What Makes Camp Ridgecrest different from all the other camps?
Camp Ridgecrest was founded over 93 years ago with a very well-rounded program and with a Christian emphasis. It is very strong in traditions. We provide excellent role models for today's children and youth. Camp is focused on individual attention and building one-on-one relationships. We have a wonderful Christian staff... many who have grown up at camp and have become staff. We are dedicated to honor and glorify God in all that we do. Our activities are planned to enrich each area of a camper's life ... social, mental, physical, and spiritual.
To find out more, read What Makes Ridgecrest Unique?
How do we get to the camp and can we come and see it during the year?
We are located 18 miles east of Asheville on Interstate 40, at Exit 66. Someone would be more than glad to give you a tour of either or both camps if you would call and make an appointment. Please keep in mind that our camps are completely shut down and boarded up during the off-season, so the facilities and grounds will look entirely different than in the summer. We have plenty of information in our brochure and on DVD.
Please click Request Information to have these materials mailed to you.
Can we visit our son during camp?
We ask that you not visit your camper if he is staying only for a two-week session. We make this request on behalf of all of our campers and the continuity of their experience. If your child is staying for multiple sessions, you may come and pick up your child for the entire session break. We will have a full schedule of activities during the break if you decide to have your child stay at camp in between sessions.
Can we telephone our son?
In general, we encourage parents to rely on written communication with their child. If parents refrain from calling to speak with their child, it will help him quickly settle into the camp routine, make new friends, and have a great experience. If you would like to check on your son, we can have one of our staff, who knows your son, call you back with an update. If you would still like to talk to your son during his camp stay, you may call and leave a message with our receptionist. The message will be posted for your son's counselor, and the call will be returned when the child is not in an activity. We ask that during the first week of the camper's stay that you refrain from calling, to allow him time to adjust.
For other ways to contact your son, read Contacting Campers.
What if my son gets homesick?
If this is your son's first summer away from home, you will probably have some reservations. Sometimes the first day or two at camp will be difficult for both son and parents. Actually, we experience very little real homesickness. Most of these problems stem from being in a new environment and being unsure of what will happen. This is a temporary situation and clears up as soon as he discovers the excitement of the camp activities. Please help your child and the camp by understanding this early adjustment period and any unfavorable remarks he makes in his initial letters. Give him time to adjust.
If you receive a letter from your child with homesickness signals, remember that letter writing usually takes place during rest hour and the camper's thoughts naturally return to you and home during those quiet times. Try to bring your own separation feelings into proper perspective, and then sit down and write your child an encouraging response. Avoid phrases such as "we miss you" or detailed accounts of what siblings and the family are doing. Ask about camp activities, counselors, etc., and set a positive, encouraging tone. Express your confidence in their ability to cope and that camp is there to assist. The camp administration is always ready to help you if you have concerns. The camp phone number is (828) 669-8051, and the Director will be available for consultations.
The best preparation for homesickness is a positive family attitude about camp, discussions about what to expect at camp, and gentle encouragement that missing home is "ok". This preparation beforehand will usually suffice to give your child the tools needed to make the camp transition a valuable growth experience.
Is your staff trained to handle homesickness?
Yes, we have a staff training period that is over a week long before our campers arrive, where numerous topics are covered, including homesickness. In addition to our on site training, our staff are required to take a number of online courses to reiterate important topics such as homesickness. Our full time and seasonal staff are well trained and equiped to counsel a camper who may be homesick.
Will my child be bored or lonely away from home at camp?
The camp schedule is packed with games and activities designed to keep your child having a fun, safe time. We believe that campers will have the time of their lives at camp; often having the opportunities to do brand new things along with some they are more familiar with.
What is the ratio of staff to campers in a cabin?
We have two and sometimes three staff in each cabin, and 6-10 boys in each cabin. Cabin ratios are generally 1:5 (staff to campers) at night and 1:3 during the day (staff to campers). Also note, our Apache campers have a cabin ration of 1:3, with 3 staff in most cabins with 7-9 year olds.
Will my child fit in socially?
Every effort is made to foster social unity both in the cabin and tribe for our campers. This begins the first day of camp as counselors and staff engage the groups and introduce campers. The first night in the cabin is always a good time for campers to get to know one another and learn about camp.
What are some activities they will be participating in?
Activities here at Camp Ridgecrest are designed for all types of campers. Some of our campers are athletic and excel in certain sports, while others are more creative and imaginative. When designing our games and activities, we tend to avoid typical games that some campers are already gifted in (Basketball tournaments for example.) Rather we have a rich tradition of unique camp games that are competitive and exciting for the wide range of campers we host each summer, while keeping more campers on a "level playing field." Aside from our unique camp games, here is a snapshot of some of our other Activities.
What type of skills can my son sign up for?
