The Kingswood and Family Partnership
“The kids may get to have all the fun at camp, but I love that as a Kingswood Parent, you still make us feel like an important part of the camp family.”
disconnect to reconnect
At Kingswood we believe in giving every camper an authentic camp experience, which means we are proudly unplugged! Camp is a wonderful opportunity for kids to unplug from technology and develop deep relationships and communication skills without distractions. Technology interferes with our goals of promoting socialization and instilling a love of the outdoors. It also creates unnecessary divisions between campers who can afford expensive devices and those who cannot.
Please do not send your child to camp with any electronics, especially a cell phone or a watch with phone capacities. In today’s connected world, we know that this can be a challenging break for some campers (and parents!), but we find that campers express gratitude for the break from their electronics. Overnight camp is one of the only places where kids today can have an extended respite from their phones, and kids report feeling less stressed and anxious at overnight camp when they’re not tethered to social media. We see this break from devices as being critical for healthy and happy kids and teens.
As a parent, do not knowingly send your camper to camp with a cell-phone, as this puts your camper in a position where they will have to lie to their counselors and staff, and it models distrust in camp and disregard for camp policies. When parents sneak phones in with their kids, it undermines our counselors and impacts their child’s ability to attend camp in future summers. If you have concerns about your camper’s readiness to be disconnected from their cell phone, please be in touch with a director so we can talk through a plan to help.
Without their cell phone, campers are better able to focus on relationships, friendships, and their own problem-solving. Like we say at Kingswood, “there’s no reception in the woods, but you get a stronger connection!”
Campers who fly may bring a cell phone with them to contact their parents throughout their journey and upon safe arrival. Once at camp, the cell phone will be labeled and stored in a secure safe in the camp office until the camper’s departure from camp. We will make sure they receive their phone back fully charged for their journey home.
back to the basics
Music, Books, and Cameras
Music is an important part of camp, and we appreciate the desire for campers to bring their own music to camp. If only cassettes were still a thing! 😉 To prevent the urge to play games or watch shows, we only allow campers to bring small mp3 players, iPods or personal radios without Wi-Fi, cellular, games, or watching capabilities. SanDisk makes high quality, inexpensive mp3 players that meet all our requirements for camp; or iPod shuffles and iPod nanos (without touchscreens) also meet our requirements.
Any device that can connect to a Wi-Fi or cellular network, such as iPod touches, later generation iPod nanos, smart watches, and any kind of smartphone, will be stored in a secure safe in the camp office until the camper’s departure from camp.
We strongly recommend sticking to regular old-school books, and we encourage campers to expand their bunk library by sharing! We do allow e-readers at Kingswood, but only without Wi-Fi access or games.
Campers may bring disposable cameras, Polaroids, and/or digital cameras without internet capabilities. Phone cameras are not permitted.
living our values is the name of the game
Camper Code of Conduct
Parents, please read this section with your camper, then sign and submit the Camper Code of Conduct form in your account.
We encourage campers and staff to respect themselves and others, our camp and facilities, and our earth and environment. Camp Kingswood is committed to providing a safe camp environment in which relationships are characterized by dignity, respect, and fair treatment. Any behavior in violation of the following policies or practices will be discussed with the campers and parents, and may result in an early termination of the camper’s session.
Our definition of bullying is unwanted, aggressive, repeated behavior involving a real or perceived power imbalance. Campers must not bully, threaten, or intimidate other campers or staff. This behavior is not tolerated, and stands in contradiction to the values of Camp Kingswood.
To demonstrate respect for others and ourselves, only appropriate language is acceptable, in words and in music choices. Threats or physical violence toward campers or staff members is not permitted. Campers are expected to dress appropriately at camp at all times. This includes wearing the proper attire to activities, such as sneakers to sports, and a bathing suit to swimming. Clothing with lewd or suggestive language or references to alcohol or drugs is prohibited, as is any clothing with messages of hate.
Graffiti is not permitted, as it shows disrespect to the property and environment of camp. Throughout the summer there will be Director approved opportunities for campers to leave their mark at camp. Unapproved graffiti will result in a $50 removal fee per location.
