" I believe Director involvement is essential to the success of any camp. Sending your child away to an overnight camp is a big step for campers as well as their parents. Over the years, I have been asked every possible question by thousands of parents."
- Sid Friedman (Owner/Director)
Can I still enroll my child if they have a food allergy or follow a specific dietary regimen?
Yes! Our food service policy is extremely sensitive to campers' dietary needs. Camp Tanuga typically employs (2) Chefs for the camping season that are involved with menu planning, food preparation, and special diets. In addition, the kitchen manager, your child's counselors, unit directors, overnight tripping director and camp directors are all part of this process. We have had years of experience with peanut allergies, lactose intolerance, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarians and picky eaters! Tanuga takes pride in the fact that we accommodate campers with these challenges. A combination of our experience and communicating with parents prior to the camping season has been the recipe for making each camper comfortable with their situation.
How do I know I've packed enough clothing?
You will receive a clothing list prior to the camping season. This is a useful guideline. Remember, laundry is done weekly with a 2-3 day turnover, so regardless of how long your child attends camp, the amount of clothes should be geared for 10 days. We also have washing machines on camp grounds in the event clothing or bedding needs to be done more often.
How can I assure my child that he or she will be in a cabin with all of their friends?
Part of going to camp is learning to make new friends. It's comforting to be with 1 or 2 friends however, the campers that have the best summers are ones that don't know the whole cabin before going to camp for the first time. As the years pass, a child develops strong relationships with friends they may not see a whole lot during the year. These friendships will last a lifetime. Cabin assignments are one of the toughest jobs of a Director.
How do you hire your staff?
Our staff is a combination of former campers who have come up through the ranks, recruitment from employment fairs at Universities nationwide or Tanuga's staff networking to identify new recruits. What we're looking for are individuals who are willing to put the campers first. Education majors are a good target because teachers tend to make the best counselors. We also hire a number of foreign staff. We find that the more diverse the make-up of the staff, the better the summer!
At what age do you feel my child will be ready to go to camp?
Keep in mind that every child is different. Some are ready at six years old, others not until eight. Consider that in most cases, it will be a harder adjustment for the parent than the child. The older a child becomes doesn't mean it will be easier. Most children begin overnight camping at ages 7-8, so by waiting until a child is 10 or 11 only means social interaction and adjustment with campers, many of whom have attended camp for two to four years already, can be a difficult experience. Find out how many children in the cabin are new versus returning campers. Possibly arrange for an informal meeting with other new campers before camp starts. This will lessen the anxiety when going off to camp.
My son is flying all the way from California. How will he make friends?
Tanuga prides itself on participation and seeking out individuals from all over the country. It may put you at ease to know that your son will choose his activities independent of cabin mates and be placed with and experience activities together with those who have similar interests. All of a sudden he is sharing a learning experience and he's on his way to making new friends. My biggest complaint from out-of-state campers' parents, is the phone bill they receive from their children keeping in touch with new camp friends!
Is there a required swim test?
Yes. In order to participate in any of our waterfront activities, a camper must pass a prerequisite swim test. This involves:
• Swimming 50 yards (2 lengths of 25 yards) of any stroke they like, while wearing a life jacket.
• One length of a proficient stroke without wearing a life jacket.
• Treading water for one minute with no hands.
If a camper is unable to perform this test, they are placed in a swim class.
*All campers are required to wear life jackets while participating in waterfront activities.