We do everything outside, passing the time of summer with both structured activities and down time for relaxation and friends. We make up and have made up many, many games, crafts, and activities over the years, so many that we don’t need any more, but always eager to try something new and fun.
Our most dedicated campers tend to be the ones who start the youngest. Other than a Monday morning featuring a swimming lesson for the 6- to 8-year-olds, we operate our camp as one big group, rather than divided up by age, and everyone tends to get to know one another, from 6 right up through the ages. Our youngest are well taken care of by both by counselors and older kids, and usually become fiercely loyal to Field Camp. They then have a home camp for ten years, and sometimes longer. Their favorite down-time activity is probably searching for critters in our creek.
Blue Ridge Swim Club
We are lucky to own and have the historic Blue Ridge Swim Club grounds in Ivy (1275 Owensville Road) all to ourselves now as our base for camp, featuring the 100-plus-years-old spring-fed Blue Ridge Pool listed in the National Register of Historic Places. We spend many afternoons cooling off and playing in the shady and massive pool, which remains 15 degrees cooler than every other area pool throughout the summer. The fields are great for soccer, croquet, Elijahball, and whatever other game we just thought up. We sometimes escape the weather in our timber frame pavilion, and build forts and rafts from the giant bamboo field near the Pool. The grounds are a genuine kid nirvana.
As part of our program beginning in the Summer of 2016, we provide a nutritious and mostly organic, kid-friendly daily lunch for all campers. Please note on the registration if your camper is a vegetarian or has any food allergies.
Camp Albemarle Overnights
Because the campers have always enjoyed going there, we go over to CCC-built Camp Albemarle in Free Union on Thursdays and do our overnight. The facility features a long stretch of Moormans River swimming/tubing, historic cabins, a big play pavilion, a huge field for capture the flag, and a just-perfect log lodge with a kitchen and big front porch. We make s’mores over the fire, sing our camp songs, play chess, and generally wear ourselves out playing all sorts of games.
The Camp Day
The camp day begins each day at 9 a.m. at Blue Ridge Swim Club and Field Camp (1275 Owensville Road) and ends in the same place at 4 p.m. every day but Thursday (when we'll be on the overnight). Regular activities including readaloud stories, safety instruction, outdoors instruction, ethics, games and sports, and arts and crafts. We will eat each day at noon. Campers should be prepared to swim (sunscreen, swimsuit, towel) if they are interested in doing so on each day of camp. We will take care of kids in aftercare up through 4:30 p.m. at camp.
Blue Ridge Swim Club
Our base camp is on the 14-acre grounds of Blue Ridge Swim Club, which features lots of opportunities for field games, exploration, and hiking. We spend many afternoons cooling off, swimming, and playing games in our shady and massive Pool, which remains about 15 degrees cooler throughout the summer than any other area pool!
We provide a free daily shuttle to and from Charlottesville. The shuttle bus operates from the front parking lot at Azalea Park (304 Old Lynchburg Road) in Charlottesville, picking up Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:15 through 8:30, and dropping off on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:15 to 4:30.
Campers should bring: backpack, lunch, snack, swimwear, sunscreen and a towel. If we’re hiking, wear closed-toe shoes which you don’t mind getting wet as we often splash through streams. Also, try not to pack too heavily for the hikes (bags for lunch, for example, rather than a plastic cooler). Please try to be prompt in arriving on Thursdays.
Thursday Overnights Information
On Thursdays, we will do a morning hike, so campers should wear a pair of shoes which they don’t mind getting wet. During the day, we will swim, go canoeing, fishing, and hiking. We’ll have stories before dinner. Then we’ll prepare the campsite, have songs, s’mores and games before bedtime. On Friday, we will prepare breakfast and lunch and have more activities before the end of the day at 4:00.
What to Bring
Sleeping bag, pillow, flashlight, bug spray, raincoat, hat, lunch for Thursday only, swimwear, sunscreen, towel, filled water bottle, and a change or two of clothes. We appreciate having campers with their clothing labeled as they often misplace their things. Please have the kids put their swimming things, water bottle and lunch in a backpack to keep with them Thursday for the morning hike.
Our campers aged 6-8 are provided with a more specialized program including regular swimming lessons during most weeks of the summer. Our younger campers spend the bulk of their time integrated into Field Camp generally.
