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Summer Camps

Summer Camp 2023 is open for enrollment!

Sapling, Oak, Old Growth, and Earth Heroes are now open. River Shredders and Mountain Biking will open in late January.

Give your kids a week of adventures that they’ll never forget! Our goal with RO camps is to foster friendship, confidence, creativity, and an appreciation for Richmond’s urban river, trails, and forest. Our adventure camps have been helping kids do just that since 2007.

Our camps historically fill up early, so register soon to better ensure your pick of dates for this summer.

Maintaining a balance between paying our staff well and keeping our camps affordable has always been a challenge. We believe that camp should be accessible to everyone. As such, we have always tried to keep our prices low enough to be reasonable for our camp families.

In order to provide our staff meaningful pay increases in light of the rising costs of living, we have updated our camp price options within our sliding scale model.

Here’s how it works:

A sliding scale is a tool to help increase access to experiences like summer camp, while acknowledging differences in financial resources. We ask for your active participation in deciding your contribution. We do not require proof of income but ask that you take a moment to thoughtfully reflect and choose the option that best represents your situation.

  1. Pay what you can. ($495)  – The community is supporting you to cover the full cost of camp
  2. Pay your way. ($575)  – This covers the actual cost of running camp
  3. Pay it forward. ($665)  – You are supporting those for whom the full cost of camp would be a significant hardship 

We want to give a huge thank you to those who were able to opt for our highest sliding scale tier last year; you helped 111 kids attend camp at a lower rate in 2022.

There will still be an option to donate to the scholarship fund during the registration process. All scholarship funds go directly towards camp spots for scholarship recipients. In 2022, the money raised through these donations funded 7 additional completely free camp spots!

If you do not wish to pay in full upon registration, we offer 2 payment plans:

  • Half-pay / Due on June 1st: Pay half of your balance upon enrollment and half on June 1, 2023.
  • Monthly: Pay half of your balance upon enrollment and the remaining balance will be divided across monthly payments until June 1st.

If none of the sliding scale choices are affordable to you, please email us at riversidecamps@gmail.com to ask about our scholarship program. We’ve expanded the program with more options depending on your needs.

We will not be requiring campers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending camp this year.  We will continue to refer to CDC and VDH guidelines and reserve the right to update our policies.


All Adventure Camps

Sapling Camp

Sapling activities include arborist-style tree climbing, high ropes activities, giant tree swings, creative games, river exploration and even a rafting trip!

Age: 6-9
Price: $495-$665
Oak Camp

Oak activities include arborist-style tree climbing, high-ropes activities, giant tree swings, stand up paddleboarding, creative games, river exploration and rafting!

Age: 9-12
Price: $495-$665
Earth Heroes Camp

Earth Heroes camp activities include exploring Richmond's awesome forests and river, wildly fun hands-on science activities, nature-themed art and games, and natural outdoor fun!

Age: 6-9
Price: $495-$665
Mt. Bike Camp

Mountain Bike camp activities include trail rides, self-paced mountain biking skills development, goofy games, river exploration, and natural outdoor fun!

Age: 8-11
Price: $495-$665
Old Growth Camp

Rappelling, rafting, downriver stand-up paddleboarding, and advanced tree climbing techniques are just some of the experiences you can expect from this camp!

Age: 12-16
Price: $495-$665
River Shredders Camp

River Shredders campers will have a one-of-a-kind experience learning to paddle a variety of different crafts on the James River, as well as learning about river ecology, hydrology, and river safety.

Age: 12-16
Price: $495-$665

FAQ's

  • My child is on the waitlist. How likely are they to get into that camp session?
    • I would not count on it. While it does happen from time to time, it is generally unlikely. Please refer to our cancellation and waitlist policy at the bottom of the page.
  • Will my child be in the same group as his or her friends?
    • If they are signed up for the same camp (Old Growth, Birch Sapling, Red Oak, etc) and the same week they will be in the same group.
  • What is the difference between Red Oak and White Oak camps?
    • Red Oak and White Oak are separate groups of kids with a different set of counselors, but both groups will have the same programming in regards to adventure activities. They are equally awesome!
  • What is the difference between Birch Sapling and Maple Sapling camps?
    • Birch Sapling and Maple Sapling are separate groups of kids with a different set of counselors, but both groups will have the same programming in regards to adventure activities. They are equally awesome!
  • Do you perform background checks on your staff?
    • Yes. We perform annual checks on all of our camp staff through a third party which covers local, state, federal and sex offender registries.
  • My child is turning _______ years old on ________. Can you make an age exception?
    • We almost never make exceptions in regards to our age groups. We have built into our camp structure a one year overlap in camps (i.e. a 9 year old could attend Sapling or Oak, and a 12 year old could attend Oak, River Shredders, or Old Growth).
  • I am trying to enroll my child in a camp but I’m not seeing the enrollment options for their age group.
    • It’s most likely that the camper’s age was incorrectly listed upon enrollment. Please email us at riversidecamps@gmail.com if you run into this problem.
  • Do you offer extended day programming?
    • We have built into our schedule a flexible pick-up time between 3:30PM and 4:00PM.
  • I’ve forgotten my password and when I try to reset it through the website I am not receiving any emails.
    • Most likely, the email you used to initially register your account is no longer current. Your email address is like a user name in our system so if that changes we need to be notified to change that on our end. If you can think of what email you initially received our confirmations from, that is the account to sign in on and book for the summer.
  • Will pictures or videos be available for parents/guardians at the end of the session?
    • Yes! We send out an email with the link to our photos the week after camp ends. If you have opted out of marketing emails then you will have to contact us for the link.
  • Do you have a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program?
    • Yes! 16-17 year olds are welcome to apply as CITs for the 2023 camp season. Apply here. Our CITs volunteer at our Sapling, Oak, Earth Heroes, and Mountain Biking camp for 2 weeks during the summer (preferably consecutive, Mon-Fri). They function as counselors and role models for the kids, are directly mentored by our experienced staff, and learn both technical and transferable skills in the education and outdoor recreation fields. If all goes well, they receive stellar references from us and are invited to apply to work with us as counselors once they turn 18.
**Cancellation/Refund Policy: All payments are non-refundable. Exceptions made at the discretion of our staff. If we are able to fill your camper’s spot through the waitlist, we will refund you all but a $35 per instance processing fee. See our waitlist policy below.**
**Wait List Policy: If we are filling spaces in a camp more than 1 month out from the start of that camp week, we will call one family at a time from the wait list on a first-to-sign-up basis and give them 48 hrs to accept the spot. After 48 hrs we will call the next family on the list.  If we are calling within a month of a camp session, we will call everyone on the wait list concurrently and follow a first-to-respond policy.**


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