Frequently Asked Questions About Our Summer Camp in New Hampshire
These are the questions parents and new campers most frequently ask us.
We have a stunning natural setting as the backdrop of your child’s summer experience. We have all the same activities and programs as our peer camps do, taking place on our state of the art facilities. Our staff are the best and brightest and have been well trained and prepared for their summer role. However, that’s not what truly sets us apart. What makes K&E truly special is the people. From the top down, K&E is a community that prioritizes warmth and compassion in everything we do. Our Directors treat our leadership team with love and respect, who then treat the staff with that same level of care and ultimately this sentiment trickles down to our campers who feed off these positive vibes. Next thing you know, a culture has developed where our campers are at ease and comfortable in their surroundings which ultimately inspires them to try new things and be the best possible version of themselves!
A Brother/Sister camp is a hybrid, it’s not quite coed and it’s not quite single gender. A brother-sister camp is actually two separate camps that come together from time to time for joint activities. Camp Kenwood for Boys and Camp Evergreen for Girls are both single gender camps that exist on the same property. Our campers never spend time in the living areas of the other camp, and they take different pathways to and from activity areas. As Brother-Sister camps we believe that Camps Kenwood & Evergreen strike the perfect balance between the unique camaraderie of a single-sex camp and the richness of life in a quality co-ed community.
Brother-sister camps create a dynamic where children are able to fully integrate into their age groups and make deep social connections without the added pressures of the boy-girl dynamic. When we do bring our two camps together it is always in the context of making age-appropriate friendships. We want to give our campers the chance to avoid the social pressures that can come from an intense co-ed camp.
-Besides the sheer beauty of New Hampshire’s mountainous landscape, the summer months up here offer a reprieve from the hot temperatures and humid air and allow children to comfortably be outdoors during the warm, dry days and the cool, clear nights . The fresh mountain air also keeps cabins, the dining hall and other indoor activities cool enough for campers to be at their best.
-We also believe the physical distance adds to the mystique of a child’s overall experience away from home, allowing them to adapt to a setting where there’s less dependency on their parents. This type of independent mindset will pay dividends for the child as they grow into adulthood.
-Coming up to NH allows a child to carve out a unique opportunity for themselves as the majority of kids attend camps closer to their home and end up being exposed to children from similar locations and backgrounds that they spend the other 10 months of the year with.
-Camps Kenwood & Evergreen is between a four and four and a half hour drive from Westchester County and Northern New Jersey and about the same for New York City depending on which part of the city you live in. Take out your GPS and see for yourself!
-We are also very close to the people and places that matter most in critical situations. The police department is less than 5 miles away. The fire department is less than 5 miles away. And most importantly, the New London hospital is only 10 miles away. It should be noted that there is reliable cell service both at camp and between camp and these locations. In addition to the thoughtful consideration that goes into keeping your child safe and healthy at camp, our close proximity to help in any circumstance helps us sleep much better at night!
Our daily schedule is called Structured Choice, which means that we give each age group of boys or girls 2, 3 or 4 choices every hour. This gives our campers the opportunity to pursue their passions while also getting to try activities that might be a bit outside their comfort zone. The final activity each weekday afternoon is called “Club”, and is a chance for campers to pick a passion and pursue it for 5 consecutive days!
To learn more about our innovative schedule please click here to visit our Choosing Activities page.
Your bunk is your summer time family at Kenwood and Evergreen, so we want you to live with a comfortable number of campers and counselors.
- Bunks have 7-8 campers
- Bunks have 2-3 general counselors
- General counselors have one job: to spend their days playing, eating, and hanging out with their campers
- Specialty counselors, who coach and teach, live elsewhere on campus
Our community is based on one basic idea: to create the most developmentally impactful overnight camp experience for children. This shapes everything that we do, and it is how we produce such powerful outcomes. Camp should be a place where children learn life skills like leadership, resilience, creativity, independence and the ability to collaborate with others. We create these outcomes in a fun environment where children feel safe enough to really be themselves and secure enough to reach out and try new things. Our small overall size and the close relationships between our campers and counselors help to foster this atmosphere.
Camp is also about friendship and learning to live with people who may be a little different from you. Our counselors help our campers through the challenges of life away from home by helping them develop better interpersonal skills and independence. As a result, our campers emerge with life-long friends and friendships.
Year after year, our camper return rate is above 95 percent. Our campers count the days until the start of the next summer! Our closeness and sense of community are an essential part of the Kenwood & Evergreen experience, and it lasts year round.
Throughout the fall and winter our campers and staff love coming together for parties, reunions, gaga gatherings and even our senior camper winter weekend up in NH! Camp friendships mean the world to our campers, counselors, camp parents and alumni.
The Kenwood & Evergreen staff is our greatest source of pride, and is a major factor in our continued success. We have a staff made up of mature, responsible, fun-loving adults who truly care about the campers they work and play with.
The vast majority of our bunk counselors started with us as campers and grew up in the K&E community. We helped raise them, and they know our Camp’s traditions and philosophy inside and out. It also means that they are easily able to transfer the Camps’ core values to our campers. Our bunk counselors are college-aged or older, and most of our specialty staff have completed college and are professional educators engaged in child-centered work outside of Camp. Over 80 percent of our staff return year after year.
