Exposure and the Elements
Sienna Ranch empowers participants to be respectful (to their bodies, each other, staff, nature…) and of course to have fun!
Self-care is a skill we value, and Sienna Ranch appreciates the collaborative effort parents and guardians take toward sending students and campers to the ranch ready to have a safe and exciting day. We do our best to experience nature in all its rainy, sunny, windy glory and participants tend to be the most comfortable and happy when they have the right tools for the job (for staying dry, warm, cool, shaded, etc.)
Please take a moment to read some ideas about how your student or camper might thrive best at Sienna Ranch whether the forecast is rain or shine. While uncommon, we reserve the right to refuse students for program who are not dressed appropriately for the weather, since we can only keep students safe with the right footwear and layers. If you have any questions about what sort of gear might be best for ranch programming, please ask!
What is a Rainy Day Like at Sienna Ranch?
We pride ourselves on being an all weather program and find that rainy days here are always fun and memorable for our participants. Students love playing in our seasonal stream, splashing in puddles, and sliding on muddy trails. Our instructors balance wet and muddy fun with ample time under our covered decks or around the fire to warm up and get cozy with hot tea from our herb garden and fire-popped popcorn. We believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing, so please prepare your child by dressing them in warm layers of synthetic and wool fabrics. Not cotton. Include rain jackets, pants, and boots. Do expect your child to be muddy at pickup, many parents arrive with a fresh change of clothes for the car ride home.
Green hills turn golden as the winter rains dissipate and give way to longer, drier days. Sun protection and hydration are key for comfort here in the warmer months, so we recommend the following five tips any time you see sunshine in the forecast:
- Pre-Hydrate: Help students/campers get a great start to their day by dropping them off to the ranch well-hydrated. Challenge them to drink and refill their water bottle at least once while they are at the ranch and ask them about it when you pick them up.
- Pre-[sun]Screen: Please apply sunscreen before dropping your child off for program. Instructors do keep a small bottle of sunscreen in their first aid kits and can offer it to students who wish to reapply during the day.
- Label Layers: The morning chill burns off quickly and layers are often shed during exploring and games throughout the day. We do our best to help keep children and their possessions together, but it’s easier to reunite a missing jacket and its owner with your child’s name in it.
- Check for Critters: Make a head-to-toe tick check part of your post-ranch routine. Deer ticks are part of the natural Sienna Ranch ecosystem. Ask your doctor if you are concerned about tick-related illnesses.
- Hats, yes, Sandals, no: We encourage students to wear sun hats while hiking and playing. Consider letting your child pick out a hat they want to wear to increase the likelihood of it staying on during program. To keep toes safe and prevent blisters or splinters from dampening the day, please make sure to send all participants in socks and close-toed shoes. Students in the Riding and Horsemanship programs have additional horse-safe footwear requirements.
All programming continues, rain or shine. Some activities, such as Horseback Riding are subject to adaptation when it is too hot and/or humid for the horses to exercise. See our Riding and Horsemanship School page for more information about heat index.
It’s hard to account for every possible outdoor scenario here, but heat/sun exposure and rain are our most-common elements at odds with student/camper comfort. We would love to share any other tips, tricks or ideas you’ve used to keep your family safe and having fun in the outdoors year-round. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions!
Air Quality, or other Extreme Weather Conditions
We will endeavor to run programs whenever conditions are judged to be safe enough at our outdoor facility. Sienna Ranch uses nixle.com, http://www.baaqmd.gov/, http://www.weather.gov/, http://purpleair.com, local emergency services, and other relevant emergency resources to stay informed on the latest conditions.
We do reserve the right to cancel programs in the event of extreme weather, natural disaster, dangerous criminal activity or any other hazardous conditions that would prevent us from running a safe program. In the event of program cancellation, Sienna Ranch will notify families as soon as possible via email to the address on file.
If program is cancelled for any reason we will do our best to make fair compensation for families by offering make ups or spaces in alternative programs. Please note that our private horseback-riding lessons have their own non-riding day policy. For fire season we will do our best to provide makeup days/times if possible. please note makeup days may include weekend dates.
Note that we decide whether to cancel a program or not based on our judgement of the safety of running our program according to the information we have access to at the time. We acknowledge and respect that families each have unique needs and levels of comfort and we encourage families to make the attendance decisions that are right for them. If programming goes ahead as planned we are not able to offer any refunds, make-ups, or credits to families who choose not to attend program that day, outside of our regular make-up policy for that program.