A lot of campers live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Some kids travel from all over the United States and from abroad too! Last summer, we had campers & staff from 26 states and 17 countries. It’s really cool - You’ll make friends from all over the world!
About 20% of our east coast campers take the bus to camp. The bus service caters to the New York areas of Long Island & Rockland County. It’s a nice way to start your summer by making friends on the bus before you arrive at camp! The buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, and have a restroom. Most campers arrive by car.
No, actually most kids first arrive at camp not knowing anyone. Some campers say it’s actually easier to meet a bunch of new kids when you come to camp by yourself. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, so it’s real easy to make friends at Cayuga.
Yes, as long as you and your friend submit a Bunk Request Form. There are some conditions to satisfy, like you & your friend must be enrolled in the same camp session, and entering the same grade in September. Ask your parents to complete this form that’s on their dashboard.
Junior Campus cabins house 8-14 kids and 2-3 college-enrolled counselors. Teen Campus cabins are a lot larger and have 18-24 teenagers plus 3-4 counselors.
Yes, ‘clean-up’ takes place after breakfast. You get about 30 minutes to make your bed, tidy-up your clothes in the cubby, and do a cabin chore. The chores rotate among your cabinmates, and include jobs like sweeping, emptying the cabin’s trash can, opening windows, and clearing-off your clothesline. Your counselors will clean and disinfect the cabin bathroom. By the way, the cleanest boys & girls cabin each week is awarded a special prize like an ice-cream party!
Yep, each cabin has its own bathroom. On Junior Campus the bathrooms include 3 private showers, 3 private toilets, and 4-5 sinks. On Teen Campus, the typical bathroom includes 7 private showers, 7 private toilets, and 8 sinks. Each bathroom also has a large closet, and a lot of shelves for your toiletries. There’s always plenty of hot water!
Camp is no place to be worried about fashion. So, ‘casual’ wear is in-style at Cayuga. That means a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers are worn by mostly everyone including our staff.
Most kids use large duffel bags for packing their camp clothes. Some campers use suitcases. You can keep your duffel bag/suitcase under your bed and use it for storage, or you can put it in ‘camp storage’ during your stay, if you’d like. The choice is yours.
Of course! There are a bunch of fun evening activities & special events where a costume or unique prop from home will come in-handy. Some examples include The Talent Show, Skit Night, Halloween Social, Hollywood Social, Super Hero Social and Crazy Hat Day. Some campers make their props & costumes at the Creative Arts Pavilion. To see what Special Events & Evening Activities are planned, go to the ‘Calendar of Events’ webpage.
Yes, some campers bring framed photos of their family, friends, and pets from home; wall posters; and stuffed animals. By the way, if you hang-up a wall poster, it has to be ‘G’ rated
Well, 4 days a week you follow a ‘regular’ schedule and wake-up at 8:00am. Teen Campus wakes-up 20 minutes later. The remaining 3 days, you follow a ‘late breakfast’ schedule and wake-up at 8:50am. The regular schedule includes 7 periods each day. The first period is a ‘sign-up’ period for your electives (unless you’re a Junior). Each activity period is an hour that includes 10-minute travel time between activities. We meet at flagpole twice a day for flag lowering & raising. Evening Activities begin at 7:45pm (8:30pm on Teen Campus). There’s a different evening activity each night of the week!
Actually, weekends at camp are kinda like any other day of the week. In fact, during camp it’s easy to forget what day of the week it is! Anyway, the weekend program is the same as the weekday program. Every day of the week is action-packed!
You’ll get the scoop from your counselors. They’ll explain everything to you, and will show you how to sign-up for your daily electives; join intercamp tournament teams; ride in horse shows; sign-up for clinics & trips; and so on. The Senior Staff make announcements at flagpole assemblies to remind you of what’s going on. More camp news (like cabin inspection scores, team rosters, tournament brackets) is posted daily on the Bulletin Board.
On your first day, the counselors will give you & your cabinmates a tour around camp. We’ll show you the location of all activity sites, cookout & overnight areas, the health center, and other buildings. The Elective Program Staff will also lend a helping-hand since they’re always checking-in at the activity sites. By the way, a map of all activity sites and program meeting areas is posted on the Bulletin Board.
