Planning for Camp 2018

In the circus of life, parents are the extreme jugglers: constantly juggling fireballs, curveballs, meatballs and more. As a local business that works one-on-one with parents and their children, we know that you put a great deal of effort into not dropping the ball.

While many of you are still recovering from a jaded January and a far-from-festive February, we want to help you avoid a manic March by offering the following advice when it comes to your child’s spring and summer breaks – start planning now! As the year marches on these holidays loom ever closer, and it’s time to consider the options available to you.

It is our opinion that the time kids spend away from school shouldn’t be filled with meaningless activities. We see this time as an opportunity for children to continue learning, to have meaningful interactions, and to gain new experiences that will continue developing them into the best possible version of themselves. We know that as parents you want the best for your kids, which is why we highly recommend the summer camp experience. While it is your job as a parent to make a decision, it is our job as youth development professionals to make that decision as easy as possible.

Why Camp?

There’s a common saying amongst those who have been hooked by the summer camp experience: they’re living 10 for 2. Once you’ve been bitten by the summer camp bug, the remaining 10 months of the year become inconsequential – it’s all about getting back to camp!

The summer camp experience is also described as a ‘bubble’ that children and staff members enter into and never look back. This bubble effect is created in a serene, natural setting surrounded by role models who genuinely care. It’s the type of environment that welcomes you as you are and helps you to be your best self in the most natural, fun-focused way. Campers gain independence by being away from their parents, they learn respect by sharing a living space with others, they learn to challenge themselves by trying new things, and they learn to connect with others by meeting people from all over the world.

Which Camp?

To assist with the endless planning that comes with being a parent, summer camps gather at Summer Camp Fairs throughout the early months of the year. These fairs are typically held at large shopping malls and schools, where parents can browse the various programs on offer and have their questions answered by knowledgeable staff. If you can’t make it to one of your local fairs, search for accredited summer camps on the American Camping Association’s website for parents.

Try It Out!

A number of camps will offer Spring Break Camps for first-timers to get a taste of what camp is all about. To see whether Camp Friendship’s Spring Break Camps align with your child’s school dates, visit www.campfriendship.com.

The summer camp experience is unlike any other youth development activity on offer. Some call it magic, some call it a bubble, but we call it home.

Camp Friendship sets the benchmark for an exceptional summer experience. Founded in 1966, we are a family-owned summer camp that offers year-round tours of our facilities. Give us a call on 1-800-873-3223 or visit www.campfriendship.com to learn more.

Six Steps To Choosing A Summer Camp

choosing a summer camp

When it comes to summer camps, there’s a lot more involved than just campfires, s’mores and sing-along songs. As a parent, you might already have come to the realization that picking the right summer camp for your child isn’t easy… it’s an important and time-consuming decision.

As leaders in the camp industry, Camp Friendship in Virginia simplified the process for busy parents by creating a 6 step process to choosing a summer camp:

1. Day or Sleepaway?

When choosing a summer camp, first things first: Simplify your options. While there are hundreds of camps out there, you need to decide first and foremost whether you’ll be picking a day camp, an overnight camp or a combination of both for the summer. The most important part of this step is involving your child in the decision-making process. Some 7 year olds are ready for overnight camp, others are not; and parents need to be ready too. Session length is also a consideration when thinking of overnight camps as some offer 1 week sessions and others offer 2,3,4 and full-summer options.

2. Specialized Programming or General Fun?

Consider your child’s interests: what do they enjoy doing and what new activities would they like to try? Are you hoping for them to enjoy a wide range of experiences or do you want to opt for a specialty camp that focuses on a particular activity or set of skills? Nowadays camps offer all sorts of specialized options including horseback riding, circus and performing arts, sports, science and computer-based activities and more.

3. Philosophy and Mission: Does It Match Yours?

Now that you’ve narrowed it down some, it’s time to get to know the camp itself. What are you looking for in a camp? What should you be looking for? A sure-fire way to check whether a camp is the right fit is to consider your own parenting philosophy and whether the camp’s philosophy matches this: what is their view on competition, conflict resolution, flexibility and free-choice, are they affiliated with a religion etc. Another aspect to consider is the children that make up the camp’s community – would they all be from the same area or does the camp welcome children from out-of-state or other countries?

