Info For Camper Families
We do our best to keep the information on site site current and up-to-date. But please check with the camp office if you are ever in doubt about an issue or have questions.
A camper setting off for Camp Beech Cliff is an exciting decision for the whole family. There is a lot to consider and many questions that arise as families move through the process of choosing a program, registering, then preparing for the first day. With years of experience, CBC is prepared to help you along the way.
The idea of camp can be scary – for the camper, going to a new place with new people, swimming in a lake, not knowing when or where you’ll be eating lunch; for the family, trusting the bus driver to safely deliver your camper, uncertainty about who will be watching over your child and what strategies they’ll use when conflicts arise, and if your child will make friends. Please remember that your camper will have the best experience
if you prepare him/her to have a great experience,
and if you prepare us.
The more information that you share with us about your camper’s health (physical, emotional, mental, personal history, unique behavior plans), the better we can prepare to meet their needs. By communicating and working together we will provide the best possible experience for your camper. Please be in touch with John, the office manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) if:
You don’t know if Camp Beech Cliff is a good fit for your child;
There are special health considerations or information about the child’s history that may impact their camp experience;
You would like more information about camp programs;
You have questions or concerns about your camper’s experience once camp has begun.
The links below cover many frequently queried subjects but we are always here if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you for entrusting your child’s summer experiences to Camp Beech Cliff!
Dates and Rates
2019 Summer Day Camp Hours: 9am-4pm
Weekly Traditional Camp Fees:
Hancock County Residents $230
Summer Residents and Visitors $345
Specialty Camp and Teen Camp prices vary and are listed with their descriptions on this site.
Your child must be a full-time resident of Hancock County to qualify for the resident rate.
*no camp on July 4.
Week 1 – June 17-21
Week 2 – June 24-28
Week 3 – July 1-5*
Week 4 – July 8-12
Week 5 – July 15-19
Week 6 – July 22-26
Week 7 – July 29-Aug 2
Week 8 – Aug 5-9
Week 9 – Aug 12-16
Week 10 – Aug 19-23
Attendance and Transportation
Confirming attendance and transportation for 250+ campers, each day, occupies the majority of our office staff’s time throughout the summer. You can help ensure that your camper’s day runs smoothly through prompt and clear communication with our office staff about your family’s plans and intentions. Please remember that any changes in your normal routine need to be communicated with our office by a parent or guardian (207-244-0365 or email@example.com). Our campers are often far too distracted by friends and camp activities to reliably transmit a message passed on at the bus stop.
Attendance is taken every day when camp begins and again at the end of the camp day. If your child will be late or absent, please contact the office before 8:30 AM to let us know. A voicemail system at 207-244-0365 is in place for messages if you call the previous night or before anyone is in the office in the morning. Please leave the message at extension 101 for the Office Coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: If a camper is marked as absent and we have not received notice of the absence, a call will be placed to a parent or guardian to confirm that the camper is not coming to camp that day. Sometimes this can mean that a group activity is delayed while this call is made and campers are made to wait.
Late Drop-off / Early Pickup
Campers arriving at camp after morning attendance (9:00 AM) need to be signed in by a parent at the office. Likewise, a camper being picked up early will need to be signed out at the office by a parent or person with written authorization to take the child from camp. Please let us know ahead of time if your camper will be arriving late or leaving early. We need to be notified as early possible in order to make arrangements with the staff so your camper is ready to leave when you arrive.
Note: It is difficult to have a camper ready and waiting for pick-up once we begin our end-of-day routine between 3:00 pm and the normal dismissal time of 3:50 so please plan accordingly.
Families have the option of arranging their own transportation to and from camp or taking advantage of Camp Beech Cliff’s free transportation on the 15-passenger vans and school buses from Trenton and points around Mount Desert Island. Whichever option you elect, our camp office needs to be notified of your decision. Likewise, if there is ever a reason that you need to modify your camper’s transportation arrangements (different person picking up, different bus stop, different bus altogether) our office must be notified before 12:00 noon on the day of the change.
Campers that will be riding a CBC bus must have elected this option at registration or have notified our office of this intention. The transportation schedules are available at the camp office throughout the summer, or you can download the current bus schedule from our website. The bus schedule can be modified several times throughout the summer as routes are adjusted for enrollment and traffic changes. So please check the current schedule before each week of camp.
CBC’s bus transportation is free, but it is a big expense for CBC. If you can afford to make a tax-deductible contribution of $25/week, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Any changes to a camper’s normal transportation arrangements (even if it is a one-time only change) must be submitted to our office in writing, by noon of the day of the change, email is acceptable, but please be sure to look for an email reply from our office so you know we have received your message).
