Family Guide

The Mission of Birch Rock Camp for Boys

Printable Info Sheet

Birch Rock Camp is committed to the personal, athletic and character development of 7-to-16 year old boys in a non-competitive setting. We challenge campers to take responsibility for their own lives, and help them to appreciate the needs of others in emphasizing our camp motto: Help the Other Fellow. Birch Rock Camp for Boys also helps its campers and staff develop an appreciation for the natural world and our available resources.

ACADEMIC TUTORING One of the strongest benefits to the Birch Rock Community is our support & commitment to academic tutoring. Pam Stock is our special education teacher and the camp’s librarian. For those campers who need the opportunity to boost reading levels, reinforce basic math skills or refine proofreading and writing skills, Pam would be happy to design a structured program with you and your son. Tutoring is available for an additional charge and may be arranged directly with Pam @ (207) 461-5781 or email her at ptsteach@gmail.com.

ACTIVITIES
Field: The following activities are for all ages: Archery, Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer and Tennis. The Mountain Biking activity is for the three oldest age groups (ages 11 and up)

Waterfront: The following activities are for all ages: Canoeing, Kayaking, and Sailing. Row Boating is for the three oldest age groups (ages 11 and up). Windsurfing is for the oldest group (14 & 15 year olds).

Arts: Art, Woodshop, Music and Library are offered to all ages.

Outdoor Skills: Campcraft and Nature are open to all age groups. Campcraft has age and stage policies for skills like cooking and axe rights. Riflery is offered to the two oldest age groups (12 or 13 and up). For the older group of the two youngest groups, we offer BB Guns (ages 10 to 12)

Swimming: American Red Cross Instructional Swimming is required daily for all campers.

Please contact the camp with any questions regarding any of these activities. If there are any activities here you do not want your son to participate in, please mark them down on the permissions page online.

AIR TRAVEL Birch Rock is located 50 miles northwest of Portland’s International Jetport (PWM). Major carriers include AIR CANADA, US AIRWAYS, UNITED, DELTA, JETBLUE, AIRTRAN and CONTINENTAL. Arrangements to pickup campers may be made in advance with the Camp Director. There is a $50 fee to and/or from camp for airport transportation. ($100 round-trip). Please let the Camp Director know if your son will be arriving via Air. A special form with regard to flight transportation is included in this packet or can be found online at our website. All air travel arrangements must be made and purchased by the family. Upon arrival in Portland, please have your son(s) look for the camp representative with the BRC logo on his shirt. Birch Rock will let you know who will be the camp representative meeting and greeting your camper in advance.

If travel plans change: If upon arrival at the pick up or drop off point you cannot locate a BRC representative call camp immediately at 207-583-4478. Also, in the event that your child’s travel plans have changed please inform the camp by calling the director at 207-583-4478. In the event a BRC representative would have to be late in picking up your child the parent would receive a phone call informing of this delay. The camp would also inform the airport/bus/train station of this delay in order to make appropriate contact with the camper. Please review the following safety procedures with your camper prior to being picked up by a BRC representative.

Always wear a seat belt! If there is no seatbelt it is NOT a seat.
Please remain seated while the vehicle is in motion.
Be sure not distract the van driver
In the event of an emergency all campers must follow the directions of the staff member in charge.
A staff member will always open and close all doors to the vehicle. Do not load or unload the vehicle without a staff member’s permission.
TSA’s website www.TSATravelTips.us contains helpful information to assist travelers in preparing for the security screening process. This website includes a complete list of prohibited and permitted items. Traveler and consumer information may also be accessed via the TSA’s public website @ www.tsa.gov.

AUTO ARRIVAL Birch Rock encourages families to arrive with their camper(s) between 10am – 12 noon on his respective arrival date. Directions to the camp will be located on our website: www.birchrock.org. We cordially invite you to tour the campus with a veteran Birch Rocker and join us for our opening Luncheon Buffet @ 12:30PM. All BRC staff personnel will be on hand to meet, greet and help your son(s) get settled for the camp season. If you need to arrive at a different time, please contact the camp.

AUTO DEPARTURE Campers are expected to leave camp on their respective departure date. Pick up time is between 10am – 12 noon. The BRC Staff will be standing by to say good-bye with luggage and awards in hand. Please check-out with the Camp Directors in the office prior to departure. All Birch Rock Boys leave camp with a clean trunk of clothes as long as they give their dirty clothes to their respective counselor in time!

AWARDS & RECOGNITION We feel strongly that positive cues and recognition are the cornerstone of a quality camp experience. Each day the BRC Community “Shares Success” and acknowledges both individual and group achievement. Additionally, activity charts in the main lodge record each camper’s progress in a specific skill, program and contribution to the community as a whole. At the end of each session, each camper will receive special recognition at our Award’s Ceremony with badges for his personal Birch Rock Banner!

