First session, mini camp 1 and full season campers will arrive at Camp either by bus, plane or car. We try to schedule Opening Day travel so everyone at Camp arrives at pretty much the same time. The first thing that campers do is unpack their belongings onto their shelves and make their beds – so that it begins to feel like home.
Counselors and bunk mates are there to help. New campers will also be welcomed by their “Big Sibling” who will help to show them around over the next few days. Also, the counselors in each bunk have a few activities planned to introduce all the campers in their bunk to each other and show them the way around Camp. Activities on the first day are generally spent with bunkmates.
Before long, it’s dinner time and bunks go to the Dining Hall together. After dinner, we have Evening Forum, followed by a short evening activity that puts the staff on stage to introduce themselves. Finally, bunks return “home” together and get ready for bed in anticipation of the first full day of Camp.
The next day of Camp follows our regular schedule. New campers usually eat breakfast with their Big Sibling and review the Planning Sheet together. After breakfast comes the season’s first Planning Session, where we learn how to take part in this daily ritual. Before you know it, four periods, three meals, two general swims and one rest period are over, and it’s time for Evening Forum, Evening Activity and then bedtime!
The first 24 hours will be a little different, since some members of your bunk are attending for the full season, and will already be settled in. The first day is a special day at Camp in that you will share activities with your bunk so you can get to know each other.
Camp Leaders, your Big Sibling or a full season camper from your bunk will show you around. Parents will have the opportunity to tour Camp before they depart. After you say goodbye to your family, you will finish moving into your bunk and then your bunk will spend the remainder of the afternoon together on several activities.
Before you know it, it’s time for dinner, followed by Evening Forum and an activity to introduce staff to new campers.
The next day of Camp follows our regular schedule. New campers usually eat breakfast with their Big Sibling and review the Planning Sheet together. After breakfast everyone heads to the Pearl B for Planning Session, where counselors will advertise the activities that they are offering and you’ll have an opportunity to pick your schedule for the day.
We assign counselors to lodges and age groups during our Staff Training Program, in late-June. During Staff Training, counselors work together as a team and get to know each other better. This allows us to make much more informed decisions about staff assignments and counselor pairings. This philosophy has served us well, even though it makes for a surprise on Opening Day for campers!