Home   Camp Info   Camp Basics

Camp Basics

At Camps ‘R’ Us, we stress the importance of safety by creating an environment that requires clear-cut goals and values. Campers sense that they are part of an orderly, safe environment and this helps them develop a positive self-image.

Our campers thrive because we have developed these policies in an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at camp.

Our policies are derived from industry best practices, and are updated continually as new information and standards of care are introduced to the camp community.

 Arrival & Dismissal

Morning Arrival
Staff members will escort campers to the assembly area where counselors are ready to supervise campers arrival. Do not enter the camp grounds unless you have signed-in and have been announced by the staff member at the front desk.

Afternoon Dismissal
Report to the front desk and give the camper’s name to one of the staff members. Present acceptable photo ID, and the staff member will verify your identity using the “Authorized Adult” system (part of CampInTouch). The camper’s name will be announced and a staff member will escort the camper to you.

For dismissal before 4 PM
Call your campus and send in a note informing us of the pickup time, and who will be picking up the camper. Notes must be addressed to the Group Leader or Program Director. Upon arrival on campus, report to the front desk and give the camper’s name to one of the staff members. Present acceptable photo ID, and the staff member will verify your identity using the “Authorized Adult” system (part of CampInTouch). The camper’s name will be announced and a staff member will escort the camper to you.

For dismissal before 4 PM (without prior notice)
Call the camp office at least 30 minutes prior to your arrival so that we may prepare the camper for dismissal. If you do not call in advance, you may be asked to wait for up to 15 minutes when you arrive.

Campers who arrive late to camp (after morning assembly) must be signed in by a parent or guardian. Campers must always be signed out by an authorized adult when departing from camp.

 Behavior

Our campers recognize the importance of having a positive attitude, and we set clear cut goals from the moment they arrive on campus. They are challenged to exceed expectations by helping to create the rules (with staff guidance) by which our community thrives. Campers recognize the importance of tolerance, kindness and respect, and these values are incorporated into every activity every day.

Camps ‘R’ Us has a strict NO BULLYING policy with regard to physical, social, emotional and psychological abuse. Any camper who acts in such a manner will be removed from camp immediately without discretion, as stated in the Camper Application Terms and Conditions.

If your child is behaving in an inappropriate manner, he/she will be brought to the Campus Director. A call will be placed to inform you about your child’s behavior. Usually, a talk on the phone with a parent/guardian does the trick. In certain cases, you may be asked to pick your child up from camp.

We ask all campers to take pride in their camp environment and surroundings by keeping the campus neat and clean. We also expect the same at off-campus facilities that we utilize.

Campers are expected to stay with their group and to participate in all activities.

 Communication

We believe that a close relationship between the camp and parents helps enhance each camper’s experience. We are happy to address any questions or concerns regarding your child.

During the camp season, Directors and Group Leaders are available to speak with you to discuss your child’s specific needs. Counselors make themselves available every day during dismissal to speak with you about your child’s program, activities, and schedule.

For situations requiring disciplinary action or behavior modification, a call will be placed to parents or guardians, and you may be asked to come to camp for a conference or early dismissal.

Because all staff members are out and about on campus during the day, all non emergent calls will be returned after 4 PM.

 EduCamp

The Camps ‘R’ Us EduCamp program is based on the New York State common core curriculum, and its purpose is to aid in the prevention of “summer learning loss.” Our New York State Certified Teachers will review subject matter in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) that campers have learned during the school year leading up to the camp season. EduCamp sessions are held throughout the summer, and the program is offered free of charge. If you wish to enroll your child in EduCamp, you must submit a permission form, located in your CampInTouch account.

EduCamp is available for campers who have completed grades 1 through 6. The permission form must be submitted within 10 business days of submitting your camper’s application.

 I Got Caught

Getting caught has never been more fun, because at Camps ‘R’ Us, “I Got Caught” is a positive phrase that we use when we catch campers in the act of doing something good! Whenever a staff member sees a camper doing the unexpected good deed, whether it’s playing by the rules or helping someone in need, that camper will receive an “I Got Caught” sticker.

Stickers are collected everyday, and at the end of each week, one camper is randomly selected as the “I Got Caught” Award winner. Award winners receive a certificate and a prize in recognition of their honorable character. The more a camper gets caught, the better chance they have to win.

 Lost & Found

Camps ‘R’ Us is not responsible for lost personal items. Our staff tries hard to ensure that all belongings are cared for properly. Please follow our guidelines for care of personal belongings and clothing.

