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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sending your child to a camp that is right for your child is an important decision. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you speak with someone you know who has sent a child to camp. Camp Howe does little, if any, advertising and it is through word of mouth that the camp has earned local and national awards and fills each summer. We understand that you have many questions and welcome your phone calls to answer any questions that you may have.
As a quick reference for answers to questions that you may have we have collated common questions with answers. The list is divided by topic. Below is a list of the questions and to the right is tabs to the topic pages.
"Inclusivity is why we love Camp Howe. It is this bedrock point of view that I share as the highlight of what sets this camp experience apart when I speak about it with other potential camp families."
How do I register for a summer program?
We’ve set up an easy way for you to register: We have contracted with campdocs.com to make registering easy. You may register online with a credit card or with a personal check.
What are the fees and age levels for your camps?
Different programs run different lengths. Please check out our dates and rates page. Session lengths are one and two weeks long; under each heading, you can see the program's cost. You can learn about the different programs on the programs page. For each week you sign your child up, a nonrefundable deposit of $100.00 is due.
For campers who have finished 6th grade and are entering 7th grade, we consider them an in-between age and can be registered into either the Junior or Teen, depending on what the parents think the child is emotionally ready for. Please call us if you would like more information about the differences in the program.
What are the benefits of registering online?
Most importantly, you will find out immediately if your child is accepted into your chosen program. Online registration also allows you to complete the required paperwork and guides you through them. If you cannot sign up online, contact us for assistance.
Is there a registration deadline? Do your programs fill up? Are there waiting lists?
We accept registrations right up to the start of camps when openings exist. Some of our programs fill up early in the New Year, and most programs in every session fill up as the summer draws closer, so we recommend registering early.
Every year, campers are admitted into a program from our waitlist. We encourage you to still register for camp even if programs are determined to be full at this time. Families who stay active on our waitlist and don't happen to have a space open for them will receive priority registration the following year.
How do waitlists work?
If the program you want is full, you have the option to be placed on a waitlist. If a space becomes available, we will contact you via phone or email to see if you are still interested. We accept up to 10 children on a waitlist. To guarantee your camper will experience Camp Howe this year, you might consider registering them in a different session and being on the waitlist for your first choice. If your first choice opens up, we can withdraw them from the program they are already registered for.
Will I receive a confirmation?
Yes, you will. If you complete an online registration, you will get a notification immediately. If you register using regular mail, you will receive an email confirmation once it has been processed. You will not receive a confirmation in the mail. If we receive snail mail registration for a child and the session/ program is waitlisted, we will call to see if you want to move to a different session.
I've already registered my child for camp and now want to add another week. Do I have to complete another registration form?
You do not need to fill out a new registration. You can add a session to your online registration account or call or email the Executive Director to make the addition. You can only add or switch to a different week if that program has an opening.
How many weeks may I sign my child up for?
While we fully understand that camp serves many purposes, we believe it is an intense and exhausting experience, and campers cannot fully enjoy the benefits if they are over-tired. For this reason, we do not allow campers to sign up for the whole summer. Depending on age and ability, two consecutive weeks tend to be ideal. If you are interested in signing up for more than two weeks in a row, please call us first to discuss this. Many campers sign up for a two-week session, take a break, and return for the final two-week session.
Can I come and see the camp before I sign up?
Camp Howe is a seasonal site and opens in early May. Our official Open House is in June; all are encouraged to attend. We understand that this requires registering before seeing camp to avoid being waitlisted. For this reason, if a family tours our camp and does not think it is a good match for their child, the deposit will be refunded to them.
In accordance with Summer Camp License Regulations, you may request copies of our background check, health care, and discipline policies, as well as procedures for filing grievances before and after registering.
Can my child be in the same cabin as their friend?
Completing your camper paperwork in your online account, you will have the opportunity to list a friend. Campers may make one mutual request for someone approximately the same age and attending the same session in the same program (Juniors or Teens). We work hard to make sure as many requests as possible are granted. Please remind them that one of the advantages of camp is making new friends.
Can I pay by credit card? Is a deposit required?
Yes, you can pay by credit card or with a personal check using our online registration. A deposit of $100.00 per week is required. You can also mail a check to us if you are uncomfortable using online payment.
When does the final payment need to be made?
Payment of Camp fees ideally will be received by June 1 but must be received at least four weeks before the start of the session.
To whom do I make my check payable if I want to mail in a check for payment? Make your check payable to Camp Howe Inc.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes. To ensure that all youth have the opportunity to attend Camp Howe, we offer a payment plan that meets the needs of most families. In all instances, full payment must be received no later than four weeks before the start of the program. The Payment Plan is available to choose as a payment option during registration.
