Mission and Values
Meet The Team
We love happy campers! We encourage you to communicate with our staff about cabin preferences on your registration form. Please understand that we cannot fulfill every request. Cabin placement is done carefully by our staff, keeping the best interests of every camper in mind. All input is appreciated and considered, but no request can be guaranteed. All cabins are grouped according to age/grade, and we are unwilling to make any exceptions to this particular rule. It makes for a much more successful camp.
Travel and Packing
There are several travel options for campers. Some girls are dropped off by car, others take the camp bus (departing from NYC, Westchester County, and Albany), and others fly into nearby airports (Burlington, VT or Montreal, CAN) For campers arriving by plane, we will arrange for a staff member to meet the camper at the airport
Keep in mind that camp is all about play! Your daughter will be very active at camp, clothes should be designed for this. We ask all our campers to wear closed-toe shoes around camp; flip-flops and sandals are allowed only at the waterfront. Clothes will get dirty and stained, so nothing should be sent that cannot be replaced. We ask each camper to bring her camp uniform to be worn on certain occasions throughout the summer.
We are a NO TECH ZONE at Camp Jeanne d’Arc! Part of the camp experience is “un-plugging,” enjoying nature, and connecting with others. For this reason, we do not allow campers to have any electronic device that may be used to play video games, watch shows or movies; nor do we allow them to have cell phones. What we do permit the girls to keep in their cabins are music only devices, like Mp3 players. No device with a screen is permitted. Remember that while Mp3s are allowed, we do not encourage campers to bring expensive and irreplaceable items with them to camp. If you have questions about a specific device, feel free to ask us!
Except for very unique circumstances, we do not recommend campers call home. In most cases, a phone call home elicits a strong emotional response. Parents should contact camp directors with any concerns they may have. Letters home (through Camp Minder) are the preferred method of communication.
Of course, you are welcome to send your daughter a package at camp! We request no more than one package a week. We encourage fun packages that include decorations, simple toys, books, stickers, tattoos, games, accessories, etc. Any food received in a package will be confiscated, as it attracts critters to the cabin. If you would like to send a treat for the cabin for a special occasion, please coordinate with the camp directors.
At JDA we believe that campers do best when fully immersed in the camp experience. Generally we do not allow phone calls between campers and home. However, we strongly encourage you to keep in touch with your camper through physical and electronic mail. Feel free to send your camper a care package as well. No more than one care package per week is requested. Your care packages will be opened first by a member of the staff. All food will be discarded to keep unwanted critters out of cabins.
It is normal for campers to miss their home and family when they arrive, even for veteran campers! It is a healthy, common response. We have had considerable experience dealing with homesick campers and are ready to help. Know that homesickness often disappears as quickly as it arrives, and overcoming homesickness is an opportunity for personal growth. It is not uncommon to receive a letter (or several) during the first few days of camp reporting on feelings of homesickness. In this event, we need help from you:
- Keep in frequent contact, positive encouraging letters are best.
- Tell her that you are proud of her for conquering a challenge and ask her about new friends and skills.
- Encourage her to stick with it. Knowing that you have faith in her will help her get through the initial homesickness.
- Do not give her an out (as hard as that may be)
- Although it’s hard not to bargain with our kids, it’s important to refrain from telling your daughter that you will come and get her “if…” If your daughter knows that you will come at the drop of a hat, she will be less willing to really engage herself and overcome her homesickness. This is a huge life lesson.
Health and Safety
Our biggest defense against intruders is training. We spend ample time during our pre-camp training, instructing our staff on how to identify an intruder and how to respond. Our campers are also given training upon their arrival. Our camp is small; we are like one big family. It is easy to identify someone who is not welcome at camp. In the event that we have an unwanted visitor on camp , we would begin our intruder protocol.
At camp, we have at least one full-time nurse (24/7), and occasionally a doctor on site. We also have a working relationship with a local pediatrician’s office. We have access to two urgent care facilities, and two hospitals within 45 min. Our preferred hospital is CPVH, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY.
Nobody wants to come home from camp with lice! In order to avoid the spreading of lice, we employ a professional lice company to screen every camper within the first few hours of arrival. If your camper arrives to camp with lice, we will begin treatment immediately. The charge for treatment is a minimum of $250 for the cost of the treatment. We encourage all campers to use good lice management practices such as not sharing hair brushes and limiting head-to-head contact. If your child’s school has sent home a lice notice within the last 6 months, it is mandatory to have her checked by a lice professional within the week before coming to camp.
If your daughter becomes sick at camp, she is brought to The Nest (the camp infirmary building). The nurse will tend to your daughter according to standing orders approved by our local overseeing doctor. Medication will be administered if needed. These are the medicines that are listed and approved on your health form. Your daughter will be watched over by the nurse until she is feeling better, and is approved to return to normal activities. Most illnesses at camp can be cured with a little rest. If the nurse feels it necessary to have your daughter seen by our local doctor, you will be informed, and a member of our senior staff will accompany her to the doctor. You will be notified of any developments in a timely manner. If a hospital visit is necessary, your child will be taken to the CVPH, Champlain Valley Medical Center, in Plattsburgh, NY. We will always attempt to contact you and/or your emergency contact before seeking off-site medical care for your daughter. The only exception to this is in the case of extreme and sudden injury or illness, when our first call will be 911.
Sometimes homesickness, (especially within the first few days of camp) can cause a camper to have a stomach ache or headache. Usually, by the time you’re reading the letter she mailed from camp, she has overcome her homesickness and having fun at camp with her new friends. If symptoms persist after a couple of days, you will be contacted by medical staff.
