What is the background of the camp staff?

Our Chief Executive Officer, Henry M. Thomas, III, JD is an alumnus of Camp Atwater with over 30 years of camping administration and program experience. Mr. Thomas has extensive experience in education policy and youth development. He served on the American Camp Association Board of Trustees, past Vice Chair of Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and is a current member of the University of Massachusetts board of Trustees (immediate past Chair). Further, Mr. Thomas serves as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. He has been recognized nationally and locally for his work and leadership in the field of education and youth development.

Shadae Thomas-Harris serves as Camp Atwater’s Quality Control Consultant. Ms. Thomas-Harris possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Smith College, and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University’s Doctoral Program in Education Leadership (She will complete in May 2018). She brings a wealth of camping experience in her role. Shadae is a prior Atwater camper, counselor, Program Director and Director. Ms. Thomas-Harris is also a Principal in the Springfield, MA Public School System.

Senior Counselors are recruited from colleges from geographically diverse locations. Similar to Camp Atwater’s camper population, the staff geographic diversity ranges from 15 to 20 different states and varies 6 countries in any given summer. Our waterfront staff is equipped with licensing consistent with State, Red Cross and ACA requirements. All of our nursing staff are licensed nurses.

What is the ratio of counselors to campers?

The ratio for counselors to campers is one staff for every eight campers, 8-9 years old; one staff for every ten campers 10-15 years old.

What is the transportation system?

Campers are usually transported by camp vans which are leased vehicles for the summer. They are inspected by qualified mechanics and maintained by the camp driver. Other modes of transportation for large group field trips are buses that are contracted from established commercial bus companies. Occasionally staff cars are used to transport campers, particularly if there is an urgent need. Camp drivers are 25 years or older.

What are the ages of the counselors?

Among the counseling staff, 80% are 18 years of age or older. Our senior counselors are college students, and our junior counselors are at least 17 years old and usually high school seniors or graduating seniors. Any counselor under 18 years old will be at least two years older than any camper they supervise.

What percentage of staff return each year?

Between 40 and 60% of our staff return each year.

What percentage of campers return each year?

50-65% of our campers return each year.

Are references available?

References are available upon request. We typically ask parents from the area where the prospective camper is living to share their experience with the camp and it’s program.

What are the sleeping accommodations?

Campers sleep in wood structure cabins equipped with electricity, bunk beds and individual rooms for two counselors. Cabin sizes accommodate anywhere from a minimum of 12 campers to a maximum of 25.

How are the bathroom facilities?

Bathroom facilities are located no more than 40 yards from any sleeping cabin. Bathroom facilities are bathhouses that include individual showers, toilet stalls and wash basins. Maintenance staff maintain the facilities for cleanliness and repair around the clock.