Thank you for choosing WAEL!
Thank you for choosing WAEL as a part of your child’s summer experience. We are excited about the upcoming season and the always growing benefits of our all-outdoor program. Throughout this page you'll find valuable information about your camper's upcoming adventure, as well as the forms that will help set up your child's experience. Please have all forms returned at least 30 days before the start of your session at Adventure Camp. Thanks!
Forms to be Completed for All Participants:
Please print out the Medical forms, complete them and have a licensed medical professional fill out the examination portion (usually this can be done as a simple camp or sports physical).
Then, scan & email or mail the completed form to
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or mail to: Attn: Adventure Camp, 11176 Peaceful Valley Rd, New Castle, VA 24127
For participants in Go With the Flow, Rock, Roll, & Flow, or Wilderness Leadership Course, please also print off this form, complete it and return to us:
Packing For Your Adventure
Items We Provide
Adventurers spend 99% of their time outside, so it is important to keep the following clothing considerations in mind. Remember, you will be packing all gear into a backpack which you will have to carry with you. As the following guidelines show, we recommend lightweight, durable, quick-dry clothing, a well-broken-in pair of boots, good rain gear, and lightweight toilet accessories. Adhering to our packing tips will help to ensure your comfort in the outdoors.
- Clothing items should be small, light, and quick-dry! Materials such as fleece, polypropylene, wool, and CoolMax wick moisture away from the body and are much preferred to cotton, which is heavier and slow-drying.
- Bring clothes that you don't mind getting DIRTY!
- BREAK-IN any new shoes or boots before arriving to avoid blisters.
- Personal care items--such as toothpaste, deodorant, body powder, etc.--should be travel size to reduce bulk and weight.
- We provide biodegradable soap for bathing and washing clothes using environmentally-friendly techniques.
- Contact lenses are difficult to keep clean on trail; therefore, we recommend eyeglasses. Even if you are planning to wear contacts, please bring spare eyeglasses as back-up.
- Valuables such as electronic devices, jewelry, money, etc. are not permitted on trail. There we do provide lockers for participants to store personal items to be retrieved after the trip; however, Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing will not be held responsible for damage, loss, or theft of such items.
- For safety reasons, any jewelry or piercings must be studded. Hoops are not permitted.
- For safety reasons, lighters, matches, and knives--including pocket knives--are not permitted.
- Pack Cover
- Sleeping Bag/Liner
- Sleeping Pad
- Stuff Sack
- 2-3 Person Tent
- 1-Liter Water Bottle
- 2-Liter Dromedary
- Food, Snacks, & Spices
- Mug, Bowl, & Spoon
- Whistle/ID Tag
- All Equipment Required for Activities (Bikes, Boats, etc.)
Items Leaders Carry
- Staff Manual
- First Aid Kit
- Weather Radio
- Emergency Cell Phone & Camera
- Water Purification Tablets
- Map & Compass
- Extra Clothes and Food
- Biodegradable Soap
Getting to WA
We are about 35 minutes from I-81. Other routes may appear faster, but we recommend that you follow our directions and NOT USE GPS (i.e. Google Maps, MapQuest) as they are often inaccurate at finding our location.
From North (Northern Virginia, Washington, New York, New England, etc.)
Take I-81S to Exit 156 (Troutville/Route 640). Turn right at stop sign at bottom of exit ramp. Follow 640 (Broughs Mill Road) for about 5 minutes. 640 is narrow and winding. Be careful at sharp curve to the left (don’t follow 812 to the right). 640 will end at Route 220. Turn right on 220. Go 1.4 miles until you pass a Family Dollar on the left. Turn left onto Herndon St./Route 606 (just before a Landscaping Business). Continue on Route 606 for 11.5 miles – you will cross a stop sign, then go over a winding mountain road, and eventually come to a “T” where the road ends. Turn left onto 615. Go 1.3 miles and turn left when you see a white church(on right) onto 611 (a brown sign for Fenwick Mines will be on the left). Our Base Camp is 1.7 miles on the right.
