FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have questions about our overnight camp? That's only natural at this point. You've taken the first step in choosing your child's summer home, and we're here to help.
Both, actually! We are a unique “co-ed hybrid”: Our geography enables us to function as a single-campus brother/sister camp with separate facilities and programming that allows the girls and the boys to each “play where they live.” At the same time, our girls’ and boys’ campuses are close enough for campers to experience a supervised, age-appropriate social life. In this controlled environment, boys and girls can learn to grow together and respect one another. A camp like Pontiac enables sisters, brothers, and cousins to spend summers together and learn to care for each other without their parents’ intervention. Shared experiences like camp songs and evening activities foster a special bond between our girls and boys alike. This only comes by sharing the same summer home.
Homesickness is a feeling that can occur when a camper has difficulty transitioning from home to camp and experiences separation issues and anxieties. We partner with our parents year-round and especially in the months leading up to camp to better understand your child. We familiarize ourselves in what they may be experiencing in school, at home, socially, and academically. Understanding our campers before their arrival and over the course of years helps us create a tailored plan that fits the individual needs of the child. Armed with this knowledge that often cannot be found on a camp form, we are able to help ease the transition to camp and adjust as needed throughout the summer. Specifically, our experienced Camper Awareness Team ("CAT") is comprised of multiple staff members including school guidance counselors, social workers, and a family therapist who regularly check in and meet as needed with your child and coordinate with you. Extra parental contact with your camper may be required to reassure them that they are in a safe, fun-filled, and nurturing environment. Additionally, a designated counselor called a "camper advocate" works closely to monitor the camper daily, especially during “down time” and around bedtime. Campers are introduced to activity specialists and program heads in activities that they enjoy for an added connection and increased participation. We also have found that pairing up campers who share similar interests helps create a sense of friendship and inclusion.
In addition to three meals each day, campers enjoy a morning snack (fruit), an afternoon snack, (ices, cookies, etc.) and an evening canteen with food and drink items. Healthy choices are plentiful here at Pontiac. The dining room is open all day for juices, water, and iced tea. Additionally, there are a dozen chilled and filtered water stations throughout camp. These stations are equipped with single drink and bottle-filling capabilities to ensure that our campers are well-hydrated.
We believe that children, especially our younger campers, thrive on structure and routine. This allows campers to discover different kinds of activities while being guided in choosing some of their own selectives. Camp Pontiac focuses on teaching basic skills across various disciplines so that campers can more easily determine what interests them. As they move through their summers, we offer our campers more and more flexibility in determining their activities so that they may concentrate on specific and personal areas of interest. We encourage supervised downtime and the ability to relax with friends; at the same time, the hallmark of our camp centers on skilled instructors who afford our campers the amazing opportunity to learn and succeed while honing their decision-making skills.
Bullying in any setting - not just at camp - is unacceptable. We will not permit any child to infringe upon the happiness of another. When an issue of bullying – where an individual is continually targeted and demeaned – arises, we investigate sensitively and objectively to determine whether a child has been bullied. The situation is addressed immediately and if it persists, it will result in expulsion from camp. Educating our staff on bullying is a major piece of our pre-camp and ongoing staff orientation. Our large open layout bunks, 2:1 camper to staff ratio, rotating meal tables, and activities all play a significant role in reducing bullying incidents at Pontiac. Campers are encouraged to build friendships with different campers both within and outside their age group.
We strive to offer a care-free and genuine sleepaway camp experience away from the pressures of the school year. We have a “no package” policy (except for necessary items, which must be arranged through the camp office) and do not permit bunk or division gifts. We do not permit cell phones or any hand-held devices that can access the internet, play videos or movies, or play video games. Campers are permitted to bring devices that only play music. We also restrict our staff members’ cell phone usage to certain times of day in limited areas of camp.
Yes. Skin care, hair care, good hygiene, and tick prevention are high priorities at Camp Pontiac. We send information prior to camp emphasizing the importance of checking for lice immediately prior to camp and treating at home as needed. Once your child arrives at camp, we hire a professional lice-check service who checks each camper prior to going into the bunks. If a child has lice, parents have the option of picking up their child and treating them at home or having them treated at camp. Our summertime skin care and tick check protocols include routine individual checks by nurses and doctors and educating our campers on regularly checking their own skin. Every year, we team with Ivy Oaks Analytics in employing a comprehensive tick population monitoring and control program on our grounds.
