Does Kippewa do anything to help first time campers feel welcome?
Absolutely! Before signing up for camp we do our best to learn about every new camper in order to set her up for the best experience possible. In addition to talking and meeting with parents and campers, both campers and parents fill out information telling us about the things they like, what they are excited about, etc. We use all of this information to help us find the best bunkmates and counselors possible.
For girls who are interested, we pair them up with a returning camper as a pen pal leading up to the summer. We also host a spring fling get-together the first weekend of May in Ardsley, NY. The spring fling is a great opportunity to meet other campers and to meet some of the staff who will be at camp!
When girls arrive at camp they immediately meet their counselors and bunkmates. Our counselors then spend that first afternoon taking girls on a tour around our campus and playing getting-to-know-you name games in order to help everyone feel included. Beds are pre-assigned so when girls first walk into the bunk they have a place that already belongs to them. The first night of camp everyone is paired up with camp sisters so they get to know girls of other ages, and have someone else they can turn to with any questions or if they just need some additional support. Girls feel like Kippewa is their new home in no time!
How do we handle homesickness?
Homesickness is a natural reaction to being away from home – especially for those who have never been away from home before. Most often, episodes of homesickness occur during the first couple of days at camp when there is quiet time. There is no true remedy to fix homesickness since every case is different, although the general approach is to provide love and support and then help campers join in an activity or find something else to do. The more girls are engaged and busy in camp the less homesick they will feel! We make every effort to help girls feel comfortable going to their counselors, division head, head counselor or Ginger, Steve and Brittany to discuss how they are feeling. We are all here to help no matter what the situation is. During our staff training, we devote an extensive amount of time on how to assist campers who might be having a hard time adjusting to being away from home.
What does it mean to have a brother camp?
Camp Cobbossee, our brother camp, is located just 1/2 mile down the road on the same beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee. For siblings or cousins attending Cobbossee and Kippewa we have weekly brother-sister lunches. We also coordinate our pickup and drop off times and locations, dates, rates, along with many other logistics. Our goal is to make the experience of sending your children to camp as straight-forward as possible! Campers without a sibling at Cobbossee will see the boys one day during our shared Carnival and evening activity. There is a nice sibling feeling between campers who attend our camps, while fully enjoying their own single-sex camp experience. We encourage you to check out their website to learn more!
Do you offer options for campers to come for less than 3½ weeks?
Yes. Our 2-week “Startup Camp” option is open to first time campers entering 5th grade or below. Space is limited in this program. This experience is a perfect introduction to sleep away camping for families who are interested in the experience but are unsure if they are ready for the full session the first year. The program starts at the beginning of our second session and allows for girls to extend their stay for the full 3-1/2 weeks. Please just be prepared for your daughter to want to stay as most of the girls who sign up for this option end up extending!