If you’re entering 4th grade or lower after camp, you’re in the Junior Division, which means you follow a ‘structured’ activity schedule that's already set-up for you. Your scheduled activities are different each day of the week. As a junior, you travel to your activities with your cabinmates, and you’ll always be with your cabin counselor.
If you’re entering 5th grade or higher, you select your activities each morning after breakfast. You sign-up at the same time as other campers in your age group. This way, you can meet-up with your friends and plan your activity schedules together. Over 60 activities are offered daily. The Elective Program is very popular!
When you enter the sign-up room, you’re given an Activity Card where you’ll write-down your selected activities for each period. Your Activity Card includes the list of your activities for the day. If you lose your Card, you can go to the ‘Happy Hut’ where our Elective Program Staff have copies of your activity selections. If you’re a ‘Junior’, your activities have already been selected, and your counselor escorts you and your cabinmates to those activities.
Yes, you must attend your activities. Activity Instructors take attendance at the beginning of each activity period. Since you’re selecting your activities, it makes sense that you’ll attend & participate. If you want to change your Activity Card, that’s ok, but you must report to the ‘Happy Hut’ to get approval from the Elective Program Staff. They’ll gladly change your Activity Card (and update the attendance list). If you’re a ‘Junior’, your schedule includes a variety of popular activities that are geared to the interests of your age group
No, actually you spend very little time in your cabin - no matter what the weather is like! Except for ‘rest period’, you're out & about at camp. On rainy days, you follow a fun indoor activity program that utilizes all of the camp’s indoor facilities, and there are plenty! We do stuff like watching movies, playing board games/bingo, doing indoor sports (like basketball & dodgeball), and a bunch of other indoor activities (pottery, ceramics, dance, weight training, etc).
Yes - There are several activity sites that are shared between the two campuses. The lake, stables, petting zoo, pickleball courts, skate park, and paintball fields are located on Teen Campus and shared with the kids on Junior Campus. The flying trapeze, ropes course, bungee trampoline, ATV quad track, game room, and tennis center are located on Junior Campus and shared with the teenagers living on Teen Campus. The oldest kids on Junior Campus (entering 8th grade) occassionally participate in Teen Campus events, like the Color Run. Sometimes, the teens perform their skits and talent shows for the kids on Junior Campus.
Most kids relax during Rest Period. You can write letters, read, play quiet games & stuff like that. Many campers are scheduled to go to the Canteen (camp store), and others may be scheduled to call-back their parents at this time. Occassionally, meetings are held during Rest Period to review safety rules & procedures for upcoming trips.
No, but don’t worry about it. Since there’s so much action going-on each day and night, you won’t miss your favorite TV show. By the way, the only way to get television reception at camp is via satellite. TVs are prohibited, so don’t bring your TV to camp.
No, Cayuga offers a wide spectrum of activities for all types of kids. If you don’t like competitive activities, that’s ok because there are dozens of other activities to choose from, like pottery, ceramics, mountain biking, hiking, flying trapeze, circus arts, petting zoo, bungee trampoline jumping, cooking, dance, zip line, lake activities (fishing, sailing, boating), game room and a lot more. If you enjoy competitive sports, Cayuga has plenty!
You’ll need to bring a softball mitt or baseball glove. If you plan to roller skate, we recommend bringing your own skates. (The camp has a limited supply of skates in certain sizes.) For all other activities, Cayuga provides the necessary equipment you’ll need. We do not recommend bringing items like a skateboard, tennis racket or horseback riding helmet. You can’t lose it, if you don’t bring it!
If you enjoy competing in sports, Cayuga’s Intercamp Tournament Program is for you! There’s a team for practically every land sport. All you have to do is sign-up for the team. Since there are no-tryouts, you can sign-up for as many teams as you’d like. No pressure in ‘making the team’. Cayuga competes in 100+ tournaments with nearby camps. Some tourneys are held at Cayuga, while others are ‘away’ games. Intercamp Tournaments are voluntary.
Yes, private tennis lessons are offered daily. They’re optional and advance registration is required. There are 10 courts at the Tennis Center, which allows private lessons to operate without interfering with the regular tennis instructional program. Regular tennis lessons typically include 2-5 campers with 1 instructor. While this ratio is satisfactory for most campers, nothing beats one-on-one private instruction.
