Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs from Campers:
Can I room with my friend?
There 6-10 campers in a cabin together. If your friend is the same gender and age or grade as you then we'll be happy to put you together if you both request it. That being said, we don't want to have a cabin of six campers who know each other from home and only two new campers. That would make it really hard for the new campers to find friends. Camp is a place where we come to meet new people, have new experiences, and try new things. If you want to come with a friend, make sure you are both ready to reach out and make new ones too! It's also good to remember that regardless of which cabin you're in, you can sign up for activities with anyone in the camp, and you can spend lunch and free time with whoever you'd like. That means even if your friend (or brother or sister) isn't the same age or gender as you, you'll still be able to spend lots of time together.
What if someone is mean to me at camp?
At Hosmer Point, everyone's goal is to build community and live by our six core values of unity, trust, generosity, cooperation, kindness, and respect. That means no-one should be acting mean or being a bully, and most of the time, no-one does. The counselors have practiced stopping people from bullying, however once in awhile a camper can be mean without them noticing. If that happens, you should let your counselor know right away so they can help you fix the problem and go back to respecting one another. Bullying is absolutely not allowed at camp.
Does everyone come with a friend?
No, many campers come to camp for the first time not knowing anyone. If you don't bring a friend with you, you will not be alone. Regardless of whether you come with a friend or if you've been to camp before, you're sure to make new friends every year!
What is the food like?
The food at Hosmer Point is so good that every year campers say it's one of their favorite parts of camp! The camp cooks make all the food from scratch using ingredients from near-by farms and the camp garden - so it's really yummy and also healthy. For breakfast, we usually have eggs, bacon, or sausage and muffins, pancakes, or french toast with real maple syrup. There's always fruit, yogurt, and cereal too. For lunch we might have macaroni and cheese or soup and sandwiches; and for supper we'll have something like roast chicken with veggies or our head cook's famous spaghetti and meatballs. There's also a salad bar with veggies, hummus, salads, and fruit at lunch and supper, so you're sure to have something you like to eat. For dessert, Annelise, our baker, makes cakes and cookies. She also makes all our bread. We have a snack every day, and if you're hungry in between meals, you can always grab a piece of fruit from the dining hall. Every weekend we have a barbecue at the waterfront, and every Wednesday is Pizza Night, when we make pizza in our wood-fired oven outside. It's the best! If you're vegetarian or have a food allergy, our cooks will adjust their recipes so you'll have things to eat. They'll also make sure they have gluten free and lactose free options. Because some campers are really allergic to nuts, we don't use any peanuts or tree nuts at camp.
In the dining hall, we eat breakfast with our cabins, lunch with anyone we want, and supper with an assigned table of people (to help you meet new friends). After meals, campers take anything that was left on our plates to the compost or to the camp pigs.
What are the cabins like? What are the bathrooms like?
The cabins at Hosmer Point are small wooden buildings with bunk beds, screened windows, and electric lights. You'll share your cabin with 5 - 9 other campers your age and two counselors. You will have a small shelf to keep some of your belongings, and a space under your bed where you can keep your suitcase, trunk, or a plastic bin with your clothes. All the girl's cabins are in the Point area of camp and share the Point bathhouse. All the boy's cabins are in the Bay area and share the Bay bathhouse. Each bathhouse has toilets, sinks, and showers with private changing areas and hot and cold water. It is a short walk from the cabins to the bathhouses and is well lit at night, but you'll probably want to bring a headlamp or flashlight along just in case.
Can I bring my phone? Can I call my parents?
At Hosmer Point, everyone is busy experiencing camp to the fullest and interacting with friends face-to-face. We've found that having cell phones, tablets, and ipods just distracts us from having fun and can even make you feel homesick. We require all campers to leave electronic devices at home (with the exception of digital cameras). We're betting that once you try taking a break from your phone, you'll like the freedom it gives you to just be in the moment. If you want to talk to your parents, the best thing to do is write them a letter! Most campers enjoy writing to their parents and friends, and it's always exciting to receive a letter from home. If you feel it's an emergency and you really must talk with your parents, tell your counselor or a camp director. If they think it's the right thing to do, you can call home from the camp office. Usually though, calling home just makes you feel homesick. Because of this, the camp director might relay a message to your parents for you instead of letting you call them.
