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Frequently Asked Questions about Camp Unleashed

1) How can I send my dog to camp?
Camp Unleashed is for dogs AND their people. You can't just send your dog.

2) Is camp right for my dog and me?

Camp Unleashed is for people whose idea of fun is doing something enjoyable with their dog and for dogs who are well socialized and friendly toward other dogs and people. Your dog should be responsive to recall and it helps if you are comfortable with your dog being off leash most of the time, though it is not a requirement.

We welcome dogs of all sizes, shapes and varieties including seniors, differently-abled dogs and dogs not athletically inclined.

Dogs do NOT need to be interested in playing with other dogs but they should not be overly fearful either.

If you have concerns or questions about whether Camp Unleashed is right for you or your dog, please read our Camp Rules and contact us. We may consult with one of our camp trainers, in order to determine if a particular dog should attend camp.

3) Does my dog have to be off leash the entire time?

While it is not mandatory to have your dog off leash, our focus at camp is to offer the dogs as natural and free an environment as possible and one that is also safe.  If you keep your dog on leash, you will need to be watchful of dog interactions as mixing on-leash and off-leash dogs can cause stress in the leashed dogs, which may lead to aggression.

4)  Is camp mainly for large dogs?

Small dogs are more than welcome as long as they have been socialized around both large and small dogs and are not extremely fearful, reactive or shy.  

5) How many participants attend camp at one time?  

Camp is limited to 55 dogs and their people. The small group size of our camp allows for a more personable and relaxed experience.  

6) What are the cabins like?

All accommodations are clean, casual, and functional.  However, camp is for people willing to "ruff" it with their dogs for a few days in the country. The rustic charm of the cabins makes them ideal for the dogs and minimizes concern about dog damage and dirt. At Camp Berkshires, cabins do not have electricity or indoor plumbing; however there are rooms available in a dormitory style lodge (Gibson Hall) with electricity and indoor wash rooms with showers. For a more detailed description, see Berkshire Lodging Options.  At Camp Asheville, all cabins have electricity and semi-private bathrooms (shared with adjacent cabin).

7) Does my dog have to be unleashed the entire time?
No, not until you become comfortable and confident about your dog’s recall. All dogs are leashed in our indoor workshops as well.

8) Where do the dogs sleep?
Your dog sleeps in your cabin, room, or tent with you. Either on your bed or along side it, the choice is yours. If there's an extra bed and it's available, the dog may claim it. In cabins where there are multiple dogs, campers will determine among themselves what works best for everyone. If you have concerns about your dog wandering or interacting during the night, you might want to bring a baby gate to fence him/her in.  If your dog is used to sleeping/resting in a crate, definitely bring it along.

9) What kind of food is served at camp?
We serve three healthy all-you-can-eat adult meals each day, plus snacks, all included in your camp fee. Every meal will include options for vegetarians and a multi-ingredient salad bar.  Food is way far above standard "camp" fare and we strive to incorporate local and fresh ingredients when possible. Our campers rave about the food at both Camp Berkshires and Camp Asheville.

10) Do I bring my own dog food?
Yes. Because dogs have individually tailored diets, we are unable to provide meals for them.

11)  My dog is on the Bones & Raw Food Diet.  Is refrigeration available?
Yes. Campers who feed their dogs raw or home cooked food may use the cold storage unit in the dining hall kitchen.

12) My dog and I are beginners in these activities, may we still participate?
Absolutely. Beginners are welcome and will receive instruction at all activities. Camp is all about fun and not serious sports competition or obedience training. Our goal is for you and your dog to discover each other more fully and deepen your connection.

13)  Is alone time allowed or is everything down in groups?

You are definitely NOT required to attend any of the activities (other than orientation)  and there are many opportunities to just hang with your dog, hike off leash in the woods, go for a swim together or lounge under the shade of a tree.  The camp area is large and there are plenty of places you can be alone in nature together.  Everyone is urged to be responsible for their dog at all times.

