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Camp-FAQ

Camp FAQs

There’s so much to know about getting your camper ready for her exciting camp adventure! To get you started, here are some answers to questions girls and parents often have about camp.

Once you register your camper, you will receive information on required forms that MUST be completed before your girl attends camp. Please note that a physician’s signature on a physical exam is REQUIRED. Your camper will not be allowed to remain at camp without this information.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I spend time at camp?
Fun and exciting adventures abound daily at camp. In our Classic Camp sessions, some of the highlights are archery, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, paddle boarding, challenge course, cooking, biking, rock climbing, hiking, outdoor cooking, theater, creative arts, and songs and games, but there is so much more! There is plenty of time to work on Trail Master levels while having choices to try new things.

Specialty: Girls focus on particular skills and out-of-camp trips or experiences, and still have time to choose classic camp activities! Are you interested in horses? Camp Pondicherry’s specialty horse programs would be perfect! What about sailing or rock climbing? Camp Natarswi offers awesome specialty adventure programs in these areas. Check out our other specialty sessions - cooking, art, photography, archery, hiking, canoe trips, wilderness survival and more!

See daily camp schedules here.

No matter the session you choose, you’ll have lots of fun daily with your counselors and friends,including awesome all-camp activities such as Bear Hunt, Capture the Flag, campfires, talent shows and more. There is endless singing and games and sometimes just chilling out with nature.

There is a daily rest period in your unit after lunch so bring quiet games or books to read, or surprise your parents with a letter home!

Where will I sleep?
One of the best parts about camp is the chance for you to connect with the natural world around you, including where you sleep!

Cabins – If you are a younger girl, you can choose to sleep in bunk beds in a cozy cabin. At Pondicherry, counselors sleep in the same room with campers. At Natarswi, counselors either sleep in the cabin or in a tent nearby. Look for the cabin icon!

Platform Tents – You’ll get to enjoy the great outdoors in these tents! Pondicherry has permanent tent shelters with roofs and four built-in beds each. At Natarswi, you’ll stay in canvas tents with metal cots with three other girls. At each camp, tents are arranged in clusters (units) with your counselor’s tent centrally located within the unit. Bug nets are provided for each individual bunk bed. Look for the tent icon! 

Each unit has a wash station, a campfire ring and a latrine or flush toilets nearby. Some units have an outdoor pavilion, which is used for unit activities. Central shower houses are available for you to use. Don’t worry - indoor shelter is available at both camps for when the weather gets too severe!

What kind of food is offered?
Most of your meals are served either buffet style or family style in our camp dining hall. We serve three well-balanced and nutritious meals daily. We also do campfire cookouts where you’ll help plan and prepare the meal. There is always one main dish and a vegetarian option, along with side dishes. You’ll have a snack in the afternoon and fruit is always available.

Typical meals include chicken, casseroles, pizza, stir fry, tacos, pasta dishes, turkey dinners, grilled cheese, and soup. If you’re a picky eater, don’t worry! We always have other options such as a salad bar, veggies, or sandwiches and our kitchen staff work hard to provide you with food you like.

If you have special dietary needs, let us know before you arrive and we’ll be happy to work with you.

How does the camp manage safety concerns?
Girl Scouts of Maine resident camps are accredited by the American Camp Association, meeting over 300 safety and health standards. Both resident & day camps are licensed by the Maine State Health Inspections Program and meet or exceed all state regulations. Our camps also adhere to Girl Scout Safety Activity Check Point standards – a risk management guide designed to protect and maintain the well-being of every Girl Scout.

What are the camp counselors like?
Camp staff rocks! Our counselors are enthusiastic, caring young adults who come from all over the world. All staff members are carefully screened, including background checks, and selected for their ability to add to the camp experience. Most of the camp staff are CPR and first-aid trained, and many hold advanced certifications as Red Cross Lifeguards, Water Safety Instructors, Archery Instructors, Challenge Course Facilitators, Wilderness First Aiders, Maine Trip Leaders and Leave No Trace practitioners. Staff members also complete a week of intensive on-site pre-camp training to ensure the best camp experience for you.

Can I bring a buddy to camp?
You may request ONE buddy to bunk with during your time at camp. To be bunk buddies, you and your friend must each request each other by name and be within the same grade level and registered for the same session.

Why just one buddy? Our tents accommodate four girls and we want to ensure that everyone has the best camp experience. A group of three leaves one girl who may feel left out. You and your buddy may attend different activities, depending on your personal choices and your different skill levels.

