Frequently Asked Questions
We hope to use this opportunity to alleviate some of the anxieties that may exist as you prepare to send your son to overnight camp for the first time. This can be an exciting but also somewhat stressful time for parents and campers. The decision to place your son in someone else’s care is, for many parents, one of the most difficult choices you can make in their young age. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
When asked whether a child is ready for camp or not, we like to ask the parents whether he can spend the night away at a friend’s house without wanting to come home at midnight. It is important that they do spend the night away from home a few times successfully before attending an overnight camp.
First-time parents may ask, “Do you have a one-week session to start with?” While a one-week experience sounds like the correct answer, we have found that most of these sessions do not allow enough time for adjustment. Many one-week sessions are just five days (check the dates), and parents are there the first and last day, leaving just three to four days away. We feel that two weeks is a healthy amount of time that enables boys to adjust to camp life, meet and develop friendships, and learn some skills in the activities. The best decision will be one upon which both you and your son can agree.
Frequently, we speak with parents who are hesitant to send their son away to camp while their son is raring to go. If he is that excited about it, we recommend you take the opportunity to support his excitement for such an experience and realize that as a parent, sometimes we have to let go. As parents ourselves, we have also had to work through the growing process. We have also seen the campers here grow so much in their self-esteem and confidence year after year. Numerous parents tell us every session that they are picking up a different child and can’t believe how grown up he is. Camp can be such a wonderful experience! Parents! Please call us if you need to talk through the process.
First and foremost, it is important to know that some degree of homesickness occurs in nearly everyone who is leaving someplace familiar and trying someplace new and exciting. We encourage our boys to stay busy and have their counselor explain to them that it is a natural part of growing up. Be sure to let your counselor know if you are feeling homesick so he can help. As a parent, be sure to involve your son in the process along the way. Take some opportunities to spend the night away from home, have him help pack. Even re-watching the camp video or looking at pictures will help along the way. Parents, we realize you may feel some of this along the way. Please give us a call or drop us a line. We are happy to let you know how your son is doing.
- Check out this article by a former High Rocks Director, Henry Birdsong. Homesickness
- Coping With Homesickness -American Camp Association
- Homesick and Happy -How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow by bestselling author, Michael Thompson, Ph.D
- If you want to go really deep, check out this clinical report on Preventing and Treating Homesickness published by the American Academy of Pediatrics
Many of the campers come to camp and do not know anyone else attending. Some boys come to camp and have a friend they wish to share a cabin with. Enrollment may be strong from certain cities so we are careful to limit the number of boys we accept from any city or from any grade in that city. We try to have a geographic diversity and are able to have children from the Northeast states to Texas and all states in between. We will put no more than two boys in a cabin together from a city, and care is taken to mix returning campers and new campers when arranging cabin groups.
There are a number of companies that offer “camp insurance” in the event you need to cancel for an unexpected reason. Most of the time this is referred to “trip insurance.” In order to be protected, you typically need to sign up for that 60-90 days before camp begins. You can find a number of different companies online or ask your insurance agent. One the more reasonable companies is called TravMark. They seem to have acceptable terms and decent rates. High Rocks has no affiliation with this company and receives no commission for the sale of this product. Here is the actual benefits statement certificate as of 2020.
The camp fee is all-inclusive. There is no additional fee for crafts supplies, riding lessons, regular transportation (during camp or on opening and closing days), laundry, or special events.
Laundry is sent to a laundry service once a week and delivered back to camp.
Campers are welcome to bring their own mountain bikes and other equipment, however, we encourage them to use the camp equipment as to limit wear and tear on their own. In mountain biking, we maintain a high-end fleet of Jamis bikes that are either brand new each year or have only been used for a couple of seasons. Again, if your son wishes to bring his own bike or equipment, we will inspect it to be sure it is safe and fits properly. Larger equipment will be kept in the activity area. We do not recommend bringing highly expensive fishing poles and the like because of the possibility of damage.
Camp offers an opportunity for campers to experience day to day living free of electronic stimuli. Campers should not bring any electronics such as iPods, MP3 players, electronic readers, laptops, electronic games, televisions, video players, video recorders. digital cameras, cell phones, smartphones or any other wireless devices. Camp will provide opportunities for listening to music during the day at appropriate times with camp equipment.
Each cabin has 5 to 7 boys. Most of the cabins have 6 campers. Each cabin has its own bathroom and shower.
The simple answer is yes, he will not get “closed” out of an activity he wishes to sign up to do. As part of our program, we do ask campers to sign up for five different activities. The first day of camp, campers spend the afternoon going over the rules, opportunities, and general program outline of each activity offered for instruction. Later that evening, campers select their activities of instruction and set their schedules for the rest of the session. While campers may switch activities if they find one of their choices to be not what they expected or not to their liking, we generally try to avoid this by providing the boys with as much information as possible as well as ample opportunities to ask questions the first day so that they may make a well-educated series of decisions.
High standards of health and safety are set and maintained. We have two resident Registered Nurses on duty at the camp health center with typically an additional RN during the day. Our on-call physician is in nearby Brevard (eight miles), with a well-equipped clinic and hospital. Dental and medical specialists are also available to us in nearby Asheville, North Carolina.
3 campers to 1 staff member.
Parents are welcome to call the camp office and speak with the Directors or head counselors about their son. We also have daily updates on the website with pictures and a brief synopsis of what is happening at camp that day. You will also receive a letter from the director in the first few days of camp and a summary letter from the counselor of your son’s experience at the end of the session. Again we welcome phone calls to check on your son but campers are not allowed to make or receive phone calls themselves except for extenuating circumstances.