Is this camp too rugged for my son?People have different perceptions about programs that concentrate their activities in the outdoors. Living an outdoor lifestyle can bring both positive and negative images to people. We do live a simple lifestyle at camp, reminiscent of all summer camp's in the past. For some adults simple means rugged. But our campers enjoy the lifestyle at camp and indeed thrive on it. They are typical kids you would find in any city, suburban town or rural areas. Yet, they quickly adapt to the camp's environment. Camp feels comfortable and natural to them.
That's because we have created a boy's world at camp. They get to try activities they might not have a chance to do at home. Our program is specifically designed and equipped for boys ages 9-16. We offer staff to camper ratios that are small, allowing for individualized instruction for beginners and experts.
Think of the things boy's like to do: explore, climb, catch crayfish, make a fire, jump on a rope swing, shoot a rifle or bow, build forts, and make friends. This camp offers an opportunity for boys to be boys!
"Some friends children attended another wilderness camp last summer. When we compared notes, I was struck by the range of activities you offered, and the others did not. The most outstanding qualities of your camp are: the directors, the mature well-trained staff and your caring for kids."
What is the difference between the two-week and four-week program?
The two-week program concentrates on all of the in-camp activities that we offer: rock climbing, rappelling, ropes course, and a tyrolean traverse experience in mountaineering; fly-tying, hand-tool woodworking, leatherwork and blacksmithing in crafts; swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing at the waterfront; the shooting sports of archery and marksmanship and; outdoor living skills of orienteering, outdoor cooking, basic survival, marlinspike, and environmental awareness. Fitness activities are conducted before breakfast. Campers may choose optional day trips in whitewater rafting, mountain biking, kayaking and hiking. A special event, called Mountain Man Day serves as the culmination activity for the two-week program.
Four and six-week campers participate in all camp activities and add: a day hike to Mt. Moosilauke; two backpacking trips and a five-day canoe trip to Maine. They can choose day trips in whitewater rafting, kayaking or rock climbing and enjoy the camp's triathlon and woodmen's weekend competitions. Campers in these sessions have more lessons in survival training and an overnight survival experience, followed by a banquet celebration.
My husband says the tuitions for our two sons camp was the best parenting money he ever spent.
J. Gaus, NJ
Is the camp safe?
The camp's safety record over 40 years is exceptional, just ask our pediatricians! Strong safety policies, small size, mature staff and ample supervision enhance our safety record. The directors have been proponents of outdoor safety, as professors of Adventure Recreation, and use the camp as a model for outdoor safety practices. Studies have shown that participation in individual outdoor sports is far safer than participation in standard team sports. Should any emergency occur at camp, the directors are E.M.T.'s. Our pediatricians are only one mile from camp.
"We loved our son's happy, positive, self-reliant attitude he had from going to Roaring Brook. He had such a feeling of accomplishment. He liked all the boys at camp. What really impressed him was the organization of the camp. Although it is a wilderness camp, everything is in excellent condition, built with good quality materials. We were amazed, he is a tough customer".
What is the food like?
Our food comes from local grocery stores and farms. All products are name brand, no institutional food is served. All meats have been cut by a local butcher. The menu is created with boy's appetites and tastes in mind. Campers have told us our food is the best they have had at a camp. Campers cook two of their three meals per day over open fires to learn this important outdoor skill. Plus, it's fun! They enjoy this activity, especially baking in reflector ovens. The diet plan, however, is not suitable for "vegan" vegetarians. We are not able to accommodate campers with nut allergies in the four-week session.
"I feel like we unplugged our son from the TV, video games and your camp kept him extremely interested. He also learned so much and is still talking about camp. You take the kids out of their elements and challenge them to think a different way. Self-reliance is not just a slogan at this camp. There was a noticeable development in maturity and responsibility in my son." L. Ulrich, PA
Which session is right for my son?
A little history might help. Until 2003, Roaring Brook offered only four-week sessions. Our campers rated the in-camp activities at 99% approval on evaluations, but they seemed to be split on the overnight trips. The campers who enjoyed, or, at least felt the benefits of the backpacking, and canoeing trips returned to camp. But campers who decided backpacking or canoeing was boring or more work than they wished to do, had a lower return rate. At the same time, parents, for a wide variety of reasons, kept asking for a shorter camp session. In response, we created a two-week session, in which trips were optional.
Without this history, some parents might think that the two-week camp is only appropriate for younger campers and the four-week camp only appropriate for older campers. This is not true. The camp has always been specifically programmed for 9-16 year olds. We give increasing responsibility and leadership opportunities as campers age or attend camp multiple seasons. Like all true residential camps, the camp program is designed as a long-term growth opportunity for young men. There are many 9 year-olds who would love a month or more living as a "wilderness" kid and 15-16 year-olds who want to go to camp, but are too busy to give up a month.
The potential for this growth and development is greatest in the four and six-week program. If you are looking for this aspect of a camp experience for a boy who interested in the outdoors, then these sessions will be best. Your son's readiness for a camp experience will also determine which session is right for him. Boys have vastly different maturity levels for specific ages. Your attitude as a parent is also important. A parent who presents a month camp experience as perfectly normal (which it is) to his/her son, especially to a younger camper, can be assured their son will pick up their positive attitude. A parent wrought with nervousness for even a two-week experience will transfer that emotion to their son. Going to any camp is a life changing experience, and an important step in growing up. But it sometimes requires a parent to BE a parent to make the decision for camp for the benefit of their son.