Parent’s guide to overnight camps for kids
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Early Bird Payment Schedule: 50% Jan.15, 50% March 15
Standard Registration Payment Schedule: 50% March 15, 50% May 15
Spring Store Dates: April 1-April 15
First Half Arrival Day: June 26
First Half Departure Day: July 19
Visiting Day (for “full” campers): July 19
Second Half Arrival Day: July 20
Second Half Departure: August 12
Early Bird Registration Opens: Sept. 1
Early Bird Registration Closes: Sept. 15
Medical Examination: Each camper must be examined by her health care provider within one year of camp and must have submitted all of her current medical forms prior to arriving at camp. If necessary, your daughter’s teeth, braces and eyeglass prescriptions should be checked before camp.
Medical Forms: To be completed through Camp Minder
Medications: All medications, even over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements, are kept in “The Nest” (infirmary). All must be clearly labeled with your daughter’s name, the name of the medication, dosage, and instructions for use. All Medications, vitamins, and supplements must be in its original packaging/bottle. Vitamins will not be administered to the camper without explicit note from the doctor. For campers with glasses or contacts, please send an extra pair and the proper cleaning supplies. For campers with braces, please make sure your daughter has the necessary wax and rubber bands. If your daughter needs to go to a local doctor for any reason, they will usually take your insurance information for billing purposes. If camp has to pay for any services or medications at the time of service we will bill your account. Tip: Put your daughter’s medications and vitamins in one large, clear Ziploc bag and mark her name on the outside with clear instructions for use of medications inside the bag.
Recent Illness: Please notify the Camp Director if your daughter has been ill or on antibiotics in the 14 days prior to her arrival at camp.
LICE CHECK! We hire a professional organization to come in and check our campers for lice upon their arrival. Please do not send your daughter to camp with head lice! It is very difficult to get rid of lice at camp and very expensive. If your daughter comes to camp with lice, you will be charged a minimum of $250 for the cost of the treatment. A combout treatment will begin immediately after lice has been detected.
Jeanne d’ Arc campers wear the camp uniform on Sundays for Inspirational Hour, on special occasions, and certain day trips away from camp (motor trips). The camp uniform consists of a light blue polo shirt with the camp logo and tan colored shorts. Every camper should come with 2 uniform bathing suits. Make sure all camp gear is labeled with your child’s name.
- Uniform shirts will be provided for you at Camp. Cost of shirt is included in your tuition. No ordering necessary.
- Tan colored shorts, may be purchased anywhere. No distressed or short shorts.
- Royal blue, one piece speedo style “tank” suit, may be purchased anywhere. Swim shirt/swim shorts is also acceptable.
Those who live outside the U.S. may find it advisable to have clothing and equipment sent directly to camp. Be advised that we will have no way of making returns or adjustments to sizes.
In addition to the uniform, your daughter should bring any of her own clothing that is durable and appropriate for camp. Please do not send any “good” clothes that outdoor activities and commercial laundering will harm. Sturdy, outdoor shoes/sneakers are required for camp. Please do not send your camper with brand new hiking shoes—they will be hard and painful to break in at camp! High heeled shoes, dressy sandals, and high clogs are not suitable for camp activities. We require sneakers to be worn for all field sports.
New York State requires that all horseback riders wear helmets bearing the seal of the Safety Equipment Institute: (SEI) ASTM. Please check your daughter’s helmet carefully before she comes to camp. Proper riding shoes or boots are also necessary. Sneakers and hiking boots are not proper riding shoes. For riding gear you can check out www.doversaddlery.com. They have helmets starting at $27 and riding boots starting at $32.
Laundry is done once a week for each cabin group. Please clearly mark every piece of clothing and equipment that your daughter brings to camp including the outside of her laundry bag, shoes, tennis racquets, guitars, cameras, sleeping bags, etc. We strongly recommend use of permanent ink pens and/or sewn name tags on everything! Even initials on towel tags help us return items from the Lost and Found. Any items left at camp will be donated to a local charity.
