Camp tuition includes lunch every day. Our dedicated kitchen staff prepares a wide range of food. Every lunch features a main hot item, a full salad bar with green salads and protein salads (ie: tuna, bean, quinoa), a hot dog cart, bagels with cream cheese or butter, and cereal. Drink options include lowfat regular or chocolate milk, juice, iced tea, and water.
Please note on your camper’s health form if your camper has any special dietary restrictions.
Every camper swims in one of our outdoor pools at least once a day. Our pools are staffed by a fantastic team of fully certified lifeguards under the direction of our Pool Supervisor.
For Cayugas-Hurons, swim lessons are given twice a week by our certified Water Safety Instructors (WSIs). The goal of our swim lessons is to ensure that every child is able to feel safe and confident in the water.
One of the primary goals of child development is learning to make friends. What better place to do it than in the safe and fun atmosphere of summer camp? Our counselors are trained to facilitate good relationships between children, and are dedicated to helping each child make at least one friend at camp.
Most of our campers live within a 15-minute drive of Alvernia. This includes Centerport, Huntington, Northport, East Northport, Greenlawn, Elwood, and Kings Park. We also have campers from as far as Setauket, Syosset, and Oyster Bay. Even if your child comes to camp not knowing anyone, the chances are very good that they will meet someone who goes to their school or who lives close by.
Camp Alvernia is not a special needs camp. However, every year we do accept a small number of campers with special needs, but they must have a “shadow” provided by the school district. Parents may also choose to hire a shadow themselves.
If you are interested in exploring this possibility, contact us and we will arrange a meeting in person.
Many parents of children with special needs hope that a change of scenery for the summer may help their child with some of the difficulties they experience at school. With this hope, some parents choose not to notify us about their child’s special needs, and may even discontinue their child’s medication.
DO NOT send your child to camp without notifying us of any special needs they may have. DO NOT discontinue your child’s medication if it has been prescribed by a professional. These practices are irresponsible, and pose risks to your child’s physical and emotional health. Any such dishonesty will result in your child being withdrawn from camp without refund.
Each camper can request to be in a group with one friend only. This friend must be in the same age group and gender as your camper. We will make every effort to accommodate your request, but requests cannot always be fulfilled.
Even if your group-with request is not able to be fulfilled, your child will still see his/her friends throughout the day. Camper groups go to various activities two or more groups at a time. Groups are rotated so they do not always go to the same activities with the same group. This ensures that your camper will have a chance to meet and play with all the other campers in his/her age group.
Feel free to contact us for a tour any season of the year.
We offer an Open House for enrolled campers and parents every year before the start of camp. This will give you a chance to meet your child’s counselor and other staff, take a tour of the grounds, and purchase camp-branded items from the Canteen. Look for information about Open House in your email.
You may drop off your child as early as 8:30am and pick up as late as 4:00pm. If you will be unable to drop off or pick up during these times, we offer morning and afternoon childcare for an additional fee.
When July 4th falls on a weekday, there will be no camp. July 4th is a paid holiday for our staff, and as such there are no discounts or refunds given for that date.
If you’re interested in working at Camp Alvernia, please contact us via phone or to complete a pre-application interview with one of our staff. We require all of our staff to work the full 8 weeks of camp.
One of the biggest strengths of our program is our caring and dedicated staff. We believe in them, and believe in their ability to take care of our campers. However, for legal reasons, Camp Alvernia does not recommend any staff as babysitters or nannies.
We have a “no-cell phone” policy at camp. Aside from the fact that cell phones are expensive and can get lost or stolen, and that the physical camp environment is not kind to such items, there is a fundamental problem with campers having cell phones at camp, and that is trust. When children come to camp they — and you — are making a leap of faith, temporarily transferring their primary care from you as their parents to us and their counselors. This is one of the growth-producing, yet challenging aspects of camp. As children learn to trust other caring adults, they grow and learn, little by little, to solve some of their own challenges. We believe this emerging independence is one of the greatest benefits of camp. It is one important way your child develops greater resilience. Contacting you by phone essentially means they have not made this transition. Sending a cell phone to camp is like saying to your child that you as the parent haven’t truly come to peace with the notion of them being away from you and in our care.
We agree to tell you if your child is experiencing a challenge in their adjustment to camp. You can help by talking with you child before they come to camp and telling them that there is always someone they can reach out to, whether it be their counselor, a trusted activity leader, their group supervisor, the director, assistant directors, or camp nurse. We are all here to help, but if you don’t trust us, your children certainly won’t!
Another drawback of having cell phones at camp is many of them have built-in cameras. It has happened at some camps around the country that children have secretly taken photographs of other campers or staff during changing or showering times and later uploaded those images onto the Internet. To lessen the possibility of this happening we have decided to ban all cameras. We take photographs during the summer, which are available for viewing on our website. Additionally, we have waterproof shockproof digital cameras that campers can use a few days out of each session. These photos are screened by our staff and uploaded to our website behind a password protected login.
