It is our goal to create a loving and caring community for all of the children who attend Friends Camp. You may ask: How do we create this community? Well, we work very hard to create a camp that is welcoming and friendly; we affirm differences and honor diverse beliefs; we encourage spiritual growth; and we offer role models that help young people understand the importance of having the courage, knowledge, faith, and strength to live out their values in the world.
For new campers and parents: please spend some time talking about what to expect at Friends Camp. A parent’s confidence in a child’s ability to be away from home will go a long way toward helping the child to have a wonderful time. It is best for both child and parent to discuss any possible worries before attending camp and, if needed, to talk with the director before the start of the camp session.
What Happens During the Camp Session?
During the session, the camper will choose programs, participate in activities, make friends, and make new discoveries. The campers will participate in Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business. All of the campers take an active role in developing their community. We ask for their ideas and suggestions. Some of the program activities involve field trips. Campers could also have an overnight canoeing and camping experience to Indian Island on China Lake. During each session, campers can look forward to some wonderful traditions like the Special Day, an evening of rhythmic movement to loud music, a wonderful camper variety show, and a possible visit from the Were-porky!
Friends Camp Code of Respect:
We are a community built on trust and respect.
We ask that campers tell the truth.
We ask campers to refrain from any words or actions that could cause emotional or physical harm.
We ask that our campers not use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, or participate in sexual activity.
We would like campers to have inclusive friendships.
We ask campers to please remember that being part of our community means that they need to respect themselves, other campers, the staff, and Friends Camp.
We have had very few problems with campers who are not able to conform to the Code of Respect, but when we do have a problem, we like to use it as a teaching moment so that there is an opportunity for personal growth. In some cases, when a camper has a hard time understanding the importance of the Code of Respect, we look for a thoughtful response to the behavior. In other situations, we call the parents to get advice and reinforcement. In those rare instances when we are forced to ask a camper to leave, parents will be asked to pick them up right away or arrange for them to take a bus or plane home. We do not give tuition refunds when a young person leaves camp because of behavioral or health reasons.
Please remember that full payment needs to be made prior to the first Saturday in June. Payments can be mailed to our winter office or you can use our online CampMinder InTouch payment system for credit card payments. Please post all checks prior to May 29th!
Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends: Please remember not to mail packages with food or candy! Please note that the counselors will be very proactive about enforcing these rules by looking in suitcases and in all postal packages. Camper food and candy will not be stored or returned. All candy will be opened and put in a bowl in the staff break room. Please limit your packages to important items that are needed at camp.
Any medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and alternative remedies must be turned over to our Health Hut staff during registration. Please send just the right number of pills for the number days of camp. Keep them in the original container and make sure that we have the name of the youth, name of the medication, dosage amount, frequency, and name of the medical provider. Please do not take your child off any prescribed behavioral medications just prior to or while they are at Friends Camp.
If your child has a special diet, please let us know. We can offer meals for campers who are diabetic, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free without prior notice. If your child has other allergies that require particular foods, please plan to bring enough food for your child. We do not offer a Vegan menu. Please contact us two weeks before your child’s session to coordinate special diets with our kitchen staff.
During each camp session, there may be instances when we need to be in touch with a parent or guardian. We do this when there is a health issue or discipline / homesickness concern. We do our best to reach you; if needed, we will leave a message with you and/or your emergency contact person. Any medical crises that cannot be handled by the camp will be referred to Sheepscott Valley Medical Center or Maine General Hospital in Augusta. A parent will not normally be called about minor medical issues like an upset stomach, a headache,a scrape, or a bruise.
It can take up to three-days for some new campers to start to feel comfortable at Friends Camp. The counselors and our directors are very good at making sure that all the campers fit into life at Friends Camp. We ask that parents work with the director and the cabin counselors during this important transition. Homesickness is normal and very curable! We have developed very effective steps to help a campers get over homesickness in between two and four days. It is helpful if parents do not promise their child that they will pick up them up from Friends Camp if they are sad or homesick. Letters from home can help ease these sad feeling. Parents are welcome to call Nat Shed, Director, or Jeff Adelberg, Assistant Director, at any time to see how their child is fitting in to cabin life and into the activities at Friends Camp. Parental phone calls to and from campers are not allowed because these calls can exacerbate homesickness. We are happy to have your child’s counselor call you to give you an update on how your child is fitting into life at Friends Camp.
Tips and Donations
Friends Camp does not allow our counselors and staff to accept tips. You are welcome and encouraged to write a thank-you letter to your child’s counselor. Our address is Friends Camp, 729 Lakeview Dr., South China, ME 04358 USA.