If you notice something is missing, please send a note to the camp office and provide us with details that may help us locate the missing item. Placing labels on all articles of clothing, towels, etc. will make it easier for us to return items to campers. All personal items must be clearly labeled.

The Lost and Found is located in the campus office, and should also be checked if you find something is missing. Unclaimed items will be discarded or donated by the close of the camp season.

How you can help… Discuss care of personal belongings with your child before camp. The younger camper should especially be familiarized with his/her camp gear. Children at Camps ‘R’ Us are encouraged to be independent and care for their personal items.

 Lunch Time & Nutrition

Campers “brown bag” their lunch, which is kept refrigerated until eaten. Please make sure the brown bag is labeled with the camper’s name and group name.

Please do not send your child to camp with a lunch box or cooler. These items are too large to be accommodated by our refrigerators, and they have a tendency to get lost. We are not responsible for items that are lost or damaged.

Camps ‘R’ Us provides an unlimited supply of flavored and unflavored drinks throughout the camp day. Drink stations are set up in various locations on campus, and each group has scheduled drink breaks. Our drinks are a low-sugar blend, infused with vitamins and minerals to keep our campers well hydrated throughout the day. Campers receive a reusable water bottle that may be refilled throughout the day.

Campers also receive a snack every day at Wind-Down. Snacks are prepackaged FritoLay brand snacks.

For the safety of all campers, the following food and beverage items are prohibited at camp:

    • Glass Bottles
    • Aluminum Cans
    • Carbonated Beverages (i.e. soda, Red Bull, etc.)
    • Chewing Gum
    • Candy (i.e. chocolate, candy bars, lollipops, suckers, gummies, etc.)

Allergy Awareness
Camps ‘R’ Us has adopted an “allergy-aware” policy. Because most lunches are brought from home, we cannot logistically prohibit certain common allergenic foods. We keep lunches of campers with allergies separate from others in the group.

At lunch, allergen-free tables are available for anyone with food allergies. Tables are monitored and cleaned during each lunch period to prevent allergen transfer.

Do not send any food or treats to camp unless approved by the Campus Director. Thank you for your assistance in keeping all of our campers safe and healthy.

If your child has a food allergy or any allergy, please include all information on your Camper Health History Forms. The more we know, the better prepared we can be in case of allergic reactions. Camps ‘R’ Us keeps EpiPens® available, on or off-campus in case of emergency.

 Medical Information & Policies

Camper Health History
It is imperative that all health forms are accurately completed and returned to camp by May 1st, or within 10 business days of your camper’s application being submitted (if after May 1st. The Camps ‘R’ Us Medical Director reviews all health history forms prior to the start of camp. Campers who do not have completed health history forms on file by the stated deadline will be excluded from admission to camp until such is received.

Every child in camp is covered by excess (secondary) accidental insurance at no additional cost to you. Benefits are excess (or secondary) to any other valid and collectible group insurance (i.e. GHI, BCBS, etc.) and will pay any uncovered, unpaid balances or deductibles not covered by a parent’s own primary accident policy.

DO NOT send your child to camp without notifying us of any special needs they may have, including, but not limited to any Mental, Emotional or Social health diagnoses. DO NOT discontinue your child’s medication if it has been prescribed by a professional. These practices are irresponsible, and pose risks to your child’s physical and emotional health. Any dishonesty or omission on the “Health History,” “Camper Health Care Recommendations by Licensed Medical Personnel” or “Immunization Form,” by parents, guardians or health care professionals, will result in your child being withdrawn from camp without refund.

Infirmary/Health Office
The goal of the Health Office is to provide all of our campers with a very happy and healthy summer season.

All of the Directors, Group Leaders and Specialists are Health Care Designees. They are trained and certified by the National Safety Council in Advanced First Aid, CPR for the Professional, Anaphylaxis Response (EPI-PEN) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator). A nurse is on call throughout the camp season as well.

Each campus is equipped with at least one AED device, as well as a minimum of four (4) EpiPens® 2 Junior, 2 Adult) in case of emergency.

Medication Policy
Campers may NOT carry any medication, including over-the-counter medication, on their person.

All medications must be delivered in person by a parent or guardian to the campus office and must be accompanied by a licensed medical professional’s written authorization.

Do not place medications or messages for camp in a child’s backpack, as they must be hand delivered to the Group Counselor or Group Leader.

Medications to be given at camp are to be brought in on the first day and must be picked up on the last day of your child’s session by a parent/guardian. Unclaimed medication will be discarded.

Administering Medication
Medications will be stored in a locked container in the Health Office, accessible only to Health Care Designees. Campers must self-administer all medications, and can do so if they are brought to camp in the original container, labeled with the child’s name, proper dosage and time to be given exactly as it came from the pharmacy. Also required is a licensed medical professional’s written authorization.