The nurse or director will call you if your daughter comes to the infirmary repeatedly with the same symptoms, and if our medical professional has cause for concern. You will also be contacted if there is a question about medication, or if she is sick or injured in such a way that she requires a trip to the physician’s office.
During camp check-in, all camper medications are taken to The Nest(infirmary) for storage. Medicine is kept locked at all times, and is administered by the camp nurse at the appropriate time. With few exceptions, no medicines are kept by campers and self-administered during the camp session. All medicine administration is documented, and this documentation is available if needed. NOTE: ALL MEDICATIONS, VITAMINS, AND SUPPLEMENTS MUST COME TO CAMP IN THE ORIGINAL CONTAINER OR THEY WILL NOT BE ADMINISTERED TO THE CAMPER.
Before camp starts our nurse will have reviewed all health forms to know who will be receiving medications. Please feel free to call or email the director if you would like to speak to the camp nurse.
During pre-camp training, counselors will be informed of all girls with special medical needs, including those who need to take regular meds while at camp.
Our nurse administers medication during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime. The nurse keeps track of all medications. If she missed her visit to the nurse, the nurse will send a messenger to retrieve her. Your daughter’s medication will not be missed.
No, the only medicine a camper may keep is a rescue inhaler or a prescribed Epi-Pen. Everything else must be turned over to the nurse at check-in, without exception. Campers who may require a rescue inhaler or Epi-Pen are allowed to carry this medicine with a doctor’s order. Campers must carry it themselves and must know how to use it correctly. It MUST be included on the health form, must be labeled with the camper’s name, and the inhaler or Epi-Pen MUST NOT BE EXPIRED.
On the health form is a list of all the non-prescription medicine kept in The Nest. You do not need to send any of these medications, as we keep a sufficient quantity on hand. Your child’s doctor must have signed the health form in order for these medications to be administered. Sometimes situations arise when it is necessary for a prescription to be started during camp. If this occurs, you will be notified.
Our goal is to try to keep campers at camp, but sometimes it’s in the best interest of your child (and other campers) for her to go home. If your child is likely to be sick for an extended period of time, we ask that you come to get her and take her home. This is VERY rare; however, if you will be out of town, your emergency contact (listed on your daughter’s health form) should be aware that this duty would then fall to him/her. Except in the case of severe and sudden injury, we will be in contact with you long before the need arises for your daughter to be taken home.
There are small first aid kits located in all buildings around camp. When groups go for overnight trips, the leader carries a first aid kit. Our nurse is available 24 hours a day to respond to any situations that may arise. All staff has been trained in basic first aid, with lifeguards having more in-depth training. All groups leaving camp property are accompanied by at least one staff member with first-aid training. Finally, preventative safety measures are discussed with all campers the very first day they arrive.
By far the most common injury seen at camp is a foot or ankle injury; this is why the shoes you send to camp are extremely important! Insect bites are also common, despite our staff being vigilant about reminding girls to wear bug spray. Most cases are minor but some girls do react more severely to insect bites than others. Please encourage your daughter to wear bug spray, and practice applying it at home — girls must apply their own, as staff can only encourage and remind them to do so.
We make sure campers are drinking enough water, eating enough healthy food, and getting enough rest at camp, but sometimes campers get sick. Campers and staff are encouraged to wash their hands frequently, and apply hand sanitizer before entering the dining area. Sick campers are brought to the nurse and, if necessary, isolated in The Nest or sent home. We follow the NY State Health Dept. guidelines for the treatment of infectious diseases.
Leadership training takes place twice a week. The C.I.T. Mom and the C.I.T.s will choose one of the following topics each week to teach/discuss.
- Skills to be an exceptional cabin counselor
- Learning, practicing, and developing communication skills
- Ways to empower campers and yourself
- Successful ways to work together with a team
- Giving back to the camp community
Life Skills 101 takes place twice a week. The C.I.T. Mom and the C.I.T.s will choose one of the following topics to teach/discuss each week.
- Plan a meal/set a table/cook something
- Properly make a bed
- Track finances/basic budgeting
- Basic first aid
- Mental health
- Meditation/stress management
- College applications and essays
- Internet safety/good social media habits
You will learn first aid, how to lesson plan and run an activity, help campers to establish and manage daily routines, offer encouragement and support to campers, and practice patience and empathy. You will attend regular leadership training, take part in mentoring sessions, and work on projects and events that benefit the larger camp community.
Yes, C.I.T.s are eligible for Senior Clubs and need not be a member of the Junior Club first. C.I.T.s are eligible to participate in motor trips, golf, and one of the following activities (unless otherwise cleared by the C.I.T mom): waterski, horseback riding, or Sr. club.
C.I.T. tuition is 50% off full tuition, 75% off for 2nd year C.I.T.s (optional activities such as horseback riding, waterskiing, and the motor trip may be added at full pric). Under the supervision of the C.I.T. mom, C.I.Ts. will have one group “night off” each half session. Based on a schedule set up by the C.I.T. mom, C.I.T.s are afforded the privilege of spending time in the Chalet with other members of the staff.
C.I.T.s are subject to the same behavior criteria as the Jr. and Sr. Counselors and (as described in the Counselor Handbook) specifically with regard to being a proper role model, upholding core camp values, and carrying out our camp mission.
C.I.T.s live in a cabin with other C.I.T.s; they are never left alone to supervise campers. They are assigned to work with one cabin throughout the summer and have specific times they must be with their assigned cabins and times they must be with their fellow C.I.T.s
To both learn and apply the many skills you learn as a C.I.T., we recommend that all C.I.T.s attend camp for 7 weeks. C.I.T.s must attend camp for at least 3 1/2 weeks.