Overland's Admission Policy
Joining an Overland group is a two-step process. During the first step, Placement, we determine whether or not there is space available and, if so, tentatively hold a place for the camper pending the Admissions Review process. During the second step, Admissions Review, we carefully review each applicant’s Admission Review Forms to determine whether or not he or she qualifies for admission in our sole judgment and discretion -- it's important to note that admissions at Overland is selective, is based upon our thorough review of these forms, and, as a result, we are not open to the general public (instead, we work hard to make admissions decisions that are right for our applicants and for our programs). The following is a description of the process; please call us with any questions or concerns that you have—and thank you for your interest in Overland!
STEP ONE: PLACEMENT
Following the submission of an application, we will be in touch to confirm receipt. All financial aid awards are dependent on the availability of space and funds. Awards are made on a rolling basis, starting in February and continuing through the spring. We award the majority of our financial aid for trips starting in Williamstown, Massachusetts. You are welcome to apply for a trip based outside of Williamstown, though aid for non-local trips is limited and awarded later (mid to late April). Though we strive to meet the needs and interests of all families seeking financial aid, we cannot guarantee an offer. Your flexibility in trip-placement will increase your chances of financial assistance.
All placements are subject to our Admissions Review (see below).
STEP TWO: ADMISSIONS REVIEW
Once your son or daughter’s place on a trip has been held during Placement we will send you our Admissions Review Forms; these include:
- Parent Questionnaire.
- Physician’s Report.
- School Reference.
When we receive these completed forms back from you our Admissions Review begins. The goal of this review is to determine whether your child meets Overland’s admission standards. We seek to admit campers who have demonstrated that they possess the personal qualities and experience necessary to succeed on an Overland trip. While Overland is always supportive and nurturing, an Overland program is unlike a traditional camp in that our small groups—12 campers and 2 leaders—travel, live and work as a group, making all of their own meals, helping each other and cooperating in ways big and small, and they do all of this far from home. As a result, every camper must be able to thrive in an environment that places equal emphasis on:
- Teamwork & Shared Responsibilities.
- Independence & Self-Reliance.
- Support of Others & Consideration for Others.
Your completed Admissions Review Forms guide our review. We focus on three main areas:
- Whether the applicant is developmentally and physically capable of succeeding in Overland’s program.
- Whether the applicant is socially and emotionally prepared for Overland’s program.
- Whether the applicant has a history of disciplinary or other issues that demonstrate a concern about whether or not the applicant would succeed in Overland’s program.
As soon as we receive your Admissions Review Forms, we will begin the Admissions Review process. If our decision is to admit your son or daughter, we will send you an email confirming your child’s admission. If we decide not to admit your son or daughter we will send you an email with our decision and we will make a full refund of any payments you have made to Overland.
Overland prohibits discrimination against and harassment of any employee or any applicant for employment, or any camper or any applicant to join one of our camps, because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, familial status, genetics, ancestry, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran or military status, military service or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. All personnel responsible for hiring and promoting employees, for admitting and enrolling campers, for leading and supporting campers, and for developing and implementing camp programs or activities are charged to support this effort and to respond promptly and appropriately to any concerns brought to their attention. Individuals who feel they have been treated in a way that violates this policy and/or federal, state or local employment laws are encouraged to notify one of Overland’s directors. Overland will not take any retaliatory action in response to an individual’s complaints.
Overland's Meals Policy
MEALS: GENERAL INFORMATION
Good food (and plenty of it!), excellent nutrition and fun are the goals of Overland’s meals. Each group buys, prepares and eats all of its meals together. Our campers, with their leaders’ supervision, prepare all meals. At Overland, meals are a group experience, an important way to foster connection with and consideration for other group members.
ALLERGIES & INTOLERANCES
We recognize there are many young people with food allergies or intolerances. We welcome these young people’s interest in joining us, and we ask parents of a prospective Overland camper with an allergy/intolerance to please consider the following important information.
Most meals at Overland are prepared in basic kitchens (or outdoors), and groceries are typically purchased from small stores with limited choices. As a result, meals are prepared and served in what may be allergen-contaminated environments, and on many trips allergen-free/gluten-free foods are not readily available. While we cannot guarantee allergen-free meal settings, we will do what is reasonable to provide allergen-free/gluten-free foods on those trips where available.
