LA VIDA ADVENTURE CAMP

Frequently Asked Questions

La Vida Adventure Camp is licensed by the Wenham Board of Health and meets or exceeds all Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations. If you would like a copy of our background check, health care, discipline, or grievance policies or have another question not covered below, please contact us so that we may better assist you.

What is Adventure Camp's COVID-19 policy?

Updated 6/8/22

We’ve received several questions regarding our COVID policies for this summer. Below is a short summary of the current state of MA COVID regulations and our implementation of what we consider best practices for our outdoor-based camp. 

Please review the information and let us know if you have any questions.

For the 2022 camp season, the MA Department of Public Health and the local Board of Health have fewer COVID requirements than 2021. They do recommend safety and similar preventative measures as taken last summer (social distancing, masks if distancing isn’t an option, regular hand washing, cleaning high touch surfaces, etc.). In addition, any symptomatic/confirmed cases are required to isolate for 5 days and mask while indoors on days 6-10 or until a negative test occurs (whichever is first).

With these state recommendations in mind and in accordance with the local Board of Health camp regulations, La Vida Adventure Camp’s 2022 COVID policies are:

  • Hand sanitizer or hand washing will be available prior to all meal and snack times and required after any bathroom visit
  • Masks will be available (but not required) for all campers when indoors at camp
    • Indoor times include time spent at our rock gym and when inside due to inclement weather
    • For our Explorers groups, indoor times will also include time spent in vehicles
  • We will be cleaning high touch surfaces multiple times a day, between groups at a minimum
  • We will continue to ask parents to confirm that campers have not been a close contact or have any COVID symptoms in the week before camp starts and to notify us as soon as possible if this changes at any time during the camp session
  • Masks will be worn by Adventure Camp staff when indoors with campers

We believe that our updated policies, similar to last summer’s required actions, offer the most protection from COVID while requiring the least effort from campers (and having the least impact on the camp experience).

We are thrilled to have had zero cases of COVID-19 last summer and hope that these actions to mitigate the spread of disease will assist in another safe and fun summer spent outdoors. 

Thank you for reading! We look forward to seeing you soon!

    Where can I register for La Vida Adventure Camp?

    In efforts to preserve the environment and keep costs down, we are working towards going paperless. All camp registration is now online and available here. If you register but do not receive a confirmation e-mail, please contact us at 978.867.4504 to confirm that our system processed your registration correctly. All necessary information should be available through our website or in your confirmation email.

    What time is camp drop off and pick up?

    Registration for camp on Monday opens at 8:45 a.m. Camp runs from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Thursday. There is no pick-up for Treks campers on Tuesday or Wednesday (since they’re on the trail) or for the Explorers on Thursday (because of the overnight campout). Friday normally includes an end-of-week Camp Celebration for campers and families beginning at 5 p.m. As a result, on Fridays camp normally runs 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

    With COVID, we aren’t able to invite guests, which includes campers’ family members, to our end-of-week Celebration. As a result, our Friday camp schedule is similar to other days of the week (9 a.m.–4 p.m.).

    Are campers allowed to leave early?

    Yes. If you know your child will be missing a day of camp, needs to leave early or will be late, please call our camp registrar at 978.867.4504 to let us know. Talk with your child’s counselors to find out what activities he or she will be missing.

    What should my child bring to camp?
    • Backpack
    • Lunch
    • Water bottle
    • Swimsuit and towel
    • Rain jacket
    • Hat and/or sunglasses
    • A warmer layer in case of colder weather
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
    • An adventurous attitude!

    A packing list for campers staying overnight at Gordon or in New Hampshire will be provided the week of camp. 

    What equipment do you provide?

    La Vida Adventure Camp provides bikes, helmets, canoes and kayaks for all activities. If a camper has their own mountain bike (provided it’s properly sized and in good working condition), we recommend that they bring it to camp and use it instead of a camp bike. Likewise, we encourage campers to bring their own helmets as well.

