Frequently Asked Questions By Camp Pembroke Parents
How will I know if my child is ready to go to camp?
Each child is different when it comes to being “ready” for camp. Our youngest campers are entering third grade in the fall after their first summer at camp. Indications of camper readiness include: Is she looking forward to camp? Are they successful at sleepovers with their friends? The Director would be happy to speak with you about these and other issues to make the best decision for your daughter and you.
How are campers assigned to bunks?
Campers are placed in their bunks based on the grade they are entering in the upcoming school year. Campers fill out a Bunk Request Form listing campers that they wish to be placed with. We make every effort to honor at least one such request per camper.
How many counselors are in a bunk?
Each bunk has between two and four counselors living in the cabin depending on the number of campers assigned to a bunk and the age of those campers. Our camper/counselor ratios meet or exceed The American Camp Association and Commonwealth of Massachusetts standards.
My child plays a musical instrument. Will she get to practice it at camp and perform?
We encourage your child to bring her musical instrument to camp to practice and to perform during one of our camp talent shows or during one of our Shabbat services.
Does my child have the opportunity to join teams and participate in a competitive environment?
In addition to the annual Color War competition, campers can try out for inter-camp competition teams in Volleyball, Newcomb, Softball, Basketball, Swimming, Tennis, and Water Sports. For our youngest unit, we attempt to have all of the campers play on the teams for which they try out. We always try to include as many campers as possible on our teams.
Does my child get to travel out of camp for trips?
Yes, each session all campers will be treated to one day trip and one evening trip. Some trips are for the entire camp, while others may be organized by unit. In recent seasons, trips have included water parks, bowling, baseball games and theater productions. New creative trips as well as favorite traditional ones are planned for each summer. Other special trips may be arranged for children who have participated in a special elective or who compete on one of our sports teams. Our 8th, 9th, 10th grade campers have the opportunity to go on special overnight trips with their age group.
Is there a different schedule on Shabbat?
Our campers look forward to the weekly celebration of Shabbat. On Friday afternoon, campers have two periods rather than the normal three. The final period is used to prepare camp and our campers for Shabbat. The entire camp community participates in Friday night services and then enjoys a very special and traditional Shabbat meal. After dinner, our camp celebrates Shabbat with Jewish songs and Israeli dancing. On Saturday our campers wake up late and gather for Shabbat services after breakfast. A Kiddush follows services and precedes lunch. Shabbat afternoon is highlighted by special activities when either the entire camp or bunks participate in outdoor and indoor activities, often with Judaic content. After dinner, Shabbat concludes with a very beautiful and meaningful Havdalah ceremony in which the entire camp community participates.
My child will be a Bat Mitzvah this fall. Is there an opportunity for supervised practice?
We offer supervised Bat Mitzvah practice for children becoming a Bat Mitzvah in the Fall following camp. To set up supervised practice sessions, call the Cohen Camps office prior to camp to request a Bar Mitzvah Practice Form or download a form from the Forms page. Call the Director for further details.
Tell me about the food.
We maintain a Kosher kitchen operated by a number of professional chefs. Our carefully prepared menus are “kid-friendly” and vary. There is always something healthy and delicious to eat.
Breakfast always includes cold cereal and an entrée such as pancakes, eggs, or French toast. There is also a breakfast bar that includes an assortment of hot cereals and yogurt. Lunch and dinner entrees include various chicken and beef dishes, and dairy meals like grilled cheese and pizza. At breakfast and dairy meals, fat free, low fat and chocolate milk, in addition to lactaid and soymilk, are available.
At lunch and dinner we have a salad bar and often a pasta bar that provides a choice for campers who are looking for an alternative to the meal’s main course. Desserts baked fresh by a professional baker are also popular at camp. If there is a meat meal, there will be a protein-based vegetarian option. Special dietary needs or restrictions can be accommodated and should be should be communicated to the Director prior to camp.
Campers are served a healthy snack in the mid-afternoon and in the evening. Additionally, fresh fruit is available all day.
Campers may also visit our canteen at scheduled times throughout the week to purchase additional snack items.
What facilities do you have for health care?
Camp Pembroke employs full-time nurses who live at camp and handle all health care issues for campers and staff throughout the summer. This includes a daily Health Call and dispensing of daily medications. We have physicians on call only a short drive away. In case of emergencies,we use South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA. Should your child spend time in the Health Center overnight or require medical attention from a physician, you will be notified.
How do we communicate with our child during the season?
Campers are required to write a letter home at least three times each week. Campers receive mail from parents, relatives and friends Sunday through Friday. You can also write emails to your children through Bunk1.com.
An important part of the camp experience is developing a sense of independence. Our experience has shown that phone calls to campers can be upsetting to the child. Please do not call camp and ask to speak with your child. Children are not allowed to initiate phone calls, even when out of camp on field trips. On camper birthdays, they are permitted a short phone call home only. Please call the camp office to schedule a convenient time. Parents can also see daily pictures and read a periodic newsletter about the camp activities on Bunk1.com.
Is the information on the Confidential Form really kept confidential?
Yes, Confidential Forms are only seen by the Camp administrative staff, who share only what is necessary and appropriate with individual counselors. We respect the confidentiality of the information shared and use the forms only to ensure that your child’s individual needs are met. Please share your requests regarding your child’s activities and any specific issues she may have on the Confidential Form. It will be a great help to us in our relationship with him or her.
What do campers wear at camp?
Campers wear comfortable, casual clothes to participate in daily activities. Our footwear policy recommends that campers wear comfortable shoes, like sneakers, or “Teva-style” sandals with straps on the ankles. Camper’s families will receive a catalog from Amerasport for a variety of clothing options. There are many garments from which to choose but each camper is only required to purchase two shirts that they will use for inter-camp activities, trip days, and camp pictures. As part of our Shabbat environment, on Friday evening and Saturday morning campers wear blue and white or all white outfits. A nice, but not elaborate, outfit should be packed for each end of session banquet.
I am excited about your camp. Do you offer tours?
We look forward to having your family visit camp this summer with your son or daughter. Please schedule a tour while camp is in session. Call the main office in Ashland, MA (508.881.1002) until June 15 to make a tour reservation or after that date call the camp office directly (781.294.8006). We do not offer tours on Shabbat.
Can I email the camp Director directly?