Tomorrow is the big day, and I hope everyone is all ready for the trip. The forecast is looking like we are definitely going to get some rain, so please pack accordingly. Rain gear, if you have it, and an extra pair of tennis shoes would be a good thing to bring. We purchased 53 cheap rain parkas. If you would like to get a nicer one, they can be had for just a few bucks, but at the least, we can provide something for each child.
My students wrote me letters about some things they were looking forward to and some concerns, so I will take a moment to address a few of the concerns.
Flash Lights: Students will not need flashlights. At lights out time, they should not have a flashlight on. If they do bring a flashlight, just make sure they know it will need to be off while others are sleeping, and kept away from shining at other people’s faces.
Morning wake up: From my own camp experience, I don’t think there will be many problems with waking up by 6:45. In fact, the most common thing I experienced with 7 summers of camp work is that kids get up even earlier than required. There will be a lot of anticipation for the day, and they will be in a new place, so the 6:45 wake up should not be too much of a stretch. I would encourage students to wear a watch so they can check the time in the morning if they wake up. It might only be 5:30 or 6:00, so leave the waking up to the adults. I will set an alarm for 6:45 and will wake people up then.
Breakfast: We have the early breakfast slot, so there will be time for showering or getting ready for the day after we eat. We will make sure everyone is up and ready to go for breakfast. We won’t leave anyone in the cabin when we leave.
Food allergies and dietary restrictions: I communicated all allergies and dietary restrictions to the camp. If your child does not eat pork, is a vegetarian, is allergic to peanuts, is allergic to strawberries or has any other dietary preference that was written on your registration form, it has been noted, and I filled out a form for the camp kitchen to use.
Rain/ mud/ weather: I’m not sure exactly how the weather will be dealt with. The camp assured me that they have contingency plans for all kinds of weather. Depending on the severity of the rain, certain hikes or outdoor activities may not occur on each day. The staff will make sure safety is a priority in planning and will not lead any dangerous hikes.
School Work/ supplies: Please bring a writing utensil and a book. We will not have regular school work, so all your notebooks and school books are not required. Just bring a chapter book to read and a ideally a pen or mechanical pencil in your backpack. If you would like to do additional journaling, writing, or drawing during activity time, pack accordingly.
Lights out/ bed time: 9:15 is the scheduled lights out time. All students are expected to go to sleep at this time. That means all reading, talking, card playing, etc, should be done. This is important so that everyone can get the sleep they need. I imagine we will all be pretty tired at that point, but please encourage your children that it is important for them and the other children that they all follow the schedule.
Bunk arrangements: There has been one slight change in the bunk arrangements that I thought some of the kids would want to know. I called and talked to the camp, and we are going to move to a different bunk building that is smaller and that we will just Berkeley Arts Magnet it. The original bunk buildings we were scheduled for are composed of different rooms, but would have put us with other schools. I know some students were concerned about this, so you can let them know it has been changed and it will just be BAM in our building.
Other schools: There will be two other schools at the camp during our stay although we will be the first to arrive and I think at least one of the groups gets there on a different day. They have their own schedule, groups, and staff. There may be some overlap in afternoon activity time, but otherwise, there will not be a whole lot of interaction. Our hiking groups and bunk arrangements will be just BAM students.
Sleeping bags, blankets: As I have not been to the camp before, I’m not sure how cool it will be in the cabin at night. I do know that they are heated. I think a set of warm pajamas and pretty much any sleeping bag will do. If your sleeping bag is very lightweight, I would suggest to roll up a fleece blanket along with it. Also, make sure that you do roll up or bag up the sleeping bag and have a system to keep it rolled up nice and tight.