I am deciding whether to enroll my child into The MLDC or into "Camp XYZ". Why exactly should I send my child to your program?
Are your activities geared toward beginners or can more advanced campers (teens especially) be challenged?
Your camp offers a number of activities. Are they all offered at the same time?
I like the idea of a choice program but I think it may be a little much for my seven year-old son. How do you address this?
I know that you accept children up to age 16, but I'm concerned that my 14 year-old will still feel too old.
When do campers make the choices for their activities? Are they "locked in?"
How does the money-back guarantee work? There must be a catch!
Is there an administrative office where I can drop my forms off?
Can we view the facility prior to making a decision?
What are your camper to staff ratios?
What is your Tax ID number?
What type of snacks will you offer?
How do I apply for a summer job with The Marcus Lewis Day Camp?
We live quite a distance from the camp. Isn't that a long bus ride?
What activities are planned for Extended Day?
A. This is a question we hear often and for good cause. Entrusting your child to the safety of others and paying hundreds (or thousands) of dollars, combined with the possibility that your child may not even enjoy the experience is a very, serious consideration. Although we have a general comparison page, six of our most distinctive features are illustrated below:
Our philosophy is that the camper should not have to match the camp, but that the camp should accommodate the camper. The MLDC has a unique system that actually gives campers the power to choose their activities and progressively build upon their achievements. Campers in grades 1 – 5 (Junior Discovery) participate in a core group of activities each session, however they may choose the remainder of their activities which account for 11 one-hour activity blocks. Because they decide as a group, their respective counselor assists in the cooperative process. Further, it prepares these campers for having the background and experience to make daily, individual decisions when they are old enough for the Teen Exploration program.
Campers in grades 6 – 10 may choose four activities each day over the course of the session which allows them to program their own calendar for 16 activity blocks. To ensure diversity, campers must choose at least five different activity areas throughout the week. This method of programming encourages teens to be confident in the decisions they are making to best meet their perceived needs, as well as develop a new camp experience each day and each week. It also allows campers to express their own interests if they are fine tuning their skills in the arts, or trying to get that edge on becoming a faster athlete.
Because our curriculum is based on progressions, campers will not be able to choose an activity that they are not prepared for. For example, if a child does not know how to swim, they may not be able to choose the boating option until they have demonstrated competencies for swimming. However, our exceptional staff works with each camper to achieve individual goals and assist in the decision making process so that the camper will be able to choose the boating option when s/he is ready. Our camp philosophy allows campers to make educated decisions and have opportunities they may not have in other camp programs all the while participating in activities they may have never considered.
Some camps will offer a few periods of electives as a solution, however the bulk of a camper's experience will be with the core program. Other camps that have attempted to mimic our choice system typically do not have the same scope, duration or availability of activities. Most importantly, it is the systematic integration of progressions that makes our choice curriculum uniquely effective. Something that is exclusive to The MLDC.
As a result of our system, The MLDC is never the same camp twice...unless a camper would like it to be.
The ages of our staff currently vary anywhere between 18-60, many of whom are professionals working within their respective fields year-round. Both of those specifics are extremely important to us. Our counselors are teachers who are expected to indoctrinate campers with both the knowledge of their trade as well as with the character qualities that are part of our philosophy.
We are one of the only day camps that calculate its ratios based on our adult population. Our typical 5:1 camper/counselor ratio does not include Counselors-in-Training or Leadership Assistants.
3. Cost & Commitment
Our undiscounted tuitions for our base camps are the lowest fees offered for a camp of our nature. Other, more primary programs that are similar in price do not offer the spectrum of activities that are available to us.
Additionally, parents often expressed
that the flexibility of our weekly commitment versus a two or even four
week minimum lifted a substantial burden from their shoulders.
Multi-week minimums are stipulations which benefit the camp but not the
camper. What if your child is not enjoying his or her experience
after the first week or what if your summer plans change?
Our infrastructure of precautionary measures is an intricate system that is designed to prevent and protect campers from any unforeseen circumstances. We have devoted a section of our site specifically for this topic. Please click here if you would like to visit that page of the website.
5. The 4th of July "Oversight"
Although not the case with all camps, many premium day camps choose not to operate on the 4th of July. Unfortunately, another common practice is to charge the same tuition fee for the abbreviated week. Similar to multi-week minimums, this policy is a benefit to the camp only. It allows the camp to decrease their available services to the customer while increasing their bottom line for the week.
At The MLDC, the week of the 4th is either prorated or we hold our camp on that date.
The camping industry as a whole has a relatively high turnover rate from year to year. The substantial level of attrition is primarily due to campers either having a less than satisfactory experience at camp or because they feel they have outgrown the environment that the camp has provided for them. Often times, camps are referred to as being a good environment for either younger kids or the older teens, but seldom both.
At The MLDC, teens comprise anywhere from 30-50% of our enrollment. Because of the flexibility of our program and the variety of activities available, we can accommodate the wide range of tastes, dispositions and ages that each individual camper represents.
It is because of this unique combination of qualities that we have the confidence to offer a guarantee of our services...something unprecedented in the camping community. For more details on this aspect, click here.
Although campers come
to The MLDC first and foremost to have an enjoyable experience, they
also know that they will be challenged by our program through age/skill
Why would we do such a thing? For two reasons: premium day camps are not inexpensive; at the very least your child should have a fantastic time. That has been our philosophy from day one. Secondly, although many camps can tell you about their wonderful staff, great programming and beautiful environment, we believe in it enough to give you our unconditional assurance.
Our parents, the communities we serve and even The Camp Experts® agree that The MLDC is not your
typical day camp program.
Q. What are your camper to staff ratios?
Be cautious of camps that promote a ratio of 4:1 or some will even advertise a 3:1 ratio. Often times camps include their counselors-in-training (who are still in high school) as part of that number. That being the case, their actual counselor to camper ratio is between 6:1 and 8:1.
Our Camp Mirror Lake program has ratios that are higher, however the ratios are always within acceptable guidelines.
At the MLDC, you can always be assured that your child is in
If you need a tax ID
number relative to donations made to The Marcus Lewis Day Camp
Scholarship Fund, that number is 35-2224077.
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