Sleep away Camps
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Think of a sleep away camp as a supervised and secure summer vacation experience for children. While at the camp all the needs of the camper are taken care of by the Camp. Camps provide a summer program where campers enjoy daily and evening activities. Depending on the type of program chosen, a camp experience can range anywhere from two weeks to an entire summer. Sleep-away camps can be coed, all boys, or all girls. In a coed camp most of the day-to-day activities are usually separate, but there will be interaction in the use of common facilities such as canteen, and dining hall. Evening activities involving the whole camp are generally coed and , of course, well supervised. Below, I outlined what you can expect from a sleep-away camp.

Housing - Campers are housed in cabins, with children their same age. Generally there are 8 to 10 campers per bunk. Each camper gets their own bed and cubbies to place their clothes. There is an area in the bunk with bathrooms and showers. Campers are watched and supervised by counselors who live in the cabins with them and are there at all times.

Meals - Camps provide three meals a day. Campers eat in a large dining room, at a table with their group. Meals are prepared fresh by the camps’ Culinary staff. Most camps provide extensive salad bars for alternative meals and to inhance the planned menu.. Some camps are traditional and serve meals family style with waiters/waitresses serving the food, while other camps serve buffet style. Many camps are peanut free and most make special provisions for special diets such as, salt free, vegetarian, etc.

Health and Safety – Sleep-away camps have an infirmary located in the camp. The infirmary is staffed by Registered Nurses and a Medical Doctor. The Medical staff live in the infirmary and are available 24 hours for any health issue, large or small. The infirmary also secures and dispenses any medications which campers are required to take during their stay at camp. Parents are notified immediately if campers for any reason need to remain overnight in the infirmary.

Daily Activities – Sleep-away camps, provide activities all day long for campers. From the moment the camper wakes up, until they go to bed, the camp is hard at work offering diverse and fun-filled activities. Generally a camp offers traditional activities which include: Waterfront (swimming and instruction in all boating activities),sports (baseball, basketball, tennis, golf etc.), arts and crafts, and dance. Some camps may emphasize one activity while others will offer a wide array of programs. Camps in which a camper would devote a majority of his or her time to one activity are called Specialty Camps. In these camps, staff and facilities are geared to provide an intensive experience in a single area such as sports, riding, circus, performing arts, sailing or wilderness. Naturally, these camps have other facilities and activities that provide campers with additional experiences.

Typical activities offered:

Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Field Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Roller Hockey, Ice Hockey, Archery, Fencing, Fishing, Ropes, Climbing Walls, Golf, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Wrestling, Track & Field, Biking, Weight Training, Mountain Bike Riding, Tennis, Figure Skating, Aerobics. and Horseback riding.

Waterfront: Swimming, Swim instruction, Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, Sailing, Scuba, Snorkeling, Waterskiing, Windsurfing.

Arts and Crafts: Basketry, Drawing, Jewelry, Leatherwork, Metalwork, Crafts, Painting, Cooking, Writing, Sculpture, Weaving, Stained Glass, Woodwork, Sewing, Ceramics.

Evening Activities: After dinner, camps provide campers with an evening activity. These activities are fun and designed to entertain the camper. An example of a typical activity is a camper or staff talent show, a disco specialty sports clinics, free play and choice activities, and a camper produced theater production. Sometimes, camps contract with professional entertainment, such as Magicians, singers, etc.

Cost: It is no secret that most of the time we get what we pay for. A sleep-away camp is no different. The better the camp facility, and the higher quality of the activities, the higher the cost. For example, a camp with an Olympic size pool, and a large lake waterfront for water skiing and boating, will cost more than a camp with just a pool. Luckily, there is a camp to fit every budget. The Camp Professor will work with you to find a camp that meets your budget.

Size: Sleep away camps come in all shapes and sizes. We represent camps which have 50 children, to camps with over 500. A specialty camp, such as a tennis camp will usually have less kids, while traditional camps offering a diverse schedule of activities will have more campers.

Location: Many parents needlessly limit their search for a camp by looking in one state or by choosing an arbitrary distance from home. More important than distance, are the related questions involving camp environment, security, medical facilities, and accessibility.

In choosing a location you might also want to consider the cost for you to visit the camp, and the proximity to camps your other children are attending during the summer. Keep in mind that there are excellent camps in many states, and that if your child is having a good experience, distance will not make a great deal of difference. Which is more important - choosing the right camp based on your child's interests/needs or the comfort of knowing your child's camp is close to home?