Blue Ridge Swim Club and Field Camp is located at 1275 Owensville Road. From Charlottesville, take 250 west to Ivy, and make a right on Owensville Road (beside Duner's). Camp is on the right just past Holkham Drive and well before you would reach Meriwether Lewis School. To get to Camp Albemarle, our usual overnight site, take Barracks Road/Old Garth Road west toward the mountains. Go past Foxfield and then just past Hunt Country Corner, make a right onto Free Union Road. After another 2 miles, and after crossing the Mechums River, you'll see 4-H Drive and Camp Albemarle on the left, just before crossing the Moormans River. The Camp is the only site on the road.
Policies and Procedures
Philosophy and History Field Camp offers a variety of outdoors recreational and educational programs for boys and girls ages 6-15, with a strong teaching staff, attention to healthy bodies and minds, regular outdoors field trips, and beautiful base campgrounds along the Moormans River. Established in 2000, Field Camp has provided hundreds of Charlottesville-area children with adventures, friendships, and wonderful memories of summer.
Official Information and Contacts
Founded in 2000, Field Camp has grown from eleven campers in its initial week, to a camp that regularly fills up for the summer. It has developed in many aspects, administratively and programmatically, and it has begun to develop a reputation as the premier outdoors summer camp opportunity for young people in the Charlottesville area. Our program aims at getting young people out into the outdoors, to develop an appreciation for the wilderness and 4 camping, and to encourage the positive ethical behaviors associated with camping— responsibility, respect, trust, fairness, and work. With respect to our program, our goals are to give children the opportunity to (1) build confidence, (2) develop a sense of responsibility, (3) make friends with a variety of others, older and younger, (4) learn “hard” outdoors skills, and (5) develop “soft” self-awareness, ethics, and leadership identities. We constantly evaluate the program through discussions with campers, staff, and parents, and make changes as necessary. A formal evaluation is conducted with campers on selected weeks, and with the other parties (parents, staff, director) after the end of each camp season.
Field Camp's program emphasizes outdoors education and recreation. Our Thursday field trips end at Camp Albemarle, where we stay for an overnight which includes swimming, read-aloud essays, a campfire, and group songs. We also regularly give attention to our behavior, asking that all follow the Field Camp motto, to "be safe, do good, have fun, and help out." Discussions of safety and ethics issues comprise a major element of our program. Our program also includes twice-weekly instruction in earth and natural sciences and outdoors safety, leadership and trust exercises, organized games, leave-no-trace principles, and readaloud stories.
Our registration form serves as a contractual agreement, emergency medical release form, transportation permission form, and also indicates who is permitted to pick up each camper. Parents are responsible for keeping this information up to date and for informing the camp of any changes.
Counselors are responsible for the successful operation of the camp and for the maintenance of a safe and healthy camp atmosphere. The staff determines rules and expectations. Campers are expected to treat peers and adults with respect and courtesy. They are expected to be responsible for the consequences of their own behavior, insofar as they are capable. They are expected to treat the camp’s property and the property of each other accordingly. Parents are expected to assist and support the staff in maintaining a healthy climate. Staff members shall not use any form of physical, verbal or emotional punishment. Such behavior will not be tolerated and if it should occur, disciplinary action will be taken. Campers enrolled at Field Camp shall not engage in aggressive or abusive treatment of other campers or staff, use foul language towards others, or verbally insult or berate other campers, or destroy or vandalize camp property or the property of other campers.
Staff will initially deal with behavior by reinforcing desired behavior and by verbally reminding campers, when necessary, of appropriate conduct. If inappropriate behavior persists, counselors will speak with the camper privately to determine the child’s motives and explain the reasons for the undesirability of the behavior. Parents will also be informed. If difficulties still cannot be resolved, the counselor will confer with the director, leading to a possible conference between the director, parents, child and counselor. Field Camp does NOT endorse corporal punishment or any other physical or intimidating methods of discipline. In the case of extreme, dangerous, or chronic behavior problems, campers will be sent home from camp. This decision lies with the director in consultation with the counselors. Parents must pick up the camper, followed by a discussion between the parents and the director before the camper is allowed to return. In the exceptional case in which a camper persistently fails to meet behavioral expectations, physically harms or threatens the safety of others, or continually disrupts camp despite efforts to alleviate the behavior, a recommendation for expulsion may be necessary. Responsibility for deciding to expel a camper lies with the director. Counselors are encouraged to discuss age-appropriate topics only both with the campers and when within earshot of the campers. Among those topics that they need to be sensitive about in the company of campers would be smoking, drugs, tattoos, body piercing, sexuality, dating, cults, religion, ghost or horror stories, divorce, or the personal lives of staff. If these issues arise among campers, staffers should discourage further discussion of the topic and report the matter to the Camp Director .
