FAQ - Overnight Summer Camp
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a Question for an Answer or scroll
down the page.


GENERAL QUESTIONS
Is the Camp open during the winter?
What about Mosquitoes and Wildlife?
How old is Camp Cavell and how did it get started?

QUESTIONS FOR THE DIRECTOR
What is the camp's unique philosophy and program emphasis?
What is the camp director's background?
What training do counselors receive?
What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?
What are the ages of the counselors?
What are desired qualities in camp staff?
What percentage of the counselors return each year?
How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?
How does the camp handle special diets?
How does the camp handle homesickness
and other adjustment issues?
Emotional Health & Camp?
What about references?
Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association?

CAMP LIFE
What happens on opening day of summer camp?
What is a typical camp day like and is there much free time?
What is our typical day at Camp Cavell?
My child is in Equestrian Camp can I see them ride on Friday?
What kind of food do you serve at camp?
Should I send snacks?


REGISTRATION
Downloadable information about Summer Camp.
What is the age requirement for your camp programs?
How much is the membership?
Can boys attend camp?
Can my child travel on the bus one way?
What happens on the weekend if my child stays two weeks?
What if I want to pick my child up a day early?
What if my child would like to be with friends or an older
or younger sibling?

My child is coming alone will they be ok?


CABIN / WHAT TO PACK
Where do I find the list of what to bring?
What size sheet fits the beds?
We don't have a sleeping bag, do we need one?
Is there electricity in the cabin?
What cannot be brought to camp?
Can my child bring a cell phone?


SAFETY/MEDICAL QUESTIONS
Does an adult stay with the campers in the cabin?
How far is the nearest first aid help and hospital?
How do you keep campers safe at the waterfront?
What are the ground rules?
Does my child need a physical?
What if my child becomes sick or is injured at camp?
What if my child needs medications or has a special condition?
How safe is the area your camp is in?
What if there is bad weather or an emergency?


More Questions:
If you have any more questions
please call the Camp Office at (810) 359-2267


Overnight Summer Camp Questions
listed below...


 

Is the Camp open during the winter?

We are a three season camp opening in Early April and closing at the end of November.  We do have a great Winter Party so people can come see camp in the winter, check our schedule!

Top of Page

What about Mosquitoes and Wildlife?

Well when it comes to mosquitoes we are fortunate and have about the lowest number in any camp in Michigan!  We only have possum, deer, raccoons, and an occasional skunk, but they are very afraid of people and you probably won’t get to see them.

Top of Page

How old is Camp Cavell and how did it get started?

Click here... to check out our History Page.

Top of Page

QUESTIONS FOR THE DIRECTOR
 

What is the camp's unique philosophy
and program emphasis?

We believe that camp is not just a place, it is a special environment deliberately designed to foster children to grow into the wonderful, unique, caring, individuals we know are waiting within. We understand with the right mixture of structured and unstructured time, encouragement, great caring role models, good programs, and the freedom to explore we can change their lives in a positive way. We have seen it happen. We call it the magic behind the fun! We also feel strongly it is much more valuable when we immerse kids in their natural environment, teach them to relate to nature, and to care and respect for its creatures… including one another.

Top of Page

What is the camp director's background?

Jill’s Biography

Jill Laidlaw has had a long history in camping and working with children. She has served in the position of Camp Director at YWCA Camp Cavell for 20 years developing new programs and directions for the camp. She began camping at age 16 as a C.I.T at Girl Scouts Camp Metamora and went on to work in many positions in camping including Camp Director of Camp Anna Behrens with Michigan Waterways Council.

She has served in the past on the American Camp Association’s Board of Directors in many positions including Secretary of the Board. Jill also served on the committee to organize a ACA National Convention. She has gained teaching skills through her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts as an instructor. She is also a active member of the Thumb Area Camps.

Jill has completed an Associates Degree in Coastal Environmental Studies and spent two years at Eastern Michigan University working toward a degree in Recreation Leadership, and Coastal Environmental Studies.

Jill’s love for the outdoors, belief in camping, and love of children truly shows in her work.

Jill has certifications in Technical Tree Climbing, First Aid, and Life Guarding. She also has skills to teach Moving Water Kayaking, Canoeing, Communications, Group Initiatives, Problem Solving, Nature Activities, and Map Reading.

Top of Page

What training do counselors receive?