What is your refund policy?
Reserving a space for a youth child at Camp Howe, you must pay a non-refundable fee of $100.00 per week. Reserving a space prevents other youth from enrolling if the session is full. Because we hire staff, organize program enrollment, and purchase equipment and supplies based on our anticipated enrollment, the tuition is non-refundable after May 15. If there is an outstanding balance, the remaining balance will be due.
Tuition, minus the deposit, may be refunded with a signed doctor’s note and an explanation of the medical reason addressed to the Executive Director. Cancellations must be received in writing at the Camp Office. Insurance is available through Campdocs at the time of registration.
In the case of dismissal, homesickness, or voluntary withdrawal, fees are not refunded. Any form of physical violence will result in immediate dismissal.
What is your federal tax identification number?
Camp fees may be tax deductible for some families. Our Taxpayer Identification Number is 04-2258213. Please keep this number with your tax information. Your camper confirmation form has this number on it and can be used as a receipt of your payment. If you need an additional receipt, please call or email the office.
GETTING READY FOR CAMP
Can we tour the camp before our child attends?
Yes. Please call the camp office to schedule your tour and get directions to the camp office. If you can, it is best to come during the summer to see camp in action. Our open house is in June each year; information about the Open House will be on the website as soon as the date has been selected.
How can we help prepare our child for camp?
Our campers live in a cabin with age-appropriate peers. Please discuss with your camper about dressing or changing in a room where other campers will be present and maintaining modesty. Many campers are not used to the lack of privacy. We provide a changing tent in each cabin and the shower house is also a more private option.
All campers will take turns doing different chores (CIA's - Camp Improvement Acts) during their stay at camp. Explain to your camper that doing chores is a big part of group living and teaches responsibility and independence. Chores will include helping at meal times, cleaning the cabin and unit area, and keeping the bathrooms clean and tidy. Chores will be supervised as with all other activities.
Part of the challenge of each child’s camp experience is learning to function in a new setting with new people. They are rewarded by finding that they can succeed in making new friends and in adjusting to unfamiliar group situations. Counselors encourage the growth of these skills through planned activities and with their caring attitudes. If you have any special concerns, please let us know before assignments are made.
Be sure to read our information on homesickness for other useful tips.
What should we say to our child about inclusion and acceptance?
Camp Howe is a community in which we embrace the individual differences of all our campers and staff. It is the Camp Howe philosophy to value each individual, which provides a life-changing experience for all our campers. It is a good idea to have a conversation with your child so that they will be aware that they will share the experience with people different from them at camp. Some differences are obvious, and some are less so. Please encourage them to speak to the staff with questions or concerns. Despite our differences, we have so many similarities, and we are all at camp to enjoy a safe and fun camp experience.
What do I need to know about personal hygiene?
Please talk with your camper about keeping clean while at camp. Let your camper know how often to shower and shampoo. The campers will not shower daily, but most will swim and rinse daily. Cabin counselors encourage campers to brush their teeth, but a prepared youth is likelier to follow through with the responsibility. It is important to tell your camper not to wear a bathing suit except when swimming. Some kids want to wear them all day, which is unhealthy.
Please send the necessary supplies if your camper has begun menstruation. Oftentimes, physical activity, heat, and changed circumstances can stimulate the advent of the first period. Be sure they know what to expect and encourage your child to talk to the counselor should their period start or if they need to get supplies. Every camper will have all the encouragement and support they need at camp. Many families save this for teen campers, but we see youth younger and younger (as young as 10) and encourage you to prepare your child.
Sometimes, a new environment brings on bed-wetting. You should prepare your child for this and have them talk to their counselor if it occurs. If your child should have a history of bedwetting, please be sure it is noted on the health form.
What should we pack?
Sleeping apparel (pajamas, sweat suit, or oversize t-shirt)
Daily change of socks and underwear (plus a few extras)
Shirts (both short and long-sleeved - mornings can be chilly some days)
Hoodies or sweaters
Jeans or long pants
Wet weather gear (Raincoat or poncho, rain hat, and footwear)
Sturdy footwear. Shoes and/or sneakers are a must for most activities
Sandals MUST be closed-toe for Safety Reasons.
