Q: Where is New Meadow?
A: New Meadow is at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. It's about three hours southwest of Washington, D.C., and about halfway between Lexington and Staunton, Virginia.
Q: What's it like at New Meadow?
A: The more than 365-acre property includes a main house, an office, three bunkhouses, an art center, a rec room, a 16-stall barn, a swimming pool, a sports field, a covered ring, an outdoor ring, a dressage arena, cross-country trails and outdoor jumping courses.
Q: Is transportation to camp provided?
A: We provide transportation to and from the airport or train station. Transportation also is available from the Philadelphia area on the first and last days of camp. Otherwise, campers carpool or are driven by their families.
Q: When should my child check in?
A: Campers arriving by car are asked not to arrive at the farm until after 1 p.m. so that everything can be ready for their arrival.
Q: Who comes to camp at New Meadow?
A: Our campers come from many parts of the country, although most come from the mid-Atlantic states. We also have campers from Europe and Mexico.
Q: Where do the counselors come from? What kind of training do they have?
A: Members of our family make up the camp's senior staff. We also choose instructors and staff from among former campers and area professionals. Our senior instructors are certified in hunt seat and dressage.
Q: How much time is spent with the horses?
A: Riding lessons and trails both are part of every day's schedule, but campers can spend as much — or as little — time with the horses as they choose. Although most of our campers come to New Meadow for the riding, all of them are encouraged to take part in the many other activities we offer in order to have a well-rounded camp experience.
Q: How many horses are at New Meadow? Can campers bring their own?
A: Unlike horses at other camps, New Meadow horses live with us year-round. When enrollment closes the staff chooses from among the horses at both New Meadow and Ashford farms for the camp season — and there are more than enough to accommodate riders at every level. Even so, campers are welcome to bring their own horses if they come with current Coggins and health forms.
Q: How much riding experience do New Meadow campers need to have?
A: New Meadow is designed to accommodate beginning, intermediate and advanced riders, and to give them the right horses and instruction as their skills increase.
Q: Do campers go to horse shows?
A: Campers who are interested in competing may enter horse shows both on and off the farm. Campers who don't feel ready to show may assist at events or stay at camp to ride in regular lessons or trails.
Q: Where do campers stay?
A: Campers stay in three different bunkhouses. The younger girls stay with a counselor near the main house in single room buildings with screened windows and wide porches. They share a bathroom facility that has sinks, hot showers and flush toilets. Older girls stay nearer the barn in a building divided into a counselor's room, a bathroom and two rooms for campers.
Q: How's the food?
A: We pride ourselves on the wholesome meals cooked in the main house kitchen and served buffet-style three times a day. Menus are planned for the week so that each day's meals can be different. Among the choices are bacon and eggs, pancakes, cereal, bagels, pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken, hamburgers, lemonade and iced tea. Healthful salads are served at both lunch and dinner. Fresh fruit is in the dining room at all times. Dinner is followed by dessert. Afternoon snacks may be purchased at the Tuck Shop. The kitchen staff is prepared to serve campers with food allergies and dietary restrictions.
Q: Why can't food be sent to campers?
A: Food sent to campers can spoil their appetites and attract insects and other unwelcome creatures to the bunkhouses. Any food packages sent from home will be kept by the staff in the kitchen to be shared with the entire camp.
Q: What about homesickness?
A: Staff members do their best to make sure everyone feels busy and included — especially first-time campers. Parents are asked not to visit the camp except on Parents' Day and the last day of camp so that the campers have a chance to settle in on their own.
Q: What if my child has a birthday during camp?
A: Please feel free to call your child on their birthday. Dinner time (6 - 6:30 p.m.) is a great time to reach them on that day. We also celebrate with a home-baked cake, and encourage parents to send a gift.
Q: Will I be able to phone, text or email my child?
A: Electronic devices with internet access have no place at summer camp. They are an unnecessary distraction for campers, whose full attention is needed when they are riding or working with horses. In our experience, irresponsible use of such devices has been a negative experience not only for individual campers, but also for the camp as a whole. Campers are required to leave their cell phones, tablets and laptops with a staff member in the office when they check in. These items are safely stored and returned to campers when the session is over. Messages also can be left on the main house phone, where calls from home can be returned.
Q: How will I know how they are doing?
A: Updates and pictures of your child, as well as general camp news, will be sent to you weekly from Jessica Kulp, who also publishes the camp blog. Please make sure that you are able to receive emails from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What if a camper feels ill or has an accident?
A: If a camper needs medical attention, her parents are contacted immediately. Campers who require hospitalization are taken to Augusta Medical Center, and parents are put directly in touch with the doctors and nurses who are treating their child. We also see that campers talk to their parents as soon as possible.
Q: What if my child needs to take medication?
A: Prescription and first aid medications are kept in the main house and given in the presence of a counselor.