Monday: am & pm

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Staff Manual


AM & PM:

Debris crew; Distribution Team; Waterfront team

Ball field team; Painting team; Fence team - 3 men, one day; Mowing team – Rob, Mike, Becky

Eve: Pass out Staff Manuals – brief description of week to follow

Clinic sign-up, hand out clinic outlines, clinic manual available

Admin cabin assignment team meets; First-year staff meeting

Read staff manual – Philosophy & Tips on Clinics


AM & PM: 11:30 Morris Gold

Waterfront Team; Up-the-hill team; 1-2’s teams; Venue inventories

Philosophy discussion

EVE: Admin. minus Wipfler’s meet with staff; Read Staff Manual – Policy and Procedure, Cabin Life, Those First Two Weeks

Admin. meet to assign cabin staff


9 AM: Boat Test @ Merriwood (Mike Wiff, AJ, Adam, Scott)

AM & PM: Punch lists: “Country Club” look outcome defined quitting time

Staff Manual & Taking Charge - Group Discussions

EVE: “Model Clinic” discussion

Cabin assignments: discuss Cabin Life, yellow forms distributed

Read Staff Manual – Read Safety, Supervision, and Professionalism

AM: Chris Hamilton – CPR, First Aid, LG cert & re-cert (Matt J., Scott, AJ)

PM: Ditto Wednesday, as needed.

Staff Manual - discussion groups; First year staff meeting

PM: Venue heads train and certify others; clinic tests given

EVE: Read Staff Manual – Coaching and Sportsmanship & Emergency Procedures


AM: Boat Test @ Gilford – Bill Dalton

Venue heads meet; 5 day clinic outline prepared for Monday

Punch lists, Wrap up of all unfinished details from the above

Staff Manual - Discussion Groups, Kingswood Quiz (2009)

Lifeguards meeting; Cabin counselors meeting; Van drivers certified

PM: Refresher course for SOLO people

CIT Discussion

EVE: No dinner served; all free; Read Staff Manual - Waterfront, Infirmary, Personnel Policies


AM: Breakfast @ 9:00

Individual contracts, joint agreement of employment, I-9’s, W-4’s, voluntary disclosure form, staff auto waiver, any other paperwork

Infirmary Protocol Orientation - 10:00

Camp stove use orientation - 11:00

Waterfront Orientation - 11:30 (Certification process discussed)

Practice Emergency Dive – All Staff

PM: Final cleanup punch lists; Venues and cabins cleaned for inspection

EVE: Cookout/Movie for any early campers (Nicolai, Jamie, Max, Jay)


Our Camping Philosophy: 1985

Take one boy. Remove him from the urban environment with its emphasis on material acquisitions. Place him in a rural environment with its demands inherent in nature. Separate him from the security of home where happiness is expected. For several weeks, substitute a community living experience where happiness is earned. Withdraw for a time the boy’s traditional authority figures – parent, teacher, clergyman. Expose him instead to the camp’s elders – its counselors – men of sterling character yet not much older than he.

The result of this arithmetic, in nearly every instance, is a myriad of adventures which leave indelible impressions on that boy’s mind and which foster enduring attitudes of both self esteem and a respect for others:

He falls several times attempting to get up on water-skis then miraculously succeeds.

He loses a close tennis match to a friend, then develops some photographs in the dark room with that same friend.

He taxes himself to the limits of his endurance to gain a mountain summit, then becomes awestruck by the view.

His sits silently staring into the dying embers of the campfire, then suddenly feels an impulse of inspiration from the words of a respected friend.

Occasions such as these we call PRIME TEACHABLE MOMENTS. The lessons they bring can raise a boy’s conscientiousness of life’s values in a permanent way. With timely but gentle nudges from counselors who love children and related well to them, no boy at Kingswood is too old or too hardened to embrace and immerse himself in these character-shaping experiences.

The Kingswood Formula, however, is a delicate one. While removing a boy from his accustomed environment, the camp has no intention of enforcing standards of deprivation. A hot shower on a cold morning or an extra scoop of ice cream, these are amenities we all cherish and which clearly enhance the happy atmosphere of camp.

We recognize, too, that some youngsters can initially feel the loneliness of separation from loved ones. Sensitivity to and compassion for these emotions remains at the forefront of our conscientiousness. Likewise, Kingswood remains attuned to the distinction between old hands and newcomers to the group living adventure.

A camp is only as good as its ability to deliver on its promise. At Kingswood, we speak of a “commitment to excellence,” a phrase we take especially to mean the creation of a healthy, happy camp environment where every boy may flourish, both physically and emotionally. This lofty goal becomes a fulfillable promise thanks to the Kingswood Formula, an equation that works. We are proud to call a summer at Kingswood a great contribution to a boy’s formal education.
“At Kingswood, no boy ever slips through the cracks.” Keep this statement and its imagery always at the forefront of your mind, for these words simplify Kingswood’s fundamental philosophical approach. They seem to suggest that big brother is watching. Big brother, primarily, is you. Families constantly ask me to define what it is that sets Kingswood apart from other camps. I tell them that we really mean it when we say that we closely and personally supervise the quality of each boy’s summer stay at Kingswood. Every boy, no matter what his personality or temperament, is made to feel an integral member of our community. You have been hired primarily because I sense you have the ability to relate effectively – pleasantly, with warmth, compassion and understanding – to the boys we have here.