Changes must be communicated to office staff. A change communicated to a bus driver or bus monitor is not sufficient notice.
Bus drivers will pick up and drop off only at scheduled stops. We cannot make exceptions.
If a camper has permission to walk to and from the bus stop unaccompanied, the office must be notified so this can be noted on the transportation list. Without notification a camper will not be released from the bus stop.
If there is unclear communication with camp resulting in confusion about a camper’s end-of-day transportation and a parent or guardian cannot be reached, the camper will be held at camp until picked up by a parent or guardian.
Should we learn of any major problems with transportation (i.e. vehicle problems or traffic jams), a text will be sent to notify a parent or guardian immediately, with follow up phone calls/email so that alternate plans can be arranged.
Traffic is always unpredictable, but this is especially true in the busy summer months. We will do our best to adhere to our schedule, but arrival and departure times can only be estimates.
CBC staff supervise the campers on the bus and at camp (or camp program off-site); it is a parent or guardian’s responsibility to supervise their camper at the pick-up and drop-off locations.
Drivers cannot wait for campers who are not at the stop when the bus arrives; nor can they stay with your child if you are not present in the afternoon. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled bus arrival/departure time.
Parents or guardians at a bus stop must check in with CBC staff (i.e. give a wave) to ensure supervised drop-off and pickup. If a parent or guardian is not present at a bus stop to pick up a child, the child will re-board the bus to continue the route and it will be the parent’s responsibility to meet the bus at a later stop.
There will be a staff member on the bus with the bus driver to supervise the campers and help with any complications that might arise. Transportation is a privilege. Please be sure to inform your children that if they do not follow the basic transportation rules, the camp has the right to immediately suspend this privilege.
Transportation Van/Bus Rules
• Stay seated while the vehicle is moving
• Wear a seat belt whenever one is available
• Offensive language is not acceptable
• No open food or drinks are allowed on the bus/van
• Keep hands inside the windows
• Do not throw anything out the windows
• Keep your hands to yourself
• Keep bags and personal items out of the aisle
Note about camp vans: Again, this year we will be using fifteen-passenger vans for field trips. These recent models have a new stability system, making them safer than earlier models. As has been our practice, all camp van drivers are at least 21 years old, have a clean driving history, and will be tested for driving a van. All vans are inspected weekly and carry emergency equipment.
Camp hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Campers begin arriving by bus and car about 8:45 am and our dismissal process begins about 3:50 pm. Parents arriving for parent pickup in the afternoon should plan on arriving at 3:50.
Note: We cannot make special arrangements for half-day or partial week programs, although you always have the option of keeping your camper home for a day or picking him/her up early.
Late arrival/Early Dismissal. Campers arriving at camp after morning attendance (9:00 AM) need to be signed in by a parent at the office. Likewise, a camper being picked up early will need to be signed out at the office by a parent or person with written authorization to take the child from camp. Please let us know ahead of time if your camper will be arriving late or leaving early. This allows us to make arrangements with the staff and camper to be ready when you arrive. Please call our office with as much notice as possible to arrange an early pickup of your camper.
Note: It is often difficult to have a camper ready in a timely manner between 3:00 pm and the normal dismissal time of 3:50 so please plan accordingly.
Camper Participation in Activities
Camp should be fun! Camp Beech Cliff is about being outdoors all day, learning new skills, being involved in camp activities, and socializing with friends. We like to see campers fully participating in activities, but we also realize that kids occasionally need down time. If a camper is consistently not participating in camp activities, we will notify the camper’s family to discuss the situation.
CBC is dedicated to making camp possible for as many children as possible! As part of our mission, we are proud to offer Camperships (scholarships based on financial need) to offset the cost for families who are year-round residents of Hancock County, Maine. If you would like your family to be considered for a Campership, please register your campers for their weeks at Camp Beech Cliff and then promptly complete the Campership Application. The application can be completed online, downloaded, or you can always call the office for a copy to be mailed to you (207-244-0365). Please apply early, most camperships will be awarded by Late April.
2019 Camp Beech Cliff Brochure
It is not unusual for this brochure to be out-of-date within weeks of publication. Check with the camp office for current information.
CBC Parent Handbook
The Parent/Camper Handbook contains useful information for both the camper parent and camper about what to bring to camp, what not to bring to camp, and much more!
The Online Camper Health History Form is accessible from the online registration portal. If you are unable to use the registration portal please contact our office to receive a paper form.