NOTE: Buses, RV’s, and other large vehicles please take 311N (Exit 141) instead of 640/606 (Exit 156), and follow the directions “From Southeast” where they pick up with Exit 141.
From East (Charlottesville, Richmond, Virginia Beach, etc.)
Take I-64 West to I-81 South. Please continue with directions from North.
From West (Charleston WV, Columbus OH, St. Louis, etc.)
Take I-64 East to 311 South/Crows (Exit 183 in West Virginia, about 12 miles after White Sulphur Springs). Follow 311 (winding road) to New Castle. Turn left at the C&M gas station, following signs for Rt. 615. Please continue with directions from South & Southwest (see*).
From South & Southwest (Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, etc.)
Take I-81N to Exit 140. Turn left at stop sign at the bottom of exit ramp. Go approx. ¾ mile and turn left at traffic light. Follow signs to 311 and New Castle. Follow Route 311 over Catawba Mountain and eventually into the town of New Castle (approx. 20 miles). Turn right at Market Street (Route 615). (*) Follow 615/Market St. out of New Castle and go approximately 4.8 miles (passing the Pine Top Resturaunt on the right after 2.7 miles and Fleming Farm on the left after another 2 miles), then bear right onto Route 610 (our sign should be visible from left side of road), which turns into Rt. 611 after a few hundred yards at the top of the hill. Our Base Camp is 1.7 miles on the right.
From Southeast (Roanoke, Greensboro, Raleigh, etc.)
Take 220N to Roanoke, VA. 220 turns into I-581 as you enter Roanoke. Take I-581 until it ends, bearing left onto I-81 South. Take first exit off I-81S (Exit 141 New Castle/Rt. 311). Take left off exit ramp. Go ¼ mile to traffic light. Turn right at light on to Rt. 311. Follow Route 311 over Catawba Mountain and eventually into the town of New Castle (approx. 20 miles). Turn right at Market Street (Route 615). Please continue with directions from South & Southwest (see*).
Take 460W to 42E at Newport. Turn right onto 42, and follow for about 30 miles until the road ends at Rt. 311 in New Castle. Cross over 311 onto Main St. (C&M gas station will be on the left as you cross 311). Please continue to stop sign and take a right. Continue with directions from South & Southwest (see*).
Lodging at Eagle Landing
Our lodges are designed primarily for groups of 15 – 50 people in the summer (such as church, corporate, scout, and youth groups). In recent years, we have been able to open up the lodges and/or small cabins to adventurers and their parents after determining that we will not have groups renting them. Accordingly, you may request lodging. We will keep your request on file, and we will let you know at least two weeks in advance if groups have reserved the lodge and small cabins so you will have plenty of time to make other arrangements. A fee of $35 per person covers accommodations in one of our lodges or cabin. Children under 6 are free, 7-12 are half price. **We have one private cabin with room a single room for two and an upstairs loft for up to 6 more. This cabin is called "Sneaky" Cabin and rents for $150 a night if available.
Camping at Eagle Landing
Families are allowed to camp on our property, for $10 per Site and $10 per person, with their own equipment. We have a centralized bathhouse that can be utilized and potable water spigots scattered throughout the property.
Description of Accommodations
Our beautiful log cabin lodge has 9 bedrooms that sleep 4 – 8 people, with central air conditioning. The beds have comfortable mattresses, pillows, and linens – just bring clothes, toiletries, and a bath towel. Please call if you would like more information regarding our lodge or small cabin.
Note: Due to potential distractions, the parents or guardians are discouraged from having contact with their child until 10 AM on Saturday. We respectfully request your cooperation in this matter.