- 8:00am wake-up
- 8:15am Morning Line-up (announcements)
- 8:30am Breakfast
- 9:15am Clean up
- 10:00am – 12:30pm Two morning activities with AM snack and a 30 minute break between periods
- 12:50pm Lunch
- 1:30pm Rest Hour or optional extra athletic instruction (at no extra charge)
- 2:30pm – 4:45pm Two afternoon activities with PM snack and a 30 minute break between periods
- 4:55pm – 5:25pm General Swim through grade 5 (optional swim or extra sports above 5th grade)
- 5:30pm – 6:10pm Shower Hour
- 6:15pm – 7:00pm Dinner
- 7:00pm – 7:30pm Free Play
- 7:30pm – 9:00pm Evening activity and Canteen
- 9:00pm – 11:45pm Back to cabins & lights out (age-dependent curfew)
We are a "modified uniform" camp. We wear red, white, or black every day of the week. On weekends, these colors include any Camp Pontiac logo. This policy allows us to maintain a uniform feel while allowing campers to wear what makes them comfortable! At night, campers may wear their choice of clothing.
Our campers enjoy a very diverse program with fun gameplay and strong instruction alongside unique hobbies and lifetime activities. A great camp understands that children have varied interests, so a broad program incorporating athletics (both team and individual), hobbies (cooking, arts & crafts, wall-climbing & ziplining, etc.), lifetime activities, (fishing, golf, woodworking, model-making, etc.) and of course an awesome Water Park is paramount. At Camp Pontiac, we are proud to invest resources annually into our daily program and the extensive number of adult staff who run our activities and care for our campers. A committed staff creates an exciting activities environment to pique the interest of campers who might not have otherwise given it a try. Each activity promotes our campers’ creativity and self-worth, and we work very hard to make each one special to enable all campers to shine in the venue of their choice.
On the girls’ side, our campers are designated as little sisters through 6th grade with big sisters beginning 7th grade. Big sisters contact their littles to introduce themselves before camp. On the second night of camp, “sisters” meet each other at the Girls’ Side opening campfire and enjoy bonding activities together. There are many other big/little sister activities throughout the summer and big sisters frequently tuck in their little sisters at night.
On Boys’ Side, College Game Day bonds our boys by creating twelve “college” teams with campers of all ages on each team playing one another in various activities each week. This is a relaxed way that the older boys can meet the younger ones on their team and cheer for one another throughout the summer. Additionally, our CITs are assigned to a younger camper division to work with them one period a day. The older campers love getting to know the little ones throughout the summer when they begin to form bonds that will carry into the following summer as their counselors!
Come see us for a tour of Camp Pontiac! It is important to visit a camp to not only see the facilities, but meet the summer caretakers of your child(ren). If it’s easier, we would be more than happy to visit your family at your home. First and foremost, you and your child should be in agreement in what you’re looking for at camp. Children should be excited about the activities, while parents should be satisfied with the safety and care their child will receive. Second, reassure them that the fun they will have and the friendships they make will last a lifetime. A Pontiac director will reach out to you during the winter and spring to check in. (In the spring, younger campers have an additional informal get-together.) Then, in the weeks leading up to camp, your child’s group leader will call you. Pontiac holds a “New Camper Day” at camp each May where we provide a day of exciting camp activities and opportunities to bond with other new campers in the group. Parents, you aren’t left out! “New Camper Day” also includes a parent orientation program. Finally, ask us questions! When your child asks you camp questions and whenever you have any yourself, call us. We will work with you to create a strategy to make your child (and you) feel comfortable and calm any anxieties you or they may have.
Your child could not be in better hands! Camp Pontiac’s owners have been physicians for over forty years. Accordingly, we strive to set the gold standard in camp medicine with two separate state-of-the-art health centers managed by a medical director, 3-4 on-site physicians, 10 nurses, an athletic trainer, and a health center administrator. Outside of camp, there is an urgent care center just five minutes away and three hospitals located within a half-hour from camp. We provide the most experienced medical expertise available in the camp industry to handle your child's medical needs as they may arise. If your child develops a medical condition and needs admission to one of our health centers, you will be contacted that same day. Likewise, if your child requires outside services (specialists, ER, blood tests, X-rays) you will be notified and closely involved in the process during any significant medical issues.