Dear Camp Families,

This summer promises to be another great camp season here at Red Gate Farm. This year we are excited to be working with our oxen, harvesting and cooking from the garden, walking goats, exploring the pond and forest, enjoying campfires and having other exciting and fun adventures with campers.

Below is some important information for you as you make your final preparations for camp. There are some changes from last year, so please read carefully.

As a quick reminder, camp begins at 8am and ends at 3pm. On Friday we will continue our tradition of an early afternoon tea with families and friends. Parents/guardians and guests are asked to arrive at 2pm for refreshments with our community.

Campers are also reminded that summer can be both hot and buggy. Day campers should arrive wearing appropriate sunscreen, bug repellant and clothing well suited for sun-protection (hats!). In particularly hot weather we might cool off with some wet activities (on the lawn or down by the stream), so we ask that day campers also pack a towel and bathing suit in addition to the usual change of clothes. Each day-camper will have their own place to leave items during their time at camp so such things do not have to be brought each day if it is easier to leave them at the Farm for the week.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. See you soon for another special and memorable summer on the farm!

Best wishes,

Ben Murray, Farm Director
(413) 625-9503


General information

Directions to the Farm are located here. When driving to the farm please be respectful of our neighbors and drive slow on our quiet country roads.

Medications taken at camp
Parents are reminded that in order to administer any medication from home, we will need a medication form filled out. This can be delivered at drop-off, and all medications must arrive in their original container. Click here to download a medication form.

Arrival and Departure Policies

  • We recommend that campers be on time. Camp begins at 8am and ends at 3pm.
  • If your child is sick and not coming or arriving particularly late, be sure to phone the Farm Office (413) 625-9503 as we will be expecting them.
  • We won’t be prepared for unexpected late arrivals or early pick-up. Please communicate with us in advance since we may be out on a hike.
  • Additional pick-up authorizations can be made by delivering a note or message to the Farm Office before the day begins.
  • Please enter the 2nd driveway (at top of hill) and exit by the 1st driveway to better enable traffic flow and safety for children.
  • Dogs are not permitted on the farm (furry friends must remain in cars).

Farm Considerations for Campers and Visitors

  • Please respect the animals. For example, don’t chase the chickens.
  • Please stay with your group.
  • Please don’t run unless it’s an agreed part of a game.
  • Most fences at the farm are electric and should not be touched.

What to Bring to the Program

  • A lunch each day, with a morning snack and a water bottle.
  • Clothes and closed-toed shoes for walking and being out-of-doors.
  • Have a full change of clothes available that can be left in a cubby including extra socks.
  • Appropriate clothing for rain and inclement weather.
  • A towel and bathing suit for water activities (sandals or watershoes are also nice).

What Not to Bring to the Program

  • Electronic devices such as cell phones, ipods, or games.
  • Knives or other tools.

Red Gate Farm Health Policy Summary

The following information is required to be shared with parents by the State of Masschusetts. A complete copy of the Health Policy and Emergency Plans is available upon request.

Mildly Ill Campers Campers who are mildly ill will be treated by the Health Supervisor. An infirmary area for rest and recovery is provided which is well lit and temperature controlled. If the child is able to recover quickly, and, in the judgement of the Health Supervisor, able to return to program activities, then the child will be allowed to do so. The child's parent/guardian will be informed of the event at the end of the day (either in person or by phone). If the child is unable to recover quickly, or the Health Supervisor deems it appropriate, the child's emergency contacts will be contacted in order to consult with the Health Supervisor. Emergency Care protocols are to be followed in the case of significant reactions or illness.

Medications All oral or topical medications will be administered by the Health Supervisor. Written permission must be obtained by the child's parent/guardian to administer medication. The Health Supervisor may administer a prescribed Epi-pen to the child, but requires written permission from the parent/guardian.

If a child is capable of self-medicating using a prescribed Epi-pen or inhaler and the parent/guardian and the camp Health Care Consultant give written approval, the camper may be allowed to carry these devices with him/her at all times in order to self-administer when necessary.