Yeah of course - Cayuga is a coed camp! The ‘day’ activities are coed, unless they involve physical contact. The ‘evening’ activities are also coed. Keep in mind the ‘10 Foot Rule’. This means that boys are not permitted within 10-feet of a girl’s cabin, and girls aren’t permitted within 10-feet of a boy’s cabin.
If you are residing on Junior Campus this summer, and are eligible for Teen Campus next summer, we recommend you sign-up for Rookie Day. It’s your chance to spend a day on teenside to check it out. The morning program includes a tour of the Teen Campus facilities, like the cabins, dining hall, infirmary, rec center, art center, weight room, and a lot more. After the tour, you’ll sign-up for your electives with the teenagers and attend activities with them for the entire day. Rookie Day is voluntary for 12 & 13 year olds.
It’s easy. We will remind you at flagpole assemblies when the next game is scheduled. If you want to go, you sign-up that day (at the same time you sign-up for your activities). If you select the trip, it will be listed on your Activity Card (with the activities you selected for that day). If you’re a ‘Junior’, you can attend ‘day’ baseball games. If you’re entering 5th grade or higher, you can attend both day & night games. The stadium is less than an hour from Cayuga. These games are a blast!
To qualify for a rafting trip, you must pass Cayuga’s Deep Water Swim Test to demonstrate you’re a good swimmer. The Trip Director reviews the river safety rules & trip procedures with you before leaving camp. We will remind you at flagpole assemblies when the next trip is scheduled. The Delaware River is only 45 minutes from camp. It’s an exciting afternoon trip, and the natural surroundings are beautiful.
Yes, you sure can! Join the Cayuga Pen Pal Club and correspond via email with other Cayuga kids. When you sign-up for the Club, and you’ll receive the Pen Pal Email Directory. This is a list of camper names (both new & returning) who joined the Club & are attending camp this summer. The Directory also includes each camper’s email address, grade after camp, and the camper’s session. Membership in the Pen Pal Club is for Cayuga campers only. If you sign-up, we expect you to reply to all Pen Pal emails.
Yep - Cricket Hill Golf Course is really nice, and it’s only 30 minutes from camp. One staff member is assigned to each foursome. Cayuga provides the clubs, bag & balls. We do not recommend bringing your own clubs. We’ll remind you at flagpole assemblies when the next golf trip is scheduled. If you want to go, you sign-up that day (at the same time you sign-up for your activities). As long as you’re deemed qualified to play on a public golf course, you’re permitted to go. By the way, golf instruction is offered daily at camp inside netted golf cages.
If you are entering 5th grade or higher, you’re old enough to play. The paintball fields have rolling hills, trees, bunkers, and open areas loaded with natural & man-made obstacles, like huge inflatables & sheds. You’ll get a paintball gun (semi-automatic), 300 pellets, and a face mask. The activity period is 2-3 hours. Cayuga sponsors an Annual Intercamp Paintball Championship Tournament in July and August. Paintball is offered daily, it’s optional, and advance registration is required.
There’s no extra fee – Horseback Riding is included in the tuition. Cayuga features a top quality horseback riding program in a traditional camp setting, where you can participate in a well-rounded activity program, and at the same time concentrate on your riding skills! The Equestrian Center features a barn, 20 horses, 2 riding rings, pasture, and miles of scenic trails. If you’re a ‘Junior’, your weekly schedule includes 2 riding periods (optional). Additional classes can be requested.
If you really like horses and want to spend extra time at the Equestrian Center, you’re not alone! Many campers sign-up for an activity we call ‘Junior Stable Staff’. This is a ‘horse care’ activity offered to kids who want to help-out with chores like grooming, feeding, watering, walking-out the horses after a lesson, and mucking-out (only if you want to). You can also sign-up for the ‘Petting Zoo’ activity and take care of our animals. They’re very friendly and cute!
Everyone is invited to ride in our Horse Shows. There are no try-outs. The Horse Show classes are categorized by ability, so if you’re a beginner you’ll be riding in a class with other beginners. There are 4 Horse Shows this summer. By the way, you can also sign-up for Horseback Overnights. They’re awesome!