4. Consider the Costs

While choosing a summer camp, the general rule of thumb is that the earlier you sign up for camp, the cheaper it is. Some camps may offer financial aid or payment plans as well as sibling discounts or multiple week discounts. Check whether tuition is all-inclusive or if there are additional costs for transportation, specialized activities, out-of-camp trips etc.

5. Ask Questions

All camps should have a helpful FAQ section on their website which will most likely provide answers to questions you hadn’t even thought to ask. The American Camp Association suggests parents ask questions relating to:

  • Management and Staffing: What is the Camp Director’s background? How are staff members selected, screened and trained? What supervision ratio does the camp enforce?
  • Accreditation and References: Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association? Are they willing to provide previous camper families as references? What is their return rate for campers and staff?
  • Facilities and Food: How are campers bunked and what are the bathroom facilities like? How does the camp accommodate fussy eaters or food allergies?
  • Health & Wellness: How does the camp handle medical issues and manage camper medications? What about special needs? Are there health care professionals on-site and where is the closest medical facility? How is homesickness handled? What is the camp’s stance on behavior management?
  • Activities and Program Goals: How does the camp assign campers their activities – is it free-choice or do they receive a structured schedule as a group or individuals? Which is better for your child? How does the camp structure free time into a typical day?
  • Communication: How can you stay in touch with your child during camp? Does the camp allow electronics or is it technology-free?

6. Pay Them a Visit

For a nervous camper (or parent!) there is nothing better than actually visiting the camp to ease any anxieties. Many camps have Open House Days where first-time camper families are welcomed onto camp to meet staff, as well as see the facilities and ask questions. Some camps also offer private tours just for you and your family. If you live too far away to visit, some camps may have camp videos or virtual camp tours on their websites which may be helpful.

Choosing a summer camp takes time to research. There’s a camp out there to suit every child. When you consider the fact that over 14 million people attend camps annually in the United States alone, it becomes easy to recognize that there must be something special and beneficial about the experience. Join Camp Friendship in Virginia.

Sign up today! 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950


Camp Friendship is a residential camp. If you have any questions pertaining to summer camp, sleepaway camp, coed summer camp, , horseback riding camp, tennis summer camp, overnight camp, or residential camp in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania, contact Camp Friendship at: 1 (800) 873-3223 or (434) 589-8950.

 

The Week So Far… Session 7A!

It’s Week 7 here at Camp Friendship in Virginia, and it’s been nothing but fun, friendships and WAR… SV Wars to be precise! This week our Senior Villages have declared war and are out to win in the epic battles of SV WARS. SV Wars is a brand new Village Time activity here at camp where campers and counselors compete in various activities throughout the week – there have been dance offs, ping pong tournaments, fashion shows, volleyball challenges and so much more! Be sure to follow our Camp Friendship Facebook and Instagram pages to find out whether SV1 or SV2 are victorious at the end of the week.

Taking it back a day or two to Sunday, we started Week 7 in the same way we start every week at Camp Friendship, with our Opening Campfire on Sunday night. This campfire is a time for new friends to come together beneath the stars and get to know each other a little better. It’s also a time where we watch our counselors make complete fools of themselves up on stage, and we love every minute!

After an early start on Monday, there was much excitement as everyone received their activity schedules and prepared to try their activities for the first time! Instead of regular dinner in the Dining Hall, our campers and counselors ate outdoors in a camp-wide cookout that was great fun!

After a full day of activities on Tuesday, it was time to cool off with a few camp favorites for evening activity: Slip ‘n Slide for Juniors and a highly competitive round of Pool Olympics for Seniors.

On Wednesday we received some much needed rain which gave us all some time to rest and recover from the high-energy activities we’ve been doing all week.

Rest time didn’t last long though as it was soon time to head Under the Sea for our camp-wide dance. It’s always great fun to see how our campers interpret the dance theme, and this week we had sharks, crabs, fishermen, squid and a whole crew of Spongebob Squarepants characters that made everyone giggle. Needless to say we had a whale of a time!

As we near the end of our week, we still have big plans for camp fun with our camp friends. Thursday‘s evening activities are some camp classics: Pool Party for Juniors and Powder Fairies for Seniors. Our Equestrian Campers will spend the evening preparing themselves and their horses for the big day on Friday: Horse Show Day! At the end of every 2-week Equestrian Camp session, the girls get the chance to perform the skills they’ve learned at camp to their families and friends, and of course their counselors swell with pride at seeing how far each rider has come in just 2 short weeks.

