FAQs

+ Where do I drop off and pick my child up?

Students will be dropped off and picked up at the Thames Street lot in Portland. Please see the map below for the exact location. If you are heading towards the water on Franklin Street, you will take a left onto Commercial Street. Commercial turns into Thames Street after crossing India Street. Continue down Thames Street until it terminates at the parking lot on the right. You will park in that lot and see our registration tables.

From Points South: Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Exit 44 (formerly Exit 6A). Take I-295 to Exit 7 (Franklin Arterial).continue straight as Commercial turns into Thames Street. Thames terminates at the parking lot to the right.

-OR-

Take Route 1 North to Portland. After crossing Veterans’ Bridge, turn right at the light onto Commercial Street (Route 1A North). Continue straight on Commercial until it turns into Thames Street. Thames terminates at the parking lot to the right.

From Bangor and Augusta: Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) South to Exit 103 (formerly Exit 14B). Take I-295 to Exit 7 (Franklin Arterial).continue straight as Commercial turns into Thames Street. Thames terminates at the parking lot to the right.

From Lewiston-Auburn: Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Exit 52 (Falmouth) (formerly I-495 Exit 9). Take I-295 to Exit 7 (Franklin Arterial). Follow Franklin Arterial to the end and go straight across the intersection.



+ What if my child has special food allergies or takes special medication?

Please note this on the health form included in your registration packet. If your child takes specific medications please hand them off to the guide on the first day of the program with any special instructions. We ask that guides hold on to all medications to ensure your child receives their medications on time and to ensure privacy from other participants. If you have specific concerns, feel free to call the office at 207-791-7870.



+ When is the deadline for paying for my child’s program? Are there scholarship opportunities?

All program fees and paperwork (parental waiver and health form) are due two weeks before a participant begins their program. If you are in need of a scholarship, please contact our office at (207) 791-7870 or click here for more information.



+ What should my child come prepared with?

Please bring the items listed on the gear list. Also, it is imperative that your child comes with a positive attitude and a sense of adventure. This is the easiest and most packable item!



+ What if I need to pick up my child early or late?

If your child will be missing a day of programming, please let us know. Because of fixed transportation schedules, we cannot provide transportation for students who arrive late or need to leave early. There are water taxis available for this purpose. Please call our office for more information. If Rippleffect arranges transportation at an alternative time, there will be a $45 charge.

We also do not provide supervision before or after the stated times for our programs. We would never leave a minor unsupervised if a parent is late for pickup, but if it happens multiple times we reserve the right to dismiss your child from the remainder of the program.



+ What if somebody other than me (child’s parent/guardian) needs to pick them up?

We ask that you notify us ahead of time so we can make sure your child leaves with the person you have identified.



+ Can my child be in a group with his/her friends?

Yes, but we encourage participants not to register with a large group of friends. We want our groups to be as inclusive as possible and registering together in advance can sometimes create challenging group dynamics.



+ Does my child need to bring his/her own lifejacket?

No, we have plenty of lifejackets suited for all sizes of participants.



+ What kinds of facilities exist on Cow Island?

Rippleffect has four composting toilets that are permanent structures on the island. We have a solar-powered kitchen with a back-up generator and running water. The bunkers are used as classrooms and storage facilities and participants sleep outside in yurts on platforms. For more information on Cow Island, click here.



+ How can I reach my child if there is an emergency?

You can contact us online or call the office at (207) 791-7870. If no one is available please call our Youth Program Director, leah@rippleffect.net, at (207) 712-7369 or our Island Manager, toby@rippleffect.net, at (207) 415-1320.



+ What are the staff’s qualifications for working with my child?

All of our guide staff are Wilderness First Aid certified and trained sea kayak guides. Our guide staff members are required to go through a rigorous two week training prior to working for us. Many of our staff have worked with us for multiple seasons. They each bring specific skills and knowledge of the environment to their jobs and love to share their passion for the outdoors with Rippleffect participants. Our staff also come with experience working with kids of all ages so they are able to relate and be compassionate, caring facilitators of your child’s experience.



+ How large are the groups? How many staff are with each group?

The average group size is between 7-14 students. We generally uphold a ratio of one guide to seven students.



+ Does my child need to be a strong swimmer to participate in a Rippleffect program?

No, although it helps if they are somewhat comfortable on the water. We have had several students successfully attend our programs who do not know how to swim. Any time a student is in or on the water – whether paddling or swimming – they are required to wear a life jacket, despite their swimming ability. We have added precautions for students who are nonswimmers.



+ Will my child be kayaking every day?

Probably not, but this also depends on whether the program is a day, overnight or expeditionary program. Aucocisco and expedition participants kayak most days while Cow Island overnight participants tend to paddle slightly less. Depending on weather conditions and group ability, guides may choose an alternate activity. Guides may also choose to take students out in rainy conditions so it is important that participants are prepared with a change of clothes and rain gear so they can enjoy a day of activities regardless of the weather.