Parent & Camper FAQ's
Below please find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about camp.
Still have questions or just want to talk with a staff member - just give us a call!
How will I know when my child is ready for sleep away camp?
Agassiz village accepts campers from 8-17 years old, most families consider sleep away summer camps for children 8 years and older. However, age is not the only factor in determining when a child is ready for sleep away camp. Consider your child’s level of interest and desire to explore a summer camp setting. Consider your child’s experiences away from home without you. Has your child slept over a friend’s house or spent a weekend away from home? Always be positive and talk with your child about the benefits of going to a sleep away camp.
In a typical year, how many children are there at camp each session?
Each session will have an average of 432 campers—about half boys and half girls.
Are you accredited?
Agassiz is licensed by the state of Maine and accredited by the American Camp Association, meaning that we have undergone a thorough review (over 300 standards) of our operation – from staff qualifications to emergency management.
Is transportation provided?
Yes, we provide roundtrip transportation from Malden, MA to our camp in Poland, ME. We also have transportation from Portland, ME and Lewiston, ME.
How much does it cost?
Agassiz Village offers a sliding scale so the cost depends on a families ability to pay. On average parents pay about $125 to send their child to camp for two weeks. Agassiz Village is a nonprofit organization so we fundraise and hold events throughout the year to cover the other 92% of the costs.
What is the staff to camper ratio like?
Agassiz village is ACA accredited and therefore aligns the camper to staff ratio with the requirements set out by the American Camping Association (ACA). There are 2 cabin counselors per cabin, with cabins averaging 12 kids, this allows a 1:6 ratio of direct care. We also have program staff, leadership staff, and operational staff on site to make sure every child’s voice is heard.
What are the cabins like?
Our cabins are rustic, but all have indoor bathrooms and electricity. Each cabin has separate counselor quarters plus two sides that hold up to 7 bunk beds in total. All cabins have porches to relax in the fresh Maine air and some are handicap accessible. If you have a specific question about our cabin facilities, please call 781-860-0200 x1005
Will my child be safe and secure?
Absolutely! Agassiz village has over an 85-year history of success. Once a camper checks in on the registration day, they are supervised by our highly dedicated staff at all times – during activities, meal and transitional times, cabin times, and night time. We aim to provide consistent supervision for campers, whilst also giving them the independence required to grow and learn. There are also counselor quarters in each cabin with at least two counselors for every cabin group. We implement a rule of 3 at camp meaning there always is more the one camper with any staff at all times. Besides counselors, there is a dedicated team of program and leadership staff providing constant support and direction.
We always strive for excellence and this is reflected in our constant efforts to evaluate our security measures to address all potential safety concerns. All staff and volunteers are background & reference checked as we do not allow any firearms on site. All visitors are accompanied when on site by a staff member and no persons are allowed on site without prior approval from the camp director.
Who are Agassiz Village staff?
Applicants are selected for summer positions on the basis of their experience, maturity, personality, attitude, and certifications. All staff are interviewed by the camp director and reference checked alongside the criminal background checks which are conducted on all applicants (even volunteers). The staff team is encouraged to seek CPR and First Aid certifications and all aquatic activities are supervised by certified lifeguards. The staff are mature, enthusiastic and diverse. They come from all walks of life with the majority being college students studying education, psychology and social work. They are carefully selected for those qualities of leadership, personal values and caring that enable them to relate to and motivate young people. Staff comes from all over the country and all over the world. Many are former campers who graduated from our own leadership program are powerful, positive role models. All staff attend a comprehensive seven-to-ten-day staff orientation prior to the start of the summer season.
What if my child doesn’t get along with the other campers?
Our programs provide experiences in strength in diversity, a safe environment to interact with peers, staff who prioritize youth, investigation, exploration and adventure, defining and managing goals and expanding their horizons. We provide positive reinforcement to encourage campers to see the good in everyone and everything they do. The counselors continually work to promote healthy interactions, and teach skills that support cooperation, tolerance and friendship. Staff also set consistent limits, uphold standards of behavior, and translate these standards into concrete expectations for each camper. Destructive or violent behavior is not tolerated and may result in expulsion.
How do you help my child adjust to camp?
Homesickness is normal for campers in the first few days of being away from home. We provide campers with personal attention from the first day, we aim to always have someone available to help campers see the potential in camp and bring them out of their shell. We help campers battle homesickness in a nurturing way that builds confidence and independence. If a camper is severely homesick, we will work with the parent right away to ensure the correct support is placed with child.
How do you support gender-expansive youth?
Agassiz Village is a gender-expansive inclusive and welcoming space to create an environment that is considerate of all campers. Generally, we meet the needs of gender-expansive campers on a case-by-case basis. We will take steps to work with the family and have open and honest conversations about their needs and how we can meet them. During our extensive training prior to camp, the staff work with Equality Maine to provide LGBTQIA+ workshops to further understand how to create a safe and comfortable environment for all. We will pursue the best options for meeting the camper’s needs, while being honest and realistic about any facility or programmatic limitations. We’ll also want to discuss the camper’s expectations/boundaries and thoughts on confidentiality.
What about medication?
We have a full-time nurse living on site all summer, April Brunner RN is a member of the association of camp nursing. April has been with us since 2019 and has a wealth of knowledge when implementing personal care to all campers. The health center team takes meticulous care of every medical situation, especially when dispensing medicine. A health history form and physical exam form is required to be completed for every child that comes to camp. If your child takes regular medication, exact guidelines and requirements are detailed on the online health history & physical exam form. Please make sure when you arrive on registration day that all medications are in original packaging. Please do not separate in plastic bags or pill holders.
What are the meals like?
Mealtime is an important part of our program. A hungry child cannot learn and grow, which is why we work with the Maine department of education child nutrition who provide federal funding to support programs for the health and well-being of children. Campers receive 3 nutritious meals that encourage the children to taste a little of each item we serve. However, there is enough of a variety that every child can find something they enjoy. Please note parents are discouraged from packing or mailing food or candy as it will be removed and stored until the child returns home. Please be assured that we are taking excellent care of your child.
What about food allergies & dietary restrictions?
Agassiz provides vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options to its campers and staff. We are unable to accommodate special requests or additional food supplements from home.
For the safety of all our campers, Agassiz maintains a nut-free environment
What about laundry?
All campers should bring enough clothing for at least 7/8 days. Camp laundry is done by our designated housekeeping and laundry staff member midway through the session. We recommend that all clothing articles are labeled clearly with your camper's name. Please do not bring any clothing that requires special care or is delicate/expensive. During the camper registration online, you will be asked if you want to opt in for you camper to have their clothes washed. Parents can also opt for their camper not to have their laundry done whilst at camp, if this is the case, please be sure to pack accordingly.
How can I stay in touch with my camper?
Writing letters to your camper is important, we have seen first-hand how receiving letters from home can help a camper with feelings of homesickness. We encourage our campers to write home to reflect on camp experiences. Although we like the old school hand-written letters, you can also send one-way emails to your camper *INFO PROVIDED.* Keep an eye out on our website and social media platforms for photos and videos of the kids at camp.
Can campers call home? Can parents call campers?
We enjoy the unplugged nature of camp; we encourage our campers to leave technology behind and enjoy all that the camp has to offer. We also recognize that calling home can almost always increase feelings of homesickness. You are always welcome to call the camp office during the session to hear updates on your child from our leadership team. In rare cases we have allowed campers to speak with parents for a short period of time, this determination is made in the best interest of the child.
Can parents visit camp?
As visitors to camp almost always create feelings of homesickness—and have negative and disruptive impact on other campers around them. Agassiz does not permit visitors except in emergencies.