1. Does my camper need to have camping experience?
- No, a desire to learn and a good attitude are all that is needed. All necessary skills, including proper paddling technique, will be taught.
2. My camper doesn’t know anyone. Will they feel awkward?
- We are a small group, no more than 20, including staff. We begin Sunday with games that are designed to get everyone acquainted. Much of what we do on the river is a team effort. Living and working with staff and peers in such a unique and exciting environment allows for unexpected and meaningful friendships to develop quickly.
3. What is the food like?
- Breakfast includes oatmeal, bagels and fruit. Lunches are PB&J, tuna fish, fruit, pitas and hummus. Snacks are available throughout the day and vegetarian options are also available. There are a variety of dinner possibilities. Previous dinner options included spaghetti, chicken gumbo, chili, soup and grilled chicken.
4. Where will my camper sleep?
- In a variety of places, but the two most common are camping in tents on sandbars along the river and the flat bluffs above the river.
5. My camper has never been camping. Will they be comfortable?
- We provide each camper with a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and a tent to sleep within. Despite Florida’s hot and humid summer weather, many nights are significantly cooler than the daytime temperatures. Much of being comfortable comes down to preparation (the right gear), responsibility (keeping your gear dry, clean, etc.) and your attitude.
6. Are the trips co-ed?
- Yes, however sleeping and sanitary arrangements are separate.
7. What is a normal day like?
- Each day your camper will be faced with exciting new challenges and will paddle to different destinations. After breakfast and once the campsites are packed up, the group will begin paddling for the day. Paddling schedules and mileage will vary from day to day depending on group decisions and the opportunities each different paddling locale provides. Everyday campers will have the opportunity to participate in paddling, swimming, exploring, nature study and campfire activities. In addition, your camper will be expected to contribute to all areas of the adventure, which include food preparation, “Leave No Trace” and general camp chores.
8. What types of activities do the campers do?
- Special activities during their trip may include theme dinners, paddling games, hiking to springs, rope swings and much more.
9. How is the staff chosen?
- The carefully chosen staff at CCL is comprised mostly of college-aged men and women and members of the Alachua County teaching staff. As School Board employees, all staff undergo fingerprinting and background checks. In addition, all counselors are lifeguard, first aid and CPR certified and are required to participate in training and team building before the campers arrive at CCL. All staff members exhibit an interest in camping and knowledge of the outdoors. At least two members of the staff are Wilderness First Responders.
10. Is there any communication with Residential Camp?
- The trip leader has emergency access to a cell phone and maintains regular communication with the Camp Director.
11. Will my camper always be supervised?
- Yes, campers will always be supervised by at least two staff members.
12. What if my camper is not a strong swimmer?
- On the first day, all campers will participate in a swim test to identify individual swimming abilities. Campers and staff are required to wear life jackets in the boats at all times. Life jackets will also be worn in the majority of the swimming situations. Weak swimmers will be required to wear a life jacket at all times around the water.
13. How does Camp Swiftwater differ from regular Adventure Camp?
- Only campers who have attended Adventure Camp before and are currently in 8th-11th grade are eligible to attend Camp Swiftwater, as opposed to Adventure Camp which is open to campers of all experience levels in 6th-11th grade. During Camp Swiftwater, campers will learn more advanced skills and techniques while developing strategies to maneuver through more challenging sections of the river. Each night, campers will base camp at the same spot before being transported to the section of the river they will conquer that day.
14. Can my camper attend both Adventure Camp and Camp Swiftwater?
- As long as your camper meets the requirements to attend Camp Swiftwater (has previously attended Adventure Camp and is in 8th-11th grade) they may attend both programs.
15. Can my camper attend an Adventure Camp/Camp Swiftwater session and a residential Summer Camp session?
- Yes, given that your camper meets the age requirements for both programs.