Monthly Archives: April 2015

May Parents News

Wow, how did May sneak up on us so quickly? With spring in the air, excitement is building and summer 2015 is right around the corner! Yay! As of June 1st, all correspondence should go directly to our summer address at camp.

If your children are enrolled for summer 2015 at Island Lake, please be sure to fill out your Profile and Transportation Forms, either by filling out the hard copies you received in your folder or the forms right here on our website. All forms were due on May 1st. If you choose to fill them out online, just click the “CampMinder Login” and either enter your email address and password or click “First Time Users- Create Account.” The Medical Form is not on our website so please be sure to fill out the form enclosed in your folder and mail it back to us as soon as possible.

Any day now you should receive your “Spring Mailing” in the postal mail. Enclosed in this mailing are your Parent Handbook, Camper Handbook, Activities Handbook, Medication Policy letter, travel itinerary form, Open House flyer (if your children are 1st time campers this summer), as well as a flyer about our online photos, videos, & emails. Whether you are returning or are new to the Island Lake family, please make sure you and your children take a few minutes to sit down and read this spring mailing thoroughly, as we always add new information.

Are you a returning parent who has not yet signed up your children for this upcoming summer at Island Lake? If so, please, please, please do not put it off any longer. Some of our bunks are now completely full. We truly do not want to turn away any of our devoted campers and it’s very difficult for us when forced to do so each and every year. Please don’t let that happen to your child. If you don’t have a registration form handy, click “Island Lake Families” at the top of the page, then click “Forms & Mailings” and print the “2015 Enrollment Form”.

To all current Island Lake families, we look forward to an amazing summer 2015 with your children. To all prospective families, feel free to contact us if you have any questions after browsing our website: 800-869-6083 or 914-769-6060 (after June 1st contact us at 570-798-2550). And last but not least, to all…. ILC U THERE!

Attention Flying Campers

In order to facilitate a smooth travel day, we’d like all flying campers to arrive and depart from NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT within the same time frame, as close to 12 o’clock noon as possible. By keeping flights within these parameters we are able to ensure that our campers are at the airport for a minimal amount of time. Please contact Wendy prior to booking your children’s tickets to confirm flight times: [email protected] or 954-688-9527. Upon booking your children’s flights, please e-mail Wendy a copy of their tickets.

All South Florida campers should fly from Fort Lauderdale to Newark together on the same JetBlue flights. Please book your children as unaccompanied minor if under the age of 15. Our staff will meet your children at the arrival gate at Newark Airport. We will have staff names for you closer to the date of travel. Same details apply for return flights from Newark to Fort Lauderdale.  The Florida flights are as follows:

TO CAMP: Ft. Lauderdale to Newark Jet Blue Flight #306 Depart 9:35am & arrive 12:30pm FROM CAMP: Newark to Ft. Lauderdale Jet Blue Flight #505 Depart 1:30pm & arrive 4:22pm

UNACCOMPANIED MINOR: When booking flights, please make any necessary “unaccompanied minor” arrangements for children under the age limit specific to each airline. Children who fly as unaccompanied minors are permitted to be escorted by an Island Lake staff member from their gate upon arrival and to their departure gate for their return trip. We will provide a staff member’s name for you in June.   If your children are older and there are no unaccompanied minors on your children’s flight, our staff will meet those campers at the security checkpoint upon their arrival.

Please send Wendy a copy of your child’s itinerary once you have confirmed flights with her and booked the airline tickets and unaccompanied minor reservations. You can reach Wendy at [email protected] or 954-688-9527. In June, we will send additional information along with Island Lake t-shirts for your children to wear on the plane to camp. We look forward to making the travel days as smooth as possible. Thank you!

