Welcome to Camp Raintree!
The past week has been a busy one as we stored away all our Montessori materials, cleaned carpets, got our pools ready, and set up summer camp equipment. But it wasn’t only the physical space that was our focus; training sessions were conducted throughout the week to familiarize staff with camp policies and water safety guidelines.
For the past three weeks Mr. Dahl and his crew have been rebuilding the primary playground, replacing the wooden structures and the rotting walkways including the walkway in front of the lower elementary building, home for our art, cooking, drama and game activities. The walkway is finished, but you may still find some construction vehicles on our campus as we work on other smaller projects this summer.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CAMP RAINTREE 2013
Keith McReynolds is Camp Administrator, and Jim Lewis is our Camp Director. Our Head Instructor is Sue Willoughby, and our Head Counselor is Wiley Sharp. Our Camp Librarian Anne Edwards will administer medicine to campers as well as run the Camp Library.
Those staff members who are responsible for planning and implementing activities in specific camp rooms are referred to as Camp Instructors. Some instructors are veteran Raintree staff such as Sue Willoughby and Cindy Sears, and others are new to camp. Each has a passion for working with children and a wealth of experience and knowledge to share.
CAMP COUNSELORS AND SUPPORT STAFF
Staff who are responsible for a camp color group are called Camp Counselors. These counselors navigate the schedule with their campers and assist the instructors in each camp room. Except for their break during the day, they spend the whole day with the campers. Again, we have some veteran counselors among the group as well as those who have been campers themselves such as Nora Elbayoumy and Taylor Bussinger. All will be great role models for our campers.
Our campers are divided by age into six groups, and then subdivided into color groups. Each color has a complementary color: Purple/Teal, Blue/ Gray, Yellow/ Green, Dark Green/ Red, Black/White, Orange/Light Blue. The Purple and Teal Groups are the oldest campers, the youngest are the Black/White and Orange/Light Blue groups. Please keep in mind that even if your child is not in a group with all his friends, if they were in the same grade last year, they will most likely swim together, do outdoor activities at the same time and have lunch together.
CAMP RAINTREE SCHEDULE
Camp Raintree opens at 7:30. Please do not arrive earlier than 7:30. Our staff is involved in setting up the camp and cannot supervise children at that time. An Early Arrival Fee ($3 per 5 minutes) may be assessed if a child is brought consistently earlier than 7:30.
- From 7:30-7:45 campers meet on the elementary playground where they will participate in either an early morning run on our jogging trail, calisthenics or aerobics on the basketball court, or field activities on the playground. Some campers may help with camp chores like watering the plants or feeding animals. Others may simply want to play in the sandbox until the day’s activities begin.
- At 7:45 our schedule of activities begins with each group going to their first activity. Each week the first color pair moves down one time slot in the schedule and the rest of the color groups shift, too.
We post two schedules outside the Lower Elementary Building and another on the Ann E. Anderson building as well as on our website at www.raintreemontessori.org. The schedule changes each week so be sure to return to the Camp Raintree section of the website for updates.
Each week we move the color pairs down one slot and switch the pairs so half-day campers can participate in every activity the camp offers, too. For example, the second week, Purple and Teal move to where the Blue and Grey groups are and Purple and Teal switch places. If we didn’t do this, half-day campers in the Purple group would only be able to participate in Cooking/Construction, Drama, Techno, Library and Pool, never Small Game, Art, Big Game and Odds and Ends. The “companion groups,” e.g., Purple and Teal, swim together, have outdoor activities together and eat lunch together so even if your camper is in a different color group within the companion grouping, they are times during the day when they can be with friends in the other group. They also have their campouts together
SAFETY AND SUPERVISION
We take roll at each activity period. When picking up your camper, always let the Counselor or Instructor know when your child is leaving, even if it is at the regular pickup time, but especially if it is at a different time. The same applies to arrivals. You must connect with a human being at arrival and departure. All Counselors and Instructors have walkie-talkies, so even if the first person you see is not your child’s Counselor, that person can inform your child’s Counselor they have arrived, or departed.
- Please send your camper to Raintree in old clothes that are loose fitting and comfortable. Our motto for the last 35 years has been, “The business of learning is often messy.” Your camper will be involved in a lot of outdoor activities that are messy and require running so please make sure she is dressed appropriately. No flip-flops. Shoes must have a strap on the back. The majority of our camp activities are either conducted outdoors and require your child’s active participation.
