Avery House Nature Center Bike Camp Information for Parents
Q: What should my child bring each day to bike camp?
A: Every camper should come with a labeled backpack with the following labeled items:
- One or two full water bottles. Check and double check for leaks.
- Bike and Helmet (for bike camps)
- If possible, a water bottle holder/cage on their bike (for bike camps)
- Sunscreen and a Hat
- Extra socks
- A lightweight layer, and an extra set of clothing, just in case the wind gets chilly or wet
- Close-toed shoes. No crocs, slides, or leather boots. Prefer keens, tennis shoes, or water shoes
- We get in and out of the water throughout the days. From bikes to trails and rocky streams to mud – we explore it all. Make our day and your child’s day more enjoyable with the proper footwear. It is challenging to carry and change shoes often throughout the day.
If your child is an independent biker, s/he should also be comfortable biking while wearing their backpack as we are on the move!
A letter will be emailed to all parents prior to each camp listing all items needed, itinerary, and other important information.
Q: Do I need to provide a bike for my child attending a biking camp?
A: Yes, your child will need to come to camp with their own bike each day of bike camp. This ensures that the child is familiar with and comfortable on the bike prior to camp.
Q: What kind of bike can my child bring to summer camp?
A: Preferred Bike:
- Hand Brakes for all ages and abilities
- All terrain bike tires
- Water bottle holder
- Back brakes
- 1 gear
Do NOT Ride:
- Training wheel bike
- Stunt or BMX bike
- Bike without brakes
- Bike with more than 2 wheel
Q: What kind of helmet should my child wear at summer camp?
- Must cover the child’s forehead.
- Should not fall off or backward.
- Needs to have an adjustable fit.
- Needs to have a connected and intact casing.
- Needs secure chin strap connectors.
*We prefer bike specific helmets opposed to skateboarding helmets or other sporting helmets.*
Bike Ability groups
- Advanced biker: Understands how to use gears for uphill/downhill, can stop safely going downhill quickly, can shift up and shift down on command
- Intermediate biker: Quickly understands and can communicate “left” and “right”, has gears but does not completely understand how to use them, comfortable riding in the road in bike lanes
- Beginning biker: Has back brakes, sometimes struggles to get on and off their bike, positions and manually moves their pedals after each stop to get in a comfortable position.
- Bike learner:
- 1 – Student is still working on balancing and often cannot start the bike without help. They have bike with pedals and brakes but needs more instruction.2 – Student rides a bike without pedals (strider or pedal free). We prefer no training wheels because we can not teach a child to ride a bike if they have training wheels.3 – The goal is to be a beginning biker at the middle to end of the camp week.
- Bike learner:
***The only camp for Bike learners is – Wild Winged Bikers.***
A: Bikers who are not yet comfortable on two wheels may attend our Wild Wing Bikers Camp, June 24-28. This camp is open to bikers of all ability levels.* This is the only biking camp that is available to bikers who are in the process of transitioning from training wheels to independent two-wheel biking and currently independent two-wheel bikers. Camp participants will be grouped according to their ability and comfort levels.
In order to accommodate beginners, we can provide pedal-free balance bikes or you can take training wheels and pedals off of your own bike. By the end of this camp, we hope your biker will be confident and capable with two wheels and ready to roll into any of our other bike programs.
* Note: Wild Wing Bikers: has intermediate/advanced trail options as well as beginners.
The following camps are only open to campers who are already capable and comfortable riding independently on a two-wheel bike. Due to the trails and terrain that these camps will traverse there will be no training wheels or balance bikes permitted in these camps.
- July 15-19 Wilderness Navigators
- July 29-August 2 River Rafters
- August 12-16 Mountain Biking Explorers
- August 19-23 Pond Cyclers
Q: What will my child learn about bike safety? What kind of safety precautions are taken?
A: Children will learn about roadways right of way traffic rules, the importance of visibility, basic bicycle care, communication while cycling in a group, and use of safety equipment such as properly adjusting and wearing a helmet.
All children wear high visibility shirts on bicycling trips that take us near, on, or along roadways. Additionally, Avery House has child-sized reflective cycling vests available.
Multiple camp leaders are positioned along with the group of campers, always keeping one at the head and one at the end of the line. We stop often for water breaks and to ensure the group stays safely together.
Q: What kind of footwear should my child wear while biking?
A: Every camper should be wearing close-toed sneakers unless otherwise noted by the camp instructor. Campers may not wear crocs, flip-flops, or other unsecured, open-toed shoes while biking.
Q: What is a balance bike/pedal free bike?
A: A balance bicycle, or run bike, is a training bicycle that helps children learn balance and steering. It has no pedals, no crankset and chain, and no training wheels. This is a safe transition from training wheels to independent biking.
Q: Can I leave my child’s bike at Avery House while they are attending camp?
A: Yes, there is a possibility to store your child’s bike overnight at Avery House; however, we cannot offer transport of bikes to and from field trip sites. If you plan to store a bike overnight at Avery House, you must also plan to pick up and drop off the bike when trips are not beginning or ending at Avery House.