Summer Camp: Frequently Asked Questions
Once your camper is registered, download the 2018 Important Information Packet for the most up-to-date Pecometh camper details!
Can we schedule a tour to see camp before we sign up?
The best way to see camp for the first time is at Pecometh Day, our annual Open House and free community event. This year it is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, 2019 (11am – 3pm). In addition to being a fun day for the family, staff will be on hand to lead hayride tours and answer any questions you may have!
We are also able to schedule individual tours as needed. Please contact us in advance to ensure that a staff person will be available for a tour. We also ask that all visitors check in at the office upon arrival on site, as we are a year-round facility and security is a priority!
We suggest, however, that you register for camp before touring to ensure that your child has a spot. If you come to Open House and determine camp isn’t what you were looking for, we’ll return your deposit.
Who will my child be spending her/his day with?
Campers spend their day in “family groups” which are typically comprised of a girls’ cabin and a boys’ cabin, with at least one counselor of each gender assigned to each cabin. Service staff such as lifeguards and activity instructors are also present at most activities.
Family groups move through daily activities such as canteen, Bible study, pool, arts & crafts, etc. as a unit. Most evening activities are “all-camp” activities such as counselor hunt, campfire, or international spotlight. Family Groups stay together during these activities, but are typically part of the larger group.
Who are your summer staff? How are they trained and are they background checked?
Our summer camp staff is comprised of individuals excited about working with youth in an outdoor Christian community setting. Many summer staffers attended and loved Camp Pecometh in their youth, and can't wait to come back to "pay it forward!" Some are international staff choosing to spend their summer working with youth to experience American culture. Many come from a work or volunteer background including children or are going to school to become a teacher or another type of youth professional!
All staff must be at least 18 years of age, have graduated from high school, or be rising high school seniors who have been invited to apply a year early after completing our Staff-in-Training program.
All staff are required to submit a Livescan fingerprint FBI background check for criminal activity, a clearance request from Maryland Child Protective Services for child abuse and neglect, and a Voluntary Disclosure Statement for additional screening.
All staff attend a minimum of a full week of staff training prior to camper arrival, in addition to specialized training to certify lifeguards, challenge course staff, archery instructors, and waterfront staff. During this time, all staff are trained in Pecometh's Safe Sanctuaries policies for the protection of all campers, staff, and volunteers. Staff also receive training on child development, camp safety and emergency preparedness, behavior management, homesickness, engaging games, and much more.
You can meet our year-round staff, including the Camp Programs Coordinator and summer camp Program Assistant, on our Staff Directory page.
Can my child call home or email while at camp?
We are an unplugged camp, meaning campers leave their cell phones and electronics at home. This allows them to experience God’s Creation first-hand and unfiltered, to communicate face-to-face and to practice the traditional summer camp art of letter writing!
Camper parents can communicate with their camper via email or regular mail, both of which are delivered to campers daily. Campers are unable to send emails or make/receive phone calls during their week of camp – they’re too busy building friendships and independence! However, time for writing a postcard or letter is provided each day.
Camper parents also have access to an online photo gallery of pictures of the kids at camp for that week. Our dedicated photographer works hard to get as many pictures of as many campers as possible so that family and friends can get a sneak peek at the fun their camper is having at camp!
Will camp contact me in the event of an emergency?
Yes, we will contact you if…
- Your camper is ill, with a fever over 100 degrees.
- Your camper reports to the camp nurse two times for the same complaint, including homesickness.
- Your camper needs medical care beyond what the camp nurse can provide, i.e. has to be taken to the camp doctor or the hospital.
- Your camper is unable to function within the Camp Pecometh guidelines for living or unable to meet the essential camper functions.
Does my camper need to attend with a friend?
Most campers come to camp by themselves and quickly make new friends - it's one of the best parts about camp! However, some campers like to come with a friend, and that's great too! Check out our Thrifty-Fifty discount if your camper is new to Pecometh and was recommended by a friend who has already been to camp.
Can my camper stay with her/his friend?
Most campers automatically stay in the same cabin as long as they are registered for the same program and are the same gender. Since Riverside, Mini Camp, and Summer Respite are multi-cabin programs, campers in these programs may request to be placed in the same cabin with a same-gender friend during the registration process.
In an effort to help facilitate the friend-making process, cabinmate requests must be mutual. We can therefore only honor and guarantee one cabinmate request per camper.
When does camp fill up?
Our most popular programs can fill up very quickly, often within a couple months of when the brochure is available, so the earlier you get your registration in, the better. Our higher capacity programs, such as Riverside, may have openings into the summer. Don’t think you’ve waited too long for your children to have a great time at Camp Pecometh. Call us and we’ll do everything possible to find them a spot.
What should I know about the Health Forms?
A doctor's signature IS REQUIRED for campers who will be taking medication (prescribed or OTC) while at camp. The Medication Addendum must be signed by a physician in order for medications to be dispensed.
- A doctor's signature is NOT required for a standard health form. The health form must be completed in order for campers to check in.
Vaccination information IS required.
- Medical information is collected online during or after the online registration process. Paper registrations may complete a paper health form.
The American Camp Association (ACA), our accrediting body, requires us to obtain new health information and waivers every calendar year. However, once you've submitted a health form, it is good for the entire calendar year. If your camper returns for another program in the same year, you don't need to complete a new health form - we'll already have it on file. You may and should update your camper's health information online at any time if information changes.
My camper will need dietary accommodations, or may need accommodations to successfully meet the essential camper functions described below. What's my next step?