Our counselors receive an intense two week training that takes them through the actual experience the campers will have, while giving them the skills they need to be great counselors and keep their campers safe, emotionally and physically. They are trained in safety and emergency procedures, communication, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, appropriate staff and camper behavior, and specific procedures for supervision of campers. They also receive training pertaining to camps values, goals, and objectives, child development, group dynamics, problem solving, empathy, diversity, motivation, and children's health needs.

In between the serious classes we make sure we ingrain in them the need to also make it fun, meaningful, and personal for each child.

Top of Page

What is the counselor-to-camper ratio?

There is one counselor that lives in a counselor room in the cabin with 8-10 girls. With other staff including the health officer, administrative staff, program staff, etc. the ratio is usually closer to 1 staff to 6 campers. The campers are always under the supervision of a camp staff person.

Top of Page

What are the ages of the counselors?

All of our counselors are 18 years or older and are a minimum of 2 years older then their campers.

Top of Page

What are desired qualities in camp staff?

The same qualities of trustworthiness and dependability sought by any employer are valued commodities in camp employees. Also, the ability to adapt to a variety of situations, empathy for and ability to work well with campers, a strong self-image, and an outgoing personality are important characteristics for camp staff.

Top of Page

What percentage of the counselors return each year?

YWCA Camp Cavell program and support staff have a turn over rate of about 80% a year. Of our five Summer Camp Program on average two or three tend to return and move up to program or supervisor positions and others tend to move on to other ventures in life.

Top of Page

How are behavioral and disciplinary
problems handled?

We feel strongly that the best way to prevent problems is establishing a camp environment that promotes positive behavior in its design and function. Positive reinforcement, assertive role-modeling and a sense of fair play are regarded as key. In situations that come up campers are encouraged to understand that they have the power to make good choices that will bring good outcomes. They are also taught that if they make a bad choice they are responsible to "make it right" and they have gained insight through their mistake to make a better choice next time. We know that rules are necessary for campers safety, and when broken they will be addressed reasonably, be well communicated and applied quickly, fairly, calmly, and without undue criticism to the campers.

Top of Page

How does the camp handle special diets?

If your child has special needs we will work with you to make your child's experience positive. If your child has a special diet we try and adapt the foods we offer and ask the parents to supplement their diet with foods sent from home. We do serve a basic vegetarian alternative, also have soy milk, and glucose free bread.

Top of Page

How does the camp handle homesickness
and other adjustment issues?

We have a long experience with home sickness and find that proper preparation by parents, a good caring environment when the camper arrives, and nurturing the thought that campers can work through the side effects of home sickness cure 99% of the cases. If we feel that the camper is not progressing well we call the parents to work out a solution. Our best medicine for home sickness is visits to the kitty pen, getting involved in fun and active programs, and TLC when needed.

Top of Page

Emotional Health & Camp
 

In order to attend, campers must be in good mental and emotional health, and be able to function in a group setting in a positive way, with a cooperative manner that shows respect for self and others.  Children must be socially competent, not exhibiting unwanted behaviors which warrant removal from a group activity or setting. 

Campers are required to stay with their activity or cabin group at all times. Children who are unable to consistently stay with their group/class in other settings, such as at school, due to emotional, social, or other issues should not attend. For safety in activities, campers must be able and willing to follow all instructions. For your child's safety, and the safety of others, those who have oppositional defiance disorder, or similar problems with defiance of adults or authority figures should not attend without first speaking with the Camp Director or Camp Program Director.

For children who are currently in the care of a mental health professional: we strongly encourage parents to consult with your care professional(s) and the Camp Director prior to enrolling your child to attend camp. 

Top of Page

What about references?

We can say proudly say we get great ratings from our campers and parents! We can also pass along your phone number or email to one of our camper's parents.

Top of Page

Is the camp accredited by the
American Camp Association?

YES! ACA Accreditation we work through a standards of the industry manual with over 300 questions regarding essential health, safety, and program quality issues important to a camp's overall operation. A camp that goes through the Accreditation process commits to making a safe and nurturing environment for their campers. www.acacamps.org

Top of Page

r

CAMP LIFE
What happens on opening day of summer camp?

THE CAMPERS ARRIVE… between 3:30 and 4:30pm.   Watch for our Summer Camp signs with balloons just after Aitkens Road on the East/Right hand side of the road.

