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Parent FAQs

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How much does it cost to attend Camp Alkulana?

Campers pay from $25-$100 for their camp experience. We provide transportation from Richmond to the campsite, which is about two and a half hours from the city. The actual cost to us to provide this camp experience is much higher, so we encourage families to make an additional donation as they are able.  

Can you tell me more about the camp staff?

We are proud to host a team of staff who love working with kids and care deeply about their success and growth! Our summer staff are hired each year from a pool of applicants. They have each had a personal interview, references, and background checks. The staff is a diverse group— 1/3 to 1/2 of our staff each year are former Camp Alkulana campers! For more information about our year-round staff, visit the “Our Team” page.  

Can my child bring a friend with them to camp?

If your child’s friend fits our camper criteria and we still have room, we would love to have them! In fact, bringing a friend to camp is a great way for your child to feel more comfortable in the first few days of the session.  

Can I talk to my child while they’re at camp?

The best way to stay in touch with your child is the old fashioned way: write and mail a letter! Camp is an amazing opportunity for kids to electronically unplug and to build self-reliance. The mailing address and an emergency phone number will be provided in camper materials before camp begins. We strive to keep our phone line at camp clear for business and emergency calls. Cell phones and other electronics are not permitted for a camper’s stay, but are allowed for the bus journey between Richmond and camp. If you have questions or concerns about your child while they’re away, check-in with the Camp Registrar who will be able to get further information for you.  

What should my child bring?

Visit our “What to Pack” page to help your child be prepared for camp!  

Can I register online?

Yes! We are fully equipped for you to register and pay online. Fill out an inquiry form and our Camp Registrar will contact you with more information about how to register. If you would prefer a paper application, that can also be made available.  

I have some more questions, who can I talk to?

Dayna Scarberry, our Camper & Family Liaison, would be happy to talk through any of your questions and concerns related to summer camp registration. You can reach her at or 804-329-1701 ext. 112.  

Can I come visit?

We normally do not allow camp visits during your child’s session. We do not have the space or staff to facilitate a parent’s day and we have found that it presents a difficult challenge for campers feeling homesick. We find that letter writing is a great way to stay connected with you camper during their session!  

What if my child is a picky eater?

Our kitchen staff provides hearty meals for our campers each day. We will accommodate food allergies and some diet restrictions when advised in advanced. If a child is simply “picky” our staff encourage them to try food at each meal— many parents have been excited to report that their children returned from camp willing to eat new foods! Supplies for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are available at every meal and a peanut free spread option if needed.  

What if my child has a health diagnosis (asthma/diabetes/ADHD/autism spectrum, etc.) that needs special care?

We encourage you to be thorough in on your child’s health history form and to have a detailed conversation with the camp registrar during your registration process. While we do not have the capacity to serve children with acute special needs, we are able to serve campers with some mental health and health care needs who are able to fully participate in the program and whose needs don’t overshadow the needs of other campers. It is not uncommon for us to include children with asthma, diabetes, ADHD, and depression and other diagnoses, when the child’s health is well-managed at home and school.  

Why does he/she have to take school meds when he/she’s usually off of them in the summer?

Summer camp is a highly structured environment, just like school. If your child needs their medication during the school year in order to be successful, it is highly likely that they will also need them at camp. The average school day is 7 hours of programming. The average camp day is nearly twice that and involves adventure activities which require focus! Let’s set your child up for success by continuing that medication while at camp!  

My child has never stayed away from home overnight. How do we prepare them?

It can be hard for a child to attend overnight summer camp for 8-12 days if they have never been away from home before. We would encourage you to start helping them prepare by scheduling sleepovers with family and friends as you approach the summer season.  

What if my child doesn’t want to participate in an activity?

At Alkulana, we practice a philosophy called “Challenge by Choice,” meaning that campers always have a choice about when they are ready to challenge themselves to try a new activity. If a child is scared or uncomfortable, no one will force them to participate. However, in general, campers are expected to participate in and be present during all camp activities. There are generally ways that a camper can participate and play a support role in an activity, even if they are scared to do the activity. If a child does not want to rappel down our tower, they can learn to assist other campers and encourage them. If a child’s lack of participation becomes a distraction to other campers or a deterrent from others participating, then the situation will need to be further discussed and resolved with the child’s counselor and/or camp director.  

What if my child doesn’t swim?

We teach swimming lessons in our swimming hole every day! Your child will have the opportunity to take a swimming test on the first day of camp, and then will given appropriate instruction to help them learn some swimming skills while at camp. Until they are able to pass their swim test, they will be limited to the wading area in our swim hole and any other swimming areas visited during the camp session.