If your daughter is traveling by car or bus, old-fashioned camp trunks work best. When shipping a trunk, we recommend shipping your trunk in a box. Check out Everything Summer.com to find good quality, heavy-duty trunks in fun colors. Duffel bags work well for towels, blankets, sleeping bags, raincoats, shoes and boots. For those traveling by bus, we will be able to accommodate one trunk and one duffel on the bus. The girls may also bring a backpack to carry on. For those traveling by air, you may wish to consider checking two large duffels each weighing less than 50 lbs. and using a backpack as the carry on.
If you are going to ship the luggage, trunks and duffels may be sent via FedEx, United Parcel Service or USPS Parcel Post to your daughter at: Camp Jeanne d’Arc, 154 Gadway Road, Merrill, NY 12955. We can begin receiving shipped luggage as early as June 15th. At your direction, we will also ship your daughter’s luggage home and bill you for it. The average cost is $50-75 in the US, depending on weight. You may include a pre-paid return label and we will arrange pickup and delivery. If you will be shipping from an international location, please check with the local office for special shipping rules. You may mail luggage/trunk keys (on a small tag with your daughter’s name) and/or combinations to the Director at camp. Give your daughter a duplicate set of keys to bring with her.
It is normal for campers to miss their home and family when they first arrive, even for veteran campers! It is a healthy, common response. We have considerable experience in working with homesick campers and our counselors are ready to help, listen, and engage your daughter in the excitement of camp life and making new friends. In dealing with homesickness, what was a crisis one day, may be easily forgotten the next. Please remember that overcoming homesickness is an important part of growing up and is a big part of what we do best at camp. It is not uncommon to receive a letter (or several) during the first few days of camp telling Mom/Dad of homesickness. In this event, we need help from you:
- Keep in regular contact with your daughter by electronic or physical mail and keep correspondence positive.
- Tell her things like:
- I’m so proud of you for taking on this challenge.
- I can’t wait to hear what kinds of fun things you are doing and new skills you are learning
- You can do this!
- Don’t write too frequently or send too many packages. You need to give your
daughter the emotional space she needs to let go and embrace those around her. We will provide additional support as needed.
- Remember, homesickness can be heightened when there are problems at home such as a relative’s sickness, or a recent death, separation or divorce. If any of these events occur just prior to or during your daughter’s stay at camp, please let us know. We can give your daughter additional support if we are informed.
- Trust us when we say the 99.99% of the time, phone calls are a bad idea. It almost always exacerbates the situation. Electronic or physical mail are the BEST way to help your child overcome homesickness.
- Do not make any special deals or promises, such as, “Let’s just see how you do the first few days” or “If you don’t like it, I’ll pick you up.”
- Those first few days, maybe even the first week, can be a little uncomfortable for a new camper. As she makes adjustments and overcomes her feelings of insecurity, she gains the confidence that makes the camp experience so valuable. If promises are made that allow an “escape” or “rescue”, campers tend to quickly retreat, not giving it her best efforts.The experience can quickly go from sweet to sour. None of us want that! Instead of making promises of rescue, use the supportive phrases stated above.
- If you are concerned for your daughter, email or call Sandy or Randy Abbott, 704-960-3949. They are happy to provide frequent updates.
The postal address is: Camp Jeanne d’Arc, 154 Gadway Road, Merrill, NY 12955.
Please mark letters and packages to your daughter with her full name and her cabin name, once you know it. Campers write home every Sunday and Wednesday unless they are out of camp on a hike or a canoe trip. Let us know if you do not receive two letters per week. Frequent short notes or postcards from parents, relatives, and friends rather than long, occasional letters, are better. Suggestion: mail a letter to your camper before she leaves so that it will be waiting for her at camp when she arrives!
Small packages with fun things to do are welcome. Limit packages to no more than once a week. ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD IS ALLOWED TO BE SENT IN PACKAGES. If food is sent in a package, it will be disposed of. Food in cabins invites the critters. We have no way of storing camper’s food.
