Home / Programs / Kids / Summer Camp Family Handbook - UBR

Quakertown
Summer Camp Handbook

Welcome to your best summer ever!

Dear valued Y Camp families,

Thank you for choosing YMCA of Bucks County - Summer Camp program. We are thrilled and grateful to serve as your summer camp provider of choice. It is not a responsibility we take lightly; we are constantly self-assessing and improving our offerings in order to provide your child with the most positive experience possible. Many hours are spent during the non-summer months to ensure that all of the themes, games and activities are well thought out and properly developed, so that your child can have the best summer ever! However, beyond the fun and excitement, much time is spent focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The definition of youth development is the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical processes that all youth uniquely experience from birth to career. A successful development process fulfills children and teens’ innate need to be loved, spiritually grounded, educated, competent, and healthy. In order to make this positive impact on your child; friendship, accomplishment, and belonging are constant themes at camp. Here at the Y your child will learn a new skill and make a new friend; all while feeling safe and secure with qualified, Y staff. 

We look forward to seeing you this summer...at the Y!

General Camp or Billing Questions:

Carlie Bearn
Adventure Camp Director
215-536-9622, X112
cbearn@ymcabucks.org

Dave Evans
Sports & Camp Director
215-536-9622, X114
devans@ymcabucks.org

Samantha Pickering
Finance Administration - Camp Registrar
215.536.9622, x112
spickering@ymcabucks.org  

Camp Specific Questions:                 

Christina Harmonosky
Arts and Humanities Camp Specialist
215.536.9622, x113
charmonosky@ymcabucks.org

Janine Brown
Gymnastics Camp Director, 215-536-9622, X116
jmbrown@ymcabucks.org 

Becky Musselman
Aquatics Camp Director, 215-536-9622, X126
bmusselman@ymcabucks.org

Laura Waite
Abilities Specialist215-536-9622, X130
lwaite@ymcabucks.org

Frequently Asked Questions


HOW DO I STAY INFORMED AS A PARENT/GUARDIAN?

First and foremost, please read this parent handbook in its entirety. Most of your questions will be answered right here, conveniently in this document! We also highly recommend subscribing to our weekly camp hot sheet; complete with the “hottest” need to know information for the week. You can ensure you are receiving this information by visiting this link (coming soon) and making sure to pick “Yes” for the Hot Sheet.  As we get closer to camp, we also recommend that you subscribe to your campers camp Facebook page! More to come as we get closer to the start of camp!

WHY MUST MY FEES BE PROCESSED THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC BILLING METHOD?

At YMCA of Bucks County, we serve thousands of children, countywide, through Early Childhood Education, School Age Child Care, Camp, Programs and Volunteerism. As a leading non-profit who strives for the health and sustainability of all programs and the individuals we serve, an electronic billing method promotes the most efficient, safe registration process.  An electronic billing method can include a credit card, debit card or checking account number on file.


HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE?

New applicants should submit a completed Financial Assistance Application along with support documentation to the Welcome Center by April 1, 2020.Applications can be found at the Welcome Center or at ymcabucks.org/fa.  Allow three weeks for processing.  If you already have a current Financial Assistance Contract, please submit your camp registration packet to the Welcome Center, for camps needed for the entire summer, by April 30, 2020.

HOW DO I CHANGE OR CANCEL A CAMP?

Camp changes/cancellations must be made at minimum 10 days prior to the start of the camp week. All cancellations and changes must be made through Samantha Pickering, Camp Registrar.  Camp changes/cancellations must be submitted via email to: spickering@ymcabucks.org. See the camp “Financial Terms and Conditions” for additional details.

WHY CAN’T I CHANGE MY CHILD’S CAMP AFTER A CERTAIN DAY?

For the safety of your child and our program, we must maintain a specific staff to camper ratio. To ensure that we stay true to these ratios, we must know the amount of children we will have in each camp by a certain date.

WHAT IF MY 3-DAY CAMPER WANTS TO ATTEND A TRIP OR SPECIAL EVENT BUT IS NOT REGISTERED FOR CAMP THAT DAY?