Holiday Inn Express (Exit 150) (35 minutes from camp) (540) 966-4444
Quality Inn (Exit 141) (35 minutes from camp) (540) 562-1912
Baymont Inn (Exit 141) (35 minutes from camp) (540) 562-2717
Comfort Inn (Exit 137) (40 minutes from camp) (540) 387-1600
Roanoke (on I-581, 5 – 10 minutes from I-81 Exit 143):
Best Western Valley View (40 min.) (540) 362-2400 (indoor pool, free breakfast, walk to mall & movie theaters)
Hotel Roanoke (upscale) (45 min.) (540) 985-5900 (beautiful old restored hotel, outdoor pool)
Wyndham (upscale) (40 min.) (540) 563-9300 (indoor and outdoor pools, fitness room)
Bed and Breakfasts:
The Inn at Burwell Place (Salem – 40 min.) (540) 387-0250
The Depot Lodge (311 N between New Castle and W.Va. – 35 min.) (540) 897-6000
Communicating With Your Camper
Mail is delivered to the participants at every available opportunity. It is a good morale booster and we strongly encourage your cards and letters. To reduce homesickness, don’t write about things your child is missing back at home, and how much you and your pets miss your child. Instead, focus on camp and the fun activities your child is participating in. You may wish to include an addressed and stamped return envelope and pen. Mail should be addressed in the following way:
11176 Peaceful Valley Rd.
New Castle, VA 24127
In our experience, care-packages are a double-edged sword. While they can serve as a great morale boost, they can also take away from the overall “wilderness experience” that is a core of our program. Imagine 12 campers each receiving a care-package, 11 campers receiving a care-package and 1 not, or 1 one camper receiving a care-package while 11 others don't: each situation has the potential to turn traumatic when it involves of a group of adolescents. However, we understand that you still may want to send one, so we've come up with a few guidelines and helpful reminders when it comes to sending care-packages:
- Virginia summers are hot! (and chocolate and bubblegum melt).
- Trashcans are few and far-between in the wilderness... Your camper must carry any trash with them until they've reached a proper place to get rid of it.
- Please choose items needing minimal or no packaging material (such as Styrofoam peanuts).
- Please send enough for the entire group (14). This helps with group morale and avoids resentment.
- Packages bigger than a shoebox cannot be delivered.
- Granola bars and gummy snacks (i.e. Clif Bars, skittles, gummy bears) are the preferred “genre” of snack.
You may choose to set up a care-package through the Base Camp Store. Our staff are excellent resources on selecting the best items to be sent out on trail.
Due to the nature of our program and the all-outdoor experience we are promoting, adventurers will not be near a telephone to call or to receive calls. Please don’t tell your children that they will be allowed to call home—this just sets them up for homesickness. If you don’t hear from us, just remember, “No news is good news.”
When We Will Call You
If your adventurer is returned to Base Camp for illness, injury, or disciplinary reasons, we will contact you using the information provided to us on the “Health History & Examination Form.” Please make sure you have provided several contact numbers, including cell phone numbers, on that form.
If you should have an emergency or other need to contact your adventurer please call the Base Camp at (540) 864-6792. Base Camp phones are answered 24 hours per day during our Adventure Camps. In the rare event that the phone is not immediately answered, please call back in a few moments, as we were most likely on another call. You may also contact our “Staff House” at 540-864-7965 in the event you cannot reach anyone.
Tips From Our Staff
When any of us are away from home, we miss those whom we love and our familiar surroundings. For some, especially young children, this can develop into a sickness. Homesickness is real and some participants have more difficulty dealing with it than others. The American Camping Association reports that 83 percent of participants experience some feelings of homesickness on at least one day of their camp experience. Each year we have a small percentage of participants who experience symptoms of homesickness. Most parents that receive calls about their child's homesickness with are surprised that they are homesick, so please read on. The prescription for homesickness varies with each individual, but two practices seem to help almost all cases: Preparation prior to arrival at camp and Patience by parents and experienced staff once the participant is involved in the program.
One of the most important things you can do is to involve your child in the selection process of choosing a camp; ownership of the decision helps participants feel more comfortable. Please do not force your child to attend a program or camp. Discuss prior to camp the feelings that he/she might experience, the reality that they are normal feelings, and the fact that they will gain confidence and independence by attending camp. Explain that occasionally he/she will miss home, or family and friends; and then work together to come up with things your child can do to ward off feelings of homesickness, such as writing down feelings in a journal or in a letter home. It is important to talk with your children about their concerns, especially in the days leading up to the camp experience. Participants may have legitimate concerns about their physical abilities, acceptance by their peers, and separation anxiety. Let them know that they are going to do some things that are physically challenging, like backpacking , but that the feeling of accomplishment will be well worth it. You can reassure them that all the activities are done from a beginner level and are age appropriate.