Please help us maintain a safe environment by explaining this to your child. You should know that any camper that takes a compromising photograph of another camper or staff member and uploads it on the Internet or makes it public in any way may be subject to dismissal from camp or may not be allowed to return. If the law is broken, the appropriate authorities will be notified.
We offer boating for every age. The program is tailored to each camper’s abilities at each stage of development. Each child must wear a PFD (personal flotation device) in order to participate in the boating program. PFDs are also worn by all counselors and boating staff. Boating takes place in Centerport Harbor. We restrict the areas of the harbor available for boaters, and maintain a number of moorings to keep the water open. Boaters in the harbor are supervised by a certified waterfront lifeguard. Trained Camp Alvernia boating staff patrol the water in chase boats to offer assistance to campers, maintaining constant radio contact with the lifeguard.
We have small hand-operated paddle boats for our youngest campers to use, and they are confined to a very small cove in Centerport Harbor. We provide this area with its own certified waterfront lifeguard. Cayugas and Oneidas are sometimes taken out in canoes or rowboats as a special treat. They are introduced to the basics of boating safety, ie: to always remain seated in the boats, to always listen to the lifeguard, to return to shore when they hear the 3-whistle “All Boats In” signal, to stay within their boundaries, etc.
Mohawks learn basic canoe and kayaking skills, and are able to take these boats out by themselves into Centerport Harbor. Mohawks also have scheduled periods devoted to small-boat sailing. For the Mohawks, each boat is operated by a boating instructor, who introduces them to the fundamentals of sailing. When they become Hurons, they will have the opportunity to sail on their own.
Hurons and Senecas are taught the fundamentals of sailing, and are given opportunities to practice sailing on our Zumas, Picos, Hartley 12s, and 14.6’ American daysailers. They also have the opportunity to sail on larger boats such as our Hobie Cats. Your Huron and Seneca camper is also welcome to sign up for our Level 1 Small Boat Sailor certification program, which takes place during special. This is an elective program which allows your camper to become certified by US Sailing, a nationally recognized sailing organization.
Camp Alvernia has a team of nurses and a nurse’s assistant. At least one nurse is at camp in the nurse’s office at all times. In case of emergencies, we enjoy a great relationship with the Centerport Fire Department, located less than 5 minutes away. Huntington Hospital is only just up the road, less than 15 minutes away.
Safety is our highest priority, and for that reason we exceed the staff-camper ratio requirements set by both the Health Department and the American Camp Association (ACA). Pequots (3 years old) are in a group with a ratio of no less than 1:5. Cayugas (Pre-K and kindergarten) are placed in groups of no more than 8, and each group of 8 has a trained counselor and a junior counselor (JC). Oneidas (1st and 2nd grade) may be in groups of up to 12, and each group also has a trained counselor and a junior counselor. Mohawks, Hurons, and Senecas (5th-9th grade) are placed in groups of up to 12, and each group has a trained counselor.
Besides the group counselors and junior counselors, each activity is run by its own dedicated counselor, who is trained to tailor the activity to each group’s age and gender. Activity counselors are assisted by our counselors-in-training (CITs).
The pools have their own staff of fully-certified lifeguards under the direction of our Pool Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor. Our boating program is likewise staffed by a team of trained boating counselors under the direction of our Waterfront Director and Assistant Waterfront Director. All boating counselors are certified waterfront lifeguards in addition to their other certifications such as powerboating, sailing, safety & rescue, etc.
We employ 185+ staff people for a maximum of 500 campers at a time. This is a ratio of better than one staff person for every three campers.
All campers should bring the following items to camp:
Dress appropriately to participate in sports, swimming, boating, etc. This means no clothing that may cause a wardrobe malfunction if your child is active. Let’s teach our children to respect bodies and help them feel comfortable to participate in all the great activities we have here at camp. We reserve the right to ask campers to change clothing if they are dressed inappropriately for camp activities.
If these items are brought to camp, they will be stored in the camp office and returned to the camper at the end of the day, not to be brought in again. The camp is NOT responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items. If items are marked with a camper’s full name, we will make an effort to return it to them.
Camp Alvernia does not permit any food from home without clearance from the nurse. Some of our campers have life-threatening peanut and tree-nut allergies. This means that coming into contact with a camper who has eaten peanut butter on the bus to camp could prompt a severe allergic reaction that requires hospitalization.
We ask that you partner with us in protecting our campers by maintaining awareness of these allergies. Do not allow your camper to bring snacks for themselves, and make sure to explain this policy to anyone else who may have responsibility for your children during the summer (nannies, family members, babysitters, etc.).