Camper Behavior Awareness
To: Parents and Guardians of H.P.D.C. Campers
From: Peter Trupia and Matt Pagliari
Date: Spring 2013
Re: Camper Behavior Awareness for June 2013
Hidden Pond Day Camp has been successfully providing a summer of safe, age appropriate and memorable experiences for children for many years. We have been pleased to be able to serve generations of families, as well as multiple siblings from the same family. With few exceptions, Hidden Pond Day Camp has been able to serve all children accepted for our program, and year after year, parental praise for our work has been the rule. We are grateful for all your letters of appreciation and expressions of satisfaction with our efforts. We have every intention of continuing to care for your children with the same concern, interest, and energy as we prepare for this summer.
The success of our program is based, in part, on:
High standards of care for your children
High expectations of ourselves and our staff
A value system explained to staff, campers, and families
Boundaries clearly defined for campers and staff
Hidden Pond Day Camp is a community and a family. The well-being of your children, both physically as well as emotionally, continues to be our number one priority. In order for us to continue to be successful, we need to make you aware of the observations and incidents we have been experiencing the last several years. We believe that many children have been negatively influenced by song lyrics, sexually erotic television programming, movies, books, DVD's, computer games, the Internet, and pornography. Our society appears to be focused on sexuality and violence, both of which idealize the use of drugs and alcohol, and our young people cannot avoid seeing, hearing, and absorbing the negative influences. However, what unfortunately may be acceptable in other places and communities will not be accepted in Hidden Pond Day Camp's Community if we are to continue to care for other people's children with the same concern, interest, and commitment to safety as we have in the past.
We attempt to teach campers to:
Recognize that they have responsibility for themselves and those around them
Learn to make choices, which are good for themselves and others, and to take responsibility for the choices they make
Respect themselves and others in spite of differences
Accept that they are accountable for their actions and the consequences for inappropriate behaviors
It is essential that all parents communicate to their children that we will not accept behaviors such as: bullying (including cyber-bullying and sexting); violence; possession of weapons of any kind; repeated profanity; disrespect; bigotry; homophobic comments; inappropriate sexual behavior; drug and alcohol use; hurtful Internet, cell phone, instant messaging, or blog use, (or any other inappropriate use of electronic devices-before, during, or after camp); or any other unsafe behaviors that are potentially harmful to themselves or others.They must understand that a consequence of unacceptable behavior can mean their removal from our program.
Our demonstrated interest is to offer only pleasant memories for every camper. It is not our intention to exclude any child. It is important to discuss in detail your expectations for your child and that parents and camp management are in total agreement. A child or children asked to leave camp because of behaviors detailed above may not be permitted to return in future sessions or summers. There will be no refund of tuitions.
Another area of concern has been our experience with some children who have been sent to camp with "family secrets." Specifically, campers:
With psychiatric problems, including suicide gestures or ideation
With secret medical problems
With organic problems who are off medication for the summer
Who were hospitalized for physical or emotional reasons since last summer
Who are experiencing traumatic reaction to family issues, such as parental separation, divorce, illness or death
In fairness to our counselors, staff, and campers, we need to make decisions about all of the young people we invite into our community and family. "Family secrets" serve no one. Our purpose in having pertinent health information, both physical and emotional, is to better serve each child. We must expect that all parents or guardians have provided Hidden Pond Day Camp with all the necessary information we need to keep all children safe.
With these facts in mind, as owners and directors of Hidden Pond Day Camp, we must reserve the right to ask that a child at risk to oneself or community be picked up and removed from camp immediately. There may be a circumstance where we have agreed to accept a child with full knowledge of his or her problems/concerns and have attempted to take all necessary steps of making the experience successful but find that we are unable to do so. for the good of the child and/or community, the child may have to leave.
This letter would have been unheard of fifteen years ago. However, the world has changed and we need to accept the effects of some of those changes. As caretakers of your children, we accept the responsibility of partnering with you and simply ask for your full cooperation. If you have not done so, please download the printable version of this letter, sign and return it to us with the completed health forms. As always, please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this communication or any other matter. We look forward to providing your child with another "Summer to Remember" in 2013.
To download this letter in order to sign and return it, Click Here