One pair of wet shoes (old sneakers for boating or swimming may get ruined)
Swimsuit (appropriate for being active swimming, paddle boarding, etc )
Hair brush or comb
2 Towels and washcloths
Shower Shoes (shoes or flip-flops to wear in the shower)
Blankets or Sleeping Bag
Pillow and extra case
Trunk or duffle for storage
Flashlight and extra batteries
Water bottle with strap
Day Pack (backpack)
Sun-block lotion SPF-30or higher *
Insect Repellent *
Sun hat with wide brim and bandana
Dress up clothes for the dance that match the theme of the day at the camps
Laundry Bag with name on it. (mesh bags are good for airflow)
Stationery and writing supplies
Books or magazines for quiet reading
What do we pack in?
Please restrict gear to what is needed. Space is limited, and there is no room for large excess. All personal gear, as well as luggage, should be labeled to avoid loss or mix-ups. Please do not bring MONEY, valuables, DANGEROUS ARTICLES, or pets to camp. FOOD brought to camp MUST be placed in the cabin food bin and be items that can be shared with cabin mates. Due to allergies, please do not send tree nuts or peanut items. Food attracts bears and mice, and we must diligently keep them out of the cabins. Camp Howe cannot be held responsible for losing, damaging, or stealing the camper's personal property or clothing.
How do we help you minimize lost and found?
Camp Howe is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen items. Things can and do get lost at camp. Do not send things that are valuable or new. Recheck the packing list before leaving camp and let someone know if something is missing. While the camp is not responsible for lost items, if you call right away, we may be able to find them. Label every item clearly with your camper’s name and check through your camper’s belongings before departure. If you think your child is missing anything at the end of camp, call the office at 413 268-7635. Lost and found property is held at the camp for 30 days. After this date, all will be donated to a local charity.
What things should we not pack for camp?
NO CELL PHONES.
No knives, firearms, or weapons of any type may be brought to Camp.
Camp Howe provides all equipment for activities, so it is not necessary to bring anything for sports or other activities.
Jewelry, such as gold chains or bracelets, and other valuable items should not be brought to camp or worn.
Alcohol is never permitted at Camp Howe.
Only those medications authorized by a parent and physician can be administered by the Camp Nurse are allowed. No drugs are allowed.
Animals may not be brought to the Camp without permission from a director.
Campers are not to bring motor vehicles or motorized devices.
Electronic devices, including radios, tape recorders, and hand-held games, are only used during siesta and bedtimes. If items are used at other times and interfere with the program, the staff may confiscate them. Camp Howe is not responsible if the electronic devices are lost, stolen, or damaged.
Any prohibited item found at camp will be held in the camp office until the end of the session or will be mailed to the camper’s home. THIS INCLUDES CELL PHONES!
Is information the same for day campers as for resident camp?
We view day campers as the same as resident campers, but they get to sleep at home at night. Drop off is Monday at 8:30 am, and pick up is between 5:30 and 5:45 pm. Each day, the camper is assigned a residential cabin and spends the day with them. Lunch is provided in our dining services. Day campers need to bring the things they need each day: a towel, bathing suit, drink bottle, poncho or rain jacket, and a sense of fun and adventure.
Is my child ready for overnight camp?
There is no magical formula to determine if your child is ready for camp. Some kids are ready at seven, while others may not be ready until they are 13 or older. Different children are ready at different stages of development. Here are a few questions to think about to help you make your decision:
Has your child attended day camp programs or team sports?
Has your child spent a night or more away from their family?
What is your child's level of independence and responsibility? Can they brush their teeth and get themselves ready with minimal guidance?
How easily does your child make friends? How easily does your child get along with peers?
Is your child comfortable telling adults their needs and concerns?
Is your child interested in being with a new group of children?
Does your child get anxious when talking about going away from home?
Does your child seem excited about overnight camp?
Does your child seem interested in the camp activities?
Are you ready for them to go away to camp?
How You Can Help Your Child Avoid Homesickness?
You can do many things before camp begins to help prepare your child for the camping experience. Start early in preparing your child for the idea of being away from home. Find out your child's expectations, what he or she is looking forward to, and what seems a little scary. Stress the positive aspects of the upcoming session and coach them to share their fears with you and their counselor while at camp. Here are a few ways to minimize homesickness:
1: Involve your child
The most important thing you can do to avoid major homesickness is involve your child in the planning for camp. If you haven’t already talked to your child about their feelings about going off to camp and the length of stay, do it now. If a child feels forced to go to camp or abandoned while at camp, it’s a sure bet they will have very homesick feelings. Allowing your child to feel as though they had a voice in the decision to go to camp goes a long way in avoiding such feelings.