Be sure to look out for photos of your camper on CampInTouch over the weekend, and there’ll be a special Week 7 Wrap Up video to watch on our YouTube channel.

The Week So Far… Session 6!

It’s the middle of Week 6 and the good times keep rolling in!

We started off the week by showing a warm welcome to our international campers who have come from all over the world to be with us this week. We’ve got a diverse group of campers from Andorra, China, Spain, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Canada and the United Kingdom to name just a few.

On Sunday night the good times began with campers and counselors sharing their talents on the Campfire stage as well as a very messy and muddy act which continued the Junior Boys vs Junior Girls rivalry that started a few weeks ago.

On Monday we started our week of activities and had a blast trying new things! We took our cabin and village pictures (look out for those in your envelopes on Check Out day!) and spent time in the Lake and the Pool during Free Swim. Our first full camp day ended with a camp-wide Cook Out where we had the chance to bond as a village group over hamburgers, hotdogs, taco skillet and of course s’mores!

On Tuesday we continued with our 5 daily activities, learning more about the things that interest us and getting to know our new friends. The evening activities were some camp favorites – Powder Fairies for the Juniors and Slip ‘n Slide for the Seniors. Needless to say there was plenty of laughter to be heard both on Overlook Hill and the Lower Fields on Tuesday night!

On Wednesday we continued progressing within our activities and enjoyed a much needed rest during cabin/village time… having all this fun is hard work! This evening’s activities involve a great deal of splashing – we’ve lined up Chip Cup for Juniors and the oh-so-competitive Pool Olympics for Seniors. Stay tuned for more news!

 

The Week So Far… Session 3A!

They say good things come in threes, and Session 3A is proving to be no exception… it’s been a fantastic fun-filled week so far!

After meeting our new cabin mates on Sunday, we headed to our international flag raising ceremony where we welcomed our friends from other countries. Camp Friendship is all about celebrating diversity and this week we’re lucky enough to have campers from Colombia, France, Italy, Monaco, Mexico and Saudi Arabia to name just a few! Next we headed to Opening Campfire for some live entertainment thanks to our creative and fun-loving campers and counselors. Campfire hosts Kerry and Ben are no strangers to the campfire stage (having been at Camp Friendship for over 10 years each!) and they had us all in stitches with their silly banter and jokes. The campfire acts, as always, were super impressive with campers and counselors showing off their many talents which included singing, magic tricks and even a performance of CF’s Got Talent – Worst Singer Edition!

After selecting our top 10 activity choices on Sunday night, we started our first day of activities on Monday. One of the best things about summer camp is that you get to try things you’ve never tried before, like Aerial Silks in our awesome gymnastics center.

Our Riding Camp campers got to meet and interact with their horses for the first time on Monday, and needless to say special bonds were made right away with their 4-legged friends.

The fun at Camp Friendship doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, and Monday’s evening activities included a pumping Pool Party for Juniors and Riding Camp while Seniors took to the lower fields to try their luck against the Powder Fairies.

Tuesday was of course a very special day at Camp Friendship, and everyone got into the red, white and blue spirit as we celebrated the 4th of July. It was all hands on deck as we decorated the dining hall and flag area and had a camp-wide cookout and picnic complete with red, white and blue chocolate cake. We also had fireworks at Friendship Lake which was an extra special treat!

After all that excitement it’s not surprising that we’re all amazed it’s Wednesday already, and time for day 3 of our activities. Tonight’s evening activities are Noodle Hockey and and Pool Party.

On Thursday we’ll have our camp-wide dance where the theme is of course Party in the USA, so get ready for even more red, white and blue celebrations. We know that 2017 is our best summer yet, but week 3A is looking to be our best week so far, and we’re so excited about the things to come!

The Week So Far… Session 2A!

Our second week of camp is off to a great start with plenty of memories already made and new friends around every corner!

On Sunday evening we had our first flag raising ceremony where we recognized how far everyone has traveled to get to their summer home away from home. This week we have campers visiting from Palestine, China, France, Mexico and Mongolia, not to mention our staff members from Puerto Rico, Scotland, England, Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia, Venezuela… the list goes on!

Every week there are new accents and cultures at camp and this helps us to achieve our mission of being a place where children can gather in peace… it really is a unique setting and something we are very proud of here at Camp Friendship!