AT THE REGISTRATION TABLE… parents will check in and verify all financial needs are taken care of, and trading post or stay over money is collected.  They then check in with our Health Supervisor, where she collects any medications, goes over each camper's health history, and does a brief check of each camper.  During the registration process the campers, parents and family will get a chance to sample our world famous Camp Cavell cookies.  Parents and campers are then directed to their cabins, where they will meet their counselors who will help the camper  get settled in their cabin.  Everyone is welcome to tour the camp or enjoy a walk on the beach. 

ONCE CAMPERS ARE SETTLED IN… they say goodbye to their parents, then go on a camp tour, make cabin rules and posters and play games to "get to know" each other a little better.

Everyone goes to their first family style meal in the dining hall. After dinner the campers will go to their cabins, change into their swim suits, and head to the beach for orientation and a swim in Lake Huron.  After beach time they will go back to their cabins, change for an evening of songs, s'mores and a campfire to round out a very busy first day. Counselors help get everyone settled in and ready for bed.

Top of Page
r

What is a typical camp day like; is there much free time?

Depending on the program the campers sign up for, they can choose different activities throughout the day.

Top of Page
rWhat is our typical day at Camp Cavell?

7:30 Rise & shine
8:00 Flag and Breakfast
9:00 Camp Kapers (i.e. feed the animals, sweep the dining room, camp beautification, and water plants/garden)
10:00 Program Session (i.e. dance, waterfront, cooking, horseback riding) Programming at this time depends on what each camper chose when they signed up for camp.
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Rest Time (i.e. read a book, write a letter, make a lanyard)
2:00  Waterfront or Arts and Crafts
3:30 Cabin Time (i.e. camp store, archery, nature, horseback riding, tree climbing, boating)
5:00 Dinner
6:00 Open Time (i.e. volleyball, field games, relaxing, getting ready for evening activity)
7:00 Evening all camp activity (i.e. counselor hunt, gold rush, campout, dutch auction, counselor wrap)
9:00 - 11:00 Bedtime depending on age.

*subject to change depending on the campers choices

As you see, our camper's are kept busy from the moment they awake, to the moment they fall into their bed. That being said, we do have quiet hour and other cabin time each day.  This time is very important to each of our campers, because it allows each camper to rest after a very busy morning. Each camper is encouraged to bring an activity that they can do quietly on their bed.  If they don't bring anything with them, we do offer quiet activities such as making lanyards, bracelets, coloring, or other activities.  

Top of Page
r

My child is in Equestrian Camp can I see them ride on Friday?

*Please contact the Main Office for more information.

Top of Page
r

What kind of food do you serve at camp?

Food at camp is great (campers say so). We have food like pizza, spaghetti, chicken, taco bar, salad bars, cereal, bacon & eggs, pancakes, french toast, and homemade cinnamon rolls. There is always the alternative of cereal and soy butter and jelly.  We ask campers to try a bite just to see if they might like our recipe or their taste buds might have matured!  We are internationally known for our homemade chocolate chip cookies!  If your child has a special dietary need, please contact our Health Supervisor and she will work with our kitchen to meet those needs.  Camp can provide alternative foods such as gluten-free, dairy-free, and as always nut-free alternatives. Click here... to see a sample menu.

Top of Page
r

Should I send snacks?

Please limit snacks that are sent to camp. We have plenty of good food & snacks for a healthy experience.  Snacks are to be shared with the whole cabin and are kept in the counselor's room for times counselors feel are appropriate.  They must be brought to camp in air tight containers and do not contain nut products.

Top of Pager

REGISTRATION

Downloadable Information about Summer Camp.

Click here for more information.

Top of Page
r

What is the age requirement for your camp programs?

Children going into grades 2nd through 12th in the fall can attend camp.  Specialty programs start at 4th grade in the fall and trips at 6th grade.  Leadership programs begin at 9th grade in the fall.

Top of Page
rIf I am sending siblings do they each need a membership?

Yes.

Top of Page
r
How much is membership?

Membership is not required for any of our programs starting in 2015.

Top of Page
r
Can boys attend?

Yes! We have week(s) during the summer for coed. The boys live on one side of camp and the girls on the other. They may have meals, waterfront and some programming together.

Top of Page
rCan my child travel on the bus one-way?

Yes, we charge 1/2 the fee and ask you to call and confirm the reservation with us the day before.

Top of Page
rWhat happens on the weekend if my
child stays two weeks?