2: Make a Pre-Camp Visit
Some children (and adults) fare better if they can see camp ahead of time. Consider visiting camp before your camping session to see and discuss what camp will be like. Be sure to make prior arrangements with the camp director. Visiting camp in the pre-season reveals the lay of the land, but keep in mind that camp will appear deserted and lonely without people and the camp program humming about. Our open house is a great opportunity to meet the staff that will be working with your child and see activities in operation.
3: Talk about Camp Ahead of Time
Discuss topics such as group living, self-care, oral hygiene, explanation for strange noises at night, different activities, doing chores, wearing shoes, having a buddy, and using a flashlight. Bring up what children fear the most about venturing into the unknown, such as What if: I wet the bed?; No one likes me?; I don't like the food? I get sick?; I really miss you?; and Will I let you down? If you don’t have the answers, don't hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss these situations.
4: Provide some practice time away from home
Going away for one or two whole weeks is a really long time for a child who has never been away from home before. Giving your child time away from home provides the opportunity to learn to deal with those feelings. Plan some sleepovers at a friend’s house or with other relatives. If your child is involved in a youth group or scouts, let them go on a weekend group trip without you. The more times your child experiences time away from you, the easier it becomes. Remember, practice makes perfect.
5: Talk with your child about homesickness
Don’t just assume that your child will be able to deal with issues of homesickness alone. Talking with your child about these issues in the months before camp starts will help. Devise ways to help your child deal with those feelings. Suggestions such as staying busy, writing letters, and talking with the counselors and directors are great.
6: Watch how you phrase things
Keep your conversations in a positive light. Don’t say things like you know they are going to miss home. Instead, frame it in ways that keep your child thinking positively. If you tell your child, “I sure hope you’re ready for this,” “I’m going to miss you so much I might not be able to cope,” or “I hope you don’t get so homesick you have to come home early,” you’ll be putting those negative ideas in your child’s head. You have to be careful what you say. Instead, say things like, “I know you might miss home, but I know you can handle it,” “Sure, I’m going to miss you, but you’ll have a great time, and I’ll be here when the session’s over,” or “If you start to feel like you’re missing home a lot, remember the ways to deal with it we’ve talked about and don’t forget your counselor is there to help you out”.
7: Have positive, reaffirming letters on the first day of camp
You can either send the letter in advance or give it to the registration desk on opening day. Load the letter with positive messages about how excited you are that your child is getting to experience camp. Remind your child of all the fun activities that will happen. Reframing the time away into something positive is also a great idea. Writing this kind of letter helps.
8: Don’t make deals for early pick-ups or phone calls!
This is a common mistake well-meaning parents make all of the time. You may think that you’re comforting your child, but it almost guarantees your child will be homesick. Instead of focusing on adjusting and having fun at camp, your child will focus on your promise. Our staff helps campers work through their feelings and make camp a positive experience for your child. Promising an early pick-up or phone call ties our hands and puts you on the spot. Increasing your child’s self-esteem and independence probably played a large part in your decision to send your child to summer camp. Please don’t undermine your own goals by making such a promise.
What do I do if I get a letter from my child at camp asking me to pick them up?
Nothing is harder for parents to see than a letter from their child saying that they are miserable. Often, a parent’s first instinct is to hop in the car and drive to camp. Please don’t! If you receive a homesick letter, don’t despair. Remember, mail takes time to get to you. The letter will be two or three days old by the time you receive it. Chances are your child will be over it by the time you get the news. Of course, you are welcome to call camp for an update. Speaking with a member of the leadership staff or your child’s counselor should set your mind at ease. We’ll give you an update on how your child is doing and what we’ve done to help.
Do returning campers ever get homesick?
Returning campers could still experience some adjustment. The camp may initially appear different with new cabin mates or a new counselor, so it is important to prepare returning campers for changes that may exist. Even though your camper has been to camp before, here are some tips. Returning campers may still experience homesickness due to a wide variety of changes at home. Talk about it with your child before you get to camp. This will help them to deal with their feelings and not have any hidden worries. Sometimes, returning campers have to adjust to the changes at camp, different from what they remember. Different counselors, cabins, and cabin mates. Talk with your camper about how changes can be even better. Campers who are returning are often the "experts" at camp. We encourage veteran campers to buddy up with new campers, showing them around and going over our rules or how an activity progresses.
What will the camp staff do if my child is homesick?
Homesickness is a very real part of the adjustment that many children will make while away from their homes and families. We are sensitive to both the campers experiencing homesickness and to their families who miss them. We work hard to support families through this adjustment.
