Camp Little Notch FAQs

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What distinguishes Camp Little Notch from other camps?

At Camp Little Notch we are committed to being a truly diverse camp community that celebrates differences by welcoming and including all girls and providing them with opportunities to practice living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves. Camp Little Notch gives girls the freedom to create a self-determined experience. Campers learn to live in harmony with nature through a variety of daily practices and opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Why choose a girls-only camp?

Most girls who come to Camp Little Notch (CLN) are part of a co-educational world throughout the school year. At CLN, girls have the opportunity to function in an environment free from competition with boys. Camp Little Notch provides opportunities for leadership and the chance to explore new avenues. Many of the social pressures that girls experience in school are nonexistent in a girls-only environment. Campers are more relaxed, willing to try new things and take more risks than they might be in a co-ed environment. Our campers return home with increased confidence in their abilities.

Can my daughter be placed with her friend?

Campers may request to be placed with a friend who is the same or close to the same age. We do our best to accommodate requests.

How does your camp accommodate food allergies and special needs?

Information about dietary restrictions and special needs is collected on the health history form and the confidential parent questionnaire. That information is shared with the appropriate staff members (health supervisor, food supervisor, cook, unit staff). A variety of food options with appropriate alternatives and proper nutrition are available at all meals and for cookouts. Please let us know if your camper has special needs, food allergies, and/or restrictions. We will work with you to make sure her needs are met.

What if the campers get hungry between meals? Should we send snacks just in case?

Grab-and-go snacks are provided for breaks between activities—mid-morning and mid-afternoon—and are available for hikes and trips. We prefer that you do not send food with your camper unless required for special dietary needs (and previously discussed with the camp director). We have many animal friends in the woods who enjoy the same snacks we do. Keeping snacks out of campers’ living space is the best approach.

What if my daughter has a medical need or a situation that requires special attention? How is this addressed?

We work with parents, guardians, and caregivers to learn as much as possible about our campers with special needs. The more information we have, the better we are able to meet your camper’s needs. We will ask about special needs on the confidential questionnaire that comes with your registration confirmation and follow up with a phone call or a visit if appropriate. Often, the campers themselves are best able to tell us what they need (and don’t need) to be successful at camp.

Can my child bring a cell phone or other electronics?

We ask that campers leave their cell phones, iPods, video games, and other electronics and personal care appliances (e.g., hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) at home. Camp days are busy and filled with new activities and new friends with little time to miss technology. There is no cell service, and we don’t want to take the chance of expensive equipment being lost or damaged. If a camper does arrive at camp with a cell phone or other electronic devices, it will be held for her, and returned on the last day of the session. Being truly, thoroughly “unplugged” for a week or more offers a refreshing change and allows campers to interact with each other in meaningful ways that are often bypassed when technology is available.

What if my camper has a birthday while she's at camp?

Birthdays are acknowledged at lunch or dinner with a special song and a candle in the birthday camper’s dessert. Please let us know if you would prefer that we not do this for your camper.

My child can't swim. Is that ok?

We assess the swimming ability of all campers during their first day at camp. Non-swimmers wear a special wrist-band and are assigned to the shallowest (no more than chest deep) section of the swimming area. All campers take swimming lessons in addition to recreational swim with the goal of improving both their comfort and safety in and near the water. All swimming is supervised by American Red Cross certified lifeguards.

What safety measures are in place at Camp Little Notch?

All camp staff are thoroughly screened and participate in rigorous pre-camp training, which includes safety and emergency preparedness. All counselors and activity staff are certified in First Aid and CPR. Waterfront staff also have Lifeguard Training Certification. Safety rules and emergency procedures are reviewed during the Safety Orientation on the first day of camp. Fire and emergency drills are rehearsed within the first 48 hours of campers' arrival. For all activities, we have a structured safety plan that is filed with the NYS Health Department. For specialized activities, we have highly trained and certified personnel as well as safety inspections of our facilities and equipment. Campers are required to have a buddy with them at all times and attendance is taken several times throughout the day (e.g., at the beginning and end of activity periods, when leaving and returning to the living units). The Fort Ann Rescue Squad is advised of our program dates and ready to assist in an emergency.

What is the best way to prepare my daughter for her first summer at camp?

Campers who have never been to sleep-away camp benefit from sleepovers with friends or relatives prior to camp. Prepare your daughter with positive encouragement and focus on the fun and exciting things she will do at camp rather than the things she will miss at home. It may be helpful to speak to other families who have gone through the process. Involving your camper in the planning and packing process is a great way to help her begin to make the camp experience her own.

What is your policy on parental visits, phone calls, and faxes?

We believe that campers thrive in an environment where they feel supported by their families while at the same time being given the chance to grow independently. We encourage email, postal mail, and written communications with your child. We allow parents to spend time at the camp with the children on opening and closing day only. You may call the camp and speak with the camp director to get an update on your child's well-being..

Will I be able to communicate with my daughter while she’s at camp?

Campers love to get mail! We encourage you to send hand written letters throughout your camper's stay. We also encourage our campers to write home. We can receive emails addressed to your camper, which we print and deliver with the regular mail call. (Campers will not have access to computers to reply to your emails but will enjoy receiving them.) Campers are not able to make phone calls and should not bring cell phones to camp (there is no cell service.) You are welcome to call the camp and speak to the camp director (in season) with any concerns. If a camper is having difficulty adjusting to camp or if the camp has any concerns, you will be contacted.

Is financial aid available?

We do have some “campership” funds available. We want to help make it possible for every girl who would like to attend camp to be able to do so. Please email campdirector@camplittlenotch.org for more information and an application form.

How can I get more information about Camp Little Notch?

Please email campdirector@camplittlenotch.org for more information about camp. We would be happy to offer a camp information session at your neighborhood school or community center if you are interested. Let us know if you would like to arrange one.

What kind of summer camp activities will my child be doing?

Trail hiking, mountain climbing, challenge course, creek walking, swimming, swimming lessons, fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, learning camp craft skills, camp fires, outdoor cooking, orienteering, games, sports, arts & crafts, singing and more.

What are your medical procedures and resources?

We have an in-residence health director who is available 24 hours a day for all minor emergencies and routine care/medicine administration. All of the summer staff is certified in CPR and First Aid, and we have a minimum of one Certified Wilderness First Responder. We are also supported by the Fort Ann Fire & Rescue Department.

What is the average age level of the counselors?

20

Is there any counselor supervision, or do they work in pairs?

All staff, counselors and volunteers have a direct supervisor as well as being overseen by the camp director. Additionally, we complete a background check and run all staff through the State Sex Offender Registry.

Do the counselors have training or experience?

All Camp Little Notch staff members are required to go through extensive training in addition to the experience they possess when they begin working for us.

How does your camp handle homesickness?

It is not unusual for campers to experience a bit of homesickness during the first day or so of camp. We have found that keeping them busy and engaged in fun activities and actively involved in getting to know each other is the best antidote to homesickness. We also put a lot of emphasis on settling in and making camp feel homey on the first day. Receiving a letter during the first mail call also helps a great deal – consider putting a letter in the mail a couple of days before your child leaves for camp, so it will be waiting for her when she arrives! If a camper’s homesickness continues for more than a day we may contact parents for some suggestions as to what might help. Most homesickness sorts itself out within a day or so of arriving at camp.

What is your camper return rate?

29%

Can we schedule a visit to tour the grounds?

Yes. We hold an Open House every Sunday afternoon in the spring. You can also email campdirector@camplittlenotch.org to schedule a visit at other times as well.

Do you have any parental references I can call?

Yes. References are available upon request.