Whether it’s your first time at camp or you’ve been before, there’s always something you want to know. Our Summer Camp FAQ section has all the answers you need.
Where is Camp Eagle Hill located?
Eagle Hill is located 90 miles north of New York City off of the Taconic State Parkway. We are situated in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, not far from the New York/Massachusetts border. Our facility sits just one hour southeast of Albany, New York and about three and a half hours west of Boston. The area surrounding camp has many attractions, mountains and trails and a ton of fun excursions for day trips from camp.
Where do Eagle Hill campers come from?
The majority of our campers come from areas surrounding New York City. Some campers come to us from other parts of the United States and other countries. Over the past few years we have had campers from Spain, France, Korea, Mexico, Japan, Italy, and Israel.
What is the basic philosophy behind the Camp Eagle Hill program?
Basically, we are interested in keeping campers active doing things that are worthwhile, fun, and filled with opportunities for learning skills. We don’t like to force campers into participation. Rather, we would prefer to find creative ways to engender participation. At all times, we are interested in having every camper feel entirely comfortable at camp. Throughout the day and inbetween the tremendous number of activity choices found at Eagle Hill, there are a few periods of down time where campers can relax and enjoy simple things like flipping around a frisbee, reading a book under a tree or playing a quiet game with a camp friend back at the bunk.
Would you say Eagle Hill has a structured program?
We are structured only in the sense that we know exactly where everyone is at all times. Otherwise, we offer a relaxed atmosphere for all campers throughout each camp day. At Eagle Hill, we have a very large and varied range of activities and can easily meet the individual and unique interests of all of our campers. Our camp days contain some group activity time aimed at providing campers with skills and fun at specific activity areas. This type of programming helps to foster great relationships based on common experiences. “Options Periods” give our campers a ton of individual choices from a long list of fun activities. Our younger campers have a camp day filled with a number of individual choices whereas our older campers make individual activity choices for almost 70% of their camp day.
How is the program different for older campers?
Older campers get a few perks at Eagle Hill based on their age. Naturally, our older campers go to bed later in the evening, most times after a trip to our canteen, “The Sweet Shop” . This is done on a co-ed basis. Our older campers also eat all dinner meals on an open seating, co-ed basis. Our daily schedule for older campers sets this age group apart, allowing for many more individual choices during options periods. Older campers at Eagle Hill take day trips off camp grounds to places that are especially well suited to their age group. Finally, our older campers take either a three day or seven day trip from camp during the second half of the summer each year.
Does Eagle Hill have a CIT Program?
We offer a CIT program for campers who have just completed 10th grade. The aim of the program is to give this age group an opportunity to have a summer filled with time for working with our campers or at program areas while at the same time enjoying their own social and recreational experience. Typically, our CITs live together as a group and spend two days a week working with a specific group of campers, two days a week working at a program area of camp, two days a week enjoying a recreational program of their own, and a final day each week getting out to explore the area local to camp on a group basis. For more details, please discuss the program with our camp directorship.
Is Eagle Hill a competitive or non-competitive camp?
We are a little bit of both. For campers who are looking for some competition, we organize teams and hold practices for sports events that take place with other camps. We have a number of intercamp tournaments that any camper may participate in on an optional basis. We also have a few full camp programs that offer some element of competitiveness. For those campers simply interested in “the fun of the game”, our camp program features an athletics program geared around fun, promoting exercise, and allowing for the enjoyment of sharing in sports activity with friends at camp.
What is a typical camp group like?
Each camp group consists of approximately seven or eight campers coming out of the same grade in school. Two counselors live and work with a group this size. Typically, one of the counselors is a general counselor and spends the greater portion of his or her day caring specifically for the group. The second counselor is in most cases, a specialty counselor who lives with, has meals with, and spends certain times of the day with his or her group. The specialty counselor works at a program area during a typical camp day.
How are children grouped together?
Children are grouped together based upon the grade they have just completed. In every camp group, we try to mix campers who have been with us at camp before with some campers new to Eagle Hill. Accommodations for grouping campers together can be made for children who come to camp with friends from home or those seeking to live with friends from previous summers. Wherever possible, we attempt to build groups that have campers that share common interests. Counselors are selected for each group based upon their personal qualities, their experience and abilities to work well with individual age groups.
What is a cabin like?
All of our cabins have wood frame, modern construction and house either one large group of campers or two smaller groups of campers. Each cabin is complete with porches, full bathrooms, attic fan, carbon monoxide and smoke detector, fire extinguisher, windows and screens, and its own hot water heater. All campers live in brand new single wooden beds. In each cabin, there is ample space for the storage of clothing and camper belongings. All of our bathrooms consist of four sinks, three private showers, and three private toilet facilities.
What are camp meals like?
All meals at Eagle Hill are served cafeteria-style service with all of our campers and staff eating together at one time. Our service counters are large and allow us to serve a good variety of foods at each meal. Lunch and dinner meals offer even a few more options through the use of large salad bars. At all meals, our Food Service Director can always find a substitute for even the pickiest of eaters. We have second and third entrees available at most meals and serve a pasta substitutes at every dinner. Soup is very popular at camp and is served at most dinner meals. Groups sit together with counselors at specific tables in our Dining Room providing the supervision needed to make mealtime an enjoyable and sociable occasion three times a day.