*We cannot deliver personal e-mail or faxes to campers.
Parents can send electronic mail via CampMinder. This process will allow you to send and receive correspondence with your camper within 24 to 48 hours. Details of how it works will be sent prior to camp via email, or you can contact Randy Abbott directly for further assistance (Randy’s cell is 704-960-3949).
Generally campers are not permitted to make or receive telephone calls while at camp. Although some parents have a hard time with this, please know that this policy has proven to help our campers succeed in the process of becoming strong, independent girls who immerse themselves with energy and enthusiasm into daily camp life. This is part of what Jeanne d’Arc is all about! Please give your daughter the unique opportunity to communicate with you in writing!
The camp director and administrative staff are always available to speak with you. we are happy to pass important message along for you, and encourage you to call or email often. Randy and Sandy are always available on their cell phones at 704-960-3949.
Special exceptions to the no call rule are made in the event of a family birthday (although strongly discouraged), illness or other family necessity but please be aware that the other campers will not be speaking with their families and this can lead to hurt feelings. If you must speak with your daughter, we will arrange a time for you to speak on the phone. These calls are usually scheduled a couple of days in advance between 2 and 3 pm, which is our Rest Hour, or on Sundays. In cases of extreme homesickness, we encourage short, positive and supportive calls. Please ask our experienced camp staff to “coach” you before engaging in one of these calls. If you han]ve an emergency or any concern or whatsoever, please phone us immediately. If there is a problem at camp,we will contact you.
While at camp, girls are not permitted to use their cell phones or smart devices including iPads, iPods, e-readers, smart watches, etc. We understand that many campers bring their cell phones to camp as a way of communicating with their parents when they are traveling long distances alone. We will safely store her cell phone, along with her other valuables, passports, flight information, etc. in the camp office and return then upon departure. We will charge all devices prior to departure.
New campers are placed with girls who are approximately the same age and grade. Prior cabin groups are generally kept together; however, final placement depends on length of stay, age, grade in school, individual development and availability of space. Requests to be with friends are considered, but not guaranteed. In no case will sisters or cousins or friends from home who are in different age groups be placed in the same cabin. Final cabin assignments are not made until shortly before the campers arrive
Please upload a recent photo of your daughter. We use your daughter’s photograph to introduce her to our counselors prior to her arrival and for identification purposes when meeting campers at airports and on field trips. If your daughter is returning to camp, we’d appreciate an updated photo. You should upload your daughter’s photo in Camp Minder or you may email a digital photo to email@example.com and we will upload it for you.
There is only one visiting day for full season campers, Wednesday, July 19th. Parents will be permitted to take their child off campus for the day. Parent’s will not be permitted on camp as was done in previous years.
It is our goal to make your daughter’s stay at Camp Jeanne d’Arc a wonderful experience. In a group living environment such as ours, cooperation is essential, and we find that campers are most comfortable when they know what is expected of them. So, we ask that you and your child be made aware of the following:
Please be advised that any food that is received in a package WILL BE DISPOSED OF. Food attracts animals into the cabins. We don’t want critters living with our campers! Our campers have a light dessert after every lunch and dinner; there are plenty of sweet treats at camp. Campers are offerd fruits at every meal and during snack time each mid-morning. Care packages filled with fun, non-edible items, books, magazines and games are a great way to remind your camper that you are thinking of her!
Pocket Money and Valuables:
We cannot assume responsibility for any money or valuables kept by a camper in her cabin. Unfortunately, even in our small community environment, things get lost, stolen, or broken. We do not recommend sending expensive cameras.
Camp Tuition, Refunds and Cancelation:
The balance of camp fees is due on May 15th (March 15th for early bird campers). All payments are payable in U.S funds. It is possible to arrange tuition payment plans. If you must cancel for any reason before May 15th, your payments will be returned minus a $250 processing fee. Camp tuition fees are not refundable after May 15th but may be applied to future summers in the event of illness or other family emergency.