Campers signed up for consecutive sessions can stay at camp. Usually there are 5-10 campers who stay over. They relax and go to town to do laundry and other off camp activities. Campers are supervised and stay in a cabin together. Campers need check fees to be sent to camp in an envelope separate from trading post money to cover laundry, movies, food, or other stay over activities. If you would like to just visit on the weekend, arrangements must be made in advance and work around the stay over group's agenda.

Top of PagerWhat if I want to pick my child up a day early?

Early pick up can be arranged but we discourage it if possible because the last night of camp is a very special evening. It is at time for all of the friendships, accomplishments, and memories of the week to be brought to a close with a traditional wish boat ceremony, skits, and counselor wish. If you must pick up your child late, evening is best.

Top of Page
rWhat if my child would like to be with friends or an older or younger sibling?

We try to meet cabin requests as often as we can.  If an older camper and a younger camper want to stay together, we will consider the age of the other campers, the maturity of the campers, and the needs of all the campers before we make a decision.  Please contact the Camp Director to discuss concerns.

Top of Page
rMy child is coming alone will they be ok?

Camp is a place to make new friends and we encourage campers who have been to camp before to make sure they include new campers.  Usually a cabin is a mixture of campers coming alone and with friends.  Remember counselors are trained to step in and become a stand in friend until friendships have a chance to form. 

Top of Page

CABIN / WHAT TO PACK

Where do I find the list of what to bring?
Click Here... to see Camp's Packing List.

Top of Page
r What size sheet fits the beds?
For the girls we have dorm room beds that are bit narrower and longer then twins. We can make any sheet work if you do not have dorm sheets, they are sold in stores. For the boys the beds are mostly twin size.

Top of Page
rWe don't have a sleeping bag, do we need one?
They are handy on campouts if you can borrow one, but blankets and sheets work too. Send two blankets in case it gets chilly. Even if you send a sleeping bag it is helpful if you send a blanket and sheets as well for the cabin bed.

Top of Page
rIs there electricity in the cabin?
Some, these cabins were designed before electricity was a big issue. There is only one outlet in the counselors room and we ask that girls do not bring electrical items whenever possible.

Top of Page
rWhat cannot be brought to camp?
Camp is a place to enjoy the outdoors and try new things. We ask that Personal Music Devices only be used in cabins with headphones.  Please no hand held or other electronic game devices.  Keep in mind that if an expensive electronic item is stolen or broken, that Camp Cavell cannot be held responsible.  Also no pets, vehicles, or personal sports equipment (without camp permission). NO CELL PHONES or devices that connect to the internet are allowed at camp.

Top of Page

Can my child bring a cell phone?

Please make sure they do not. Besides not fitting into the camps philosophy and experience… cell phones can cause some critical issues at camp. We cannot monitor who your camper or other campers are calling or what might be sent over the internet.

IT DOES NOT WORK TO SEND THE PHONE ALONG AND TELL YOU CHILD NOT TO USE IT… the lure of the phone close by and peer pressure is too great.

If your child has a problem that cannot be solved here at camp we will certainly call you. They are given several avenues to ask for help. You are welcome to call us as well and we can check on your child for you, or if needed make a time for them to call you. With so many campers in camp we try to keep calls to a minimum.

Top of Page

SAFETY/MEDICAL QUESTIONS
 

Does an adult stay with the campers in the cabin?

Yes, an adult counselor lives in a small room inside the cabin with 8-10 campers. A supervisor lives in a cabin nearby and circulates around to the cabins too.

Top of Page

r

How far is the nearest first aid help and hospital?

Each of the counselors is trained in first aid practices and carries a radio so they are in touch with a Camp Health Officer at all times who lives on the property for the summer. That person is minimally trained in a higher level of first aid, but many times has nursing training as well. Our community has a wonderful volunteer Fire Department and emergency help arrives in an average of 5-10 minutes. Many other camp staff have a long history of responding to emergencies as well. The two nearest hospitals are 15 to 25 minutes away by ambulance.

Top of Page
rHow do you keep campers safe at the waterfront?
Campers can only go to the beach with an adult.  They receive an orientation of the waterfront rules and must swim only in an area marked off with buoys.  There are lifeguards and trained staff on duty at all aquatic activities.  Campers swim with buddies for safety.  All campers can swim in the area that is about waist deep and must pass a swim test to move into deeper swim areas.  Our kayaks are designed for beginners and campers receive a safety orientation and the lifeguards evaluate their skills to determine the level of boating they may do. 

