Frequently Asked Camp Questions
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Further Questions? Contact our Program Coordinator, at (617) 227-5838 ext. 140.
Registration & Payment Information
Should I sign my 5 year old up for Kiddie Kamp or Day Camp?
Let us help you decide - the major differences between the two camps are all listed here.
Can I sign up for a single day of camp?
No, but you may sign up for individual weeks.
What about refunds or credits?
Participants may pay for summer camp through our secure website or at Hill House's main office (127 Mount Vernon Street in Beacon Hill). All sessions must be paid for in full seven days prior to the start of the program.
Camp tuition includes a non-refundable 20% deposit per session, per child. Should your summer plans change, notify us as soon as possible. Please review our refund policy and eligibility dates:
- By May 1: 80% (full refund less the non-refundable deposit).
- By May 30: 30% (50% refund less the non-refundable deposit).
- May 31 onward: no refunds.
A payment plan option is also available. This plan includes five payments of 20% upon registration and then due March 1, April 1, May 1 and June 1. This also includes an initial 20% deposit.
What paperwork/permission slips are required?
By June 1, a parent or guardian must submit a completed recent physical exam, a signed immunization record valid within the last two years and pick-up authorization that authorizes other individuals to pick up your child from camp. Please note that all individuals who pick up a camper must have proper photo ID and be listed on the pick-up authorization. The forms can be found in your new CampMinder account! Many forms are digital but these listed above can be uploaded right into CampMinder online.
Permission slips will be issued for each week from Hill House and, occasionally, an additional waiver will be required by the location Day Campers are visiting for their field trip. All forms will be available on your CampMinder account and can be filled out digitally.
Please note that your child will not be able to attend camp until we have received all required paperwork and forms. All forms are due on June 1.
Yes, summer camp staff is professionally trained by the American Heart Association and/or American Red Cross in First Aid, CPR, and AED use. Staff members also carry a First Aid kit at all times.
What are the qualifications of camp instructors and staff?
Camp instructors and staff vary in age (all are at least 18 years of age), and are fully qualified for their role in Hill House Summer Camps. All summer staff attend a 4-day training program at the beginning of the summer. All instructors and staff compete a lengthy interview process, and must pass both a criminal background (CORI) and sex offender (SORI) check.
If I had a medical form from last year's camp, can I use it?
No. Parents and guardians must submit a new medical form and signed waiver every year. Once you've applied to camp via our new CampMinder system, there will be less paperwork for you to fill out moving forward as your camp account will carry onwards to next year.
What if my child is on daily or prescribed medication?
Hill House is not able to distribute prescribed medication, and under no circumstance should a camper self-medicate. If you have special circumstances or needs, please call (617) 227-5838 ext. 100.
*This camp must comply with the regulations of the MDPH and be licensed by the LBOH.*
Activities, Field Trips and Sports
Do campers have a choice of activities during the day? What are their options?
Yes, choice time has been built into Classic Camp for our 5-12 year old campers and the age-specific Sports, Theater, Film and Sailing Options. Sailing is an additional cost and can be chosen when enrolling in camp. Day Campers will have a daily opportunity to read, play board games, participate in art, cooking, sports and nature projects, among many more activities.
How competitive is Hill House Summer Camp?
All programs at Hill House are fun and non-competitive. There is friendly competition during sports and games, but sportsmanship and teamwork are emphasized.
Will my child be swimming? What if my child doesn't know how to swim?
Both Classic and Sports Campers will swim at the Charles River Park Pool on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Campers who pass a swim test will be allowed to swim in the shallow end of the pool. Once a child passes the test, they do not need to take it again. Campers who do not pass the test are allowed to play in the Alfond Spray Deck along the Esplanade. These areas provide American Red Cross trained and certified lifeguards, and our summer staff are with campers in the pool and in the spray deck at all times.
How deep is the spray deck that Kiddie Kamp visits on Wednesdays and Fridays?
The spray deck is a flat surface on the Esplanade that uses sprays of varying heights. Although campers will certainly get wet, they cannot be fully submerged while at the spray deck. The spray deck lifeguards are Red Cross-trained and certified and staff are required to be in the spray deck while campers are enjoying the water activities.
Do you have to pay extra for field trips?
No, the cost of field trips is included in the weekly camp fee. Campers are NOT permitted to bring spending money on field trips unless otherwise specified. Please remember to pack a nut-free lunch, snack and drink for field trip days, as on every other day. Kiddie Kamp does not go on field trips, though they do have visitors come to the Firehouse for their weekly on-site adventures.