- Please remind your child to pack a healthy lunch. No soda pop or candy, lots of fruits, veggies and healthy foods instead. Remember to put a cold pack or a frozen juice box in the lunch bag to keep food items fresh. Lunches are not refrigerated at Raintree, but are stored in camp rooms in baskets. Another lunch option is to sign up for yummy Raintree lunches which may be purchased by the month. In order to accommodate the campers who select this option, larger food orders are made so there are no refunds should a camper decide to pack a lunch during the month he is signed up for Raintree lunch. See Kelli in the office to make arrangements.
- We also have special events throughout the summer including overnight campouts. A Campout Registration Form will be available in the foyer of the Phoenix building and available online in the Camp Raintree section of the website. Simply print off the form, fill out the information and bring the form to Raintree along with payment to help cover staffing and food costs.
- Raintree will provide the materials necessary for all camp activities with the exception of sunscreen, or an occasional recycled item for art or drama. Please DO NOT let your child bring ANYTHING ELSE to camp. Cosmetics, backpacks, games, trading cards, video games, cell phones, skateboards, and all other paraphernalia must stay at home.
- We have special Wheel Days (see schedule at the end of this letter) so campers may bring their bikes, skateboards or scooters on those days. Otherwise, please keep everything else at home. On Wheel Days, campers must wear a helmet to ride a bike, and both a helmet and kneepads to ride a scooter or skateboard. No exceptions.
- Camp chores are part of the camp experience at Raintree. “Leave no trace,” is our motto. Campers are expected to leave each activity area better than they found it whether they are inside in the Art Studio, or outside at Raintree Pond. This year campers will help us weed and water once a week during the morning outside time with each camp group assigned an area on the campus.
CAMP SAFETY RULES
- Campers must wear closed-toe shoes with a strap in the back. No thongs, flip-flops, platform shoes, please. They do not allow the campers to fully participate in outdoor activities which is the beauty of Camp Raintree, the opportunity to spend so much time in nature! Please send your camper in either tennis shoes, Crocs, Keens, or other closed-toe shoes with a strap in the back.
- Campers walk not run from activity to activity.
- To protect from UV rays, campers wear hats outside. In the summer, campers may wear hats inside, too. We have also built shaded spots throughout the campus—over the archery area, the lunch patio/shuffle board/play area, climbing wall, and sandbox—to further protect our students from the harmful rays of the sun.
- Campers wear sunscreen when participating in all outdoor activities.
- Campers may bring water bottles to keep hydrated. We also have drinking fountains on the campus, and when the weather gets very hot, thermoses are placed around the campus.
- When arriving or leaving camp, a camper must let the Counselor or Instructor know especially if the arrival/departure time is different than their regular time.
- We take roll every 45 minutes at each activity session.
- When picking up one’s swim gear at the pool, an adult must accompany a camper.
- Campers must wear a life vest when fishing or boating at Raintree Pond.
- We follow the Golden Rule at Camp Raintree: We treat others the way we would like to be treated.
CAMP DISCIPLINE POLICY
Campers are expected to care for the Camp Raintree environment, be respectful of the camp staff, follow the camp policies and rules, show kindness toward others, and use appropriate language.
We also know the busier we keep the campers, the less time they have to get into mischief. Each camp activity room is equipped with a range of choices, not just one activity. With so much to do, we expect the campers to engage and participate. Every 45 minutes, the group moves to a new activity area with more activities to do allowing little time for misbehavior.
Even with all there is to do at Raintree, children sometimes act out. If a camper misbehaves, our counselors are trained to employ a number of techniques to deal with the behavior. Sometimes campers need more time to familiarize themselves with Camp Raintree and our rules. The most important thing our counselors can do is to bond with their camp group. If we get to know a camper, enlist his help, and make him feel a part of the camp experience, we can minimize most behavior issues.
In the event a camper continues to misbehave, we first talk to him privately, reminding of the camp rules. If this does not work, we sometimes take him to another camp group for an activity period, or part of the day to see if this helps. We may even take him to a primary classroom for part of the day, to assist one of our veteran primary teachers. At this point, you will be notified by the counselor and in some instances the Camp Director that your camper is not following the camp rules.