CBC Medication Permission Form. This form is required if your child will/may need to use medication while at camp, whether self-adminstered or from the health office. This form requires the signature of a parent and the camper’s pediatrician.
CIT Forms (these are IN ADDITION to a Camp Registration form)
If you have difficulty opening any pdf files in your browser, right click on the link, select “save target as” and save the file to your hard drive.
Health and Safety
Camp Beech Cliff strives to make camp a safe place – both physically and emotionally – for campers to spend their summer. We work hard to minimize risks and to educate campers about the differences between healthy and reckless risk-taking. We also train our staff to focus on how to prevent incidents and injuries and what to do when they occur. All staff members working with campers are certified, at a minimum, in Basic First Aid and CPR/defibrillator (we have two defibrillators on site). The camp’s Health Center is supervised by a Camp Medic, who is an EMT, Wilderness First Responder, Registered Nurse or Physician’s Assistant.
Camper Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Social Health
Camp Beech Cliff is a welcoming and inclusive environment that values the diversity of our campers regardless of ability level. To ensure that all campers are poised to have a positive and enriching experience at CBC, it is essential that CBC be apprised of any special needs your child may have.
The summer camp environment is uniquely different from that of home or school including more prolonged physical activity than a child may be used to on a daily basis, challenging terrain including steep grades and an open waterfront, social interaction in an environment filled with 265 children each day, and different definitions of personal space. We are committed to working with families that identify a camper need and how CBC can best support their camp experience, and what additional steps may be needed to ensure success and a fulfilling and positive experience.
For the summer of 2019, CBC is happy to welcome a Camper Support Specialist to our administrative team. Our CSS is a Licensed Social Worker with significant experience in schools and camps. While the role of the CSS in not a therapeutic one, the CSS will work with families to meet with them and explore the options available, so that we can ensure campers can participate in as many programs as possible. Essential functions that CBC campers need to safely participate in programs include:
• Listening to directions and following instructions given by counselors and staff
• Being able to traverse a large and challenging campus, which includes water and unpaved and often steep terrain, in order to participate in camp activities
• Navigating loud indoor and outdoor spaces
• Being able to interact socially with campers, counselors, and others in a safe, reasonable, and polite manner consistent with the CBC environment, including being kind towards campers and counselors with words, facial expressions, and physical behavior.
If your child may not be able to meet these essential functions or may need extra support to meet these essential functions, please call us to discuss your child’s special needs. Full and thorough information allows us to best meet camper needs and prevent surprises that may cause a hiccup in any campers’ experience.
Accidents and Emergencies
All on-site program areas have immediate radio communication capabilities with the office and Camp Medic. Most accidents at camp are minor (scrapes, cuts, bruises, etcetera) and do not prevent a camper from continuing his/her day at camp after receiving basic First Aid. If the Camp Medic determines that a camper needs immediate medical attention that cannot be provided at camp, the camper will be taken either to the Emergency Room at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor or to the office of the camp physician in Southwest Harbor. Parents or guardians will be notified immediately, and a camp staff member will remain with the camper until a parent arrives. Additionally, if a camper simply needs to go home for the day, parents or guardians will be notified.
All off-site programs and all camp vehicles have first aid and safety equipment along with information on how to deal with emergency situations. Camper health forms (with emergency contact information) are kept on file at the health center. Medical information is kept private and is protected under Federal HIPAA regulations.
Our Responsibility as Mandatory Reporters
For the protection of everyone in our camp community, all CBC staff are mandated by the state and trained as mandatory reporters. Just like teachers at school, if a counselor hears or observes any indication that there may be physical, emotional, or any other kind of abuse going on with a camper, we must report this to Child Protective Services. It is not our job to investigate or determine if the allegation is true or not. We serve as a relay station for information to protect the best interests of the campers who are entrusted to us. Our campers’ emotional and physical well-being and sense of personal safety is our number one concern.
Behavioral Expectations & Discipline
Camp Beech Cliff strives to provide a safe environment, both physically and emotionally, for everyone in camp. Camp Beech Cliff emphasizes respect within all aspects of our program. We will be pro-active in teaching, modeling, and reinforcing respect CBC has a strong reputation for working with challenging behaviors.
If you choose to send your camper here, you are putting your trust in our protocols and practices for responding to challenging situations in an effort to help each camper grow individually as well as keep camp a positive experience for the rest of the campers. Most of the time campers just need a reminder or a gentle redirection. Should the camper persist with behavior that is unsafe, dishonest, uncooperative, or disruptive, he or she may be removed from the group and given the opportunity to talk things over with the Camp Director or Camper Support Specialist.