The health form asks for information about your camper to help them have a great week at camp, including dietary and behavioral accommodations. If your camper will need these accommodations, we ask that you contact us at least 2 weeks before your child's week at camp to help us prepare for your camper's arrival. Complete the Camper Dietary and Behavioral Accommodations Form or contact the Camp Programs Coordinator:
email@example.com or 410-556-6900 x103
What are the "essential functions" for youth campers?
In addition to meeting the grade completed requirement for each program, youth campers in our traditional day and overnight programs must be able to meet the essential functions of campers as age-appropriate. With or without reasonable accommodation, campers must be able to:
- walk up to 3 miles per day on grass, sand, gravel, and/or asphalt.
- carry a small backpack with essentials for activities.
- communicate their needs to others.
- manage their own personal hygiene independently (including use of bathroom, changing clothes, and showering) or with minimal counselor assistance (including brushing teeth and hair care).
- sleep in bunk-style housing with toilets in a separate building and without air-conditioning (for campers staying in cabins).
- willingly follow simple and complex directions.
- self-moderate emotions in a community based environment with a supervision ratio ranging from 1:6 to 1:10 depending on camper age and program.
- function independently in a fast-paced interactive environment.
- refrain from harming self and others.
Our programs are typically not designed to accommodate campers requiring reduced ratio care, but we are happy to discuss reasonable accommodations and to recommend other programs that could provide a more successful experience for your camper! Please contact the Camp Programs Coordinator to discuss if our program is the right fit for your camper.
What are the minimum requirements for Respite campers?
In addition to being at least 16 years of age, campers in our Summer and Fall Respite programs must meet the essential functions of a respite camper. Respite campers must be:
- toilet trained.
- able to dress and undress self.
- able to feed self.
- able to take care of personal hygiene needs with minimal caretaker assistance (including showering, brushing teeth, shaving, hair care, etc.).
- able to move around without use of crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs and with minimal caretaker assistance.
- not afraid to be away from home.
- able and willing to follow simple directions.
- able to live and function in a group situation (1:3 care ratio).
- able to refrain from harming self and others.
Our program is not designed to accommodate Respite campers requiring 1:1 care, use of a wheelchair, or diapering. Please contact the Camp Programs Coordinator to discuss if our program is the right fit for your camper.
What are the “Camp Pecometh guidelines for living”?
Our goal is to provide a safe, inclusive, affirming and positive environment that models Christian community for all campers. To this end, we ask that campers follow our Full Value Commitment to physical and emotional safety; 100% effort; honest and appropriate communication; and respect for others and our environment.
We ask that campers refrain from profane language; abusive behavior; destruction of or damage to camp property or the property of other campers; and use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal substances. We do not tolerate bullying or harassment of or by campers or staff for any reason.
If a camper is unable to function within these guidelines, our staff will take actions in the best interest of the campers and the program. Campers will be held responsible for their actions and/or any damage to property of camp or others. Again, if your camper requires special behavioral accommodation, please advise us of those needs prior to arrival at camp.
When are the program check-in and pick-up times?
Week-long Overnight Camps:
Check-in on Sundays from 2 - 4 pm, Pick-up on Fridays at 2 pm
Session A: Check-in Sunday from 2 - 4 pm, Pick-up on Tuesday at 1:30 - 2 pm
Sessions B & C: Check in Tuesday from 3:30 - 4 pm, Pick-up on Friday at 2 pm
Check-in Monday through Friday from 8 - 9 am (Early Care 7 - 8 am)
Pick-up Monday through Friday from 4 - 5 pm (After Care Monday through Thursday from 5 - 6 pm)
***Please note: Day Campers must be picked up by 3:00 pm on the last Friday of camp (August 9, 2019).
Early Care is only available for day camp; check-in will not be available for other programs until the times listed above. Late arrivals must be authorized in advance. Please be aware that the office is closed on weekends and telephone messages may not be received.
If you have a last minute change, call Megan Sweeney at 410-556-6900 x103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What does my camper need to bring to camp?
Once your camper is registered, you will receive an email with a detailed packing list. The packing list can also be found on our Forms, Photos, & Camper Mail page. Needs vary by program, but most campers will require clothes appropriate for the weather and outdoor activity, a swimsuit, sneakers, water shoes, bedding, towels, toiletries, a flashlight and a raincoat or poncho.
What are my payment options?
Now, when you register online you automatically create an account that you can access at any time to make payments with a credit card or echeck (paying directly from your bank account). That puts you in control of when and how you pay for camp.
We also accept cash, checks, and money orders. Regardless of your payment method, you can choose to pay all at one time or make monthly installments. Camper balances are due by June 1.
Need more time to pay? Contact us and our Registrar can adjust your balance payoff date to better suit your needs.
How will I know if I get the program I choose when I register online?
You will not be able to register online for a program that is no longer available. All registrations require a $50 deposit, which you can pay by credit card or debit card. If you mail your registration, we will mail you a confirmation that indicates which program choice your child received.
Will I receive a confirmation if I register online?
Yes, we will send a confirmation to the email address that you provided when registering. It includes links to our website so that you can download and print the necessary instructions and forms. You will not receive a confirmation in the mail, as that helps us keep our costs down (and saves a few trees in the process!).
What are the benefits of registering online?
Most importantly, you will find out immediately if your child receives his/her first choice. Online registration still gives you the option of paying by credit card, as well as paying only a modest deposit at the time of registration and paying the balance due when camp nears.