• Chris Cyrus

What Your Child Can Expect This Summer at Camp

By the very first moments of an adventure, it's clear that our camp is truly one of a kind... and we wouldn't have it any other way. So what makes our camp so amazing? What can your child expect this summer? Read on and find all the answers you're looking for.


IN-PERSON OVERNIGHT CAMP


Haley Mosher, our Camp Director, explained that heroes arrive at in-person camp on a Sunday, check into their rooms, and eat lunch in an assigned dining hall at an assigned time. Then they go with their group of ten campers and two counselors, to get to know them. This year, the groups will need to remain separate from each other. There will be some team-building activities, and groups will learn about the mechanics of the adventure, which will start on Monday morning.


On Monday, heroes enter Sidleterra, and the two-week-long adventure begins! Breakfast starts the day off, then heroes join the adventure for the morning. After lunch, there is a short rest, then campers continue the adventure until dinner time.


Saturday will be a non-story day; there will be activities, but also some downtime. Sunday will be SidleSunday: there will be a plot that’s separate from the big adventure; there will be chaos and lots of silliness and play. Then the adventure will continue Monday through Friday. On that last (second) Friday, campers will check out at assigned times, all by 11:00 AM.


VIRTUAL DAY CAMP


Our Curriculum Coordinator, Paul Spanagel, described the typical schedule at Virtual Camp. Heroes log on at 9:00 AM and join the nonstop adventure until 11:30 AM. Lunch break is from 11:30-12:30, which is an unmonitored hour. At 12:30, campers log back in using the same link. The adventure ends for the day at 3:00 PM. Since some campers attend only the morning or only the afternoon session, although some do both, the plot in the afternoon could be related to or be separate from the morning session’s plot.


Two weeks before the camper’s session begins, parents of registered campers will receive information for both in-person camp and virtual camp regarding appropriate logistical details for each environment, such as COVID tests, drop-off times, packing lists, and technology tests.


In either environment, there is a good deal of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and puzzles, in contrast to the action-based challenges. Paul stated that obstacles can be “combat, cognition, or communication.” Haley explained the cognitive obstacles are different types of puzzles, such as “words, pictures, or a scavenger hunt.” For example, she said, “a farmer needs to figure out what to do with the chickens because he doesn’t want the fox to eat them.”


CONDUCT AND EMOTIONAL EXPECTATIONS


With all this adventuring, learning, and problem-solving, what might your child expect to experience emotionally? According to Haley, “it depends on the person. You feel all the emotions, and can be attached to what’s happening.” To help, we schedule time for relaxation. Different types of issues produce different emotions. Counselors handle camper problems such as “that person took my toothbrush,” which are different from hero problems, like “Should we save this dragon?”


She remarked that camp brings heroes feelings of “determination, ambition, compassion, and they feel part of the story themselves. Sometimes failure feels better because you’ve grown. Heroes fail all the time and we turn those moments into learning moments. OK, we failed. What can we do to not fail again?”


Paul added that we’re “aiming for a feeling of excitement. Heroes struggle against challenges and ultimately succeed. But success doesn’t feel guaranteed. We take the harder feelings and make them part of the story. Camp is a safe space where they can process those feelings.” Haley maintained that we’re “not just teaching [skills such as] archery. We’re teaching independence, advocacy for themselves, facilitated by characters in stories.”


Regarding in-person camp, Haley indicated that the kids are “excited about being with friends, having human contact after a long year, not being in school or at a computer 24/7, fighting monsters and my friends will protect me, meeting new people and new counselors, trying new things... and spending time away from home.”


WHAT MAKES US AMAZING


In both in-person and online environments, Paul mentioned that the kids are “looking forward to seeing characters they met in camps past, seeing their best friends and also meeting new, cool people.” “It’s like a second home,” Haley noted.


Haley said, “Nowhere else on Earth can your child become a hero overnight.” Paul observed, “Most of our kids are more like the heroes they portray when they go home. Once you’ve been a hero, it’s hard to go back to being just a kid.” “After you fight a monster or save one of your friends from a goblin,” Haley said, “the confidence you have is not like any other.”


Haven't registered for your in-person or online summer camp adventure? Fret not! While space is extremely limited for some sessions, we are working hard to give every young hero the opportunity to join us on a quest. Register today or contact us for assistance. More logistical information can be found below.


LOGISTICAL INFORMATION FOR CAMPS


Two weeks before the camper’s session begins, parents of registered campers will receive information for both in-person camp and virtual camp regarding appropriate logistical details for each environment, such as COVID tests, drop-off times, packing lists, and technology tests.


VIRTUAL DAY CAMP


On the Sunday before the first session, there will be a meeting to go over the technical requirements (screen usage, Zoom accounts, etc.) and to create your characters. You can sign up for either 3-4 PM or 4-5 PM. If you’re attending more than one week, you only need to do the meeting once for the entire summer.


IN-PERSON OVERNIGHT CAMP


Campers must have a COVID test before camp, or cannot be allowed on-site. A second COVID test will be performed during check-in, and a third on the fifth day of camp. Every day, campers will be checked for symptoms such as fever. If you have not received a COVID test form prior to camp please contact us immediately.


Check-in will be staggered. Campers must stay in their cars until prompted by staff. Parents cannot leave their cars, so please say goodbye with hugs at home. Parents will receive email two weeks before check-in with details about their assigned group.


Check-out will also be staggered. Assigned pick-up times will be given by drop-off.


OUR EXPECTATIONS AT IN-PERSON CAMP


Electronic devices are not allowed at camp (except for medical devices), although campers are allowed to make a mobile or video call to their families at designated times on the weekend. Otherwise, counselors will ask campers to forfeit their devices.


Campers must bring a water bottle that can be attached to their clothing or in a bag they bring everywhere with them.


Campers cannot bring any food that requires refrigeration, as we will not have access to a fridge (except for a small fridge used only for medications). Special diets: Publick House (the venue for in-person camp) has options, but needs to know in advance; please answer the questions in the registration form. A sample menu will be published soon.


Placing campers in appropriate groups: Please answer the questions in the registration form to best place the camper according to their needs and interests such as action-oriented versus puzzles, or preferences for roommates. Families can let us know of strengths and challenges so we can best place campers from the beginning; there will be less opportunity to make changes during camp this year.


PACKING FOR IN-PERSON CAMP

  • Approved foam weapons. Some latex weapons may be allowed, but we will inspect them and make decisions based on safety. If you want to confirm if something is approved you may contact us at any time.

  • Costumes (examples).

  • Casual clothes for times when campers are not doing adventures.

  • Weather gear such as rain jackets/ponchos, a sweatshirt if there will be cool nights. Hat or other head covering to block sun, rain.

  • Closed-toed shoes that adhere to the feet, with ankle straps. No bare feet.

  • Sunscreen with an SPF 30+.

  • Mosquito repellent with 33% or less DEET.

  • Lip balm.

  • Toiletry items such as shampoo, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Publick House provides bedding and towels.

  • Sleepwear (pajamas).

  • 1+ laundry bag with the camper’s name clearly marked.

  • A small day pack that can be carried all day, for a water bottle, notebook, potions, a journal.

  • Stationery and envelopes, and stamps for writing home.

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