Finding Out How Your Child is Doing at Camp
It’s natural for parents to feel anxious about how their child is faring at Camp. When parents phone us to ask about their children, we are not instantly available to come to the phone, because we are outside with the children. We commit to returning your call within half a day, and to giving you honest, up-to-date info about your child.
How We'll Keep You Informed
EVERY custodial household gets a telephone report from one of the Camp’s senior staff during the session.
For NEW campers, we also call you in the first three days of Camp, to let you know how your new camper is adjusting.
For parents who live far away and who get this communication by Email, we make sure that the Emails go from a BB Camp’s address so they will not be mistaken as spam.
WHEN MAKING THESE UPDATE CALLS, IF WE CAN’T REACH YOU, WE LEAVE THE UPDATE AS A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE.
We require our staff to log every contact with parents, so that we can check that the contact has been made, and not forgotten.
We post news about Camp regularly through our Email correspondence.
We ask that you trust us not only to take good care of your child, but also to contact you promptly if your child is not doing well at Camp, either emotionally or physically. No news is good news! We will call you if your child is having any significant difficulty (e.g. if he or she is very homesick), but we ask that parents limit their calls to us when possible (so that our staff can spend their time taking care of your children) except under special circumstances of difficulty.
Family Contact Info
If you will be traveling while your child is at Camp, fax or e-mail us the dates, alternate emergency contacts, and/or away-from-home phone number(s). We cannot accept this information over the phone.
Getting in Town With Camp
Our office moves from Winnipeg to Town Island on June 2.
The camp office phone number is (807) 548.4178. The camp office is open 8:30 am until 8:00 pm daily, except when it closes for lunch from approximately 12:00–1:00 pm and for dinner from approximately 6:15–7:15 pm.
Because Camp is in the wilderness, we have intermittent internet access, which means that it could take us up to 24 hours to respond to an email from you.
Notification Email Service
We know how important it is that we keep you informed how your child is doing at Camp; and you know how important it is that we spend our time with your child while she/he is at Camp. In a determined effort to meet both of those needs, we use Email to send out campwide messages to our families. Check your spam/junk folder on the first day of Camp to ensure that our Email has not landed into that folder. Please ensure that the Camp is added as a “safe” address so that you receive our emails.
On the first evening of Camp, you will receive a cabin list highlighting your child’s cabin. If you are sending mail to Camp, write your child's cabin number on the bottom left corner of the envelope (once you have it), along with your child's full name. This facilitates mail sorting at Camp.
All campers are encouraged to send home at least one letter during their time at Camp. Despite our best efforts to get campers to write home, some of them are very creative about avoiding it.
Please remind your children before Camp that it's important for you to receive letters from them, and that writing home is their responsibility. Sending them to Camp with stamped, pre-addressed envelopes also helps. If you reside outside of Canada, we will affix Canadian stamps to the letters. To order Canadian stamps from outside Canada, call Canada Post at 1.800.565.4362.
Children love getting mail at Camp! Your letters to them will take as long to arrive at Camp as theirs from camp take to get home, so begin mailing letters a few days prior to the session if you intend for them to get mail on second day.
BB Camp offers a mail service from the Asper Campus. All families are entitled to deposit up to five letters/camper through the mail service free of charge. Mail is picked up from the Asper Campus Security Desk at least four times a week, typically between 1 – 2 pm and taken directly to the Kenora campsite. For parents wishing to send more than five letters through this system, you will be charged $6.00 plus tax for an additional five letters/camper. Sorry, complimentary mail service is not transferrable to other families – if you don’t use the service or don’t use up all of your five letters, you may not pass on the credit to another family.
To purchase additional mail, please contact the Camp Office.
For Habonim campers, BB Camp does allow families to drop off their mail directly at the bus on the day of departures. Mail should be placed in a ziplocked bag with the child’s name and letters should be numbered if you wish for them to be distributed in a specific order. Letters should be given to the bus counselor.
The package rule flows from what Camp is about: Camp is a vacation for children from the materialism of the city. Camp is their haven from malls, computers, having to own/wear/buy the right (new)stuff in order to belong. We also want to avoid pressuring parents to “produce” and to avoid dividing cabin groups into package “haves” and “have-nots.” Please help us keep camp special for children by supporting the package policy.
We often receive packages from grandparents and other family members who might not know our package policy. In order to avoid having to return these items please inform those who might send something so we don’t have to send them back.
ABSOLUTELY NO BOXES! Use regular envelopes only.
ALL BOXES AND ENVELOPE PACKAGES WILL BE RETURNED TO THE SENDER AT THE SENDER’S EXPENSE.
If your child needs an essential item (such as warmer clothing or replacement eyeglasses), call Brenda (Camp Director) to arrange to send us these items.
If an envelope with a pre-arranged essential item comes to the office and we find unapproved “stuff” in it, we will give your camper the essential item and dispose of the “stuff.”
If your child is having a birthday at Camp, they can receive a birthday package containing anything except items on the “No-Go List”.
When couriers deliver envelopes from outside Canada, there are often customs broker’s charges, which you are responsible for paying. When completing the waybill, you need to indicate to bill the SHIPPER for duty and taxes. We don’t pay these charges, and if such charges are due, we will not accept the courier envelope. Do not use UPS, as their packages are held up at the border and generate brokers’ charges. Use Fed Ex or Purolator.
Phone Call, Fax and E-mail Policy
While separated from home and family, children have the opportunity to develop important independence and communication skills. Camp is an immersion experience! Please explain to your camper that she/he won’t be talking to you on the phone (and why), and that there are lots of caring adults to talk to – counsellors, Section Heads, Directors… We want children to learn to communicate promptly when they’re in difficulty. This is a wonderful developmental opportunity. Tell them Camp is a great place to practice that communication skill, and that the “big people” at Camp really like to listen to kids.
It can be very disruptive for a child who is working hard to make the adjustment to Camp and developing new independence skills to hear a parent’s voice. All the hard work of separating at the camp bus is undone; the child feels renewed separation anxiety and vulnerability. A child who is prone to homesickness can be terribly “undone” by hearing a beloved voice. We find frequent (upbeat) letters to be a less provocative way of reminding your camper how much you love him/her.
Campers may not make or receive phone calls, except on their birthdays. This phone policy does not apply to emergencies at home or at Camp. If a child is very ill, has an accident, or is having significant difficulties at Camp, we will phone you immediately.
We do not allow campers to send or receive faxes, except those that reside outside of Manitoba. We only accept (or send) e-mails for campers who reside outside of Manitoba. Please note that we do not accept more than five emails per camper per session.