Summer Day Camp FAQs
What is the Site Directors background?
Each site is directed by a New Jersey State Certified Teacher. The directors possess a bachelor's degree in education, have completed in-service training, have camp administrative experience, and experience in organizing programs for children. They are also certified in First Aid and CPR.
What are the ages of the counselors?
Staff must be at least 16 years old for half day sites and at least 18 years old for the full day sites.
What training do counselors receive?
Camp staff is trained in safety regulations, emergency procedures and communication, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, appropriate staff and camper behavior, and specific procedures for supervision.
Is the camp committed to best practices in the camp industry?
The Department of Recreation Summer Day Camp program is American Camp Association accredited which means that your child's camp cares enough to undergo a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of its operation — from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth service 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 complies with industry established health and safety standards recognized by courts of law and government regulations.
What time should my child arrive at camp?
Campers should be brought to the camp site at the designated start time unless they are scheduled to go on a trip. Campers must be at the camp site 20 minutes prior to the bus departure time. Buses will leave promptly at the scheduled time (we cannot wait for any late campers).
May I send my child to camp with a cell phone?
No. We understand your desire to make sure your child is having fun and being well taken care of, however, cell phones and any other communication devices are prohibited at camp. In emergencies, campers can be reached by parents/guardians utilizing the site phone and/or Site Director's camp cell phone. Campers may use these same phones if parent/guardian must be contacted. Disregard of this rule will result in confiscation of the device – to be returned at the end of the day.
Are campers grouped by age, activity, or both?
Campers are usually grouped by grade (either mixed or separated genders). Generally there are 5-8 campers per group.
What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?
Counselor-to-camper ratio is typically 1:7. At Funshine Friends the ratio is 1:5 and Summer Theater is 1:6.
My child can't swim and you have a trip scheduled to Crystal Springs Waterpark.
Crystal Springs activities are based on physical size, not age or ability. Participation will be determined according to the guidelines established by park attendants. Camp does not provide swimming lessons. Crystal Springs does not allow you to bring in your own personal flotation devices however coast guard approved flotation devices are available at Crystal Springs. If you need additional information about Crystal Springs, click here.
What should my child bring in their backpack?
Full Day: Water, AM snack, PM snack, lunch, and sunscreen.
Half Day: Water, AM snack and sunscreen.
No food will be provided by camp and campers are not permitted to use vending machines.
Water shoes and a towel should be brought for water days. Water shoes should be in their backpacks not on their feet.
Can my child take Benadryl or Tylenol at camp?
No medication (prescription or non-prescription) can be brought to camp or dispensed at camp. The only exception is epinephrine and inhalers.
Does my child have to wear a camp shirt everyday?
Yes. Camper shirts will be distributed on the first day of camp. Full day campers will receive 5 camp shirts and half day campers will receive 3 camp shirts. Additional shirts may be purchased for $5.00 each. In an effort to provide the safest environment for our campers and staff, all campers will be required to wear a camp shirt on all trip days, including Crystal Springs.
How will my child be protected from the sun?
Sunscreen must be applied at home prior to outdoor activities. Staff may not apply sunscreen to a child; staff can only direct a camper how to apply. Sunscreen should be brought to camp and applied frequently throughout the day. Encourage your kids to drink frequently to avoid overheating and/or dehydration. They need to DRINK LOTS OF FLUID! Campers are encouraged to bring water bottles that can be refilled at the site.
Will the camp provide lunch/snack for full day programs?
No. Snacks (one morning and one for the afternoon) and lunches must be supplied from home. Please use insulated/thermal bags or lunch boxes (paper bags tend to disintegrate). On all day trips please use grocery store bags for lunches so they can be disposed of wherever they go. Please make sure all bags and boxes are labeled with your child's name.
Are parent visits encouraged?
Any parent/guardian/relative is welcome to briefly visit the camp site; however, they must present themselves to the Site Director before attempting to be in contact with a child. Parents and visitors must sign-in and out and wear a “visitor” name tag during time in the building. Parents/guardians/relatives may not act as chaperones on trips.
Can I pick up my child on an off site trip?
Dismissal can only be made from the camp site. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Can my child bring an IPOD to camp?
Neither the Department of Recreation nor the site staff can be responsible for campers' personal property or any money brought to the camp site. Please ensure that your child does not bring an IPOD, video games, toys, or any like items to camp. If a child comes to camp with personal property it will be confiscated by the Site Director and returned to the parent at the end of the day.
Can I request that my child be placed in a group with his or her friend?
Camp is a wonderful place to make new friends! Parents may request placement of camper in a group with one friend – the request must be mutual. Campers must be in the same grade. The request has to be in writing before camp starts. No arrangements will be made after June 10. The Site Director has the final decision in group placements.
Is transportation available?
What about extended care before and after camp?
Special arrangements must be made in advance for extended care for the entire 7 week camp season which is child care only (no programming). Extended Care is available before and after camp for full day sites only. Your child cannot arrive any earlier than 7:30 AM. Arrangements must be made with the Department of Recreation by calling 732-390-6797. Extended Care PM pick-up time is noted on the extended care form.
How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?
Positive reinforcement, assertive role-modeling and a sense of fair play are generally regarded as key components of camp counseling and leadership. Rules are necessary in any organization, and the disciplinary approach taken is reasonable and well communicated. If penalties are involved for violations, they will be applied quickly, fairly, calmly, and without undue criticism to campers.
At the beginning of the camp season, the campers, together with the staff, will develop and write their own set of rules that will help them create a positive environment. As a result, the campers will know what is expected of them and will understand what is appropriate behavior for them and for others.
Campers who choose not to accept these responsibilities are subject to disciplinary action which may include: verbal reprimand, written warning, time-out from activity, exemption from activity, conference between camper and Site Director, conference between Recreation Supervisor, Site Director and parent, and expulsion from Day Camp. Disciplinary action will vary according to the frequency, severity, and nature of the incident.
How does a camp handle an illness?
If your child is not feeling well before camp, please do not send them to camp. There is no nurse or facility to keep children who are ill.