Campers may not possess or use any kind of tobacco products, matches, lighters, fireworks, or open flames for any purpose at camp. Weapons are not permitted at camp or off-site programs. In addition to all assumed weapons, a weapon also includes any items, body parts, or words used in an inappropriate way, which may cause threat, harm, or intimidation to others or yourself. If there is any suspicion that a camper is harming themselves in any way, we reserve the right to send the camper home for their own safety, to receive the attention and supervision required. Possession, consumption, or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or the illegal use of legal drugs is prohibited at camp. This includes edible marijuana, vape pens, and any drug paraphernalia.
Campers must stay with their assigned group with appropriate supervision. Campers may only leave the campgrounds on supervised trips. Campers must attend all scheduled activities, meals, and programs, unless excused by a staff member, and then only if supervised. Campers must follow the assigned curfew and may not “sneak out” of their cabin. Campers are only allowed in their own cabin and bathroom facilities. Entrance in other camper living spaces is only allowed with staff permission and supervision.
As a camp community, it is important to remember that when we are out of camp on field trips and overnights we are representing Kingswood and should conduct ourselves in a way that makes us proud. This means being respectful, kind, safe, and responsible at all times. We expect campers to be ambassadors of Kingswood and to uphold our values and standards even when off camp property. This includes not engaging in behaviors such as shoplifting, cursing, or any other actions that could reflect poorly on Kingswood. Any campers who are found to be engaging in these behaviors will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include being sent home. By being mindful of our actions and behavior, we can ensure that we are always upholding the Camp Kingswood values and standards.
Year-Round Online Communication
We support campers’ desires to connect with their camp friends virtually, but we ask that it be done in a safe and respectful way. If you reference Camp Kingswood online, another camper or future parent is just as likely to find your content as they are to find the official camp website. In light of this, we require that all campers and parents observe the following guidelines when referring to Camp Kingswood, its programs or activities, or its campers or staff members online. Violation of the Camp Kingswood Year-Round Communication Policy may impact a camper’s ability to attend Kingswood in future summers.
Be respectful in all online communications related to or referencing Camp Kingswood or any member of the Camp Kingswood community. Do not use obscenities, profanity, or vulgar language related to Camp Kingswood or any member of the Kingswood community. Do not use the internet to harass, bully, or intimidate other campers or employees of Camp Kingswood. Behaviors that constitute harassment and bullying include, but are not limited to, comments that are derogatory with respect to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, color, or disability; sexually suggestive, humiliating, or demeaning comments; and threats to stalk, haze, or physically injure another person.
Parents and campers, after reading this section together, download and sign the Camper Code of Conduct (in CampInTouch or Campanion), upload and submit.
At Camp Kingswood, we cherish our relationships with our camp families, and we consider you part of our Kingswood family for life. Because of this, we invest deeply in these relationships, working in partnership to solve challenges, celebrate camper successes, and be available for any questions or conversations during the summer and throughout the year. On a very rare occasion, there could be a time when we determine we have reached an impasse with a parent, such that it undermines our ability to work effectively with the family. This could include parents lying, contradicting camp policies, or being disrespectful or aggressive toward our staff or campers. Should this occur, we reserve the right to ask for a child to be picked up at camp without a refund, and it may impact future enrollment.
Please show your child that you support and understand our policies and practices. If there’s something that doesn’t make sense to you, please be in touch so we can talk further to provide the philosophy and reasoning behind our very intentional ways of doing things at Camp Kingswood!
honesty is the best policy
When completing your camper forms, please err on the side of oversharing. Sometimes parents hesitate to share information about their child’s behavior or past experiences, out of fear the information may be used to label their child. We understand parents want their child to have a fresh start at camp. Knowing about a learning difficulty, ADHD, social challenges, a death, or a family change makes a big difference in helping us to be sensitive to your child’s needs. Information is confidential, and our only goal is to better understand your child, and make the most of their Kingswood experience.
appreciating the magic makers
Our staff work tirelessly to create the magic of camp, and we know they play a special role in the lives of our campers. We love that families want to show gratitude to our counselors for their hard work, and we invite you to make a donation in their honor to our Staff Enrichment Fund, which goes directly to fund staff programming, training, and special events. Kingswood staff are not permitted to accept gratuities, as this contradicts our values and sends the message to staff that campers from families without the means to tip deserve less attention and love. We want our staff to feel equally appreciated, and our campers to feel equally supported. When parents write notes of gratitude we share those letters with the entire staff, including shout-outs to individuals. This is a great way for staff to feel recognized and appreciated!