➤ 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 snack in a separate bag within the lunch bag or else a separate container in the backpack. Please, no sugary foods or drinks or glass beverages! Remember to pack ice packs and include foods that won’t spoil. The second Friday of each two week session, each camper (except Extremes) will receive two complimentary slices of plain cheese pizza. If your child doesn’t care for pizza, requires more food, or has an allergy, please pack an alternative lunch. Check out Amy and Heather’s Food and Allergy video here.
➤ Do I need to fill out forms if I came to camp last year? 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. For a map of carpool and details about where to drop your child click here. Also view Heather and Amy’s Carpool 1/2 video and Carpool 3 video.
➤ 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 your child 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 Extreme Adventurers, who are off campus most 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 included in Outdoor Adventures? (ages 7-10) Outdoor Adventures 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, tubing, and creeking, along with arts & crafts, soccer, and games. Every day will include a fun dip in the pool. See this video from Heather and Amy.
➤ 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). The second Friday of each two-week session, all campers except Extreme Adventurers (who are off campus) enjoy two complementary pieces of cheese pizza for lunch. If your child has an allergy or doesn’t care for pizza, please pack an alternative lunch that day.
➤ Where do campers spend their day? Young Adventures and Backyard Explorers spend time both inside our air-conditioned classrooms and outside on campus. Outdoor Adventurers, Equestrian Campers, and Extreme Adventurers are outside all day. The Outdoor Adventures groups will travel to local lakes, creeks, the canal towpath and Potomac River for fishing, canoeing, and other water activities. Extreme Adventure campers will often travel to further recreational sites, such as Sugarloaf Mountain, Harper’s Ferry, Sandy Spring Adventure Park, Greenbrier State Park, and the Monocacy River for their activities, including rock climbing, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and their overnight “survival skills” trip. 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. If your child has a gluten or dairy allergy, please pack an alternative lunch on Pizza Fridays. See this video from Heather and Amy.
➤ How many children are with a counselor? Backyard Explorers have up to 18 campers in their group with three counselors, while Young Adventures have up to 12 campers with two counselors. Outdoor Adventures are in groups of 12-15 with one counselor and Extreme Adventures have one group of 18 children with two counselors. Additional certified instructors join the Outdoor Adventures and Extreme groups 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. The Equestrian and Outdoor Adventures 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. Visit the camp office any time before 2:45 p.m. to arrange pick up. Due to 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 enter the Camp Office from the walkway/stairs, to sign out your camper.
➤ What is Campout and Cookout? The second Tuesday of every session, Butler Camp hosts a Campout (Extremes) and Cookout (Equestrian and Outdoor Adventurers). A detailed email will be sent each session on the Friday of Week 1 which will review the logistics, schedule and request a permission confirmation for the activities. Younger sibling campers can join the After Care group as a drop-in or be picked up at carpool. However, younger campers cannot join these particular activities as they are uniquely for the older programs. See this video from Amy and Heather.
➤ 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 group your child with at least one of the friends listed on your camp registration. We will contact you if any issues arise or we have questions about the groupings.
➤ What is Drop-In Care? Drop-In Care is designed to provide occasional or part-time care, before or after camp. See the Before & After Care page for full details.
➤ What are the financial terms and policies? All fees may be paid in full upon registration or contact Scott Chidakel (firstname.lastname@example.org 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 if 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.