Living away from Mom and Dad can be difficult at times, but it's something we all must experience in order to fully develop as a mature person. Residential camping offers the first-time camper an opportunity to tackle this hurdle in life. Our caring staff will provide comfort along the way to ensure your child successfully acclimates to the new environment. The ‘overall feeling’ on campus is friendly & welcoming, and each camper is given personal attention. In such an atmosphere, youngsters become more self-confident, and sportsmanship & comradeship flourish. Our entire staff is recruited and trained with this notion in mind. We’re committed to the happiness of our campers, and stand ready to offer the understanding and special attention first-time campers require. It’s a rewarding experience for our staff to guide campers as they learn the pleasures of playing and working in cooperation with others. Encouraging campers to explore new interests and develop new friendships, is what we do best!
Selecting a summer camp for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially if this will be your child's first summer experience away from home. We appreciate your concerns, and would like to assure you that your child’s summer will be a positive & enjoyable experience. We’re so confident in our staff & program, we guarantee your child will have fun. Simply put, our First-Time Camper Guarantee provides for a full prorated-tuition refund to any first-time camper departing prior to the conclusion of his/her registered session. That is, we will refund the excess of tuition after deducting the ordinary charges for the period your child remained in camp. That's a promise! See the enrollment application (paper form) for details.
Each camper is under the care and attention of two or more college-enrolled cabin counselors and a Division Director, who is a member of our Senior Staff trained in child care. The Division Director oversees the cabin counselors, and assist them daily in maintaining camaraderie within the cabin group. The Division Director will reach-out to you at the start of your child’s session - to introduce himself, and to reassure you that he/she stands ready to work with your child on a one-to-one basis to make his/her summer camp experience a successful one. Our Division Directors are here to help the parents too! Whenever you have a question, concern, or just want to ‘check-in’ on your camper, please don’t hesitate to telephone your child’s Division Director.
First-time campers are invited to attend our Annual Open House. It's the perfect opportunity for first-timers to familiarize themselves with the camp's facilities. Campers (and their families) will receive a tour of Junior Campus and/or Teen Campus, and have the opportunity to speak with our staff. It's an exciting day for new campers!
First-time campers, who are unable to attend Open House, are welcome to tour Cayuga at any time. Our Open Door Policy encourages first-time campers to visit. We're proud of our facilities and enjoy giving tours! To schedule a tour of Cayuga, click here.
The Camper Profile Form is completed by you, the parent, prior to your child’s arrival. It is used to highlight areas which are of most concern to you. The form is reviewed by your child’s Division Director, and directed to appropriate supervisory personnel if warranted by the concerns you highlighted. The Camper Profile Form helps us better understand your summer goals, and gives your first-time camper a better opportunity for a positive summer experience. This form is posted on your dashboard. For the paper form (PDF), click here.
First-time campers are welcome to join our Pen Pal Club and correspond via email with other new & returning campers. It's an easy way to make camp friends before camp begins! The Pen Pal Form is posted on your dashboard. For the paper form (PDF), click here.
Campers who have siblings at camp are encouraged to join the Sibling Club, which is especially popular with first-time campers. The Club meets about every 10 days for a double-period (about 2 hours), and provides the opportunity for siblings to spend quality time together. There’s an organized activity or event planned for each Club meeting. Whether is making a crafts project together, or cooling-off at a private pool party, ‘sibling time’ is time well spent. This support, more often than not, helps the first-time camper acclimate to the new camp environment. The Sibling Club is voluntary and campers sign-up at camp.
Careful consideration is given to each camper’s cabin assignment, especially if your camper is a first-time camper. Cabin groups generally include a healthy mix of new & returning campers. Sometimes, the entire cabin is comprised of new first-timers. Either way, your first-time camper will never be the only ‘new kid’ in the cabin, unless you request otherwise. See Bunk Request Form below.
If your first-time camper would like to be assigned to the same cabin as a friend, a Bunk Request Form must be completed by each camper's parent. To be bunked with a friend, both campers need to be entering the same grade and enrolled in the same camp session. The Bunk Request Form is posted on your dashboard, and can be completed online. For the paper form (PDF), click here.
The Big-Brother Big-Sister Program involves our older veteran campers on Teen Campus, who are CITs (Counselors in Training). Under the guidance of the CIT Director, these veteran campers lend a ‘helping hand’ with our youngest first-time campers in the Junior Division. This program generally operates 3-4 days a week.
Camp friends make the best friends! And making friends is what Cayuga is all about. We encourage ongoing ‘camp chatter’ during the off-season, and utilize social media to keep everyone updated on camp news. The BIG off-season event is Cayuga's Annual Winter Camp Reunion. It’s been a tradition for 60+ years, and continues to be very popular with our campers. The Reunion is a great opportunity for first-time campers to meet-up with their camp friends, and renew the friendships from their first summer camp experience.