2020 Summer Camp Guide


Contacting Us Before Camp

School Year Office Hours
Monday 1:00-4:30pm
Tuesday 11am-5:00pm
Wednesday 2:00pm -5:30pm
Thursday 1:30pm-5:00pm
Friday By appointment Only

Office Number: (925) 283-6311

Email Julie the Business Manager: admin@siennaranch.net

Contacting Us During Camp

We always have a staff person in the office during camp hours. If you need to get a message to your camper or their instructor, please call the office on (925) 283-6311.  If you receive the voice mail, please leave a message and we will call you back ASAP. You can also call our emergency number (925-282-9404) if you have an emergency and need to get a hold of us during camp hours.


Please review each of the following topics prior to the start of program:


Summer Camp Drop off and Pick Up Times for Weeks 6-10. Special instructions for Weeks 1-5. 

Time Program
8:00am Early Birds- in the Backyard
9:00am Morning Ranch Equestrian Camp Drop off- Driveway Drop Off
9:00am Morning All Other Camps Drop off- Family Waiting Area
1:00pm All Morning Camps Pickup- Family Waiting Area
2:00pm Afternoon Camp Drop off and Ranch Play Pickup- Family Waiting Area
5:00pm Afternoon Camp Pickup- Family Waiting Area

Drop Off Details:

Check in starts 10 minutes before camp at our Family Waiting Area at the far end of the parking lot, under the trees. You will need to escort your camper to check in, and please wait with your camper(s) in the Family Waiting Area until your camp’s start time. Please drive slowly through the parking lot, park in any space (our neighbors, ILM Tree, are on vacation, so you can park in their spots too), and please pull your vehicle all the way forward to the front of the parking space to make room for others. Our lot is unsealed and can get busy. Thanks in advance for your patience!

EARLY BIRDS DROP OFF: Walk through the Family Waiting Area and follow the ‘Early Birds’ signs into the Backyard, through the green gate on the right. Early Birds have flexible dropoff between 8:00am-8:45am.

RANCH EQUESTRIAN CAMP and SIBLINGS/CARPOOL BUDDIES DROP OFF: *New for 2020!* Ranch Equestrian Campers and any siblings or carpool buddies in other camps will drop off along our shady driveway. Please follow the signs to continue up the driveway to the right of the main Ranch house immediately after entering the main gates. Please pull forward until you reach the check in zone at the top of the driveway. Our staff members will greet you at your car starting at approximately 8:50am each day. Please wait in your car until you are checked in by our staff.

Pick Up Details:

Check out starts approximately 5 minutes before the posted end time of camp and goes until 5 minutes after the posted end time. Instructors will bring their campers into the trellis area. Campers are asked to wait until they see their ride at the Family Waiting Area, then line up to check out with a Ranch staff member at the small gate in front of the Green Yurt. Adults must get out of their cars and walk into the Family Waiting Area so that staff can visually confirm who campers are checked out to. Late fees will apply for pick ups after 5 minutes past the posted end time of camp.

RANCH PLAY PICK UP: Meet campers at the gate of the front yard of ILM Tree (the big white ranch house).

3:30 Pick Up Option:

We understand that swim team or alternate camp dismissals may conflict with 5pm pickup so for afternoon camps only, early pickup at 3:30pm is available upon reservation.  Please fill out the form below with at least 24 hours notice, otherwise we cannot guarantee your camper will be available for early dismissal.

Afternoon Camp Early Pickup Request

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Day in the Life: a typical day of camp

Here’s an overview of the structure of our day at Sienna Ranch.  Of course, plans change from time to time, so you’re always welcome to ask your child’s teacher at drop off or pickup if you have any questions about the day.

Early Birds 8-9am
Children and their caretaker check in with our staff in the backyard of our ranch house as early as 8am, arriving no later than 8:45.  Play options often include drawing with sidewalk chalk, reading a story with an instructor, playing ball, or playing on the play structure

At 8:45am the staff will begin preparing campers for the transition to AM camp.  If for some reason you cannot arrive by 8:45am, we kindly ask that you opt out of Early Birds that day and wait with the general campers for 9am check in.

