Questions about camp life, health & safety, our campers, or programs? You’ve come to the right place!

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Camp Life

How many campers/staff are in a bunk?

Kingswood bunks are home to 8-12 campers and 3-4 staff. We intentionally provide a low camper-to-staff ratio to ensure each camper’s needs are seen and taken care of. Our Chalutzim and CIT cabins typically have 2-3 staff. Counselors and specialists live in-bunk with the campers.

What are the bunks like?

Kingswood bunks are the perfect setting for the nightly sleep-overs of overnight camp! Campers live in log-cabin style large, airy bunks. Maine weather provides built-in air conditioning, and the cabins are designed with maximum ventilation. Campers sleep on single beds and use bathrooms in the bunks, most of which have been recently built or updated. Our oldest campers count down the summers until they can live in our ‘classic’ bunks, where it’s seen as a right-of-passage to use the shared bathrooms a few steps from their bunk. All campers use centrally located shower houses, and when we’ve suggested adding showers in the bunks over the next few years, it’s our campers who want it to stay the way it is! 🙂 Visit our new Virtual Tour of Camp Kingswood to take a virtual stroll around camp!

My child is so excited to come to camp, especially to be in a bunk with their best friend! Can they request each other?

Absolutely! Campers are allowed to make two bunk mate requests. Mutual requests receive priority, so please encourage your child to talk with their friend before completing their spring camper forms.

My child doesn’t know other campers coming to Camp Kingswood; how will my child join the community?

Our Kingswood culture is intentionally welcoming, and we commit to helping our newest campers feel comfortable right away. Our counselors pay special attention to the bunk dynamics at the beginnings of each session to be sure all campers feel included! Our first 48 hours are filled with team building programs and games to start building the bunk bonds right away. Lots of Kingswood campers join us for their first summer without a friend they know in advance!

What happens if my child is homesick?

It’s 100% normal for a child to miss home. Our approach is to be proactive, and we work with our staff to learn the nuanced skills of helping each child feel comfortable in their own way and in their own time. When a camper’s needs extend beyond the typical first week tears, our Camper Care team is always on-site and ready to step in with support! We see you – our camp families – as our partners, and we’ll be in touch to include you in the process, and will never keep you in the dark about how your camper is conquering their fears and challenges at camp.

What should my child pack for the summer?

We know that packing for camp can be complicated, but please don’t feel like you need to be an expert in year one! A full packing list will be available online in April with our spring forms and parent handbook. You’ll receive a note in CampMinder when these forms are available.

Can my child bring a phone? What technology is allowed at camp?

Great question. No! 🙂 We are a screen-free camp. Please do not send your camper with anything that has a screen, data plan capabilities (even turned off) or WiFi capabilities. Give your child the gift of being unplugged and away from the constant stresses and pressures of social media. If you want your child to have their phone at camp, Camp Kingswood is probably not the right camp for you. We’d love to talk to you about this more, but we are fully-committed to the incredible experience of our campers once they are in our care at camp, and cell phones are a negative distraction for the campers, and for the staff who are put in difficult positions by parents attempting to circumvent this policy. Please think about this before registering your camper for Camp Kingswood. Thank you!

What is a typical day like?

Check out our daily schedule. Days are action-packed and filled with amazing activities, providing opportunities each day for kids to be active, creative, musical, competitive, introspective, dry, wet…the list goes on! A mix of bunk activities and choice activities keeps each day interesting, and there are opportunities to specialize in what campers love most, whether it’s baseball or water skiing! We gather three times each day to eat our meals as a whole camp, using meal time as a time to share announcements, celebrate birthdays, sing and cheer! Evening programs are typically a time to bond by unit, and you can count on our staff to flex their creativity each night with fun events like Talent Shows, Scavenger Hunts, Game Show Nights, and Cooking Competitions.

Can I visit my child during the camp season?

Visiting Day is during change over between First Session and Second Session, and is for full-summer camper families only. *During 2021, we will sadly not host a Visiting Day due to COVID-19.

What does it mean now that Camp Kingswood is under new leadership?

It’s an exciting time at Camp Kingswood! After having been under the auspices of the JCC of Greater Boston since the 90s, Kingswood is now privately owned by former Kingswood director Mitch Morgan, and former Kingswood consultant, Jodi Sperling. Mitch and Jodi bring a combined 35+ years of camp directing experience, and they’ve shared a dream of owning a Jewish overnight camp for as long as they’ve known each other! They bring new energy, passion, and experience to camp. Most importantly for Kingswood, camp is now their only focus. No longer a department of a larger agency, or part of a group of camps or movement, Mitch and Jodi can make decisions about what’s best for Camp Kingwood and Kingswood families based just on that – Kingswood families! There are no competing interests and no higher priorities. Just Kingswood, all the time. Just chat with them on the phone and you’ll hear it right away. They live and breathe camp!