Blue Ridge Swim Club and Field Camp Field Camp's home is at 1275 Owensville Road. The property provides a well-maintained facility consisting of a pavilion, a bathhouse, water, electricity, and buildings and grounds maintenance. Groups staying overnight are not to exceed 100 persons. Neither alcoholic beverages nor alcohol are allowed at the camp. Field Camp conducts an annual fire equipment exam with the local fire department, and a water safety test as part of its opening procedures in April. Camp Albemarle Field Camp rents the Camp Albemarle (CA) facility from the state through CA’s Board of Directors for many of our overnights. Camp Albemarle provides a well-maintained facility consisting of a lodge, 4 cabins and 2 bath houses, water, electricity, and buildings and grounds maintenance. All 4 cabins are equipped with smoke detectors. The lodge capacity shall not exceed 99 people, and groups staying overnight are not to exceed 80 persons, 20 per cabin. Neither alcoholic beverages or alcohol are allowed at the camp while Field Camp is renting the facility. Camp Albemarle conducts an annual fire equipment exam with the local fire department, and a water safety test as part of its opening procedures in April. Field Camp annually secures a copy of each of these tests.
Annual Camp Preparation Responsibilities
All camp equipment is inspected and repaired prior to the camp season, with weekly checks during the season for safety and good repair. We annually inform Fire Department and Rescue Service in Crozet (823-4758), and Police Departments in Albemarle County (977-9041) of camp’s operation.
Campers bring their own snacks Monday through Thursday. We inform parents, through our website and a mailing, that these will not be refrigerated. We have a snack time at about 10:00 each morning, followed by lunch at 12:00 , before both of which campers are asked to wash their hands. We serve the campers with prepared food on Thursday evening and all day Friday (breakfast, snacks and lunch). We purchase all food items on Wednesday evening and transport them to the camp refrigerator, freezer, or countertop on Thursday morning. Prior to cooking on 7 Thursday evening, we do a general cleaning and sanitizing of the kitchen facility, and all those handling food wash their hands thoroughly. We must also limit the time that perishables are outside the refrigerator to the brief time during which they are prepared for consumption. Our meals generally consist of hamburgers, veggie burgers, chips, and veggie plates on Thursday evenings; bagels, cream cheese, jelly, cantaloupe, muffins, and orange juice on Friday morning, and deli meats, bread, veggie plates, chips, and peanut butter and jelly on Friday afternoon. After meals, we do another general cleaning and sanitizing of all food equipment and materials and all kitchen and dining room surfaces. All dishes and utensils are cleaned according to Virginia Department of Health standards, including scrubbing with wash water heated to 100 degrees, rinsing with water heated to at least 100 degrees, sanitizing, and air drying. All garbage is deposited in lined cans and taken to the bus for daily disposal off the camp grounds.
