FRIENDS CAMP Camper and Parent Handbook
Thank you for signing up for a session or two at Friends Camp! I wish to welcome you to Friends Camp or welcome you back for another summer. It is my hope that all of our campers have a wonderful time and that each camper has the opportunity to grow emotionally and spiritually during their time at camp.
It is our goal to create a loving and caring community for all of the children who attend Friends Camp. You may ask: How do we create this community? Well, we work very hard to create a camp that is welcoming and friendly; we affirm differences and honor diverse beliefs; we encourage spiritual growth; and we offer role models that help young people understand the importance of having the courage, knowledge, faith, and strength to live out their values in the world.
For new campers and parents: please spend some time talking about what to expect at Friends Camp. A parentís confidence in a childís ability to be away from home will go a long way toward helping the child to have a wonderful time. It is best for both child and parent to discuss any possible worries before attending camp and, if needed, to talk with me before the start of camp.
We encourage you to avoid late fees, so please remember that full payment needs to be made prior to the first Saturday in June. In June a twenty-dollar late fee will be added to all unpaid balances. Payments can be mailed to our winter office or you can use our new online InTouch payment system with your MasterCard or VISA.
We have made a few changes in our summer calendar, so please take some time to review this information. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 207-873-3499. In June you can reach our summer office at 207-445-2361 or you can send me an e-mail at any time at email@example.com.
To avoid a late fee, remember that full payment and most health information needs to be send to our office prior to the first Saturday in June.
What to Pack?
We hope that parents will be proactive during the packing process for camp so that the camper does not bring too much clothing and does not bring anything that is on the Do Not Pack List. Valuable items or nice clothing should be left at home. Some of the cabins are small, so please try to limit luggage to one duffle bag or suitcase and a sleeping bag. To help make those limits easier, we now have mid-session laundry service for all campers who are staying for two or four weeks.
(All Clothing And Items Must Be Marked With Camperís Full Name)
- Casual clothing - Shorts, shirts, pants & jeans
- Two white cotton t-shirts for craft projects (tie-dye, screen-printing, batik, etc.)
- Sleeping bag / Twin-size sheets / Blanket / Pillow
- Sleeping pad (optional, for possible island overnight and/or stargazing sleepover)
- Sneakers / Sandals / Socks
- Sweater / Jacket
- Raincoat / Poncho
- Swimsuits / Towels
- Toothbrush / Soap / Comb / Brush
- Water Bottle
- Hat / Sunscreen / Insect Repellent (Non-aerosol)
- Paper / Envelopes / Stamps
- Laundry Bag (You must bring a laundry bag with tie string or zipper)
Other items you may consider bringing: camera, books, cot size mattress cover, large beach towel, musical instruments, journal, baseball glove, games (non-electronic), stuffed animals, fun or funky clothing for the dance.
Campers may bring digital cameras, but a plastic one-time use camera would be a better option for our rustic setting. Please note that Friends Camp is not responsible for loss, damage, or theft of any item. Please make sure that your childís name is on the camera. Many digital cameras and one-time use cameras look alike.
What not to pack for camp:
- Electronic equipment
- MP3 & CD players and iPods
- Food and candy
- Cell phones
- Electronic games or toys
- Tobacco and illegal drugs
- Movie cameras
- Televisions or radios
- Knives or any kind of weapon
Parents, grandparents and friends: please remember not to mail packages with food or candy! Note that the counselors will be proactive about enforcing these rules by looking in suitcases and in all postal packages. Food received in the mail will not be stored or returned.
What You Will Need to Pack for the Baxter State Park trip (Fox and Fell Sessions)
We will provide tents, cooking equipment, and food. We have extra sleeping pads, water bottles, daypacks, and lightweight sleeping bags, so it is not necessary to buy these items for this trip. Please pack properly, because you will be sleeping in a tent for one or two nights during the second week of Fell Camp.
(All Clothing And Items Must Be Marked With Camperís Full Name)
- Sleeping bag: A standard bag with synthetic fill.
- Sleeping pad: Therm-a-rest or hard foam
- Footwear: Lightweight hiking boots. Please Ė no sneakers!
- Water Bottles: Bring two water bottles.
- Socks: One pair of wool socks (70% wool) or SmartWool socks.
- Day pack
- Mess Kit: Plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon, and cup (plastic or light metal)
- Baseball cap or a hat with a full brim.
- Rain Jacket and rain/wind pants
- Long sleeve synthetic shirt or lightweight coat
Please call Nat Shed if you are not sure about certain items on this list. We have some extra items at camp.