Camp Forms

Camp Forms

All Summer 2015 Island Lake families should have received their annual camp folders. There is a great deal of information in this folder to help prepare your child for a successful camp experience. Please take some time to read through everything thoroughly and fill out and return the required forms. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of filling out the forms in a detailed, timely manner. These forms provide us with extensive feedback regarding your child so that our staff can have thorough, accurate knowledge about each camper in order to provide him or her with a safe and successful summer. Profile, Medical, and Transportation Forms must be submitted by May 1st. These forms are necessary for us to finalize plans for the summer.

The Profile Form helps us guide your children when they choose their activities and put together their schedules. Both a parent and a physician, as required by Pennsylvania law, must complete the Medical Form. Please note that incomplete Medical Forms will be returned to you. The form must have your complete insurance information and a credit card number for any out of camp medical expenses. Every Medical Form needs to be signed by both a parent and a doctor.

The Transportation Form lets us know which bus your children will be taking to camp. If we do not receive the Transportation Form in our office by May 1st, we will have to assign a bus to your children. In June, we will send you detailed information on the bus locations, along with luggage tags that you will use to mark your children’s bags. If you have any questions or need any help filling out your forms, you can always give us a call in the winter office at 914-769-6060 and we’d be happy to help you!

We encourage you to use our online system instead of paper forms. If you have not already done so, go to islandlake.com and click on “CampMinder Login”. You will be prompted to enter your email address and password. If this is your first time using the CampMinder system, just click on “First Time Users – Create Account.”

Preparing Your Child & Yourself for Camp

The following is an article worth reading by the American Camping Association:

For parents, the most heart-racing, adrenalin pumping moments happen when you let go and watch your child try something on his or her own. The moment the training wheels come off, the first trip down the driveway on the skateboard, the time our children ride the school bus – these are more than just memories, these are critical moments that define growth and change. For many families, the first time they send their child to camp is one of the biggest let go, hold your breath, and watch them soar moments in childhood.

In today’s world of high-tech kids and families who have a constant connection to each other, it’s essential to take the time to emotionally prepare for camp. It is, of course, important to prepare the first-time camper, but families need to make sure that Mom, Dad, younger siblings at home – virtually everyone – is ready to adjust to camp life. The American Camp Association® (ACA) provides the following tips to help ease first-time families into the camp experience:

  • Parents – As parents, it is important to focus on the positive aspects of camp. Remember that separation is natural, necessary, and inevitable – what better place to have that first experience than in a caring and nurturing environment designed specifically for children? Parents can also focus on the amazing benefits of camp – an experiential education like no other teaching valuable 21st century survival skills like leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication. “The greatest gifts that parents can give their child are independence and resiliency,” said Peg Smith, ACA’s chief executive officer. “Parents should remember that by choosing camp they are giving both.”
  • Siblings – Bob Ditter, family therapist and one of the nation’s leading experts on camp, cautions it is likely that the child left at home will experience separation anxiety and truly miss his or her sibling. To help them prepare, be sure to talk about the upcoming separation. Before the eldest child leaves for camp take a picture of your children together that the sibling can keep in their room or carry around. Remind your children about the communication they can have with each other through letters and postcards. 
  • Other family members – Be sure that everyone is aware of the upcoming experience. Let family members know how to contact camper if they are interested through letters and care packages — make sure they are aware of any communication policies the camp may have, i.e. no phone calls or restrictions on what can be sent in a care package. In addition, an increasing number of camps are using Web sites to display photos or video during the camp session. According to ACA’s 2011 Emerging Issues Survey, 75 percent of responding camps indicate that they post photos or videos to a Web site for families to view. Forty-five percent indicate that they post information, photos, and videos to social media outlets like Facebook. Families should be sure to ask camp directors about these options.  

Camp is an equal opportunity life-changer. By sending a child to camp, families are truly giving a gift that lasts a lifetime. By taking steps to mentally prepare for camp, families not only keep from getting “kid-sick” for their camper, but they can stay positive about the camp experience – which goes a long way toward helping first-time campers adjust to life at camp. And just like taking off the training wheels, the moment families see their camper radiating confidence and joy they will feel that burst of pride and gratitude that they allowed their child this experience.

