Is homesickness a common problem and how do you handle it?
It is not unusual for boys to experience some level of homesickness at camp. This is a very normal part of their adjustment to camp-life and usually dissipates within the first day or two. We help minimize initial feelings of homesickness by making sure each camper feels welcome at camp. They are introduced to bunk mates, given lots of individual attention and immediately immersed in an active, interesting program.
Although it is not unusual for homesick campers to desire calling home, camp policy does not permit phone calls during a boy’s first week at camp. We have found that hearing a parents voice does not effectively alleviate feelings of homesickness. We understand this can be a difficult for campers, as well as parents. Please know that Individual campers troubled by homesickness are offered patient encouragement and steadfast support.
Is it possible to communicate with campers?
In general, we do not allow parents to speak directly with campers during their first week at camp. This policy is designed to help campers adjust to being away from home. If parents want to check-in during that first week, they are welcome to contact camp and speak with encampment staff for updates on their son’s progress. After the first full week of camp, phone calls are permitted at specific times so as not to interfere with the program.
We encourage family members and friends to send their love and encouragement via mail. Letters are hand- delivered to campers daily after lunch. Emailed correspondence is also welcome. Emails will be printed off and delivered as part of the daily mail-call. Campers will not be able to respond via email as they will not have computer access at camp. We do, however, encourage campers to write home at least twice weekly.
What are your visitation policies?
In order to help the boys completely adjust to life at camp... and specifically to being away from home, visitation is not permitted until the second weekend of each boy’s session. This means that a boy coming for a 2-week session will see his parents at drop-off... and then again at the end for pick-up. For boys staying longer than two weeks, we recommend one visit per session. Any more than that will begin to interfere with their camp experience.
During visitation weekends, guests are welcome to join us on Saturday night for a traditional outdoor cookout buffet and Awards Assembly. Following this we host a Council Fire Ceremony at which individual campers receive recognition for levels of camp achievement. If you would like to take your son out of camp, Sunday is the day for this. After morning cabin cleanup – approximately 10:00AM – your son should be free to go out for the day.
How do you handle discipline problems at camp?
It is our intent at Tohkomeupog that each boy has a safe, enjoyable summer experience. Rules and boundaries have been established with these primary objectives in mind. Good communication with campers, along with diligent supervision and participation by staff, helps keep problems to a minimum. However, we all know kids will occasionally test rules and push boundaries. Undoubtedly, there will be disagreements during the summer.
Our first objective is to try to minimize discipline issues by keeping everyone busy in an active and interesting program. Because each individual camper and every situation is different, our response in disciplinary situations will vary. If a counselor finds he needs help, he will ask for assistance from his Clan Director. If the problem persists, the Camp Director will also help. Only in rare cases might a camper be asked to go home.
What do you do if a boy wets his bed?
All children grow out of bedwetting at different points in their development. At camp, bedwetting can occur with kids at any age, but most especially within the younger encampments – it is neither an unusual nor an unexpected occurrence. While we recognize that this is normal and that the boys have no control over it, we also recognize that they are potentially very embarrassed by it. Please make us aware in advance if bedwetting is a possibility.
We will minimize potential bed wetting by limiting amounts of liquid consumed in the evening. Counselors will also wake up concerned campers at night for pre-emptive bathroom visits. If an accident does occur, the counselor will discreetly help the camper change his bed. We don’t let kids tease each other about this. With good guidance, we find that most kids are very understanding. Please send extra or special sheets as needed.
How are instructional activities assigned?
At Tohkomeupog, we offer a diverse list of activities from which campers can choose. These include a variety of team sports, watercraft skill, and traditional camp favorites: such as, campcraft, archery and riflery. On most days of the week, campers enjoy 3 instructional morning activity periods. One of these activity periods is devoted to swimming. Swimming is the one activity made mandatory for all campers in every encampment.
All other morning activities are selected by campers at the beginning of each week, typically on Sunday night. Unlike other camps, where activities may change on a day-to-day basis, campers at Tohkomeupog focus on their selected activities for the duration of the week. We find this strategy greatly strengthens the potential for skill development and success. New activity options are made available at the beginning of the following week.
Do you teach ecology?
Yes. In our nature study and campcraft classes at Tohkomeupog, we talk about the protection of our natural environment, plant and animal life. We take part in projects to rejuvenate and protect endangered or damaged areas. On trips, we adopt “Leave No Trace” practices by carrying out everything we carry in. During overnight camping experiences we encourage the latest low impact techniques. It continues to be priority at camp that every boy gain greater understanding, appreciation, and respect for wilderness areas.
What happens at lights out – is there night supervision?
When campers go to bed at night, we encourage counselors to create quality time – to talk with them about their day... and in the younger encampments, read a good-night story. When everyone has quieted down, the counselor may leave the cabin in the charge of the “Hill-man” and have some time off. Staff members take turns in each encampment being the Hill-man. The Hill-man sits by a campfire in a central location, easily accessible to all campers. He makes regular checks of all campers and stays on duty until all cabins are covered by individual staff.
Are there any nearby girls camps or coed activities?
There are several nearby girls’ camps to Tohkomeupog. It is not unusual for sisters of boys at Tohkomeupog to attend one of these camps, the closest of which is Camp Waukeela – about 4 miles away. Occasionally, Panthers and Wolves have coed activities: dances, mixed doubles tennis, volleyball, and softball games.
What other charges are there in addition to tuition?
Purchases at the camp store, rentals (bed linens, camping gear), tutoring, and transportation to and from camp.
Do you have a camp uniform?
Every Sunday, and for certain special events, campers wear a Tohkomeupog T-shirt and navy blue shorts. The rest of the week the boys wear regular play clothing.