We want your child to have an unforgettable summer here at SFAH and we appreciate that sending your child to camp is a big leap of faith. We know that it can be difficult for parents and children to be separated for this time. With that said, we have found that the following communication policies help us ensure your child thrives here. Please review these policies carefully with your child before the start of camp.
Cell Phones & Electronics
Cell phones and other communication devices are not permitted at camp. All devices brought to camp will be turned in to the camp office on the first day and stored until the session end. Please respect the camp’s policy and do not send cell phones with your children. Not only are cell phones and other electronics expensive, and can get stolen or lost, but their use can interfere with your campers overall experience at camp. Time spent on these devices is at the expense of forming new relationships with fellow campers and counselors. Summer camp is a unique opportunity for campers to make friends and have fun in the outdoors without being constantly immersed in a digital world. While this policy has been a part of many camps for a long time, we at SFAH only fully implemented it in the summer of 2016. So far this policy has been a tremendous success; even the most reluctant campers admit that full engagement without phones made their camp experience even better. For those of you who are nervous about how your camper will deal without their phone, please understand that they are too busy with activities and meeting new people to miss them anyway!
We do understand that there is a ‘grey area’ when it comes to campers using their phones to listen to music and take photographs. Music: We recommend that your purchase an inexpensive MP-3 player. These can be bought for as little as $10 and camp will be happy to help with uploading music in the first few days of camp. Additionally, each bunk has at least two MP-3 players loaded with music that the campers may use.
Photographs: At the end of the camp session camp uploads a vast number of camp photos into a free dropbox service that you, and your camper, will be able to access. This will also include all of the end of session slideshow pictures that are frequently requested by campers.
SFAH has a strict no phone call policy. While this may be difficult for the both of you, it is designed in your campers best interest. The first week of camp in particular is a very important transition period for campers as they acclimate and begin to bond with their bunkmates and counselors. Phone calls home greatly disrupt that process. Please understand that this policy is not arbitrary; our primary concern is to help your camper have an amazing summer, so if we believe a phone call home is necessary for them to do so then we will arrange it.
The best way for you to offer your child support is by sending them a letter. Emails sent to the camp office with your campers name as the subject line are printed and distributed every morning. They will also have access to the internet/email with the camp iPads, usually every 2-4 days.
For your peace of mind, you are always welcome to call the camp office to check in. We are more than happy to speak with the nurses and your child’s head counselor if you have any specific questions or to provide you with an update. We try our best to return your calls within two hours, but please understand if we require more time.
There is a no visitor policy for all campers while at camp. First and foremost, this helps us keep all campers safe. If family members arrive at camp with out prior permission it is difficult for us to discern between welcome and unwelcome visitors. Because we have so many trips and activities planned each day, this policy also serves to keep our schedule running smoothly and without interruption. Last but not least, even though a visit seems simple, it can be detrimental to campers who are already immersed in camp life and has the potential to cause mid-session homesickness that campers would otherwise not experience. If you are a parent or family member, we recommend that you enjoy your free time while your child is here and ask that you trust that we are doing all we can to give your child the experience of a lifetime. It’s your summer too and if there are any problems we will call you.
Transportation & Buses
All campers taking transportation from the city must have a parent or guardian present for check-in at the start of camp, and to meet them at the bus at the end of camp. Any children without a parent or guardian will not be allowed to board the bus at the start of camp, and will not be able to leave the Hospital at the end.
The Southampton Fresh Air Home uses its own camp vehicles to transport campers to off-site events and activities and charters a Hampton Jitney to provide transportation to and from Manhattan and the start and end of each session. It is expected that campers always wear seat belts and abide by all safety rules. In addition to the driver, there will always be at least one staff member on the vehicle to attend to any camper needs. All vehicles will always have on cell phone onboard. If you wish to contact the bus while your child is in transit please contact the camp office who can provide you with the assigned bus contact number.