What happens if I'm homesick?
It's normal to be homesick, at least a little bit. But don't worry, we won't let you sit around and cry all day because you're missing mom or dad. Instead, we will encourage you to get involved in the activities at camp and conquer your homesickness. You decided to come to camp because you thought it would be fun. You need to be fair to yourself and give camp a shot. If it's not working, we'll work with you and your parents to come up with a solution. We don't want you to stay at camp if you're going to be miserable, but we're quite confident you won't feel sad for long if you allow yourself to give camp a fair try. The best part is that once you've gotten over feeling homesick, you'll have much more confidence in yourself and what you can do all on your own.
Which Focus Areas and Electives are offered each week? What if I don't get into the activity I wanted?
Our counselors choose the Focus Areas for each week based on what campers requested when they filled out their "letter to the counselors" form. We can't offer every Focus Area every week, but we do try to make sure everyone can try at least one of their first-choice areas. If we can't offer an activity as a Focus Area, we will almost always offer it as an Elective, so you can still give that activity a try. Sometimes Electives fill up before everyone who wants to can sign up. If there's an activity you really want to try but it filled up before you could sign up, let your counselors know. They will try to run the activity again so you can do it too. If there is an activity you really want to experience, be sure to let our counselors know, both in your "letter to the counselors" and in person when you get to camp. If you tell your counselor that an activity is really important to you, they will try their best to make it happen! You can also tell your counselors if you have an idea for a new activity, like a building project or a field trip. If it seems like something we could do at camp, they'll make it a new Focus or Elective!
If I'm not good at something can I switch activities?
Sure. We want you to try new things and sometimes that means that you won't be very good at first. We'll try to give you all the tools you'll need to get better, but if you decide the activity just isn't your thing, let us know. We'll switch you into something else.
I'm not a very good swimmer. Will I still be able to participate in water activities? Will there be swimming lessons?
Everyone will take a swim test on Opening Day. If you don't know how to swim or if you're not a strong swimmer, one of your Focus Areas will be swimming lessons for the first week you're at camp. Swimming lessons are fun, so even if you know how to swim already, you might want to pick swimming lessons as a Focus Area so you can learn techniques that will make you even better and more confident in the water. Until you've passed the swim test, you will need to wear a life jacket when you're in the water (except during lessons), but you will still be able to participate in activities. You can ask to re-take the swim test whenever you'd like.
What's the weather like? What if it rains?
We have a saying in Vermont that says: "if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes" This means that the weather in Vermont is constantly changing. The temperatures can get down to 40 degrees at night and up to as warm as the 80's during the day. Generally the temperatures are in the 70's during the day and a bit cooler at night. We do get rain and thunder and lightning storms. The storms are awesome to watch from the theater in the middle of camp. A warm sweatshirt or two with long pants will be especially nice in the mornings and evenings. You can always layer at night in the sleeping bag if it gets super cold. When it rains at camp, we usually just go get our rain gear and keep having fun outdoors! Mudslides are a great rainy-day activity. Of course, if there's a thunder storm we have to stay inside until it passes by, which usually takes an hour or so. When we're indoors we can play active games in the barn, or chill out with board games in the game room. It's also a great time to work on arts and crafts projects, cook some snacks, play music, tell stories, or practice for the talent show or lip synch contest.
What happens on Opening Day?
