WHAT WILL I LEARN? There is much to learn here at camp –rock climbing, rappelling, responsibility, communication, friendship, the natural world and your place in it. inner-strength, hard work, the night sky, the old cedars and what tired is.You may even learn about my dumpling recipe as well.

ARE THERE ANY PREREQUISITES FOR THIS CAMP? No, all you need is a sense of adventure. If you’ve climbed elsewhere previously that would help you to know if you want to spend a whole week doing this. But if not feel free to stop by our climbing site anytime and have a look . If there’s time we’ll put you up and see what you think.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THIS CAMP? Camp is challenging from a number of perspectives but we want you to have fun most of all. So we try to match your abilities with the climbing that you’ll be doing that week. We set up a wide range of rock climbing routes of varying degrees of difficulty. Some really easy and quick, some moderate and some tough dogs as well. You get to choose what you feel most comfortable with in terms of the level of challenge you want.

HOW SAFE IS YOUR PROGRAM? Safety is always our top priority. We have the best safety record in North America. We have a safety record second to none. While rock climbing and other high adventure activities have some inherent risk we take all reasonable precautions to help ensure the safety of your child. We have never had a student seriously injured from a climbing accident. And with over 10,000 students through our programs, that’s saying something. Our guides are well trained and seasoned do deal with almost any potential hazard or problem. Where the bulk of our training and experiences goes into is prevention. By setting the standard for safety in the industry we help ensure your child's welfare from the time they arrive to when you pick them up. While they are with us they are “our kids”. Our instructor to student ratio is the best as well at (1 to 3).

WHY IS THIS PLACE CALLED RATTLESNAKE? There are no Rattlesnakes here. Many folks believe the name derives from the winding road that leads up to the park. It does resemble a snake if you were looking down from a plane. So no worries here.

IS THIS A COED PROGRAM? Yes! We have a good mix of both girls and boys. They all share in the climbing and the chores equally and it’s good for the boys egos to see that girls often climb better then they do. The ratios vary with each group but we like to have a good balance. It is not unusual to have more girls than boys but you never know what you’ll get. As for the tenting arrangements, girls always tent with other girls and the boys with the boys. No exceptions and no worries. We always have female staff at camp as well. Our guides are camped out on site with the kids and we hear everything.

WHAT IS THE PARK LIKE? Rattlesnake Point is a well maintained and serviced Conservation Area with pit toilets, real bathrooms and even hot showers. There is a gatehouse that is staffed everyday. There’s even a staff of park constables who patrol the park daily and they usually stop by our site pretty regularly for the coffee or cocoa. (They bring the Tim Hortons) We swim nearby at Kelso Conservation Area just a few kilometers down the road. They have trained lifeguards there. The park is generally set up to handle group camping and the sites are very big with huge fire-rings and ample room to cook and eat, camp and play. There is lots of open space as well and even room for the odd game of Frisbee. There are the cliffs of course and the Old growth Eastern White Cedar forest that winds its way through the escarpment. The park is big and beautiful and the staff as friendly and helpful as the come.

WHAT ARE THE MEALS LIKE? Meals here are a production. Good wholesome homemade food and lots of it. No shortcuts. Dinner sometimes comes a bit late because our climbing often goes into the late part of the day but kids are given snacks throughout the day and when dinner comes everyone eats their fill.

  • Breakfasts include oatmeal, cold cereals, fresh and dried fruits, granola, bagels and cream cheeses and jams and real orange juice.
  • Lunches include meat and cheese sandwiches or meat and veggie wraps, peanut butter & jelly, hummus, fruit, chips and cookies.
  • Dinners include my internationally know chicken stew and dumplings, homemade chili and corn dodgers, hobo dinners, hot dogs and hamburgers over the fire and yes veggie dogs and burgers too! And campfire pizza.
  • After dinner we enjoy smores, hot cocoa, toasted marshmallows or fresh cinnamon rolls or roasted apples.

Dietary restrictions or food allergies. We have a great chef (me) and he is willing and able to make substitutions as needed because of food allergies, dietary restrictions or religious reasons. Vegetarian no problem. – you’ll love the food!

HOW IS MICHAEL’S COOKING? You have to ask? My chicken stew is the stuff of legend, my dumplings are a state secret and my chili will get you where you need to go. I hope that settles that. If not come on by my camp anytime for a plate of food. We always have enough for unexpected visitors.

IS VERTICAL VENTURES ACCREDITED? We are a professional independent rock climbing and adventure school celebrating 20 years of operation – fully insured and permitted in the U. S. and Canada. There are various accreditations available and we have decided that our safety standards and risk management policies meet and in most cases exceed almost all other organizations in our field. I am the founder and director of Vertical Ventures and in that capacity I do a lot of technical consulting with university, corporate, government and private programs to help them with their safety and risk management issues. If you ever want references professional or otherwise please ask. We will gladly furnish them to you.

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