Camp Nicolet

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

Greetings Camp Nicolet Families!

Jen here, your cheerful, 2016 Office Manager.  I’m thrilled to be back in the camp office this summer and posting my very first blog entry!  For those who don’t know me, allow me to quickly introduce myself:  This will be my fourth year at Camp Nicolet working as the Office Manager and it feels so great to be back with my summer camp family (I had to take last summer off)!  When I’m not at camp, I’m down in Iowa at the University of Iowa working to complete my PhD in Interpersonal and Family Communication.  While I am here at camp in the summer, I get to put my learning and skills to good use while I work with campers and families to get everything in order to arrive, depart, and stay in touch during the summer.  You’ll likely hear my voice at the end of the phone line if/when you call the office, and you will certainly be hearing from me via email throughout summer as I send out newsworthy announcements, remind you to complete forms, and update camper information.

Speaking of newsworthy announcements and reminders…that’s what my post is all about today!  I just want to update everyone on a few new policies we have in place this summer, and remind everyone about older policies that have been on the books much longer (but are still equally as important to know).  Needless to say, this post might not be the most fun one of the summer—but I’ll do my best to keep it short, sweet, and cheerily informative.  :o )  So, let’s cut to the chase!

New(ish) Policies:

Forms Must Be Uploaded & Not Faxed {NEW!}

This is the first summer in quite a few years that the fax option will not work for completing and submitting your daughter’s visitation and medical forms.  In order to get your forms loaded into the website, you’ll need to scan them as PDFs, go to the “Forms & Documents” section of CampMinder, and upload the correct document in the proper place.  If you have any struggles with this you can always email the form to me (jenniferannejackl@gmail.com) and I can put them into the system for you.

Canteen Cash Balance {NEW!}

Canteen is the camp store that we keep stocked for campers with snacks and soda, Camp Nicolet apparel and other CN items (think: stuffed animals, Nalgene bottles, hats, and more!).  Campers get access to Canteen every other day during one of their activity hours.

The new policy for 2016 will require attention from you, Mom and Dad, prior to your daughter’s arrival. We now require that campers have money already pre-loaded into their camper profile before they can purchase anything at Canteen.

Instructions for putting money into your daughter’s Canteen account:

  1. Log into your CampMinder account using the e-mail and password you selected when you registered your daughter(s) for camp
  2. Once you’re on the main landing page after logging in, scroll down to the “Your Family” portion of the page and click on the third link in that section for “View Accounts”
  3. Next, you can click the “Fund” button and enter in any dollar amount you’d like to add to your daughter’s Canteen account and charge it using the credit card you have on file (if you don’t have a credit card on file, you’ll need to set that up prior to funding the Canteen account)

You can monitor the amount that your daughter has in the account while she is here at camp and decide if you’d like to add more funds to her account.  Please note, we do not issue refunds at the end of camp—whatever your daughter does not spend will disappear.  So perhaps be more conservative on the Canteen funds up front and add little bits over time.  If she runs out of funds while she is here, she will be unable to purchase items from Canteen. She will be given the opportunity to use any remaining funds during the last couple days of her session.

Visitation Dates {NEW!}

A slight change to visitation this year: each camp session will have its own particular start date.  Visitation starting dates for each session are:

Session 1: June 30th

Session 2: July 14th

Session 3: July 31st

So, for example, if your daughter is attending Session 1, you may visit anytime on or after June 30th.  If she is staying for session 1 and 2, you may still visit anytime on or after June 30th.  Same goes for all other camp session combos.

All remaining visitation policies are staying the same for 2016.  To review existing visitation policies please check out our website (www.campnicolet.com/for-parents/visiting-keeping-in-touch/).  If you plan to visit, please remember to fill out your visitation form via CampMinder (in the “Forms & Documents” page).

Still Important, but Old(er) Policies:

Packages

We welcome you to mail your daughter letters—as many as you can cram into a session!  You can also send emails via the camp website with your pre-paid Camp Stamps.  However, if you wish to send a “care package” we ask that you only  use the padded envelopes from the post office, UPS, or FedEx.

We do not accept cardboard boxed packages of any kind for campers. If you absolutely must send a package in a cardboard box, please call ahead and talk to me.  If we receive cardboard box packages without prior approval, we will be returning them to their senders. The reason for this policy is that we simply don’t have the means for proper disposal of a lot of cardboard here at camp.

The only exception to this no-cardboard-box-rule is if your daughter has a birthday while at camp.  Then she may receive one cardboard box package.  But keep in mind, no matter how you send a care package, we do not allow food to be sent to campers—if you send food items to your daughter(s) while here at camp, the food will have to be confiscated and disposed of.  This is simply to reduce unwanted critter visitors in the cabins (e.g., ants, spiders, random bugs, etc.) – Yuck!

So, please, keep all packages to padded envelopes when mailing items to camp.  I would also encourage you to let your friends and family members know about this policy—I would hate for packages from grandparents and extended family to be turned away simply because they did not know about our policy.

Phone Calls

Because we so highly encourage letter writing while camp is in session (camp and handwritten letters just go together, don’t they?!), we discourage phone calls to campers.  Although it might be nice to hear your camper’s voice, it more often than not leads to a resurgence in homesickness for many (if not all) of the girls—and no one wants that!  As a result, our phone call policy (as it always has been) is simply this:

Unless your daughter is having a birthday while at camp, or there is a family emergency (heaven forbid), please do not make plans to call your daughter.

The only exception to this rule is for campers who are here for four or more weeks who will not have any visitors…then this camper gets a single phone call from home (plan a speaker-phone, group call!).

I know, I know, this all might seem rather harsh…but really, I promise, it is in the best interest of all the girls when we minimize phone calls.  Not only do phone calls tend to swing homesickness into full force, but calls also mean the girls are in the office sitting on the phone instead of outside at camp enjoying the lake, sunshine, horses, and new friends they’re making.  So, write letters, send emails, but don’t plan to call.

A brief bit about communication with the Office Staff…

Camp is an awesome, busy, fun place for everyone here, including the office staff.  If for some reason you call the office and no one is here to take your call, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it most likely means that everyone is out, around camp, interacting with your daughter(s) and spreading the cheer and love of camp while maintaining a high level of safety for all.  Because of the need for office staff to interact with campers (otherwise we’d be too out of touch with what’s going on each day!) don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from us every day—essentially, no news about your daughter while she is here with us is very good news because that means she is not irreversibly homesick or hurt!

We work tirelessly to ensure your daughter is safe and having a terrific camp experience; that is our top priority here in the office.  As a way to share the fun we are having at camp with you and your families, office staff upload photos twice a week to the CampMinder website and to our social media sites.  We realize it would be really nice for parents to be able to get photos more often, but with our slower internet (we’re pretty remotely located!) uploading photos is a big, time consuming challenge, so we hope you understand and look forward to our twice weekly uploads.

Congrats!  You made it to the bottom of my blog post!  I’d like to sign off for the day with a gentle reminder:  Check your CampMinder account and ensure you’ve completed all travel information, uploaded all medical forms, your visitation form, your camper’s health history information, the activity preference form, and check on your canteen account fund.  The countdown is on—only 12 days until camp and we need as much of this information as soon as you can get it to us!

And as always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact me—I’m here and more than happy to help.  The staff here is always 100% devoted to the campers, but my focus is pretty evenly split between campers AND their families.  I’m here for you, just as much as I am here for your daughter(s).  It is my privilege to help make your camp experience just as good as the one your daughter(s) will have!

‘Til next time—think sunshine!

~Jen

 

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