More Parent Info

And Get Ready for Camp!

What to Wear to Camp

  • T-Shirt
  • Shorts/pants
  • Sweatshirt/jacket on all but the hottest days.
  • Sweatpants over shorts on cold mornings. Campers can put them in their backpack when it warms up.
  • Athletic shoes. The best shoe is an athletic/hiking shoe or sneaker that covers the entire foot and allows campers to participate in a full range of outdoor activities. Footwear such as sandals, slip-ons, crocs, natives, flats, fashion boots, and Mary Jane style shoes are a hazard and not allowed. 
  • Hat to protect from the sun
  • Face Masks See COVID Guidelines for more information

Appropriate Clothing: Clothing needs to be modest and appropriate for Roughing It. The fit should be neither too loose nor too tight for participation in outdoor activities. Short shorts and clothing that exposes cleavage or midriff are unacceptable.

Label Items:  Even the most careful campers misplace personal items, so please mark all items (clothing, towels, water bottles, etc) with your camper’s first name and last name initial. Use either a fine-tip permanent marker or consider purchasing a pack of stick-on clothing labels.

Camp Store: You can purchase extra Roughing It t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats on our online store.

What to Bring to Camp

  1. Soft nylon backpack. Check that it fits the size of your child’s back. We don’t recommend hard packs or rolling cases as they don’t travel well over the Reservoir’s dirt trails.
  2. Lunch in a soft insulated lunch pack.
  3. Reusable water bottle. There are water stations at camp for refilling.
  4. Towel and swimsuit on swim days. We’ll email your camper’s weekly swim/ride schedule before the start of camp.
  5. Sunscreen. We have extra sunscreen if your camper runs out. Recommended sunscreens
  6. Birthday watermelon. If it’s your camper’s birthday, a Roughing It tradition is to bring a watermelon to camp.

What NOT to Bring to Camp

  1. Anything electronic: smartphones, iPods, video games, ipads, tablets
  2. Watches
  3. Makeup or jewelry. They are not needed nor appropriate for camp.
  4. Earrings/piercings of any kind. Stud earrings will need to be covered with athletic tape.
  5. Sports, fishing, or other activity equipment/gear
  6. Toys, games, trading cards, or stuffed animals
  7. Pets or any other living animal
  8. Candy, gum, or soda
Roughing It accepts no responsibility for the loss or damage of these items at camp. Campers will have a great time just bringing themselves.

Firearms, weapons, drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are strictly prohibited. Possession will result in immediate dismissal from camp.

Lunch Tips

Best practices:

  • Keep food nutritious and pack enough calories for a full active day outside
  • Include an extra mid-morning snack. If your camper is enrolled in after-care, we’ll provided a small snack and beverage. 
  • Use an insulated lunch pack with a frozen gel pack (or with the gel built in)
  • Boxed juice can be frozen the night before to keep food cool as it defrosts.

To prevent any contamination of food, we ask parents to follow these important food safety rules:

  • Avoid perishable food items (cream-based and egg products, besides hard boiled eggs)
  • Pack any semi-perishable food products (meats, cheeses, mayo) next to the ice pack. During extremely hot weather we recommend against packing semi-perishable items.
  • Our counselors will screen lunches and dispose of any food items that appear spoiled.
  • Due to food allergies and dietary needs, there is no food sharing or trading.

Importance of Sleep

Being outside is a wonderful and healthy way to spend the summer, and getting enough sleep is essential to having enough energy to participate in a full camp day. Our camp doctor Tracy Trotter recommends the following amount of sleep every night:

  • 6 years and younger: 10-12 hours
  • 7-10 years old: 9-10 hours
  • 11 years and older: 8-9 hours
After getting home, we recommend campers have 10 to 20 minutes of rest in a quiet spot.

Camp Rules

  1. Be respectful and kind to others.
  2. Cooperate with other campers and be supportive.
  3. Follow the directions of camp staff.
  4. Stay with your camper group.
  5. Leave sticks and rocks on the ground where they belong.
  6. Tread lightly and be considerate of the environment.

How We Group Campers

We group campers by age/grade, with 8 to 12 campers in each group. 1st through 8th grade campers are separated into boys and girls groups. PreK, K, and Little Raccoon campers are coed, along with the CILT group (9th/10th grade). Outdoor Explorer groups are coed, and spend half the day in choice activities with campers of various ages. 

All groups are supervised by an adult counselor, with younger groups assisted by a junior counselor (a junior/senior in high school).

Grouping is done at the discretion of the camp directors. One of the important life skills we teach — helping campers learn to make new friends — is facilitated by the group counselor. We have a number of activities at the start of camp and throughout the session, including GRIT Challenges, that help campers, friendly or shy, get to know each other, become close friends, and come together as a team.

Vacation

We appreciate that our camper families plan their vacations around the camp session so their camper can be a part of our camp community in a consistent manner. Taking your child out of camp for a trip affects the continuity of the camp experience. Additionally, any camper who will be absent during the first week of camp will miss important orientation and rules, and this may delay their participation in activities when they return. There is no refund for days of camp missed due to vacations.

Absences

If your camper will be absent, please call or email our office no later than 7:00 am the day of the absence. This allows us to inform the bus so they will not wait at your bus stop. If we do not have a record of their absence, we will attempt to contact you before the bus leaves your stop. If your camper will miss part of the camp day and will be picked up or dropped off at camp, please contact our office ahead of time to coordinate where and when to drop off or pick up your camper. There are no make-up days, credits, or refunds for missed days of camp due to illness, vacations, or dismissals.