If a participant is homesick, usually our Leaders will help coach them through the toughest parts and he/she will bounce back and enjoy the rest of the trip sans-homesickness. In the event that homesickness becomes significant enough to keep a participant from being able to enjoy activities or participate with the group, then we may have them come back to our Base Camp "infirmary" to work through the homesick feelings with one of our Directors. At this point, we will notify you of his/her experience and discuss tactics that will help get him/her through the feelings. Please note that we highly recommend against talking directly with your child if he/she is homesick. Most often, if a participant is allowed to talk to a parent over the phone about their feelings, he/she will most often view it as an opportunity to ask to leave camp and return home. Once this happens, most of the progress and coping skills participants have built with their Leaders will be lost, and it becomes even more difficult to get over the homesickness. We recommend instead discussing the situation with our director (who will contact you) and then emailing letters to your child through one of our WAEL emails. Usually through written communication you can convey enough comfort and encouragement that participants will make it through the feelings.
Letters from home are strongly encouraged. Ask specific questions in your letters; this will help your child organize responses. Do not elaborate about the events at home and what your child is missing; rather, keep your correspondence upbeat and focused on camp. Participants are encouraged to write home after the first few days. If you receive a “rescue me” letter from your child, please keep in mind that this is fairly common, and try to avoid the temptation to call in a panic. Chances are that it was written in the first few days of a two-week session, by an 8-11 or 12-14 year old who is still adjusting to the challenging nature of our all-outdoor program. By the time you receive it at the end of the first week; your child will probably have “gotten over the hump” and be doing just fine. If you must call, we will be glad to send a note out to his or her group and call you back after finding out how he or she is doing. Avoid making deals in advance with your child, such as “just give camp one week, if you don’t like it we’ll come get you,” or linking a successful camp stay to material possessions. This tends to suppress the participant’s effort to deal with the challenges that face them. Discuss candidly with the camp staff involved, or the Director, to obtain his or her perspective on your child’s adjustment. Very few cases of homesickness are severe and if your child does return home due to homesickness it is important that they don’t feel they have failed or let you down.
Sometimes, all it takes to overcome homesickness is a letter or care package from home. If you send a package, please observe our guidelines found on the “Communication” section. To expedite a care package, feel free to call and ask us to pull some goodies from our store for quick delivery to your child.
Medical and Behavioral Information
In the application and health history process we ask for a great deal of information regarding your child. The main reason for doing this is to enable our staff to provide the best possible experience for your child and the group. We believe that a wilderness environment, coupled with leadership and adventure challenge, offers a catalyst for dramatic personal growth should the participant be willing to accept that challenge. However, please remember that this is not a therapeutic program for “at risk” children. We require complete disclosure of your child’s health history, both physical and emotional, for your child’s safety and for the welfare of the group as a whole. Failure to disclose adverse medical or behavioral information may result in the immediate removal of your child from the program. It is also helpful for your child’s group leaders if you can add any insightful information on the medical form, such as strategies that you have found effective in assisting your child to perform at his or her best. Feel free to include a short description of your expectations for your child at camp. Do not feel like you are including too much; your child and our staff can only benefit from your experience and insights.
Most participants who attend our program are going to be far removed from their normal surroundings or “comfort zone.” A small percentage of participants come here on what are often referred to as “medication vacations.” In other words, the medication that they are prescribed during the school year is suspended for the summer or part of it. We strongly recommend that if your child is on regular medication that it not be suspended during their camp session. Our program requires detailed attention from the participants, for safety reasons and for effective group interaction and socialization. As with any decisions regarding medication we recommend that you discuss options with your child’s doctor and inform her or him of the nature and requirements of the program.