Top of Page
r
What are the ground rules?
Campers are under the supervision of a staff member at all times. There is no smoking, alcoholic beverages, weapons, or illegal drugs permitted at camp.  Campers will be sent home for breaking the rules or for behavior that does not foster a positive, caring, safe spirit in the camp community. Parents will be responsible for timely transportation home.
 
Top of Page
rDoes my child need a physical?

YWCA Camp Cavell does not require a health exam to attend camp.  A health history form must be filled out and signed by the guardian before the camper attends camp.  If your child has been hospitalized or is under a Doctor’s care for an illness or injury within the past year that could affect their camp experience, we suggest you have your doctor evaluate and advise you and the camp of any limitations or situations we should be aware of.

Top of Page
r What if my child becomes sick or is injured at camp?

If your child becomes sick at camp their counselor will arrange for a visit to the Camp Health Supervisor. 

We will call you if your child has a health issue that requires a doctor’s visit, an overnight stay in the health center, is injured beyond everyday bumps and bruises, or we need your input to solve a problem.

In case of serious injury or illness, parents or the emergency contact person will be called for their decision on medical treatment. If parents or emergency contact person are not available or immediate action is required, we will use our best judgment as to what course of action to pursue and will continue to attempt contact.

The YWCA will not be responsible for any costs incurred as a result of illness or injury. If your child becomes ill or has a minor injury, we will treat them at camp.  You will be contacted if care is to greater extent or more information is needed. If your child is sent home due to illness or behavior it is the parent’s responsibility to transport them in a timely manner.

Parents should notify camp if their child is exposed to any communicable disease during the three weeks prior to camp attendance.  We will inform you if your child has been directly exposed to a communicable disease at camp.
 
Top of Page
rWhat if my child needs medications or has a special condition?

If your child has a special condition please attach a note to the health form, if it needs our special attention please call us ahead of time so we can plan a good healthy experience for your child.

OVER THE COUNTER
& PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
It is a state law that all medications (including over the counter ones) be kept for the camper by the Camp Health Officer.  This includes things like Tylenol, medicated creams, medicated throat lozenges etc.  All medications should be listed on the health history sheet, labeled with the camper’s name, and placed in a plastic ziplock bag.
Prescription medications must be current, in original container, and prescribed for the camper. If you want a child to have a different dose or take it at a different time then the label indicates, you must sign a note indicating the change.  If a child needs someone to give an injection please notify the camp ahead of time.  Medication will be passed out to the campers at regularly scheduled times by our Health Officer.  Please remind campers that they will always receive their medication within one hour of their usual home time, but the camp CANNOT guarantee them that their medications will be passed right on the hour due to the nature of camp activities.   As needed medications such as Acetaminophen(Tylenol) or Ibuprofen(Motrin), are available at any time.  Campers will be instructed to inform staff, that they need medication and the Health Officer will bring the medication to them, so they don't miss any valuable activity time. 

Camp may trigger allergies EVEN IF YOUR CHILD HAS NOT HAD A PROBLEM RECENTLY it is important to send inhalers, breathing treatment machines etc.  Once checked in with health person, inhalers and injectors can be carried by counselor or older camper if necessary.

Top of Page
rHow safe is the area your camp is in?

Our camp is located on the lakeshore in a wonderful resort community.  We know our neighbors well and many of them volunteer or donate to camp each year.  There are staff residences at both entrances to camp and our campers are always under the supervision of a staff member who has a communication radio.  We work to keep campers safe in all we do.

Top of Page
rWhat if there is bad weather or an emergency?

Campers are always supervised and both campers and staff are orientated in emergency procedures.  In case of bad weather campers are sent to their cabins or the cement shower house according to the situation.  Storms are tracked via internet, local contacts, and the local emergency agencies.  Staff members have practiced safety procedures which have been developed with input from area emergency personnel.  If camp must be evacuated for some reason we will post the information on the internet and answering machine and call parents at our first opportunity.  All staff carry communication radios and our administrative staff are very experienced at handling onsite emergencies. 

Top of Page

More Questions:
If you have any more questions please
call the Camp Office at (810) 359-2267
 
Top of Page

 

 

 Site Map
 
 

Camp Cavell | 3335 Lakeshore Road, Lexington, Michigan 48450
tele: (810) 359-2267 | e-mail: cavell@campcavell.org
© 2011-2016 Camp Cavell | All rights reserved | Terms and Conditions