FRIENDSHIP. SPORTSMANSHIP. LEARNING HOW. BELONGING. EXCITEMENT. FUN. GIVE & TAKE. CHALLENGE. JOY. RELAXATION. ADVENTURE.
Regis is our “lower” camp. It is especially well suited to new and first-time campers. Cabins are unique and are ideally designed for a positive group living experience. Each cabin houses approximately 10 to 16 campers in from two to four bedrooms. Off the bedrooms are bathrooms, a rustic recreation/living room with ping pong tables, a field stone fireplace, and a large outside porch. Campers find it easy to make friends and bond as a group unit in this homey setting. In the evenings, once the formal activities end and the sun starts to go down, groups gather in their living rooms for informal conversation, singing or playtime. The many Regis groups are divided into two categories: “Younger Campers” and “Campers in the Middle.”
Younger Campers (6-9) Are Special
Although most camps do not accept campers until they are 10 years of age, we have always provided a special place for our youngest campers, 6-9 years old, along with their unique needs.
Our “5-week/option 2” helps first-time campers (6-9 years old) adjust to life at summer camp. With this option, both the camper and his/her parents start the summer with the mind-set of staying for 5 weeks (tuition and fees are paid for 5 weeks, clothes are packed for 5 weeks, etc.). If, after 2 weeks, however the camper decides that he/she has had a full enough camp experience for the first time, they return home and the unused tuition is refunded. Most campers with this option feel less pressure and therefore are able to have a greater level of confidence. As a result, they have a very positive camp experience.
Most of these youngest campers are in the “Blue Jay” or “Robin” groups, and, for many of them, this is their fist experience sleeping away from home. Because their family is not with them, we take extra time with these (and all) first-time campers to make sure that they feel secure and cared for while at camp. We also provide space for them to have their “things” with them – favorite stuffed animals, pictures of family and pets, special cards, etc. We have found that these young campers make an excellent adjustment to camp life, often getting over homesickness far quicker than many first-time teenage campers.
One of our new cabins, Rainbow Lodge, is for our youngest campers. It not only has its own bathrooms and showers, but has bathtubs as well, since these campers sometimes need more frequent personal clean-up time (sometimes twice a day!). Along with these bathrooms, the cabin has two camper bedrooms, two staff bedrooms (housing 4 staff members), a wonderful living room with a beautiful stone fireplace, and a screened-in porch with carpeting for special play times.
Programming for the “Blue Jays” and “Robins” takes several unique needs into account. One thing, is to give them an opportunity to try everything – tennis, athletics, drama, dance, arts & crafts, gymnastics, nature, overnight camping, swimming, boating, and, if they pass the deep water swim test (and some do), waterskiing. They also have opportunities, through free choice activities and club nights, to choose activities that they wish to explore further. Their schedule is such that they are exposed to all the activities, but with more frequent rest periods in between. With the younger campers, we always take into consideration that it may take them a little longer to get ready for activities. We encourage our specialty counselors to be patient with our “Blue Jays” and “Robins”, and they gear their activities to the interest, needs, and attention span of this age group.
What About Campers “in the Middle?” (9-12)
They are into EVERYTHING! They are exploring EVERYTHING! They are energy plus! Yes, we’re talking about our 9-12 year old campers – we call them our “Cardinals”, “Eagles” and “Falcons”.
In many cases, they are also first-time sleep away campers who may (or may not) have spent a summer or two in day camp. Being new, or relatively new, to sleep away camp, they have many of the same needs as our youngest campers, which should be considered when working with these “Campers in the Middle”.
Programming is wide open for these campers and they are really involved in everything – tennis, athletics, drama, dance, arts & crafts, gymnastics, nature, overnight camping, swimming, boating, and waterskiing. It is at this age that the campers not only experience all of these activities, but develop strong skills in the areas in which they have the most interest. They can, if they choose to, get involved with our intercamp and intracamp tournaments; participate in extended (more than one night) camping trips – backpacking and canoeing; try out our exciting mountain biking program; expand their acting ability with our special musical productions; and much, much more.
It is at this age that strong friendships develop, with many continuing throughout the school year and even into adulthood. Each year new campers enter into these ever expanding circles of friends which reach across the nation and around the world. Last year, in this age group alone (apart from our U.S. group) we had campers from Canada, Mexico, Africa, Japan, Israel, France, England, and the French West Indies.
Our “Falcons” (12 year olds) are all but ready for the teen camp. As such we try to give them a little sample of what life is like in Applejack by giving them the opportunity for a special trip to Montreal, Canada. This fun-filled trip gives them the chance, to not just see some excellent baseball, but to visit another country and have a chance to socialize with their peer group in a unique setting.