Jodi and Mitch were drawn to Kingwood because of the character, culture and landscape of Camp Kingswood, and while they bring excitement and vision, they hold a strong loyalty to the program and people who come before them. While there is new leadership for 2020, our returning campers and staff will experience all the amazing parts of Kingswood they know and love. Our returning families already know this, as they’ve seen first-hand our continued commitment to camper scholarships and first time camper grants, and our extention of our Zohar program for campers with special needs to include a new, longer, 3-week option, confirming our commitment to helping any child have a Jewish camp experience.

Our full-time team includes long-time Kingswood veterans, Facility Director Ethan Fellows (12 summers!) and Assistant Director Jon Ferris (6 summers!). Our seasonal team includes many lifers who have grown up at Kingswood, and even some whose children are now campers!

Health & Safety

How do you handle medications for campers?

All camper medications are submitted through our pharmacy partner. Our partner will help each family with their scripts and the medication will be sent to Camp Kingswood in pre-packed dosing. This is not optional. More information about how to submit your scripts with our pharmacy partner can be found in our family guide.

Do you require vaccinations?

Yes. Information detailing our medical requirements can be found in our family guide.

What precautions are you taking in terms of COVID-19?

Our detailed plans will be communicated near the start of camp when we have the most up-to-date information available. Our current draft of protocols calls for PCR tests completed prior to arrival and masking at arrival. During the session we will take a phased approach, requiring pods and masks around camp. We will complete testing each week which will allow our pods to grow and masking requirements to evolve.

Can Camp Kingswood accommodate my child’s special dietary needs?

Yes. Please let our directors know your child’s dietary needs. In most cases we are able to meet your child’s needs with our dedicated Special Dietary Needs chef! We want you to be comfortable with our plans and protocols, which will involve a conversation with our camp directors and food service director.

Our Campers

How many campers does Camp Kingswood have each summer?

We have approximately 225 campers on-site with us at one time, and approximately 400 total campers per summer.

Where do campers come from?

Camp Kingswood welcomes campers from around the world! The majority of our campers hail from New England and the Northeast, we we do have campers from as far away in the U.S. as Denver, Florida, Utah, Texas and California, and we have international campers from Israel, Mexico, the UK, and anywhere an interested family lives!

How do campers get to camp?

Campers arrive either by bus, their families drop them off at camp, or they are flown to the Portland, ME airport and picked up in a shuttle by our staff. We currently offer bus transportation from the Greater Boston area and will gauge interest in other Northeast areas for potential shuttles to camp.

Camp Program

What does it mean to be a Jewish camp? What is Shabbat like at camp?

Camp Kingswood is non-denominational Jewish camp. We have campers who identify as no denomination, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, secular, modern Orthodox, or anything in between! We have campers for whom camp is their only Jewish experience all year, and others who attend Jewish day school and keep Kosher at home. Regardless of where they’re coming from, at Camp Kingswood, they are entering a camp that that values every child regardless of their observances and practices, where they are not judged for what they do or do not do or believe. We believe most Jewish spaces in 2021 for kids are not kid-centered, and are not in line with the values and interests of many families. We want our Jewish community to feel like a meaningful and non-judgemental space where someone can explore what Judaism means to them – whether they’re 8 or 18, male or female, knowledgeable or new to the conversation.

Our Jewish program is designed to give kids a positive and meaningful connection to Judaism, whether that come during a crazy, spirited song session, during a peaceful, introspective moment of Shabbat services, while learning the value of ba’al taschit working in our garden (protecting the environment) or during an experiential program about social justice and tikkun olam (making the world a better place).

Ritual life at camp is designed to be accessible and camper-led. Each week a different group of camper works with our staff to pick a Shabbat theme based on that week’s Torah portion, and then lead all the songs, poems, prayers and skits that comprise our interactive Shabbat service. Many campers say camp is the only place they like going to services, and who can blame them? Check out our Camp Chapel in our Virtual Tour.

What happens on the first day of camp?

We believe camp starts the moment a camper steps onto the bus to head to camp! The camper forms you’ll submit in the spring enable our staff to get to know your campers so they can be welcomed by name as soon as they arrive! Our staff help campers unpack and get settled. Bunk activities begin right away, and by the end of our first night opening campfire, most campers are asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows!

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Have other questions? Contact us for more information!

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