Depending upon the severity of the behavior or if the misbehavior becomes a pattern, the Camp Director will contact you in a final effort to help the camper turn his behavior around.
We want every camper to have a fun camp experience, but keep in mind that in order to maintain a peaceful camp community, we do not tolerate emotional or physical abuse, the threat of abuse, or any kind of emotional or psychological intimidation. If a camper still disrupts the group dynamics, compromises our program, disrespects a counselor, or disregards camp rules, we reserve the right to dismiss the camper without refund.
CAMP DROP-OFF PROCEDURE:
Parents may park in the east parking lot and walk their children into the camp buildings, or drop off their camper by driving into the Dropoff Zone at the end of the sidewalk north of the swimming pool. Please make sure your camper exits the car on the passenger side only because other cars are passing on the driver side. DO NOT park along the toddler sidewalk to drop off. This will cause a traffic jam and tempers to flare as cars back up into the access road. Just remember to pull into the parking lot as far as possible to drop off your camper. And please, never leave your car unattended in the Dropoff Zone.
HOW DO I FIND MY CAMPER if I arrive at an unscheduled time?
Each group carries a flag the color of their camp group. When the campers change classes someone carries the flag at the head of the line and places it in a flag holder next to the camp room or area where the group is located. If you arrive during the day between 9:00 and 11:00, or 1:00 and 4:30, you may park in the north parking lot and walk through the Phoenix building to the camp buildings. You can find your camper by two methods: look at the schedule board to see where your camper’s color group is for that period, or find the flag.
Camp schedule for June 3:
(Weekly schedules are at the bottom of the page.)
- Half-day Campers: At 12:15 a counselor escorts the half-day campers to Dropoff Zone for easy pickup, and parents who are delivering a camper at that time may pull into the Dropoff Zone where the counselor will greet the camper.
- Half-day Campers: At 12:45 a counselor escorts the campers who are leaving at 12:45 to the Dropoff Zone and also greets those who are arriving at that time.
- Until about 4:30, you may park in the east parking lot and walk to the camp activity areas to pick up your camper. Check the schedule or look for a flag!
- At 5:15, campers will go to the roadway east of camp buildings for pickup in the same drive- through procedure as previously described.
INFO FILES NO MORE!
Each year at the end of the summer when we clean up the camp, we find that Camper Info Files where we have historically placed newsletters and other notices are still filled with those newsletters and notices so
this year we are going paperless. To keep abreast of what is going on in camp, go to our website at www.raintreemontessori.org and click on “Camp Raintree.” There you will find camp schedules, a copy of this letter, Campout Forms, and other information. Hard copies of newsletters, campout registration forms, and other notices will be placed in baskets in the Game Room and the foyer of the Phoenix building. Camper artwork will be put in large boxes located on the patio of the Lower Elementary building or in the Game Room.
Two times during the summer, each camper has the opportunity to stay overnight at Raintree with his color group and the campers in the complementary color group. The cost is $40 per camper. Registration forms are placed in the Game Room and the foyer of the Phoenix building. Campers pitch their tents during the day, prepare the campfire, and cook their meal that evening. Following dinner the campers swim and then do other camp activities such as stargazing with the Raintree telescope, going on nighttime treasure hunts and playing camp games, but always ending with songs, stories and snacks around the campfire. Breakfast is served the next morning. Some of the campers’ fondest memories of camp are built around the campout experience. We hope your camper can join us!
HOW DO I LEAVE A MESSAGE about my CAMPER?
- Call the office and either talk with Kelli, or leave a voicemail.
- Send an email to Raintree at email@example.com.
WHEN ARE THE SPECIAL EVENTS THIS SUMMER?
Glad you asked! The last page of this letter contains our calendar of events. This calendar is also posted on our website at “Camp Raintree.”
Here’s to a great summer!
THE CAMP RAINTREE STAFF
Camp Events Calendar
Weekly campout forms:
Weekly schedule for the entire summer:
- Week of June 3
- Week of June 10
- Week of June 17
- Week of June 24
- Week of July 1
- Week of July 8
- Week of July 15
- Week of July 22
- Week of July 29
- Week of August 5
- Week of August 12
- Week of August 19