We will do our best to listen to campers’ needs and feelings when discipline issues arise. We do not, however, have the resources to work with children one-on-one for extended periods of time. Depending on the situation, the following steps will be taken:
1. A plan with specific strategies will be developed with the camper and staff, and parents will be notified.
2. If the behavior is serious or becomes a consistent issue, the Camp Director will hold a parent conference. The camper may be suspended from camp for an amount of time to be determined by the Camp Director.
3. Repeated instances of problem behavior will be grounds for expulsion from camp. There are, unfortunately, no refunds available for campers who are either suspended or expelled from our programs. In some cases, if the repeated behavior happens on one of CBC buses or vans, then the camper will lose the privilege of using camp transportation.
IMPORTANT: Certain behaviors are never tolerated and would require immediate expulsion, such as violent language or acts, grossly inappropriate language or acts, and any behavior that we believe may endanger a camper or staff member, either physically or emotionally.
Bullying and Teasing – There may be times when the staff is unaware that this type of behavior is going on. If your camper feels bullied and you believe that our staff either doesn’t know about it or isn’t addressing it appropriately, please call the Camp Director.
Deer ticks have made their way to Mount Desert Island, and Lyme Disease has come with them. We want all parents and campers to become familiar with these critters and with smart ways to avoid Lyme Disease. Please make a routine of doing a tick check (behind the ears, under waist bands, and around the ankles, and elsewhere) daily when your camper returns from camp. While tick checks will be discussed and demonstrated during nature programming, due to the nature of where ticks like to hide, counselors are unable to perform tick checks.
During the summer camp season, deer ticks are typically in their nymph life stage. They will appear on skin or clothing as a small sesame seed size black dot. A good resource for proper removal of a tick or for more information is the CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/.
The following childhood vaccinations are mandatory in the State of Maine: Tdap/DTP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), Polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Meningitis, & Varicella (chicken pox).
The State of Maine and our ACA accreditation requires Camp Beech Cliff to receive copies of all camper vaccination records before a child or employee attends camp. We can accept copies of vaccination records from a health-care provider, school health office, or other state/local government agency. Most families have their child’s pediatrician fax a copy of the immunization/vaccination record directly to our office at 207-244-3355. Our office must receive a copy of your child’s immunization records at least 2-weeks prior to child attending camp. Failure to provide this documentation may lead to the loss of registration and deposits.
Currently the State of Maine does allow families to opt-out of mandatory vaccinations if “The parent states in writing a sincere religious belief that is contrary to the immunization requirement or an opposition to the immunization for philosophical reasons.” Our required Medical History Questionnaire provides an opportunity for a non-immunized family to make such a statement. Medical exemptions are also allowed.
If there is a report of a communicable disease which is subject to mandatory immunization at camp or in the immediate community, campers that have not been immunized against the reported disease will be asked to stay away from camp for their own safety for as long as three weeks (per local school system policy) or until our camp physician has informed us that the risk of infection has passed. Camp Beech Cliff is unable to provide refunds in such cases.
Much as we hate to think about it, lice ARE a fact of camp life. Camp Beech Cliff follows the Maine Association of School Nurses guidelines for assessment of lice and attendance decisions (https://www1.maine.gov/doe/schoolhealth/manual/documents/intro_pediculosis.pdf). Please remind your child or children not to share hats, towels, brushes, combs, or hair ornaments. If we find live lice, the camper will be sent home that day for treatment. After treatment, a camper can return to camp once the Camp Medic has determined that there are no signs of live lice. If we receive a report of lice among our camper population our Camp Medic will begin screening all campers to hinder any outbreaks. We always disinfect all helmets used at our climbing wall and ropes courses after they have been worn by a camper and prior to another camper using them.
All prescriptions and medications must be distributed through CBC’s Health Center. Campers or parents must check in with our Camp Medic when bringing medication to camp (even over-the-counter meds).Parents of campers who need inhalers, insulin, epinephrine or other self-administered medications must inform the Camp Medic of these requirements with written documentation from a physician that also includes a parent’s signature. (Download our “Emergency Medication Permission Form”)
Prescription medication must be in the original container and all medications will be kept securely in the camp health office. Written instructions regarding dosages (frequency and amount) must be provided along with the medication. CBC’s Camp Medic will administer medication based on these instructions. We recommend that you talk to your child’s physician about having the medication dispensed before or after the camp hours.
