Thank you for visiting our website and learning more about Camp Horizons and all that we have to offer. We are very proud of our facilities, our programs, our staff, our history, and the thousands of campers we have served since 1983 here in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Since our inception, we have been committed to providing enriching, fun, and safe summer camp experiences for children.
We have an outstanding safety record and take pride in our American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation. If you’re not familiar with the ACA, I encourage you to learn more about them (www.acacamps.org) and the rigorous annual process through which we become accredited.
As a parent myself, I understand that your children are your lifeblood. It is my commitment to you that the Camp Horizons team will provide a safe, healthy environment for your child this summer.
I would encourage you to review our website, including our Parents’ FAQ, and if you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to chat, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. You and your family are always welcome here.
We are many, we are one!
John W. Hall,
Health & Safety
Camp Horizons places the highest priority on the health and safety of our campers and staff. Our policies and procedures create a camp environment that protects both the physical and emotional safety of the children in our care. As an American Camp Association accredited camp, we voluntarily agree to be scored against approximately 300 industry standards to ensure that our camp programs, activities, and overall operations are safe and of the highest quality.
We recruit highly trained and qualified staff from our region and around the world. Staff applications are thoroughly screened, and selected candidates are invited to participate in an extensive interview to help us determine if they are a good fit for our team. All staff are required to participate in our mandatory, intensive, pre-camp staff training. It is a 7-day training, approximately 90-hours, covering a wide variety of topics and skills to ensure our staff are prepared to adequately serve, teach, guide, and care for each camper. Topics such as developmental characteristics of campers, risk management, bullying, and homesickness are covered, in addition to training topics specific to the policies and procedures for specific activities and programs.
We hire a minimum of two (2) medical staff (certified EMT, RN, etc.) to oversee the “Camper Care Center” and healthcare of our campers and staff. Our medical staff aims to prevent injuries and illnesses at camp before they happen, but are well prepared to deal with a variety of medical needs as they arise. Our Camper Care Center is a well-equipped health care center with air conditioning, beds for ill or injured children to rest away from other campers, and a telephone for communications with parents or outside medical professionals as needed. In the event of a camper (or staff member) requiring medical care beyond the scope of care that our medical staff can provide, Rockingham Memorial Hospital is approximately 20 minutes away.
The American Camp Association provides a large number of resources, recommendations, and educational materials for parents and campers on their website dedicated to “camp parents”. Please take some time to visit their website and review the many resources available to you and your child. Please let us know if you find any particular resource incredibly helpful (or not-so helpful), and we’ll gladly pass that feedback along to the ACA folks.
Prepping for Camp
As a parent, there are a few things we recommend that you consider when prepping your child for camp:
Review, complete, and then double and triple-check the Parent’s Checklist as well as the packing list.
Help your child be as prepared as they can for how things will go at camp: review the camp schedule, the website, the packing list, and if and how you will be communicating with them while at camp. Don’t forget to speak with them about living in a cabin with other children!
For those campers that are hesitant and concerned about being homesick, encourage them and plan for them to complete their camp session rather than making deals for early pick-ups, etc. Homesickness is a natural and normal feeling that we have all felt at one time or another and that we all eventually learn to overcome.
Especially for the younger campers, determine a method for identifying their belongings once at camp. Permanent markers, sewn-in initial tags, and many other options exist to ensure your child comes home with all of their clothing and belongings.
Remind your campers about how to handle situations that may arise at camp including medical issues, conflicts with other campers, etc. Our staff to camper ratio is 1:3 or better, so there is always a staff member in your camper’s vicinity that they can speak with about any concerns they may have.
Ensure your child is well-rested and healthy when they arrive at camp so that they are set up for success. We know that the most successful campers are also healthy campers.
- CampSITE Registration Information Complete?
- Camp Fees Paid?
- Forms and Waivers Complete/Submitted?
- Arrival/Check-in Information Prepared?
- Transportation Details Finalized/Completed? (n/a for those arriving by car)
- Packing List Double and Triple Checked?
- Camper Mail Complete (addressed, mailed, etc.)
These items are recommended for a 2-week session. Please label everything with camper’s first and last names. We suggest a suitcase, duffel bag, or plastic under-bed box rather than a trunk. Luggage is stored under beds, which measure 15” high and 40” deep for the cabins.
