FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Summer Camp in New Hampshire

These are the 20 questions parents and new campers most frequently ask us.

1. Help me understand what a brother-sister summer camp is

So what is a brother sister summer camp? We get asked that question all the time. Is it the same as a coed camp? Actually, it’s not quite coed and it’s not quite single gender. It’s the best of both!

Here are some of the basic ingredients that make up our brother-sister summer camp community:

Our brother-sister camps create a dynamic where children are able to fully integrate into their age groups and form 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 coed camps with an intense social scene.

2. How does your camp’s activity schedule work?

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.

3. What are your summer camp’s bunk sizes and ratios?

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
4. Does your camp have a distinct philosophy and core values?

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.

5. What is your camper return rate?

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.

6. Who are your staff? How old are they?

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 and Director Jason Sebell will call you immediately!

7. Does your camp have team sports and competition?

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:

  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • 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:

  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Baseball or Softball
  • Gaga or Dodge Ball
  • Tennis
  • Street Hockey
  • Volleyball

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:

  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Archery
  • Golf
  • Volleyball

We pack a whole lot of fun into each summer for our campers interested in playing on travel sports teams.

8. My child does not have any friends from home going to this camp. How are they going to make new friends?

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!

9. What are the most fun things about your summer camp?

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!

10. My child is nervous about the first day. Can you tell them what it will be like?

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?

11. Why does K&E unpack campers’ bags before they get to camp?

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.

12. What are the evening activities like at your camp?

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:

  • Campfires
  • 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

13. Does your camp have a color war? Do the boys and girls play sports together during color war?

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
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Archery
  • Volleyball/Newcomb
  • 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.

14. How does your camp handle food allergies and sensitivities like peanuts and tree nuts?

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
  • Snacks
  • 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!

15. What about campers who need to avoid gluten, dairy, albumen or other food allergens?

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!
16. Why should I choose a small overnight camp for my child?

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!

17. Okay, we know the benefits of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen’s small size, but do we lose any of the positive aspects of a large camp?

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!

18. Does your brother-sister summer camp have any religious or spiritual traditions?

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 90% 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.

19. Can you tell me about your camp’s medical team? How close is the nearest hospital?

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.

20. How do I speak with a director of your summer camp?