Buses and Transportation
We recognize that safety is our primary concern on the roadways, and we communicate repeatedly our rules for safety with the campers and the importance of responsible behavior in buses. We begin each week by discussing bus safety procedures, including emergency exits. Field Camp owns a bus and a 12-passenger van used for transporting campers. All are licensed, insured, maintained through annual state and camp inspections (kept on file), and equipped with emergency equipment including first aid kits, reflectors and fire extinguishers. Over each weekend, the buses are checked for the integrity and performance of brakes, tires, lights, emergency flashers, horn, mirrors, fluid levels, and windshield and wiper conditions. The buses are used for our daily shuttle and for our field trips. On emergency occasions, we may use other vehicles to transport campers. Vehicles cannot exceed passenger seating limits, and campers are required to wear seat belts when provided and follow other bus rules including remaining seated with all body parts inside the bus. The camper-counselor ratio on the buses will not exceed 22:1. Health Information and permission-to-treat forms are always available on the bus by the driver in the clear file container, labeled “registration forms.” Bus drivers must have completed a physical in the past two years and must have an appropriate commercial driver’s license in order to drive Field Camp buses. Copies of driver’s licenses for bus drivers are kept on file. In order to drive, all bus drivers must take an annual refresher course with the director prior to the beginning of camp to go over measures involving camper behavior (during refueling, among other things), evacuation procedures, backing up, vehicle check, loading and unloading passengers, and dealing with breakdowns. If campers are unnecessarily rowdy or not following rules, a driver should pull over in a safe place and stop the bus in order to remind campers of necessary rules. If a bus driver has to do so twice, a camper will lose his privilege of riding on the bus. Drivers are encouraged to ask someone to act as a lookout in the back of the bus or outside the bus if necessary when backing up. Whenever stopping to unload passengers, drivers must have the campers remain seated until reminding them of unloading procedures, ones that minimize the risk of an accident upon their exit, whether at Camp Albemarle or elsewhere. In the case of a breakdown, drivers should make every effort to get off the road in a secure location, keeping campers on the bus unless the bus is in a vulnerable situation on a road. Have the other counselor maintain order on the bus, and assess the situation with the breakdown. If we are going to have to extend the day as a result, we must call all parents. Field Camp provides a daily shuttle from the Azalea Park (304 Old Lynchburg Road) in Charlottesville to camp each day except on our overnight evening and morning, picking kids up from 8:15 to 8:30 and dropping them off from 5:15 to 5:30. Approximately 75% of our campers use the shuttle. The remaining campers are dropped off at camp by their parents. Our electronic mailing, provided to all camp parents in May, provides information on pick-up and drop-off times, as well as safety procedures for this time as well as bus travel.
Field Camp has a policy of having at least one person who has been trained in First Aid (FA) procedures with children at all times during any transport, travel, or field trip. In the event of an emergency, an FA is trained to assess a situation, including particularly attention to the safety of the responder and others including the uninjured or bystanders. The responder should then quickly and thoughtfully provide care for anyone who has been injured, calling rescue personnel if necessary. When making decisions about whether to transport a camper to the hospital or call a parent, we err on the side of safety. If the FA is injured in an accident, other counselors should follow these procedures in responding to the situation. First, make sure that no one continues to be in harm’s way. Assess the situation to determine if there is a further threat (fire, traffic, etc…). Begin by addressing these concerns. If there is more than one counselor, the most senior counselor should take control and assign others with certain responsibilities, especially supervising the uninjured children and identifying witnesses and accident information. If necessary, call 911 with an available cell phone (the driver always has one). Calls to parents should be made as quickly as possible. A copy of the Camp’s insurance forms and other emergency information is available in the glove box in the front of each bus.
When there is a building-centered emergency such as fire, wind, or storm damage, children should be picked up from the field area where they will be under the supervision of their counselors. In case of damage to one of the buildings or severe weather outside, all students will be gathered in areas of the building deemed safe by the director. Counselors will conduct emergency head counts during these situations, and the director will take roll. The field will serve as a gathering place in any building-related emergency. Drills will be conducted once per month during the camp season with the procedures explained clearly to the children. The campers will line up in a single file line and the director will take role.
Emergency communications from camp are done by two phones. The camp maintains a landline at Camp Albemarle that allows for outgoing local calls. The Camp also carries at least one cell phone on all field trips. Whenever a child is hurt or involved in any emergency, the camp immediately contacts their parents with phone numbers provided on our registration forms. If a major emergency should arise (natural or man-made disasters, fire, flooding, tornado, etc.), parents will be notified as quickly as possible with arrangements for the campers. The Camp Director only will speak on behalf of the Camp. All staff must recognize that we must maintain the privacy of all our campers and families. If camp has to be cancelled due to any reason, we will send out an email to all the parents.
Roll and Missing Person(s) Procedure
The Field Camp Director takes roll at camp every morning and afternoon, and prior to departure from any field trip. In the event of a missing camper, the Camp Director must immediately notify local and state emergency resources as well as the camper’s parents. Whenever on a field trip, we must be particularly cautious in maintaining order for the group, hiking in groups and regularly stopping to gather before proceeding. For further information, see “Trail Safety” below.