AM CAMP: Farm Hands
At 9am on the first day of camp, our instructors will meet campers in the drop off area at the front of the Ranch. Instructors will walk to their camps with their campers and show them where they will meet on subsequent days. Parents/Guardians are welcome to walk with campers to their camps on any day.

Ten minutes after arrival, campers will sit down together for a group circle to kick off the day with sharing our gratitude and stories from the natural world.  This is also a time when instructors will explain Sienna Ranch rules and share any exciting updates about the Ranch animals and ecosystem.

After circle time campers will often play a game together. Games relate to the natural world and incorporate concepts like camouflage, predator-prey relationships, and sensory awareness.

Once game time is over, each group heads out on their own adventures, which will always include a story and snack or lunch break, an animal visit or two, and an additional enrichment activity that is different each day.  Farm Hands curriculum is centered around our ranch animals so each day will focus on a different animal.

In addition to structured activities we also encourage children to engage in unstructured nature play as a means of discovering and connecting to the natural world.  With supervision and safe boundaries, we get excited about following our curiosity and growing our excitement for the natural world.

Each day of Farm Hands camp will conclude with a closing circle in which the group will share their collective story of the day and personal highlights.  Instructors will then help campers gather their belongings and bring them to the front of the ranch to either check-out for the day or transition to Ranch Play.

AM CAMP: Survival in the Wild, Makers by Nature, Natural Adventures

At 9am on the first day of camp, our instructors will meet campers in the drop off area at the front of the Ranch. Instructors will walk to their camps with their campers and show them where they will meet on subsequent days. Parents/Guardians are welcome to walk with campers to their camps on any day.

Ten minutes after arrival, campers will sit down together for a group circle to kick off the day with sharing our gratitude and stories from the natural world.  This is also a time when instructors will explain Sienna Ranch rules and share any exciting updates about the Ranch animals and ecosystem.

After circle time campers will often play a game together. Games relate to the natural world and incorporate concepts like camouflage, predator-prey relationships, and sensory awareness.

Once game time is over, each group heads out on their own adventures, which will always include a story and snack or lunch break, and an additional enrichment activity that is different each day. They will visit animals through the course of the week, although it may not be a daily activity.  The curriculum for these camps is specifically designed around exploration and hiking, so students should expect to be up in the hills hiking most days.  If your child is most comfortable hiking in long pants amidst tall grasses, consider dressing for this each day.  Otherwise, any comfortable clothing is permitted as long as closed toed shoes are worn.

In addition to structured activities we also encourage children to engage in unstructured nature play as a means of discovering and connecting to the natural world.  With supervision and safe boundaries, we get excited about following our curiosity and growing our excitement for the natural world.

Each day of camp will conclude with a closing circle in which the group will share their collective story of the day and personal highlights.  Instructors will then help campers gather their belongings and bring them to the front of the ranch to either check-out for the day or transition to Ranch Play.

AM CAMP: Ranch Equestrian

At 9am on the first day of camp, our instructors will meet campers in the drop off area at the front of the Ranch. Instructors will walk to their camps with their campers and show them where they will meet on subsequent days. Parents/Guardians are welcome to walk with campers to their camps on any day.

Ten minutes after arrival, campers will sit down together for a group circle to kick off the day with sharing our gratitude and stories from the natural world.  This is also a time when instructors will explain Sienna Ranch rules and share any exciting updates about the horses and other Sienna Ranch animals.

After circle time campers will begin their activity rotations for the day. Campers rotate through mounted riding instruction, unmounted groundwork, a horse-themed craft or activity and the opportunity to explore other parts of the Ranch.

Each day of camp will conclude with a closing circle in which the group will share their collective story of the day and personal highlights.  Instructors will then help campers gather their belongings and bring them to the front of the ranch to either check-out for the day or transition to Ranch Play.

