Camp Lincoln For Boys and Camp Whippoorwill for Girls

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New Parent Information

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As you learn as much as your can about North Country Camps, we invite you to contact the Directors with any and all questions you may have about Camp Lincoln for boys and Camp Whippoorwill for girls.

Whenever geographically possible, Kate and Doug are happy to schedule a visit with you and your child – to meet, to look at photos of camp, to discuss the program in detail and to answer questions in person.

We believe that a part of our success as a camp is the relationship we build with you and your child before the summer even begins, so that we can work together to ensure that your child has a wonderful summer learning new skills, making friends, and living happily in the camp community.

Please contact us!

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that new families may have:

How do I know if my child is ready for camp?

There are several ways to help ensure that your child is prepared for the experience of being away from you, and for you to be away from your child! Start by planning sleepovers at friends’ or relatives’ houses for a day or two and, if possible, arrange for a longer period of time away from home, during a school vacation. Encourage your child to try new things outside of the immediate friendship circle. This will help build confidence and demonstrate that unfamiliar situations can be fun once you get past the initial hesitancy.

For even the most prepared camper, homesickness can still be a reality. Our counselors are trained to help campers work through these difficult feelings. In our experience, most children who experience homesickness find that the hurt diminishes as they become familiar with their new surroundings, make friends, and become caught up in excitement and pleasure of their daily activities.

Why do you recommend the full seven week season?

By the end of each summer at Lincoln and Whippoorwill, the camps feel like small villages and it’s hard to imagine that most of the children don’t actually live with each other during the school year! Everyone not only knows everybody else’s name, but also a lot about them as well. Living with others in a cabin group, eating with them in the dining hall, and joining them at activities and on trips are invaluable experiences in learning what it means to be a part of a real community. This strong belief in the value of community is a primary reason that we’ve chosen to stay smaller than many other camps.

In addition, the full season really gives boys and girls the chance to build new skills. It’s one thing to try sailing once or twice. It’s quite another thing to practice the skills of a sailor over the course of seven weeks, going beyond the basics and even learning to skipper a boat. Our campers have the opportunity to build their skills to a truly remarkable level in their favorite activities. Over the years camp alumni have reported that what started at camp has become a life-long love of such pursuits as hiking, canoeing, camping, sailing, and riding.

For families who feel apprehensive about the season length, we do offer the option of a 5 week session, and can accommodate a few for shorter lengths of time as well. Many who initially choose a shorter session often decide to remain for the full summer once they get here!

Who are your counselors?

Hiring counselors is a job we take very seriously. We look for men and women who truly enjoy working with children and have the maturity, responsibility and sense of humor to do so. We also look for staff members with the skill to teach activities, solve problems and be emotionally supportive. The vast majority of our counselors are college students in the 19-21 age bracket and many are former campers. These young men and women are supervised by a leadership team made up of highly experienced individuals. Many are, or were teachers during the rest of the year and most have been involved with the North Country Camps for a long time.

How often may I phone my child?

We prefer that the telephone be used only rarely, if at all.  We recognize the challenge of shifting from cell phones, email and texting to written letters, and we know how important it is for children to feel connected to home.  But we also know that one of the keys to a successful camp experience is learning to face and solve problems without direct parent involvement, by talking with a counselor, section head, director, or friends.  However, we do permit campers to make and receive calls upon request.

 

In the case of homesickness we believe it is better at the outset to communicate by letter.  The sound of a parent's voice can unravel our efforts to help a youngster cope with homesick feelings.  To help in the adjustment phase, we ask that there be no phone calls to campers during the first two weeks of camp.  We suggest that anxious parents first telephone the director to see how things are going before talking with your child.  We do not provide email communication for campers.  You are always welcome to phone or email the directors.

How are activities chosen?

Campers choose their own activities. Morning activities are chosen weekly, two periods every morning, which affords the opportunity for skill development. The options for a given week are presented to the whole camp in a town meeting format where counselors describe their offerings and campers have a chance to ask questions, and then make their choices. Whereas weekly morning activities focus on instruction, afternoon activities are chosen daily after lunch and tend to be more focused on just having fun.

A guiding principle of individual choice is to give everybody an equal chance. Because of the small size of our camps and the extent of our facilities, it is more than likely most campers will get their first choices. In the case of activities where openings are limited (horseback riding, for example), first choice will go to those who haven’t ridden yet. Those who want to ride as often as possible may have to skip a week of morning riding, but will be able to choose afternoon riding almost every day.

How does the wilderness trip program work?

As with activities, boys and girls choose the trips they go on. We start offering trips almost as soon as the campers arrive, with lots of day hikes, afternoon and evening canoe paddles, and overnights on the lake. We continue to run day trips throughout the whole summer, but also transition into three, four and five day trips during the latter half of the season. Trips are described to the campers, so they can get an idea of which ones sound like their “cup of tea,” and we offer a wide variety of mountain climbing and canoeing trips to match the wide range in abilities and desires. Some campers choose to go on as many trips as they possibly can, while others choose only one or two, and that’s fine!

Not only do campers see beautiful places and have a great time with their friends on these trips, but they learn camping skills as well, and a lot about working together as a team. Pitching tents and tarps, building fires and cooking, learning use of map and compass, and taking care of personal hygiene out-of-doors are all actively taught.

How does laundry get done? And how often?

We have off site overnight laundry service once a week. The campers are responsible (with guidance from their counselors) for gathering their clothes, sheets, etc. into a laundry bag. To cut down on lost items, it is essential that everything be labeled with your child’s name.

How often will my child spend time with the boys/girls?

We are primarily two separate camps, with separate waterfronts and dining halls, and with girls learning from women counselors, and boys learning from men. Morning horseback riding, ropes course and mountain biking share facilities between Lincoln and Whippoorwill. Therefore, girls and boys who choose these activities will often be participating together. Afternoon activity choices often include mixed soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee and other field games, tennis, sailing, or archery. Some hiking and canoe trip groups are composed of boys and girls. In addition to these opportunities, there are mixed gatherings on Friday evenings that involve age appropriate activities. The annual play or musical is open to all who wish to try out. Four concerts are held at the Red Barn during the season, featuring skits, instrumental performances, songs and dances. And there are special events such as the county fair, mixed picnics, all-camp square dance and horse show, where both camps join together.

Do siblings get to spend time together in free time?

Brothers may visit brothers within their camp and the same is true for sisters within their camp. And everybody crosses paths in the dining hall every day. Because our camps are located half a mile apart, campers may not visit between camps during their free time. However, it is possible for brothers and sisters to see each other at the mixed activities described above.

And importantly, how is the food at camp?

Food at camp is delicious!   We are very fortunate to have terrific cooks at both camps, who create and cook much of what we eat from local produce and products.  We have wonderful salad bars, great choices and variety in meals, and many campers report that food at camp is "even better" than at home.  If your child has particular food needs, please be sure to talk with Doug or Kate.

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