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Parent FAQs

There is no such thing as a silly question! Never hesitate to contact us before, during, or after the season.

Pemi Parent FAQs

Which session is best for a new camper?

First of all, if your son has successfully spent the night with a friend, he’s developmentally ready to be at camp for any of our sessions, whether 3.5 weeks or 7. We strongly recommend Full Session (and price it accordingly) as the personal growth is noticeably significant. That being said, a 3.5-week session is a solid camp experience and whether you choose 1st or 2nd session, your son will be welcomed with open arms.

Does Pemi offer discounts and/or financial aid?

Pemi offers a discount for brothers as well as financial aid to deserving boys. To learn more, see Sessions, Dates, and Rates and to discuss the process for financial aid consideration, please contact Director Kenny Moore who will be happy to give you more information.

What if my son doesn't know how to swim?

Safety in and near the water is a primary concern. As such, campers take a simple swim test soon after arrival so that our swim staff can determine competency. If a boy struggles, we will schedule him for a week of personal swim instruction (although he is welcome to take more). Many a boy has learned how to swim at Pemi, under the supportive and skilled guidance of our swim instructors. Older boys who might not know how to swim or who have limited skills can count on age-appropriate instruction and understanding.

My son is a picky eater!

Boys are encouraged, but never forced, to try new foods, and with the variety offered at all three meals, it’s a rare boy that goes hungry. Fruit and a snack are offered every afternoon. Many picky eaters are more adventurous in a setting where others at the table are also trying something new, and parents often report that their sons return home with a broadened palate. If your son takes medication that reduces his appetite or if you have serious concern over his eating habits, please contact us to discuss how we can best support him during his time at Pemi.

Do you allow care packages?

Packages are limited to flat-envelope style, no more than one per week. Preferably, packages should contain reading/writing/art materials that can be enjoyed during rest hour and not silly games or toys or “stuff-just-because” that will take your son away from exploring what camp has to offer. No food of any kind is allowed. Thank you for honoring this rule and for setting a good example for your son and his cabin mates. A handwritten letter means more than stuff!

Can I call my son?

You may call and/or email the director at any time if you have a concern of any sort. Phone calls /emails with campers are not allowed except under extraordinary circumstances. Read why in the Communication section!

I want my son to be happy, but I'm worried he'll get homesick. What should I do?

We all want our children to be happy, but we serve them best when we equip them to manage life’s inevitable challenging times. Talk about the possibility of homesickness, and remember, he’ll take his cue from you, so if you’re feeling worried, try your best to present your nervousness as excitement! Reassure him that “home-missing” is normal, lasts off and on for only a few days, and that there will be plenty of people at camp to help him. The #1 thing NOT to say is that if he is sad, you will pick him up early. While it might buy you peace at that very moment, it will undermine your son’s ability to adjust to camp, as you are essentially saying to him that you don’t think he can handle a challenge without your stepping in to fix it for him. Instead, tell him that you believe in him, encourage him to share his emotions with his counselor or other adult, and confirm that you will be picking him up at the end of his session.

My son was excited about camp in March, but now says he doesn't want to go. Should we cancel?

It is so normal for boys (and parents!) to feel nervous about camp as the season approaches, but if your son was excited and looking forward to camp earlier, then cancelling now would send the signal that you don’t think he can manage being away from you. Instead, reinforce that it is normal to feel nervous about something he’s never done before, that it is important to stick with commitments, and that you believe in him and know that he’ll be fine once he settles in. Please contact us if you would like to talk about the transition from home to camp. We stand ready to support you and/or your son, and have years of experience with this! And, please know that saying you will let your son come home from camp if he isn’t happy is not a good strategy for supporting your son.

My son isn't ready for camp yet, but can we visit Pemi while it is in session?

Yes! We’d love to have you visit, and doing so while camp is in full swing is ideal. We’ll give you a tour of camp so you can see all that is going on and invite you to enjoy a meal with us, too. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal followed by singing in the mess hall to give you the true feel of Pemi!

Can I help my son choose his activities before he arrives?

Your son’s counselor will help him create his schedule for each week, and there are several reasons for this, including that many of the activities will have creative names that might need some explanation, less obvious than, say, “10-and-under Soccer.” Because signing up for activities happens soon after arrival, this also provides a great time for your son and his counselor to meet one-on-one. And of course, one of the many benefits of summer camp is the chance to develop personal decision-making skills. If you are keen to have your son work on a specific skill, like swimming, we invite you to share that information on your pre-season questionnaire and it will be passed on to your son’s counselor so that he can gently guide him in that direction.

My son takes medication every day. Can you manage that?

In any given summer, we have approximately 35 campers and staff who take medication regularly. Our health center is staffed with two medical professionals 24/7 and they are fully prepared to help your son with his medication routine. Note that all campers and staff who take medication in pill form on a daily basis (from vitamins to prescription) are required to enroll with CampMeds. We’ll provide you with all of that information in a timely manner.

Food insecurity in America increases during summer months, yet donations to food banks sharply decline starting in June. Summer camps are uniquely poised to intervene. Learn about Pemi’s Cans From Campers initiative, launched in 2015. We hope camps across the country will adopt this simple opening day tradition.