BAGGAGE & SHIPPING We strongly recommend a footlocker/trunk for each camper. The footlocker is easily stored at the end of each camper’s bunk. Please be sure to mark your camper’s name on the trunk. If you are shipping footlockers/trunks to camp please do so by United Parcel Services or Federal Express..

The camp physical address for delivery by UPS & FEDEX:

Birch Rock Camp
293 McWain Hill Rd
Waterford, ME 04088 USA

If you would like us to ship your son’s trunk home at the end of the season, please provide us with the correct shipping address. We will bill you directly for the shipping and handling charges. All trunks must have a padlock in order to be shipped. Footlockers can be purchased from C&N Footlockers (800-535-2057).

BEDDING AND TOWELS Each camper is responsible for bringing his own TWIN sheets, blankets, pillow and towels to camp. Beds and mattresses are provided. Pillows are not provided. We can provide bedding and pillows for campers coming to camp from overseas.

BILLING AND PAYMENT Birch Rock is a nonprofit 501©3 corporation. Our camp program is not sustainable on seasonal tuition revenues exclusively. We appreciate and request that tuition payments for the season are paid in full by May 1st. Payments received after May 15 may incur an interest charge and/or forfeit the camper’s reservation minus the non-refundable deposit for the season. Prospects on the waiting list will receive notification of an opening for the season in May. There are no refunds on tuition for early withdrawal and/or dismissal.

CAMPER ARRIVAL
All campers will be checked in on Opening Day, once with the Head Counselor/Director, once in the office and once with the nurse. If the camp has a camper who does not arrive at the expected time for Opening Day, the camp office will immediately make calls to the parents or guardians to track down the missing camper.
CAMPER RELEASE All campers will be released solely to their parent or guardian unless the camp receives written notification from the parent/guardian that someone else will be picking them up. In which case, the individual picking up the camper must show a picture ID at the time of pick-up.

CAMP STORE Birch Rock maintains an inventory of sundries & toiletries for the campers. Some of the items include: film, hygiene supplies, postage, batteries, bug spray, sunscreen, water bottles, and other small items that a camper may need for the summer may be purchased after lunch. Special services rendered, medicines, and sundries purchased through camp will be charged to the camper’s incidental account.

CANDY Please do not send any candy to the camp! Any candy discovered will be discarded by the office unless it is appropriate for an all camp community treat. We strongly believe candy treats can cause more harm than good. We appreciate community treats and would be happy to discuss options with you.
See TREATS.

COMMUNICATION – Mail, Telephone, Fax, Visitation & Evaluations
Campers love to get mail at camp!!! All forms of written contact are encouraged ESPECIALLY cards, letters……….etc.

E-mail: Messages and correspondence to the camp via electronic mail are accepted. However, campers do not have access to computers; and therefore, cannot reply electronically. We encourage letter writing as the primary means of communication. The camp e-mail address: birchrock@birchrock.org

Mail : Letters and cards to your children are very positive and personal. All mail is delivered to our campers on a daily basis except for Sunday. Letters home are required to be written by each camper on Sunday. We encourage letter writing and reading during daily rest periods. Additionally, the camp provides stamps for outgoing mail. This postage will be charged to the camper’s incidental account. The camp mailing address for letters:

Birch Rock Camp
PO Box 148
Waterford, ME 04088 USA

Telephone: Birch Rock’s business line is (207) 583-4478. The camp does not allow campers to use the phone unless special circumstances dictate that it would be appropriate – i.e. birthday or family emergency. If a situation warrants a conversation with your child via the phone, please contact the Director and an arrangement may be made at a designated time. If families need to notify the camp about specific family situations and/or prolonged absences from their home, please contact the camp during the day. Cell phones are not permitted at camp (nor do they work in our region).

Fax: Birch Rock’s dedicated fax number is (207) 583-4466. You may direct correspondence via fax; however, there is a $2.00 charge per page for a domestic fax; $4.00 per page for an international fax.. Campers will not be permitted to send facsimiles unless parents authorize this method of communication. This has been the best way to send letters home for International Families.

Evaluations: Each Birch Rock Camper will receive an evaluation from his cabin counselor with a message from the Camp Director at the end of the season. Additionally, the camp will provide an opportunity for each camper and his family to evaluate their summer experience at BRC. Please feel free to contact the Camp Director throughout the summer if you would like some immediate feedback.

CLOTHING/UNIFORMS A packing list is enclosed for your review by Maine Camp Outfitters. Although there are many hot, sunny days in the summer, there are also cool, windy nights. We strongly recommend that each camper comes to BRC with enough warm clothes to be comfortable for the wonderful temperate climate of the Maine woods.

