Last week I posted a video that a group of our campers worked on over the course of our 7 week summer camp season. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend giving it a look. It’s creative, funny, and visually beautiful, and these kids wrote, acted, directed and edited it themselves. Their film The Underwater Counselor Lounge: The True Story could not have been made without the help of our incredible film counselors Hannah Hefey and Kaitlin Smith.
With so much snow on the ground the start of this summer can feel like it's years from now, and yet our opening day is less than 150 days away! So I have a question for our newest campers: are you getting excited for Camp? We sure are! We are so looking forward to spending the summer with you – playing together, learning, sharing, and just getting to know you better. We have so many fun daytime and evening activities planned already, like soccer and basketball, waterskiing and rock climbing, and capture the flag and Jell-O wrestling.
As excited as you may be joining us this summer, we also know that most new campers are also at least a bit nervous about their first summer with us up in New Hampshire. Much of this nervousness is due to the many questions you may have about what camp is going to be like, and how certain things work (like laundry and meal time and bunk cleanup and the bus ride up to Camp). So each week we are posting a blog with the answers to some of your new camper questions. Recently, we've written about some of the ways we spend our free time, how our campers show their spirit during our many fun special events, and the kind, nurturing ways our counselors put their campers to bed each night. We have put together these answers to some of the questions new campers seem to wonder about each summer. For the next few weeks we want to cover some of the questions about life in and outside of our bunks, and how that works. This information isd also for parents, and we ask that you please make sure to share this with your new campers!
I sleep with a stuffed animal at home. Should I bring it?
This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked! Almost every single junior camper (age 8-12) in Kenwood & Evergreen brings some sort of special item or object with them to Camp – a teddy bear, stuffed dog, sports pillow, or even a blanket they’ve had since they were really little. We’ve seen just about everything, and just about everyone in your bunk will have something. If having something like this is going to help you feel comfortable at Camp – and help you sleep at night -- then it’s probably a good idea that you bring it. What we recommend is that you don’t bring something fragile or irreplaceable. Living in a bunk, it’s easy for your special object to fall on the floor or get dirty. And sometimes these things even get lost at Camp. So you might want to bring you second favorite stuffed animal, or a blanket that feels like your much-loved one that is safely waiting for you when you get home from a fantastic summer at Camp.
So where do I keep my toothbrush?
In Kenwood you will be able to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries in the back room bathroom, and in your front cubby. Please don’t leave your shampoo and soap in the shower, as the shower is used by everyone in your bunk and there isn’t enough space.
In Evergreen you will have space to keep your toiletries in the bathroom. Some campers also keep their toiletries on the top of their dresser. Please don’t leave your shampoo and soap in the shower, as everyone in your bunk needs to use the shower and there isn’t enough space. Many campers bring a plastic shower caddy that holds everything in a neat and contained way.
Inside the front and back rooms of inviting, nurturing Camp Kenwood bunks
In Kenwood, what goes in my Back Cubby and what goes in my Front Cubby?
When you get to Camp you will see that your bags have already been unpacked by your counselors. In your back cubby you will find neat stacks of your shirts, shorts, pants, socks, and underwear. On the top shelf you will find your towels and sheets. Your raincoats, ponchos and jackets will be hung up either on hangers, or on pegs. Please make sure you look around and make sure you know where your belongings are located!
Your front cubby is a great place to put all of your other stuff, including your stamps and stationary, your music, your water bottle, hats, games, cards, books, magazines, bug spray, and sun tan lotion.
Inside the bright, comfortable, homey cabins of Camp Evergreen
In Evergreen, what goes in my Dresser?
Just as with Kenwood, Evergreen campers are greeted with unpacked bags and made beds on opening day. We do this so that our campers feel like they have a home base from the minute they arrive, and can immediately go outside and start forming friendships. Who wants to unpack and get homesick when you can have fun right away?!
In Evergreen your dresser is located in the main room of the bunk, either next to or at the foot of your bed. When you arrive this summer your counselors will have put your clothes that can be folded – socks, underwear, t-shirts, bathing suits, shorts, pajamas - into your dressers. Pants, sweatshirts, jackets, etc. will be hung in closets located either in the bathroom, or in the living room hallway. Many campers use the top of their dressers as a place to keep all of their little items, including stationery, flashlights, books, stuffed animals, and more.
How about my sheets and towels?
In Evergreen we keep your sheets and towels in the linen closet, which is located in your bathroom. Towels are kept in the linen closet in the bathroom, stacked on shelves in living room, and in window bins in the living room.
But what about the stuff that doesn't fit in a Kenwood Front Cubby or on top of an Evergreen Dresser?
