Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this page contains the answers to any other questions that you may have. If not though, feel free to call us toll free, 1 (800) 688-5789 or e-mail us. We’re here all year round getting ready for next summer and would love to hear from you.

Choosing the Right Summer Camp

Camps’ programs and philosophies vary in many ways. You’ll find specialized programs, different session lengths (some with split sessions), emphasis (or de-emphasis) on competition, different ideas on how much freedom of choice in activities to allow, camps for boys, camps for girls, coed camps…the possibilities are endless.

Decide on what sort of experience you and your youngster want, then look for the camp which can offer it. Look for quality, and a good fit between camp and camper; look for the essentials behind the veneer. It should be a lot of fun, of course! But, it should be much more. A good camp experience can be one of the wisest investments in your child’s future you will ever make.

Look carefully at:

  • Location, Facilities, and Equipment: Are they safe? Adequate? (One horse does not make a riding program.)
  • Program: What activities are offered? How much variety? Flexibility? Is it regimented? What opportunity is there for individual instruction? For trips?
  • Philosophy: What is the camp’s purpose? What are its goals? How does it attempt to accomplish them?
  • Staff: Ratio to campers? Average age? Experience? Qualifications? Minimum age and schooling? How many return each year? Look especially at the experience level of the head counselors.
  • Length of Session: Is it long enough to accomplish its goals?
  • References: Ask for the names of current and former campers, and check with them.

Getting “Unplugged” Policy

Children need, now more than ever, to be “unplugged” for periods of time and what better place than camp!

To that end, No Cellular or WiFi capable Devices are allowed at camp.

We enjoy having music and books here at camp. We have always allowed tape and CD players for rest hour headphone use. However, as technology changes, so does the way we carry our music and read books.

What is allowed:

  • MP3 players that do not have any cell or WiFi capability such as the old “classic” iPods.
  • CD / radio players
  • Real books or one of the VERY old E-readers that did not have WiFi, check your closet!

What isn’t:

  • Any type of phone, smartphone, or text device.
  • Any laptop, pad or E-reader with WiFi.

Packing for Camp

As you may have noticed in the program section of this website, we enjoy many outdoor activities here at camp, which of course means exposure to the weather. Bringing the appropriate things to camp (and leaving the inappropriate things at home) is extremely important to having a good experience.

All specialty equipment needed for activities (such as lifejackets for kayaking) is provided by camp, as is community camping gear. Campers will need to bring comfortable and durable clothing, a few personal items, and some basic personal equipment for camping. We don’t expect you to spend a lot of money on elaborate gear, but there are a few items that one simply cannot do without in the woods. Backpacks are available to rent for the summer.

Packing List

Download a list of what to bring to our June (3 weeks) or August (2 weeks) sessions here:

Early June Packing List

For the list of what to bring to our Early June session choose download here:

Main Camp Packing List

Download a list of what to bring to our Main (5 weeks) Session here:

Camp Labels

Please let us know if the quality is appropriate.

Happy to Be Package-Free!

To keep the campers focused on their time here and to save parents from spending unnecessary time & money, we have a

No Package Policy

The only exceptions are:

  1. Forgotten essentials within the first week of camp (rain jacket, tennis shoes, pillow….).

  2. Books (not magazines or comics).

  3. A single package for a birthday, containing no food or candy.

Please review the full “No Package Policy” you’ll be sent in the spring and make all friends and relatives aware of the policy.

Beating the Homesick Blues

First time campers and their parents sometimes spend a good bit of time worrying about homesickness. Most kids do just fine, but here are some thoughts which may help minimize potential emotional distress:

Before camp

  • Speak openly of possible homesickness. Homesickness is natural, and certain feelings of missing home, parents, pets or friends are pretty normal. Once this is understood, your child may accept homesick feelings with less anxiety.
  • Avoid statements like “I’m going to be so lonely without you!” Don’t make your child feel guilty about going away.
  • Heighten your child’s interest by pointing out some of the exciting things you remember about your own camping experience. Be sure to be positive about how you were able to handle being away from your mom and dad.
  • While painting a bright, promising picture of camp, be sure her expectations are realistic. She’ll be expected to really work on some skills (such as swimming, if she’s not a good swimmer already), share in camp chores (such as making her own bed and taking turns sweeping the cabin), etc.

During camp

  1. Phone calls are generally not a good idea. Some campers may be doing just fine ‘til the sound of a parent’s voice triggers a setback unexpected by either party. If for some reason you do wind up on the phone with a crying, homesick child, you need to be supportive, encouraging, positive about her ability to adjust, and absolutely firm about “sticking it out”. “Just try it one more week” is likely to translate to, “I’m going home in a week!”. It’s an invitation to fail; it leaves open the possibility of going home as a goal just when the focus needs to be on adjusting to camp. “You must stay” is more likely to translate to, “Well, I don’t have a choice, so I might as well make the best of it…”
  2. Realize that you will probably hear the very worst. We have often seen a youngster be absolutely miserable on the phone, and be perfectly happy 30 minutes later.
  3. Letters from home which reassure and give confidence are wonderful. (A letter on the second or third day of camp is always welcome.)