But what if I come alone? Many girls come to camp without a buddy, so don’t worry! You’ll join a group of girls your own age who are excited about camp. Camp is a great place to make new friends!

What is my "Camp Grade"?
We group girls by “camp grade” which is the grade you will be entering as of September 2019.

What if I have other questions?
The camp directors for Camp Natarswi and Camp Pondicherry are available year round and are always happy to answer your questions. Treasa Wheeler, Camp Natarswi Director, can be reached at twheeler@gsmaine.org. Mary Boyle, Camp Pondicherry Director, can be reached at mboyle@gsmaine.org. Each director can be reached at 888-922-4763.


Your Successful Camper

Here are some signs that your camper is ready to have a blast at camp!

  • She has successfully spent the night away from home, at a friend or relative’s house.
  • She likes to spend time outdoors, be active and learn new things!
  • She wants to go to camp!
  • She enjoys making new friends.
  • She can compromise with playmates.
  • She can adapt to new places and try new things with some encouragment.
  • She can follow directions.
  • She can engage in active camp life!
  • She is willing to do her share in planning and clean-up.
  • She can shower, brush her teeth, manage personal hygiene and do her hair with little guidance.
  • She is willing to eat, sleep, and play with all girls, not just with best friends.
  • She has a family that is willing to let her go away for a few days for a fun and rewarding experience that builds skills, self worth and independence.
What counselors wish parents knew
  • Send pre-addressed and stamped envelopes so she can write home or to family & friends.
  • Leave expensive clothing or other valuable items at home.
  • Put your daughter’s name on everything and pack light! She will be repacking herself to come home.
  • Please let unit counselors know if your child regularly wets the bed. Pack needed supplies. Counselors can then be prepared to discreetly wash bedding/nightclothes.
  • Bring separate towels for showering and swimming.
  • Sisters do not necessarily make the best buddies.
  • Please don’t tell your daughter she can call or go home if she gets homesick.
  • There are no electrical outlets for the girls to use.
  • Girls will be expected to clean up after themselves. Let them practice at home with simple chores.
  • Be sure to pack a few extra changes of clothes – campers can get dirty and muddy– and she may need a mid-day clothes change.
  • Please complete all camp forms fully and well in advance so we can get to know your daughter. It will also save time and frustration at check-in.
  • There are more activities at camp than your girl will be able to participate in during a one or two week session. If she did not get to do all the activities she hoped, encourage her to look forward to next year.
  • Do not send your daughter to camp with a cell phone. Phones and other electronics are not allowed.

Your Successful Camper

Here are some signs that your camper is ready to have a blast at camp!

  • She has successfully spent the night away from home, at a friend or relative’s house.
  • She likes to spend time outdoors, be active and learn new things!
  • She wants to go to camp!
  • She enjoys making new friends.
  • She can compromise with playmates.
  • She can adapt to new places and try new things with some encouragment.
  • She can follow directions.
  • She can engage in active camp life!
  • She is willing to do her share in planning and clean-up.
  • She can shower, brush her teeth, manage personal hygiene and do her hair with little guidance.
  • She is willing to eat, sleep, and play with all girls, not just with best friends.
  • She has a family that is willing to let her go away for a few days for a fun and rewarding experience that builds skills, self worth and independence.

What counselors wish parents knew
  • Send pre-addressed and stamped envelopes so she can write home or to family & friends.
  • Leave expensive clothing or other valuable items at home.
  • Put your daughter’s name on everything and pack light! She will be repacking herself to come home.
  • Please let unit counselors know if your child regularly wets the bed. Pack needed supplies. Counselors can then be prepared to discreetly wash bedding/nightclothes.
  • Bring separate towels for showering and swimming.
  • Sisters do not necessarily make the best buddies.
  • Please don’t tell your daughter she can call or go home if she gets homesick.
  • There are no electrical outlets for the girls to use.
  • Girls will be expected to clean up after themselves. Let them practice at home with simple chores.
  • Be sure to pack a few extra changes of clothes – campers can get dirty and muddy– and she may need a mid-day clothes change.
  • Please complete all camp forms fully and well in advance so we can get to know your daughter. It will also save time and frustration at check-in.
  • There are more activities at camp than your girl will be able to participate in during a one or two week session. If she did not get to do all the activities she hoped, encourage her to look forward to next year.
  • Do not send your daughter to camp with a cell phone. Phones and other electronics are not allowed.