    For the overnight camping trips, all tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and cooking equipment can be provided.

    What if my child can't swim or ride a bike?

    We encourage campers to try camp activities, even if they don’t have much experience with them.

    Whenever participating in water activities, there will be a lifeguard on duty. In addition, for all activities in a depth greater than 3′, all campers must wear a lifejacket. If a camper does not feel comfortable getting in the water with these precautions in place, other options can be discussed.

    Our biking specialists are trained to teach campers the basics. All groups start with an assessment on a beginner trail before potentially attempting more advanced trails when warranted. If a camper doesn’t feel comfortable biking with the group, we may have them join another group for that activity time. Once mountain biking is over, they can rejoin their original group.

    What age do children need to be to attend camp?

    In order to attend the Pathfinders program, campers should be 10 years old by the beginning of the camp session they’re attending. In order to attend the Explorers program, campers should be 14 by the beginning of the camp session they’re attending. In order to apply for the Adirondack Leadership Program, campers should have completed one year of high school and turn 15 by the end of August.

    For more information about ALP, please click here. For more information about our Counselor in Training program (for 16–18-year-olds), please click here.

    What happens if it rains?

    It depends on the severity of the rain and whether or not the storm includes thunder and lightning. In cases of light rain on a warm day, we often continue enjoying camp outdoors. But in times of more severe weather, we have many indoor spaces around campus that camper groups can use. In those situations, our registration, drop off, and pick up location moves from the field across from the Bennett Center (“T” on this map, next to the “P1” parking area) to the La Vida Activity and Training Center (“N” on the same map, next to the “P2” parking area).

    Are 10-year-olds placed with 15-year-olds? Can my child be with four or more of their closest friends?

    We do our best to organize groups while looking at age, grade, sex, hometown, and any friend requests made. So while 10- and 11-year-olds may be grouped together, 10- and 13-year-olds will not, and Explorers (our 14- and 15-year-olds program) have a separate day-to-day schedule as well. So 10-year-olds will not be placed with 15-year-olds.

    Upon registering, you’ll receive an automated confirmation email for the transaction as well as a separate email sent by our Registrar with additional forms. Those forms include a space to make any friend requests.

    We would recommend that campers not request friends who are more than a year different in age from requesting each other as it often leads to one of them being the only one of their age in a group. In addition, while you can make as many requests as you would like, we would ask that you prioritize one or two of your child’s friends to be with. We often get conflicting requests, and we cannot guarantee any specific requests. However, we have never been unable to meet a request for a single friend when given sufficient advance notice. Having run into repeated and significant issues with several friends being together in a single camp group and the isolating effects on other campers within that group, we will aim to spread large friend groups across multiple camp groups, partnering each camper with at least one of their friends.

    We take time to thoughtfully form our camper groups the Thursday before a camp session. Any camper requests made before we begin (so by Wednesday evening) are taken into account. This is a lengthy process. After groups have been made, requests can no longer be honored. If a camper registers for a week after the preceding Wednesday evening, they will be added to a group as availability allows. We will still do our best to match them with a group of campers similar in age, but they may not end up with friends from the same week.

    We think that camp is a great opportunity whether or not you know someone in your group. Several of our current and former Counselors in Training and staff experienced Adventure Camp without knowing anyone in their group. Their experience was so enjoyable that they returned year after year and continued to invest in the lives of campers. We hope your camper, whether coming in with a friend or not knowing anyone, will have a similar fun time!

    What does a typical day look like for the Pathfinders (ages 10–13)?

    Below is a sample day for the Pathfinders, but each day will look different for groups. All groups will participate in low ropes team-building, mountain biking, high ropes, canoeing, kayaking, and rock climbing by the end of the week.