At Kingswood, counselors fully engage boys their every waking moment. One summer afternoon long ago, it showered briefly at about 4:00, driving everyone indoors. By 4:30, the sun had reappeared, but it seemed the damage had been done since as I stalked down the hill toward the waterfront, I could hear nary a sound of activity from this normally favorite afternoon haunt. “I cannot believe that everyone’s bagged the afternoon,” I shouted to no one in particular as I rounded the corner of the dining room where I was stunned to see the entire waterfront staff sitting on the benches waiting for their charges to arrive. Within minutes the place was packed with kids in what had to be my most contented moment of the summer. There can be no letting up on the attitude expressed by this story, and on bad days especially (and we all have them from time to time) when no boy avoids becoming a bit of a nuisance to you. On these occasions, “Be a Pro.” This being done, Kingswood cannot fail in its task.

Another favorite pet phrase is “The staff is everything.” Even some of you veterans don’t fully appreciate the impact you have on the kids. One mother told me recently that her son talked incessantly about camp and that his counselors were featured in every story. Not much comes out regarding clinics or activities, we’ve been informed, but mostly echoes of your speech and behavior in more informal settings like in the cabins or at meals.

In truth, what you say to boys and how you treat them is the major component of parents’ perceptions of Kingswood. When you consider that 98% of families who send sons to Kingswood know very well another family who has sent children here, you begin to perceive the incredible importance of your personal behavior in your dealings with the current crop of youngsters.

Our very best counselors are fully attentive to the best interests of each of their individual campers. One counselor publicly announced that no bullies would be allowed to mistreat any of his kids, then spoke privately to the potential troublemakers. His boys realized they were being as well protected and cared for as anyone could possibly be in a summer setting. They had a “great time” at camp and returned the following year.

Parents who send their sons to Kingswood expect you to engage, protect, cajole, remind, discipline, counsel, teach, comfort and befriend their precious children. I assure them that the camp indeed attracts young men who are responsible, caring, bright, well-spoken, and fun-loving in order to fulfill this awesome chore. How to proceed? For starters, make believe that your every action in the presence of boys is being video taped. If you are willing to allow parents to view the entire film, with nothing to hide, then clearly you have done your share to contribute to the wholesome summer experience which not only brings boys back to camp year after year but also profoundly affects Kingswood’s grand reputation.

In your dealings with youngsters, try to adhere to what I refer to as the “Six F’s of Effective Leadership”: FRIENDLINESS, FONDNESS, FAIRNESS, FRANKNESS, FRICTION, & FAITH.

FRIENDLINESS: Many youngsters, regardless of their ability to mask their innermost feelings, are initially frightened by the prospects of separation from mother and father. Indeed, you are a surrogate parent to each camper, and, as such, must reach out with warmth and friendship to all the boys, no matter what their faults may be.

FONDNESS: This notion is an extension of the above. A genuine affection for kids has always been a distinguishing Kingswood characteristic. Remember my constant urging to you: “Have a great time at camp, include the boys in your fun, and the rest is gravy!”

FAIRNESS: This manual is full of statements, policies and guidelines the central core of which is the attitude of fairness. While you should possess the strength of character to prevent being exploited by the youngsters, you should also bend over backwards to be consistently fair with them. Oftentimes a tightrope act, fairness is not as easy as it seems. Each “issue” may require objective reasoning, consultation, dialogue and compromise. This takes both time and thought.

FRANKNESS: You must be straightforward and truthful with youngsters. They can easily spot a faker. Frankness, however, demands tact in order to be effective. For example, don’t tell a boy you don’t like him when it is his behavior that bothers you. Let him know this and see if you can get him to alter his actions in ways which will improve your relationship.

FRICTION: You have to stand up to kids whenever they exceed limits. Moreover, I believe children expect to be confronted when they go too far with their actions. They will respect you LESS when you let them get away with too much. Expect to be tested in the first hours of camp and pre-plan your response to this initial challenge to your authority. HINT: You can very successfully stand up to boys by incorporating the other F’s into your disciplinary responses!

FAITH: This is the ultimate approach in dealing with children. Know deep down inside that youngsters are wonderful creatures, a vast majority of whom are destined to eventual success in dealing with others on this planet. Be certain to allow this notion to seep into your dialogue with boys and to be the main pillar of your relationship with them.

In summary, the Six F’s provide you with the basis for a very positive relationship with the boys in practically all circumstances. To be sure, you’ll never ask yourself, “What “F” am I using in this circumstance?” But, when all is said and done, upon reflection, you’ll realize that your successful dealings with boys were based on these principals. Additionally, in the heat of the moment, if you simply remind yourself to “Use good judgment,” in all likelihood, you will select a combination of these notions, without naming them, to guide your behavior.


(American Camp Association Standard)

Kingswood recognizes the need to have goals which express the purpose of the camp’s existence and operation. From these goals come measurable desired outcomes, the benefits campers receive as a result of their camp experience.

It is Kingswood’s goal to succeed “in some measure” with each of the following for every camper:

  1. To place a boy in a rural environment with its demands inherent in nature

  2. To give a boy a community living experience where happiness is earned

  3. To withdraw a boy from his traditional authority figures, exposing him instead to camp counselors of sterling character

  4. To give a boy a myriad of adventures which leave indelible impressions on his mind

  5. To foster in a boy enduring attitudes of both self-esteem and respect for other thus raising his consciousness of life’s values in a permanent way

Outcome Objectives

It is Kingswood’s outcome objective to succeed “measurably” with each of the following for every camper:

  1. To complete the nature and campcraft orientation and to take one day trip and one overnight camping trip

  2. To complete the swim test (20 laps and 5 minutes treading water) thus enabling a boy to participate in all additional aquatic activities