If your 3-day camper wants to attend a field trip or special event, but is not registered for that day of camp, you will need to request a camp change through Samantha Pickering, Camp Registrar spickering@ymcabucks.org at least one week in advance.

WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD BRING TO CAMP?

All campers should arrive to camp with:

  • Sunscreen already applied to the camper’s body (indoor camps, including gymnastics, do not need to apply sunscreen)
  • A water bottle; filled with ice and water
  • Sneakers
  • Additional sunscreen
  • backpack
  • snack
  • labeled bathing suit and towel - All full day camps
  • Lunch - All full day camps and no heat-up lunches we do eat outside

    Pizza (one or two slices) and drink will be offered on Thursdays to all campers if they would like it. If your child does not eat pizza please pack a lunch.

Please, NO valuable items at camp (examples include cell phones, tablets, jewelry, etc.) The Y is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

WHAT TIME CAN I DROP OFF MY CHILD?

  • Early Care, may be signed in no earlier than 6:15 AM. 
  • Camp beginning at 9AM, campers may be signed in no earlier than 8:45AM.

WHERE SHOULD I DROP OFF MY CHILD?

All school age campers that arrive before 8:45 AM should be taken to the gymnasium for sign-in.  All Jr. Adventure campers (Pre-K) should be taken to the youth education center (across from wellness center). After 9:00 AM, sign-in locations may differ for each camp.

WHERE DO I PICK UP MY CHILD?

Adventure Campers sign-out location will be on the second floor for Red and Blue groups. Jr. Adventure and Green and Purple groups will be in the Youth Education Center. After 5:00PM all Adventure groups will be in the Youth Education Center. 

Specialty Camps will be located in the gymnasium.

WHERE DO I FIND MY CHILD IF I HAVE TO PICK-UP DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY?

If you are picking up your child from camp earlier than the scheduled time, please go to the Welcome Center and a staff member will locate your child’s camp group for you.

WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE AND CANNOT PICK-UP MY CHILD BY THE TIME HIS/HER CAMP IS SCHEDULED TO END?

If you are running late, please call the Welcome Center at 215.536.9622, so that the message can be relayed to camp staff.

WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE AND CANNOT PICK-UP MY CHILD BY 6:00 PM?

Beginning 6:01PM, a member of our camp staff will stay with your child until pick-up. A late fee of $1 for every minute past 6:00 PM will be assessed.

WHAT IF SOMEONE HAS TO PICK-UP MY CHILD WHO IS NOT LISTED AS AN AUTHORIZED PICK-UP PERSON?

If you are unable to pick-up on time and instead need to send someone who is not on the authorized list to pick-up your child, please call the Welcome Center at 215.536.9622.

HOW DO I CHANGE OR ADD INFORMATION LIKE TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND AUTHORIZED PICK-UP NAMES?

Any changes or additions to this information can be emailed as indicated below. Please write your camper’s name in the subject line. Please know that when adding an additional pick-up person from an unrecognized e-mail address, you may receive a phone call to confirm, for security purposes.

quakertowncamp@ymcabucks.org

WHY DO I NEED TO SHOW MY PHOTO I.D. WHEN THE COUNSELOR ALREADY KNOWS WHO I AM?

For the safety of your child, we require every adult to present their I.D. to the counselor each day. We understand that your counselor may recognize you after a period of time, but we cannot guarantee that the same counselor will be signing your child out each day. With the large number of campers in our camp programs, we find that it compromises safety to ask our counselors to recognize every adult each day. Therefore, to keep every camper safe, we require consistency from our counselors in asking for IDs from every adult. If your camp counselor is not asking for identification, please alert a camp director, immediately.


Custody Orders:


Parents are never to ask Y staff to submit a statement or serve as witness during a custody order. When an enrolled child is the subject of a court order (ex. - Custody Order, Restraining Order or Protection from Abuse Order), the Y must be provided with a Certified Copy of the most recent order and all amendments thereto. The orders of the court will be strictly followed unless the custodial parent(s) requests a more liberal variation of the order in writing. In the case where both parents are afforded shared/joint custody by order of the court, both parents must sign the request for more liberal interpretation of the order.