Health and Safety
Health care services at Field Camp are limited to minor first aid and emergency care. First Aid services include treatment of burns, blisters, minor bleeding, dislocations (shoulders, fingers, patella), heat problems, toxins, gastrointestinal infections, and other related minor problems that can typically be dealt with without resorting to emergency hospital care. Emergency care services include, when necessary, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, patient carries, attention to spine injury management, spine immobilization and management, rescue team management and triage, and response to other emergencies such as drowning, lightning, seizures, and anaphylaxis. Field Camp will NOT provide any of the following services: medications (except pain meds, benadryl, epinephrine with an epi-pen, or specifically prescribed medications), dislocations (except simple shoulder, finger or patella), resuscitations (when obviously dead from lethal injuries, submerged under water for more than one hour, blunt trauma with no pulse or breathing or Do-Not-Resuscitate orders), IV administration, or invasive procedures to open airways. Field Camp also requires that parents pick up any sick campers. Until then, we will provide continual supervision of anyone who is sick or ill, assuming there is not an emergency situation that requires their transport to the hospital. In the event of an emergency, we transport as quickly as possible to the U.Va. Emergency Room, whether with our own vehicles or by contacting the Rescue Squad at 9-1-1 . Transportation can take place in any vehicle for which we have written permission, in either of the camp buses, or in a Rescue Squad vehicle. The responsible health care administrator is the Camp Director, Todd Barnett. A licensed physician provides the camp with an annual review of policies and procedures prior to the beginning of camp. On our regular Tuesday and Thursday field trips, we must have the following items: a first aid kit, a cellular telephone, and the application forms for all campers which include emergency phone numbers and consent for emergency medical care or treatment. The first aid kits include the following: gloves, mask, eye protection, pocket mask, scissors, thermometer, epinephrine, pain medication (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), benadryl, dressings, roller gauze, cold packs, blanket pins, band aids, tape, tweezers, povidone iodine, Kleenex, and a Field Guide for wilderness first aid and emergency procedures. The first aid kits are checked and re-stocked as necessary after each week of camp by the Director. We maintain a ratio of no more than 10 campers per counselor at all times, and always have at least one counselor with us who is an FA. In order to swim, we must have at least one counselor who has been trained in First Aid, CPR, and Water Rescue, certified by the Red Cross or an equivalent organization (and has at least six weeks previous experience in a management position at such a camp), and at least two counselors total. Non-water rescue staff serves as lookouts, enforcing safety rules in the water and taking responsibility for assisting with accident and emergency procedures. Whenever we are swimming or in the water at the river, we must have at least two counselors on duty, with a minimum ratio of one counselor per 20 campers, and with counselors continuously observing children and ready to assist in the case of an emergency. The head guard must always have a whistle, and must rehearse emergency procedures with the camp director prior to the camp season. All children must wear close-toed shoes when we are at the river. Diving is strictly prohibited, as is running or behaving without appropriate caution or respect for others in the water. In the case of an emergency, the head guard should clear the water of swimmers and attend to the injured, sending another counselor for help and making calls to emergency personnel and parents if necessary from either the camp cell phone or an available land line. All new swimmers must take a swim test in order to determine their level of swimming proficiency. All rules for swimming must be reviewed with all campers each week prior to swimming, with reminders to those who are not following the rules appropriately. Campers who run afoul of the rules will be given a time-out, and if necessary, suspension of their swimming privileges. For further details on discipline, see “Disciplinary Procedures” above. All camp health and other records and the annual health log are maintained by the Camp Director at the camp office, organized alphabetically by year, P.O. Box 5022, Charlottesville, VA 22905. Camper records are maintained for two years beyond their time at the camp, and staff records are maintained for the period of employment plus 30 years.
Health Care Screening
All campers are required to have a health form on file in order to participate in Field Camp. A copy of such a form that can be filled out by the parents is made available to them prior to each camp season. These are reviewed by the Camp Director both prior to the camp season to follow up on particular concerns and prior to each week in order to share information with the staff.
Plan for Injury and Prevention
At least three counselors are certified in CPR and First Aid. Staff members are knowledgeable and experienced in outdoor safety. Maintaining a safe and learning environment is a Field Camp priority. An injury log is kept and reviewed weekly in order to adjust any equipment or facilities to avoid injury recurrence.