  3. To attain “certification” status in three activities each four week session

  4. To participate in at least one Pemi Day event or one sports tournament each four week session

  5. To attain a passing inspection grade as a cabin member each week

  6. To attend three cabin meetings and three all-camp meetings each four week session: to listen, observe, ponder and respond to values-laden dialogue at each meeting

Morning clinics at Kingswood easily are the most structured time blocks of the day. The goal for each clinic offered is to have five “guaranteed-to-be-a-winner” lesson plans, a rainy day contingency plan, and a pre-planned testing procedure – written and/or practical. Written lesson plans based on sound instructional values have been offered by successful Kingswood clinicians of the past few summers. They are available for you to study, take notes from, or copy. Use these plans as a basis for your own clinics or make a contribution yourself, either an adaptation or an improvement over what we already have, to be included in next year’s volume. One personal thought persists: for nineteen years as a school teacher, I maintained carefully crafted lesson plans, many of which had me salivating at the start of class. When a teacher absolutely knows that he has a can’t lose scheme, he is operating at the optimum professional level. Please expect clinic visits from the camp administrators. Do not consider these observations as spying missions, but rather accept them as facilitations. We are happy to sit down and work with you towards getting that perfect clinic! Other pointers follow:

  • You may or may not be a clipboard carrier and the clinic manual is best left back in the cabin. Your written plan can easily be recorded on an index card and carried in a pocket along with a short pencil. The details remain inside your head, but listed should be a rough outline of today’s drills, projects, announcements, review. An attendance roster, too, should be in your pocket. Follow up on any boy who skips!

  • Every clinic, every day, ought to begin with a short meeting which takes attendance, reviews pervious clinics and outlines today’s plan. No matter the activity, a goal or focus for the day such as a fundamental to be stressed or a simple competition should be explained at the outset. Any drill or game that spices up your clinic will enhance your status with the boys and have them talking about your activity long after it ends. Very simple ideas can be exceptionally effective. Please refrain from the temptation to offer foodstuffs as reward for accomplishments. Coke challenges, too, are discouraged. Once in a great while, with permission, you may offer special prizes.

  • Insist that your clinic both start and end on time. Wear a watch! Demand that boys wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the activity. FOLLOW UP on all violations of your clinic rules. All you have to be is tough on kids once or twice very early in the going and you’ll gain their respect (and, likely, their admiration, too) for the entire summer.

  • Seldom does any activity start in high gear. A high energy beginning by you, however – coupled with a bit of friction, if necessary – will get the job done in short order. Insist that everyone listen whenever you are giving commands or making teaching points. Tolerate no chitchat. Before long, everyone will get into the spirit and flow of the lesson.

  • For some clinics – tennis, guitar, wrestling, for example – boys of significantly different level of proficiency will be enrolled. You must be prepared to offer both a beginner clinic and an advanced clinic during the same time slot. Best be advised to know your boys’ skill levels beforehand so that you can consult with the Program Director about having extra clinicians or more space to conduct your clinic

  • Each activity will be assigned a “head counselor” whose additional duties will be as follows:

  1. Approve the existing written clinic guideline or offer his own supplement/replacement. In either case, the head assumes the responsibility for the adherence to these procedures by all other counselors working in his activity. Try to find a way to use any CIT interested in your activity in a productive manner for both him and the campers. At no time should a CIT be left in charge without approval from the program director.

  2. Enforce established safety regulations and both identify and manage environmental and other hazards relating to the activity.

  3. Apply emergency health care procedures related to the activity and its participants.

  4. Implement a system to monitor program equipment used by the campers and staff. All equipment should be regularly checked for safety, maintained in good repair, and stored in a manner to safeguard its effectiveness. Please do not condone any misuse of the equipment. A simple procedure governs this rule: The first person to arrive and the last person to leave the clinic site is YOU. Submit maintenance requests in writing to me, please. ASK FOR REPLACEMENT GEAR WELL IN ADVANCE OF TRUE NEED

  5. Meet with appropriate leaders on a regular basis to review all of the aforementioned duties.

  • While we no longer have Emblem days, we do from time to time schedule “never before” clinic to first-timers as well as “special clinics” that take just one day to complete. Please speak with the Program Director early in the summer about your ideas on specialty clinics. Even short-term specialty clinics should have a “master” written plan. We need to remember what we did in the very popular ones of the past couple years. Please remember to leave each clinic site in A-1 condition for the next user. This prime Kingswood rule has universal merit!

  • Soccer clinics should gather and shoot away from the near side 18 (grass damage from over-use)

  • Tennis coaches please maintain a “used up, no good” tennis ball bag for use in camp games. Balls in hoppers should not be used unless Klaus is there to oversee.

  • Lastly, please remember that good fellowship, good sportsmanship, and good fun for all is the Kingswood way in clinics.

Factories operating at 100% capacity seldom operate at 100% efficiency. It is Kingswood’s goal to beat those odds and all of the policies and procedures which follow are aimed at this outcome.

Never forget that your primary responsibility is to be a good role model for the boys. They will mimic and emulate your actions, words, and even your thoughts. Contact with people of your age will have a profound effect on the shaping of their characters. When you dwell on this thought, you come to realize that none of your non-camp peers is doing a more important job this summer.


“A late camp is a lousy camp.” While we at Kingswood take a far less rigid approach than most camps, we absolutely insist that scheduled events begin on time. No action can improve the potential of a successful activity more than a counselor who shows up on time, presses his charges to be there, too, and has an organized plan. Use your voice whenever you know that boys are running late to anything – including meals! On the flip side, remember that scheduled activities like clinics must run the entire duration. Don’t let kids go too early. Beware: I watch like a hawk for punctuality and you could not find a better way to stay on my good side.