- 10 pair of socks, labeled
- 10 pair undergarments, labeled
- 10 T-shirts, labeled
- 2 long pants/jeans, labeled
- 2 pair athletic shoes, labeled
- 2 sweatshirts/jackets, labeled
- 2 swimsuits, labeled
- 10 Shorts, labeled
- Hats/bandana, labeled
- Mesh Laundry Bag, labeled
- Pajamas, labeled
- Raincoat/poncho, labeled
- Shower shoes/sandals
- Water shoes for lake
Personal Care Items
- Extra glasses or contact lenses
- Insect repellent
- Other personal items
- Toiletries (brush, soap, toothbrush, etc.)
Bedding & Linens:
- (Cabins do not have paper towels)
- 2 Bath Towels, labeled
- 2 Beach Towels, labeled
- 1 Hand towel, labeled
- 1 Washcloth, labeled
- Pillow, Extra pillowcase, labeled
- Sleeping Bag
- Twin Sheets, labeled
- Any talent show items
- Backpack/daypack, labeled
- Books/Magazines, etc.
- Camera, labeled (digital or Polaroid)
- Crazy Creek / Stadium Chair
- Flashlight & batteries
- Paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps
- Personal Fan (battery powered)
- Water bottle (IMPORTANT)
Additional Items for Horseback Riding & Off-site Explorer Trips
Horseback Riding (lessons, trail ride, or Equestrian Camp):
- Long Pants/Jeans
- Hard-soled boots or shoes with a 1” heel (no tennis shoes)
Off-site Explorer Trips:
- For Caving: long-sleeved shirt, pants & shoes that will get very muddy or permanently stained
- For River Canoeing and Tubing: sandals (Tevas, Chacos, Crocs with strap, etc.) or tennis shoes – no flip flops
- For Via Ferrata, Canopy Tour, and Rock Climbing: closed-toed shoes, water bottle, and pants/long shorts/ leggings
Outdoor Adventure Camp
Please pack what is on the list and limit any additional items, as there is a very limited amount of space for gear while traveling. Please label your belongings. When considering clothing, come prepared for 1 full week. Our longer trips will wash laundry each week.
- Large duffel bag
Everything must fit in this duffle bag. We suggest a 100-120 liter bag.
A school sized backpack for carrying personal items during the day
- Sleeping bag
It should be rated for 35°F, come in a stuff sack, and should be small and compressible enough to fit in the bottom of a backpack.
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- 2 Water bottles (at least 64oz)
- 1 Beach/Bath towel
- Mesh laundry bag for dirty clothes
- Sunglasses with a strap
- Toiletries kit
- Meds with labels
- 7 Pairs of underwear
- 3 Pairs of hiking socks (wool or synthetic)
- 5 Pairs of athletic socks
- 4 Pairs of shorts (1 pair synthetic)
- 1 Pair of jeans or khakis
- 1 Swim suit
- 6 Short sleeve t-shirts
- 1 Long sleeve t-shirts (synthetic)
- 1 Sweatshirt, fleece or wool layer
- 1 Pair of running shoes
- 1 Pair of hiking boots
These should be made for hiking, fit comfortably, and be broken in prior to arrival.
- 1 Pair of sandals
Must secure around your heal. We suggest Crocs, Tevas or Chacos. No flip-flops please.
- 1 Waterproof rain jacket
Please make sure it is truly waterproof and not merely water resistant.
- 1 Set of caving clothes
Pack an old pair of long pants, long sleeve shirt, and shoes devoted solely to caving. These should not be clothes of value. It is very likely that you will be completely covered in mud.
- Book or journal for free time
- “Crazy Creek” camp chair
If you are in need of any of the items on the above list, specifically outdoor gear, you can find what you need at Walkabout Outfitters, 90 N Main St, Harrisonburg, VA, 22802, which is just 15 minutes from Camp Horizons.
Arrival/check-in takes place from 3:00pm-4:30pm on the first day of the camp session (Sunday). Upon arrival to Camp Horizons, you will be greeted by one of our directors and you will be directed to parking, check-in, etc. If for some reason you will be late, please call our office (540.896.7600) to let us know ASAP so we can make appropriate arrangements to ensure a warm welcome for your camper. The entrance road is closed prior to check-in, but early arrivals are welcome to park along our entrance road and enjoy the picturesque scenery until check-in begins at 3:00pm sharp.
Check-out/departure takes place from 9:00am-10:30am on the last day of the camp session (Saturday). Upon arrival, parents should carefully drive to the same parking area they used during check-in. Additional instructions will be given at that time.