Many campers find that they like keeping these odds and ends in a Rubbermaid-style bin that they keep under their bed. If you decide to bring one of these to Camp please know that the tallest bin that will fit under a K&E bed is 7 inches! Here's a link to a bin that many campers find useful at Camp.
Where do I keep my shoes at Camp?
You may have seen in our online clothing catalog that they offer something designed to hold your shoes. It attaches to the end of your bed. Many campers find this very useful, as it keeps their shoes organized and off of the floor. Other campers keep their shoes lined up beneath their bed, or in the bottom of their front cubby (in Kenwood). Whichever works best for you is fine with us, as long as you are keeping track of them. Throwing them in a pile in a corner of the bunk is messy, and a great way to lose a shoe.
Help me understand how laundry works
New campers are often curious about how this works. When you get to Camp you will find where your counselors have hung your laundry bags up in the bunk or living room. When your clothes are dirty, please place them in the laundry bag. Once a week your bunk will be asked to bring your laundry bags to get washed at the Laundry. You and your bunkmates will cross the road with a counselor, and make sure to put your belongings in a barrel that is clearly marked with your bunk’s name on it. If you put your bag in another bunk’s barrel it may take a long time to get your clothing back!
The following day you will hear an announcement by your head counselors letting you and your bunkmates know that your laundry is ready. Ask your counselor when will be the right time for you and your bunkmates (with a counselor) to head back to the Laundry. To get to Laundry you will have to cross our Camp road, and campers may only do this with a counselor present! When you get there your shirts, shorts, towels and other laundry will be clean and neatly folded into piles. Your socks and underwear will be stuffed into the laundry bags. Please make sure that you only take what belongs to your bunk!
It will probably take you and your bunkmates a couple of trips to get all of the clean laundry back to the bunk. Once everything has arrived, all of the campers and counselors in your bunk will sort through everything, and make sure that everyone gets back what belongs to them. Make sure that you stay in the bunk until every article of clothing has been returned to its owner, and that all of the clothing has been put away. If anything that doesn’t belong to you or your bunkmates has been placed in your laundry please return it immediately to the Laundry. Somebody will be looking for what you found!
What if I have more questions before Camp?
Don’t worry – we will be posting more information like this one over the next few weeks months. Next week we'll be writing about meal time, free play after dinner, and more! Hopefully we will answer most of your questions before our New Camper Parties in May, and continue to help you get more excited for your first season with us at our summer camp in New Hampshire! In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or thoughts about the summer please reach out via email. We’d love to hear from you!
Founded in 1930, Camps Kenwood and Evergreen is a brother-sister summer camp in NH. Through our innovative, intentional approach we help new campers reduce anxiety and homesickness before the summer even begins.
Every summer parents and campers tell us that our counselors are part of what makes our overnight camp such an incredible experience. In particular, they mention the teaching and coaching of our specialty counselors. Specialty counselors run and coach sports activities, teach visual and performing arts, and instruct at our waterfront and outdoor adventure areas. Each fall and winter members of our administrative team travel throughout the United States and across the world interviewing adults who understand how to teach their activity area to Kenwood and Evergreen’s campers, while also helping our children gain technical proficiency in vital 21st century skills – skills like critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, creativity, resilience, and collaboration.
In recent blogs I've written profiles about our heads of Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, Ropes, Film Making, Ceramics, Music and more. This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sarah Valacer, the head of our Girls' Lacrosse program. Sarah is a deeply dedicated member of our team, and we are so fortunate to have her as a part of our Camp family. Below are Sarah's thoughts on working in our intentional summer camp environment, and how she uses lacrosse as a tool for teaching 21st century skills to our campers.
Camps Kenwood & Evergreen is the beloved New Hampshire summer home for 330 boys and girls with age groups for boys between 8 - 15 years old. Our campers strengthen their social skills and become more independent with the help of their counselors and coaches, who are great role models and mentors. We strive to find every moment in each day for our children to exceed their own expectations and believe in themselves in a way that they might never have thought possible. In every activity and program we teach the skills that will be vital to every child’s success in the 21st century. To achieve these incredible goals Kenwood & Evergreen has more than 200 highly trained staff, and each cabin has a maximum of 8 campers with 2 full-time general counselors!
Campers choose our summer camp in NH because of their strong desire to be a part of fun, welcoming community that nurtures them to be their best selves. Because of this we attract kind, well-rounded boys and girls with diverse interests that include team & individual sports, visual & performing arts, and outdoor adventure. On average, over 93% of eligible Kenwood & Evergreen campers return each summer. Our campers tell us they return to our summer camp in NH because of the strength of the friendships that they make at Kenwood & Evergreen, and that each summer they have the opportunity to be themselves in a way that they can’t anywhere else.