➤ What should I pack in my child’s lunch and snack? A healthy lunch and snack fuels campers for adventure. Consider including healthy options like fresh fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, and muffins in your child’s lunch (ex: protein, carb, fruit, and veggie). Snack options could include two items, such as fruit and protein. Please label snacks in a separate bag within the lunch bag or else a separate container in the backpack.
Please, no sugary foods/drinks or glass beverages! Remember to pack ice packs and include foods that won’t spoil.
➤ Do I need to fill out forms if I came to camp last year? YES. Forms need to be filled out annually in compliance with Maryland laws. It only takes a few minutes! Forms must be filled out prior to your camper starting camp. Click here to access your Parent Portal account and find your forms.
➤ How long does carpool take? Carpool usually takes about 15-20 minutes. We understand that waiting can be frustrating. However, we ask parents and caregivers to be patient especially at the start of each session as new families learn the system. In order to keep carpool moving and ensure the safety of all our campers, we kindly ask you to refrain from exiting your car during drop off or pick up. Our staff and counselors are trained to safely bring your child to and from your car. If you must exit your car or stop, we ask you to pull over to our visitor parking. If you’d prefer to skip carpool altogether, we offer affordable bus service to many nearby locations.
➤ How do I know what my camper did during camp? Every week we’ll post photos from camp on our Facebook page. We suggest you share the photos with your camper and ask about the activity and adventures they did that week. It’s a great dinner table talk! Please be sure to sign your photo waiver so that we can include all campers in camp photos that we share on Facebook and Instagram (no names are used).
➤ How often do campers swim? Is there a lifeguard? Campers swim daily in our pool, with the exception of Pathfinders and Trailblazers, who are off campus some days. The two-foot shallow end allows even the youngest camper to comfortably stand and start their swimming experience. Children are not expected to be “swimmers” when they arrive at camp. On the first day of a session, campers who wish to swim in the deeper end of the pool must pass a swim test, otherwise they are restricted to the “roped off” shallow end (2 to 3 feet depth). There are two lifeguards at the pool at all times. Lifeguards and counselors will guide campers in their swimming progress to acquire basic skills and confidence in the water. See this video from Heather and Amy.
➤ What activities are Wilderness Explorers doing? (ages 7-9) The Wilderness Explorers program offers both land and water activities. Under the direction of our certified instructors and counselors, these campers will balance their days enjoying adventure activities such as archery, canoeing, fishing, ropes course, hiking, and creeking, along with arts & crafts, and games. Every day will include a fun dip in the pool. *weather permitting
➤ Do campers need to bring a SNACK and LUNCH? Yes! Each camper brings a bag lunch and snack. We recommend that your camper’s lunch and snack include healthy items that fuel them for a day of adventure (ex: protein, carb, fruit, veggie). Many campers use small coolers with ice packs which keep food and drinks satisfactorily cold for the day. Water breaks are taken frequently throughout the day. Water is provided, but campers need to bring their own refillable water bottles (labeled with name).
➤ Where do campers spend their day? Nature Navigators spend time both inside our air-conditioned classrooms and outside on campus. Wilderness Explorers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers are outside all day. These groups will hike to local creeks and ponds for fishing, canoeing, and other water activities. Pathfinders and Trailblazers will be further out on Seneca hiking, tubing, and mountain biking, while preparing for and their overnight “survival skills” campout on our campus. See Facebook for more videos about program-specific adventures.
➤ What if my child has a food allergy? Please note that we are not a nut-free camp. However, we try to make our campers feel included by seating children with allergies at a table with other children who do not have allergy-foods in their lunches.
➤ How many children are with a counselor? Nature Navigators have up to 12 campers with two counselors. Wilderness Explorers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers in groups of 12-14 with two counselors (1:7).Additional certified instructors join the Wilderness Explorers, Pathfinders and Trailblazers for various activities, as needed. Equestrian Adventures have 10 children, with one counselor. When the children are riding, there are no more than 6 children with one instructor and one assistant.
➤ What do you do on weather related “code red” days? Activities are modified to allow less time in the sun, and more time in the water and the woods. Outdoor campers will use air-conditioned rooms in the afternoon, or at other times as needed, for some “cool down” time. Drinking water is important EVERY DAY and on “code red” days we are especially insistent that the children take regular water breaks. The campers also enjoy our “water misting” system to cool off after activities throughout the camp season. The staff is trained to be especially alert on hot days for any change in the physical condition of a camper.
➤ Is there transportation available? There will be bus transportation on three routes with designated cluster stops (limited seats available). See the Bus Information page for full details.
➤ What if I need to pick up my child early? No problem! Please call or email the Camp Office in advance and we will coordinate with Counselors to have campers in the Camp Office with their things.Early pick up must happen before 2:45 to ease any carpool calamity. After 2:45 p.m. parents will join the carpool lane and proceed to their child’s designated point of pickup. To assist with early departure readiness, Please park in the Guest Parking area or at the Carpool 2 sign, then call the Camp Office to sign out your camper. For our safety and your camper’s, we will walk your camper out to you.
➤ What is Campout and Cookout?
- Cookout is held during the afternoon on the second Friday of each session for Wilderness Explorers. We will serve Kosher Beef Hot Dogs/Buns and S’mores. Campers are asked to bring other food items to balance out their meals according to their needs.
- Campout is held on Tuesday night of the second week of each session for Pathfinders. This is an overnight experience where we will have a cookout and a late swim after a very busy day of hiking/tubing. *weather permitting
- Campout is held on Wednesday and Thursday nights for Trailblazers. These two overnight experiences where we will have a cookout and a late swim after a very busy day of hiking/tubing on day one. Day two starts with a hearty breakfast, a full day of mountain biking, hiking, and an outdoor movie in the field, this is the highlight of the Trailblazer experience.*weather permitting*
➤ Which camp sessions did I register for? Life is busy and we understand you may have misplaced your camp information. Please login to your Parent Portal to access your forms and view your sessions. It’s located at the top right-hand corner of our website.
➤ Can you group my child with the friends I listed during registration? We will do our best to try and group your child with a friend who is coming to the same session..
➤ What are the financial terms and policies? All fees may be paid in full upon registration or contact Scott Chidakel (email@example.com or 301-977-6600) to set up a payment plan. See the Payment Policies page for full details.
➤ What is your policy on continued misconduct of a camper? Because our camp is group-centered, we will address challenges related to the individual camper behavior by addressing both the campers needs and the needs of the other children in the group.
When a child demonstrates negative behavior, we will work with the child to adjust their behavior. If the behavior is serious or repeated, a director will step in to provide additional support. Parents will be called when a behavior is serious in nature, not easily resolved, repeated, or is affecting the whole group.
Participation at Butler Camp is a privilege, and we believe that all children have a right to a physically and emotionally safe environment. If a child repeatedly demonstrates inappropriate behavior at Butler Camp, we will work to resolve the issue. If it becomes a larger issue, Butler reserves the right to remove the child from the program.
Specifically: To maintain our staff:camper ratio, if one child consistently requires one on one attention thus changing the ratio and quality of the program, and the behavior is not changing with reasonable amount of effort made by staff and directors, the child will be asked to leave. If a child demonstrates a serious negative behavior that is not likely to improve and is detrimental to the group and camp culture, the child will be asked to leave camp immediately.