They can choose 6 skills. They will be sent a skill sign-up sheet before camp, but are rechecked on Opening day to make sure the skills they wanted have not changed. We have the following skills (some change from year to year depending on staff):
Trap Shooting (12 years and up)
Puppy Skill (up to 7th grade)
Arts and Crafts
Water Sports: Swimming, Canoeing
Outdoor Living Skills
Mountain Biking (12 and above)
Fitness (12 and above)
Rock Climbing (12 and above)
Wood Working (12 and above)
Carpentry (12 and above)
Djembe (Hand Drum)
A detailed description of our skills program can be found here.
What does the camp look for in hiring camp counselors?
We seek out the finest Christian role models from schools all over the country. We have a strong mix of staff with and without a Camp Ridgecrest background. We seek to hire staff with one purpose in mind, serving Christ through serving our campers.
To learn more, click on About Our Staff.
Does my son need to have a physical?
No, we do not require our campers to have a Physical before attending Camp. There is a required Health History Form that can be completed by a parent or guardian.
Will my son be able to receive special meals?
If your child is a vegetarian, or is allergic to certain foods, we will work with them to find things they can eat. If they simply do not like something we are serving, we cannot accommodate these requests. If your child has serious food allergies, we recommend a meeting on Opening Day with the Head of our Kitchen, the Camps Assistant Director and the counselors in his cabin. This will help to keep everyone on the "same page." Also be aware that we have a salad bar at each lunch and dinner meal, as well as cereal and a yogurt bar with fruit at each breakfast meal. We always serve a hot breakfast option.
What if my child has medications he needs to bring to camp?
The task of routine medication administration at our camps has become more complicated as more of our campers tend to be on medication than in the past. Any camper that takes daily medication at camp will need to have that medication (for their time at camp) purchased through and packaged by our contracted pharmacy. This process includes not only packaging the medication with the exact time and date stamp, but the medication information is also put into a system that is computerized. It will be noted each time your child received or didn’t receive their medication. Our Pharmacy will work with you and/or your doctor’s office to get the prescription for your child’s time at camp.
Will I be notified if my child gets sick at camp?
We have four RNs (and often a Doctor on staff) at camp that will take good care of your children should they need medical attention while they are here. For minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes, we will not be contacting you. In the event that your child spends the night in the infirmary, or is taken to the doctor, we will call and let you know.
Do you have a program where each camper can achieve a rank?
Yes, each camper begins his stay at camp as a Kinsman... as he grows and develops leadership qualities at camp, he can advance through the ranks. The highest rank at camp is a Torchman. Those tapped out for Torchman must pass a rigorous test in order to achieve this rank.
Learn more about this program by clicking on Promotions and Torchman.
Is your camp certified?
We are accredited by the American Camp Association and are members of the Christian Camp and Conference Association as well as the North Carolina Youth Camp Association. In addition, certified instructors lead most of our skill, adventure, and wilderness programs.
Is Camp Ridgecrest a Christian camp?
Yes, we are a Christian camp that focuses on the Gospel and following Jesus. To learn more about what this looks like at Camp, visit our Spiritual Emphasis Page.
Can we send our child to camp via airplane?
Yes, the Asheville airport is served by several airlines. We have a representative stationed at the airport throughout the day on opening and closing days. Due to the distance to and from camp from other airports, we are unable to transport campers to and from these locations.
Find out more by clicking on Transportation.
Where can we stay when we bring our camper to and from camp?
The camp is not equipped to house and feed parents (or friends) of campers. However, there are accommodations in Ridgecrest, Black Mountain, and Asheville. This listing is found in our Lodging section.
Are campers covered under camp insurance?
Camp does not cover any expenses for a camper's illness or injury. In the event that your child has an illness or accident, it will need to be covered under your family's insurance.
Does my child need extra spending money?
Parents are welcome to send spending money with their child. Many campers will have the opportunity to use this cash at Nibble Nook or on an off-site trip (tribes finishing 6th and older). Camp does not collect money from campers "for safe keeping" or have a camper bank; therefore, all money sent with your camper is "at your own risk". Camp will not be liable for any money that is lost or stolen.
What kind of camping equipment will he need?
Each camper should have a sleeping bag. He may also bring an inexpensive backpack to pack his gear for overnight camping. The camp has some backpacks that campers can use. However, it is great if campers have their own equipment. A relatively inexpensive backpack can be purchased at stores such as Wal-Mart or K-Mart. The boys will have an overnight camp out at least once during their stay. It is a good idea for them to also bring along an inexpensive canteen or water bottle to assure enough water on the trip. Water Bottles, Hammocks, Rain Flys etc are conveniently sold in the Camp Clothing Store.
Is it acceptable to bring our camper early or to have him stay late?
Please do not plan to have your son arrive early or stay late. We are not prepared to give campers the attention necessary because of staff time-off, pre-session meetings, and work assignments prior to the opening of a session. Under extreme circumstances, we will allow an early arrival or late departure. There will be a $100.00 per day charge for early arrivals and late departures.
Of course, we cannot anticipate every question that you might think of. If we have not covered a question that you need the answer to in this area, please feel free to call (800.968.1630), Chat with us online (bottom right corner of your screne) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.