Camp FAQs & Answers

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Who are the camp directors? What are their backgrounds?

Camp Kennebec Directors are Donna Segal and Rob Deman, who bring a wealth of knowledge and hands on experience from their many years of camping and working with children with special needs.

Both Donna & Rob have a shared vision, inspired by Kennebec’s founder Steve Hannon, that Camp must be a fun, happy place that offers one-of-a-kind experiences and a huge sense of accomplishment that kids will cherish for years to come.

Donna has been at Camp for 37 years, and has a background in education and social services. She taught pre-school for 15 years prior to joining Camp full-time. Rob is in his 15th year with Camp and his background is in psychology and education.

What is Camp Kennebec’s philosophy?

Create a fun, safe and supportive environment where everyone can reach for the stars and surprise themself with all they can achieve. We encourage all campers and young adults to take calculated risks and participate in a wide range of social, emotional and recreational activities. Each one of their successes contributes to personal growth and a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. Even the small failures help our campers learn about the value of perseverance. When success does come (and it usually does), campers get to enjoy that unique sense of accomplishment that can only come from achieving a hard to reach personal goal.

Is Camp Kennebec accredited?

Camp Kennebec is an accredited member of the Ontario Camps Association, and the Canadian Camping Association. Camp Kennebec is in excellent standing with the OCA. The Ontario Camps Association has strict guidelines regarding virtually all camp operations including safety, health, staffing, facilities and activities. The OCA inspects our Camp every 4 years.

Where is Camp Kennebec?

Camp Kennebec is located near Arden, Ontario on 1,000 acres with 6 miles of waterfront. We’re 3 hours from Toronto, 1 hour from Kingston, 4 hours from Montreal, and 2 hours from Ottawa.

How long are camp sessions?

We offer eight camp sessions that are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or eight weeks long. Stays of three weeks or longer allow our campers to get the most benefit from our programming, while one or two-week sessions are a great introduction to camp life at Kennebec. If there is room and circumstances permit, campers may be able to extend their stay beyond the original registration period.

What are the camper cabins like?

Campers sleep in cabins setback from the lake for safety, but with a lakefront view. Cabins usually house 10 campers and staff and are dormitory-style with bunk beds, cubbies and shelves for camper’s personal effects. There are washrooms in each cabin with a nearby shower house.

What happens when a camper is homesick?

Unfortunately, homesickness is a normal part of the camp experience. We train our staff to spot homesickness and use strategies to assist the camper with the tough times. Homesickness occurs typically during rest period, before bed, on a difficult day, or when a child is sick. We find the best cure for homesickness is distracting campers with fun activities, so they forget to miss home. However, if we see that a situation is not improving, we will call home and discuss the situation and coping strategies with parents or guardians.

Can campers bunk with friends?

While we assign cabins by age, gender, personality, and needs, we try our best to accommodate requests to share cabins with friends.

What is the policy about calling camp to speak with campers?

We do not allow campers to receive or make phone calls, except for pre-arranged calls for birthdays and other special events. You are welcome to contact our camp office for a camper update. Please do not send cell phones to camp. We will confiscate and return them at the end of the camper’s session.

What is camp’s hiring and screening policy?

We are fortunate to have a core group of well-trained, dedicated individuals who have been at Camp for years. Our kind, caring and experienced head staff members are professionals who create and perpetuate the warm, caring and fun Kennebec community that leads to success. Our counselor team includes teachers, educational assistants, child and youth care workers as well as university and college students enrolled in a variety of programs. All staff must pass criminal and personal reference checks, and a series of in-depth interviews. In addition, they take part in an intensive week of training prior to the start of camp.

What is the Kennebec individualized program?

About twenty years ago, we developed a unique approach to Camp programming that allows campers to choose how they spend much of the day. We know that making choices can be difficult for our campers, so this approach is a great learning experience, in addition to ensuring campers choose to spend time at their favourite activities. Campers decide on the activities they want to try before they arrive at Camp. Rest assured that during the season, we make sure that campers have the opportunity to try all activities that we offer. Usually, the program a camper actually follows, ends up being dramatically different from what they initially chose. Flexibility is at the heart of the Kennebec philosophy – encourage kids to try new things and to keep trying them so they can master more physical, social and learning challenges and build upon their successes.

Can I send emails to campers?

Yes. Parents, friends and relatives can send email to campers through our Bunk1 service. Once you enrol your child at camp, we will provide you with information on how to use Bunk1. We print emails daily and hand them out with regular camper mail. Please do not stop writing letters though, your kids love to receive “snail” mail. We encourage our campers to write home at least once per week.

Does camp have on-site medical staff?

We have a full time, on-site nurse who administers medications, treats routine colds, and keeps record of camper and staff medical needs. We store all medication in our infirmary and dispense it during meals or at prescribed times. Kennebec staff members are Red Cross and Standard First Aid certified, and many receive Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Techniques training. There are three hospitals and a full service medical clinic in close proximity to Camp.

What do campers eat at Kennebec?

We serve three nutritious, home-style meals, which we serve family-style from a large platter that the cabin shares. The whole camp eats together. We encourage campers to try new foods, but there are substitutes on hand in case campers do not feel adventurous or do not like the meal. Campers also receive snacks like milk and cookies and fruit twice during the day. Each week our campers visit our tuck shop to choose a treat like granola snacks or juice. Our kitchen accommodates special dietary and allergy requirements.

Is financial aid available?

Camp Kennebec has several contacts for financial aid. Please see the funding links on our website for further assistance. Please act quickly as the funding process can be quite lengthy. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

What is a typical day like?
Time
Activity
Time
Activity
8:00
Wake Up
3:45-4:00
Snack
8:30-9:15
Breakfast
4:00-5:15
Camper’s Choice
9:15-9:45
Prep For Activity 1
5:15-6:00
Cabin Time
9:45-10:45
Academics/Outdoor Ed
6:00-7:00
Dinner
11:00-12:15
Camper’s Choice
7:00-8:15
Camper’s Choice
12:30-1:15
Lunch
8:15-9:00
Evening Program
1:15-2:15
Rest Hour
9:00
Snack/Bedtime
2:30:3:45
Camper’s Choice
10:00
Lights Out
Can we visit before the summer?
Please come see our beautiful Camp and meet Donna and Rob, see our facilities and learn more about our program. Going to camp can be a big, exciting and scary step in your child’s life. Often kids worry about small details that parents would not even consider important. Seeing camp and meeting head staff before the summer, helps minimize concerns about the unknown for campers and parents alike. We will host an open house at Camp for new families on Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 11:00 – 3:30, so your family can tour camp, ask questions and meet some of our head staff.
How do I find out more about Kennebec?
Call us to chat with Donna and Rob about what makes Kennebec so special. Then you can decide if Kennebec is the right choice for your son or daughter. We have a list of parents who will share their experience at Kennebec with you. We can arrange for an in-home visit until March 31st.  After March 31st, you’re welcome to visit us at Camp.