Our goal at Running Brook is to provide a variety of great activities within a safe and structured environment so that all kids can have a successful and fun experience. Our focus with all of our campers is on increasing self-confidence and positive socialization. We have been a great program for kids with varying interests and abilities. If you have further questions about whether we are the right fit for your child, please contact our office and speak with Jim Bellanca, the Camp Director, or Alex Guard, Assistant Director.
For 2017, camp is in session from June 19th through August 18th. The regular camp day is from 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please note that on August 18th, the last day of camp, the day will end at 2:00 pm instead of 4:00 pm.
Our Head Counselors and Specialists are typically college graduates, many of whom are in graduate school or have graduate degrees in education, and/or are currently school teachers or counselors. Our Assistant Counselors are college students, many of whom are interested in pursuing a career in teaching. Our Junior Counselors are our youngest staff. They are high school students who are at least 16 years of age, most of whom were campers themselves at Running Brook and went through our own Leadership Training Program. As a whole, we are an energetic and creative group of folks that are dedicated to education and child development.
Candidates for any position on our staff are interviewed by Jim Bellanca, the camp Director, or Alex Guard, an Assistant Director. We check multiple references prior to hiring new staff, and do thorough background checks (CORI and SORI) as well as a fingerprint-based state and national criminal record check on all our employees prior to the start of camp each summer. All of our staff are required to attend our staff training the weeks prior to the start of camp.
Yes. Running Brook Camps are accredited by the American Camp Association. ACA Accreditation means that we undergo a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of our operations, from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. The American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at our camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.
Campers are assigned to groups based on the grade they will complete in school prior to joining us for the summer. Our youngest group is comprised of kids who are 3.5-5 years of age and are not yet entering kindergarten in the fall. Most of our kindergarten and first grade groups are co-ed. The remainder of the groups are either all girls or all boys.
We will make every effort to honor requests made to place your child in a group with his/her friends of the same age when possible. In an attempt to accommodate as many requests as possible, we ask that you specify only one or two children with whom you would like your child placed. Please note that these requests are more difficult to honor the closer we are to the start of camp, given that there will generally be fewer slots available in groups.
Although Running Brook is not a therapeutic program, we pride ourselves on having the experience, staffing, and the skills to provide a great summer experience for kids with a variety of physical, social and emotional profiles. If your child has any particular needs that may in some way impact their experience with us, please contact Jim Bellanca, the camp Director, or Alex Guard, Assistant Director, as early as possible and prior to registering to discuss your child’s needs. We are happy to contact teachers and/or other providers who know your child to help make the proper decision. Together, we will determine the appropriateness of our program for your child and determine if any additional supports are necessary to help them be successful.
Running Brook is a community that supports each child’s individuality and uniqueness. We uphold high expectations around maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all members of this community. Our Parent Handbook outlines our Camper Rights and Expectations for all campers. Our staff proactively works to establish routines and to reinforce these expectations so as encourage positive behavior and to minimize behaviors that impact the safety and respectful atmosphere within the group. In the event that a camper is unable to adhere to these expectations, staff will utilize a series of responses to address the behavior, including: A conversation between the camper and his/her Head Counselor; a conversation between the camper, his/her Head Counselor and a camp administrator; a meeting between the camper, group counselor(s), a camp administrator and the camper's parent(s). Whenever possible, we will look to support and motivate the camper to modify his/her behavior so that they can continue to allow for their own, and the rest of their group’s success within the program. We will inform the child’s parents of any concerns along the way, and will enlist their support in making every appropriate effort toward helping their child have a successful experience in the program. As stated in our Enrollment Agreement, the camp Director ultimately reserves the right to dismiss any camper from the program, without refund, who repeatedly and/or significantly impacts the safety or positive experience of others in the community.
Regular communication between parents and our staff is a high priority for us. We will make arrangements for you to be able to communicate with your child’s counselor prior to the beginning of camp. We also hold a New Camper Orientation on Saturday, June 17th where new campers and their parents can come to campus for a tour and to meet our administrators, nurse, and their child’s Head Counselor.
We make every effort to set up regular communication between you and your child’s counselor throughout the summer. We will look to arrange the most effective means for you to be in contact with them, whether via phone or email, at a time that is convenient for you and for them. Our camp administrators will be available throughout the day to communicate with you as well.
Yes. We offer a variety of healthy options each day at camp through our food service provider, FLIK dining services. The lunch and snack program is included in the tuition. For snack, we offer a couple of simple options (i.e., fresh fruit and pretzels) daily. If your child needs additional snacks or would prefer other options, we ask you to send extra snacks from home. Please contact us in advance if your child has any particular dietary needs so that we can try to accommodate them.
Morning drop-off occurs between 8:15 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. If you are transporting your child by car, you will drive into the main entrance of the campus on Beaver St., and simply proceed up the drive where you will be directed by our staff as to how to proceed. Each day, you and your child will be greeted by members of our staff and your child will be escorted to their group to start the day. End of the day pick-up happens between 3:40 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (If you want to avoid more of a wait, you may want to arrive around 3:30 p.m.). Anyone picking up a camper will be asked to show a photo i.d. to our staff, and, if not a custodial parent, will need to be listed on our Camper Release Authorization form as someone approved by you to pick up your child. We pride ourselves on having a safe and efficient pick-up/drop-off procedure for you and your child.
Our goal is to continue to follow the regular schedule of activities as long as it is safe. If there is thunder or lightning, campers and staff will remain indoors until it is safe to go back outside. We have adequate indoor space for the activities, including an air-conditioned gymnasium. If there is rain without the threat of thunder or lightning, the pool will remain open for swim instruction and free swim, and campers will continue to transition outdoors to the various activities. Please send your child with a raincoat on rainy days.
“I cant think of a single way to improve Running Brook. The counselors were awesome, the range of classes superb. There is prompt attention given to parent concerns, without excess communication about the issue.”
Laura - Mother of 1st grade boy
RUNNING BROOK CAMPS AT CHAPEL HILL - CHAUNCY HALL SCHOOL