Every child is different. We treat each child as uniquely as we can. In general, we try to talk with the child and reaffirm that missing home is okay. We talk about things your child likes about camp and what activities they want to do. We know from experience that meal times, bedtimes, and free times are the toughest for campers missing home, so we try to keep your child occupied during those times.
Our cabin counselors will work with your child for the first 24 hours. If your child continues to struggle, a member of the leadership staff will become involved. Normally, homesickness goes away within a couple of days as your child becomes immersed in the camp routine. If they do not appear to be responding to counselor or leadership help, a member of our leadership team may contact you for your ideas by Tuesday at lunchtime (if not before). We will discuss our options and plan of action with you to make the camp experience positive for your child. Options may or may not include you speaking with your child.
We feel it is important to inform and prepare your child that they will not be in contact with you during their stay at camp via the telephone. In the rare event that the decision is made that camp is not going to be a positive experience for your child, we expect that decision to be made together.
Should I bring a copy of the medical forms on the first day of camp with me?
If you have completed your online form online, you do not need to bring any forms on the first day. If you mailed them and do not see them in your account, we recommend bringing a copy of what you sent in the event we did not receive them.
What forms do I need to get a physician to complete?
The law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires camps to have on file a Health Form for every camper and staff member. The parent or guardian of minors shall supply information for the Health History tab in CampDocs within six (6) months before camp. The immunization history, physical and health care recommendations, and restrictions shall be completed, signed, and dated by a licensed physician not more than eighteen (18) months before the start of camp.
Why do I need a physical from the last 18 months?
Children grow and change quickly! We need a physician or nurse practitioner to say that your child is well enough to participate in camp for how they are now, not three years ago. The state codes dictate that it must be within 18 months. We recommend connecting with your doctor early as they sometimes take a month or two to return forms to families or to get an appointment.
What forms do I need to get from the physician?
Two things are required for attendance at Camp Howe:
A current physical (within the last 18 months from the date of attendance at camp). The physical MUST be current throughout the child’s stay at camp.
An immunization record. Current Massachusetts state regulations for camps require the following immunizations for attendance at camp:
Two MMR’s (measles, mumps, and rubella).
At least 3 doses polio vaccine. If a mixed (IVP/OPV) schedule was used, four doses are required.
At least 4 doses of DTaP.
One dose of Td (Tdap preferred) is required if it has been more than 10 years since the previous dose of Td.
3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine or laboratory evidence of immunity if born in 1992 or after.
2 doses of Varicella
MenACWY (Meningococcal Vaccine) 1 Dose for grades 7-9 and 2 doses for grades 11 and above
Medication orders. If your child takes medication routinely or on an as-needed basis, as noted above, you will need to obtain an order from a physician for EACH medication as well as sign the parental consent form. Camp Howe follows the medication regulations put in place by the State of Massachusetts for schools, which helps to protect your child and our staff and ensure medications are managed by a licensed professional.
We have a list of medications that the camp has been given orders to administer by our health consultant. If you wish to have another OTC medication that is NOT on this list given to your child, whether on a daily or as-needed basis, you MUST obtain a written doctor’s order for the medication, EVEN IF IT IS OVER THE COUNTER. This includes medications such as Clairton and homeopathic doses such as melatonin and supplement pellets.
What if my child has not received immunizations or does not see a doctor for a physical?
Massachusetts allows for a religious or medical waiver of immunizations; Massachusetts does NOT recognize a waiver for philosophical reasons. You will be asked to either produce a medical waiver signed by a physician or to sign a religious exemption waiver if your child is not fully immunized or had a physical under MA state law. If your child is not fully immunized and there is an outbreak of disease for which your child is not immunized for, you will need to pick your child up from camp immediately.
The laws specified by the State of Massachusetts. (Taken directly from regulations)
(A) Religious Exceptions. If a camper or staff member has religious objections to physical examinations or immunizations, the camper or staff member shall submit a written statement, signed by a parent or legal guardian of the camper, to the effect that the individual is in good health and stating the reason for such objections.
(B) Immunization Contraindicated. Any immunization specified in 105 CMR 430.152 shall not be required if the health history required by 105 CMR 430.151 includes a certification by a physician that he or she has examined the individual and that, in the physician's opinion, the physical condition of the individual is such that his or her health would be endangered by such immunization.
Campers who do not meet the above requirements, unfortunately, are not able to take part in our program. If you have any questions, please contact us.
What forms do I personally need to complete for my child?
You should also have the following sections in CampDocs completed prior to arrival at camp. This information is completed on the online registration account.
Health history. This gives us up-to-date contact and medical history information. Please be sure to sign and date the bottom, as this is our permission to treat your child if necessary.
