Frequently Asked Questions
Camp Wiyaka is accredited by the American Camp Association. To become an accredited camp, Wiyaka has undergone an extensive process, including a site visit by 2 trained investigators, as well as creating a 200-page document regarding Wiyaka’s safety plans, and their execution throughout the summer. This investigation occurs every 3 years, and will occur once again during our 2013 summer.
All Camp Wiyaka staff members are hired through an extensive application process including checking references (personal, professional and family), background checks, and personal interviews. We find that many staff members were once campers themselves, and return year after year. One of the joys of having staff that have been a part of the Camp Wiyaka family for years is that we have watched them mature over time and know that they fully understand the responsibility of working with children. All staff members, regardless of prior involvement with Camp Wiyaka, are required to fulfill the same application process and staff training (as per the staff manual).
Staff members at Camp Wiyaka attend a week-long training session each summer prior to camper arrival. During this orientation our staff are trained in a variety of subjects, including First Aid and CPR, waterfront lifeguarding, appropriate interactions with campers, age appropriate discipline and intervention, emergency action plans for relevant emergencies at camp, including strangers on property, fires, weather emergencies, water emergencies, lost campers, etc, off-camp emergency action plans for similar events, and staff/camper interactions. Staff members also learn about how to be a role model for their campers, and what behaviors are appropriate. We often have visitors from the New Hampshire Department of Children, Youth and Families teach our staff about the signs of child abuse and what the state’s response is to reports made. All staff members at Camp Wiyaka are Mandated Reporters, and will report any allegations of Child Abuse. Staff members learn how to play games, and lead activities with campers, as well as the multitude of camp songs that are sung each night at campfire or before meals. Staff week is an intense learning experience for our counselors.
Throughout the summer, we have staff meetings where we can discuss any issues that have occurred over the week, as well as encourage proper behavior. Each week we provide our staff with a situation that involves the information and action plans that they learned during staff week and require the staff to put their learning into action. This could be by having a lost camper drill, or a waterfront emergency drill. This allows us to verify the staff’s knowledge of the plans, as well as to be sure that our plans are the best working plan available before an actual emergency could occur. Meet our staff
There can be up to 6 campers of similar age in a tent. They are accompanied by 1 tent counselor and possibly 1 counselor-in-training (CIT).
There are 12 tents on property – 5 up on the hill, and 7 down by the waterfront. Therefore, a completely full camp would be 72 campers.
Our small size camp allows the staff to get to know each camper as an individual. There are no campers “falling through the cracks” at Wiyaka. We quickly learn which campers love the waterfront, and which prefer art. We are able to give special attention to the camper who is having a hard time adjusting to being away from home for the first time. Overall, in our environment, we are able to provide more time for each child in every activity.
Certainly! Many of our campers come with friends. However, it is not a requirement for a fun summer at Camp Wiyaka. If your camper attends with friends, or comes alone, he/she will be in a tent with other boys or girls similar in age, and each camper is encouraged to sign up for activities based on personal interests, and not who will be attending.
Please remember if your camper is coming with a group of friends that we cannot, and will not, place the entire group together in a tent. We will honor the request for 1 friend of the same gender, and similar age. This allows everyone a chance to be with old friends, as well as meet new.
Of Course! Letters and packages are welcome at camp, and are often a great reminder of home. Campers and staff all love to get mail! We encourage our campers to write letters home and several children write as many, if not more, letters than they receive. The Post office, Fed-Ex and UPS are all able to deliver to camp, and are there daily. Please allow time for the postal service to deliver to our remote are and send packages early so they can arrive on time. Letters and packages may also be left with the directors at check-in, to be given to your child during the week. All Care packages should be able to be shared with your child’s tent mates and should not contain any items not allowed at CampWiyaka (see Packing List). Please send all mail to:
Your Child’s Name
100 Sandy Pond Rd.
Richmond, NH 03470
We are also a member of Bunk1 (Bunk1.com), an e-mail system that allows you to write e-mails to your child. Unfortunately, due to our location we have limited access to the internet, through a very slow dial up connection. For this reason, we ask that all e-mail to campers be sent though this system and not directly to the camp. Please be aware that campers are not able to reply digitally to messages.
Campers may not use our telephone. Of course, in the case of an emergency, exceptions can be made. Parents are welcome to contact the camp directors for an update regarding their child, we would be happy to talk with you.