While we do not have a stringent set of rules and regulations here at Kingswood, those that we list are very important to the safety, health and happiness of the entire community. The American Camp Association standards require us even to state with emphasis that ALL WATERFRONT RULES AND PROCEDURES APPLY EQUALLY AND TOTALLY TO BOTH CAMPERS AND STAFF. While the above statement satisfies the standard applicable to that particular area, allow me to add with equal emphasis that ALL KINGSWOOD RULES APPLY EQUALLY AND TOTALLY TO BOTH CAMPERS AND STAFF.


At Kingswood, we feel the youngest campers have specific needs which set them apart from the older boys. The following items receive special emphasis:

  1. A 1:3 counselor to camper ratio is maintained in the sleeping cabins.

  2. The locations of the junior camper cabins are guided by such considerations as proximity to the bathrooms, directors’ cottages, and the infirmary.

  3. Juniors are given both guidance and assistance during morning cleanup.

  4. Before each block of activities commences, counselors review the upcoming schedule with the entire cabin. “Bush patrols” always keep an eye open for “little guys” who might need assistance in getting pointed in the right direction.

  5. Understand that younger boys have shorter attention spans than do older campers. Clinics may need to be broken up into smaller components and more frequent breaks built into activities. At no time, however, should junior activities be short changed or ended early.

  6. Each evening, the on-duty cabin counselor supervises the boys’ visit to the wash house and thereafter settles them down with a nighttime story or other quiet group activity. Invite the directors or nurses to stop by to give assurances that all is going well.

  7. During the first three nights of each session, one counselor remains inside the cabin throughout, and thereafter once lights are out, a patrol is stationed outside the cabin within close range until off-duty counselors return to the cabin to go to bed. No one leaves the property on these first three nights.

  8. CIT’s are usually assigned to the junior camper cabins. Use your CIT as a third counselor but never ask him to perform more than his share of the duties and never to do things you know are your responsibility alone.


This is a good spot to insert the reminder that we have no pecking order here at Kingswood when it comes to duties and responsibilities. From the Wipflers down to the youngest campers, we all share in the task of creating and maintaining a wholesome, smoothly functioning community. No ugly job gets passed down the ladder. DO IT YOURSELF!

Guides, the 15 year old boys, are given special treatment, too, which sets them apart from normal campers. While it is true that boys this age need lots of down time -- legitimate chunks each day where they are free to hang out – it is equally important that they get a good dose of staff (your) time. These kids look up to and emulate those of you just a couple years older than they are. Hang out with Guides and engage them in wholesome conversation (pretend that parental hidden camera is recording!) When camp is the issue, urge them to help in clinics, at least one per week where they will be present every day, assisting in the instruction. Tell them, too, how impressed you will be to see some Guide initiative during sponsorships time. A whole bunch of activities – Stealth, hide and seek, crazy Olympics, lip sync and Haunted Forest – seem to go very well when Guides are on hand. Guides are exempt on Sundays and instead are asked to supervise the younger cabins’ assignments. Also on Sunday, the Guides will cull all lost and found, return items with names to campers, and set out other items on the salad bar table after a meal. They will hold up only non-marked items of “worth,” tossing the unmarked/soiled items such as socks. They will chase down the list of names so that by the end of Sunday dinner, the lost and found box will be truly empty.

Guides always want privileges – to skip a clinic, late lights, a trip to Hanover. Remind them it is very easy to say “yes” to Guides who set a good example for the rest of the campers. Try to speak privately with Guides you adjudge to be future staff material. Flatter them by urging them to keep Kingswood in their future sights. If Guides get out of hand, which they surely will do from time to time, be prepared to leap into the fray at once to set them straight. 15 year olds are notorious testers of limits and they absolutely expect to see your face before, not after, the wheels fall off.

Guides are NOT exempt from inspection. After an incident which included Mr. Wiff scrubbing toilets last summer, the following addendum has been added, “The Guides must scrub their toilets daily. Guide Director is responsible to see this 15 second chore is done.”

Starting this year, one Patrol each evening will be a Guide Patrol, GP on the duty roster, and will make it a point to be in and around the building several times during that day. At night, he will engage the Guides in a wholesome way, unobtrusively but clearly monitoring them.

CIT’s are 16 year olds who are at camp to experience a program designed to transition them from camper to counselor. One thing we all need to remember: CIT’s are campers – they are paying customers. They are taking on more responsibilities, but cannot be used as full staff. CIT’s go through meetings similar to staff Hell Week meetings and have their own manual designed to teach them about what it takes to be a good counselor. They will look up to you and seek you out as mentors. Once a CIT is assigned to a cabin, you can expect them to be in the cabin during clean-up, bed-time, and rest hour, if needed. CIT’s will be assigned to clinics they are interested in to observe and assist in the first two weeks, and will transition to leading a clinic by the final week of the session. The lead counselor in a cabin and the observing “master clinician” will be asked to complete a brief evaluation of the CIT to help us determine their eligibility as staff the following summer. If you have immediate feedback or concerns, please speak directly to the CIT directors or any Wipfler.


First year staff have never been on staff before. They could have been CIT’s previously, took some time off after being a camper, or have never been to Kingswood. Whatever the case may be, make it your business to show these first year’s the ropes, and welcome them into the Kingswood staff family. First year staff will be assigned a mentor on the administrative team during Hell Week, and will meet weekly to discuss camper/staff issues, clinic progress, time off planning, strengths, areas of improvement, etc. These meetings should be viewed as an opportunity to express successes, concerns, and genuinely talk about how the summer is progressing. There will be meetings for first year staff during Hell Week and potentially during the session to continue training and orientation.