Do you have any other questions about Camps Kenwood and Evergreen? If so, please click on the link below to contact the Camp Office!
We have different levels of competitive play to match whatever level of interest you have in team and individual sports. Everyone will make at least one team, and no one makes every team.
Watermelon League for Boys and Candy Bar League for Girls – our intramural sports leagues that everyone participates in. This allows you to play against other kids at camp in a fun, low-intensity environment. Sports for these in-camp intramural leagues include:
- Street Hockey
Intercamps / Spirit Day – these are days when our entire community visits another camp (or they visit us) and every camper in each age group gets to play a number of sports against this other camp. We also eat lunch and sometimes go swimming with the other campers. It’s really like a super fun play date, and you’ll probably see a few friends from home, too! Here are our traditional Spirit Day activities:
- Baseball or Softball
- Gaga or Dodge Ball
- Street Hockey
Everyone has the opportunity to play competitively, whether or not they are on a travel tournament team.
Tournaments and Travel Teams – To play on a tournament team you will need to try out, and then make a commitment to going to each practice and giving it your all!
Our summer camp in NH takes part in a lot of trips and tournaments. We play in tournaments for:
We pack a whole lot of fun into each summer for our campers interested in playing on travel sports teams.
There are so many ways that we help new campers make incredible friendships, and the first way is at one of our upcoming new camper parties! Rather than tell you about our new camper parties, we’d rather show you.
Click below to see how we help campers make new friends in just 45 seconds!
Would you like to see just a small amount of the fun activities our campers participate in? Imagine 3, 4 or 7 weeks of doing amazing things you can never do at home!
The first day at K&E is designed to make sure campers have the best time possible. Here are the 17 steps that make up the first day at our summer camp:
- Get on the bus to Camp
- See all of the nice campers and counselors you met at the New Camper Party
- Make more friends on the bus (your counselors will help make sure you sit next to someone nice who is also in your age group)
- Watch cartoons, learn and sing camp songs, and work on art projects on the ride to Camp (oh, and there’s a bathroom on the bus)
- Get to camp and be greeted by 100 or so smiling, friendly counselors who can’t wait to get to know you
- Hear the directors tell you which bunk you are in, and introduce you to your bunk counselors (if you haven’t met him or her already)
- Go see your bunk and see that your bed is already made and your bags unpacked
- Go outside and play! Our counselors will help you meet people and have tons of fun! Play ping pong, tetherball, tennis, basketball, cornhole, run the bases, swing on the swings or anything else that will make you happy
- Go take a tour of the campus and learn where everything is
- Have a fantastic dinner of chicken fingers, french fries, salad, a delicious vegetarian dish, and cupcakes for dessert
- Have more fun during Free Play time (click here if you’d like to learn more about Free Play) and make more friends
- Watch a show in which our counselors act as funny and stupid as possible in order to make you laugh as much as possible
- Eat Milk and Cookies
- Go back to the bunk with your counselors and bunk mates. Take a shower if you’d like to
- Climb into bed while your counselors tell your bunk a great story
- Have your counselor come to your bed to see if you need anything before falling asleep
- Fall fast asleep, happy in this new and friendly place
It sounds like a pretty amazing day, right?
We do this so that from the moment a child arrives they feel like this is their home. At most camps children arrive and spend their first hours unpacking – and getting homesick. Not at K&E! We want campers to go outside right away and start making as many friendships as possible! It’s amazing how happy and comfortable our newest campers feel after just a few hours of being here.
Our campers tell us that one of their favorite things about living at K&E are the evening activities. Our boys’ and girls’ head counselors try to make every night of the summer special, and different from the rest of the weekday schedule.
Here are some of Evergreen’s most popular evening activities:
- 50’s night
- Lip Sync night
- Minute to Win It
- Hawaiian Luau
- Night Under the Stars
- Counselor Hunt
- Paper Bag Dramatics
- Jell-O Wrestling
Each of these special events are designed to help our girls feel like they are a part of a sisterhood that wants them be their silliest, funniest, least inhibited, and least self-conscious.
Kenwood has its own special and beloved nights as well, like:
- Relay Shmeelay
- Watermelon League
- Treasure Hunt
- Hobby Night
- Camper Hunt
- Slam Dunk Contest
- Home Run Derby
- Jell-O Wrestling
- Casino Night
- Movie Night
Click below to see our Head Counselor Courtney Chaloff explain more about our incredible evening activities
We do, and they are ton of fun! Each camp has its own separate color war – our boys camp teams are maroon and grey, and our girls camp teams are green and gold. Each camp’s color war is 4 days long, and we typically play some combination of the following sports:
- Capture the Flag
- Swim Meet
- Track and Field
- Flag Football
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Street Hockey
Because our camp is not just about sports we also have team spirit events like our Spelling Bee, Trivia Challenge, All Camp Relay Race, Competitive Rope Burning, and Song and Cheer.
