With hundreds of different summer camp programs to choose from we know it can seem daunting on how to make the right choice for both you, your family, and most importantly your camper(s). Most parents are hoping to make the right choice so that their child(ren) can attend year after year!
While we hope you choose Camp Jewell we think it’s important to share the things we feel you should look for in a camp program..
The camps philosophy.
Our goal at Camp Jewell is to create a place where lifelong friendships begin and kids can learn new things. For us camp is about developing life skills that help kids build and maintain positive relationships, appreciating the differences in others, and feeling confident in the person they are becoming. We use our four core values in everything we do…..
- CARING- Thinking beyond yourself to consider others and the greater good of our community.
- HONESTY- Telling the truth and becoming someone others know they can trust.
- RESPECT The Golden Rule; recognizing your own sense of worth as well as that of others.
- RESPONSIBILITY Learn what is within your own control and take accountability for it.
The length of program.
Some camps run one weeks, others two or longer. At Camp Jewell our programs are two weeks in length as we feel that is the minimum amount of time for a camper to be away and have the full experience. It’s normal for a camper to be homesick to start off with, and with two weeks that becomes a distant memory by the end of the experience.
Sleepaway camp programs range widely in price, here at Camp Jewell we have tiered pricing so that families can pick the price they can best afford. The experience is the same regardless of what tier is picked, in addition we have financial assistance (scholarships) for families that cannot afford camp.
- Type of programs.
At Jewell we run what we call traditional camp, its a little bit of everything. We do have speciality leadership and Ranch (equestrian) programs but other camps offer very specialized programs like drama, art, sports, and more….
- Safety and accreditation. The American Camping Association is a nationwide standards based organization that inspects camps. Think of it like a Gold Seal of approval! Safety is of primary importance at Camp Jewell YMCA. We are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) and are visited every five years to assure compliance with the ACA standards. In addition, we are fully licensed by the State of Connecticut. The ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at your child’s camp reflect the most up-to-date, research based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety. Earning this accreditation means that we have demonstrated compliance with more than 300 individual health, safety, and program quality standards. These standards establish criteria for program, personnel, transportation, administrative procedures,health care, food service, program activities, and emergency procedures. Accreditation assures parents and campers that we have been measured against national standards for bestpractices in the camping industry and we are proud to be among only 25% of camps in the United States that areaccredited. For more information on the ACA, please check out their website www.acacamps.org
- Facilities- Different camps have different kinds of facilities, from rustic cabins, to year-round facilities. Some have showerhouses, others have bathrooms and showers in their cabins. Each provide a different kind of experience. Our 16 cabins are located around the shores of Triangle Lake. Each cabin is made up of two sides both of which house up to 10 campers and two staff. Campers live in cabins with campers their own age, along with two or three counselors. All of cabins except our Ewoks cabins are fully winterized and have central common rooms, heat, electricity, bathrooms, showers and personal cubbies. In addition our Senior Lodge is home to our 14 year old campers and sleeps up to 60 people in two octagonal rooms. During the summer our Ewok cabins are nestled in the trees and provide a unique home for our 12 and 13 year old male campers. In 2019 we completed our first new cabin that has a porch that overlooks Triangle Lake. By summer 2022 an additional 3 new cabins will have been built. All of our original cabins were renovated during 2020.
- Health Care- While it is rare a camper gets sick or is injured at camp, it is important to know how the camp will deal with medical concerns. At Camp jJewell we have a well-equipped Health Center with on-site Nurses (we have 3 working each session) as well as counselors who are trained in emergency First Aid and CPR. In case of illness, campers will be housed in the Health Center for no more than 24 hours. If deemed necessary; you will be contacted to pick up your camper.
- Your childs counselor. The staff are the key ingredient of a camp, they are what help make the magic happen. Good questions to ask of a camp is do you do background checks and how much training do staff get? At Jewell our staff is selected for their maturity, character and leadership capabilities to be positive role models for our campers. Many of our staff were campers at Jewell and have been through our extensive 3 year Leadership Training Program. We select our other staff members from across the world and colleges throughout the US that provides a unique diversity.
- The camps relationship with parents. You are entrusting your most valuable possession with the camp and so it’s important to know how they will work with you the parent. At Camp Jewell while campers are at the forefront of what we do at summer camp, the relationship we have with parents and the whole family – is important to our entire staff. We know that whether it is a campers’ first time away from home, or their tenth time at camp, communication is important.
We pledge we will:
- Offer your child a positive, safe and supportive community where kids make new friends, try new things and learn independence and other life skills.
- Upload photos online daily so you can see what your child and his/her friends are enjoying at camp. We want you to feel connected to the stories shared with you when the session is over.
- Send an email from your child’s counselors within the first several days of the session letting you know how your child is doing.
- Ensure we return any calls you make to camp with questions or concerns before the end of the following meal.
- Update our social media and blog with news as to what’s happening at camp several times each week.
- Provide a “Parent Portal” section on our website that links you with various resources to help prepare you and your child for camp.