First Time Campers

As a first time camper at Island Lake, you will receive a lot of help in adjusting to camp life and choosing your activities. We have an Open House at camp on June 13th, about two weeks before camp starts, for all of our new campers and their families. We start with a tour of camp and an explanation of how our program works. After the tour, you will have lunch with your family and our Island Lake staff will be spread out throughout the dining room for any additional questions you may have. Once lunch is finished, you and your siblings will go to either the gym or circus building to enjoy some activities while your parents will have a question and answer session with one of our directors.

When you arrive at camp for summer, your counselors will greet you along with any bunkmates that have arrived before you. Once everyone has arrived and unpacked, you will have an opportunity to get to know all of the children and counselors in your bunk. This is a wonderful opportunity to start developing all of your new friendships.

The following day, you will have assistance from your counselors and group leader in choosing your activities. You will sit down with your group leader one on one to choose your majors and your counselors will help you with your minors each day.

Many first time campers are concerned about being “homesick.” A majority of the time we can easily spot a child who is having some adjustment difficulties at camp. However, there are always a few children who do not want anyone to see that they are feeling anxious or sad. We emphasize the importance that you please tell an adult (your counselor, group leader, director, department head, or any other adult you feel comfortable with) how you are feeling so we can work with you to overcome these feelings and you can enjoy your stay at camp. We have many different approaches towards campers who are missing home and are having a hard time adjusting to camp. We will tailor our approach to your needs and what will work best for you.

Our goal at Island Lake is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our campers. For all first time parents, please read all of our literature to be sure you are fully prepared to send your child to camp this summer. We also recommend that you have your children read our monthly newsletters and our soon to be mailed Camper Handbook and Activities Handbook to better prepare them for the best summer of their lives. ILC U THERE!

April Parents News

Wow, how did April sneak up on us so quickly? With spring in the air, excitement is building with summer 2015 right around the corner! Yay! As of June 1st, all correspondence should go to our summer address where we will be busy preparing for your children’s arrival on June 27th (once again, Yay!).

If your child is already enrolled for summer 2015, please be sure to fill out your Profile and Transportation Forms either in your folder or here on our website. Just click the “CampMinder Login” link on our homepage and you will be prompted to enter your email address and password. First time users can click “First Time Users – Create Account” below the login link. If your child is a returning camper, we suggest you use the same password that you use to access our summer photos and send emails to your child. You will then have access to the Profile and Transportation Forms. The Medical Form is not on our website so please be sure to completely fill out the one enclosed in your folder.

Have you registered your child for this upcoming summer? If not and you plan to do so, please, please, please do not put it off any longer. We truly do not want to turn away any of our devoted campers and it’s very difficult for us when forced to do so each and every year. Please don’t let that happen to your child. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the registration form and send it in to our NY office. If you don’t have one handy, click “Island Lake Families” and then “Forms & Mailings” to the left of the page and print the “2015 Enrollment Form”.

As a reminder to all of our summer 2015 families, please be sure to read our monthly newsletters. The newsletters provide lots of information important to your child(ren)’s upcoming summer.  Our newsletter link is located right here on our website, and you will also receive their very own hard copy of our monthly newsletter at the start of each month in the mail.

Within the next month we will be sending you our big spring mailing. This will include a camper handbook, parent handbook, activities handbook, our medication policy, information about emailing your child, viewing photos and videos on the web, and lots of other important camp information. Please be sure to read through this packet, as there is a lot of important info enclosed for you, the parents, as well as your child.

Well, that’s about it for now. Enjoy your navigation through our site checking out all of our fun-filled activities and smiling faces. Our camp offers a program that furthers your child’s growth, independence, and sense of decision-making while simultaneously giving them the responsibility to create their own exciting summer. To all current Island Lake families, we look forward to an amazing summer 2015 with your children. To all prospective families, feel free to contact us if you have any questions after browsing our website: 800-869-6083 or 914-769-6060. And last but not least, to all,…ILC U THERE!