Mini-Camp is SLEEPAWAY CAMP designed specifically for ages 5-9! Whether you have a 5 year-old who's already excited about staying overnight or an 8-year-old who's not quite ready for a full week of resident camp, Mini-Camp is the perfect 3 day/3 night adventure for the soon-to-be professional camper!
Safety and Supervision:
At Mini-Camp, we increase the number of staff per cabin and only put our best, most enthusiastic and caring staff in charge of campers. We specialize in homesickness prevention, and activities and schedules are specially designed to appeal to the physical and cognitive abilities of this young age. Regardless of how early the bedtime, these campers are sure to have a blast, make new friends for life, and get an early jump on life skills such as responsibility and optimism. As always, counselors sleep right in the cabins with the campers, so help isn't far away!
We know that children ages 5-8 need structure to stay out of trouble and keep their mind off home, so our Mini-Camp schedule will be jam-packed with high-energy, age-appropriate activities while still affording personal choice to each mini-camper. Campers will spend time bonding with their cabin-mates and choosing activities from our popular "Smorgasbord" offerings. Along with traditional camp activities, such as archery, arts & crafts, and swimming, Mini-Camp will feature special evening and all-camp activities tailored to entertaining and teaches children ages 5-8. Feel free to call us at camp as the session approaches to find out what we have planned! As always, everything at Camp Y-Owasco is based on the foundation of the four core values of the YMCA: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility, and we'll strive to teach these in every program we run at Mini-Camp.
Will My Child Get to/Does My Child Have to Swim?
Only if he or she wants to! Mini-campers don't have to take a swim test--we assign them all red bands and expand our shallowest swim section so they can splash around and have a blast where they can touch. The part of the lake they'll be allowed to swim in won't be deeper than chest-deep of the smaller mini-camper, and we'll have a higher-than-normal lifeguard-to-swimmer ratio and counselors playing in the water alongside the campers. If your child doesn't want to swim or is nervous about the water, we will have other, land-based activities for him or her to enjoy instead!
3 meals per day are served at Mini Camp, starting with dinner on the first night. Our Food Service Staff prepares hearty meals sure to please, and peanut butter and jelly and fresh fruit are available at every meal. If you have questions about meals, please contact the camp director.
Homesickness is extremely common among ALL ages at camp--even staff. We train our staff thoroughly in how to cure it so a camper finishes the session and can be proud of his or her achievement. We are constantly on the lookout for symptoms in all of our mini-campers and have designed our schedule to keep the campers active so they don't have time to miss home. Most homesickness is minor and temporary. If severe homesickness does occur, we will do all we can to comfort the child and get him or her to calm down. Parents are called as a last resort. Sending your child to camp with a cell phone, calling and speaking to your child, or visiting your child at camp is likely to only make homesickness worse.
Check-In and Check-Out
Check-In will start at 5:00pm on Monday. Parents are advised to give their child a snack before check-in because dinner is likely to be at 7:00 the first night. Staff will greet cars at the top of the hill and direct traffic down the hill when there is space. Check-in will take place in Y-Owasco Lodge and will include medication check-in, a brief well-being survey, and a head lice check for each camper.
Check-Out will be on Thursday from 10:00 to 11:30am. You may find your mini camper in his or her cabin after coming down the hill.
Typical Daily Schedule:
7:30 Wake Up Call - Bathroom and prep time.
8:15 Flagpole, songs, thought for the day
9:00 Camp & Cabin Cleanup
9:15 1st Smorgasbord
10:15 2nd Smorgasbord
11:15 Cabin Activity
1:15 Siesta or Cabin Activity
2:00 3rd Smorgasbord
6:15 Evening All-Camp Activity
7:30 Showers and Evening Embers
8:30 Lights out
Can Parents Visit? While with our day camp parents are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony, at Mini-Camp we seek to build independence, confidence, and appropriate peer relationships. Therefore, we would rather not have parents or guardians visit their campers while they are at Mini-Campers, even for the awards ceremony, as the time they spend here away from home and family is crucial in attaining that personal growth. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the camp director. Letters and packages to campers are ALWAYS welcome, though! Please visit the "Contact" page to learn how.