In the absence of a court order on file with the Y administration, both parents shall be afforded equal access to their child as stipulated by law. The Y cannot, without a court order, limit the access of one parent by request of the other parent, regardless of the reason. If a situation presents itself, where one parent does not want the other parent to have access to their child, the Y suggests that the parent keep the child with them until a court order is issued.

If conflicting court orders are presented, the most recently dated court order will be followed.

Once presented with a Protection from Abuse Order or a Restraining Order, the Y is obligated to follow the order for the entire period it is in effect. Employees of the Y cannot, at the request of anyone, except the issuing judge, allow a Protection from Abuse Order and/or a Restraining Order to be violated. The Y will report any violations of these orders to the court.


DOES MY JR. ADVENTURE CAMPER NEED TO BE POTTY TRAINED?

Yes. All campers must be potty trained.

WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES MEDICATION DURING THE DAY?

If at all possible, families should administer medications while the camper is in their care. Medication can be given just before drop off, at the time of pick up, and just before bedtime if the medication is 3 times a day.  When this is not possible, staff will administer medication under the following conditions:


  • All medications, whether prescription or non-prescription, must be followed according to the label. All medications must be logged into the Medical Log located at camp sign-in.
  • All prescription medications must be current, in the original pharmacy container, and have the child’s name, instructions, and physician’s name. The instructions must also be placed in the medication log by the parent or guardian.
  • Medication must be signed in and out daily, listing the exact amount of medication required for that day. Please send the medication in its original packaging. 
  • Medications will be kept in a locked medication box/cabinet
  • The YMCA retains the right to refuse to administer medication if the Director or Assistant Director feels that there is a conflict. The parent/guardian will be notified.
  • Non-prescription medications will not be administered by YMCA personnel longer than five to seven days from the start of the administration or if the instructions state a shorter time. Families need to understand that if the child is still showing symptoms beyond 5-7 days, they need to consult their physician. We will administer medications if accompanied by a note from the doctor if the instructions are contrary to the container instructions.
  • If a child is still showing symptoms it will be suggested that the family take the child to the physician.
  • Daily medications must be signed in every morning with the camp staff.

WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS AN ALLERGY?

If your child has an allergy that requires an Epipen, the Epipen must be signed in each week according to our medication policy (above).  If your child’s allergy requires Benadryl, the Benadryl must be signed in according to our medication policy (above).

FIRST AID AND EMERGENCIES

Rest assured, all Y staff are trained in First Aid and CPR. At time of accident/incident; Y staff will assess all injuries, provide first aid and report to the parent/guardian through an injury report. When the injury is more serious then day-to-day scrapes and bruises, Y staff will call the parent/guardian and alert them to the injury and to the care the child has received. In the event of a very serious injury or emergency, the parent/guardian will be notified after the emergency medical service has been contacted. First aid kits are of ready access with each camp group as well as a copy of each child’s emergency contact form. First aid kits and the children’s emergency forms accompany the group to all off-site locations.

WHERE DO I FIND ITEMS THAT MY CHILD MAY HAVE LOST?

A lost and found is located at each camp sign in. 

Please note: Items remaining after summer camp will be donated to the local thrift shop.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS OR IS TOO HOT OUTSIDE?

When the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning or when thunder is heard on the campsite, we will relocate campers into our indoor location.

WHAT ARE CORE VALUE CARDS?

Core Value Cards are given to campers that demonstrate our Core Values with acts of honesty, responsibility, respect, or caring. These Core Value Cards can be traded in at our Core Value Store each week for small prizes.

DO THE CITs WORK AT THE Y?

No. Participants in our Counselor in Training programs are volunteers. These teenagers are involved with our camp groups on a daily basis and looking to gain leadership skills, learn responsibility, and perhaps one day work at camp. Please know that CITs are never put in a position where they are the sole caretaker of your child. 

HOW DO FIELD TRIPS WORK?

Campers need to be registered for Trip Week or Arts Camp (week 2 and 3). Your child must be registered for a full day (at least 9AM-4PM) of camp on the same day of the desired trip. No changes or cancellations can be made to trip registrations. Trip registration must be completed at least one week in advance.