Strict supervision is maintained in the camp environment at all times. On trails, we stay in a group with front and rear counselors. Campers are not allowed ahead of the front counselor or behind the rear. In case of injury, campers will be treated and parents will be notified. When in range, cell phones will be used in case of an emergency. Emergency medical release forms and first aid kits are accessible at all times. All incidents will be recorded in a detailed injury log.
Procedures on Handling Medication
All medications must be given to the camp director, with whom it remains secured at all times. Parents must sign a medical authorization form detailing the type of medication, dosage, duration, and date of prescription. This rule applies to both prescription and nonprescription drugs. A medication log is kept listing the child, the medication given, the amount, the date, the time and the distributor.
Whenever a staffer suspects that an unauthorized intruder has entered our camp, he will notify the Camp Director immediately. In cases of emergency, we will follow our emergency plans.
Policy for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Minimizing Risk
Staff members who suspect that a child attending the camp is suffering abuse should use caution in evaluating whether this is an isolated instance or whether it is a pattern of behavior. If a staffer makes the determination that they are indeed seeing abuse, it should be reported to one of the following agencies: local children’s protective services or the police. In order to minimize the opportunity for or risk of a child abuse accusation, Field Camp requires that 2 counselors be present in each cabin during the overnights, and that field trips always have at least one male and one female counselor whenever serving on a coed trip.
Our insurance carrier is Markel Corporation with whom we have a general commercial policy, including both general liability and coverage of our two vehicles. In addition, we carry accident and medical coverage for the camp.
Each weekend prior to an upcoming week of camp, the Director must check all camp equipment for integrity and breakage, and conduct the maintenance and checks of the two buses. Also, the Director must review all health records and registration forms for medical or allergic conditions of new or returning campers for the week.
Field Camp strives to teach campers to take responsibility for maintaining a clean, safe, and ecologically sound environment, and our most practical way of doing this is to encourage children to pick up after themselves. “Leave this place cleaner than we found it,” we often say. We model good behavior and encourage campers to put all garbage and rubbish in a trash container, with options for recycling. At the end of each day, we remove all trash from the campsite and leave it cleaner than we found it that morning. Prior to snack, lunch and other meals during the week, campers are encouraged to wash their hands. Monday Each Monday morning begins with a brief staff meeting to alert counselors to any medical or allergic conditions among that week’s campers of which we need to be aware. Counselors must be sensitive to the children under their charge particularly on the first day of camp. Look particularly for those who are having a hard time adapting to expectations or struggling to get along with others. If any issues or concerns arise, please alert the Camp Director and continue to monitor the situation. For further information on discipline, see “Disciplinary Procedures” above. Bus rules include remaining seated, body parts on bus at all times, emergency procedures, camper release to those specified on the registration form only, verify absentees or no-shows. Campers must be told to notify their counselors or the camp director if they suspect an intruder has entered Camp Albemarle without authorization. Prior to swimming, any new camper must have a swimming test, administered by the head guard, in order to determine their level of proficiency in the water. All campers must wear shoes at all times, even when swimming. Tuesday Review hiking rules, including information on staying with the group, pack packing, hydration, sunscreen, shoes, animal dangers, poison ivy, stinging nettle, swimming and diving, lost procedures, and slippery rocks. Thursday Prior to cooking on Thursday evening, we must do a general cleaning of the kitchen facility, wiping down and sanitizing countertops and looking for other potentially unsafe food preparation conditions. The grill should also be cleaned. Our cleanup procedures should include a thorough washing of all plates, utensils and pans according to the standards noted above. All these should be scrubbed, then rinsed, then disinfected, then dried, according to the instructions. Food preparation surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized and the kitchen and dining room should always be left neat. Because the Camp Albemarle top bunks do not have rails or ladders, campers can sleep only on lower bunks or on mattresses laid out on the floor, for the safety of all campers. Prior to lights out, the counselors in each cabin need to indicate the emergency exits to all the campers in the event of an emergency. Make the children aware that they can leave the cabin only to go the bathroom. The counselors should indicate clearly to the children the time of “lights out,” after which they should continue to monitor children until it is clear that all are asleep. In the morning, the campers are not allowed to leave the cabins until the lodge bell rings at approximately 8 a.m.