Can Eagle Hill accommodate special diets?
Yes, we can accommodate certain dietary needs depending on the nature and scope of what’s needed. Each meal has a variety of options that should help campers who are vegetarians or those with other needs, to find alternatives at each meal. Our Food Service Director is apprised of any individual needs and can help to put provisions in place for any individual camper. For those children who need gluten free food service, our new dedicated gluten free kitchen space will meet the needs of these campers.
Are there any snacks or vending machines available to campers throughout the day and evenings?
Campers are provided with snacks at our Canteen during the evening, a number of times each week. No money is collected and our campers can each have a drink and a snack upon each visit to the Canteen. We do not have any vending machines for camper use.
Will my child need extra money and will they have the opportunity to spend money in camp?
Our campers do have money with them at camp and all campers are asked to store all money in our camp bank for safekeeping. Spending Money may be used only on trip days from camp or nights out from camp to pay for incidental purchases like snacks or souvenirs. We pay for all admissions and all activities that take place off the grounds of camp. On the grounds of camp, there is nothing that campers can buy.
How often will my child shower?
All campers shower at least one time per day. We schedule shower time each day for each age group. Some campers may find time on an optional basis, to shower, a second time in the course of a day.
How will my child communicate with me?
Our campers communicate with home in a number of ways. We have special “letter writing days” where campers must write a letter to their families. In addition, our campers receive email from friends and relatives, and in return may send email replies at your family’s option. Rather than sitting down at a computer, campers write out their replies which are then faxed to an outside company which transposes them into email for viewing. Campers may also speak with their parents on the phone. Here we ask parents to call our camp office to set up an appointment to have a child call home after dinner on a once per seven to ten day basis at the parents option. Parents may send cell phones with their children to camp. Should a camper have a cell phone at camp, we ask that all cell phones be stored in our camp office. All cell phones are provided to our campers once a week after dinner for use over a thirty minute period of time and then returned to the camp office. Mail is provided to campers each day after lunch except on Sundays. Packages to camp are accepted on behalf of our campers. By way of policy, we ask that food or snack items not be sent to camp.
Who do I call to speak with if we have a question, problem, or to notify that we are going out of town?
Our office staff is available between 7:45 am and 8:00 pm to answer any questions, set up phone appointments, take information about any trips that parents may be taking, or to take messages for a particular staff member. We have a good number of adults available to talk with regarding the progress of a child at our camp. All of these adults will know your child and will be glad to help you with any question or problem that should arise.
What if my child gets homesick?
Believe it or not, very few children at camp get truly homesick. Certainly, there are times when campers, both new campers and old timers, as well as staff members, have moments of homesickness. Most often, episodes of homesickness occur during the quiet times of the typical camp day. Where homesickness does exist, we deal with the problem on an individual basis because one child’s needs may not be quite the same as another child’s. Although there is no pat answer, we do have some tried and true remedies that may include more active involvement with activities, an attempt to create better quality connections with other campers, the possibility of switching groups, the possibility of switching staff members within groups, or amending a child’s schedule to give them a change in their program. Regardless of the particular need, we are going to do everything that we can to see that every child has the best possible opportunity to succeed at camp.
Does the camp have any religious affiliation? Are there any services at camp or is there any religion involved in any part of the program at camp?
No, Camp Eagle Hill has no religious affiliation and offers no services nor programming devoted to any religion. Our camp population is comprised of campers of varied religious backgrounds.
What communication will the camp have with parents regarding their child’s health?
Where a camper makes a routine visit to our camp Infirmary, we do not call parents. Occasionally, there is a need to have a camper stay overnight in the camp Infirmary. When this takes place two nights in a row, we like to call a camper’s parents to inform them of the condition of their child. We also call parents immediately after a camper has been seen by the local medical practice off the grounds of camp. Should a camper be taken to one of the two local hospitals for an emergency, a phone call to a child’s family is made immediately. Provisions for more extensive medical communications can easily be arranged on a more individualized basis. Any parent can let us know what communications they would like to have with us regarding their child’s medical care.
What if my child takes medication?
Medication, both prescription and non-prescription, are always stored at our camp Infirmary and always dispensed by one of our medical professionals. Where medication is taken on a regular basis throughout the camp day, it can be dispensed at meal times or at other prearranged times of the day. Where medications are to be taken on an “as needed” basis, they will be made available at any time of the day or evening at our camp Infirmary.
What if my child gets sick or injured?
We have a state of the art Infirmary building that is staffed by medical professionals 24 hours a day. Where a child becomes ill or injured, a camp counselor will escort the child to our camp Infirmary where most problems that arise can be easily managed. Where an illness or injury exists that is best cared for by a physician, we have a standing daily appointment with a local medical practice where a child can be seen. Should a prescribed medicine be called for, we can pick it up for your child locally and the medication can be dispensed from our Infirmary. There are a number of specialty medical practices in the area surrounding camp where a child can be seen in the event of a particular need. There are two hospitals within 10 miles of camp, each of which houses large emergency facilities.