The Camp Medic may administer the following over-the-counter medications, according to our Physician’s agreement and label instructions, to manage illness and injury:
Sore Throat Vitamin C Drops
Upset Stomach Pepto Bismol
Menstrual Cramps Acetaminophen/Ibuprophen
Poison Ivy Calamine Lotion/Cortaid/Benadryl
Insect Bites Benadryl
Note: Please use the Camper Health Form to designate any medications your camper should NOT be given.
Campers spend most of their time outdoors while at Camp Beech Cliff. Even on a cloudy day, every camper should apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 (30+ is preferred) to all exposed skin. We strongly recommend that you send a bottle of lotion (labeled with the camper’s name) with your child each day. Staff will help younger children who may be unable to effectively apply their own sunscreen.
At the waterfront
• Campers will be swimming and boating most days at Echo Lake (weather permitting).
• All campers MUST complete a swim evaluation on opening day. This is not a test, but an evaluation to place campers in the appropriate “swimming area” for free swim and swim lessons. Due to the physical nature of Echo Lake, staff to camper ratios and safety concerns regarding the number of campers using the pond at one time, some campers may be placed in a “swimming area” that they feel is below their swimming capacity. Swimming in Echo Lake is very different than a personal or community pool and safety for all campers is our primary concern when assigning “swimming areas.” If a re-evaluation is warranted, one re-evaluation in a session will be set up at a time to be determined by the program head of swimming.
• The camp’s swim area will be divided into three color coded areas: RED - a shallow area for beginning swimmers, YELLOW – a transitional area for intermediate swimmers, and Blue - a deep area for experienced swimmers who can maintain a horizontal position while swimming distances, and capable of treading water for an extended period without showing signs of exhaustion.
• All our lifeguards are Red Cross certified and adhere to Red Cross, State of Maine and ACA regulations.
• All campers on the boating docks and in boats must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) which is provided by the camp and is checked for proper fitting by a CBC counselor.
Lost and Found
A staggering number of personal items get ‘lost’ at camp each week. Our lost & found bins can usually be found in the outdoor (covered) breezeway next to the gym. Please feel free to ask your camper to go look for that missing lunch bag or towel when they arrive in the morning or come by and check it out yourself when you drop your camper off.
Each Friday afternoon, we try to have a “Lost & Found Parade” at our closing gathering. Personal items that have lost their camper are paraded by counselors and campers in an attempt to find their way home. We will also try to post as many lost & found items as possible on our Camp Beech Cliff Facebook page for your viewing.
At the end of the summer, unclaimed items (usually 3 large containers filled with clothing and towels) are donated to a local charity. We highly recommend labeling camper belongings – such as clothing, towels, bathing suits, caps, lunch bags, water bottles, T-shirts and jackets – in permanent ink or with a printed label. Campers should avoid bringing valuable or highly sentimental items to camp if possible.
What to Bring
Camp will be an enjoyable experience if you send your camper each day with a backpack/daypack containing the following labeled items:
• Healthy snacks
• Light jacket/sweatshirt
• Full water bottle
• Rain jacket (everyday)
• Swimsuit & towel
• Sneakers/athletic shoes (wear these!)
• Water shoes or crocs (for wearing at waterfront areas only)
Note: Campers should NOT wear open-toed shoes to camp. These kinds of shoes increase the risk of injury and decrease the amount of activities they can participate in. They should bring water shoes or crocs for wearing at the waterfront areas only.
Please be aware of weather predictions and prepare your camper accordingly. Unless there is thunder and lightning or a major downpour, we will likely be outside most of the day. Please label all clothing and belongings. Because the children are very active and tend to get hungry, we recommend that you pack a little bit more nourishment than you might ordinarily.
What NOT to Bring
Weapons -- real or pretend (this includes knives of any kind) · trading cards · Gameboys, cell phones or any other electronic devices (except for devices necessary for specialty camp programs such as cameras for photography camps) · clothing with Inappropriate language or logos · personal sports equipment, (unless approved by the director) · valuables/money · Cigarettes/e-cigarettes/vape pens/juuls/drugs/alcohol · pets or animals of any kind
If campers must have a cell phone for transportation needs, the phone must remain powered off and inside the camper’s bag. If this proves to be difficult, the camper may drop off the phone at the office in the morning to pick up at the end of the day. If a camper is asked more than once to return their phone to their backpack, a counselor will bring it to the office where it will stay until the end of the day. Exceptions are made for medical reasons only and require approval by the Camp Director.
PLEASE NOTE! CBC cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items and we highly recommend that valuable items be left at home.