Would you like to experience a day in the life of Colony Ross with friends and family? At our ELP Summer Camp, you can dress up in 19th century costumes, sleep in the historic compound, cook in an outdoor kitchen, and try your hand at traditional Russian crafts.
Join Fort Ross Conservancy for our ELP Summer Program for All Ages! This program offers you the chance to experience daily life at Fort Ross with a trained instructor as your guide. Activities can include cooking your meals in an outdoor kitchen, fishing in beautiful Fort Ross Cove, gardening, making candles and artisanal crafts, weaving baskets, hiking the grounds, and an optional overnight sleepover inside the historic Fort Ross compound buildings!
ELP–What is an ELP? To understand where our Family Camp stems from, read all about the amazing Environmental Living Program (ELP). Family Camp is a streamlined version of this well-established program to open up this opportunity for families and friends of all ages.
Single Day Program Fee: $40/person (The minimum fee for a Single Day Program is $280. Groups with less than seven people will need to cover this fee).
Overnight Program Fee: $60/person (The minimum fee for an Overnight Program is $360. Groups with less than six people will need to cover this Fee).
The Booking Calendar works on a first come first served basis. To maximize your group’s enjoyment of the Fort and your time with an FRC Instructor, we allow for only one group at a time. Check out the sample schedule below to get an idea of what your program will consist of. Note the times you will have personalized attention with your FRC Instructor.
For more information on all our programs email Director of Programs, Song K Hunter at email@example.com.
Fort Ross Cultural History Talk with FRC Instructor
Fort Ross Marine Ecology Walk & Talk with FRC Instructor – We can pull out our binoculars and share details on the marine mammals and intertidal zone.
Costumes – Required. We strongly encourage a bit of role play, and part of that is dressing up for the times! Have fun with this, and either make your own (refer to the costumes webpage), or find a costume in the Fort Ross Conservancy collection. We have costumes for all ages and sizes.
Cooking at Fort Ross – Cooking in the outdoor kitchen will take you back to the 1800’s with the camp smoke billowing around cast iron pots and an open grill. Get inspiration from the Environmental Living Program sample menu. FRC supplies a full range of cooking tools and utensils including: cast iron spider pots that go right on the coals, cast iron griddles & pans, cutting knives, wooden spoons, cutting boards wooden bowls and baskets of many sizes. FRC DOES NOT PROVIDE: food, coolers/refrigeration or tupperware. Participants are responsible for starting and tending the fires and food. An outdoor washing station will be set up by participants with instructions provided by your FRC Instructor. Please bring coolers and sturdy containers to secure food and keep the critters out!
Projects – Spend time working on craft projects from the 1800s. Get inspired by one of our many established projects, or bring your own!
Additional Project Ideas – If you’re interested in these projects, let us know ahead of time as they require additional equipment. Please make sure to read each project page carefully to see what’s required.
- Russian Lacquerware
- Build your own Bench!
- Design your own Copper Lantern
- Build a scarecrow for the ELP garden
- Plan ahead and forage flax or dogbane for your trip with our cordage project
- Harvest acorns in the fall then process them onsite
- Make a bentwood hat, fish print, or throwing darts in the Alaska Native tradition.
Other Activities –
- Go fishing while at Fort Ross! Make sure each adult has a fishing license, and is familiar with the state regulations. Please note, bring your own fishing poles and bait.
- Make sure not to miss spending time at our stunning beaches. Sandy Cove offers a wide and gentle sandy beach on which to play, as well as excellent tide pooling at the South end of the cove. Fort Ross Cove also offers excellent tidepooling. Please make sure to read up on how to have the most fun in the intertidal zone (tide pools).
- Night Watch is a very fun part of our school program. Though it may not seem like the greatest idea, staying up all night, we continuously hear from every group that this is the most memorable part of their stay! Participants may choose to do one night watch together and put out the fires until morning breakfast.
- Hire a Storyteller or Astronomer for an amazing treat!
Sleeping Arrangements – There are a few bed frames with basic straw mattresses, but for larger groups you’ll be sleeping on the floor of the historic buildings, so feel free to bring a cot. Bring your sleeping pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and lots of warm PJ’s! It can be quite cold here at night. Please note, that electrical outlets are limited. Please plan accordingly.
Firewood – Bring what you can. A typical class overnight ELP uses 8 boxes of wood (¼ cord).
Other Items to Bring – Please take a look at the Items to Bring list that we share with our regular ELP school groups. Some items might not be relevant, but this will give you a good idea of what to bring.
Required Forms – All participants MUST sign the FRC Liability form; we have one for adults and one for minors. If your group wants to share images from your stay (which we’d love), please sign our Media Form(on the second page of the libaility form). The Head Organizer of your group must sign and turn in the FRC Contract – Overnights in the Fort Ross Compound.
Clean Up – All groups MUST clean, dry and put away all equipment belonging to FRC and California State Parks. Your FRC Instructor will provide instructions only.
ELP Family Camp Sample Schedule – v07052019 – Use this sample schedule as a template for your time at Fort Ross. It’s important to communicate with FRC staff if creating a custom schedule. You are welcome to use your own creative ideas to augment the onsite program. However, any significant variation from the sample MUST be discussed prior to your visit.