Birch Rock does have a uniform required (BRC maroon T-shirt & khaki shorts) on Saturdays & Sundays, day trips outside of camp and special occasions at camp. A BRC T-shirt is mandatory at dinner each night and off-campus during the summer. We believe dressing for our camp community family-style dinner provides a refreshed and collegial respite from the action-packed events of the day.

The BRC maroon or ash (optional) T-shirts with the camp logo may be purchased from Maine Camp Outfitters www.maine-camps.com (see enclosed catalog). Although we do not specify or supply a specific carrier for khaki shorts, we like L.L. Bean’s www.llbean.com in Freeport, Maine. The BRC Order Form for T-shirts, baseball hats, and camp sweat shirts is enclosed.

Our daily dress code is casual and practical. No cut-off shorts, torn jeans or pierced earrings/rings or body jewelry are permitted. We strongly recommend waterproof hiking boots and rain wear for trips, day adventures and rainy days.

DAILY PROGRAM. The Program Director and camp staff carefully plan and orchestrate an action-packed, quality program of activities each day for each age group. Each camper is assigned to a specific group – i.e. Grizzlies, Moose, Beavers, Cubs – and given a variety of choices from which to select his activities for the day. There are at least 4 activity periods a day, and the choices may include: archery, baseball, basketball, boating, campcraft, canoeing, lacrosse, soccer, sailing, windsurfing, tennis to name a few. American Red Cross Instructional Swimming is mandatory for all campers. On rainy days, a modified daily schedule is followed with a variety of special choices included by the counselors such as: art, music, games, adventure, storytelling, nature, woodshop, nature, shuffleboard, first aid and safety and silent reading.

DIRECTIONS Directions to our campus can be found on our website: www.birchrock.org under the “Driving Directions” link. Please contact us if you have trouble with navigation of our site.

DRUGS & ALCOHOL & WEAPONS The use, consumption or possession of drugs, alcohol & weapons will automatically result in immediate dismissal from the camp community. (Knives for Campcraft are permitted per approval of parent and the Campcraft specialists on staff). There is no tuition refund for dismissal.

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION In the event of an unfortunate family emergency, please contact the Camp Director. If you will be away from the numbers you have designated for contact, please let the camp know of your plans and itinerary.

The parent/guardian of any camper requiring serious medical attention or hospital care, will be contacted by the Camp.

HEALTH INFORMATION & SERVICES Your son’s health and safety are our first and foremost concern! Birch Rock has received an A-1 rating from the state of Maine on health & safety. The camp has a Registered Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Ms Cathy Roland, and a few Wilderness First Responders on our senior staff. Birch Rock also has a physician on call from Stephen’s Memorial Hospital in Norway, Maine just 15 minutes away.

Please take the time to fill out the online medical form completely. The camp follows the ACA American Camping Association’s practices of health and safety. All campers and staff must file with the Camp Nurse the Health History Form (online) and the Examination Form (found online), completed within six months prior to camp attendance. These forms, attesting to a health examination within two years, and signed by a Licensed Health Care Professional must be received at camp two weeks in advance of the camper’s arrival. All medical records are confidential.

Any special medications or dietary needs should be discussed with the Camp Nurse and Camp Cook. Please note any special needs on the camp questionnaire. Our Camp Nurse will review any medication management needs with the camper and his parents or guardians on Opening Day.

Medical and insurance coverage must be provided by each camper’s family. Please be sure to send a copy of the camper’s insurance carrier card attached to his medical form. If medical insurance is not carried by the camper’s family, please give the camp a Visa or MasterCard # from which medical expenses may be charged in the event of necessary medical care.

If for any reason a child is hospitalized overnight or retained for observation by the Hospital, a signed release will be required before the child can return to the camp program. Legal guardians will be informed by the Camp.

The Camp Nurse will conduct a mandatory health screening for campers and staff upon their respective arrival to the camp. Additionally, the Camp Nurse will conduct a campus “weigh-in” and “check-in” with each camper on Sundays and pre and post any wilderness trips. A final medical screening will be documented upon check-out for the season.

INCIDENTAL ACCOUNT The camper’s individual incidental account covers expenses for sundries, special camp excursions and articles purchased from the camp store. A bill will be issued for charges incurred over $100 per session at the end of your camper’s season ($200 for full season). If there are any restrictions on spending, please let the office know in advance.

INTERNET/LETTERS/CALLS – SOCIALIZING. At BRC, we share a year-round commitment to our campers’ healthy development. We work diligently, in our hiring practices, training programs, and communication policies, to educate, protect, and nurture our camper clients. We recognize that our staff and campers are entitled to a private life outside the boundaries of the camp community during the off-season. Our hope is that through education and understanding that our internet/communication use policy is consistent with the values expressed above and that correspondence between parties remains appropriate and forthright.

