Will I know anyone at camp?
You may find that some kids from your school, soccer team, or Scout troop also attend Friendly Pines Camp. Most kids, however, come to camp for the first time not yet knowing anyone at all, but this changes pretty quickly! Camp is the perfect place to make new friends because there’s so much to share and do. When the summer’s over many campers discover that they now have two sets of friends – their “school” friends from September to June and their “camp” friends whom they look forward to seeing each summer. Many “first-time” campers leave Friendly Pines with life-long pals (including the staff, who’ll be friends that you can trust).
How will I know which activities to go to each day?
You’ll know, because we’ll create a schedule just for YOU! About two or three weeks before you arrive at camp, you will be reminded to watch the Activity Orientation Videos, and then you’ll be instructed to choose your activities online. This way we will be able to create a schedule just for you shortly after you arrive. The schedule will be composed of the activities you asked for. With over 30 different activities to choose from, you will be able to find plenty of activities that are right up your alley. We believe that camp’s a place to explore your interests, so that’s exactly what we want you to do.
If there’s an activity I don’t really like, do I have to take it?
Absolutely not!! As mentioned earlier, activities you participate in are the ones you’ve selected. We know that not everyone likes sports, or swimming, or even horseback riding. And that’s okay with us. Just take the things that you like!! In fact, if you find yourself in an activity that you’re not as fond of as you thought you might be, we’ll be glad to change it (so long as you’ve at least given it a try.
What do we eat?
Our meals here at Friendly Pines can best be described as delicious, plentiful, and nutritious. Because you’ll be active from 7 AM to 9 PM every day, you’ll need plenty of fuel, and that’s why we don’t serve a lot of “junk food”. You should never have any trouble finding plenty of the kinds of foods you like to eat. Pastas, homemade soups, salads, hamburgers, outdoor hot cakes, lasagna, veggies, fresh baked breads, muffins, and cinnamon rolls are just a few of the items that will show up at your meals. We serve desserts at both lunch and dinner, that include fruits, ice cream, and a variety of treats, whipped up by our baker. Then to keep you going the rest of the day, we serve a snack mid-morning and another in the afternoon.
What are the cabins like?
Your cabin isn’t just the place where you sleep, change clothes, and clean-up. It is also the place where many of your memories of camp are born. It’s where you’ll laugh and swap stories with your cabin mates and counselor. It’s where you and your friends will play games or cards on a rare rainy afternoon. It’s also where you’ll read and write letters home during siesta. For these reasons we’ve designed the cabins to offer privacy along with fun and friendships. Our campers live in rustic redwood cabins and sleep on sturdy bunks. Each person has a set of shelves for his or her clothes. All of our cabins are equipped with private showers and toilets, so there’s no trudging into the darkness if you have to use the bathroom late at night.
Who will I live with?
The number of kids in your cabin really depends on your age and school grade. Our youngest campers may live in a cabin with just 4 kids and one counselor. Some of the slightly older may live in a group of six with one (and, oftentimes, two) counselors. As the campers get older, there’ll be 8 to a cabin with at least one counselor. Your cabin counselors will live with you the whole session. They’ll be there to see that the cabins runs smoothly, to make sure everyone knows where to go, and to help your cabin mates get along and become good friends. Most importantly, your counselor helps make camp fun!! As you can see, the job of counselor is a very important one! We spend a great deal of time searching for young men and women who are responsible, caring, kind and really enjoy being with kids.
Campers are often worried about being in a cabin with a bully. Friendly Pines has always held its campers to the highest standards when it comes to the way they treat one another. We have a zero tolerance for bullying, hazing, and teasing. We will not allow one or two campers to ruin the experience for the rest of the cabin. We feel it is our job to teach people to get along. Putdowns and cruelty may be something that people do to get cheap laughs on television shows, but it’s not something that is allowed at Friendly Pines. We want our campers to trust that Friendly Pines is a safe place where all campers are free to be who they are.
What if I miss my family at first?
Most campers really adjust quickly to camp life; others may need a day or so. With so many new things to do, campers simply don’t have time to be homesick! Sometimes a camper may feel a bit unsettled at first, especially the first night. We understand that this may happen and work hard to make the first days extra-busy. Once you’re involved in your activities, and get to know your cabin mates and staff, your camp world seems so bright and friendly. Lonely feelings seldom last long, but be sure you tell your counselor if it happens. There’s nothing at all wrong with missing Mom, Dad, or your pet, but learning to be away from home is one of the first important steps along the road to growing up. Camp’s a GREAT place to do it!
I’m only 6. Is that too young?
Not at all. 6 is a great age to start going to camp. In fact we’ve found that 6 and 7 year-old campers are the quickest to adjust to camp life. They’re so gung-ho about the huge choice of activities that they get into the flow of things right away. We also add some special touches to make camp comfortable and carefree. First of all, you will live in a cabin with kids closest to you in age. Your cabin will be in what we call a “village”. For instance a 7-year-old boy may live in Mohave cabin, which is part of “Boy’s Lower Village”. There’s even a special play area just for Lower Villagers! Meanwhile, the older boys and girls live in their own villages around camp.
What if I’ve never ridden a horse?
Not a problem. We offer English and Western riding at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, so we can place you in the activity matching your skill level. As a matter of fact, most of the campers who take riding are beginners. Riding isn’t the only activity that’s offered at different skill levels. Others are: Tennis, Swimming, Pony Driving, Challenge, and Vaulting. If you’d like to know more about anything at Friendly Pines we’ll be mighty happy to hear from you!
So long for now – hope to see you!