Required Clothing and Other Items
Above is a detailed packing list of what the participant will require for their adventure. We ask that you pay particular attention to our requirements and recommendations. We ask this in an effort to aid your child in being as comfortable as possible in a wilderness environment; comfortable participants tend to be happy participants, and many of the items on this list are of safety concern (such as waterproof rain gear, long underwear, and a wool hat). You do not have to spend a small fortune obtaining these items at outdoor retail stores. By providing all the necessary backpacking and activity equipment for participants we have attempted to minimize your preparation expense. Many discount stores (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) carry the non-cotton items we recommend; however, you may need to pick up some of the items before summer fashions hit the shelves and winter stock disappears. Please see the enclosed Base Camp Store items list. We carry a good quality selection of the required items at a moderate price. Even though this is a “summer” program, every year we experience cold, rainy spells (last summer the coldest week was July 20-26) and nighttime temperatures are often in the 50’s. We cannot stress enough that cotton should be avoided. When wet, it is heavy, conducts heat away from the body, holds up to 10 times its original weight in moisture, and will not dry in a wilderness environment without direct sunlight
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need to send a front/back copy of my Health Insurance Card?
YES! In the event that your child needs to seek medical treatment not having a copy of the insurance card can result in major delays in treatment and can lead to you being charged the full amount for the treatment. You will then have to personally handle reimbursement by your insurance company. Although not required it is extremely helpful to include the social security number of the primary insurance holder.
The packing list seems so small! Do we need to follow it exactly?
Yes! The more your child brings, the more their backpack will weigh. The list is for one week or three weeks. Anything extra will be left at Base Camp and your child will not be at Base Camp while they are on their adventure.
How much weight will I be carrying?
Our programs are designed to help develop self-reliance. For our Classic Adventure trips you will carry a backpack that contains your sleeping bag, your personal items, and some of the shared group items (e.g., food, water, cook sets). The overall weight of your backpack will vary based on the weight of your personal items. The average weight of a pack is between 25-35 pounds.
What will I be eating?
For our Classic Adventure trips, you will be carrying lightweight food items specifically designed for backpacking. They are high in carbohydrates and other nutrients that will give you the energy you will need to keep going. Some will be bagel or pita sandwich items; others contain pasta, vegetables, and sauces. Delicious desserts follow each dinner. The only major difference is that the water has been removed from the food; so to prepare it you simply add water to re-hydrate the food, and then heat it up.
Where do they go to the bathroom?
We use Mother Nature after they learn a method known as troweling, which involves digging a hole in an environmentally sound manner. They pack out all paper waste or we can teach them natural alternatives. Occasionally a group will be camped near Forest Service “outhouses” and we will use them when they are available.
Do I get to shower?
Your group will be near a creek or river almost daily. You will have the opportunity to bathe at the water source using environmentally sound practices. We provide biodegradable soap for each group. The day before you depart, you will shower at Base Camp.
How will I wash clothes?
You can wash their clothes with biodegradable soap and water taken from nearby creeks in accordance with Leave No Trace ethics. You may hang clothes at the campsite or over your backpack to dry.
What if I get sick or injured while away from Base Camp?
Your group is met by an activity instructor almost daily. If you become ill or injured, the activity instructor can take you to Base Camp or a nearby medical facility. For immediate medical attention your Group Leader carries a cell phone, or can use a phone at a nearby house, to call 911 or Base Camp for someone to pick you up. We answer the phone at Base Camp 24 hrs/day during the summer program.
What about Bug Bites and Poison Ivy?
There are ways to prevent getting bug bites and poison ivy, which mainly consist of covering up EVERYTHING. Most campers however don’t walk around in snow gear during the summer months and try to take their chances with Bug Spray and avoiding poison ivy altogether. Upon the first hike our leaders show the campers what poison ivy looks like as well as areas it is prominent. As for the bugs…even with bug spray constantly being coated on, you are going to get bites. We take frequent breaks for water, sunscreen and bug spray and yet we still have campers returning to camp with bug bites. Some say it is all part of the adventure. The best remedy is to apply bug spray every two hours…and to wear long sleeves/pants when in areas with a lot of bugs. Convertible pants are popular these days and can help with this.
How am I able to communicate with my Parents?
