At the Y we believe that every family and child should have access to camp. We aspire to create a camp community that is safe, inclusive, welcoming, and exemplifies the Y's core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, and Equity. We recognize that campers come to us with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and history, and that this may be reflected in their mental or behavioral health while at camp. While working with children at camp our goal is to collaborate with families. To help in this effort, we utilize an Individual Camper Care Plan to help us inform and prepare our staff. We ask for families to fill out this form only if there are special concerns or situations that you feel we need to know. The more detailed information and helpful “tips” you can give, the better prepared we are to work with your child. The individual Camper Care Plan can be found here: Individual Camper Plan
It is our goal that Day Camp staff make every effort to ensure all campers have a safe and positive camp experience. We believe our success at camp stems from a safety-first mentality. Day Camp is designed to be a fun and amazing outdoor experience for kids, but we recognize that the small and large group activities may not always be the best fit for all campers.
In order to best support the safety and enjoyment of camp, we approach Social Emotional Learning as strategy for systemic improvement for all as it supports adults to strengthen practices that promote equity. Social Emotional Learning is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. We believe that our campers have the opportunity for growth and support within the five pillars of Social Emotional Learning and development- self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness.
While working toward our goals of providing a safe and positive camp experience we may implement Action Plans. Action Plans are tailored to children and their specific needs. We work in partnership with campers, families, and camp staff to determine appropriate action plans for a camper. When determining action plans we strive to partner with families and meet campers where they are at in their development, all while keeping safety at the forefront.
We train and empower our camp counselors to support campers’ individual needs with the implementation of action plans. These action plans are designed to work with campers on a personal basis to reach success while ensuring we are meeting each camper where they are at.
When a situation becomes harmful to an individual, the group, or when it cannot be resolved, then we will bring in additional support from the Camp Leadership team. Examples of this could be a camper running away from their group or not staying within sight and hearing range of their staff members, bullying toward another camper or staff. Our Day Camp Leadership teams include a small team of Blue Card® holders trained in CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention®. This team is trained in crisis intervention, de-escalation, non-restrictive and restrictive intervention. If camper behavior escalates to physical violence, endangering the health and safety of themselves, other children, or staff, purposefully hurting themselves, another child or staff, restrictive intervention will only be deployed as a last possible resort due to extreme danger or intent to harm. Our Y Camping teams hold a range of compassion and expertise, but we are not mental health professionals, social workers, or 1:1 camper to staff support.
We will support your child the best we can to make camp as successful as possible. If change has not been made after a thorough action plan, should a camper need support that goes beyond what we can safely provide, or, should a situation escalate to a level where we can no longer safely find a resolution for the camper an action plan may determine the need for a child to be removed from a program for any amount of time, including the remainder of the summer season.
The above serves as an overview of how our camps help to ensure the success and safety of all our campers. If you have questions regarding further details of our procedures, or if you have concerns regarding your camper's needs, please contact the Camp Director.