Do campers chose their activities?
Campers sign-up twice a day (after breakfast and lunch) for their activity periods. They must sign-up for something but the choice is up to them. To ensure that everyone gets an equal chance of getting their first choice, the campers sign up by cabin on a rotating basis – if their cabin is the last to sign-up after breakfast, they will be the first after lunch.
Prior to the start of camp, all parents are asked to fill out with their son, a Camper Information Sheet which asks both the parents and campers to list activities they would like to try or have their son try while they are at camp. We keep track of the activities they chose and will encourage a boy to try new activities if he seems to be “stuck” making every attempt to have them at least try everything on their list.
What are the major differences between the first and second sessions ?
First half campers arrive with everyone on opening day and go through the orientation period together. In addition, all campers go on their cabin camping trip in the first half.
All cabins have a mix of full time and half time campers so campers arriving for the second half will enter an established cabin. The full time campers are excited to meet the new campers and go out of their way to welcome them. Although there are no second half cabin trips, there are two (one for the upper bunkline and one for the lower) optional short camping trips open only to second half campers. The second half campers participate in the end of camp activities.
There are many variables in deciding between the first and second half. The Directors would be happy to discuss your individual situation.
Are there any restrictions on activities for the younger campers?
After an all-camp orientation period, all activities are open to all aged campers. Certain activities will have restrictions based on camper competency like solo sailing and boating boundaries based on swim levels. Camping trips are also geared to appropriate age groups.
When may I visit my son?
We have no official parents day and welcome parents to visit with just a few restrictions. We request that you do not visit until at least two and preferably three weeks after your son arrives as visting too early can hinder his adjustment to camp. In addition, we ask that you limit your visits as too many can defeat one of the prime benefits of camp: the gradual emergence of an emotionally mature young man, better qualified for success and happiness in school, in college and in adult life. Also, while families and friends are welcome to observe their campers at the activities, they may not participate themselves.
It is a good idea to call ahead and let the office know when you are visiting so we can make sure you are not coming when your son is on his camping trip.
What does the tuition cover and are there extra expenses?
There are no program extras. Your tuition covers all activities, services, supplies, out of camp trips, health insurance and yearbook. Your son needs no money at camp. The major extra expense is our required uniforms, which are ordered through Maine Camp Outfitters. Each boy has an incidental account to cover:
- Purchases at the camp “store”
- Our store is a small closet in the office that carries essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, goggles, flashlights, batteries, playing cards. Please let us know if you would like your son’s store spending to be limited
- Travel to and from camp
- Charges for transportation to and from the airport or on the chartered bus originating in New York. Please see the travel form for specific charges
- Arrangements can be made for boys to receive individual help without interfering with the regular program for a charge of $35/hour.
- We have a limited number of tutors. Requests must be in writing and should be made prior to the start of camp
Most parents receive a refund from their son’s incidental account unless a boy is being tutored or has high travel charges.
What should my son bring or not bring?
Please see Packing for Camp for more a detailed list of what to bring. We do not allow electronic devices including cell phones, I-pods, video games, etc. food, knives and any other thing deemed out of place at camp. Some boys bring too much stuff and it goes unused or clutters up the cabins. We stress a simple lifestyle and find the boys thrive with a minimum of accessories.
Is it possible for my son to attend Catholic Mass?
On Sunday morning, counselors take any boys wishing to attend mass to a local church. The boys are dismissed early from breakfast and arrive back at camp before cabin clean up is over.
Will there be time for reading?
Unlike our harried lives during the school year, Timanous offers plenty of down time. Although your son will have a myriad of activities, we have rest periods during the day, a free time before supper, and the elective activity program allows for flexibility and innovation. A summer at Timanous provides a welcome relief to the frenetic pace of the school year.
Can I call my son? What about sending mail, packages and emails?
We limit calls for special occasions like birthdays. Remember, you are sending your son to Timanous to learn independence and phone calls can disrupt this process, especially in the first few weeks. You may call the directors anytime for an update.
Each boy has a mailbox and they enjoy receiving letters. Many parents feel sending packages with magazines, games, toys etc. enhance a boy’s experience when, in fact the opposite may be true. Cabin clutter and some boys feeling excluded can result. We limit the number of packages to one per week per camper and less is usually better as the boys are very busy with scheduled camp activities. We do not accept food of any kind.
We do offer a one-way email system through CampMinder which allows parents to send emails. These are printed out once a day and placed in the boys’ mailboxes. As we continue to encourage use of the written letter, the boys do not have access to email for replying. If you use the email system, we suggest that you also send “snail mail” as there is still something special about getting “real” mail!
How is the food?
We are fortunate to have a dedicated cook staff who are an integral part of camp. Our chef has been at camp for over 30 years and serves tasty and wholesome food in unlimited quantities. Snacks are provided in the afternoon. Vegetarian offerings and a salad bar stocked with locally sourced organic produce are available at lunch and supper. Most of our meals are served family style in our dinning hall while we also enjoy cookouts, buffets, and alternative meals throughout the summer. Boys change tables each week and sit with six campers of mixed ages at small tables with two counselors.
What about homesickness?
In many instances a boy’s entry into camp life marks his first experience away from home. Most boys will miss something about home when they are away at camp and homesick feelings are absolutely normal. Fortunately, severe homesickness is rare. We have a number of effective ways to deal with homesickness and our staff is trained to work with the boys. Many of our counselors (and directors) remember their own experiences with homesickness. Should you think your son is feeling homesick, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible. In most cases, we are aware of the issues and working closely with the counselors to help him. In some cases, a boy will show no outward signs and our first indication is the infamous homesick letter. We will be in contact with you should we feel your son is dealing with anything more than normal homesickness. It is important that the parents and camp work closely.
We send all new camper’s families a homesick prevention packet with helpful hints on simple things that you can do before camp starts to reduce the chance that your son will feel homesickness and things that you can do to support your son should he experience serious homesickness while at camp. We include a copy of the DVD, The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success about preventing homesickness. We recommend parents watch this with their sons. Watching will help your son understand and deal with the feelings he may have — it will not make him homesick.
My son occasionally wets the bed, is this something camp can deal with?
We understand that this can be an issue for some children and we do not want it to prevent them from having a great camp experience. We have developed strategies for dealing with this issue that will allow your son to fully participate and be comfortable. Please contact us early in your decision process so we can discuss how best to handle the situation.
How do I know what my son is doing at camp?
We require a weekly letter although the content is uncensored and sometimes lacks details. Thus, our blog is updated at least weekly with photos and a description of the weeks events. The directors are in constant communications via e-mail and phone for specific concerns. We hope you will contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Does the camp provide transportation to Timanous?
Our camper group represents over 25 states and 8 countries although the majority are from the Northeast. Many choose to drive to camp for the opening and closing. Be aware that if you are staying in the area overnight, it is necessary to make reservations well in advance, as this is a popular vacation area. We offer a bus from New York and Boston and places in between to camp on opening day in June and returning on closing day in August. We also pick up campers at the Portland airport which is 22 miles away and Logan Airport in Boston which is a 2 1/2 hour drive.
Please contact us with any other questions – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 207-655-4569