Field Camp’s founder, owner, and director is Todd Barnett. Todd graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. and from the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. He has been a camp director since 1996, working at Field Camp since its founding in 2000. Formerly the Ethics Chair at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, he is the founding Head of School of Field School of Charlottesville (2007 - present).
Staffers must be 15 years old in order to work for Field Camp. Staffers are supplied with a contract in the spring detailing their compensation as well as their job description with an explanation of their responsibilities therein. Benefits beyond compensation are limited to meals during overnights, payment of a worker’s social security taxes, and regular hikes in the mountains. A formal leave-of-absence policy is not available to workers. Training is conducted for all new and returning employees in a two-day period prior to camp. Counselors are to wear camp shirts on each Monday, ones supplied by the camp, and may dress as they wish, within appropriate boundaries discussed during training, during the rest of each week. They should not wear any clothing that advertises or glamorizes tobacco, drugs, alcohol or other inappropriate behavior. Personnel policies, including benefits, equal employment opportunity policies, time off, absence, leave of absence, performance evaluation processes and work rules including sexual harassment policies are all reviewed during this time. Staff are hired for a period of one summer only. If a staffer should need time off for some reason, he should discuss the matter with the Director, either prior to the summer or as soon as possible before the anticipated absence. The staff is informed that the camp will not tolerate alcohol, tobacco or drug possession or use during or just before camp hours or the possession of weapons. Staff cannot bring animals to camp, although they can drive to and park their vehicles at Camp Albemarle. They cannot drive campers in their personal vehicles without the permission of the Director. Personal sports equipment is allowed. Staff CANNOT go swimming when the river facility is not being guarded by our guard, and must only do so with the permission of the Director. If the Director finds the work of any staffer inadequate, he will discuss the matter with them privately. If a pattern of troublesome work habits or problems develops, an employee may be terminated at any time, and the Director will outline his reasons for doing so with the worker. Staff Roles and Responsibilities The positions at Field Camp consist of Director, Assistant Director, and Counselor. The Director is the staff supervisor and has complete authority over all aspects of camp.
Those who supervise others at Field Camp are reminded that we teach about expected behavior in several ways, primarily by modeling good behavior, but also by making expectations clear, by being prepared with good lesson plans, and by how we deal with transgressions of our expectations. Supervisors must set high standards for safety, character, responsibility, and positive interactions and attitudes at camp. If a staff member is behaving inappropriately, a supervisor should take the counselor aside and discuss concerns. Also, alert the Director to the interaction for further reinforcement of expected behavior. If problems persist, the Director will deal with the counselor further. Counselors have various responsibilities, including providing leadership for groups, organizing specific activities once per week, acting as spotters at the river, helping to cook and clean up after meals, and sleeping in the cabins. In order to work at Field Camp, all staffers must submit a cover letter and resume with references. They are then interviewed with the help of a form, followed by calls to their references (2). Screening takes place every year with new hires and with those who have had a break in service. All staffers must submit to a criminal background check, or a voluntary disclosure statement in the case of minor employees. All staff is formally evaluated once per camp season or more often if necessary with a follow-up exit interview at the end of the season. All staff is informed that the camp, in accordance with federal law, provides equal opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or veteran status. Each staffer is given a contract each spring.
Field Camp recognizes that a person’s right to freedom from discrimination includes the opportunity to work in an environment untainted by harassment. Offensive speech and conduct are wholly inappropriate and intolerable to the harmonious relationships necessary for the operations of the camp program. Harassment has the potential to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment and may unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work performance, which could adversely affect an individual’s employment opportunity. Harassment includes all unwelcome advances, written or verbal innuendoes, threats, insults, or disparaging remarks concerning a person’s gender, national origin, race, creed, color, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or religious beliefs that are offensive to a person associated with the camp program. Examples include verbal harassment (epithets, derogatory comments, demeaning jokes, slurs, threats, etc.), physical harassment (assault, unnecessary touching, impeding or blocking movement, physical interference with normal work or movement, etc.), and visual harassment (derogatory or demeaning posters, cards, cartoons, graffiti, gestures, etc.). In addition to the above, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment AND/OR submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is the basis for or a factor in any employment decision affecting the individual. Any employee who has a question or concern regarding any type of discrimination or harassment is encouraged to bring it to the attention of the camp director.