How do I communicate with my child while she/he is at camp?
Everyone loves to get mail while they are at camp!
SEND LETTERS TO:
Camper’s name (Cabin if known)
YMCA Camp Al-Gon-Quian
P.O. Box 4188
Burt Lake, MI 49717
You may even wish to send a letter early for your camper to receive the first full day of camp. Please remember to keep your letters cheerful and supportive! Campers are encouraged to write home during the camp session. Preaddressed and stamped envelopes with stationary are helpful. Do not worry if you do not receive mail - it means your child is active and happy. Please remember when sending mail that we are in a rural area and mail coming in or going out can take an extra day or two to reach us.
Campers often look forward to receiving care packages. Books, crossword puzzles, playing cards and magazines are all suggested items to include in a care pack. Al-Gon-Quian does allow campers to have a reasonable amount of snack food, but only if it is stored in an airtight container. Boxes full of treats are an invitation for mice, raccoons, skunks and chipmunks. Their sense of smell is much more sensitive then ours, and packages containing food are easy targets for hungry animals. Airtight containers keep animals and insects out of the food and away from our buildings. Camp Al-Gon-Quian will not provide storagecontainers or be responsible for lost or stolen food items or packages destroyed by animals foraging for food. Care packages sent during Sessions 1 and 2 must be free of nuts and traces of nuts. UPS and FedEx both deliver daily to camp, but packages must be sent to camp’s street address:
SEND CARE PACKAGES TO:
Camper’s name (cabin if known)
YMCA Camp Al-Gon-Quian
Burt Lake, MI 49717
Phone calls to or from campers are discouraged. Any messages that need to be relayed to a camper will be done so through our directors. All phone calls to camp, except emergencies, should be done during regular office hours, which are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please do not promise your child that they will speak to you on the phone while at camp. We believe phone calls home can disrupt the camp experience for campers.
How do I send emails to my camper? How can I view camp photos?
For 2013, we are using a new service called Bunk1. Bunk1 is a password-protected online service for parents to use while their child is at camp. With Bunk1, parents can purchase e-mail credits to send their children e-mails while at camp. They are printed and delivered daily to the campers. You will receive your Bunk1 password and instructions in the mail a couple of weeks before your camper's session. There will also be extra instructions at check-in. If you lost your instructions, call the camp office at (734)661-8051. You can also call the Bunk1 offices for tech support at (888)465-CAMP.
We also produce a small blog and online photo galleries through Bunk1. There is no charge for camper families to access this password-protected site. A few times each week, we will post short blurbs about what is going on around camp. We try to post batches of pictures a few times a week to give you a glimpse of what the kids are doing. We try our best to get as many of the kids as possible in the photos, but we can’t always get them all. If you want to see your camper online, remind them to find the photographer. We also will post many photos and updates on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/algonquian. Our camp mascot, Frodo, also tweets at www.twitter.com/frodobird.
What if my camper becomes homesick?
Going away to camp for a week or more can be a challenging experience for a child of any age, and anxiety is perfectly normal. It is the policy of Camp Al-Gon-Quian to try to keep our campers involved in constant activity so as to reduce the feeling of homesickness. Temporary homesickness is a normal reaction, particularly for new campers. Parents can help prevent problems by being positive and excited about camp. Parents can also let their child know that missing home is normal, but it will pass if the camper really tries to get into the fun.Do not panic if you receive a homesick letter from your child. Usually by the time you receive it, your child is having a great time.
With proper handling by the staff, campers and parents, homesickness can be overcome and the camper can make a big stride in maturing. We welcome this opportunity to help youngsters grow in this area and we train our staff to handle homesickness in constructive and loving ways. However, if homesickness is extreme after a brief adjustment period and is interfering with the child’s camp experience, we will call parents to discuss the situation. By working together with you, we are confident that healthy adjustments can be made.
How do you handle lost and found at camp?
Lost and found items are collected and displayed at camp. Our counselors make every effort to ensure that your child will return with everything he or she brought to camp, but your child is ultimately responsible for what he or she brings. Please be sure all clothing and objects brought to camp are plainly marked with your child’s name and counsel your child to keep close track of all items. Although we do our best to help campers keep track of belongings, things do get lost at camp. Do NOT bring any irreplaceable items.
On check out day, be especially thorough, as laundry, medication, sleeping bags or entire suitcases are sometimes left behind. If you discover something is missing upon your return home, please call as soon as possible. The more time that passes, the less likely it will be found. Unclaimed articles are sent to the Ann Arbor YMCA after the close of each session. Articles are held for two weeks following the session, at which time they are donated to a local charity. Camp Al-Gon-Quian is not responsible for anything lost or left behind.
What if my camper needs to do laundry?
Please pack enough clothing for your camper’s time period at camp. Laundry services are provided for campers staying more than two weeks. Thecamper’s store account will be billed $8.00 per load. Please mark all items of clothing with a laundry marker.
My camper has a birthday at camp.
Many Al-Gon-Quian campers celebrate their birthdays while at camp. On the camper’s birthday, the camper will be recognized at the meal with the AGQ rendition of "Happy Birthday" with and a special cake to share with his or her cabin. Parents are welcome to deliver or have delivered other birthday items to the camp office for distribution by your child’s counselor. Please inform the camp of your child’s birthday prior to the start of the session so we can inform our chef and your child’s counselors!
How do you handle bullying?
The Ann Arbor YMCA and Camp Al-Gon-Quian have no tolerance for bullying. Children who are found to be bullying (including, but not limited to, verbal abuse, physical abuse such as hitting, punching, pinching, spitting, kicking, emotional abuse and destruction of property) will have proper disciplinary actions taken, up to and including being sent home at their parents’ expense. Please tell your camper that if he or she is being bullied or harassed to immediately inform a staff member. Bullying can and will be ended immediately if the staff members are aware of the occurrence.
It is the policy of the Ann Arbor YMCA and Camp Al-Gon-Quian that behavior that would be classified as any kind of harassment or abuse will not be tolerated by staff or campers. Such behavior results in immediate dismissal or termination and, if applicable, contacting of authorities.
What is ACA Accreditation?
The American Camp Association (ACA) is the only independent accrediting organization reviewing camp operations in the country. Its nationally-recognized standards program focuses primarily on the program quality, health and safety aspects of camp’s operation. The ACA-accreditation program has a fifty-year history and is continually evaluated and updated to reflect current best practice in camps. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Red Cross, and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices are current and sound. ACA standards are revised based on research in the public, legal, youth development, and camp arenas.
Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to safety. For us at Camp Al-Gon-Quian, it is a regular, independent health and safety audit of camp operations. ACA Accreditation is a behind the scenes risk-management process that assures us that we are prepared for the uncertainties so we can concentrate on the campers. For parents, the ACA-accreditation camp sign symbolizes excellence and our accountability and ongoing commitment to the children we serve.