Horses and Heat:  Temperatures and humidity can sometimes exceed the heat stress index veterinarians deem too high for safe horseback riding. Please know that it is our preference for campers to experience a mounted riding rotation each day of program. However, we reserve the right to substitute riding with other creative, experiential horse-themed lessons and games should the index be too great for the horses to be exercised safely.

Ranch Play 1-2pm
Ranch Play is one hour of supervised recess time in between our AM and PM camps.  We offer this extra hour complimentary to families who register for both an AM and PM camp the same week.  Ranch Play is also available to morning campers who wish to stay and play at the ranch for an extra hour.  At this time we do not offer Ranch Play to those who are here for PM camp only, mostly due to space/availability.

Campers will have already eaten lunch at this point, so this hour is a free choice activity period where campers do a brief circle time to set expectations for the hour and then proceed to either a craft, story, play or rest station.  All Ranch Play programming happens in the shade of our ranch house backyard.

At the end of Ranch Play we will transition the campers to be escorted to the check out zone for pickup or their afternoon camp.  We appreciate your understanding that Ranch Play is not a flexible pickup window, rather a set 1-2pm program hour.

PM Camps - Specialty Programs

At 2pm on the first day of camp, our staff will direct campers to their camp’s home base where they will meet their instructor. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to accompany their campers to meet their instructors on the first day.

If you happen to arrive late and no longer see our Summer check in attendant, please poke your head in the red shipping container office.

Archery, Art and Animals, Fun with Horses, Destination Discovery, Potions and Pies, Pottery, Woodshop, and Wonderful Wool each start their afternoons with an opening circle, which includes sharing names and gratitude, explaining rules, and sharing the plan for the day.

Campers will  jump right into the primary themes and activities of their specialty camp after circle.  All camps will have a snack break midway through the afternoon, often followed by some free play time under the shade of trees.  After snack, campers might re-engage with their projects, or they may choose to play a game or visit a ranch animal before having closing circle and going home.

For those with swim team meets, we do offer early pick up at 3:30pm.  We ask that you report your early pickup online with advance notice so that we can make sure to have enough time to let our instructors know the plan.  Unfortunately, other than this one pickup time we cannot accommodate personalized pickup requests.  Thanks for your understanding!

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What to Bring

  • FOOD: Morning camps have a snack break and a lunch break. Afternoon camps have one snack break. We do not provide food, please pack enough food for your camper
  • WATER: A refillable water bottle labeled with your camper’s name
  • WARM LAYERS/RAIN PROTECTION: We run program rain or shine. Check the weather report each morning and dress accordingly.
  • BACKPACK: A simple daypack works great and allows for hands-free hiking
  • RANCH-FRIENDLY CLOTHES: We play in the mud, climb trees, make messy art and get dirty!
  • MASK: Due to COVID-19 we are asking that all campers bring a mask with them to camp. Specifics on when they will be asked to wear their mask is detailed in the Parent Guidelines.

What to Leave At Home

  • TOYS
  • JEWELRY
  • CANDY / SODA / CHEWING GUM
  • ELECTRONICS including phones
  • MONEY
  • ANYTHING THAT CREATES MICRO-TRASH like straw-wrappers, stickers, or excessive food packaging
Health Note! Senna Ranch kindly requests that items that create micro-trash like drinks with straw wrappers either be unwrapped at home or are left out of lunches since they often blow away from the group and into our animal pens, making our ranch friends very sick.  Thanks for your help keeping our herd healthy!

Horse Camp Footwear Info

Please see our Horse Safe Footwear Information Page for more details on what to wear!

Footwear

Proper footwear is very important when working around and riding horses.  Since horses are very large individuals we put safety first in our horse program.

We require participants wear good boots or shoes that help protect feet if they get stepped on, and most importantly, keep feet from sliding through the stirrup and getting stuck in the event of a fall.  Participants must wear appropriate footwear to be allowed to work around and ride our horses. We ask that you send your child in horse-safe footwear for their program. Before investing in new boots, check to see if your child may already have something that would be appropriate for our riding and horsemanship programs. 

