frequently asked questions
FAQ for Parents and Campers
Some of our most frequently asked, and answered, questions about Hartford County 4-H Camp!
How do I register my child for camp?
Registration is done online. Follow the Parent Dashboard link on our website. Online Registration starts the 2nd Saturday in February at 9AM. Once you have your password, you can start your family/campers profile, fill out/upload forms, add payment information, anytime.
Upon arrival Sunday, follow the signs to the parking area and proceed down to Volunteer Hall. There you will meet our registrars and the nurse. Once checked in, you and your camper can proceed to the cabin area to set up a bed.
Where do campers sleep?
We have 18 wooded area cabins at our camp, seven on the boys’ side and eleven on the girls’ side. Each cabin will house a Teen Counselor (or two) and nine or ten campers. There are single and bunk beds with mattresses, concrete floors, screened windows with weather shutters, overhead lighting, and electrical outlets. On both the boys’ and the girls’ side, there are adult staff cabin coordinators, available at all hours.
What activities/classes are offered weekly?
On Sunday night, campers choose three activities to take during the week (if you signed up for horseback riding lessons, it will be one of your activities).
Low Ropes/Challenge Course
Arts & Crafts*
Cycling – “Cyclo-cross“
Friendship court games
Horseback Riding Lessons* (pre-sign up required)
Volunteer Hall Games
Ultimate Frisbee/Frisbee Golf
*There may be a small fee for taking the class to cover the costs of materials.
All classes are subject to change based on the talent we have!
When is Check-In & Check-Out?
Check-In begins at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoons. There is no need to arrive early.
Check-Out is on Saturdays between 9:30 am and 11:00 am. If you need to drop off later or pick up earlier, the Camp Director MUST be made aware. There is a slip of paper available at check in to track early pick ups. Your camper is expected to help clean their cabin on Saturday morning before departure. When the cabin has been deemed clean, remaining store money will be returned and campers are free to leave.
Counselors check in is 12:30p on Sunday in Upper Baldwin. Check out is after your last camper has left.
What if I have to cancel or my child is sent home? What if my child gets homesick?
As stated throughout the registration online process and on your invoices, there are no refunds after June 1st. You can cancel and request a full refund up until then.
Homesickness is a very normal, and often temporary, response for some children who attend camp. Proper preparation and preventive measures will allow your child (and you!) to have a great week. With proper handling by parents, staff, and campers, a case of homesickness can be prevented or easily overcome, while the camper gains independence and feelings of success and pride. The camp staff are extensively trained to handle homesickness in a sensitive and compassionate way so that your camper has a great week! In the rare instance that a child is truly struggling, we will contact you.
Here are some tips for camper families to begin the process before their camper even begins packing their bags for camp.
- Encourage sleepovers at a friend or relative’s home prior to camp.
- Plan a visit to camp prior to their camp session. This allows campers and parents to see the “unknown”, ask questions, become familiar with camp, and get excited about their week away.
- With your camper, explore the camp website so that camp surroundings look familiar when your camper arrives in person.
- Read stories about camp to your child or have a friend or sibling who has attended camp share their stories.
- Tell, tell, and re-tell your child how much fun you want them to have at camp. While you will surely miss them, you want them to have a great time, make friends, and try new fun activities. Share your pride in their success at camp.
- Do not give your child an “out” such as promising that they can call or come home or that you will pick them up early, this often makes matters much worse. The Director will always call if needed. Campers are not allowed to call or email during the camp week.
- Send a familiar object from home such as a stuffed animal or pillow. This “transitional” object will ease adjustment to camp.
How can I correspond with my child? Can my child call or email me? How can I stay in touch?
Your camper will not have access or the ability to call or use a computer to email you while they are away at camp. We encourage them to write a letter home, so send along a stamped, pre-addressed envelope or postcard. The Camp Director is always available by phone or email (Help Ticket) or 860-295-9444; if you want to check in, and they will be happy to report back!
Good old-fashioned snail mail is wonderful to receive! No food or snacks! Campers LOVE getting mail!
We encourage you to WRITE YOUR CAMPER! Your camper will enjoy receiving cards, letters, or little notes from you, and we will be encouraging them to write you back and share their camp experience with you. Avoid writing about how much fun the child is missing while away from home; you might stir up an unnecessary case of homesickness. Mail is delivered to campers after dinner Monday – Friday.
