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 Rock Creek Park Horse Center near Washington, DC                                       Rock Creek Park Horse Center at George Washington Memorial Parkway
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Summer Camp Frequenty Asked Questions


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What is the age range for Summer Camp?
A student must meet the minimum age requirement by the start of the selected camp session. Siblings may not register for the same camp session unless they meet these age minimums. The minimum age for Day Camp is nine years old. Ponies & Friends Campers start at five and a half years old. Teen and Adult campers start at 15 years old. Camp registrations will be checked for age at the time registration is received. Campers found to be in the wrong camp section or session will automatically be canceled unless prior approval has been granted. Should an incorrect registration be found after the 30 day refund period, the registration will be canceled and a 20% administrative fee charged.

What to Wear, What to Bring?
Campers are required to wear a certified ATSM-SEI approved helmet manufactured in the USA and not more than five years old. (Bicycle helmets and other recreational safety equipment are not allowed.) RCPHC has helmets available for purchase (while supplies last) or to borrow for a weekly maintenance fee of $25.

Campers must wear a boot with hard sole and small heel (paddock boot is the general term if doing an online search). Hiking boots, rain boots, and sneakers are NOT suitable or safe for horseback riding. (RCPHC has a limited supply of used paddock boots to borrow but we cannot guarantee availability of size. If you have paddock boots in good condition that you want to donate or exchange, please bring them cleaned and polished in a clear plastic bag with shoe size marked on the bag.)

We have grooming materials for general use but some students prefer to purchase their own grooming brushes and crops, which are available for sale while supplies last in our tack store.

Campers should bring or wear long pants for riding, and a change of clothes for other activities if desired (lightweight long pants are encouraged rather than shorts to protect against ticks, cuts from grasses and branches, etc.). Counselors will let you know about bringing a bathing suit or change of clothes if needed for water days.

All campers need to bring their own water bottles (no glass of any kind is allowed, even when covered in rubber/plastic). Day campers need to bring lunch and a snack (especially if attending Extended Care). No refrigeration or microwave is available for campers.

Cell phones need to be kept in backpacks during the day. They are a distraction and a potential safety issue. Cell phones will be taken to the office if a camper is found with it during the camp day.

All clothing, helmets, backpacks, cell phones, and any other belongings should be labeled with the camper's name. We encourage campers not to bring valuables to camp.

Do we need to complete a medical/health form?
RCPHC is not required to have a medical form on file. However, every camper must have a signed Acknowledgement of Risk at the start of the camp session. No camper will be allowed to ride unless this form is completed and signed by a parent or guardian. It is very valuable for us to know if a camper has any food or other allergies, if they are on medications that might affect their physical, mental or emotional performance, or if there are any physical restrictions or other accommodations. Please let us know any relevant information that will help us to meet individual safety needs and respond constructively. Forms will be available at the Front Desk on the first day check-in.  PRINT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

Will I ride with my friends?

There will be plenty of time to have fun with new and old friends. Campers are however placed in riding groups based on experience. All campers are evaluated on their riding skills on the first day of each session in order to be placed into an appropriate level riding group for the week. (If requested, we will evaluate a camper's riding level for future reference at Rock Creek; the evaluation will be kept on file for one year to be used should a student seek placement in one of our group lessons, a benefit valued at $50 if requested outside the camp venue.)

What is the Payment and Refund Policy?
Registration is completed online at www.RockCreekHorseCenter.com, see "Summer Camps." Follow instructions to set up an account, register and pay. Full payment is necessary at the time of registration in order to secure your reservation. We also encourage you to register for Extended Care if you know your camper needs to stay until 5:30 for the full week. Arrangements for Extended Care can also be made at time of registration for the week or selected days as long as space remains.

Summer Camp registration is refundable for any reason if made within 30 days of registration (e.g, by March 1 if registration is made on February 1). A 20% administrative fee will however be charged for each session from which a camper withdraws. No credits will be given for future classes at RCPHC.

Summer Camp registration is nonrefundable after the first 30 days from registration unless there is a certified medical reason that prevents the camper from participating in the full range of camp activities to be determined by the medical professional and camp director.

Medical refunds must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the camp session in which you are registered. A 20% administrative fee will be charged for each camp session from which you withdraw. Immediate family emergencies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Refunds made outside the 30 day registration window must be done in person at RCPHC. No credits will be given for future classes at RCPHC.

Registrations are not transferable. Registrations made by one person cannot be sold or traded. We will work to accommodate transfers to a different session if space permits. There is no charge for a transfer. If a transfer cannot be made, the registration will not be refunded unless within the first 30 days from date of registration (see Refund Policy, above).

Who are the instructors?
The program is directed by knowledgeable staff with experience in individual and group instruction, individual and team competition, and horse care. The Camp Staff is First Aid and CPR certified. They are supported by a team of Counselors in Training drawn from experienced riding students at RCPHC. The camp horses are part of the team of school horses from our year round group and private lesson program.

Where is camp held?
Rock Creek Park Horse Center is located in the heart of Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington DC. The Horse Center is located on National Park Service property and operated as a concession by Guest Services, Inc. The equestrian facility includes a large indoor riding ring, stalls for nearly 60 boarder and school horses and ponies, multiple outdoor riding arenas, wooded trails, and fields. A meeting room accommodates indoor activities. Camper backpacks, lunches and other belongings are stored outside under a covered structure. Extensive parking is available; no cars however are allowed down the road to the camp office and horse barn.

How does weather affect the program?
The RCPHC facility is nestled in the shade of Rock Creek Park, but campers should prepare for hot and humid days. Campers should apply sunscreen before arriving at camp. If they wish to bring additional sunscreen, please bring in a bag with campers name, parents name and signature, date, brand of sunscreen, and instructions for whether a staff member can assist in application. Campers will not be allowed to ride during an electrical storm. Appropriate alternative activities will be substituted at the discretion of the camp director (Day Camp and/or Ponies & Friend Camp). There are no refunds or make-up days for inclement weather.

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