Summer Camp Handbook
Doylestown and Warminster
Welcome to your best summer ever!
A parent/caregiver’s guide to camp...
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 their 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. No matter which camp you are attending in Doylestown or Warminster, 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 summe at Camp Bucks!
Doylestown camp families:
Warminster camp families:
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, safest 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?
For full information and instructions on financial assistance for camp, please visit the Financial Assistance webpage <HERE>
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 Melanie Spratt, Camp Administrator. Camp changes/cancellations must be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.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 Melanie Spratt at email@example.com 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
- A water bottle; filled with ice and water
- Additional sunscreen (spray preferred)
- A backpack
- And a snack (see below regarding lunch)
- A labeled bathing suit and towel - IF attending camp from 9AM - 4PM
- Lunch - If attending camp from 9AM - 4PM; parents are to provide lunch. Please take advantage of our pizza days as noted in the brochure
Please, NO valuable items at camp (examples include cell phones, tablets, jewelry, etc.) The Y is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
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 off-site field trips, if they are registered for that trip. 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 Camp Pavilion/Camp Office. Camp shirt pick-up/purchase is available all day Monday & Tuesday, as well as Wednesday morning at our Camp Pavilion/Camp Office. 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.
WHAT TIME CAN I DROP OFF MY CHILD?
- Early Care, may be signed in no earlier than 7AM.
- Camp beginning at 9AM, campers may be signed in no earlier than 8:45AM.
- Afternoon Sports or Adventure Camp, campers may be signed in no earlier than 12PM.
- Afternoon Specialty Camp, campers may be signed in no earlier than 1PM.
WHERE SHOULD I DROP OFF MY CHILD?
Doylestown: All campers that arrive before 8:30AM should be taken to the outdoor courts at the lower end of the Y property for sign-in; in accordance to the time frames referenced above. After 8:30AM, sign-in locations may differ for each camp. All sign-in locations will be linked in the Camp Newsletter, which is sent out every Friday prior to the Monday of camp. You can ensure you are receiving the newsletter by visiting this link (coming soon) and making sure to pick “Yes” for Camp News.Warminster: All campers should be dropped off in the main drop-off area, regardless of drop time. Camp signage will be available. You can ensure you are receiving the newsletter by visiting this link (coming soon) and making sure to pick “Yes” for Camp News.
WHERE DO I FIND MY CHILD IF I HAVE TO PICK-UP DURING THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY?
Doylestown: If you are picking up your child from Adventure or Afternoon Camp earlier than the scheduled time, please go to the Camp Pavilion and a Camp Leadership staff member will locate your child for you. If your child is in a Specialty Camp, you will pick-up in the same location as drop-off.Warminster: Please pickup in the main, sign-in area.
WHAT IF I AM RUNNING LATE AND CANNOT PICK-UP MY CHILD BY THE TIME HIS/HER CAMP IS SCHEDULED TO END?
Doylestown: If you are unable to pick-up your child by 6 PM, please notify staff by calling the Camp Pavilion at 215.348.8131 x1147. At 6:05 PM, any remaining campers will be taken to the main facility and signed into Stay & Play. A late fee of $1 for every minute past 6:00 PM will be assessed.Warminster: Beginning 6:00PM, two members 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 I AM RUNNING LATE AND CANNOT PICK-UP MY CHILD BY 6:00 PM?
If you are unable to pick-up your child by 6 PM, please notify staff by calling the Camp Pavilion at 215.348.8131 x1147.
Doylestown: At 6:01 PM, any remaining campers will be taken to the main facility and signed into Stay & Play. A late fee of $1 for every minute past 6:00 PM will be assessed.
Warminster: At 6:01, PM, camp staff will stay with your child unti pickup. 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?
Doylestown: If you are unable to pick-up on time and instead send someone who is not on the authorized list to pick-up your child, please call the Camp Pavilion at 215.348.8131 x 1147.Warminster: If you are unable to pick-up on time and instead send someone who is not on the authorized list to pick-up your child, please call the main branch at 267-387-9622 so that the message can be relayed.
HOW DO I CHANGE OR ADD INFORMATION LIKE TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND AUTHORIZED PICK-UP NAMES?
Any changes or additions to this information can be e-mailed 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.
Doylestown Email firstname.lastname@example.orgWarminster Email email@example.com
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 I.D.’s from every adult. If your camp counselor is not asking for identification, please alert Danny Hontz, Camp Director, immediately.
POLICY REGARDING 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 PRESCHOOLER 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 Early Camp Supervisor or Camp Coordinator at the main sign-in station.
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.
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 with the Early Camp Supervisor or Camp Coordinator and kept in your child’s bag. If your child’s allergy requires Benadryl, the Benadryl must be signed in according to our medication policy (above).
WHERE DO I FIND ITEMS THAT MY CHILD MAY HAVE LOST?
A lost and found is located at each camp sign.
(Doylestown) The Lost & Found will be located next to the Camp Pavilion. During inclement weather, the Lost & Found will be located under the Camp Pavilion. Items lost in the main facility (pool area, locker room) may be taken to the Lost & Found behind the Welcome Center.
(Warminster) The Lost & Found will be stored inside. Please ask a staff member to retrieve a lost item.
Please note: Items remaining after week 3 (from weeks 1 and 2), 6 (from weeks 3, 4 and 5) and 11 (from weeks 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) will be donated to a local shelter.
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 camp site, we will relocate campers into one of our indoor locations. These locations will be communicated to all camp parents as quickly as possible.
DO THE CITs WORK AT THE Y?
No. Participants in our Counselor in Training programs are campers. 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.
WHAT AND WHEN ARE FAMILY NIGHTS?
Family nights is a wonderful opportunity for campers to show their families what they have been doing at camp and provide the opportunity for families to participate in a variety of activities together.
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 in the camp Pavilion.
CAN MY CHILD TAKE A PRIVATE SWIM LESSON DURING THE DAY?
Doylestown: Yes! Private swim lessons can be arranged through our Aquatics department. Once scheduled, you will add “YMCA swim instructor” to the list of persons allowed to pick-up your child. The swim instructor will pick-up and return your child from/to the camp group. You can schedule lessons with our aquatics department.Warminster: As our pool is not on site, private swim lessons are not available during our Warminster camp day.
HOW DO THE FIELD TRIPS WORK IN WARMINSTER?
Field Trips are a separate registration from Adventure Camp. Your child must be registered for a full day (at least 9AM-4PM) of camp on the same Wednesday of the desired trip. Camp trips must be paid in full at the time of registration. No changes or cancellations can be made to trip registrations. Campers that do not attend the trips will still participate in the same fun activities as on non-trip days. Trip registration must be completed at least one week in advance.
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:
- Incident One: Counselor will verbally share the incident with parent/guardian
- Incident Two: Counselor will verbally and in writing share the incident with the parent/guardian
- 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
- 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.
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.