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First Time Camper? What to Expect…

IMG_9312As we head into our 88th summer, it’s incredible to think that over 25,000 kids have started their lives at Robin Hood. That’s a lot of first-time campers! Families can trust that from the moment they say YES to Robin Hood they will be taken care of with the best care and attention, that which can only be found in a family. With over 50% of our staff being alumni, it’s clear that Robin Hood is a family and at it’s core are the people who have become part of our incredible legacy. With more than 250 combined summers at Camp Robin Hood, our Leadership Team understands the unique responsibility of preserving the Robin Hood experience that shaped us each as individuals, and we are dedicated toward providing that same experience for our campers. You’ll see it in the assistance we provide before camp, the care and attention we devote during the summer and our dedication even after the season has ended.

Before Camp

  • Our comprehensive Parent Handbook is available online and is your one-stop shop for everything Camp Robin Hood.
  • Get to know Camp Robin Hood through our online videos!  When we find ourselves missing camp (which is pretty much all the time,) we schedule an evening activity of “Night at the Movies” and watch our online videos. They truly paint a picture of what “life in The Realm” is all about which is a great way for the whole family to get ready for camp!
  • Parents of newcomers appreciate the fact that our office staff is always available to answer questions and offer friendly advice. If you have a question, call us.  We’re here to help!
  • “Dear DC” letters and our Parent & Camper Questionnaire allow families to address camper goals and parental concerns/goals for their child
  • Robin Hood’s Big Sister/Little Sister Program pairs older campers with newcomers and our Boys side can write letters and correspond with Group Leaders if they have any questions about what to expect for their first time at camp
  • Campers and their parents can visit our FAQ page and stay connected through our various social network sites by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course, The WoodChuck blog!

During Camp

  • As soon as your camper arrives at camp they will be under the care and supervision of our incredible leadership staff. Daily “bro-sessions” and “girl talk” with each Division and their GL (Group Leader) allows campers to talk about the good and bad of their day, both as individuals and as a community
  • Campers live in bunks with both specialty staff and GC’s (general counselors.) GC’s are all returning campers who know first hand what your child is experiencing and provide support and leadership throughout the summer as your child participates in various activities throughout the summer.
  • Regular staff meetings and check-ins ensure our Head Staff, GL’s, GC’s and specialty staff are all working to meet the goals set forth by your family in your “Dear DC” letter and Parent & Camper Questionnaire.
  • Homesickness is normal for campers (first-timers or not) and is healthy. It means your child likes being at home and that is great! We encourage families to send letters to camp so that there is mail waiting for your camper when they arrive. Remember to keep your letters positive and upbeat.  Of course you can tell your child you miss him/her, just don’t go on about how miserable it’s making you. Camp is the time to instill confidence and independence in your child. Mentioning things he/she can’t control can lead to homesickness, anxiety and depression, which we are trying to avoid. Not to worry, your campers will be sending you mail too! Once a week, their meal ticket is a letter home, so don’t forget your stationary and stamps.
  • There are no strangers at Camp Robin Hood, only friends we haven’t met yet. Campers at Robin Hood are from all over the country and the world, making our community geographically diverse. With the help of older, experienced campers, it’s easy to make friends in The Realm and new campers feel welcomed and accepted.
  • We know how difficult it can be transitioning to an overnight camper so we make sure to keep our campers busy throughout the day!  From the minute they wake up to lights out, our days are filled with programs that are fun, energetic and engaging.  At Robin Hood, there’s something for everyone!

After Camp

  • The friendships you make at camp are ones that will stay with you for a lifetime.  Memories of Robin Hood will be with you forever and we work hard throughout the year to help keep you connected.  Our newsletters keep our campers in touch with Letters from DC & Woody, What’s New at Camp, Camp Robin Hood Congrats and more.  There’s nothing like getting something in the mail from camp and it’s fun to read too!
  • Reunions are scheduled in the fall and winter in both NYC and Cleveland, respectively, and are great ways to reconnect with your friends from the summer. Campers, staff and families are invited to reminisce about camp and is a great way to keep those friendships alive

Forms are Due in 18 Days!!!