If a diabetic child requires his/her blood sugar be monitored, or requires insulin injections and the parent/guardian and the camp Health Care Consultant give written approval, the camper, who is capable, may be allowed to self-monitor and/or self-inject him/herself. Blood monitoring activities and self-injection must take place in the presence of the Health Supervisor.

The following is a list of medications which are authorized by the camp's Health Care Consultant (Dr. Richard Warner). The medications are considered "pre-approved" and may be applied to campers as needed by the camp Health Supervisor.

Acetaminophen: Chewable, tablets, caplets, or liquid as directed according to age and/or weight may be administered for headaches, pain, or fever over 100.6

Arnica Gel: Apply to sprain/strain site and follow with rest, ice, and elevation. Do not apply if there is a break in the skin.

Bacitracin Ointment: For superficial wound care.

Benadryl: For mild systemic or localized allergic reaction. Administer elixir or capsules P.O. as directed on package acording to age and/or weight.

Calamine Lotion: apply topically for contact determatitis, insect bites, generalized skin iritation or poison ivy/oak.

Sunscreen: apply to exposed skin as needed.

Bug Repellent: apply as needed.

Emergency Health Care
In the unlikely event of an emergency, Farm Staff are trained to follow Emergency Care protocols. These include calling Emergency Services (911) as quickly as possible. The child's emergency contacts (listed on their Medical Form) will be called as quickly as possible. The Farm Director will remain with the injured or ill child until a parent/guardian can be present. In the event that a parent/guardian cannot be reached immediately, Farm Staff will continue attempts to contact them until they are reached. In the event of hospitalization, the Farm Director will remain with the injured child until a parent/guardian can be present.

Meningococcal disease and Camp Attendees:
This is a document that the State of Massachusetts requires camps to share with parents:
Commonly Asked Questions
dated April 2007

What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by infection with bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria can infect the tissue (the “meninges”) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and cause meningitis, or they may infect the blood or other organs of the body. In the US, about 2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year and 10-15% die despite receiving antibiotic treatment. Of those who survive, about 11-19% may lose limbs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous system, become mentally retarded, or have seizures or strokes.

How is meningococcal disease spread?
These bacteria are passed from person-to-person through saliva (spit). You must be in close contact with an infected person’s saliva in order for the bacteria to spread. Close contact includes activities such as kissing, sharing water bottles, sharing eating/drinking utensils or sharing cigarettes with someone who is infected; or being within 3-6 feet of someone who is infected and is coughing and sneezing.

Who is at most risk for getting meningococcal disease?
People who travel to certain parts of the world where the disease is very common are at risk for meningococcal disease. Children and adults with damaged or removed spleens or an inherited immune disorder (called “terminal complement component deficiency”) are also at risk. People who live in settings such as college dormitories are also at greater risk of disease.

Are camp attendees at increased risk for meningococcal disease?
Children attending day or residential camps are not considered to be at an increased risk for meningococcal disease because of their participation.

Is there a vaccine against meningococcal disease?
There are currently 2 vaccines available in the US that protect against 4 of the most common of the 13 serogroups (subgroups) of N. meningitidis that cause serious disease. Protection with the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine lasts about 3 to 5 years. A meningococcal vaccine (conjugate vaccine), which was licensed in January 2005, is expected to help decrease disease transmission and to provide more long-term protection.

Should my child receive meningococcal vaccine?
Meningococcal vaccine is not recommended for attendance at camps. However, this vaccine is recommended for certain age groups; contact your child’s health care provider. In addition, parents of children who are at higher risk of infection, because of certain medical conditions or other circumstances, should discuss vaccination with their child’s healthcare provider.

How can I protect my child from getting meningococcal disease? The best protection against meningococcal disease and many other infectious diseases is thorough and frequent handwashing, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Individuals should:

  1. wash their hands often, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food (hands should be washed with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel or rub may be used if hands are not visibly dirty);
  2. cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue in a trash can; or if they don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve.
  3. not share food, drinks or eating utensils with other people, especially if they are ill.

You can obtain more information about meningococcal disease or vaccination from your healthcare provider, your local Board of Health (listed in the phone book under government), or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800 or toll-free at (888) 658-2850 or on the MDPH website at