Does Hill House provide lunch or snacks?
Do I need to fill out any paperwork?
Yes but the big forms are now digital and part of the enrollment process. Additionally, all campers must have a signed copy of their immunization record from their pediatrician in order to attend camp. This can be uploaded into your CampMinder account. These help your child's counselor and the camp staff to learn more about your camper before they arrive at camp. Forms are due on June 1.
What happens if it rains or is excessively hot?
In the case of inclement weather during camp, campers stay at the Firehouse and participate in fun indoor activities such as team games, board games, and art projects. Outdoor camps will be moved to the Firehouse. If it is excessively hot, campers are kept cool by drinking plenty of water and enjoying relaxing activities. All parents will be notified via email and phone of any changes in drop off or pickup location.
Do you accommodate children with special needs?
Yes, we are able to accommodate campers with special needs. Please call (617) 227-5838 ext. 100 to discuss how we can ensure your child has an incredible summer at Hill House.
What is the behavior and discipline plan?
Hill House is committed to providing a safe, fun-filled experience for all campers. This is the cornerstone of our approach to discipline and behavior management. It is our firm belief that consistent, clear communication with children and parents is the key to problem solving. Further, we recognize that parents know their children best and we value the input and strategic advice we receive from you.
If a child's behavior is in violation of our Camper Code of Conduct (available in the A-Z Summer Camp Guide) we will address the issue in an appropriate way with the child, will follow up with a parent/caregiver and finalize the process with a write-up to clarify the appropriate action. Our Parent Feedback Form serves to document the progress an ongoing status of any issues that arise, and confirms the parent's participation in this process.
We also understand that sensory, cognitive, physical and learning differences can present challenges for some children in the camp environment. In these instances, we work with parents to accommodate these challenges as best we can.
If you have any concerns or wish to file a grievance, please contact Lauren Hoops-Schmieg, Executive Director, at (617) 227-5838 extension 180.
Can my child be in a group with their friends?
Yes, as long as the children are of similar age and in the same camp. Please submit friend requests at least one week before your child attends camp. Hill House will make every effort to honor these requests. Please keep in mind that if your child is not matched in the same group as a friend, there are many times during the day where children of the same age will mix; such as swimming, lunch, and outdoor games.
What is my child NOT allowed to bring to camp?
All personal items and toys should be kept at home, including iPods, cameras and similar equipment. Campers are not allowed to bring weapons of any kind to camp. The Camp Director will immediately notify parents if a camper has an item which is not permitted at camp.
Can I visit camp before signing my child up?
Yes! Feel free to stop by the Firehouse (127 Mt. Vernon Street in Beacon Hill) Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
What if my child is 5 or turning 5 right before the camps begin?
Summer Day Camp is for ages 5-12 and is offered only in a full day format (9:00 am-4:00 pm), while Kiddie Kamp is for ages 3-5 and is offered from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm daily. When choosing a camp, keep in mind the specific needs of your child, and which age group may best them best. Generally, we find that whenever there is a question between Kiddie Kamp and Day Camp, Kiddie Kamp is the better fit.
Where are pickup and drop off locations?
Day Camp: Firehouse (127 Mt. Vernon Street)
Day Camp includes Classic Camp as well as Sports, Theater, Film and Sailing Option campers.
Kiddie Kamp: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: Firehouse (127 Mt. Vernon Street)
Wednesday and Friday: Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields (on the Esplanade)
Can I pick up my child early or drop them off late?
Picking up your child early or dropping them off late can disrupt the camp without prior notification. Please notify the Camp Director 24 hours before or the request cannot be guaranteed. If you are running late or your child is sick and you have not notified the appropriate Camp Team Leader, please contact the Program Coordinator at (617) 227-5838 ext. 140.
My child wears diapers or is not fully potty trained. Can they still attend camp?
No, all children must be out of diapers and fully potty trained before they can attend camp.
Where will my child be changing for the pool?
Day Campers change from their swimsuits and into their dry clothes at the pool and are separated by gender. Campers should come to camp already dressed in their bathing suits on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (we swim in the morning) with a change of clothes for after swimming. Please be sure to pack a change of clothes and towel if your child will be swimming.
What is the best way for me to communicate with my child's counselor?
Once camp begins, you may call the main office at (617) 227-5838 ext. 100 and leave a message for a counselor. The staff member will make every effort to return your call within 24 hours.