On Opening Day, you'll probably arrive with your family by car (HP staff can also pick you up from the airport). Counselors will show you where to park, and where to drop off your luggage. Be sure to keep any medicines out of your bag so you can take them to the camp nurse at check-in. If it's your first time at camp, you'll receive a special invitation to eat lunch with one of your cabin counselors before check-in. This is a great time to ask questions! Lunch will be in the dining hall, just below the parking area. During check-in, we'll make sure we have all your camp forms, you'll meet the camp nurse and turn over any medications you brought, you'll have your hair checked for lice, your parents will be able to set up a tab for you at the camp store (if they haven't already), and you'll receive your cabin assignment. After you've checked in, you and your family will walk to your cabin. Counselors will have dropped off your luggage in your cabin section, so you and your family can find your bags and unpack. One of your counselors will be in the cabin area if you need help. If you arrive with enough time, your parents can also go on a camp tour. Once everyone is checked in, there will be a short welcome ceremony at the Community Tree, and then all the parents will leave. You'll be introduced to your cabin counselors and the other campers in your cabin, then go for a tour of camp. Later, you'll go with the rest of your cabin to take your swim test and sign up for focus areas. Dinner the first night is usually spaghetti and homemade meatballs with salad and garlic bread - mmm! That evening there will be a ceremony where you learn which team you'll be on during your time at camp. When you come back the next year, you will be on the same team again, so it's exciting to see which team you'll join! Your cabin counselors will have special activities to help you get settled in for your first night. Be sure to ask them if you have any questions about anything that happened Opening Day - we want you to get off to a good start at camp!
What happens on Closing Day?
On Closing Day, you'll pack up all your things and load your luggage into a truck to get delivered to the parking area. After breakfast, parents will begin to arrive. Once you've met your family and put your luggage in your car, you'll need to check out. You'll receive a special tag with your name on it which you can nail to the community tree. If you'd like, you can also walk around camp and give your parents a tour. Don't forget to say "see you later" to your counselors and all your new friends! After camp, we'll email your parents the addresses of all the campers who were in your session so you can keep in touch until next year.
FAQs from Parents
What sets Hosmer Point apart from other summer camps?
The camp community! Our campers will tell you that at Hosmer Point, everyone is like one big family. Campers are respected for who they are, and form meaningful friendships with their campmates. We carefully cultivate our community by keeping the size of camp small, hiring high-quality staff who live and play with campers, and keeping our community values of Cooperation, Generosity, Kindness, Respect, Trust, and Unity at the center of all we do. Parents notice a "camp effect" when their children come home from HP - whether it's helping out around the house, being kind to siblings and other children, or just seeming more confident and mature. Part of respecting campers is allowing them to set their own schedule for each day, choosing from a wide selection of activities. Giving children a safe environment to try new things and make their own choices gives them the freedom to grow and become more confident. We're also proud of our commitment to use and teach sustainable practices, which includes buying local ingredients for our dining hall and even growing some of our own food at camp. Campers rave about our delicious fare, and parents love that it's healthy and fresh.
How do I decide if Hosmer Point is right for my child?
We're excited to help you find the best summer camp "fit" for your child! We recommend watching the camp movie and exploring all the links in the "Camp Life" section (also at the bottom of this page). You might want to do this with your camper. Make a list of questions and give us a call - or set up a convenient time for Camp Director Jon Hammond to call you for a chat. We also love giving camp tours any time of the year, or even making home visits! Send us an email and we'll see if Jon can add a stop at your house to his winter travels.
I see that your camp tuition is based on a sliding scale. How do I decide how much to pay? What happens if I'm wait listed?
We ask that each family take a close look at their budget and contribute as much as they can. Families paying more than the cost of camp will help those who need to pay less. Our goal is to make camp accessible to as many families as possible while continuing to keep Hosmer Point sustainable for the future. Families paying less than the cost of camp will be wait listed if we do not have enough funds to subsidize their camp stay. As more families contribute above the cost of camp, we will take campers from the wait list on a first-come, first-served basis. You can read more about the sliding scale here.
How many campers are at camp? How many staff and counselors?