14)  My dog and I are both pretty laid back and he is 9 years old and slowing down a bit.   Are there other activities for us?
Older dogs or dogs who are physically challenged in some way will enjoy the freedom at camp, being in a beautiful, quiet natural setting with a pack, and the easy access to the lake for wading in the water. We hold “Gentle Yappy Hours” and “Gentle Walks” specifically for our seniors.  Also, there are always other options scheduled at the same time as our active sports for less athletic dogs to enjoy such as Scent Games or canoeing.  

15) What kind of behavior training does camp offer?
Camp Unleashed is for well-behaved dogs. We use positive reinforcement training methods, rewarding dogs with treats, more play and/or attention. Our core value is respect for each dog's own nature.

15) What if it rains?
In case of rain, activities continue as scheduled at Camp Unleashed unless there is a thunderstorm. Many of our sport activities have secondary indoor locations.

16) How many dogs can I bring with me?

Because we have a limit to the number of dogs that we feel can comfortable and safe together in this unleashed environment, we have a limit of 2 dogs per person and no more than 3 total per couple.  Also, as many of the activities are one-on-one (dog and human), it can sometimes be a challenge for the dog that is not being included.  Unfortunately we can't offer individual care for those dogs; they need to be content to be resting in their cabins or in crates if they prefer that.  The experience of Camp Unleashed works best when you come with just one dog---because that dog has your undivided attention and your relationship has a real chance to deepen and grow in this context.  

17) May I see a schedule?

Because of a number of variables, we won't have a finalized schedule until just before camp. However, we have a sample camp schedule, which is a good indication of a typical session. If there are any few activities where there is a limit to the number of dogs and people who can participate (e.g., CGC Test)  you will be able to sign up at camp the day before the scheduled activity.  

18)  Is there a vet tech on site?
 Yes, both camps have a vet tech available round the clock during camp sessions and there are local ER Vets available.  
19) Who is on the staff?
Staff members are carefully selected, knowledgeable professionals highly respected in their field, with years of experience working with both dogs and humans. Short bios for all of our staff and presenters are available on our Staff page.  They all share our respect for dog nature and use only positive reinforcement for teaching and communicating with your dog.

20) What if I'm alone but want a roommate?
Cabins are quite spacious as they are built to accommodate 12 or more child campers.  If you choose shared accommodations, you will be in a cabin or room with at most two other people and their dogs. We are happy to match you with appropriate roommates. Just indicate your preference on your Registration Form and we'll take care of it.

21) Can children come to camp?
No.  We are not set up to accommodate children; the camp is set up for dogs.  Young people over 12 who are comfortable around dogs may attend accompanied by a legal adult guardian.

22) What is your vaccination policy?
Because there is controversy surrounding vaccinations and the consequences of their potential overuse, we require only an up-to-date rabies vaccination.  Before camp session starts we will ask you for a copy of your dog’s rabies vaccination or a letter signed by your veterinarian indicating acceptable titre levels.  A signed Health Certificate from your veterinarian is also required. 

23) What do I need to pack for camp?  
About 4 weeks prior to camp you will receive an orientation packet via email which includes a “What to Pack” list.

24)  Are there dog-friendly motels nearby if we need to spend the night before or after camp?
Yes,  see Dog-Friendly Lodging near Camp Becket and Dog-Friendly Lodging near Camp Tekoa.

25) Are there any additional fees at camp?

All daily programming is included in the camp fees. However, there are some optional add-ons available, such as private therapeutic massage, private sittings for dog photography, etc. If you choose an optional service, you will need to pay the provider directly.

26) Do you take credit cards?

Yes. Deposits can be made via credit card through PayPal. If you would like to pay your balance via credit card, please let us know and we will send you a PayPal invoice.  Otherwise you may make your payment in the form of a personal check or money order, payable to Camp Unleashed and mail it.

27)  What time is check-in and what time is departure?
You may arrive the first day between 12:00 to 1:00 pm for Orientation and settling in.  Our first group activity starts at 4:00 pm.  On the last day, we finish after lunch but you are welcome to stay on site till 4:00 pm.

28)  How do I get to camp?
You can Google both camps for a map.  Directions will also be included with your Orientation Packet.

29) How do I register?
5 easy steps to register for Camp Unleashed online.  Visit either Berkshires Registration or Asheville Registration.

30)  I have some other questions that aren't addressed here.  Who can I contact?
and we'll be happy to answer any of your questions personally.