The Skate Park features straight grind rails, kinked grind rails, quarter pipes with rails, half-pipes, bank ramps with rails, roll-ins, wedges, spines, and a large half-pyramid with wedge jump combos and an angled flat ledge. There’s also a huge half-pipe measuring 40’ long, 20’ wide, 4’ high. Our ramps were built by Woodward Ramps & Rails and Hot Rails, two of the industry’s leaders for durability, ride-ability, and safety.
Yes, everyone can ride ATVs. It doesn’t matter how old you are. What matters most is passing the ‘Safety Control Test’. The instructor will determine your ability to manage the ATV and understand its operation. Once you pass, you can ride twice a week if you’d like. The ATVs are child-size 4-wheelers, and remain on the ATV track under the supervision of the activity instructors. You’ll be given a helmet, eye goggles, and safety pads. ATV Riding is offered daily, it’s optional, and advance registration is required.
Extreme Sport Jumping is one of the wildest activities. It’s a large rig that combines a trampoline with a bungee cord. It has 4 separate trampolines, so 4 kids can be jumping at the same time. You’re hooked-up to a bungee cord that’s connected to a hydraulic lift. As you jump higher & higher, the hydraulic lift readjusts the height settings on the rig. With this safety feature, you can never over-stretch the bungee cord while jumping. It’s fun & safe! Imagine, the bungee cord can propel you 24 feet in the air! Wow, that’s crazy fun!
Yes! It's a thrill of a lifetime to “Fly through the air on the flying trapeze”. This activity will bring a high level of excitement to your summer camp experience. You ought to give it a try. ‘Juniors’ are scheduled this activity twice a week. If you’re entering 5th grade or higher, can select the Flying Trapeze as one of your daily electives.
Cookouts & Overnights are scheduled for Junior Campus cabins every night. The sites are located in secluded wooded areas on the camp property, and have been chosen for their privacy & natural beauty. Your first task is to collect wood and set-up the fireplace area. For cookouts, you grill your own burgers & hot dogs over an open flame (instead of eating dinner in the dining hall). For overnights, after the evening activity you head-out to the site with your sleeping bag. After making smores and telling stories around the campfire, you’ll sleep-out under the stars.
The Ropes Course is located in a wooded area, and features a 3-sided 32’ high climbing tower, where you’ll learn to rock climb and rappell. There’s also a long Zip Line where you’ll glide for over 200 feet through the woods. It’s awesome - It’s so much fun, you’ll want to do it over & over again!
Yes, there are a bunch of them. The two most popular clinics are the ‘Survival Clinic’ and ‘Scuba Diving Clinic’. These clinics incur an additional fee and preregistration is recommended. Other clinics (soccer, basketball, tennis, improv, gaga, etc.) are included in the camp tuition. All clinics are optional. For this summer’s clinic dates, go to the ‘Calendar of Events’ webpage.
After dinner, everyone chills-out until 7:30pm (8:30pm on Teen Campus) when we meet at the flagpole. This is when we lower the American Flag, and make announcements about upcoming events. The Evening Activity begins after flagpole assembly and ends at curfew time. To see this summer’s Evening Activity Schedule, go to the ‘Calendar of Events’ webpage.
The Evening Activities are the highlight of each day. This is when all campers unite, and camper enthusiasm & spirit peaks! The Evening Activities are different every night, and for the most part, they are scheduled separately on each campus. Sometimes, the Seniors on Junior Campus will participate in events on Teen Campus, like the Color Run.
Yes, our dances are ‘socials’ with a theme – where everyone gets dressed-up for the occasion. Last summer we had the Halloween Social, Hollywood Social, Super Hero Social, and Hippie Social. There’s always good music, an excellent light show, lots of dancing, and costume contests (cabin points are awarded to the winners). Dances are a lot of fun - even if you don’t dance! At the end of the summer, both campuses get together for dancing at the farewell Prom.
Birthdays are special at Camp Cayuga. We begin the celebration at morning flagpole assembly when we raise the Birthday Flag, and make a congratulatory announcement on your behalf. You’ll receive a birthday card in the mail from the camp staff along with a Birthday Care-Package loaded with Cayuga stuff, like a frisbee, sports bottle, Cayuga key chain, and a few other fun surprises! At dinner we’ll jazz-up your table with birthday decorations, and sing the Happy Birthday song to you. For dessert, you & your cabinmates will be served ice cream & birthday cupcakes, baked by the camp’s chef.