OTC Medication
Over-the-counter medication (Benadryl, Advil, inhaler, ear drops, etc.) cannot be given to campers without a written authorization from a licensed medical professional. OTC medication must be brought to camp by a parent/guardian in the original container, labeled with the child’s name, proper dosage and time to be given exactly as it came from the pharmacy.

Label the medication with your child’s name, and it will be stored in a locked container in the Health Office, accessible only to Health Care Designees.

Campers must self-administer all medications. In the event it becomes necessary to treat your child, you will be notified.

EpiPen®
If your child requires use of an EpiPen®, the parent/guardian must provide it on the first day of camp with complete orders from the child’s licensed medical professional. The EpiPen® must be labeled exactly as it came from the pharmacy. In the event it becomes necessary to treat your child using the EpiPen®, it is our policy to immediately treat your child by a Health Care Designee, call a parent/guardian and then transport him/her to the nearest Hospital Emergency Room by ambulance for further evaluation and stabilization.

Emergencies or Illness
In the event of a medical emergency that cannot be treated on camp premises, the camp staff will first call 911 and then contact a parent/guardian immediately. Campers will not be permitted to remain at camp if they develop a temperature of greater than 100 degrees. Campers cannot return to camp unless they have been fever free for 24 hours.

In the event of diarrhea or vomiting, we ask that your child remain home for 24 hours so as to prevent spread of virus and/or infection. If your child has been sent home from camp with any of the following symptoms, please keep them home the following day or until they have been free of symptoms for a 24-hour period: Nausea/Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, Fatigue/Muscle Weakness.

Also, if your child becomes ill in the morning, we ask that you keep him/her home for the day. The camp staff will also notify you of any health concerns for which you should be made aware.

If Your Child has Asthma
All children with asthma must have an inhaler in camp, brought in by a parent/guardian on the first day of attendance.

This inhaler will be kept in the Health Office for use during camp. If your child travels off campus, the inhaler will also go with the health designee. It is Camps ‘R’ Us policy that no child carries an inhaler. The Group Leader will carry it in case of emergency.

All inhalers sent to camp should be properly labeled and in the box just as it came from the pharmacy, with a licensed medical professional’s written authorization. Inhalers are only used for the child whose name appears on the box. If the orders for the use of the inhaler change from what is indicated on the box, a new prescription or new doctor’s order is required.

 Messages/Absences

All messages should be called into the camp office. A note should also be sent with the camper to give to the camper’s Group Leader. Please do not send verbal messages.

If your child is absent, please call your campus in the morning before 10:00 AM. There are no refunds or make-up days for absences.

 Parent/Staff Meetings

Group Counselors are available every day for a brief meeting during afternoon dismissal. Campers will be personally escorted to parents/guardians, and the Counselor can discuss any questions or concerns that you may have. If you wish to schedule a meeting with your child’s Group Leader during this time, please call ahead.

A Note About Group Counselors and Group Leaders… staff members are assigned to a particular camper group and division for the summer, so that campers and parents always know who is in charge. Staff members always know exactly who they are responsible for during the summer, and campers know exactly who is taking care of them.

 Personal Belongings

Please understand that Camps ‘R’ Us will not be held responsible for the loss or damage of any personal items. We ask that anything of value remain at home. Thanks for your understanding.

The following items are prohibited: Cell phones, electronic devices such as iPods, MP3 players, digital cameras, and portable gaming units (DS, PSP, etc.). Additionally, there is no need to bring money or expensive valuables to camp. Campers may not take photographs while at camp. We will not be responsible for damage to, or loss of, personal items brought to camp.

 QuickStart Tennis

QuickStart Tennis is an exciting new play format for learning tennis, designed to bring kids into the game by utilizing specialized equipment, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring, all tailored to age and size.

Tennis is an ideal aerobic exercise that is extremely heart healthy and improves balance, coordination, mobility and strength. Tennis is truly a head-to-toe workout. The program at Camps ‘R‘ Us is physically challenging, encouraging, motivating and fun.

Our program is directed and coordinated by Peter Brosoff. Peter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation, and has been teaching tennis on Long Island for over 20 years. He has extensive experience in special population tennis and those with physical challenges. In 2006, Peter was a ranked USTA player in the Men’s 30’s division.

QuickStart Tennis is a pullout style program, offered once per week during the camp season. Like all other EDUCamp programs, it is completely free of charge.

QuickStart Tennis is available for campers who have completed grades K-6. Please ask your camper’s Group Leader for more information.