In all things, our top priority is to help maintain all campers’ well-being; to this end, all Overland leaders are trained to recognize and respond to allergic reactions, including administering antihistamines and epinephrine (both are carried in every trip’s first aid kit); leaders carry cell phones, and in some cases, satellite phones, so that should the need arise, emergency personnel can be contacted and their services requested. It is important for all prospective parents to understand that many groups travel in remote areas where emergency services may not be easily or readily accessible.
OUR ADMISSIONS PROCESS IS COLLABORATIVE
During our admissions process we will review all submitted Allergy Questionnaires to understand the applicant’s allergy/intolerance (to preview the Allergy Questionnaire please click here). We will then consider whether or not the applicant’s allergy/intolerance may be reasonably accommodated. If our admissions team has any concerns they will contact the parent. In this conversation we will seek to learn more about the allergy/intolerance; and we will discuss the available grocery stores, emergency services and medical facilities on the applied for trip. These conversations generally have one of three outcomes:
MANAGING FOOD ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCES IS A PARTNERSHIP
- The applicant is placed on the applied for trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We offer a different trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We recommend waiting a year and re-applying.
Our commitment is to the health and well-being of each of our campers. Our goal is to partner with parents and campers—a partnership in which:
- We clearly describe our programs and policies;
- Parents clearly describe their child’s allergies or intolerances, and their child’s maturity level and capability to self-manage his or her allergy or intolerance.
- We work together with parents in a collaborative and interactive process to determine if there are reasonable accommodations that can be made so that otherwise qualified applicants can participate in our programs.
- Campers on a program take an active role in managing their allergies, including reading food labels as needed, eating only those foods with known ingredients, and seeking a leader if a reaction is suspected.
Expectations, Cell Phones & Electronics Policies
Overland programs are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each camper’s behavior. Our campers are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of each other and of their leaders; they are expected to have chosen an appropri- ate trip for their interests and abilities; they are expected to have prepared adequately so that they can keep up physically and participate in all of the group’s activities; they understand that smoking, using any tobacco product, drinking alcohol or using any drugs (other than prescribed medications) is strictly prohibited. We reserve the right to dismiss any camper for any reason whatsoever—including but not limited to: rule breaking, misbehaving or an inability to fully participate or to keep up physically. Campers who are dismissed receive no refund and all costs associated with the dismissal are the sole responsibility of the parents/guardians.
To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails or text messages to or from our campers (the exceptions to this are: your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance, and in the case of an emergency). If your child brings a phone for use while en route to Overland, please do not bring an expensive smartphone; instead bring an inexpensive prepaid cell phone. All phones will be collected on arrival and returned at departure. While we will take reasonable steps to prevent damage, theft or loss to phones, we take no responsibility for phones and we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen phones.
Cameras are welcome but please do not bring any other electronics (e.g., iPods, iPads, Kindles or other readers, GPS or similar devices). All electronics (except cameras) will be mailed home on arrival (at your risk and expense).
During the summer, the Overland office is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week (outside of office hours our answering service provides coverage). Our leaders in the field are in touch with our office regularly; they carry cell phones (and in some cases satellite phones).
To help campers meet our high expectations of independence and self-reliance and to ensure that leaders are devoting all of their time and energy to the group, we ask you to refrain from calling the Overland office for updates on your child.
Please be assured that anytime a camper is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or medical personnel you will be contacted by us: an Overland director will call you to explain the nature of the injury or illness and the proposed treatment. In almost every situation, parents are typically able to speak with the attending medical personnel, with their child’s leaders and with their child.
Payments & Refunds Policy
When a financial aid award is offered and accepted, a non-refundable deposit is due (amount to be determined by Overland). We will then work together to create an acceptable payment plan for the final balance.
- We accept check or credit card for the deposit and final balance.
- If, upon our review of your child’s Admissions Review Forms, the offer of a spot is withdrawn by Overland, a full refund of all payments to Overland will be made.
- If, at any point in the admissions process we determine that you have provided incomplete, misleading or false statements, we may withdraw the offer of admission and no refund of any payments to Overland will be made.
- If you withdraw your child before March 1st (notice of the withdrawal must be made in writing), $500 of the deposit is refundable.
- If you withdraw your child after May 1st, there are no refunds for any reason whatsoever (including, but not limited to: voluntary withdrawal, illness or injury, summer school, security concerns or any other reason).
- If your child leaves a program after it starts, there are no refunds for any reason whatsoever, including, but not limited to: voluntary withdrawal, illness or injury, dismissal by Overland (due to discipline, behavior, lack of fitness or motivation, etc.), security concerns or any other reason. Any costs incurred by Overland related to an early departure are the sole responsibility of the parents.