Please know that as a family, we love running Kingswood. The camp “defines” us and never is far from our foremost thoughts at any time. This comprehended, understand that only Wipflers are responsible for what we call “the world view” of camp and, accordingly, are oftentimes weighted down by hundreds of issues, requests and details at any moment in time. I sometimes use the phrase “Overtaken by events,” to describe my countenance. Be patient, as OBE’s usually pass as soon as I have a moment’s respite. So, don’t bother us in our respective cottages unless invited or if you have a camp issue that simply cannot wait. “Wiff-drawals” do not count. Lastly, never lie to a Wipfler.


“I do not mind spending thousands to improve the facility, but the thought of a deliberately crushed ping pong ball drives me up a tree.” I expect your support in guarding against misuse of every piece of gear on this property. Always conclude your activity by overseeing the proper return and storage of the equipment used. YOU must be present at the storage site to ascertain that everything has been returned in good condition. A general Kingswood rule is that the lead counselor is the last person to leave an activity area. Equipment maintenance requests and new purchase requests (wishlists) should be made to me in writing. Don’t just toss broken equipment. Tell us first.

Everyone should be on board for the desire to always have a tidy look to the campus. It makes such an incredible statement about our community when everything is picked up. Join me in sponsoring the Director’s stoop and pick up loose bits of litter. I would like to see more stress given to cabin appearances on the exterior. Make a point to pick up debris around and under steps, cobwebs about the building, clotheslines. Two minutes per day could make a big difference. Don’t let the frisbee golf poles or the fences collapse. Don’t allow gear – or even chairs and tables – to wander. If everyone would agree to assume a small iota of responsibility for campus neatness, Kingswood could be one of the most beautiful campsites in America.

Please do not assume that staffmen enjoy blanket permission to use any and all camp equipment themselves. Common sense tells you that a counselor who never has sailed should not be taking out a sailboat by himself during a free period. Please, therefore, ask permission to use any piece of equipment not directly associated with your responsibilities. Some specific rules are:

  1. No one may use any kitchen equipment without the cook’s or the director’s permission.

  2. The powerboats may only be used by staff trained and licensed to use them. No exceptions.

  3. All equipment, without exception, kept under the Dining Room or in any other locked storage site, may be used only with the expressed consent of the administrative leaders of the camp. It is imperative that no counselor or CIT use any piece of power equipment or flammable material unless being supervised by someone authorized to do so.

  4. Any equipment that has the potential to do physical harm – rifles, bows & arrows, lacrosse gear, baseball equipment, golf clubs may be used only under clinic conditions.

  5. The infirmary medicine cabinet is kept locked whenever the nurse is out of the building. A note will be attached to the door indicating her whereabouts. No one uses infirmary materials without the nurse’s permission. However, you may use the emergency first aid kits located under the Main Lodge, in the kitchen, laundry room, and hoops + lacrosse equipment sheds.


The camp encourages staff to bring such special personal equipment they deem beneficial to their summer experience. The lone exception are implements considered weapons, which are prohibited, unless I give permission for you to bring, say, your personal target rifle or bow. Personal equipment should be used only in appropriate circumstances and should never interfere with the program. The camp will take reasonable measures to safeguard your equipment but cannot guarantee its protection and will not be held liable in case of loss or damage. In the event that you occasionally use your personal vehicle to transport campers, you must give me written authorization from the owner of the vehicle granting permission to use the vehicle for this purpose. Remember, too, when you pack up to depart at summer’s end that you make the distinction between equipment you own personally and that of the camp.

If you have your car at camp and are on the insurance list of drivers, you are permitted by our insurance policy to drive campers from time to time. Understand that your policy is the “prime” protector and that Kingswood’s policy kicks in after yours reaches its limit. Kingswood would help you pay for incidental damages to your vehicle, not subject to reimbursement by your policy. It is suggested that campers always travel in the back seat. All driving rules listed elsewhere in this manual apply to you when you are driving your own vehicle. As a general rule, of course we prefer to use camp vehicles for all travel.

Counselors are reminded to keep your personal medications at the infirmary or completely out of sight of the campers. You could be personally held liable if a camper ingested any of your meds.

Use scheduled free time wisely – to rest, write a letter, take a shower, run an errand. Remember the importance of punctuality when your free time has expired. Distinguish, too, between scheduled, designated “free time” and unassigned, on-duty time such as meals, group gatherings, and rest hour. A general rule to follow when not specifically assigned is to GO WHERE THE CAMPERS ARE.


A rest hour nap usually won’t be sufficient catch-up on needed rest. Monitor your energy and self-impose a bedtime curfew whenever you sense a lull coming on. Additionally, DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO TIRE AS THE SUMMER WEARS ON. Current studies show that after just three consecutive nights of less than six hours sleep, physiological wear and tear commences, even for young people, and accelerates if sustained rest is not forthcoming. A fatigued counselor simply loses the will to follow up on his many responsibilities. Kids see this, exploit your flagging attention, and breakdowns occur. A real pro paces himself so that he has nearly as much energy at the end of camp as he did at the start.

How Sleep deprived are you?