While we encourage communication within our community in the off-season and educate our staff during orientation week, camps and families can work together to teach responsible use of the Internet year-round. This will protect all parties. If you witness any inappropriate communication to/from a fellow Birch Rocker, please inform the Camp Director.

LAUNDRY SERVICE Each camper changes his clothes daily and bed sheets weekly. Birch Rock sends laundry out on Saturday to the local Laundromat and it is returned to the campers after breakfast on Sunday morning. Please mark all the camper’s belongings especially the laundry bag. (A laundry pen works best)! Laundry is included in the overall tuition cost.

LIBRARY Birch Rock is very proud to have a quality library and a librarian, Ms Pamela Stock for its campers. This is a long-standing tradition of the camp that was started by Mrs Brewster, Co Founder of the camp. The camp encourages reading for pleasure and also has a quality selection of books & games from which to choose. If your son has a reading list for school, please inform the librarian and his counselor.

LOST & FOUND The camp is not responsible for clothing, equipment and other personal items that are left behind or misplaced. We ask that campers take responsibility for their personal belongings and keep a personal inventory. Please mark your personal belongings prior to arrival. BIRCH ROCK DOES NOT SHIP ANY ITEMS LEFT BEHIND POST THE CAMPER’S DEPARTURE.

MONEY, WATCHES,RADIOS, I PODS, I PADS, KINDLES, CELL PHONES, LAPTOPS & GAMEBOYS. There is no need for our campers to have money or any type of valuables including: watches, radios, laptops and any type of electronic device………etc. (These items will be relinquished to the camp upon arrival). We are located in the beautiful foothills of the White Mountains and hear the cry of loons from dusk to dawn. The daily schedule is reviewed each morning with the camp community with a bell identifying the passage of time. We request all electronic devices remain at home. Each cabin counselor has a music device for his cabin, which is used at his discretion. Please leave all electronics at home!

NUTRITION The Head Cook takes great pride and care in the quality and quantity of food each camper receives daily. Meals are carefully planned with strong emphasis on variety and overall nutritional value. Most meals are served family style at the camp in order to place emphasis on table discussion and appropriate table manners. If there are any dietary restrictions, please let our cook know.

PLACES TO STAY There are many wonderful places to stay in the local Oxford Hills Region. Some of our favorites include:

Bear Mountain Inn
Route 37 – Waterford Road
Waterford, Maine 04088
(207) 583-4404

Waterford Inn
Chadbourne Rd
Waterford, Maine 04088
(207) 583-4037

Harrison House
Rt 35 & 117
Harrison, Maine 04040
(207) 583-6564

TRIP/WILDERNESS PROGRAM The camp provides a challenging and quality camp program both on campus and in the woods of Maine and NH. BRC’s certified Trip Staff consider the value of outdoor trip/wilderness adventure one of the hallmarks of each camper’s summer experience. Trips – hiking, canoe, kayaking, biking – are all carefully designed and implemented. Each camper is required to take part in one or two overnight adventures. Trips are designed for campers by specific age and ability levels. There is no additional charge for programmed wilderness trips during the camping season.

Birch Rock does have a specialized and extended Trip Program designed for boys ages 14 –16 in addition to our boys’ camp program. Please feel free to contact the camp for more information on our Maine Wilderness Adventure Program.

TREATS Birch Rock feels strongly that our campers and staff be well-fed and nourished with a proper diet and hearty meals. We would appreciate your cooperation with this and ask that you not send candy/snacks to your son. Special treats like candy and soda are given to the community for special occasions – i.e. birthday, movie night, special event – and at the discretion of the Camp Directors. If you would like to send a special treat for your son, we ask that you send a treat or a contribution designated for the entire community. All treats will be stored in the camp office in order to ensure distribution. Please call the Camp Directors if you would like a special camp treat arranged on your son’s behalf. A great treat is your camper’s favorite ice cream!

TRUNKS We recommend footlockers that can be positioned at the foot of the camper’s bunk. We recommend C&N Footlockers(brochure) or Maine Outfitters(catalog). C&N Footlockers now offers our logo on their trunks, if requested.

VISITING & NO PETS A visit from families of our campers after a two week adjustment period to the camp program is permissible but not always advisable. There are many campers who have come from overseas or across country who don’t have family in a short driving radius. The campers are at Birch Rock “to find their wings and fly.” If you feel you would like to visit your camper, please let us know in advance by phone or via email: birchrock@birchrock.org

In consideration of others, we respectively request that you do not bring your family dog(s) and/or other pets to visit as we do not want to cause any disruption to the community at large.

We appreciate advance notice of your arrival. Birch Rock discourages taking campers off campus for visitation purposes.

We look forward to having your son (s) with us at Birch Rock Camp this summer. Please feel free to contact us by phone and/or email birchrock@birchrock.org with any questions and/or concerns.

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