Over-the-counter medication form. This is for a few standard OTC medications that our camp physician has given us written orders for and that we keep stocked in the infirmary.
Does the physical have to be on the camp form?
No. Many physicians have computer-generated physicals and immunization records. As long as the physical has the date of the exam, a height and weight, any pertinent findings or information, and clearance to participate in sports or strenuous physical activity AND a signature it’s fine.
Why can you give some over-the-counter medications but not others?
At Camp Howe, we have what are called “standing orders” from the camp’s physician. They allow our staff to give medications you have given us permission to administer. However, if it isn’t on the list, we do not have orders for it. Please have a physician order for all the medications your child takes regularly. They will be familiar with this as we follow the same regulations as for schools. This includes vitamins, supplements, and homeopathy.
Does the medication order need to be on the camp form?
No. Again, many physician’s offices have computerized medication orders that contain all the information we need to administer the medication safely. You will still need to sign the parental consent, however. Orders must include the medication, why it is given, dose, time, and all information necessary for the health care staff to administer the medication safely.
How long does it take physicians to complete paperwork?
Do not wait until the last minute before camp to have your child’s physician fill out forms! Many physicians are overwhelmed in late spring/early summer with camp and sports participation physical and form requests. Schedule your child’s physical, if needed, as soon as you register for camp. Bring all forms to the doctor, but know they may provide their own computer-generated forms. Do NOT have physicians mail any forms directly to camp; mailed forms are frequently lost! Upload them to your registration account and bring them in hand.
Can I pre-dispense medication?
Medications brought to camp must be in the original container. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medication. All medication must be handed to the Health Supervisor on the first day of camp. Campers with inhalers or epi-pens are requested to bring two (2) to have one in reserve controlled by the nurse. To administer any prescribed or over-the-counter (not on our authorization to administer over-the-counter form) medication, the Health Care Staff needs authorization to administer from the child’s doctor. If this is not presented with the medication, unfortunately, it can NOT be given to the child. (Sorry for the repetitiveness, but this is really important.)
Will I be called if my child gets sick or injured?
We have medical staff on site who will care for your child's medical needs. Parents will be notified by telephone in the event of an:
Illness requiring the child to be in the infirmary overnight as per Standing Orders
Illness requiring medical attention by their physician
Injury that requires outside medical attention
Injury which interferes with the child’s participation in the camp program.
My child has special medical, physical, or emotional needs – can you accommodate us?
Whenever possible, Camp Howe tries to accommodate youth with medical conditions, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities. We offer a supported program, the ECHO Program. We also have youth with special needs in our traditional program that we have connected with the families and determined that this is a good placement. To ensure a fun and safe experience for all campers, please contact Executive Director email@example.com or 413-268-7635 to discuss your child’s unique needs. We will do our best to accommodate your child, but we cannot guarantee that we can meet your child’s specific needs.
When is Check-In?
For Day Campers: You can check your child in on Sunday with resident campers if you would like to shorten your Monday morning drop-off time. Typically, Check-in for Day Camp is Monday at 8:30 am.
For Resident Campers: Check-in is on the Sunday your session begins (to maximize program time and to avoid congestion, the following schedule is recommended.)
CIT’s – 1:30 - 2:15
Teen campers Registration - 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Junior campers registration - 2:30- 3:30 pm
Most Day campers check in at -: 8:30 am on their first Monday.
What forms will I need to have on the first day?
All forms are required to be submitted before the start of your child's session. The only forms to bring would be if there have been changes.
What do we do when we arrive at camp for check-in?
Upon arrival, a staff member will greet you and give you directions. We have a kiss-and-go method of drop as we have found that this reduces stress and homesickness in our campers.
If the paperwork is complete, the camper can kiss their families goodbye while the staff unloads the car and escorts the camper to their cabin.
If the paperwork is incomplete or there is medical information or medicine to hand in, one family member will escort the child to an assigned area. The camper will then be handed off to a staff member and escorted to the cabin if all is complete.
At the Dining Hall
Two lines for parents or guardians:
one for those without and one for those with medications. All medications must be in original containers, placed with and controlled by the Health Supervisor. Health forms are reviewed with the Health Supervisor.
A separate line for office matters - payment, paperwork, and opening a store account. You may also drop off pre-written mail here.
At the entrance to each unit:
Campers will be screened for temperature and head lice.
As per resident camp on first day but all completed in the Day Camp Parking Lot.
Check-in Monday at 8:30
On subsequent days, drop-off is in the parking area, and the child is escorted to their group.
