Joining an Overland group is a two-step process. During the first step, Placement, we determine whether or not there is space available. During the second step, Admissions Review, we carefully review each applicant’s Admission Review Forms to determine whether or not they qualify for admission. 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!
We receive applications throughout the fall; many programs fill as early as mid-January, and others will have space available until later in the spring. Our advice is to apply online as soon as you are ready. After mid-January, we encourage families to apply even if there is a chance that your first choice may not be available as we frequently open additional sections of programs if we can. Please note that your $795 deposit is completely refundable if your first choice program is not available.
Apply online using a credit card for the $795 deposit by clicking the link below (please note that we only accept checks for the final balance). Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are submitted (we do not hold spots over the phone).
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 students, with their leaders' supervision, prepare all meals. At Overland, meals are a group experience. It is one of the many ways we foster connection with and consideration for our group members.
We recognize that there are many young people with food allergies and intolerances. We welcome these students' interest in joining us, and we ask the parents of these students to please contact us so we can better understand their child's allergy/intolerance. Before contacting us, we ask that parents of a prospective Overland student with an allergy/intolerance please consider the following important information.
Meals at Overland: Our students, with their leaders' guidance, prepare all of the meals, typically in very basic kitchens or outdoors on camp stoves, and groceries are often purchased from small stores with limited choices. These conditions mean that all Overland meal settings (from preparation to serving to clean up) and all Overland meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) are prepared in environments in which there are allergens, and that providing separate meals and snacks is impractical if not impossible. Sharing meals is part of how our Overland group members grow close and connected to one another.
Our Approach: While we cannot provide meals that are allergen-free and we cannot provide separate meals, we take the health and well-being of all our students seriously:
Our Admissions Process: During our admissions process:
Our Commitment: Our commitment is to the health and well-being of all of our students. Since we cannot provide meals that are allergen-free and we cannot provide separate meals, we will work with the parents of a prospective student who has allergies or intolerances to understand the allergies or intolerances and to make an informed admissions decision.
Please Call Us: We're always happy to discuss our policies and a prospective student's allergies/intolerances.
Every summer there are many vegetarians who join our groups and who enjoy meat-free meals. We are happy to welcome these students as long as they understand that they will share in the group's meals but will simply have the meat portion withheld. For example, sandwiches at lunch with lettuce, tomato and cheese (while the rest of the group has sandwiches with sliced turkey or ham); pasta at dinner with a tomato sauce (while the rest of the group has pasta with a meat sauce).
We sometimes have requests from students with specialized diets—vegans, for example—to provide them with separate meals. As much as we'd like to be able to accommodate these students, the limitations of our kitchens and grocery stores and the importance of our group-focused meals make it impractical to provide separate meals.
Our leaders in the field will always focus on the health and well-being of their group, overseeing meals that are nutritious and varied and that show consideration for the needs of each of their students.
Overland programs are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. Our students are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of each other and of their leaders; they are expected to have chosen an appropriate 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 student for any reason whatsoever—including but not limited to: rule breaking, a poor attitude, misbehaving, an inability to fully participate or to keep up physically. Students who are dismissed receive no refund and all costs associated with the dismissal are the sole responsibility of the parents/guardians.
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
We are committed to providing extraordinary support to the parents of our students; to that end, the Overland office is staffed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week during the summer (outside of office hours our answering service provides emergency coverage). Our leaders in the field are in touch with our office regularly; they carry cell phones and in some cases satellite phones.
NO PHONE CALLS, CELL PHONES OR ELECTRONICS
To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails or text messages to or from our students; the exceptions to this are: (1) your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance and (2) in the case of an emergency. If your child brings a phone for use while en route to his/her Overland program, please do not bring an expensive smart phone; instead bring an inexpensive prepaid cell phone or calling card. Please do not bring personal electronics (e.g., iPods, Kindles, iPads, GPS or similar devices) except for digital cameras. Any cell phones or electronics (except cameras) brought by a student will be collected on arrival and mailed home or returned at departure.
Anytime a student is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or medical personnel, parents are notified by our office. A director calls the parents to explain the nature of the injury or illness, the sequence of events leading up to the injury and/or the steps leading to the treatment. Parents are typically able to speak with the medical personnel, with the leaders and with the child.
Please call us (413-458-9672) for a list of references in your area or for a specific program.
All of our groups are limited to 12 students, and each group always has two adult leaders (one male and one female). When building our groups, we pay attention to age, grade, gender ratio and the mix of hometowns and schools. We also limit friend pairs in a group to just two (and we never accept triples).
We encourage students to come on their own. Traveling with one friend, however, is permitted (we do not accept groups of three or more). We will allow no more than two friend pairs per group, and these slots will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not hold a spot for a friend until that friend’s application is received. If you would like to travel with a friend, please write his or her name on the application.
Comprehensive pre-program information and packing lists are available on our website. On each program page, click the "Prepare & Pack" tab.
Each program description provides start and end locations; families are responsible for making travel arrangements to and from these locations. Overland’s leaders will be on hand at the arrival and departure airports to provide supervision and assistance.
A deposit of $795 is due with the application. Full payment is due on March 1st. For applications received after February 1st, full payment is due within 30 days. Please note:
We recommend that all Overland families opt in to our trip fee insurance program. Coverage benefits include:
For complete information about the trip insurance please go to: www.tripmate.com/wpF434B.
We recommend that all Overland families purchase trip insurance. Overland's trip insurance plan is only available to families with a U.S. address. If you do have a U.S. address, please contact us for more details on our insurance program. If not, a similar plan can be purchased directly through Seven Corners.
Questions about trip insurance? Please call us at 413-458-9672.
Questions regarding coverage? Please call Trip Mate's benefit specialists at 800-888-7292 and refer to Plan #F434B.
Transportation to and from the start and end locations, spending money and personal gear are not included in the program fee. Overland provides group gear; students provide all personal equipment including bicycles, backpacks and sleeping bags. Students on bicycle touring trips in New England and Nova Scotia can rent bicycles and panniers from Overland.
In 2013, Overland awarded nearly $100,000 in financial aid. Awards range from $500 to $2,500 and generally cover between 10% and 50% of the program fee (excluding equipment and transportation costs). Visit our financial aid page to learn more.
Overland is fully accredited by the American Camp Association—a distinction earned by few of our peers. The ACA accreditation process reviews our overall program quality and our maintenance of over 300 standards. In addition, Overland is licensed by the Williamstown, Massachusetts, Board of Health and complies with 105 CMR 430.000 Chapter IV.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us.