Hosmer Point is a small camp, with only 50 - 80 campers at any given time. We keep our size small on purpose so that everyone can form relationships with one another and build a strong camp community. Our campers always say that the "feeling of family" or feeling like "home" is what makes Hosmer Point special. We have a counselor to camper ratio of at least one staff person for every four campers, but usually the ratio is closer to 1 to 3. Each cabin of 6 to 10 campers has two counselors who also lead activities around camp. We also have special staff to lead activities in the farm and garden, sculling, and our build program. All our counselors are at least 18 years old, and undergo extensive pre-camp training.
What medical facilities are at camp?
The health and safety of our campers and staff is our highest priority and we work very hard to keep everyone physically and emotionally safe each and every day. We have a well equipped health facility at camp with a registered nurse living on-site. Staff are trained in first aid and preventative care. Over the counter and prescription medicines are kept under lock and key in the health center and administered by the camp nurse. The local hospital is 30 minutes away. Staff trained in wilderness first aid accompany trips off camp. With the help of the camp nurse, we can accommodate campers with many chronic health concerns. If your child has a health issue, please get in touch with us before you register so we can plan for a successful stay at camp. We're happy to answer any questions you may have about the care we can provide or our emergency procedures, and can also put you in touch with the camp nurse to discuss concerns specific to your child.
What if my child is homesick?
For some campers, this may be their first extended time away from home. We understand that this transition can be difficult for parents and children alike. Most campers experience some degree of homesickness, and this is normal. Our counselors and directors have the tools and experience to know how to help these children through their difficult periods, and turn conquering homesickness into an empowering experience. Most campers will be fine in the first couple of hours or days.
In order to better promote a smooth transition, we have a busy schedule of activities, create lots of ways for children to get to know each other, and have counselors available and engaged with each individual child. Someone from the leadership team will certainly be in touch if a child's homesickness is getting in the way of their ability to have fun at camp. Almost always, the homesickness will fade and children will feel "camp sickness" when it is time to leave camp at the end of the session.
How do you select your staff?
Our counselors play an integral role in the Hosmer Point community, serving as positive role models and mentors for campers. We take the job of hiring counselors very seriously, and conduct criminal background checks on every camp employee. The most important aspect of a prospective counselor candidate is their experience and love for working with children. We look for creative men and women who have an enthusiasm for their activity areas and an appreciation for the outdoors. We personally interview all applicants and are diligent about checking references. Our counselors are generally 18 to 25 years old and must have graduated from high school or the equivalent. Most counselors return to work at camp for several summers. We like to hire education majors and young people pursuing careers working with children. Each year we receive many more applicants than we can hire, so we feel we can hire the "cream of the crop."
How does my child get to and from camp?
Most families drive or carpool with friends to camp. This gives parents a chance to meet their child's counselors and the camp directors, tour the camp, and help their child unpack. Many parents turn pick up or drop off into a mini-vacation and spend the night at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (just a mile down the road) or at a near-by bed and breakfast. If families are not available to make the scenic drive, we do offer a pick up and drop off service from Burlington International Airport. If your child will need picked up or dropped off, please complete a transportation form at least two weeks in advance of the day they'll be traveling.
How can I communicate with my child when they are at camp?
We are living in an age where technology allows us instant and constant contact. Hosmer Point is a place where campers take a step back and unplug. There is no cell phone coverage at camp. Cell phones, ipads, and other electronic devices are not allowed on camp. We do offer a password protected page of our website where you will be able to log in and see current pictures from camp each day. Although we won't be posting pictures of every child, every day, the photos will give you an idea what was happening at camp that day.
We encourage campers to write letters home and we encourage parents to write back! Mail call is exciting and children love it when they see something addressed to them.
Our office staff and camp directors are always available by phone or email, so if you receive a letter home that has you concerned - or even a sad face in a picture and your gut feeling has you wondering - please get in touch. We are always happy to provide updates on how your child is doing.
What about laundry and getting clean clothes?
We send laundry out once each two-week session. It is important to label everything (even socks!) so it will be returned. We do not send laundry out during one-week camps. Hosmer Point is a place where children will get dirty, and even at times are encouraged to do so. Keep this in mind when selecting what clothes to send!