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Summer Camp FAQs

We’ve tried to answer the most commonly asked questions. You’ll also find helpful information on our Parent Resources page. Please call us if you have other questions or just want to talk with a real person.

Health and Safety

Are you accredited?

Takodah is licensed by the State of New Hampshire and accredited by the American Camp Association, meaning that we have undergone a thorough review (300 standards) of our operation—from staff qualifications to emergency management.

Who are your staff members?

Our professional directors recruit caring and mature staff members based on their character and proven ability to work with youth. Nearly all of our staff members attended Takodah as campers and graduated from our Leadership Development Program. All staff members are at least 18 years old, and many of them are professional educators.

Do you background check your staff?

Yes. All of our staff members pass rigorous applications, interviews, reference checks, and criminal background checks before the start of every summer.

How are your staff members trained?

All of our staff members attend more than a week of training before campers arrive. All of our specialized staff members maintain certifications in their areas of expertise—such as First Aid, CPR, lifeguard, and ropes course.

What is your staff to camper ratio?

Each cabin has 10 campers, 2 college-age leaders, and usually 1 Leader-in-Training (high school volunteer in our Leadership Development Program). Our overall ratio in camp is one adult staff member to every three campers.

How are the cabins?

Our cabins are cozy, rustic, and well maintained. All cabins have electricity and screened windows for fresh breezes. Campers sleep in twin-sized bunk beds. All cabins are within eyesight of the Twins (bathroom and shower facilities).

How is the food? What about food allergies?

Our professional chefs serve healthy, kid-friendly, and delicious meals. Every meal includes an extensive breakfast or salad bar, and hearty vegetarian and gluten-free options are always available. We maintain a “nut free” environment. Please contact us to discuss any other dietary needs.

How do you handle medications?

We have partnered with CampDoc.com on electronic health records to ensure the best care possible for camper. If we see that your child has medications entered in Camp Doc, you’ll receive a blister pack from us via mail in mid-May. You’ll fill/seal the blister pack before coming to camp.

You’ll still need to bring the original prescription bottles with you to camp (so our nurses can confirm the dosage amounts/times). Due to their licensing requirements, our nurses must distribute the medications as prescribed on the orignal packaging. If you have liquids, inhalers, or Epi-Pens, you’ll need to bring them in their original packaging, sealed together in a Ziploc bag, labeled with your camper’s name. When you arrive at camp on Opening Day, you’ll need to check in your medications in the Dining Hall.

State-licensed nurses distribute medications and provide 24/7 on-site care for campers. Medications are normally distributed at meals and bed times. The Health Center is also stocked with common over-the-counter medications if needed.

Can you accommodate children with special needs?

Our highest priority is providing a safe and positive experience to all campers in our care. Experience shows that successful participation in Takodah programs requires the ability to do the following, with appropriate guidance from staff:

  • Understand and follow directions of staff
  • Communicate needs and concerns to staff
  • Identify and avoid health/safety risks
  • Maneuver rugged terrain and distances
  • Follow a varied individual schedule and manage free time
  • Assume responsibility for personal hygiene
  • Maintain proper nutrition and hydration
  • Refrain from abusive behaviors (physical or verbal) toward self and others
  • Adapt to a positive group living environment, with very little downtime from others
  • Participate fully in all scheduled activities and programs
  • Demonstrate social and emotional skills in managing stress and conflict
  • Contribute to the positive community and spirit of Takodah

Takodah endeavors to accommodate children with special needs—within the limitations of our resources, natural surroundings, rustic facilities, staff ratios, and program standards—while preserving the nature of the camp experience for all campers. We are not able to provide an attendant (one-on-one staff member) to address a camper’s personal needs, nor can we accommodate medical conditions or impairments requiring treatment beyond the scope of our health center and nurses.

Before enrolling a child with special medical, mental, or psychological needs, please contact us to discuss potential accommodations.

What if my child is homesick?

Homesickness is normal for campers in the first couple of days away from home. We help campers conquer homesickness in a nurturing way that builds confidence and independence. If your camper feels more homesick than normal, we’ll call you right away for input on supporting them.

Registration

What is the cost?

We pride ourselves in offering the most affordable rates of all comparable camps in New England. Please visit our Rates and Dates page for more information.

Do you offer financial assistance?

Yes. We work hard to ensure that no child is turned away from camp for financial reasons. Campership Request Applications are due no later than February 14. For more information on our Campership Program, please contact the Camp Office. Please note that Camperships may not be combined with any other incentives except the Camper Referral Program.

Are there reduced rates for multiple siblings?

No. Reduced rates for multiple siblings have been incorporated into our Campership Program. You can learn more on the Campership Request Application, which is due no later than February 14.

Are there reduced rates for attending multiple sessions?

Yes. Campers who stay for multiple sessions (4, 6, or 8 weeks) are eligible for a $200 reduced rate on each session after the first one.

Is there a "neighborhood rate"?

No. Reduced rates for living in Cheshire County have been incorporated into our Campership Program. You can learn more on the Campership Request Application, which is due no later than February 14.

When are fees due?