We are asking that you do not send outside packages. If you do feel the need to send an outside package please send ONLY for your camper and help minimize the amount of packages by only sending 1 package while your child is attending camp. Packages should not be bigger than the size of a shoebox. Any “group” packages (a package intended for only a few campers in a cabin) will be returned to sender or left for family to pick up on Saturday. This policy is being implemented due to the high volume sent in the past. They have created a distraction from the true purpose of camp, a messy cabin environment, unnecessary competition amongst campers and pressure on parents to send something routinely to campers.
Our mailing address is:
Hartford County 4-H Camp
Camper’s Name and Cabin #
247 South Road,
Marlborough, CT 06447
Have you heard about “Entertainment Mail?” Write a challenge on the back of the letter envelope for your camper to do before receiving his/her letter. For example, “Do 2 cartwheels and then hug a tree to get this letter!” Be creative!
Please note: We have a no food in cabins policy, so please adhere to this when sending your camper or counselor a package during their week. Some ideas to send instead: activities they can do alone or with others, a book, sodoku, crossword, glow sticks, bouncy balls, funny socks or sunglasses, madlibs, anything non-edible is fine.
What should my child NOT bring to camp?
Glad you asked! Cell phones, iPods, and any electronic device are not only not necessary but also NOT ALLOWED at camp. Possession of weapons, alcohol, drugs or tobacco products will mean immediate dismissal from camp.
Do not bring fans or extension cords. Battery operated personal fans are Ok. Believe or not, it actually gets quite cool at night and the rest of the time, they are too busy to sit in front of a fan.
Please do not bring snacks, candy or any food. Our small woodland friends get into the food. We also want camp to be a safe environment for those with food allergies and sensitivities.
Your child will not need cash on them for their week. Any spending money you provide for the camp store will be on their store card.
We want to ensure your camper has the best time possible and is safe! For that reason, leave devices at home! If a camper brings these items, they will be confiscated and stored with the director for safe keeping. Camp moments and friendships are enhanced by keeping our community unplugged.
All medicine (prescribed or over the counter) must be kept in the infirmary and must have the proper paperwork to accompany it.
How do I get to camp?
The 4-H Outdoor Center is located in Marlborough, Connecticut. Directions to camp: Drive east from Hartford on Rt. 2. Take Exit 13. Turn right at Rt. 66. Turn left at the four-way intersection; proceed 0.7 of a mile. Bear right at the fork onto South Rd. Proceed 2.3 miles to the Outdoor Center. Watch for the 4-H camp signs and marked parking area.
What does my child need to bring to camp?
Camp is all about having fun outdoors. As such, we strongly recommend that you do not pack clothing items that you would mind if they got dirty or stained. The Packing List is to help in your preparation. Cabins are a shared space so please bring only what is needed. Please label all clothing and equipment with your camper’s name. This will help us return lost items. PLEASE LEAVE AT HOME: mobile phones, iPads, smart watches, or other Internet connected devices & fans/extension cords are prohibited by state regs & cases of water or snacks for your child.
What is a typical day at camp?
Traditional Camp Daily Schedule
7:00 Reveille/Morning Dip
7:20 Waiters report to Dining Hall
7:35 Flag Raising/Morning Exercise
8:30 Clean Cabin/Visit to Nurse
9:00 First Activity
10:00 Second Activity
11:00 Free Time (free swim, recreation, showers)
1:30 Tribe Meetings
2:00 Third Activity
3:00 All Camp Afternoon Program
4:00 Free Time (free swim, boating, recreation, showers, visit camp store)
5:50 Flag Lowering
7:15 All Camp Evening Program
8:30 Snack, Newspaper, Vespers at the camp fire
9:30 Bedding Down
What camping programs does Hartford County 4-H Camp have?
Mini Camp is for youth ages 7 & 8 interested in crafts, nature, recreation, and swimming. Two days and one-night sleep over will introduce the younger set to camp experiences.
Traditional Camp is for youth ages 9 through 14 and is held in seven one-week, coed sessions. Campers will participate in tribe activities, camp fires, a camp sleep-out, and classes such as Horseback Riding, Archery, Swimming, Boating, Nature, Arts & Crafts, and Outpost Camping. Combined with new and old friends, these activities gives campers many choices for a wonderful camp experience.