DOES MY CHILD NEED TO WEAR A CAMP SHIRT?

On a regular day of camp, wearing the camp shirt is not required. However, as a safety measure, your camper is required to wear his/her camp shirt for Trip Week. There may also be special events at the Y that require wearing of the camp shirt. One camp shirt per camper is provided by the Y, regardless of how many weeks the camper is registered for. Parents may purchase additional camp shirts for $10 at our Welcome Center. Camp shirt pick-up/purchase is available all day Monday & Tuesday. All campers registered for the trip, who fail to arrive to camp with their shirt, will be required to purchase an additional camp shirt and the billing method on file will be charged accordingly. 

Positive Behavior Modification Policy Suspension or “Pause” of Services Policy

If a Y staff member observes inappropriate behavior, inappropriate development level of the camper, or concerns for the welfare of a camper, the staff will report this information to the Director. The Director will conduct observations of the camper’s interactions with other campers and the staff. The Director will notify parents and legal guardians of sensitive topic areas.

If aggressive, disruptive, destructive or disrespectful behavior occurs to a staff member or to another child the following disciplinary action will be taken:

The Y reserves the right to pause and/or suspend care for any family whose child displays the following:

  •   Harm to self
  • Harm to other children
  • Inability to thrive within the standard counselor/camp group ratio

The Y believes that no parent/guardian should ever be surprised by a request to pause and/or suspend care. When a camper demonstrates harm to self, harm to others, or an inability to thrive within the camp setting; communication to parent/guardian is as follows:

  1. Incident One: Counselor will verbally share the incident with parent/guardian
  2. Incident Two: Counselor will verbally and in writing share the incident with the parent/guardian
  3. Incident Three: Director will request a Parent/Guardian/Counselor meeting; the summary of the conference will be emailed to the parent/guardian within 48-hours. *If harm to self or others is evident, a pause in services may be part of the behavior modification plan
  4. Further Incidents: Director will request a meeting between Parent/Guardian/Counselor and when age appropriate, the camper will also be included in the meeting. A behavior modification plan will be designed and agreed upon between the family and the Y. *If harm to self or others is evident, a pause in services may be part of the behavior modification plan

In some occurrences, care will be paused and/or suspended until additional, outside support such as wraparound is available for the child.

Guidelines for Positive Discipline:

Our #1 goal is to provide a positive, safe and nurturing experience for all. Our camp staff will model the Y core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility to support campers in their understanding of camp guidelines and positive behavior. Y Staff will provide structure and routine to the daily schedule and intervene promptly to provide coaching to promote children’s development of respect for others. It is our policy to keep misbehavior in perspective, and identify situations that can be used as learning opportunities. It is also our policy to resolve conflict with non-violent means. Similarly, we must insist that children participating in our programs refrain from threatening and violent behavior towards staff or other children.

Our role as Y staff is to support youth in developing to their fullest potential and to recognize the many facets of youth development. It is important that our discipline policy focus on guidance, redirection and praise rather than punishment or negative reinforcement. We strive to help children learn self-control, while at the same time developing positive self-esteem.

Discipline must be age appropriate and stated in language that children understand. It is important to have support from families in order to build good character in children.


  • We set realistic expectations for camper’s behavior.
  • We provide an environment that will increase the probability campers will succeed.
  • We give campers choices and alternatives to turn destructive situations into constructive situations.
  • We validate what the campers say and feel; if appropriate.
  • We use natural and logical consequences and empower campers to be responsible for their own behavior.
  • We teach campers to use problem solving skills and strategies to resolve conflicts.
  • We work out behavior plans with the family when needed.

PERMANENT WITHDRAWALS

The Y reserves the right to permanently withdraw a camper at any time. Reasons for permanent withdrawal may include, but are not limited to: nonpayment, habitual insufficient funds, continued disciplinary actions, parental and camper abuse of a staff member, actions or behaviors by the camper that could severely harm themselves or other campers or staff, or any other reason deemed fit by Y leadership staff.