Parents of, please make sure that all cell phones stay at home!
Again, we would very much appreciate it if all parents would supervise the packing process for new and returning campers. This kind of parental supervision ensures that items from the Do Not Pack List have not been included, and that important items have not been left at home. Please do not over-pack; all campers will have their laundry done on each of the Saturdays that they are at Friends Camp.
If you wish to have any forgotten items mailed home after camp, the lost property fee mail fee is $15 or $20 for larger Items.
What Happens During the Camp Session?
During the session, the camper will choose programs, participate in activities, make friends, and make new discoveries. The campers will participate in Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business. All of the campers take an active role in developing their community. We ask for their ideas and suggestions. Some of the program activities involve field trips. Campers could also have an overnight canoeing and camping experience to Indian Island on China Lake. During each session, campers can look forward to some wonderful traditions like the Special Day, an evening of rhythmic movement to loud music, a wonderful camper variety show, and a possible visit from the Were-porky!
Friends Camp Code of Respect:
We are a community built on trust and respect.
We ask that campers tell the truth.
We ask campers to refrain from any words or actions that could cause emotional or physical harm.
We ask that our campers not use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, or participate in sexual activity.
We would like campers to have inclusive friendships.
We ask campers to please remember that being part of our community means that they need to respect themselves, other campers, the staff, and Friends Camp.
We have had very few problems with campers not conforming to the Code of Respect, but when we do have a problem, we like to use it as a teaching moment so that there is an opportunity for personal growth. In some cases, when a camper has a hard time understanding the importance of the Code of Respect, we limit program time and free time. In other situations, we call the parents to get advice and reinforcement. In those rare instances when we are forced to ask a camper to leave, parents will be asked to pick them up right away or arrange for them to take a bus or plane home. We do not give tuition refunds when a young person leaves camp because of behavioral or health reasons.
Any medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and alterative remedies must be turned over to our Health Hut staff during registration. Please send just the right number of pills for the number days of camp. Keep them in the original container and make sure that we have the name of the youth, name of the medication, dosage amount, frequency, and name of the medical provider. Please do not take your child off any prescribed behavioral medications just prior to or while they are at Friends Camp.
Our cooks do a wonderful job of preparing nutritious and tasty meals. If your child has a special diet, please let us know. We can offer meals that are for diabetics and vegetarians, with prior notice. If your child has an allergy that requires particular food, plan to bring to camp the food products that he or she will need. Please contact us a week or two before your session to coordinate with our kitchen staff.
During each camp session, there may be instances when we need to be in touch with a parent or guardian. We do this when there is a health issue or discipline / homesickness concern. We do our best to reach you; if needed, we will leave a message with you and/or your emergency contact person. Any medical crises that cannot be handled by the camp will be referred to Maine General Hospital in Waterville. A parent will not normally be called about minor medical issues like an upset stomach, a headache, a scrape, or a bruise.
It can take a day or two for some new campers to start to feel comfortable at camp. The counselors and our directors are very good at making sure that all the campers fit into camp life. We ask that parents work with the director and staff during this important transition. Homesickness is normal and curable! It is helpful if parents do not promise their child that they will pick up him or her from camp if they are sad or homesick. Letters from home help ease these sad feeling, and we hope that all parents and campers will write letters to each other. Parents are welcome to call Nat Shed, Director, or Jeff Adelberg, Assistant Director, at any time to see how their child is doing. Phone calls to and from campers are not allowed because they can exacerbate homesickness and tie up the office phone line.
Tips and Donations
Friends Camp does not allow our counselors and staff to accept tips. You are welcome and encouraged to write a thank you letter to your childís counselor. Please consider making a generous donation to the campership fund and / or to the general fund that supports programming. Your donation of $50, $100, or $250, or will us help to maintain our programs and buildings, or it will help a young person attend Friends Camp.
Quakers believe that there is that of God in every person and often refer to God as the Light Within. Friends believe in five testimonies: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Equality. Some people remember these five testimonies by the acronym SPICE. Quakers or Friends believe that all people should have the opportunity to develop their talents and skills under the leadings of the Spirit. Our witness for peace is an affirmation of the Light in every human being. Simplicity means that we strive to live more simply and with a willingness to share with others. At Friends Camp, these principles guide our interactions with each other. We respect and honor all faiths and beliefs and hope all of our campers will gain a deeper understanding of themselves as individuals and as members of a wider community. If your child is not Quaker, please remember that we are not interested in proselytizing. Most of the campers are not Quaker; they attend Friends Camp because of the interesting programs, great counselors, wonderful friendships, and the Quaker values that are a part of camp life.