Yes. Each camper chooses all her regular activities, with the exception of swim instruction, which all girls take 5 times per week. There are season long focus choices as well as daily activity choices. Many evening activities are group-based to foster cabin, age group and Camp-wide spirit and cohesion.
Approximately 50% of campers arrive by car with their parents. The remaining campers take the Camp Wawenock coach bus from NJ, CT or MA or fly into Portland or Boston airports, where they are met by camp staff as they deplane.
Wawenock is highly geographically diverse. Each year in our population of approximately 110 campers, we welcome girls from 20+ states and multiple countries. We will limit the number of campers attending from any given school to reduce the likelihood that ‘home issues’ might become problems at Camp for any individual or group.
Traditional camps like Wawenock tend to take a more holistic, balanced approach to a child’s overall camp experience. At Wawenock, campers select 7 different activities to focus on in their program. As such, each Wawenock camper will be challenged and supported as she participates in activities that foster a variety of different skill sets. Girls over time develop new passions and build a greater range of new competencies than a single activity focus environment could provide.
At Wawenock, we build community around a defined set of human values and pay close attention to each child’s unique personality and learning needs. Finally, Wawenock has a great wealth of traditions which are woven into all aspects of life at camp. Many of these serve to enrich the connections between community members and help to provide memories that could not be created elsewhere.
It often takes time and a number of positive experiences to adjust to being away, to learn to rely on different support structures and to find the strength and self-confidence required to feel the gratification associated with becoming more independent. It takes time to build important social and activity skills, to form friendships and to be able to relax and enjoy camp in full flow.
At Wawenock, we strive to develop relationships with each camper and her family. We encourage parents to share with us what they know about their child prior to the summer and what they hear from her in her communications home during the camp season. Unit Heads meet daily with camp directors to share information about their campers and Directors are involved directly in many campers’ lives on a daily basis – teaching activities, meeting and dining with them and by simply chatting to or spending time with them and all the staff who work with them. We communicate honestly with parents about what we see and hear about their daughter’s adjustment and progress and we will always call if we have questions or concerns about how best to work with any child who is facing challenges. In addition to any communication you might have with Camp directly, your daughter will write to you several times weekly and you may also openly visit camp during much of the season.
Wawenock has an unusual ‘open visitation’ policy for the benefit of families. From three weeks into the season, until near the end of camp, families may visit campers on days that are convenient for them. With no set dates for visitation, there is no overwhelming crush of visitors to accommodate on any given day, so families can see camp in normal operation, including: watching activities, meeting their daughter’s friends and counselors and attending many special programs and performances throughout the summer. Parents comment that seeing their child in her normal routine and sharing in her Camp experience is comfortable, enlightening and FUN!
Campers may be taken off campus on up to two days during the regular visitation period. (On those days, campers may leave any time after morning clean-up ends and may return to Wawenock any time before 8:30PM.)