Cayuga counselors have an excellent reputation for caring and making sure you’re having a great time. Your Division Director also helps-out. This is an older adult who’s in charge of the campers & counselors in your age group. Your Division Director will introduce himself/herself to you on arrival day, and will be in contact with your parents all the time to keep them updated on how you’re doing.
If you're not feeling well, the camp medical staff will take care of you. They’ll do their best to make you feel comfortable in the health center (infirmary). There are about 7-8 nurses who live in the two infirmaries. Our camp nurses are nice, and are usually moms who have their own kids attending Cayuga. If you ever need outside medical treatment, the nurses will notify your parents. The local medical clinic and hospital are only 10 minutes from camp.
Yes! Join the Sibling Club, which meets for a double period (about 2 hours) about every 2 weeks. The Sibling Club Leader will organize a different event for each Club meeting, which in the past included working on arts & crafts projects together and private pool parties. The Sibling Club was originally created for siblings who lived on separate campuses. Today, the Sibling Club is available to all siblings (and cousins) – even if you reside on the same campus.
There is no official Visiting Day, however your parents are welcome to visit you. This option is available to all parents, except those who have campers enrolled in a 2-week session. Visitation is not permitted for 2-weekers. Parents have the flexibility to visit any day. Your folks are required to remain at the office, until you’re escorted from your activity. Visitors are not permitted to roam around camp or enter the cabin area. Campers are permitted to sign-out anytime after 11:00am, and must sign-in before 4:00pm.
No, you cannot bring your cell phone to camp. In fact, all electronics are prohibited. But don’t worry, your parents can send you emails everyday. They can also speak with Division Director at any time to see how you’re doing. You are permitted to call your parents from the camp office, if a telephone appointment is made.
Yep, your parents can telephone you once every 2 weeks, but no calls are allowed during your first 7 days. Your folks will need to schedule a phone call appointment to speak with you. This can be done online. Each phone call is limited to 5 minutes.
Yes, of course. The mail is delivered and picked-up everyday. There’s no limit to the amount of letters you can receive, however you are required to write your parents once every 2 weeks. We call it “Letters Home for Canteen”. This means you have to bring your letter (addressed to your parents) to the Canteen (camp store) before you get your daily snack allowance. By the way, the canteen sells stamps, writing paper, envelopes, and pens.
Yes, packages are permitted as long as they abide by the camp’s guidelines. In addition to books and card games, you can receive certain food items like pretzels & crackers, as long as they’re stored in a sealed rubber-maid type container. Other types of food & candy are prohibited.
Yes, your parents can email you everyday, but to do so, they must use the services of CampMinder. More info about sending emails is located on your parent’s dashboard under ‘CampStamps’.
We do recommend bringing money for personal stuff you may want to buy from the canteen (like a sweatshirt or stuffed animal). If you attend an AAA baseball game or theatre trip, you may want money to buy a souvenir. The more trips you attend, the more money you’ll need. Cayuga has a ‘Camp Bank’ that will hold your money in safekeeping. Your parents can check your Camp Bank balance at any time fro your online account. If your balance in low, your folks can deposit more money by sending a check to camp or by using a credit-card from their online dashboard.
The Canteen is where you pick-up your daily snack allowance, which includes 2 snack items. This allowance is already paid for by your parents (the canteen fee). Snacks include pretzels, chips, ice cream, popcorn, candy, granola bars, fresh fruit, and a variety of drinks (bottled water, slushies, soda, power aid, juice). The Canteen also stocks batteries, stationery & stamps, prepaid international calling cards, prepaid visa cards (for trips), toothpaste, toothbrushes, diabolos, model rockets, sports bottles, stuffed animals, small backpacks, baseball caps, and Cayuga apparel (t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc).
If you’d like to attend religious services, no problem. Jewish services take place on the camp property at the lakefront on Fridays. The service is led by a Cayuga staff member. Christian services take place in town on Sunday mornings. The church is located 10 minutes from camp, and transportation is provided. Generally speaking, not many campers participate.