Hardly ever = 1 point, Sometimes = 2 points, Almost always = 3 points

  1. I sleep through reveille and have trouble getting out of bed.

  2. I get annoyed by trivial matters because I am tired.

  3. I have a difficult time concentrating or find myself dozing during the day.

  4. Fatigue is the main reason I do not offer more sponsorships.

  5. I find I get sick with cold symptoms easily.

  6. I am needlessly grumpy during rest hour because I am tired

  7. I need caffeine to stay alert during the day.

  8. I struggle to keep my eyes open when I am off duty at night.

  9. At bedtime, I am asleep five minutes after my head hits the pillow.

  10. I wake up at night and find it difficult to fall back asleep.

Total your points

10-15: You are an A-1 sleeper

16-24: Your sleep debt is growing. Take care of the problem now

25-30: You are exhausted. Research suggests you force yourself to go to bed earlier for at least 10 days.

(Fahey, V. 1993. Health 9 (7), 16)


The patrol group for each day will help oversee the CIT’s and act as Dining Room Managers. They may divide the task so that only one counselor at a time is on duty. Otherwise, they will eat either before the meal, after the meal, or during the meal while on their feet as facilitators. Do not sit on the counter.

  • Pour and put out the hand-washing buckets.

  • Invite early arriving campers to take down benches, distribute plates and silverware.

  • Remind me to ring the bell a second time if stragglers are slowing things down.

  • Be sure that every table has staff supervision. Help redirect boys if any tables are closed..

  • After grace, help enforce the order of approach to the counter: Trays, then liquids, then salad bar table.

  • Supervise the salad bar and leftover tables. Enforce the “one person at a time from each table” rule at the front tables and the counter.

  • Keep boys and counselors at their assigned tables throughout the meal. Do not condone any horseplay

  • Approve appropriate requests to leave the room.

  • Help page campers receiving phone calls. Bang a pot to get everyone’s attention. Assist us in enforcing the “Seven minute phone call rule.” Be especially alert to “eat and run” meals such as when we have an early sports game. Unsupervised tables may be a hidden consequence.

  • Give everyone an adequate amount of time to eat, but give heads ups to the slower tables.

  • Oversee table clearing activities. Remind table waiters to be certain counter space is available before bringing up their trays. Organize the counter area to maintain an efficient process. Use those white barrel tables. Keep fresh liners on all garbage cans and never leave the cans unattended.

  • Administer desserts, both those eaten at the tables and the carryouts.

  • Help oversee dismissal of tables by rows with “benches up” command. Ask boys to pick up loose papers as they depart. Distribute packages.

  • Retrieve buckets, close doors, pick up lost and found, and attend to any requests made by the kitchen.


  1. Be on time for meals. You may not skip any meals unless you are “off duty.” Same applies to all campers and CIT’s. Take attendance and alert the DRM of any AWOL’s.

  2. Wear clean clothing and footwear. Campers, too. Insist that boys use the sanitation supplies we have – buckets or sanitizers. 15 seconds of friction is advised.

  3. Serve food in proportion to the number of people present, especially when doling out first portions. Counselors, too, take a modest amount on the first serving. While everyone is entitled to eat as much as he pleases, make sure to underscore the “moral component of waste.” Simply stated, we expect to see very little food going into the trash barrel. “Food waste carries a moral weight with directors.”

  4. Insist on a civilized demeanor at your table. Ask the boys not to play with the food or engage in any horseplay. No binge contests, please, and minimize those silly clearing games!

  5. Neither you nor the boys are to get up and leave the table without genuine good reason. If you are must be absent from the table for any length of time (eat and run, meetings) please inform the DRM. Unless permission if granted, the porch is off limits to everyone during meals. Stay out of the kitchen unless the cooks have a reason for you to be there.

  6. Follow closely all instructions for serving and clearing the tables.

  7. Make sure the boys pay close attention during announcements.


Without good supervision the above are prone to devolve into “me-first” shoving matches, sloppy manners, and sometimes a loss of control over the boys. Don’t allow any of this to happen. The SC of the day is in charge of cookouts. Campers go first through the lines. Counselors take the same portion as the boys. NO DOUBLE BURGERS! THIS APPLIES TO ALL STAFF. While you are welcome to sit anywhere you please, remember that you are “on duty,” and, as such, you are to keep a keen eye on the campers. Don’t allow them to abuse the food (one kid tossed his chicken bones into the lake), leave a mess behind for others to pick up, engage in any kind of horseplay either during or after they’ve eaten, or leave the general area before we reassemble in the council fire area for announcements.

Ice cream parties, too, can benefit from the same general guidelines as above. Let’s put a bit more teeth into the ice cream party “scoop size” procedure. Cabins AND THEIR COUNSELORS who squeeze in with a 3.1 average should get lots less than the top groups. A camp administrator will be on hand for parties to help enforce the above.


As a general rule, no one – campers or counselors – goes into the kitchen during mealtimes unless he is helping serve the meal. Please be sensitive to the cooks’ needs to have an uncluttered mind during the critical moments when each meal comes together. Remember, too, that the Wipflers would not take a slice of bread from the kitchen without permission from the cook. The same obviously holds for you, too. Staff are not to eat or congregate at the CIT kitchen table. The cooks are happy to leave out extra food and other snacks at night time for the counselors and CIT’s so long as this privilege is not abused in any way. Raiding the locked-up supplies or leaving a mess behind is a sure-fire way to lose the privilege.


It is a beautiful Kingswood tradition that counselors recognize boys for achievements – large or small – on a regular basis in the dining room. Please limit the effort to “top” the other guy’s announcement. Teasing one another is permitted so long as it is used in good taste and that no sensitive boys (or staff) are embarrassed. Please be exceptionally careful with the likes of the life-preserver punishment. I insist the Wipflers remain “above the fray.” Please remember, too, that there is a very fine line between genuine camp exuberance and out-of-control hysteria.


