FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Are scholarships or discounts available? How much is the deposit? When is the final payment due? What is Ravenwood’s cancellation policy?
How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Ravenwood’s programs? Can we still go to camp?
Ravenwood is honored to be able to provide meaningful nature-based connective programs during these challenging times. We believe connecting to nature, each other, and our larger community are essential to health and well being, and we are working hard to provide safe ways to keep connecting. We have a number of program options depending on your family’s needs around quarantine and connection.
Camp will look somewhat different due to the pandemic, both in terms of our policies and the experience of camp itself. Policy changes include requiring masks and campers to stay home if anyone in the family may be sick.
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 participating families after registration is completed. Summer overnight camps also partially base on the FH Stoltze land.
We have established relationships with other land owners all over the Flathead Valley at sites that host many smaller Ravenwood programs. If you have some land that you think would make a great Ravenwood site, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to host Ravenwood programs!
How do I register for a Ravenwood program?
Ravenwood uses the CampBrain system to manage registrations. Click here to see what programs are currently open for registration. Payments and forms can also be sent to Ravenwood at PO Box 1314 Whitefish, MT 59937 at your request.
Are scholarships or discounts available? How much is the deposit? When is the final payment due? What is Ravenwood’s cancellation policy?
Ravenwood offers scholarships based on your family’s income level. See our Pricing page for more details.
All summer programs have a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure a spot. The balance in full is automatically charged via your chosen payment method two weeks before the start of the program.
If Ravenwood is notified of a cancellation seven or more full days before the start time of a program, then all but the deposit amount will be refunded. In this situation 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 in writing of this intent at the time of cancellation.
If cancellation notification is given less than seven full days before the program start time, no refund will be issued. In this situation, we will offer a 50% credit of the full program fee amount (if already paid in full) 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 in writing 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 kids experience nature in ways that strengthen connections to their community, themselves, and the natural world.
Each day is built around a set of core routines that help us become more aware of our relationships in nature 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 land 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 only a good day (or week) in the woods can provide!
We see ourselves more as mentors than teachers, and ask a lot more questions than give 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 and how you can support your family’s learning journey, consider 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 We often improve this ratio, however, as we have a number of trained volunteers who help out when they can.
What do participants need to bring and wear to Ravenwood?
Within a week of each program start time an Orientation Packet will be e-mailed to you which will include more information about the program, a list of what to bring, directions to the site, and more!
A water bottle, lunch, snacks, and nature journal (can be any type—blank pages with no lines is best) are all important items.
We strongly recommend your child wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for each session even on warm days. Many of the games we play can result in scratches and scrapes and summer bugs are easier to handle with less skin exposed as well. We’ll be carrying a first aid kit for minor bumps, scrapes,
We will set up shelters for inclement weather, but a lot of the time we’ll be outside so please make sure your child has layered clothing and gear for any type of seasonal weather in their pack EACH day. Trumbull Canyon Camp is at a higher elevation than the valley. While the weather may be comfortable at home, it may be storming or freezing up the canyon!
When it’s been cold and rainy, participants should dress as if they were going to stand in a cold shower for six hours!
In rainy weather, and especially the day after a rainstorm when the brush is still wet, proper clothing includes:
- Waterproof boots or shoes
- Rain pants or other waterproof pants that can be removed when not needed
- Lighter pants worn under rain pants
- Waterproof shell or slicker jacket
- Insulating top
- Lighter top such as a tee shirt
- Waterproof hat or hood
In winter weather, proper clothing includes:
- Warm goves,
- Warm hat,
- Warm wool socks,
- Warm base layer on top and bottom,
- Waterproof jacket,
- Waterproof well-insulated snow boots or multiple layers of wool socks plus good boots,
- Waterproof insulated pants.
- Extra snacks and thermoses of hot drinks help small campers keep their energy up on cold days.
- When snow is deep, we also encourage campers to bring their own snowshoes if available. If you don’t have your own, we have enough to share!
- Pack extra pairs of gloves and socks in case the first pair get wet. We will stash them at camp while we go play!
In hot, sunny weather proper clothing includes:
- Sun hat
- Sun screen
- Removable insulating layer
- Extra water bottles
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 time to schedule this. 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 Jennifer Bresee at 510-423-2705 if you need to co-ordinate a late drop off or early pick up.
Are meals provided?
All children involved in Day Camps need to bring their own sack lunch, a healthy snack and a water bottle, all housed in a backpack. Overnight camps like 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 Jennifer Bresee at 510-423-2705 and she 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 strongly encourages friends and family to attend 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.