Our Approach

  1. Be supportive, encouraging, empathetic but firm.
  2. Keep her busy.
  3. Try to identify and solve any underlying problems (being teased, perhaps) or help her learn to live with the insoluble ones (it’s raining, the water’s cold, etc.).
  4. Keep you informed.

We Need Your Support

We can’t win the battle without it. Some homesick campers want the world to know; others are embarrassed and try not to show it. We do want you to tell us about homesickness and other problems of which we may not be aware, and we’re glad to give you feedback about your daughter anytime. Feel free to call us anytime if you have concerns. If we’re not by the phone, we’ll be happy to call you back.

Please don’t say, “If you have problems, call us and we’ll come get you.” A camper thus invited to fail is likely to give up at the first difficulty, abandon thoughts of adjusting to camp, and focus immediately on going home.

You might say something like, “This is a commitment for one camp session. We expect you to have lots of fun… but if it’s hard at times, you have to stick with it. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back, but no changing your mind in the middle!”

If you bring her to camp, take long enough to see the facilities and meet her counselors; then leave. This is not a good time to visit and watch activities. A cheerful, confident attitude on your part will help greatly in getting the summer off to a good start.

Meals

We eat family style in the dining room. We think the variety of our menu is great. There’s a salad bar at lunch and dinner, and vegetarian options are available at every meal. Fresh fruit is put out for snacking between meals. If you have a birthday at camp, you’ll get a cake!

Incidentally, we cannot allow campers to keep any form of food (including candy and gum) among their belongings.

After meals there are announcements about upcoming activities. After breakfast, we go into the assembly room, for some music and announcements.

Health

Green Cove has consistently held a grade “A” rating from the North Carolina State Board of Health. We have an infirmary on camp premises with two registered nurses in residence; a doctor in residence serves both Green Cove and our brother camp, Mondamin. There is a hospital six miles away. Regular health checks are made daily (showers, brushed teeth, etc.); parents receive weekly letters from counselors and a telephone call in case of any unusual problems.

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Spirituality

At Green Cove, there is an attempt to quietly foster a spiritual atmosphere, and to encourage time for thought and reflection. We have a simple, non-denominational service at camp on Sunday mornings, which emphasizes ethics, morals, and friendship, rather than formalized religion. It includes nothing ritualistic or intrusive. Catholic campers may attend mass nearby.

Campfire on Tuesday evenings, pictured here, is also a time for thought and reflection. We sing songs and tell stories… kids report on trips they took the previous week, often inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

Travel To and From Camp

The majority of parents prefer to drive their children to camp, but as many as a third to a half of our campers come on commercial flights. Here are a few tips.

Driving

For those that choose to drive, we are about

  • 3 hours northeast of Atlanta, GA
  • 2 hours west of Charlotte, NC
  • 5 hours east of Nashville, TN
  • 8 hours southwest of Washington, DC.

There are some beautiful places to visit in the mountains of North Carolina which may be an added incentive to making the drive. For information on where to stay and what to do, visit our local Travel & Tourism website.

Flying

If you are comfortable with your daughter flying here, we do a couple things to make this a little easier for you.

  • First, we have a staff member and a driver meet all campers coming into our two nearest airports at the gate. These airports are Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina (GSP) and Asheville, North Carolina (AVL). Asheville is a bit closer to us, but either is fine.
  • Second, we recommend shipping some of her luggage to camp with UPS. We will have it in her cabin when she gets here.

Visitation and Communication

Visiting is allowed on a limited basis. Campers may have a maximum of 1 visit in June Camp and 2 visits in Main Camp, and not overnight. Visits are allowed only on Sundays after the first 14 days of camp. A phone call on visitor’s day can be substituted for a visit. There are no visits or phone calls for Early June Camp or August Camp.

Parents are encouraged to write old-fashioned letters to their child at camp. As mentioned above, we are trying to get away from the immediate feel of today’s technology.

Please note that emails to your camper are printed and delivered to them just like “snail mail”. If you prefer to email your child at camp, please use our campermail@greencove.com address and include your child’s full name in the subject line. Campers do not have access to email to send a response, pen & paper only!

Can my daughter come for only part of a session?

A good camping experience is very definitely a community experience. We therefore do not break our camping sessions into shorter periods. Cutting a term into two halves, neither of which is complete, is a system we tried and abandoned decades ago. We have seen that a child who comes to camp or has to leave camp half way through a session experiences a disruption of skill progress, social continuity, and community stability that is unacceptable. This scenario is especially disruptive to the campers who stay, seeing their friends and cabin-mates leave.

Occasionally, a camper may be allowed to miss a few of days of camp in the beginning or the end of a session, because of school or an important family event. We would much prefer it if this situation could be avoided, but if such would be the case, please talk with us about this ahead of time.