Sunday night’s Opening Campfire gave our new campers their first glance at just how much fun camp can be: our counselors taught them songs, performed funny skits and had everyone joining in with the camp classic, the Jigga.

On Monday morning our Traditional Camp campers got to sample their first 3 activities while our Equestrian Camp campers got a chance to ride their horses for the first time. Later on in the day everyone took the chance to cool down in the pool and lake during Free Swim. There were more new activities to try on Monday afternoon and Monday’s evening activity offered a chance for village bonding during Cookout. There were even a few impromptu games of Chip Cup, frisbee, volleyball and Gaga Ball that broke out, so everyone had a great time. Our first full day of camp ended as all good camp days should – around a fire with s’mores!

Tuesday was a total splash for our senior campers who took to the mountain boarding hill for slip ‘n slide. We saw some interesting techniques and some pretty funny faces, because slip ‘n slide is always a ton of fun. Junior campers enjoyed one of the craziest evening activities there is: Powder Fairies, where they work as a team against the powder-swinging fairies who are out to interfere with their mission and get them stuck in one spot!

During tonight’s evening activities it’ll be time to cheer on our teams as we take to the gym for Mock Olympics. Our senior campers will go head to head on the sports fields for an epic game of Tri Cone Ultra, a unique CF activity that gets even more intense than Capture the Flag!

Stay tuned for more news and be sure to follow our social media accounts for the latest updates! For more pictures, login to your CampInTouch account!

Coed Summer Camp North Carolina

If you’re looking for a Coed Summer Camp Near North CarolinaCamp Friendship is your choice. Camp Friendship’s summer camp in Central Virginia is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near North Carolina, and is for campers age 7-16.

While creating wonderful memories, your camper can gain independence, build social values and confidence. Camp Friendship, Virginia’s best coed summer camp near North Carolina offers several camp programs where camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and enhance their social growth.  We guarantee that your son or daughter will absolutely love our coed summer camp and that they will have the experience for a lifetime! They have the opportunity to try new things, For more information, contact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email: info@campfriendship.com.

Coed Summer Camp Virginia

If you’re looking for a Coed Summer Camp in Virginia, then Camp Friendship is the right choice for you. Camp Friendship’s coed summer camp  is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Palmyra, Virginia, and is the perfect camp for boys and girls age 7-16.

While creating wonderful memories, your camper can gain independence, build social values and confidence. They have the chance to step out of their comfort zones and explore tons of new experiences, all at our judgment free camp! Camp Friendship, coed summer camp in Virginia offers several camp programs and loads of activities where camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through the development of new activity skills and enhance their social growth.  For more information, contact us at 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950 or email: info@campfriendship.com.

Tennis Summer Programs VA

Camp Friendship has a plethora of sports for kids to participate in at their summer camp in Virginia. Camp Friendship is a great place for your child to enjoy sports at camp in close proximity to Virginia. Camp Friendship is an overnight summer camp in Virginia for campers ages 7-16 and offers 6 different summer camp programs and unique activities such as tennis, a horseback riding program, color wars and a ropes course, to name a few. There is a wide variety of traditional summer camp activities such as soccer, volleyball, arts and crafts, camp fires and more.

Come visit or request more information. Contact us call 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950.

Make New Friends at Summer Camp

IMG_9640One of the highlights of summer for children is spending a few weeks at overnight camp! Here, they have endless hours of fun and adventure that they can’t have anywhere else. So what exactly is the best part about going to an summer camp near Pennsylvania? At Camp Friendship, we believe that it’s all the lifelong friends that campers will make!

When looking at overnight camps, a lot of parent’s main concern is whether or not their child will make friends. But rest assured, by the end of the first day, your child will have met a ton of new people, and likely met one of their new best friends! A lot of campers make new friends by finding other children that have similar interests. That makes our overnight camp activities the prime opportunity to make new friends. Children have to communicate and work with each other to achieve a common goal. By doing this, children aren’t just making new friends, they are also gaining social skills, boosting their self-esteem, and also gaining self-confidence, all while having a fun time! Our safe and supportive summer camp environment is the perfect place for children to discover who they truly are. Therefore, making friends that support them and have similar mindsets. School can be a stressful place, therefore finding time to make friends can often be hard. Allowing overnight camp is the perfect place to make new friends happen!

So are you ready to sign your son or daughter up for the best summer camp near Pennsylvania next summer?! Then call Camp Friendship to get more information or to schedule a tour today at (434)-589-8950.