At this point, the check-in process is complete, and you are free to leave. Leaving can be stressful, especially for a camper experiencing camp for the first time. We suggest you discuss your plans with your child before camp. Lingering longer can often make a child nervous and more apt to start feeling homesick. Campers and staff are eager to start their program, meet cabin mates, and become oriented to camp life. Don’t feel slighted if your camper doesn’t seem to care that you are taking your departure. That’s the sign of an interested, enthusiastic camper.
Resident Camper Pick Up - 5-7 pm on Friday
Parents will collect the camper in a drive-through fashion.
First stop will be with the nurse and office staff collecting medication, leftover store money and ordered photos.
Luggage will line the road grouped together by cabin. Staff will be placed in the area to assist in loading luggage in cars.
ID will be checked before allowing the camper into the car. Teens will be located in one building and Juniors in the other. We will have your camper ready to greet you.
Parents will be encouraged to:
Minimize time for pickup
Know the pick-up password.
All Candlelight ceremonies will be performed before parent pick-up this summer with campers only.
Monday through Thursday – you will park in the day camp parking, and your camper will be brought to your car. 5:45 pm
On Fridays, you will follow the same procedure as resident campers. 5-7 pm
Note: the road in and out of camp is very limiting for everyone coming and going simultaneously. We will have staff director traffic to make the road one way only, alternating between entering and exiting.
What are the facilities like?
Camp Howe is situated on 52 acres located in the DAR state forest at the foothills of the Berkshires. The camp remains rustic with modern touches. Each cabin has electricity bunk beds and is a short walk from the unit bath house.
How are cabin assignments done?
Cabin assignments are made using age, grade, program eligibility, and cabin mate requests. As we make these assignments, our goal is to create groups with a mix of campers, both new and returning, and provide campers with the opportunity to meet new friends from different geographic areas.
Do you honor all friend requests?
We will honor friend requests if there is a mutual friend request. It is likely that groups of 4 (or larger) will be split into 2 (or more). With large groups, there are often interwoven requests, which make it impossible for us to place each camper with their first choice request. We ask that you, as parents, keep in mind that camp is a place to make new friends and be inclusive of other children. If your child is part of a large group, we will be sure to place your child with someone else from the group. Encourage this openness and flexibility prior to arrival to assist us in providing your child with an inclusive camp experience.
How many campers live in one cabin?
A typical cabin group has 9 or 10 campers and 2 counselors. One of the cabins can house up to campers 14 campers.
My child is transgender or gender non-conforming, where will they live?
Although most of our residential living arrangements are currently limited to youth who identify as male and female, we offer gender-inclusion cabins throughout the summer. All campers are welcome to sign up for our gender-inclusive cabin, and we have seen that campers of different genders who want to sign up to be together at camp have enjoyed this option. Our trans or gender nonbinary campers are free to also choose which gendered cabin they will bunk with, based on which gender aligns most with gender identity. All of our staff are trained to work with all youth and to create a culture of acceptance.
Does the camp provide transportation?
It is each camper’s family’s responsibility to get her to and from Camp Howe.
Are there individual or group chores?
Campers are responsible for cleaning up their cabins, which are inspected on a daily basis as part of our cleanest cabin competition. Each day, a cabin is awarded the cleanest cabin of the day. These points are tallied, and an overall Cleanest Cabin of the Week is awarded on Friday. Cabins are also assigned “CIA’s” – Camp Improvement Acts – which range from setting the dining tables, watering the flowers, and cleaning the bathrooms to leading Singing Hill before meals. The intent of CIA’s is to encourage the entire camp community to care about our surroundings.
Who will my camper be sharing a cabin with?
Camp Howe includes youth and young adults of all differences. Together, we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race, or sexual orientation, has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity and enjoy and be accepted in a summer camp community.
We encourage you to speak with your child about what types of diversity exist in the world and encourage them to speak with one of the counselors if they have questions or concerns. We believe that through enjoying camp together, differences are demystified, and stereotypes can be questioned and explored.
What is the food like?
Meals at Camp Howe are an important part of daily life. Campers and staff come together to eat and talk about their day. Campers and staff sit at assigned tables with their cabin for breakfast and dinner. Lunch is enjoyed outside picnic style, allowing all ages and genders to get to know each other.
We serve tasty, balanced meals in our dining hall, where campers eat “family style” with their cabin mates. In addition to the hot meal served at the table, we always have a gluten-free and vegetarian option and a sandwich station. Throughout the day, fruit is always available in the dining hall.
What if my child has an allergy?
