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.
Twice per week, rain or shine, we load up and go hiking off grounds, usually in or near Shenandoah National Park and to one of the many secret or not-so-secret swimming holes we have discovered over the years.
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 103-year-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, prepared by Field School chef Patrick Critzer. 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.
This guide, with info on our program, the camp day, directions, weekly activities, and overnights, should help to answer some of the questions you might have about our camp.
For a more complete description of camp policies, see the "Policies and Procedures" section that makes up the end of the document.