    9 a.m. Drop-off
    9:05 a.m. Staff skit and announcements
    9:15 a.m. Games
    9:45 a.m. Morning snack
    10 a.m. Team-building initiatives
    11:45 a.m. Character discussion
    12 p.m. Lunch
    12:45 p.m. Adventure activities
    3:30 p.m. Moment for reflection
    4 p.m. Pick-up
    What does a typical day look like for the Explorers (ages 14–15)?

    Each day will include different adventure activities. While on campus, a day may look much like the example listed above for Pathfinders. But Explorers have the opportunity to challenge themselves in more difficult team-building initiatives, enjoy rock climbing at various rock sites, experience offsite waterfront activities, overcome more challenging high course elements and build deeper friendships during an overnight campout. The days also include playing games, eating snacks, character building, and discussing activity takeaways. Your camper’s counselors will discuss any specific gear or clothing requirements for upcoming days with your campers ahead of time.

    How does Treks differ from the Explorers?

    Treks sessions will be similar on Mondays and Fridays. On Tuesday through Thursday, Treks campers will travel to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to backpack and camp.

    How does the Adirondack Leadership Program (ALP) differ from other camp options?

    That’s a great question. You can find more information about ALP here.

    What is the Camp Celebration on Friday?

    The Adventure Camp Celebration normally runs from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. on Fridays. During non-pandemic seasons, parents, siblings and campers are invited to attend this indoor end-of-week Celebration, which includes camper group skits, a video and a slideshow. Even without our traditional Celebration, the slideshow, video and camper skits will still be available on our YouTube channel, and photos from the slideshow will be available for free download as well.

    What does Christian perspective mean?

    La Vida Adventure Camp is part of Gordon College’s La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership. Gordon is a liberal arts Christian college that operates from a multidenominational worldview. Adventure Camp is staffed by Gordon students whose goals are to facilitate experiences and discussions that foster character development, positive self-identity, and a commitment to care for and serve others from a Christian perspective. Discussions, reflection times, character lessons, and activity debriefs may include discussions regarding God’s love and the value of caring for and serving others. Adventure Camp staff respect kids and families of all faiths and believe conversations can develop understanding between people of different views.

    Why did your price increase?

    La Vida Adventure Camp is not for profit and we are committed to providing a positive, high-quality environment for all campers. While our physical equipment accounts for part of our costs, the majority of our costs go toward compensating our incredible staff. Since 2014, the Massachusetts minimum wage has increased by over 60% and will continue to increase. Adventure Camp has worked hard to keep costs down. However, an update to our prices was necessary to continue providing this wonderful experience for campers for years to come. See questions and answers below for additional information.

    Do you offer discounts?

    We offer a $25 early bird discount for campers registered before February 18 and another $25 discount for placing an Adventure Camp yard sign in your yard in late spring through the beginning of summer. Yard signs may be returned at the Monday registration of each camper’s first session or kept for the following summer and additional discounts.

    A 10% sibling discount is applied to each sibling attending Pathfinders, Explorers or Treks (for the same number of weeks). This discount will only be applied if noted on the application form. The early bird, yard sign, and sibling discounts do not apply to Adirondack Leadership Program participants.

    We at La Vida care about all campers, and we don’t want cost to prevent anyone from coming to camp. We have limited, need-based financial aid that may help your son or daughter attend camp.

    Contact us with additional questions about discounts or financial aid.

    Does Adventure Camp qualify as childcare for tax purposes and some work reimbursement programs?

    Yes! Our tax ID is 042-104-258. Please contact your tax preparer or employer for more information.

    I've heard great things about Adventure Camp. How can I help other children attend?

    We appreciate your enthusiasm! If you have someone specific in mind, feel free to coordinate camp registration fees directly with that camper’s parent or guardian. If you’d like to remain anonymous, we can act as a “go-between” to provide a child’s camp opportunity without revealing your identity. If you don’t have someone specific in mind, please consider donating to our need-based scholarship fund, mentioned above. If you have questions or other ideas about how to positively impact campers’ experience, please contact us. We also appreciate reviews on Google.