Everyone experiences some level of homesickness in their life. For some it takes longer to emerge, and is shorter in duration, for others it hits as soon as they are dropped off and lasts until the final moments of Friday night campfire. Some have occasions when they are sad, while others can be debilitated by the feeling and unable to enjoy any part of the camp experience. There are many things that you as the parent can do to lessen the effects of homesickness on your child.
Click here to get Tips to Lessen the Effects of Homesickness.
No one is too old to enjoy camp! Older campers are often given more responsibility at camp, such as helping the younger campers. They are often asked to help teach younger campers the camp songs, or how to do general camp activities such as waiter a table at meals. Older campers are also welcome to apply for the Leaders-In-Training (LIT) program. LIT’s will be responsible for the above mentioned activities, as well as work together to complete a service project on camp property. Options for a service project could include a recycling program, a book of camp songs, or clearing the local trails. The service projects are created by the LITs. Participant in the LIT program will also have a opportunity to take part in off camp activities, which could include an evening of pizza and miniature golf, or go-carting. The LIT program is a 2 week program.
Click here for more information on the LIT program
Please note that if your 14 or 15 year old child is new to camping, they should be aware that though there are activities at camp designated for older campers, some of the programs are designed so that all children ages 7 to 15 can participate. Please make it clear to your older camper that he/she will be interacting with younger children and your camper should have the ability to cooperate and intermingle with younger campers.
Delicious! We have wonderful healthy meals at camp. Breakfasts include choices such as french toast or pancakes, lunches are typically kid friendly foods such as chicken nuggets, sandwiches, or hotdogs, dinners can be pasta, hamburgers, or stir-fry. Alternatives are always available, such as cereal / oatmeal, or sandwiches. Allergies and special diets will be taken into consideration as long as we are aware of them prior to your child’s arrival at camp.
As we are an outdoor camp, the existence of bugs is unavoidable. There are things that can be done to reduce the amount of bugs around you. Bugs are attracted to dark colors, especially dark blue. They are also attracted to strong scents, so the less perfume you wear the less the bugs will be interested. Bug nets are also available for bunks; however, they can only be attached to the lower bunks in the tent. Bug sprays are helpful, as are lightweight, plain colored long sleeve shirts and pants.
Check in takes place on Sunday from 1pm – 3pm.
Check out takes place Friday night (after 7pm) or Saturday Morning (between 8:30am-10am). If campers are not staying the weekend, they must be checked out by 10am on Saturday morning.
For complete information on the drop off / pick up process, download our drop off and Pick up Policy guide.
No Tobacco Items, Drugs, Alcohol, Knives, or Weapons of any type are allowed atCampWiyaka. Possession of these items will be cause for immediate removal from camp, at the cost of parents or responsible party, including cost of staff time and travel if required to return camper.
Electronic Games, E-Readers, Computers, Personal music players (ie. MP3, I-Pod, CD players, etc) and Cell Phones are Not Allowed. These items will be confiscated and kept in the directors’ cabin for the duration of the campers stay.
Lewd or profane language should not be used.
Campers are not allowed to make or receive calls from home. We encourage parents to call and speak with one of the directors if they have any concerns. We guarantee a return call, within 24 hours, with a comprehensive update of how a child is doing at camp. We will check with the camper, his/her tent counselor, and a program staff who has had recent contact, to verify your camper’s full camp experience.
During Co-Edcampsessions, campers are not to be in a tent belonging to the opposite gender.
Campers are to remain oncampproperty(with the exception of staff-led off-property trips), be with a group, and have their whereabouts known by a staff member at all time. If at any time a camper has purposefully left camp, or has gone off alone, they are subject to being dismissed from camp without refund.
Camp Wiyakais a safe place for all children and staff. Anyone endangering the physical or emotional safety of himself/ herself or another person will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to verbal and physical harassment, sexual misconduct, fighting and dangerous behaviors. Such behavior may result in dismissal from Camp without refund. Removal of any camper from camp will be made at the discretion of the directors.
The YMCA values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility should guide the actions, language, and topic of conversation of all those at Camp Wiyaka.
Camp Wiyaka rules will be discussed as tent groups and as an entire camp.
Campers are encouraged to create “house rules” for their tent with their counselor.