Dear Camp Families,
I am looking forward to another great camp season. There will be more training of Jack the ox, we have a new blacksmith shop, and some old favorites like the chickens, pond and barns await the attention of our campers.
Below is some important information for campers. There are some changes from last year, so please read carefully.
As a quick reminder, drop off time for overnight campers is on Monday, between 9am and 11am - we'll have some tea and coffee available for arriving adults.
Parents/guardians of all campers are asked to join us on the last Friday of the camp session, at 11am for a luncheon and short camper presentation for families and friends.
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!
Ben Murray, Farm Director
Overnight Camper Information
What to bring for camp
Clothing (clothes that you don't mind getting dirty)
- 2 pairs of long pants
- 3 pairs of shorts
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 7 pairs of socks
- 7 short sleeve shirts (t-shirts are great)
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- a sweatshirt (again, preferably old)
- boots or sneakers that you can get mucky
- another pair of boots or sneakers (open-toed sandals are NOT good farm shoes)
- rain gear (we will be outside even if its raining)
- warm sleepwear or long underwear
- bathing suit
- closed-lid water bottle
- warm hat and a hat for the sun
- sleeping bag or bedding (pillowcase, sheets, blanket)
- your favorite pillow
- wash cloth and towel
- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb)
- one stuffed animal (optional)
- a flashlight (optional)
- a good book or something to do quietly at bedtime or early morning
- a favorite board/card game to play with others (optional)
- bug repellent and sunscreen lotion if you prefer your own (optional)
- flip-flops (optional)
- laundry bag
If you do not have some of these items, please contact the farm to see if we have anything we can loan your camper. Campers are requested to bring only what is on the pack list - other items may be collected and held until departure.
Please do not bring (these items will be collected until departure)
- food or other drinks
- electronics (cell phones, ipods, video games, etc.)
- aerosol sprays (deoderant, bug spray, sunscreen, etc.)
- sandals or open-toed shoes (except for optional flip-flops)
- pocket knives or any other knives
Camp Policies and Other Information
Directions to the Farm are located here.
Nearby Lodging is listed here.
Arrival and Departure
Campers should arrive between the hours of 9am - 11am on Monday. Parents/guardians of all campers are asked to join us on the last Friday of the camp session, at 11am for a luncheon and short camper presentation for families and friends. Dogs are not permitted on the farm (travelers must stay in cars).
The farm provides home-cooked, nutritional and healthy food options. Our menu options occasionally include meat, but there is always a vegetarian option provided. We also accommodate other diets (gluten free, dairy free), but cannot necessarily accommodate every type of food sensitivity or allergy. Our camp kitchen does not cook or serve nuts but cannot guarantee that every ingredient has been made in a nut-free facility. Please contact the Farm Director for any specific questions or concerns.
Camper Overnight Accomodations
Campers stay in our overnight area in tent cabins which sleep up to four campers. Camp counselors also reside in the same overnight area. There are nearby private toilets, wash sinks and showers for camper daily use. In order to provide the best camp community experience, we do not accept requests for bunkmates or pairings. Cabin assignments will be provided upon camper arrival.
Farm camp is a time to focus on our new commmunity and commitments to each other. Phone calls disrupt the camp routine and so only phone calls for camper birthdays are allowed and must be arranged in advance with the farm office.
Letters and Packages
Campers love getting written correspondence from family and friends. These letters create a meaningful and healthy connection to home, and become important keepsakes for years to come. We encourage families to share the camp address with friends and family to send letters.
Please do not send anything other than letters. Well-meaning care packages of food, magazines, or other items can disrupt the community that we are building on the farm. This mail will be held safely at the Farm Office until the end of camp and returned to the camper upon departure.
If you have questions about what to send, please ask! We are happy to help provide guidance, and thank you for supporting our farm community building.
Please be sure share this information with grandparents and friends who might wish to share things with your camper. The address to send mail to is:
Red Gate Farm
4 Norman Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Please label all camper clothing and items with labels or permanent marker. It is also helpful for campers to arrive with a list of the things they brought to camp.
Farm Camp thrives on community and a rustic way of life. In order to get the most out of our camp experience, campers should not bring any electronic devices including phones, cameras, tablets, readers, or games. Non-digital cameras are permitted, but may only be used in public spaces and when they will not disrupt the program.
We take pictures and some video throughout every camp session. These are password protected and posted online for sharing with parents during the camp session. The goal is to share some of the day to day camp experiences of the campers with families at home. There is not an effort to photograph every camper, and so we cannot guarantee that your camper will be featured in a photograph.
Medications and Medical Supervision
Our on-site health care supervisor controls and administers all camper medications. These include certain over-the-counter medications as approved by our supervising physician. Any medications brought from home must come with a filled out medication form, original container and clear directions. In the unlikely event of a camper medical emergency, parents will be contacted at the earliest possible time.
Click here to download a medication form.
We do a mid-session laundry for the two-week camp. Laundry service is not provided for the single week sessions. We do provide "emergency" laundry services in the case of a camper mishap.
Campers may occasionally travel off the farm for special activities. These will be in 12- or 15- passenger rental vans or farm vehicles. All vehicles are state-inspected, and driven by licensed and trained camp drivers over the age of 21.
Refund policy All deposits are non-refundable except when a camper enrollment application is not accepted. No refunds are made for late arrival, early departure, missed days, withdrawal for emotional or medical reasons, dismissal for misconduct, or any other cause. We reserve the right to dismiss any camper if, in our opinion, this action is in the best interest of the camp. In this instance, no refund will be made.
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.
For additional camp information from the State of Massachusetts, please click here.