The food is pretty good. The meats, vegetables, and fruit are fresh and high-quality. If you’re a picky eater, don’t worry about it. There’s always alternative choices (leftovers) available at each meal. In addition to the main entrée at lunch & dinner, there’s a complete salad bar, and a separate station for peanut butter & jelly. No camper ever leaves the table hungry! A sample menu is posted online.
Brian Buynak is the Camp Owner. He’s a real ‘camp guy’ who hasn’t missed a summer at camp since 1957 (he was 3 months at the time). His parents turned-over the directorship to him in 1983. Brian enlightens us each morning with his ‘Thought for the Day’, and has a habit of appearing out of nowhere! Cayuga’s Co-Director is Molly Bisson, who started her career at Cayuga in 2005. She’s a year-round staff member who’s dedicated to making sure you’re having a great time! The Director on Teen Campus is Steve Beals (Bealzy), who is also a year-round staff member. He lives at camp all year, and started his Cayuga career back in 1984. He enjoys working with teenagers, and has been the Director since 1994.
‘Laundry Day’ is scheduled once a week. This is when you empty your personal laundry bag into your cabin’s large laundry bag. These large bags are picked-up by an independent laundry company. It takes them 1-2 days to wash your clothes and return them. The general rule is to bring 10-days-worth of clothes, no matter how long you’re staying at camp. We will remind you at flagpole assemblies when laundry day is scheduled.
After you sign-up for camp, your parents will be given an online account where they can access camp forms & documents. The recommended clothing list is posted on their dashboard. It includes everything you need to bring to camp. It also lists optional items, as well as prohibited items that you can’t bring.
Cayuga is real serious when it comes to recognizing campers for their achievements, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship. Camper-of-the-Week pennants and t-shirts are awarded to the best camper in each cabin. Activity trophies are awarded at the ‘Oscars Ceremony’ (end of first-half) and again at the Banquet (end of summer). You don’t have to be the best hitter on the field to receive a baseball trophy, or the best rider to get a horseback riding trophy. It’s your effort that counts!
Yes, the Camp Photographers take hundreds of pics and upload them daily. Your parents simply login to their account, go the ‘Photos’ section, and click ‘Summer Snapshots’. There are usually 300-400 photos posted every day on Cayuga’s website. The photographers take pictures all day every day, rain or shine.
It’s not uncommon for kids to extend their session after arriving. First-time campers do it all the time. As long as there’s space in the next session, you can stay longer. The best advice to remember is to tell your counselor as soon as you decide to stay longer.
The ‘First-Time Camper Guarantee’ provides a full pro-rated refund for the session you attended. Your parents get their money back for the days you missed, as long as you abide by the camp’s departure procedures.
Yes! ‘Open House’ is the best time to visit. Plenty of staff will be on-hand to give tours and answer your questions. Snacks & refreshments are available too. Tours are conducted for each campus between 1:00pm-3:30pm. If you can’t attend Open House, that’s ok. You can tour Cayuga anytime. Simply call/email the camp office or complete the online form ‘Schedule a Tour’ with your date/time preferences. The camp staff will follow-up your request and make the arrangements. We’re proud of Cayuga, and love giving tours.
There are 60 activities offered daily and only 4 of them incur an additional charge. These include paintball, ATV riding, private tennis lessons, and academic tutoring. The current fees for these actvities are listed on the paper enrollment application and your online account. You must preregister for these actIvities no later than your arrival day.
Absolutely! Reunions started back in 1964 when Mike Buynak was the Camp Director. Since then, the Winter Reunion has become a tradition at Cayuga. It's an opportunity to see everyone from camp in one place at the same time. It’s a lot of fun, and in some ways, it kinda feels like we’re all back at camp! In recent years, the reunions have been held at a family entertainment center that’s loaded with thousands of high-tech video games and other amusing attractions.
That’s one of the most popular questions! If you’re going into 4th grade or lower, you return to your cabin at 9:00pm and your cabin lights get turned-off at 9:30pm. If you’re entering 5th or 6th grade, your curfew is 9:30pm with lights-off at 10:00pm. If you’re enterng 7th or 8th grade, your curfew is 10:00pm with lights-off at 10:30pm. If you’re residing on Teen Campus, you have a 10:30pm curfew and your cabin lights get turned-off at 11:00pm.