Safe Footwear

  •    Boots designed for riding such as paddock boots, ropers, or cowboy boots
  •    Shoe or boot with smooth sole (no significant treads) and a square 1” – 1.5” heel

Unsafe Footwear (not permitted for Sienna Ranch Riding Programming)

  •    Flip Flops
  •    Sandals
  •    Open-toed shoes
  •    Sneakers
  •    Canvas shoes (example: Toms)
  •    Clogs
  •    Garden shoes (example Crocs)
  •    Hiking/snow boots

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Behavioral Expectations

Every Ranch program has the same set of expectations for all participants. These are explained in circle on the first day. We request that families review these expectations before the first day of program:
  1. Stay with the group– You should be able to see and hear your instructor, and your instructor should be able to see and hear you, without shouting. Groups will not be mixing. 
  2. Wait at the gates – Any time you get to a gate, wait there for your instructor to lead you to the next activity. Instructors will be the only ones touching gate handles.
  3. Respect– Be kind to yourself, to each other, to the animals, and to the Ranch. We listen to and follow directions from our instructor. 
      1. This means not touching our friends. 
      2. We will always cover our mouth if we cough or sneeze
      3. We will never share food unless the instructor is serving it. 
      4. Our instructor may ask us to sit or walk at an arm’s length distance from them..
  4. Have fun! Be prepared for the day, (see ‘What to Bring’ above) ready to participate, and ready to make good choices. 

In addition to these expectations, instructors will present rules around specific activities. If you are ever unsure of a rule, or if you feel uncomfortable or upset about something please let your instructor or another adult at the Ranch know. We want all our participants to have a positive and safe experience at the Ranch!

Behavioral Accountability

Instructors utilize a variety of approaches to support students in meeting our behavioral expectations. These may include:

  • Verbal reminders to the group or to individuals
  • Agreements – By making agreements, we offer positive choices as an alternative to negative behaviors.
  • Requests – Instructors may make behavioral requests of participants, such as giving personal space or taking time away from the group to re-center and refocus. 
  • Support from Ranch AdministrationIf there is a safety concern or if an individual’s behavior is significantly impacting the group, the instructor will seek support from a Ranch administrator. At this time we will usually call the contact phone number to discuss how to best support the participant moving forward, and determine whether they can rejoin the group. 

Our behavioral expectations keep us safe at Sienna Ranch. If there are specific ways in which we can support your child in following these expectations, please let us know. Participants who are consistently unable to meet the behavioral expectations may not be able to return to Sienna Ranch programming.


Parent Communication

Parent/Guardian Reports and Calling Home
A parent/guardian report is a means for instructors to communicate significant first aid, behavioral or emotional incidents. You will receive them either via email before the end of the day.
If there is an emergency or something that we need you to know about immediately we will always call you using the phone numbers on your family’s account.
Speaking with the Office or your Child’s Instructor

If parents wish to speak with instructors please:

  1. Contact Admin requesting to speak with the instructor and provide reason for request.
  2. Admin will arrange meetings between staff and parents between 3:30-4:45 either at social distance or by phone call.

Site Logistics : Parking

Due to limited space in our lot, we ask for your patience and understanding during congested drop off and pickup times.  Please be courteous to one another while parking and keep from blocking turn around zones.  Sienna Ranch requires adults to escort all participants through the lot for safety reasons and stay with campers until checked in with their main instructor.
During Summer Camp our site-neighbors (ILM Tree) are on break, so you may park in any space. Please:
*Pull ALL the way forward into your space
*Drive slowly
*Respect the Keep Clear Zones
*Park and exit patiently, our lot can get very crowded!
*Carpool if possible
*We are a no-idle zone

Site Logistics: Late Pickup Policy

Minutes Late (after posted end time) SR Action Fee
1-5 none none
 6-15 Call contact number.  $10 / driver
16+ call again $1 / min late

Whilst we do appreciate a call or voicemail if you are running late, we will likely be away from the phone actively dismissing campers and may not receive your message immediately.  Thank you for being on time.

