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 student 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 they qualify 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!
WHEN TO APPLY
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.
Our application for the summer of 2015 is now available.
HOW TO APPLY
Apply online using a credit card for the $795 deposit by clicking the link below. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are submitted (we do not hold spots over the phone).
STEP 1: PLACEMENT
When we receive your son or daughter’s application if the first choice is available, you will receive a phone call and an email containing a link to our Overland Portal where you will find our Admissions Review Forms and we will accept your deposit to hold your child’s place in the program pending a favorable Admissions Review. If the first choice is not available, we will call you to confirm that the second choice is acceptable. If neither the first choice nor second choice is available, we will call you to discuss options. For those students placed on our waitlist, we will notify you as soon as a spot becomes available.
1. If the first choice is not available your credit card will not be charged until we notify you and confirm that you want the second choice; similarly, if you are placed on a waitlist your credit card will not be charged.
2. All placements are subject to our Admissions Review (see below).
STEP 2: 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:
1. Parent Questionnaire.
2. Physician’s Report.
3. 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 students 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 students 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 student must be able to thrive in an environment that places equal emphasis on:
1. Teamwork & Shared Responsibilities.
2. Independence & Self-Reliance.
3. Support of Others & Consideration for Others.
Your completed Admissions Review Forms guide our review. We focus on three main areas:
1. Whether the applicant is developmentally and physically capable of succeeding in Overland’s program.
2. Whether the applicant is socially and emotionally prepared for Overland’s program.
3. 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 to not 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.
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:
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.
MANAGING FOOD ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCES IS A PARTNERSHIP
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.
MEALS: VEGETARIANS & SPECIALIZED DIETS
Every summer there are many vegetarians who join our groups and who enjoy meat-free meals. We are happy to welcome these campers as long as they understand 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 applicants with specialized diets—vegans, for example—to provide separate, specialized meals. As much as we'd like to be able to accommodate these applicants, the limitations of our kitchens, the size of available grocery stores and the importance of group meals make it impractical to provide separate, specialized meals.
EXPECTATIONS & RULES
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).
TRAVELING WITH A FRIEND
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.
PREPARING & PACKING
Comprehensive pre-program information and packing lists are available on our website. On each program page, click the "Prepare & Pack" tab.
TRAVELING TO & FROM YOUR PROGRAM
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.
PAYMENTS & REFUNDS
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:
If your child’s program choices are not available, your credit card or debit card will not be charged.
We accept credit cards for the deposit of $795 only (the final balance must be paid by check).
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—for example, via email), $500 of the deposit is refundable.
If you withdraw your child after March 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.
Trip Insurance for Domestic Students
We recommend that all Overland families opt in to our trip fee insurance program. Coverage benefits include:
If you cancel for a covered injury, illness or other covered reason prior to the start of your trip, you are eligible for a complete reimbursement of your unused, non-refundable, prepaid expenses for your Overland Trip Fee, as well as any direct round trip air flights booked by others, to and from the scheduled trip departure and return cities, provided the dates of travel for the air flights are within 7 total days of the scheduled trip dates.
If you cancel for any reason, not otherwise covered by the plan, up until two days before the start of your trip, you are eligible for a 75% reimbursement of your Overland Trip Fee.
During the trip, if your child must leave early for a covered injury, illness or other covered reason, you will be reimbursed for the unused, prepaid, non-refundable portion of your Overland Trip Fee and the additional cost paid to return home.
For complete information about the trip insurance please go to: www.tripmate.com/wpF434B.
Trip Insurance for International Students
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 2014, 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.
ACCREDITATION & LICENSING
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.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Please don’t hesitate to contact us.