Camping trips extend Ancona’s opportunities for hands-on education and independent learning to an outdoor setting. These trips introduce children to the simple pleasures of nature and offer opportunities for learning and growth outside of an academic context and away from the digital and media environment of home. On camping trips, students learn to care for themselves away from the comforts and supervision of home.
Camping and other field experiences are integral parts of Ancona’s educational program, and it is expected that all students will participate, unless the school has determined that the child may not attend (see below). If the school determines that a student may not participate, alternative programming will be provided. Students who elect not to participate will be considered to be absent.
Parents whose children will be going camping for the first time must come to the required Camping Orientation meeting at the time of the Pot Luck Dinner.
Camping Trip Rules
- All campers must sleep in their assigned rooms.
- All campers are responsible for packing and keeping track of their own clothing, toiletries and other possessions.
- All campers must participate in the scheduled clean-up of their rooms.
- All campers must participate in the serving and clearing of meals as assigned.
- All campers must be able to pack and carry their own bags.
- All campers must respect quiet hours and not disturb the sleep of others.
- No electronic equipment, including cell phones, notebooks, iPods, CD players, radios, televisions and computer games, is allowed on camping trips.
- All medications, prescription or over-the-counter, must be properly labeled with completed medication forms and submitted to the school office no later than one day prior to the departure date.
Risk and Responsibility
Camping and field trips involve a degree of risk to each child’s health and safety beyond the demands of the normal school day, therefore:
The school reserves the right to determine whether a child possesses the necessary self-control and to exclude from camping trips children whom we believe will be a risk to themselves or others in the camp setting.
Special Medical Needs
Children who have special medical needs must be sufficiently independent to participate in their own care.
In the 3rd/4th grades, the school reserves the right to require that a parent accompany his/her child on field trips or camping trips, at the parent’s expense, when the child’s medical needs warrant such concern.
In the 5th – 8th grades, the school and the camp facility will make reasonable accommodations for individuals that do not change the nature of the trip for the class. The school reserves the right to request that a child’s physician certify that the child is physically able to undertake the activities that the trip requires.
All Ancona camping trips are chaperoned by members of our teaching faculty and administrative staff. Additionally, parents accompany our 3rd/4th grade camping trips, because many children are first learning to be away from home. Because independence is a fundamental educational goal of our trips, beginning in the 5th grade, we do not take parent chaperones, and in fact, many of the facilities we attend do not allow parent chaperones.
Camping trips with younger children require chaperones in addition to teachers to be a success, and volunteering to chaperone can be a great way for a parent and child to enjoy this unique Ancona learning experience together. We hope that every 3rd/4th grade parent will volunteer to chaperone at least once during his/her child’s 3rd/4h grade years. On the other hand, due to limited space, it is not possible for parents to volunteer repeatedly.
Each trip requires one chaperone for every four children. Chaperones are not on vacation! They have work to do, and we expect parents who chaperone to follow the rules below. While helping us to look out for the health and safety of every child, chaperones also help us with our educational goal: to assist the children in becoming independent and taking responsibility for themselves.
Our priorities for recruiting chaperones are:
- 3rd Grade parents
- 4th Grade parents who are new to Ancona
- 4th Grade parents who have not been to camp
- 4th Grade parents who have been to camp
Every child should have at least two camp experiences with no parents present. No parent may attend more than two camping trips, unless the number of chaperones is inadequate.
Each fall, the teachers send home requests for chaperones and fill the available spaces on a first come, first serve basis. Parents who wish to chaperone on the spring trip must be able to swim and be able or willing to canoe.
Camp Chaperones should be:
- Parents who enjoy the out-of-doors and don’t mind “roughing it.”
- Parents with camping skills.
- Parents who are reasonable risk-takers, willing to try something new.
- Parents with a sense of humor and adventure.
- Parents who can canoe.
- Doctors, nurses and EMTs are always welcome.
The following rules apply to chaperones:
- All first-time chaperones must attend the required camping meeting (listed on the school calendar).
- Chaperone requests for both camping trips must be made to the Head Teacher in writing prior to the fall trip.
- Chaperones above the required number may be allowed to attend the camping trip, however, they must understand that they may have to sleep on the floor.
- Because one goal of the trip for children is an independent experience away from home, parents will chaperone on no more than two of the four trips for a single child or set of twins.
- All chaperones are assigned to a group of children. The chaperone’s job is to oversee the children getting to activities on time and completing their responsibilities (i.e. getting to bed on time, setting up for a meal, cleaning the cabin) not to do them for the campers. Chaperones also keep track of their groups during free times.
- Chaperones must participate in all camp activities. On the spring camping trips, this includes canoeing. Chaperones with canoeing experience will be given preference for these trips. Spring chaperones must know how to swim and be willing to canoe.
- Chaperones take their meals with the campers in the camp dining hall and do not leave the camp grounds during the trip.
- With the exception of cell phones, the rules regarding electronic equipment apply to chaperones. Cell phones should be available primarily for emergency purposes. Chaperones should not plan to conduct business during the camping trip.
- Smoking, drinking and the use of illegal substances are strictly prohibited anywhere on camp grounds or during the camping trip.
Above all, adults are models for the children. Therefore, chaperones are expected to uphold the values of the school, participate (with gusto) in all camp activities and adhere to the rules of Ancona and Camp Edwards. Only chaperones who demonstrate their willingness to support these rules will be invited to subsequent trips.