The deposit of $125 is due upon registration. Half of the remaining balance is due on March 15. All remaining fees are due on May 15. For your convenience, please contact us if you would like to sett up a personalized payment plan that makes payments easier for you.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept payments by cash, check, VISA, and MasterCard.

Can my child be in the same cabin as a friend or family member?

Yes. Each camper may request one cabin mate of the same age and gender. We cannot accommodate more than one cabin mate per camper because it can have a negative impact on the other campers. Please contact us at least two weeks before your session to make a cabin mate request.

Before making a cabin mate request, please think about this thought from Jenn, who is mom to two children in Girls Camp (ages 10 and 13):

“I feel strongly that summer camp should not be a place for my children to hang out with their “home friends.” I thought it was important that they bunk with unacquainted kids as a way to encourage independence and overcome the anxiety of the unfamiliar. Meeting new cabin mates and cultivating relationships are the hallmarks of a true summer camp experience. These are skills they will need as they continue to grow and mature. I appreciate the camp supporting my wishes and helping my kids to develop new treasured, lifelong friendships that extend beyond the boundaries of their school yard.”

Do you offer 1-week sessions?

Yes. 1-Week Camp is the perfect stepping-stone to our classic Boys Camp and Girls Camp programs. Please visit our 1-Week Camp page for rates, dates, and program information.

Program

Why was camp named Takodah?

Our camp was named Takodah in 1916 by Elgin Jones, a member of our Board of Directors. The name, meaning “Friendly to All,” is a reflection of the friendship shown to Jones on a visit to Sioux people in South Dakota. Learn more about our History.

What is "Friendly to All"?

“Friendly to All” is our motto and way of life—it’s how longtime and new campers alike become a tightknit family almost immediately. It guides how we live, work, and play together. It helps us learn and grow in a place where we feel comfortable being ourselves.

How old is Takodah?

Founded in 1916, Takodah celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2016.

How big is Takodah?

Your child will be in a cabin with 9 other kids of the same age/gender, two college-age cabin leaders, and one Leader-In-Training. Beyond the cabin, your child will be in a division with 60 other campers of similar ages. Within our camp of 330 campers and 125 staff members, our cabins feel like families and divisions feel like tight-knit communities.

Is Takodah co-ed?

Takodah offers concurrent programs, wherein we host both girls and boys at the same time, while maintaining a single-gender experience for all campers. In order to maintain single-gender experiences, we have two different sites within the same campus: South Camp and North Camp.

Why are single-gender experiences important at summer camp?

Our single-gender programs provide well-rounded childhood experiences. By relieving the pressures of co-ed environments, Takodah helps campers increase positive self-images, positive behaviors, and confidence—all while supporting deeper friendships and bonds.

What is the difference between South Camp and North Camp?

Both sites within our campus give campers a classic Takodah experience marked by confidence, character, and friendships that will shape their lives. Read more about the nuances of each site on the South/North Camp page. Please contact us if you want to talk more about which site is best for your camper.

Will my child make friends at camp?

Yes. The majority of our campers attend Takodah without knowing anyone ahead of time. Everything we do at camp is about helping campers develop meaningful friendships and a sense of belonging. Campers and alumni alike often tell us that their best friends are from Takodah.

What activities are available?

Takodah offers 100+ activities every week to capture the interests of every camper. Learn more about our most popular Summer Camp Activities.

Can campers choose their own activities?

Yes. Campers choose three skill classes per week. Campers take one Red Cross instructional swim class each week, although advanced swimmers may test out of swim lessons. Campers also have 90 minutes of “Camper Choice” time each day, when they can try out new activities or revisit favorite activities.

Do you offer horseback riding?

Yes. We have a partnership with nearby Fairfield South that enables us to offer a limited number of horseback riding opportunities to girls during Session 4. Please contact us for more information about enrolling in Horse Camp.

What should campers bring to camp?

Campers should pack everything they need for two weeks, including a sleeping bag, pillow, clothing, and personal items. Please see the “Packing for Camp” section of the Registered Families webpage.

Can campers bring electronics to camp?

Campers may not bring electronics or cell phones to camp. Given the unique opportunity to unplug at Takodah, campers enjoy face-to-face conversations, active recreation, and nature exploration. Our experience shows that electronics and cell phones increase feelings of homesickness, diminish the camp experience, and affect other campers in negative ways.

Communication

How can I stay in touch with my camper?

Writing letters to your camper is important. Receiving letters from home helps campers get through feelings of homesickness. Writing letters home helps campers reflect on their camp experiences. Hand-written letters are the best, although you may send one-way emails to your camper. You may also send care packages to camp. You can share the camp experience with your camper from the comfort of your home by viewing daily photos on our Facebook page.

Can campers call home? Can parents call campers?

Campers are not able to bring cell phones to camp or call home because talking to parents almost always increases feelings of homesickness. It not only affects your camper, but it also has a negative impact on campers around them. If there are any concerns that require parent contact, our staff members will call you right away. If you’re concerned about your camper, you’re always welcome to call the Camp Office. We’re happy to check on your camper and call you right back.

Can parents visit camp?

Because visitors to campers almost always create feelings of homesickness—and have a negative and disruptive impact on other campers around them—Takodah does not permit visitors except in emergencies or during changeover weekends (for 4-, 6-, and 8-week campers).