”Bring Your Own Horse” Camp is for youth ages 11 and older. We have one special week of camping for campers who own horses. Riding 2 to 4+ hours a day. Campers will house their horses in barns at camp. Ring, Course, lecture instruction and trail riding are included.
Teen Counselors: Teens age 15 through 18 may apply for our Teen Counselor Leadership Program. Counselors volunteer a week’s stay, live with the campers, help the staff with classes, and share numerous responsibilities with other counselors. You must be 15 before January 1 of the current year and must attend the Counselor Training at 4-H Camp (Date To Be Determined). Note: Drugs and alcohol are not allowed!
What about the food at camp?
With kids in mind, and a large and growing population eating gluten free, dairy free or with allergies our chef puts tremendous effort into camp meals. Making meals nutritious and tasty for campers without dietary restrictions is a challenge in itself, but to have the same high standard of cuisine for special food needs is even more challenging. Our directors and staff discuss these special needs with parents before and during camp and provide direction to our kitchen on a great selection of fresh and nutritious food for all campers.
Typical breakfast meals consist of pancakes, french toast, cereal, or scrambled eggs. We always offer cereal, fruit, mini bagels, and yogurt at our cereal bar.
Typical lunch consists of taco Tuesday, hot dog cookout, deli sandwiches, pizza, salad bar.
Popular dinners at camp are Pasta, Chicken, Stuffed Baked Potato, Mac and Cheese, salad bar.
We will provide some special food items (for example, gluten free breads and pastas, almond milk) only for campers and staff specifying the allergy on their form before camp.
All meals are served family style with no assigned seats and campers serving as waiters. If the campers are not interested in what is being served, cereal bar, a salad bar, and peanut butter and jelly are always an option. We have skim, whole, and chocolate milk available at every meal. To help protect the health of the campers and staff in our camp community, we have a nut free policy*.
*Families of children with nut allergies must inform camp of the existence of said allergies and work with camp to develop an appropriate medical response for their child in the event of an allergic reaction. We will request a Plan of Care for each child with nut allergies that must be completed and signed by the child’s parent/guardian and provided to camp before the season starts.
Will my child be safe at camp?
The health and safety of your children has always been, and will continue to be, our number one priority. We believe the best way for kids to be safe at camp is by having trained alert staff and counselors that are aware of ways to prevent injuries. Staff members are trained in CPR and/or First Aid and carry a walkie-talkie to ensure efficient communication at all times. Staff hired to teach swimming, boating, low ropes, archery, and horseback riding are certified in their activity areas and meet the State of Connecticut’s requirements.
To ensure the continued camper safety, Camp staff and counselors are thoroughly trained in emergency response procedures for waterfront emergency, lost camper, extreme weather, active shooter, bear-sightings, and evacuation.
Our ratio of campers to supervising adults is always 1:8 or better and we have a Registered Nurse at camp 24/7 during the camping season.
Are there Camperships?
Each year 4-H in Hartford County receives many requests for Campership Assistance and we try to assist as many families as possible with our limited donations. In light of this, we strongly encourage families to pay a portion of the camp fee. In doing so, we can assist more families. We will ask you to provide documentation of your income level on the application. We have found that local towns sometimes also have funds that can be used at our camp. You should consider registering for camp first AND then fill out the application. You may apply online for a Campership.
What is available at the camp store?
The store is open every day at 4:00 pm for purchases. The campers will be given a store card where we deduct purchases and the costs of classes (if any) throughout the week. At the store, they can buy sweatpants, sweatshirts, camp t-shirts, postcards, stamps, candy, ice cream, and miscellaneous 4-H items. Only one candy and one ice cream allowed per day! The recommended amount to leave your child with is $25.
Who works at camp?
Our camp is staffed within the guidelines set forth by the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Division of Licensing Program. We have a Camp Director, Program Director, Residential RN/certified health care provider, chef, kitchen staff, and program staff. The program staff have been properly trained and hold CPR and/or First Aid certifications. All employees have had their background checked prior to being hired.
Need help or have questions? Submit a help desk ticket!
Our volunteer staff will do our best to get back to you as quick as possible. Please provide as much information as possible so we can best answer your question and provide support. Thank you for choosing #HC4-HCamp!