Camper Dismissal for Disciplinary Reasons:
Camp Jeanne d’Arc reserves the right to dismiss a camper without tuition reduction or refund at the Director’s discretion. We rarely send children home for disciplinary reasons, and always communicate with parents when we observe unusual or concerning camper behavior. However, if a camper’s manner is repeatedly inappropriate toward other campers or staff or if the camper’s actions pose a threat to the safety of herself or others, parents will be called to pick up their daughter.
Camper Dismissal for Medical Reasons (physical/mental):
Camp Jeanne d’ Arc reserves the right not to admit a person who poses a communicable disease threat to others. In addition, should your camper be diagnosed with a communicable disease while at camp, the camp reserves the right to direct that you remove your child from camp within 24 hours of notification. A fair re-imbursement will be discussed.
If I camper must be dismissed for mental health reasons, a re-imbursement will be discussed based on the camper’s length of stay at camp and transparency of camper’s mental health history.
Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Harmful Items:
We are a non-smoking/vaping, non-alcohol, and drug-free environment. Fireworks and firearms are not permitted at camp other than at sanctioned activities. Any camper or staff member violating these policies is subject to immediate dismissal from Camp Jeanne d’Arc. There will be no tuition reimbursement should a camper be dismissed from camp for violating this policy.
We talk to the girls throughout the summer about not writing their names on camp walls and furniture but every year we find names and “artwork” left behind. We consider ourselves the stewards of our beautiful camp and we do not tolerate graffti. The girls are offered permanent plaques on which to write their cabin name, their names and to decorate for us to hang on the walls nicely. You will be charged a $50 vandalism fee for every instance in which we find your daughter’s name or other marking where it shouldn’t be. Please discuss this serious issue with your daughter before she comes to camp.
Hazards and dangers are inherent in camp events, activities and programs particularly, but not limited to, the activities of horseback riding, swimming and all water activities, camp games, hiking and mountaineering, camping out, archery, BB’s, and riflery. Although Camp Jeanne d’Arc takes safety measures to minimize the risk of injury to camp participants, Camp Jeanne d’Arc cannot insure or guarantee that the participants, equipment, premises, and/or activities will be free of hazards, accidents, and/or injuries. It is essential to instruct your child about the importance of learning and abiding by the camp’s rules, regulations, and procedures for the safety of all camp participants.
Camp Jeanne d’Arc (hereinafter “Camp”) pledges our best efforts in providing a safe, supportive, and satisfying camp experiance for all. Parents specifically consent to camper’s participation in all activities sponsored by Camp, on or off camp premises, including but not limited to; swimming, boating, horse riding (if applicable), water skiing (if applicable), athletic competition including bodily contact, and travel in Camp-owned and/or Camp leased vehicles. Parents understand that as part of the regular camp program, Camper may travel off the camp grounds by foot, by boat, by car, by van, or by bus for such activities as nature walks, camping (including overnight), visits to nearby places of interest, day trips, and travel to and from airports, etc. All of which will be under appropriate Camp supervision. Parents understand that there are risks of bodily injury that might result from these and other activities that are conducted by the Camp. Parents agree to release, indemnify, and hold harmless in all respects, the Camp owners, directors, counselor staff, and other employees regarding claims for injuries that may be incurred as a result of participation in these activities. Camper may utilize commercial carriers that have been hired by Camp when traveling to and from Camp as well as during participation in some Camp activities and trips organized by Camp. Camp is not responsible for any acts or accident of such commercial carriers. Parents understand that while on “out of camp” trips, campers may also be swimming or boating at sites that have not been inspected by the New York State Health Department.
Permission is hereby given for Camp to use photographs, statements, articles, music, art, films, and video of or by the camper for the use, enjoyment, and promotion of the Camp. (Note: we do not “tag” anyone under 18 in any of our social media posts.)
Could camp come any sooner?
Frequently asked questions
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.
Please contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his cell phone at 704-960-3949, and he will have the camp nurse contact you as soon as possible.