Transportation

Bus Times: We email exact bus times the week before the start of the session. You can contact us earlier if you would like to get an approximate time. The bus may run slightly late the first few mornings as the bus captain greets campers and parents for the first time and the driver gets the route down.

Authorized Release: Bus captains will only release campers to authorized adults who are on the release list. Parents are already included. You can add nannies, grandparents, and other camper families to the list by updating your authorized adult list online. Please notify us by email of any additions to this list if camp is about to or has already started, as we may have already printed the list for your bus captain.

More info about transportation and policies can be found on our Transportation Page.

Parent Communication

We welcome the opportunity to talk with parents and get to know our camper families better. We feel that being partners with parents is the best way to make camp the most positive experience possible.

Our unit leaders, program supervisors, and group counselors are happy to speak with you. Directors Amy, Ann, and Hobie are always available should you wish to speak to them directly.

During the first week of camp for our longer (2+ weeks) programs, your camper’s group counselor will call and introduce themselves, tell you how your camper is doing, and discuss camper goals for the rest of the session.

You and your campers can get all the latest news and updates on camp by visiting Camper Caboodle. Every day we post news, pics and videos from camp. Contact us if you need to the secret code to log in.

Health & Illness

Campers must stay home from camp if they are sick or have flu/cold symptoms, and they should not return to camp until all signs of illness have passed. This is to prevent the spread of illness and to give campers a full recovery. If a camper is not feeling well or has flu/cold symptoms at camp, parents will need to make arrangements to pick them up and take them home. 

We are committed to making Roughing It Day Camp the safest program possible. Covid Safety protocols will be in place at camp including masks, stable cohorts, physical distancing, daily health screening, increased hand washing and sanitation. Roughing It follows all state and county guidelines as well as the procedures for day camps from the American Camp Association. 

See our Covid Guidelines for more information

Medication

Parents must notify Roughing It if their camper will need medication at camp. Parents must provide medication with instructions and give Roughing It written permission to administer prescription and non-prescription medication (including any aspirin, Tylenol, and cold medicine) to the camper. For Epipens, inhalers, and any medications needed for life-threatening conditions: campers will keep these in their backpacks which will be with them at all times to be used as needed under the guidance of their counselor. Roughing It requires medication instructions to be provided from both their doctor and parent before camp. All medication is kept in our secure medical box at camp and will be administered by a Camp Administrator to the camper as specified in the medication instructions.

Injury

When a child is injured and requires professional medical attention, parents will be notified as soon as possible. If the injury requires immediate attention we will coordinate with EMS to provide advanced care.

For minor first-aid treatment such a band-aid or cold compress, our staff will administer the first aid and contact you by the end of the day.

Emergencies

In the event of an emergency, Roughing It will attempt to contact parents and guardians first, followed by emergency contacts on file. Campers will only be released to parents, guardians or other authorized adults as listed on file.

Hot Weather

During hot weather days, we put in place a “beat the heat” plan where the camp schedule and activities will be modified to provide campers and staff additional time to rest, recover, and have water breaks in the shade.

Staff

We work all year to find and hire the best role-modelling and nurturing staff for our campers.  For details on our staff and hiring standards, visit Meet Our Staff.

Presents & Tips for Staff

Roughing It does not allow our staff to accept monetary or expensive gifts as it is unfair to other staff. To recognize a counselor’s exceptional performance, consider letting your camper make a card or other small token of his or her appreciation. We also love to hear stories from our parents on the ways our staff have made a difference in their child’s life, and staff find it very rewarding when we pass along the great feedback.

Protection and Prevention

Tips for New Campers

A major reason for sending your child to camp is for them to grow as an individual. At Roughing It your child will learn to become resilient, independent and confident. Growth can come with some struggle and take time to work through. Our goal is to help your child see these challenges as opportunities and not to fear them.

When a child is confronted with challenges, they may often say things that can be decoded as “I am having trouble with this situation.” They may say things like:

  • “I don’t want to ride, swim, hike, etc.”
  • “I don’t like my counselor, riding, camp, etc.”
  • “Camp is boring, too exhausting, full of mean kids, too hot, too cold, etc.”

How, as a parent, can you respond to this?

  1. Acknowledge their concerns. Whether it is real or imaginary, it is real to them.
  2. Ask for specifics: What makes you feel that way? What happened and when and who was there?
  3. Brainstorm options for solving the problem. Remember not to over-rationalize with your child or get trapped in a chain of excuses.
  4. Provide encouragement and belief in your child to work through the challenge: “You can do this!” “I believe in you!” “We are here to help.”
  5. If you need additional help: Contact our camp office. We’ll work with you before your child returns to camp the next day.
  6. Our goal is to help your child see challenges as opportunities and not to fear the uncertainty of new situations.

What not to do – Please, don’t try to bribe your child by:

  1. Writing a note saying that he/she does not have to participate in an activity. Such a note ties our hands in trying to assist your child in solving the problem.
  2. Letting your child stay home from camp. We once had two Junior High girls who talked their parents into letting them stay home and go shopping on the day the group rock climbed. They missed out on a great experience!
  3. Offering material rewards or money to get your child to do what they are afraid to try. This subtly undermines you child’s self-confidence.

We ask for your support as we help your child through any challenges of camp. Your expectation and encouragement that they try their best is so important. As Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  This holds so true at camp.