 Rainy Days

Camps ‘R’ Us’ policy is to provide a complete camp program on rainy days. Fortunately, we have enough indoor space to accommodate every camper and staff member. Campers will still move from one activity to another to participate in their scheduled activities. The scope and duration of each activity will be modified depending on the severity of the weather. Also, certain “rainy day exclusives” may be incorporated into the campers’ program to make rainy days just as special as sunny days.

 Swimming & Bowling

Campers travel off-campus twice per week for swimming and bowling. Icons on the camp calendar indicate which days are designated for swimming and bowling.

Swimming
At the aquatics venue, all campers are supervised by staff who are physically in the water with them. Our Aquatics Director and Group Leaders monitor the pool deck, and utilize the buddy system to maintain safety and order in the pool area. All senior staff members are trained and certified as Pool Activity Leaders and Lifeguard Managers through the American Red Cross and the New York State Department of Health.

Campers will need the following items for swimming days:

    • Appropriate Swimwear: For boys, trunks are preferable, and should be worn as shorts for the day. For girls, a one piece swimsuit is preferable, and it should be worn underneath camp attire. Both boys and girls will have the opportunity to change out of swim gear at the end of the activity.
    • Sneakers: Sandals, flip-flops or Crocs may be worn on the pool deck only. Sneakers are required at all other times, both on and off-campus. Footwear is not allowed in the pool.
    • Towel, Lunch & Backpack: Please label all items with the camper’s name and group name.

Campers should not bring spending money on swimming and bowling days. Purchasing items from the snack bar is discouraged. Use of vending machines, video games and ATM machines is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, we will not be responsible for the misuse or loss of money during the camp day.

Bowling
Our off-campus bowling centers create a “rock ‘n bowl” experience for our campers, complete with animated flat-screen scoreboards, glow-in-the-dark bowling balls, and popular music broadcast throughout the center. All campers have access to appropriately weighted balls. Bumpers are also available if needed.

 Trips

Trips are offered for each camper division, and are indicated on the Camp Calendar by a unique trip icon for each camper division.

The campers travel to the trip venues via school bus, and return before the end of the camp day. Campers must bring their lunch (unless otherwise noted), and they may also bring additional spending money for souvenirs, games, and/or snacks. Please note: this is the only time campers may bring money to camp. We will not be responsible for the loss or misuse of money.

All campers must wear their Camps ‘R’ Us t-shirt and sneakers on trip days.
There will be no exceptions. If a camper is scheduled to travel off-campus, and arrives to camp without a t-shirt, one will be provided for a fee of $10 that will be added to the camper’s account.

Due to the popularity of certain trip venues, we have no control over the waiting time for certain rides and attractions. For example, it is possible that your child may not get to go on every ride in an amusement park. We will try our best to make every camper’s trip as enjoyable as possible.

All Camps ‘R’ Us Trips are optional and camper attendance is not required. Those who remain on campus will have access to all regularly scheduled activities. Parents must sign the “opt-out” form (ask your Group Leader on campus).

Bonus trips (indicated on the calendar by the icon above) are not included in the camp fees, and require additional consent and payment.

 Visitation

Visitors are always welcome at Camps ‘R’ Us, beginning the second week of camp. Visits should be scheduled at least one hour prior to a guest’s arrival on campus. Please call the camp office for an appointment if you wish to see your camper participating in a specific activity.

Visitation Procedures
Please drive carefully when entering and leaving the campus. Watch for campers, staff and speed bumps. Please park in a designated parking spot. Upon arrival…

    • All guests must check in at the Front Desk.
    • A Camps ‘R’ Us Staff Member will escort the guest to the main office.
    • All visitors must wear a Visitor sticker, and must be escorted by a staff member at all times.

Rainy Day Visits
There are no visits on rainy days due to alternative programming. All appointments will be automatically cancelled. Please call your campus to reschedule.

Campers cannot bring guests to camp at any time for any reason. Medical regulations and liability limitations dictate this policy.

 Welcome Letters

Welcome Letters arrive home about seven to ten days before the start of the camp season. Your camper’s welcome letter includes an introduction from the Group Leader, a name badge and parent information regarding the first day of camp.

Group Leaders may contact parents by phone prior to the camp season at their discretion.

 Wind Down

Every day, camp activities wind down at approximately 4:00 PM. We transform each campus’ gymnasium into a movie theater, complete with a 25-foot movie screen, projector and sound system. All films shown are rated G or PG, and are appropriate for all ages.

Tiny Tots and KinderKamp may have wind down in other designated rooms at the discretion of the Group Leaders.