Your child is out backpacking in the wilderness the whole time they are here. They are not near modern conveniences such as phones or e-mail. We do encourage them to send mail home. You could send some paper, envelopes and stamps with your child if you like. Also parents can certainly send mail to campers. You can also send care packages to your camper with treats and little things to keep them excited and motivated. We ask that when care packages are sent you would send enough for the entire group and both the leaders so no one feels left out of the good smorgasbord. There is more information in the Registration Packet for care packages.
Is this a Boot Camp or Troubled Youth Program?
NO. In our application process we ask that the participants sign a Participant Agreement so they understand that the program is fun and exciting as well as can be physically challenging, and is not a Boot Camp. This program is for kids excited about meeting new people and getting a chance to experience adventures they have never experienced before. Children sent here against their will be sent home without a refund.
Insurance and Protection Plans
Camp/Summer Study Protection Plan
We recognize that there are unforeseen circumstances--injuries before or during the camp session, family emergencies, etc.--that could prevent your camper from attending their trip. Because of these concerns and our commitment to providing a positive experience for your family, we encourage parents to protect their travel and camping investment by purchasing a travel protection plan. In the section below you will find information about TravMark--a company that specializes in providing travel and medical insurance. Many families have asked about cancellation/interruption protection to cover program costs, which is why we have included information about this competitively-priced program which we believe meets the needs of participants' families. Although this insurance is highly recommended and is created specifically for the Camp/Summer Study Industry, you are not required to purchase such insurance and are not required to use TravMark.
Complete details of the plan and enrollment forms are available online at www.travmark.com. Purchasing the plan is simple. After reviewing the plan provisions, you need only to do the following:
1. Complete the simplified enrollment form including the following information:
Organization Name: Wilderness Adventure
Organization ID#: wadv11
2. Purchase coverage with a credit card or download the mail in enrollment form and send it along with your check payable to Trip Mate. It’s as simple as that!
The Protection Plan provides coverage for:
* Program Cancellation - (protects your non-refundable payments if you cancel program before it begins) for covered reasons such as injury, sickness, terrorist acts, job termination, transfer of employment of 250 miles.
* Program Interruption - (protects your non-refundable payments if you interrupt your program) for covered reasons such as injury, sickness, terrorist acts, job termination & transfer of employment of 250 miles.
* Medical Expenses/Emergency Assistance – medical bills for up to one year and for any special transportation required for medical reasons including expenses for parent to visit if hospitalized 3 days.
* Baggage – for damage, lost, or stolen personal articles.
* Medical Records On Line – at your option, instant access to your medical records is available with the plan.
Please be advised that some important coverage enhancements are time-sensitive and require that your premium be paid by March 1st, if your initial deposit for your program was made prior to March 1st, or within 30 days of your initial deposit if made after March 1st.
1. If the plan is purchased by March 1st (or within 30 days of your initial trip deposit, if made after March 1st ), the plan will include coverage for Terrorist Acts as defined in the policy and Exclusion for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions will be waived (provided you are not disabled for travel at the time our premium is paid).
2. If the plan is purchased after March 1st or more than 30 days after your initial trip deposit (if your deposit is after March 1st), the plan will not include coverage for Terrorist Acts and the exclusion for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions will not be waived.
3. Once paid, the premium is non-refundable.
With our new Cancel For Any Reason Benefit Option, you can cancel your Camp/Summer Study Program up to 2 days prior to the Session Commencement Date for any reason not otherwise covered by the plan, provided: your premium is received by March 1st (or within 30 days of the initial deposit/payment for your Camp/Summer Study Program, if your initial deposit/payment for your Camp/Summer Study Program is made after March 1st); and you insure all prepaid Program costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and also insure within 7 days of the payment for those arrangements the cost of any subsequent arrangements added to your Program. With this benefit, you will receive 75% of the non-refundable program cost.
The plan is offered and administered by Trip Mate. If you have any questions regarding this coverage, please call Trip Mate, the Plan Administrator, at (800) 888 7292 (8am-5pm CST) and refer to Plan ID#550.