Preparing For Camp
We are so excited that you will soon join us for a wonderful summer of fun, meaningful work and friendship. As you prepare for arrival, we can provide useful information regarding travel, packing, forms, etc. Please see additional links in the right-hand column. Continue reading here for a perspective on how staff can best prepare for life in the camp community...
Important Links for All HVC Staff
Summer Forms are important and MUST be completed prior to your arrival at camp.
Travel Information: Please check carefully so that you arrive on time.
Packing List: Not sure what to bring? Former staff have provided suggestions.
For International Staff: You may be curious about life at a US camp; we've addressed some of these issues here.
Covid Prep: Let's make 2021 the BEST SUMMER EVER!
Counselor Job Descriptions and Responsibilities
Meet the Staff: Want to know a little more about other counselors and HVC directors?
Diet, Medical and Substance Ab/use Issues: See Right hand column
Make the Most of your Summer
Life at any summer camp is joyful and upbeat and, to employ an overused word, time here can also be 'intense.' Some thoughts along these lines as you prepare for summer...
Get in physical shape: Camp life is active, and you'll be walking and running around all day this summer. This will help you keep up with energetic campers.
Take care of yourself! Please plan to sleep well, eat well and do those things (a daily jog, reading, meditation, journaling, a swim, etc.) that help you relax and recharge. Once you are here, we can tell you about good running routes, which art studios are available, etc.
HVC is "device free!" Please read about our "no cell phone" policy in the right column. We do use technology selectively (in dance classes for example), and have learned that the unique non-tech aspects of camp community life have much to offer the children and adults here, as does this longtime staff member... "I went virtually all summer without checking my facebook or e-mail. I cannot tell you what a relief that was. It sounds like a trivial detail but I think it's a testament to the fact that I was really 'present' in the moment, with all my energy focused on connecting with my campers and co-workers."
Ask yourself, "How do I normally respond to occasional stress in a positive way?" And then think about how you can help yourself while you are here, given that there are many opportunities available (people to talk with, open space, physical activity, quiet times, etc.) and some limitations (way less access to phone and people outside of camp.)
Limits and schedules at camp: On a personal level, counselors gain so much here - friends, access to outdoors, crafts, etc., not to mention the joy and growth that a children's camp community produces daily. You will give up some thing as well. Be prepared for a life with wakeup times, bed times, set mealtimes, etc. In other words your daily routines may be less flexible here than in some parts of the "real world."
Staying Safe in 2021
We have a few additional considerations as our amazing summer approaches. Over the past months a health plan has evolved at HVC as we consult with medical personnel and health authorities. Some details…
Outdoors! We will have a few large "event tents" placed around camp, and many meals, many classes and evening programs will shift outside.
Quarantine prior to camp...
- HVC is requiring a 10-day self quarantine at home prior to travel at camp.
- We will ask you to fill out a daily log including temperature and COVID screening questions.
- The quarantine does not mean you have to be confined to your home for 10 days. We understand you have work/school and other life obligations.
- It does mean this: Please use your common sense and skip all risky events like weddings, family gatherings, parties, and any indoor spaces that are not essential during that time, regardless of any other rules in your area that might permit this activity and regardless of your vaccination status.
Testing... (If you are vaccinated, no testing needed.)
- Each staff member is required to get a negative PCR test as close to 72 hours prior to your arrival to camp.
- Upon arrival you will get a PCR test, and then an additional PCR test on day 3-5 of being at camp.
- If you have had covid in the past 90 days, please instead provide proof of this diagnosis.
- If you believe that you may have been or are positive and asymptomatic, please do this: Get a PcR test 14 days prior to coming to HVC... If it's positive, then you can quarantine in time to come to camp... If it's negative, then please retest 3 days prior as noted above.
Masks will not be worn in the cabins. They will be required in most other indoor spaces.
We will also...
- All pitch in cleaning surfaces around camp, in cabins, etc.
