Frequently Asked Questions About Animal Camp Jamaica

Animal Camp Jamiaca is a great place for teens to foster maturity and embrace a new culture. At Animal Camp Jamaica, we help young people learn problem-solving skills, develop positive self-esteem, and enhance their social skills all while having fun! We understand that sending a child to camp, let alone a camp abroad, for the first time can be scary! It's our hope that the information in this section will help you decide if Animal Camp Jamaica is the right camp for your child and answer any questions you may have about our program. Please feel free to call the office at 573-458-2125 if you have any questions.

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What is included in Tuition?
We offer two types of Tuition: One includes round trip airfare with our group and the other does not. If you purchase tuition with airfare, your child travels to and from the island with us being chaperoned through customs and getting them easily and safely through the airport. Both tuition options cover accommodations at the villa, meals, and scheduled excursions. To read more about tuition, go visit our Dates & Rates page.

How do the Campers Stay Safe in Jamaica?
Just like any country, there are always precautions to take. We help campers keep safe when out and about by always staying together as a group. If the group should have to split for a reason, campers travel with a counselor. We stay at a private villa in a gated community. We know our neighbors are there are never unscheduled visitors. We are always aware of our surroundings and look out for one another. To read more about Staying safe in Jamaica, go visit our Safety In Jamaica page.

Who are Cub Creek's Directors?
Where are campers staying? Campers will stay at the Seven Palms Villa,which is owned by Scott and Lori Martin, the Executive Directors of Camp. Seven Palms Villa is transformed into our summer ‘cabin’ for ACJ campers. There are 5 bedrooms with bunk beds each with their own private bathroom. The villa has wifi, is air conditioned, has a private pool, with various fruit and palm trees on the property. Read more about Camper Accommodations here.

Who are the Camp staff and how are they certified?
Animal Camp Jamaica counselors are all former Cub Creek Science Camp staff. Because we expect ACJ counselors to be responsible, trustworthy, and problem-solvers, they are the best staff from Cub Creek previous summers. Each staff member of ACJ is required to do online-training, pass a background check, and attend camp’s two week staff training for Cub Creek. Many ACJ counselors are returning ACJ staff. They are also lifeguard and CPR certified.

How long has camp be in operation?
Animal Camp Jamaica had its first summer in 2014. The owners, Lori and Scott have been traveling to Jamaica for 20 years, and have dreamed about opening a camp on the island. While the camp less than 10 years old, it’s still a successful and well developed program. With Cub Creek’s 25 year history and ACA accreditation, Lori ensures to transfer the same standards to Animal Camp Jamaica.

How can I stay in touch with my camper?
Campers in Jamaica are able to have their cellphones and have access to the villa’s wifi. We also have an American landline phone and computer available. To read more information about staying in touch with your camper, please visit our Camper Correspondence

What if my camper has medication or dietary restrictions?
We are happy to discuss any medical or dietary needs your camp may have while on the island. In Jamaica, campers are responsible for taking their own medications. Our counselors are there to help remind them if needed. While we don’t serve meals catered to special dietary needs, there are various stores on the island that offer foods catered to special dietary restrictions. Jamaica is a vegetarian friendly country, with a culture that embraces meat free food options.

Do I have to fly my child with the group?
You are welcome to book your own flights to correspond with our camps schedule. Make sure to keep these things in mind:

  • Your child will be expected to get through customs by themselves.
  • There are additional fees associated if your child doesn’t fly/arrive at the same time as our group. This also applies with departing flights from the island.
  • You may have to schedule to and from the villa, if it’s not coordinated with our group.

When is the first day of the trip?
The first day of Animal Camp Jamaica, according to our dates and rates starts on Sunday, with an orientation in St. Louis. Monday is the first day on the island.

Why should my camper go to orientation?
Orientation is the first time the group meets with one another before flying. We discuss campers goals and what they’re most excited for on the trip. We will go over what the travel plans are for Monday, including scheduling, customs, luggage, expectations, etc. A casual swim test is conducted during orientation, helping to gauge each campers comfortability in water. We’ve noticed that this first day alleviates the stress of traveling. As well it encourages bonding between campers.

I see Cub Creek mentioned a lot on this site. What is Cub Creek Science Camp?
Cub Creek Science Camp is our sister camp located in Rolla, Missouri. Over 25 years, Cub Creek has fostered thousands of friendships, created endless memories, and taught campers about animal science and nature. Cub Creek is closely tied to Animal Camp Jamaica, with many of our campers traveling to ACJ. Additionally all of our staff for ACJ come strictly from Cub Creek, including the management team. Visit our sister camp Cub Creek Science Camp!

Are there scholarships available for Animal Camp Jamaica?
Unfortunately right now we are unable to provide scholarships for Animal Camp Jamaica.

Who are Animal Camp Jamaica’s Directors?
Lori Martin is the founder and executive director of Animal Camp Jamaica. She has traveled to Jamaica extensively over 20 years. In the founding of ACJ, she wanted to transfer her love of science and marine animal life to campers of her successful Cub Creek Science Camp. Ari Farley is the program director of the Animal Camp Jamaica program. She has worked with Cub Creek for 8 years and facilitated Animal Camp Jamaica for 3 summers now. You can read more about these amazing women here on our team page.

Can I send mail to my camper?
The mailing system in Jamaica isn’t the same as what you may expect from America. It’s hard to deliver mail to the Seven Palms Villa in Jamaica. If you’re familiar with Cub Creek’s mailing system, and if you’d like something similar for your camper we’d be happy to work with you.

My child attended Cub Creek in the past, how is Animal Camp Jamaica different than Cub Creek?
Animal Camp Jamaica is a smaller group of campers, maxing out at 16. With this being a smaller group, we only send 2 - 3 counselors to chaperone the trip. Your camper will have their cell phone with them the entire time of their trip, with access to wifi at the villa. For this reason, we don’t have the same mailing system with ACJ as we do with Cub Creek. You can read more information about this on our Camper Correspondence page. The programming and activities for Animal Camp Jamaica are much different than what is offered at Cub Creek. The island of Jamaica offers vibrant flora and fauna that gives campers hands on experience with Marine Biology, Ichthyology, Botany, Zoology and so much more! Additionally experiencing the culture and excursions offered are a once in a lifetime experience. While you may be used to the registration process of Cub Creek, we feel that preparation for ACJ requires a little more planning. You must prepare travel documents, payments, program choices, flight coordination, etc.

How can I prepare my camper for Animal Camp Jamaica?
We strongly encourage families to read over this website in depth with their camper. We have included thorough information to help prepare both campers and parents. Under our travel preparation tab, you will find pages such as: what to expect, trip itinerary, passport & travel documents, a packing list, getting to know the island, as well as flight information. Orientation helps to alleviate any stress your camper may experience, and we highly recommend that your camper fly with our group. Come spring, we will be sending out emails to prepare families and campers for the trip! If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us at office@bearriverranch.com or call 573-458-2125.

FAQ - Jamaican Boy Playing - Animal Camp Jamaica
FAQ - Campers Heart hands on the Beach - Animal Camp Jamaica
FAQ - Sea Shell - Animal Camp Jamaica