Early Pickups Policy: We strongly discourage early pick ups since it alters the flow of camp for everyone. If you would like to arrange an early pickup, let us know via email at least 24 hours in advance and check in with your instructor.

Early pickups without prior notification can take a very long time if your camper’s group is out hiking or in the middle of a messy project.

Site Logistics: Lost and Found

Please be sure to label ALL of your child’s belongings. Lost and Found is collected whenever we find it, and placed in the plastic chest in the Pickup/Dropoff Zone outside the Green Yurt. Unclaimed items will be donated, made available in our seasonal clothing swaps, or added to our Used Gear Sale (proceeds go to our scholarship fund).

Allergies and Special Concerns

In order to best support your child, we need to know about:
  • PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS AND RECENT SIGNIFICANT INJURIES
  • FOOD ALLERGIES
  • LEARNING / BEHAVIORAL / EMOTIONAL EXCEPTIONALITIES
We collected basic health history during your initial registration. If you have any extra information you’ve not yet told us, please email the office at admin@siennaranch.net.

Lice

We take prevention of lice transmission seriously. If your child has an active case of head lice, please treat it before attending the Ranch. We may send untreated children home. 

Our riding program follows industry best practices as recommended by the EPA with regard to sharing helmets. Feel free to ask us for more information, or you can read more about lice, transmission and helmet sharing in the following places. 

*Head Lice and Helmets

*About Lice and Their Control (EPA)

*Head Lice FAQ’s (CDC)

Please note that the CDC recommends against the use of de-lousing products which contain pesticides, house-wide fumigation products, and prophylactically treating those who do not show evidence of lice.  

Ticks

Ticks, including Deer Ticks, do naturally exist year-round in the grasses of the oak savannah habitat that cover the Sienna Ranch property.  We encourage families to establish routine tick check into their day following all Sienna Ranch classes.  If you find a tick, gently remove with tweezers and then clean the area with soap and water.  Consult your physician if you wish to explore options to have the tick tested for Lyme Disease.

If a Sienna Ranch Instructor removes an attached tick during program, we will send the tick home in a baggie with your child so you may have it tested if you wish.  Consider talking with your children about ticks and let them know that while we do need to check for them each day, they live here as part of the natural habitat and are an important part of the healthy local food chain. Check out our Tick Information Sheet if you have more questions about ticks and feel free to reach out to the office with more questions.

Adding Early Birds and/or Ranch Play For Weeks 6-10 only

If you would like to add  Early Birds or Ranch Play to your registration please contact the office. Same day drop-in’s are only available if there is space.

Early Birds (8:00-9:00am)

$60/five days or $15/day

Families who need childcare before morning camp starts may drop off any time between 8:00am and 8:45am. Campers play in the backyard, read stories or draw with an instructor. Campers do not visit animals or go on hikes during Early Birds.

Ranch Play (1:00-2:00pm)

$60/five days or $15/day

Complimentary for full-day campers and available as an add-on to morning-only campers, this is free-choice time in the backyard for those who want to be at the Ranch just a little longer. Instructors will have games, stories and a craft available. Campers do not visit animals or go on hikes during Ranch Play.

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Order a T-Shirt from the Ranch Store

Want to sport a Sienna Ranch t-shirt, hat, sticker or pencil?  Use the online order form, and we can either charge the credit card on file or accept payment when you pick up your items from the Ranch. Place your order before 9am on the second-to-last day of camp, and it will be ready at pick up time on the final day of camp.

Submit an order to the Sienna Ranch Online Store

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Absences

If you wish to report an absence (optional), please call the office and leave a voicemail noting the date of anticipated absence, your student(s)’ name and camp.  Unfortunately we are not able to offer any make ups for missed programming during summer camp.  Thanks for your understanding.

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Enrollment in Other Sienna Ranch Programs!

Did you know that we offer after school classes, birthday parties, field trips and holiday camps during the school year?  Registration for these programs will open mid-summer.  Want to be notified when new links go live on the website?  Enroll in our email newsletter.