The PA system is used for legitimate announcements only. Make sure a whistle always is attached to the microphone cord. Any exception to this firm rule must be cleared beforehand with admin.


The 5556 LINE MUST BE KEPT OPEN FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES. Please do not give out the camp phone number to friends and ask them to call you. 603-989-5435 is the kitchen phone and you may receive calls at meals like anyone else. Seven minutes, please. Campers may not use either the camp phones or the staff phone under practically all circumstances. Follow up on any suspicions.


A single washer and dryer are located in the Mail Room. You may use this equipment during free time but please do not leave your clothing there for days on end. Respect other people’s right to use the equipment. The Mail Room bathroom historically has been abused by both campers and staff. While it is there for an occasional use by anyone, it is not to be considered anybody’s favorite haunt.


Mail normally arrives at the start of the rest hour period. Guides are assigned to sort out the mail and distribute it to the cabins during rest hour. Be patient: Guides will be coming to the cabin soon enough. Strongly discourage your campers from loitering in the mail room area. All packages must be opened in your presence and foodstuffs received distributed only by the strict cabin procedures you have outlined on the first day of camp. Please be very consistent in enforcing all mail room policies. Outgoing mail is placed in the wire container just inside the door. We are happy to supply postage stamps.


Encourage boys to use rest hour or pre-bed time to write letters home. Remind them that the more they write, the more they will receive in return. If you know that a boy is writing an “unhappy letter,” (especially prevalent early in the session,) make no effort to censure the letter. Talk to the boy, and for certain, bring the issue to my attention.


Please make it your business to cordially greet all visitors to camp. Not only is it polite but a helpful word to a guest makes a great statement about Kingswood as a community. When the guest is a relative of a camper, speak initially of positive things only and never make any disparaging comments. Absolutely, we will speak honestly with parents of boys who have had trouble at camp, but not without beforehand making plans on how to best approach the issue. The initial greeting in not the time to talk about sensitive or negative things.

Parents have been informed that gratuities are not expected of them to you. Whenever parents have insisted, I have relented by saying, “O.K., but keep the amount in the pizza range.” Under no circumstances should you ever discuss “tips” with the boys. Any endeavor to politic for gratuities is considered a blatantly unprofessional action and is well beneath Kingswood’s dignity.

Be very careful about inviting your own guests to visit camp. In the past, no matter how accommodating and gracious staff visitors have been, they have tended to get in the way of your doing your job. Please come to me well beforehand with any requests and understand that my most generous response will be along the lines of one supper, evening and breakfast only. Try to have company off the property on their own during inspection, clinic and A/B block time frames when you are busy with the boys.

Some visitors really are not welcome at all and these are the occasional strangers who ask to use our facility for camping, picnicking, or as access to the lake. To save time and other disruption, please inform them politely that as a private camp, our insurance policy strictly forbids the use of our facility by persons outside our community. Neither relent nor send them to me in hopes that their case may be the exception to the rule. In the event that you confront a genuine intruder (someone attempting to steal equipment, for example,) do not resort to any physical means; rather, gather information such as license plate number or a very good description of the person(s) that we can hand over to the police.

Immediate neighbors fit into none of the categories listed above. Those who identify themselves as such may indeed be sent to the directors. While on the subject of neighbors, allow me to remind you that we have a great respect for our neighbors, their property and their need for the peace and quiet which summer life in Piermont affords them. A few years ago, some local signs were stolen and displayed in the staff shack. Please, never again!


Whenever we leave the property with a group of boys – regardless of group size, ages of participants, or destination, the following procedures pertain:

  1. Each van driver or bus chaperone should make an accurate head count that agrees with the written list of participants. The nurse or director should have a duplicate list. Upon conclusion of the event, the count must be verified.

  2. Each camper picks a buddy and stays with him throughout the event. Each pair nonetheless stays with the group, too.

  3. Upon arriving at the event but before the boys depart the vehicle, specific instructions pertaining to safety procedures (e.g., separation from the group, approaches by strangers, walking public roads, using restrooms) shall be reviewed.


No camper is released to any person we do not know unless written or oral permission is received from the boy’s parent or guardian. Only the directors may authorize boys to leave the property with persons other than camp personnel. (Example: boys inviting friends to join them for Parents Weekend excursions.)
TRIPS PROCEDURES (All overnights and most day trips)

  1. Whenever possible, organize your trip a day or two in advance. One of the staff present must have first aid training and CPR. Promote the trip at meals and get a preliminary sign-up list at the picnic tables after a meal.

  2. Save time for a thorough review of the itinerary with the director. He can help you prepare for many contingencies. Bring pencil and paper.

  3. Conduct an orientation meeting the day before departure. Make attendance mandatory. In one corner of the Great Room, you will find a laminated, generic meeting agenda. An organized 30+ minutes in a quiet place will save you hours of agony later on.

  4. Trips need lots of prep time, regardless of scope, for counselors and campers alike. Be very precise with your departure hour and bargain with the directors for release time to allow for non-hectic preparations. Use your authority to get all boys working together to promote a timely departure.

  5. Review the list of participants with the nurse. Post the list of participants on the cork bulletin board on the dining room porch.

  6. Once everyone is buckled up in the van, consult the in-van departure list for one last check of everything you need to remember. Once en route, never be in a hurry to drive to or from your destination. Make no unauthorized stops. If you will be late getting home, call camp.

  7. Always be aware of the importance of not getting the group even minimally separated. Stop at any even mildly confusing juncture. Stop every so often to allow stragglers to catch up. Take head counts. One trick I used over the years was to insist the slowest campers take the lead and hold it! If you do get separated, keep the main group together while a search party goes in pursuit of the missing members. Let’s be sure to discuss this topic at length during orientation week.