Camp Howe recognizes that allergies, in some instances, may be severe and even occasionally life-threatening. The foods most likely to cause allergic reactions are peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Although most food allergies produce symptoms that are uncomfortable, persons with allergies can suffer more serious consequences. In an effort to be an even more inclusive community, weeks in which we have individuals with severe allergies to a particular food, we will try not to serve that food in the dining hall or store.
When we have individuals with severe allergies, we also will go through packages and remove any item containing that allergen. We work under the assumption that we are peanut and tree nut aware and exclude these from meals and the store. Also, please avoid sending your child with food and cosmetics that contain these items.
In some cases, Camp Howe may require the family to provide supplemental food and snacks to ensure the camper's safety and experience.
Can campers call home?
Your camper's happiness and welfare are of the utmost concern to the Camp Director and Staff. One way to further that happiness and welfare is to avoid disruption to the camper's adjustment period. Campers generally do not receive or make phone calls during their stay at camp. We will contact you if there is a problem or if your camper is not doing well, emotionally or physically.
Please prepare your child for this and discuss that they should talk with their counselors if they are not doing well. Emergency messages will be delivered. Camp Phone lines must be kept open for the business. Campers will not have free access to telephones during their stay at camp. If you have concerns and feel the need, contact the Camp Director at 413 268-7635.
Please DO NOT tell your child they can phone you while here. Promises such as these can worsen homesickness and cause behavioral issues. If you would like to have constant contact with your child while they are away, we suggest a camp that allows campers to use phones during their stay.
Can my child bring a cell phone to camp?
Please do not send your camper with a cell phone, as this is the time for them to become unplugged, make new friends, and enjoy their camp experience. You'll be amazed at how well they do on their own. The camp experience helps children and youth gain confidence, independence, and an ability to adapt to a variety of social situations.
Are visitors allowed to visit campers during their session?
To avoid disrupting the program and the continuity of adjustment to camp life, we humbly request that parents, guardians, or families restrict visits to the opening and closing days of their campers' session.
Can we mail letters to our camper?
Frequent, cheerful, and supportive letters or cards are important to campers. Mail service can be slow - allow several days for delivery. It is suggested that you mail a letter before your camper goes to camp or slip a card into the camp mailbox on Sunday when there to register. This will ensure a letter from home on the first day. Receiving notes from home helps to ensure a safe and secure feeling for our campers.
What is the camp mailing address?
Address to: Your Camper, Cabin Number P.O. Box 326, Goshen MA 01032
Can my camper do laundry at camp?
Camp Howe does not provide laundry facilities for our campers. Please plan enough clean clothes, towels, washcloths, and swimsuits to last the session. Include a laundry bag or other bag for soiled items. The campers can rinse out some things and hang them on the line.
How does the camp store work?
Purchases may be made from the Camp Store on arrival and departure days and during the week by campers. Postcards, stamps, toiletries, writing materials, t-shirts, and some camp souvenirs are available. To avoid loss, spending money shall be deposited into an account at the Store upon arrival. Ten or twenty dollars is recommended, and more than that is discouraged. On closing day, unused balances may be withdrawn or can be donated to our campership fund. Donations and abandoned accounts will be transferred to our campership funds to assist families with the affordability of a week at camp.
What do you do for campers who have a birthday while at camp?
Many campers celebrate their birthdays while at camp! On a camper’s birthday, the camper is recognized with their cabin and then presented with a special birthday cake or dessert to share with their cabin. Families are welcome to deliver or have delivered other birthday items to the camp office for distribution by your child’s counselor.
Can I tip my child’s counselor?
Providing for all of our youth is the responsibility of all staff. We ask that families refrain from tipping individual staff members. Families are instead encouraged to write letters sharing their positive views of the staff and their child’s experience. If a family feels it is necessary to reward the staff, we encourage you to donate to the counselor banquet fund celebrated at the end of the season.
Who accredits or licenses Camp Howe?
Camp Howe is an American Camp Association (ACA) accredited camp, representing that our camp has met or exceeded nationally recognized standards for staffing, programming, health and wellness, and food service. By choosing to be accredited, our camp has a regular, independent assessment that goes beyond regulations in our state.
Camp Howe must comply with regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including Regulation 105 CMR 430.00 Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps for Children, and be licensed by the Goshen Board of Health. The state of MA wants you to be aware of the following information
All parents/guardians have the right to review policies pertaining to discipline, background checks of staff, health care, and what to do if you want to file a grievance.
Session B: July 9 to July 21, 2023
Session D: August 6 to August 18,
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