Click here to learn more about our summer camp’s color war.
For more almost 20 years we have proudly been a peanut and tree nut free camp, and this extends to every aspect of our program, including:
- All meals
- Baked goods
- Ice cream and novelties
- Movie night candy
- Out of Camp trips
- Chinese food night
- Our homemade hummus and pesto
We never use sesame seeds, sesame oil or peanut oils, either!
For more than a 15 years now we have happily provided safe and tasty meals for our friends with other food allergies or sensitivities. We have two chefs in our kitchen who only make meals for our gluten free, dairy free, or egg free campers, and they have separate pots, pans, cutting boards, knives and even pasta steamers that are color coded purple so that no one else accidentally uses them!
Additional things we do for our friends avoiding gluten or other food allergens:
- We have a refrigerator in the center of our dining hall so that campers can keep their personal condiments safe and accessible
- Whenever possible our special meals look and taste just like what everyone else is eating
- Our posted menus clearly mark what may contain gluten, egg or dairy so that campers have the opportunity to eat what is being served to each table
- When a bunk has a party on a special occasion the GF and DF pizzas arrive at the same time as the other slices!
We have 175 boys and 175 girls, and 200 staff, and these small ratios make all the difference in the world for your child. It is akin to small classroom size in elementary school. This is even more true in our bunks, where our standard is to always have 2 full-time general counselors with a maximum of 8 campers. Our bunk counselors have no other job. At other camps most or all of the cabin counselors spend their days away from the campers, teaching at an activity area. We want to have our most attentive, nurturing staff with your child all day long. To do this we have to hire many more staff, but we know that this is the only way to achieve the outcomes we want for each of our campers.
The adults in our community all know your child. We know each camper’s likes and dislikes, their strengths and challenges. We have the ability to tailor the summer experience for each camper, with input from our parents. This assures that your child will get the most from their time with us.
The summer camp experience is one of the most precious gifts a parent can give a child – choose a place where your child is much more than a number!
Not at all! Our campus is beautiful and our facilities are top-notch. We are constantly adding new program areas, including CrossFit, a new field house, athletic fields and cooking in recent years! We’ve also added gaga, a new dining hall, rustic furniture building, and a whole lot of fun inflatables in the middle of our private lake!
After our busy, fun-filled week, we pause each Friday night to discuss and reinforce our community’s shared values. As part of an inclusive community we offer two simultaneous gatherings: a historically Jewish Shabbat service, and a non-denominational, ecumenical service. Though 75% of our campers come from Jewish homes, we feel that it’s important to offer a weekly Shabbat service for them while also offering a welcoming alternative to our non-Jewish friends. Campers are free to take part in either service, and most happily try out both over the course of each summer. To learn more about our Friday Night Traditions please click here.
We are very fortunate to have so many camp parents who are physicians, and many of them work at Camp during the summer in 1, 2 and 3-week rotations. Our camp doctors live on campus, and are either pediatricians or emergency rooms doctors. During the summer we also have 2-3 registered nurses on our full time medical team, along with a health center administrator.
There are two fantastic medical resources within driving distance of our campus, with New London Hospital just over 8 miles away and the world-renown Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center a 35 minute drive from K&E.
That depends on the camper! We strive to promote only the POSITIVE aspects of youth competition. We work hard to teach and emphasize the lifelong virtues of teamwork and good sportsmanship as that’s what is really important. We have top level instruction in each sport with a specialist who is an expert in their given field and we encourage our campers to take advantage of their knowledge whenever possible. Some campers seek additional training with these instructors if they want to pursue a particular sport and refine their skill set. Those who are not as interested in sports are encouraged to participate at their level of interest. Campers will never be made to feel bad if sports aren’t their strong suit. That’s the beauty of a traditional camp, offering a wide array of other activities they can dive into. Although we are not an ultra competitive camp, we do take part in Inter-camp tournaments and other sports leagues and have consistently won tournaments year over year, accomplishments our campers are proud of! When we do play, we play to win, but we also understand that winning isn’t everything!
The bulk of our campers come from the Tri State area (NY/NJ/CT) and the Boston area, however K&E campers come from all over the USA and several different countries around the world, creating a nice mix of kids. We are a non-denominational camp attracting campers from California, Florida, China, Spain and everywhere in between as they are drawn to K&E based on the strength of our staff, program and facility.
Yes, first time campers of any age have the opportunity to attend for 3 weeks. This is a great opportunity for someone new to the sleepaway camp experience to “get their feet wet” during this trial period. We offer these 3 week spots on a limited basis. After your first summer, campers must attend for 5 or 7 weeks. Senior campers (kids that most recently completed 7th, 8th or 9th grade) are expected to enroll for the full 7 week experience.
No, there is little emphasis on special clothing at K&E. We encourage campers to wear what makes them feel happy and comfortable! We are very much a community that doesn’t attribute much attention to material items, like what a person wears. Parents consistently express their appreciation to us about downplaying physical appearance because they have seen firsthand how it increases camper self-esteem. However, we do require K&E gear to be worn for off-site trips and inter-camp athletic competitions, for safety purposes.