  8. Persons using camp stoves must be instructed in their proper use and care and be certified by the director.

  9. Trip leaders must carry a copy of the “Minimal Impact Camping” section of the Clinic Manual on each trip as a reference guide to obtaining proper drinking water, safe and sanitary food preparation, cleaning and sanitation of utensils, and applicable procedures for safeguarding the environment.

10. Upon returning to camp, make specific clean-up and equipment return assignments.

YOU, and no one else, are responsible for the details of closure at trip’s end.

Hiking trips: It is essential that trip leaders meet beforehand with boys going on overnight trips. The following is a step-by-step list of protocol for you to follow:

  1. Get a list of boys who are going. Once your meeting is over, take the list at once to the nurse. Review the names with her at that time, as you may become alerted to special diets or medications that MUST be taken along.

  2. Get out maps of the area where the trip is going. Show every boy the routes to be taken. Make special note of trailheads, junctions, elevations gained and lost, areas to get water, total mileage to be hiked, potential campsites, tent assignments and food plans. Discuss with all staff on trip any “avenues of retreat” that could be necessitated by weather conditions or emergencies.

  3. Always discuss “hiking strategies” as a team. Assign the point man and trailer. Topics to include are (a) the first hour, (b) that second wind, (c) hot spots, hydration issues, sunstroke, (d) emergency procedures. Send boys off to gather clothing and gear. Take boys to the War Room who need to be outfitted with camp gear. Please write down the name and what was borrowed on the form posted inside the room. Do not split tent gear on hikes.

Day hikes: Since most day hikes are organized just prior to departure, cool heads need to prevail. Inexperienced campers are sure to be among the mix. Be sure to check campers’ shoes. Insist that boys either carry a day pack or make arrangements with a friend to share packs. Water bottles are a must, too, as is appropriate rain gear and a cold weather garment, regardless of conditions at the point of departure. Treat each day hike as if it were a lengthy expedition and remember: “Never condescend to the mountains!”
Canoe trips: Kingswood canoe trips, while never overly-demanding, nonetheless are not mere rides. Make sure all boys understand their paddling responsibilities. Know who are your weak swimmers and inexperienced paddlers. Assign those boys to staff canoes. You, not the boys, make all canoe assignments. Insist that life jackets be worn. Discuss protective gear and sun block use. Make provisions to get the canoe trailer properly loaded and hitched. Any swimming must be supervised by a credentialed staffman who will enforce the same rules that apply on the camp waterfront.
Swim trips: Wear footgear at all times. Sun block is advised. Select buddies during the van ride. Verify the head count, including staff. Lifeguard must inspect today’s conditions (volume, current, eddies, alterations of flow) before boys may swim. Advise boys that all mossy and/or wet spots tend to be very slippery. No boys may swim out of view of the lifeguards. At least one counselor present must have lifeguard training certification. This person is responsible for bringing appropriate safety equipment (life jackets, rescue tube, reach-pole). Boys who have not passed the Kingswood swim test must wear life jackets and stay in the area closest to the lifeguard. No exceptions! MAKE A HEAD COUNT EVERY 5 MINUTES. At Sawyer River, the entire “opposite side” rocks are off limits. At Big Eddy, no one may jump off the bridge. All jumps which must clear other rocks below are prohibited. Give departure notifications starting ten minutes before leaving. Take a final head count and a last sweep for gear. Make no unauthorized stops going or coming home.
Fishing trips: Spend lots of time instructing boys on the proper and safe use of their gear. Canoe trip and swim trip guidelines cited above apply to all fishing trips. Consult the Clinic Manual for additional fishing protocol.
Tarleton area trips: As we develop more interest in the network of trails and campsites in the close vicinity of camp, we can expect to have the flexibility to engage in “last minute” trips and “big gang” trips. NEVER BE CASUAL about these excursions. The entire procedures list in this section applies. Allow more not less time to get prepared. One good idea is to take mostly dry or prepared food on trips with larger numbers.
Trips to public places: We have written procedures for annual trips to places like Woodsville on July 4 and the Whale’s Tale. They contain guidelines for supervision responsibilities, safety regulations, and emergency procedures for missing persons. Be sure to ask for a copy if you are assigned to lead a trip to any public place since the procedures are universally applicable.

Whenever activities with girls camps are on tap, Kingswood’s first rule is abide by a gentleman’s behavior. Taunting, roughness, and innuendo have absolutely no place in our community. The girls, too, can be the perpetrators. A few strategies are called for:

  1. Be on time and have a specific plan for the event.

  2. Greet the girls and their supervisors warmly, but lay out the ground rules seriously and firmly.

  3. Be strict, especially at the start. You don’t need to make a federal case of mild transgressions but take some overt action for all to see. In sports, sit down players for a few minutes and speak to the entire group before letting the violators back in. In social events, have plenty of supervision and follow up on suspicious activities. Also, there is no substitute for using a semblance of good judgment. No one’s intentions are truly evil, I am pretty confident, but kids will try to get away with mild violations if they sense that supervision is lax.

  4. At the first signal that things may be deteriorating come fetch the top administrative people. Err on the conservative side.

  5. Our counselors should treat their staff with respect, too.


As an American Camp Association accredited camp, Kingswood recognizes the need for the camp to have written procedures for activities that require special equipment that has potentially dangerous consequences if not used properly. We now go considerably beyond the ACA standards to certify nearly all staff in written procedures in the areas of supervision, participation, safety, program and equipment.

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