Camp is just 59 days away and as the Robin Hood team prepares for an unforgettable summer 2015, we continue to use our online system as the most efficient way of collecting all of your camper’s important information!

At your earliest convenience please log into your CampInTouch account and continue to ‘Forms and Documents’ where you will find the following 2015 Forms:

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Physician’s Exam – Every camper must have an updated physician’s exam to come to camp. Please email stacey@camprobinhood.com if your child’s appointment is after the May 15th deadline and submit all other forms online. As a reminder, all forms that are scanned/faxed must be in .tif format.

Health History – This form must be completed online and includes emergency contact information, insurance information, health history, etc.

Intensives Selection – Choose 4 activities that you would like to focus on during the first three weeks of the summer. We do everything we can to accommodate your choices and you are guaranteed your first choice at some point in the beginning of the summer.

Travel – How your child travels to and from camp is very important. Please note we only provide transportation to and from the following airports: Boston Logan International Airport, MA, Manchester Airport, NH and Portland Airport, ME

Bunk Requests – We make every effort to honor bunk requests, but they are not guaranteed. Positive and negative requests are welcomed.

Camper and Parent Questionnaire – Tell us what you’re looking forward to and what you’re hopes for summer 2015 are!

Additional Options – Horseback Riding, Linen Rental, Additional Travel Information

Parent’s Visiting Day – Let us know who will be visiting us on Saturday July 25th and if you’re attending the Robin Hood Talent Show on Friday, July 24th!

In addition to your camper’s forms that must be completed, you will find the following information for your family:

  • Packing List
  • 2015 Terms and Conditions
  • CampMeds Information – This document is very important if your child will need medication this summer at camp!
  • 2015 Electronics Policy – Get ready to unplug!  You can read about benefits of unplugging HERE.
  • Summer Communication – Learn how we communicate with families during the summer and ways to communicate with your camper too!

 

How to Prepare Your Bags for Camp

Tis the season to begin preparation for your child’s next camp adventure!

As the anticipation mounts, it’s especially important to ensure your camper is prepared as possible for their stay away from home. All the amenities your child has handy around the house will not be as readily available at camp unless they complete that one all-important, oft-neglected task: plan ahead in packing their bag.

Here are some tips to ensure your camper’s bag is up to par come departure time:

  • As camp approaches and your child goes throughout their daily routine, encourage them to pay attention to the things they use so they know what to pack. The last thing we want is stressed-out parents running around last-minute, trying to think of things their camper may have forgotten.
  • Make a list. This may sound rudimentary, but you’d be surprised how many people fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to packing and then forget what they put in the bag and what has yet to go in. Make a list and then check items off as they disappear into the labyrinth that is your camper’s bag. Organization is key!
  • Categorize your list. This makes it easier not to accidentally pass things over in one long running list. Suggested categories include clothes, outdoor gear, and toiletries.
  • Download our suggested packing list to double-check for items that may be missing from your camper’s pack.

The One All-Important Thing You Must Not Forget!

The most common mistake we find with packed bags is that they are not labeled with names or group names.

It is essential for all parents to write in big, dark letters the name of their child and the name of their group on all packed bags.

In addition, the packed bags (that you label) should be soft trunks or duffel bags – this will accommodate for limited storage space at camp.

All campers traveling to camp via airplane or bus need to ship their bags via Camp Trucking, a delivery service like UPS and FedEx that services the entire country plus Canada. Camp Trucking is much more affordable than these other carriers and will pick the bags up from your home and drop them off at the end of the camping session.

We hope your camper is as excited as we are for new and exciting experiences this summer! Just remember: the organized camper is a prepared camper, and the prepared camper is a happy camper.

For more information on camper baggage and preparation, in addition to Camp Trucking sign-up forms, check out our camper baggage instructions.