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Summer Camp FAQ

Summer Camp FAQ

FAQ will be updated with 2021 Covid policies shortly. Please check back for more information.

A student must meet the minimum age requirement by the start of the selected camp session. Siblings may not register for the same camp session unless they meet these age minimum. The minimum age for Half-Day Camp is seven years old. Camp registrations will be checked for age at the time registration is received. Campers found to be in the wrong camp age group for camp will automatically be canceled.
Campers are required to wear a certified ASTM-SEI approved helmet manufactured in the USA and not more than five years old. (Bicycle helmets and other recreational safety equipment are not allowed.) RCPHC has helmets available for purchase (while supplies last) and helmets are available to borrow for a weekly maintenance fee of $25.

Campers must wear a boot with hard sole and small heel (paddock boot is the general term if doing an online search). Hiking boots, rain boots, and sneakers are NOT suitable or safe for horseback riding. RCPHC has a limited supply of used paddock boots for use and/or exchange. If you have paddock boots in good condition that you want to donate or exchange, please bring them cleaned and polished in a clear plastic bag with shoe size marked on the bag.

Campers should bring or wear long pants for riding, and a change of clothes for other activities if desired (lightweight long pants are encouraged rather than shorts to protect against ticks, cuts from grasses, hay, and branches, etc.). Counselors will let you know about bringing a bathing suit or change of clothes for days when there will be water activities.

All campers need to bring their own water bottles (no glass of any kind is allowed, even when covered in rubber/plastic). Day campers need to bring lunch and a snack (especially if attending Extended Care). No refrigeration or microwave is available for campers.

Cell phones need to be kept in backpacks during the day. They are a distraction and a potential safety issue.

All clothing, helmets, backpacks and any other belongings should be labeled with the camper’s name. We encourage campers not to bring other valuables to camp.

RCPHC is not required to have a medical form on file. However, every camper must have a signed Acknowledgement of Risk at the start of the camp session. No camper will be allowed to ride unless this form is completed and signed by a parent or guardian. It is very valuable for us to know if a camper has any food or other allergies, if they are on medications that might affect their physical, mental or emotional performance, or if there are any physical restrictions, etc. Please let us know as this information helps us to meet individual safety needs and respond constructively. Forms will be collected at the Front Desk on the first day check-in.

PRINT Visitor’s Acknowledgement of Risk

Many campers have not been exposed to common allergens at a horse barn (horse hair, hay, hay dust), so campers and families are surprised when it happens, typically on Monday morning! Sometimes campers develop itchy eyes, sometimes more severe reactions occur.  At the first sign, we will remove the camper from the activity, bring them into the classroom, wash they face and hands, and apply cold compresses. We will call the parent/emergency number to let you know and expect that you’ll arrange pick up.  Sometimes it works for the camper to get a single dose of an allergy medication, but you need to know that we cannot administer any medications. We’ll work with your camper as best we can through the week, but if the allergic reaction continues the camper may not want to return.

Registration is completed online at www.RockCreekHorseCenter.com. Follow instructions to set up an account, register and pay. Full payment is necessary at the time of registration in order to secure your reservation. We also encourage you to register for Extended Care if you know your camper needs to stay until 5:30 for the full week. Arrangements for Extended Care can also be made on the first day of camp.

Summer Camp registration is partially refundable for any reason if made within 30 days of registration (e.g, by March 1 if registration is made on February 1). However, no refunds will be made for any registration made after April 30. except medical refunds. A 20% administrative fee will be charged for each session from which a camper withdraws. No credits will be given for future classes at RCPHC.

Medical refunds must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the camp session in which you are registered. A 20% administrative fee will be charged for each camp session from which you withdraw. Immediate family emergencies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. No credits will be given for future classes at RCPHC.

Registrations are not transferable. Registrations made by one person cannot be sold or traded. We will work to accommodate transfers to a different session if space permits. There is no charge for a transfer.

The program is directed by knowledgeable staff with experience in individual and group instruction, individual and team competition, and horse care. First Aid and CPR certified staff is on site during camp hours. Instructors are supported by a team of Counselors in Training drawn from experienced riding students. The camp horses are part of the team of school horses from our group and private lesson program. Why is this important? Our staff knows our horses very well and can appropriately pair campers with mounts.
Rock Creek Park Horse Center is located in the heart of Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington DC. The Horse Center is located on National Park Service property and operated as a concession by Guest Services, Inc. The equestrian facility includes a large indoor riding ring, stalls for nearly 60 boarder and school horses and ponies, multiple outdoor riding arenas, wooded trails, and fields. A meeting room accommodates indoor activities. Camper backpacks, lunches and other belongings are stored outside under a covered structure. Extensive parking is available; no cars however are allowed down the road to the camp office and horse barn.
The RCPHC facility is nestled in the shade of Rock Creek Park, but campers should prepare for hot and humid days. Campers should apply sunscreen and bug spray before arriving at camp. If they wish to bring additional sunscreen and bug spray, please bring in a bag with camper’s name, parent’s name and signature, date, brand of product(s), and instructions for whether a staff member can assist in application.

We will evaluate weather situations and plan activities accordingly. Appropriate alternative activities will be substituted at the discretion of the camp director (Day Camp and/or Ponies & Friends Camp). There are no refunds or make-up days for inclement weather.

There will be plenty of time to have fun with new and old friends. Campers are however placed in riding groups based on experience. All campers are evaluated on their riding skills on the first day of each session in order to be placed into an appropriate level riding group for the week. (If requested, we will evaluate a camper’s riding level for future reference at Rock Creek; the evaluation will be kept on file for one year to be used should a student seek placement in one of our group lessons, a benefit valued at $50 if requested outside the camp venue.)

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