How is yurt placement determined? Which cabin/village will my child be staying in?
Making new friends is an essential part of the camp experience and yurt assignments are the key to creating a positive camp environment. Frost Valley’s program is age-specific and progressive in nature. Campers are placed in groups of eight with two staff members assigned to each yurt group based on their age. Each camper has his/her own bunk and storage area. Frost Valley YMCA will make every effort to honor special requests for yurt mates but due to the number of campers registered per session we do not guarantee any placements. Frost Valley YMCA places campers in groups based on the following criteria:
- One mutual request made by 2 campers who are the same age.
- Age (all campers in a cabin will be less than 12 months apart)
Camper’s grade is not considered in yurt assignments.
Requests by campers who are more than 12 months apart to be together may be honored, but the older child will be placed with younger camper’s age group.
Can my child be in a yurt with his/her best friend or relative?
We will do our best to honor one mutual request. However, there are many other factors involved in yurt placement (see above).
Who will my children have as counselors?
There are two counselors for each yurt of eight campers. Our staff is hired from all over the country and the world and screened through an extensive interview and reference process, including a criminal background check according to the standards of the American Camping Association. They are placed in counselor positions that match their individual skill levels and interests.
The Frost Valley YMCA camp community is an exciting mix of cultures, backgrounds, and abilities. Staff travel from across the country and around the world to join this program. From California to Maine, and as far as South Africa and New Zealand. In-depth background and criminal history checks are diligently performed on all applicants. Once hired, staff undergo rigorous training, which includes: Health and Safety Awareness, Emergency Procedures, Behavior Management, Activity Leadership, the Wellness Philosophy, Team Building, and Age Specific Youth Challenges. Lifeguards are re-certified annually. Our goal is to ensure successful camping experiences for each camper.
All staff undergoes intensive background and criminal history checks. International staff must have J-1 authorization from Immigration and Naturalization. Our staff is expected to share Frost Valley YMCA’s mission and vision, and are dedicated to bringing your children the best camping experiences possible. This facility meets all guidelines, policies & procedures as mandated by the American Camping Association (ACA) and the Department of Health. Staff undergoes rigorous training prior to working with your children and safety is the prime directive when it comes to the equipment used by our campers at Frost Valley YMCA.
What is the level of supervision?
Level of supervision is high with a 1:4, counselor-camper ratio. Campers remain supervised even during down-time and rest periods.
Will my child be safe?
Safety is a top priority at Frost Valley YMCA. Frost Valley’s Summer Camp program has a counselor-camper ratio of 1:4. This exceeds Department of Health standards.
We employ lifeguards, all of whom are re-certified annually, regardless of their experience.
How does Frost Valley prevent strangers?
Staff are very sensitive about identifying authorized versus non-authorized individuals on campus. Staff are in constant contact with one another and with the administration, via hand-held radio. Frost Valley YMCA runs a “closed campus” during summer session, therefore, any strangers would be readily identifiable.
Conferences, retreats, Road Scholar, and adventure events can coincide with summer and day camp events. In the event that this should occur, procedures are in place to safeguard our campers. All other guests are required to wear name tags and color-coded wristbands identifying the program in which they are enrolled. Additionally, their vehicles are registered with Frost Valley’s conferencing center. This ensures an increased awareness of who is on the campus at any given time. Trespassers are immediately identified, approached, and asked to vacate the premises. Guided tours of the facility are available via appointment only.
How far in advance does my child need to have a physical?
Within the 12 months prior to the date your child arrives at camp.
Does my child need to bring their own nebulizer?
Yes. You are responsible for sending all medication and medical equipment required for your child’s health and well-being. Please see our medication policy for further details.
How often is mail delivered?
Mail is sorted and delivered daily (when the local post office is open). Mail is delivered to campers by the Farm Camp Director and Counselors daily. You can also email your camp with our personal one-way email system. You can mail care packages to this address: 2875 Denning Road, Claryville, NY 12725.
What can I send in a care package?
Toys, stuffed animals, yurt decorations, and letters are all great options. We discourage valuable items, which may get lost or broken at camp, and ANY food items as they attract animals into the yurts. Junk food is not allowed. You can mail care packages to this address: 2875 Denning Road, Claryville, NY 12725.
Are the yurts heated? Is there electricity?
Yurts are insulated structures, however they have no heat, electricity, or running water. A short walk away from the yurts there is a bathhouse which is part of the Estabrook Dining Hall. Campers shower daily. If a camper needs to use the bathroom at night, a bathroom buddy and counselor accompany them for the walk over. Supervision is always a top priority, all hours of the day at Farm Camp.
What kind of shoes does my child need for Farm Camp?
Sturdy boots or old sneakers for barn chores. They will get dirty! Also rubber boots or work boots.
In addition to this, we ask campers to bring a pair of water shoes for our swimming area in the Neversink River. Crocs, old sneakers, or Keen’s are a good option. No sandals, dress shoes, or open-toed shoes of any kind are allowed at Farm Camp. Frost Valley maintains a no open-toed shoe policy.
What is the food like at camp?
Meals at Farm Camp are an important part of the experience. Farm-fresh camp food is the best description of our meals, a combination of food raised on the farm as well as food from our food service provider, Chartwells. The beef that is served is pasture raised on the farm. Many of the vegetables and herbs that are served are grown in our garden. The food is nutritious, and the menu is planned with the camper’s active schedules in mind.
Campers sit in a yurt during breakfast, and are encouraged to mix it up with other campers and counselors for lunch and dinner. Meals are served family-style and there are always options available at the salad bar. Throughout the day, we have fruit available and a snack at mid-afternoon keeps us going.
Farm Camp makes sure to meet the dietary needs of all campers. We encourage parents upon drop-off to speak directly with our camp chef to communicate specific dieting needs.
Campers will have opportunities to learn about nutrition, cooking produce fresh from the garden; and they will sometimes participate in cook-offs for the whole camp. Food and farming goes hand-in-hand at Farm Camp.