- Take temperatures each morning at wakeup time or at breakfast.
- Set up additional hand-washing areas around camp.
Meals: Chris, Lillian and Mike have been preparing for summer and food quality will remain high. There will be modifications, so for example, we can expect people to serve us food rather than choose items ourselves off the food lines.
Time off, if spent away from camp, might put the entire camp community at risk. So, we will work to make sure that time off away from camp is safe and outdoors. Additionally, we'll suporrt in-camp off time as follows:
- Expand broadband in camp by a factor of 12.
- Open up nearby 17-acre camp-owned property ("Blodgett") for off time use. Moderate, legal alcohol use will be permitted.
- Make improvements at the staff cabin.
- Plan for some "surprises" like a food truck visiting off-duty staff now and then.
- If you are eligible in your country/state to receive the vaccination under “chid care worker” we encourage you to get the vaccination before arriving at camp.
- We have sent staff a letter which also provides proof of employment.
- Please let us know if further support from us will be helpful.
Now more than ever, a peaceful, productive and un-pressured community such as ours is a significant resource for families. Your contribution to our children's summer of freedom and expression will be an important one, and we look forward to working with you this summer.
Any questions? Please contact us any time.
Dates for HVC Staff • 2021
- June 6 - Returning Staff arrive
- June 8 - Lifeguarding Staff arrive
- June 8 - Horse Riding, Video, Wilderness and Ropes Staff arrive
- June 8 - All New Staff in attendance
- June 9 to June 25 - Staff Training
- June 26 to August 19 - Two sessions of camper attendance
- August 20 - Staff departure
You will be very well-fed in our dining hall this summer, and please note the following:
• Vegetarian alternatives are available at all meals.
• We can accommodate some medically-based food allergies; please contact Meg to discuss.
• You may be asked to provide some alternative foods at your own expense. Gluten-free meals, for example, are not provided by the camp at all meals.
Camp is responsible for your care should a work-related issue arise. For pre-existing conditions (injuries, illnesses, etc.) your insurance is required and you'll be responsible for travel to medical appointments.
Overall, the best advice is to eat well, get sleep, drink lots of water, etc. This will help you avoid an illness or accident that interferes with a splendid summer.
No Smoking at HVC! Almost all staff have said they don't smoke. If you do — even 1 or 2 daily — note that you can only smoke on limited off-time, far from camp. This often means going 36-48 hours without a cigarette. Quitting is difficult. Avoid the mistake of waiting 'till you arrive here to deal with this situation. Quit now!
Drug & Alcohol Ban - The following will lead to immediate dismissal... Possession of alcohol on main camp or any illegal drug including marijuana... Being under the influence of these items... Abuse of prescription medication.
Cell Phone use is prohibited on camp property as are gameboys, etc. belonging to children. This policy is firm and applies to all staff, campers and visitors. It is rooted in our philosophy that the success of the camp community and its many members depends on individual expression and the richness of group life. Camp’s goals are not attainable if community members are “tuned out.”
Many of you have grown accustomed to the immediate access that mobile technology provides, so be prepared: Your relationship to technology will change drastically as soon as you arrive here. And your relationships with those away from camp will change as well. Please alert those close to you that they will have to be patient and wait until you are off duty before you can and speak with them or read their messages.
You are on duty 50% of the nights here and may not use your phone while campers are dependent on you, even when they are asleep. On “off” nights, phone use away from camp is welcome. During most days, you will have 1-2 hours “off” and can use cells at the staff cabin which is away from the center of camp. Remember that reception is inconsistent.
Note also that we have designated two office computers for internet use during off time, available 24/7. Our office has wireless to which your devices can connect. Just as importantly, technology is available to support your teaching efforts; the program directors will explain how we can help you. In the past counselors have posted camper-made videos on youtube, researched lyrics for music activities or recipes for cooking classes, etc. And staff rely on their ipods in dance classes as well.