Prepare for Camp

Is your camper ready for overnight camp?

Camp is so much fun and helps campers build confidence in their chosen art forms, independence, and supports personal growth. Campers at Appel Farm get to choose their activities for the session and have opportunities to explore other art forms during free time and other workshop activities. Counselors and staff are always present to facilitate learning and support campers in the bunks. Full engagement in our program takes responsibility and autonomy on the part of each camper.

Is your camper able to separate from...

Primary Caregivers
    • Help your camper prepare for separating from their primary caregivers by setting up a sleepover with friends or family. Consider a long weekend or overnight spring break program to help your camper practice being away from you.
    • If this is your camper’s first time at overnight camp, and they are feeling apprehensive about being away from home, try a 1 or 2 week session first.
    • Campers do not have the opportunity to call or text home during their time at camp. They are too busy engaging with their friends and participating in activities. We encourage letter writing during rest time or wind down time in the evenings.

Is your camper independent with...

Hygiene Skills
  • Showering at camp probably looks different than at home. Campers should be able to collect the items they need including towel, shampoo, body soap, etc. and bring it to the bathroom with them, shower and rinse thoroughly then bring the items back to their cubby area after showering.
  • Showers are located inside each bunk and campers will sign up for shower times in the morning or evening.
  • Wet towels and clothing can be hung from a hanger in a camper’s cubby space or from the clothesline outside.
Toileting (Daytime and Overnight)
  • Each bunk has a bathroom inside so campers can use the toilet during bunk times whenever they need to, including overnight.
  • All classroom spaces have bathrooms nearby that campers can use throughout the day as long as their counselors know where they are.
  • Wetting the bed does not prohibit your camper from attending camp! Let us know in your camper’s registration form and we will work with you to come up with a discrete plan that keeps everyone safe and healthy.
  • At Appel Farm, campers can wear any clothing that covers the same body parts that underwear covers, makes them feel emotionally safe, and adheres to any physical safety requirements for activities.
  • Some activities require specific attire to ensure safety of all participants. Campers should be able to tolerate wearing necessary items for the duration of the activity. For example, closed toe shoes are required for technical theater classes, no jeans are permitted in the pool area, shoes are required in the dining hall.
  • There are private changing areas in every bunk. Campers should be able to utilize those designated areas to change independently, bringing all of the items they will need with them to those spaces.
Falling Asleep
  • Campers sleep in bunks with 8-12 campers and 2 counselors. Each bunk establishes a wind-down routine which includes getting ready for bed and processing the day together. After lights out, campers have some quiet time in their own bed where they can use a flashlight to read, write a letter, or do a quiet activity before falling asleep.
  • Some campers use sleep safe headphones to listen to pre-downloaded quiet music, a podcast, or white noise as they fall asleep.
  • Campers should be able to fall asleep independently, managing their own listening devices as needed, without disrupting the others in the bunk.
Making Their Own Plate of Food
  • Campers choose where they sit in the dining hall and can choose to sit inside or outside on the patio. As the announcer calls tables, campers line up at the hot bar and indicate which hot food items they would like on their plate. Campers also have the option of the self-serve salad or cereal bar, and a PB&J station.
  • The dining hall is often noisy and announcements are made at the end of each meal using a microphone and PA system. Campers with sensitivity to noise can choose to sit outside on the patio.
  • Campers should be able to carry their own plate to each station, choose their preferred food items, gather utensils, and bring the plate back to their table.
  • At the end of meals, campers work together with the others at their table to clear the dishes, cups, utensils, trash, and wipe the table so it is clean for the next meal.
Identifying Their Own Allergens
  • As campers move through the dining hall and select food, it is important that campers with allergies or food sensitivities be aware of food that may contain those allergens and ask the kitchen staff or a counselor to help identify safe foods.
Asking for Help When They Need It?
  • Your camper knows themselves the best! If something is not right, they should be able to let a counselor know so we can help them.
  • If a camper is experiencing physical discomfort or illness, they should be able to describe the symptoms to the healthcare staff.
  • If your camper needs help managing different sensory needs, they should be able to let a counselor know and engage in problem solving solutions such as identifying familiar foods, taking a walk, or wearing earplugs.
Participating in Chosen Group Activities
  • Campers select their classes which last approximately 85 minutes each. This typically includes a group lesson or activity followed by structured independent or small group work time.
  • One of our core values at Appel Farm is safety, both physical and emotional. If your child needs one on one attention in order to keep themselves and others safe in a group setting, then they may not be ready for camp this summer. Consider if your child frequently needs to be removed from any environment in order to stay safe and if they are able to respect the identities of others in the community.
  • Campers should be able to follow safety protocols and instructions when presented in a group setting for example not jumping into the shallow end of the pool or wearing eye protection when power tools are in use in the scene shop.