bottle, all housed in a backpack.  Overnight camps such as Camp Night Hawk and Teen Overnight Camp provide healthy (local/organic when possible) meals cooked onsite with the help of the community (except the first day lunch which we ask the campers bring).

For Camp Corvid school programs, groups of parents and other volunteers from your school/community work together to provide food for the meals.  Camp Corvid has a fully functioning industrial kitchen for your use and work crews are lined out by the lead teacher from your school.

How would I contact my child during a Ravenwood program?

If you need to get a message to your child, contact Brett Holmquist at 406-260-8620 and he will get the message to Ravenwood staff to pass on to your child.

What is the “closing ceremony” at the end of each Ravenwood program?

Ravenwood invites friends and family to join us for a closing ceremony at the end of each program.  This very meaningful and celebratory program allows children to share about their Ravenwood experience and bring family and friends into the community they’ve created in the woods!  The ceremony often includes songs, games, stories, and sharing of skills learned at Ravenwood.  It can be very disappointing for children if no one from their family/friend circle comes to the closing ceremony, so please make every effort to support them for this special event.

Can I volunteer at Ravenwood?

Yes! Parents are always welcome to become volunteers!  Our mentoring approach works best with several adult participants, so please let us know if you’d like to learn more about how you can volunteer.  You can fill out a volunteer application here. If you are unable to attend the volunteer training (which includes a background check for program safety), we do allow parents to join us for our opening circles at day camp, as well as the closing ceremony at the end of the program. More information at the Volunteer section of our Adult Programs page.

Does Ravenwood offer year-round programs?

Ravenwood offers programs year-round including family events, adult workshops and mentor trainings, spring and winter break day camps, homeschool programs, and more.  Ravenwood hosts fundraisers, and this year we’re trying something really special. Come join us at Tend the Fire. Follow Ravenwood on Facebook, sign up on the website for emails, and read our blog postings to keep up to date on how Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center can help to strengthen your connections to community, nature and self throughout the year!