To Prepare my child
What kind of backpack do Boucaniers (boys 12-16) and Claire-Nature (girls 12-15) need? Why? Can we rent a backpack at Camp Claret?
The backpack that we want for your teen is one with an interior frame that has a capacity of 55L to 60L, has padded shoulder straps and an adjustable belt. The key word is comfort!
Depending on their age, campers leave for 2 or 3 days of hiking; they carry with them all that they need: individual equipment, sleeping bag and pad as well as cooking set, food and water. Therefore, the backpack must be spacious and adequate to prevent sore back and shoulders. This contributes to making the hiking experience enjoyable.
It is, however, possible to rent one at camp for $30.00 per session. However, reservations must be made at the time of registration.
What equipment needs to be prepared to send a camper to Camp?
This is the minimum required gear and clothing list suggested for a 2-week session:
- 1 sleeping bag, 1 daypack;
- 1 pillow, 1 wool blanket, 2 pyjamas;
- 1 windbreaker, 2 wool sweaters or polar;
- 5 pairs of long pants;
- 8 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of thick woollen socks;
- 1 dependable raincoat, 1 pair of good rubber boots;
- 2 pairs of sneakers;
- Important: 1 pair of sandals or water shoes for water sports;
- 2 swimsuits (1 piece swimsuits);
- 3 beach towels, 1 hand towel, 2 washcloths;
- 6 pairs of bermuda shorts, 8 cotton T-shirts (no tank-tops nor spaghetti straps);
- 1 sun hat, 1 sunscreen lotion;
- 1 canteen, flashlight;
- Underwear, soap, sanitary necessities (if applicable), comb, toothbrush and toothpaste;
- Writing paper, pen or pencil, pre-stamped and addressed envelopes;
- Medicare card (to be given on arrival);
- Prescription drugs (to be given to the nurse with detailed instructions).
Please adjust this list for the Jean-Rieurs (boys, ages 7 to 11) and the Étincelles (girls, ages 7 to 11) 1 week sessions.
For the Boucaniers (boys, ages 12 to 16) and the Claire-Nature (girls, ages 12 to 15), there are additional gear required for the teenage campers:
- 1 large 55L or 60L interior-framed backpack adequate for the height of your teenager (Please ensure a proper comfortable fit). It is also possible to rent one at Camp for $30.00. However, reservations must be made at the time of registration;
- 1 pair hiking boots, 1 foam sleeping pad, 1 mess kit (cup, bowl, plate & utensils), insect repellent;
- 1 dozen garbage bags (26"x30");
- A compass and a small pocket-knife are additional non-required gear.
N.B. All personal belongings must be properly identified. To allow total integration and avoid loss or damage, we ask that watches, chains, earrings or other jewellery, as well as radios, mp3, iPods, iPads, cell phones and video games be left at home!
Do children need pocket money?
At Camp Claret campers do not need pocket money. All children have 3 hearty meals a day, a snack in the afternoon at 4h00 pm and another snack at night before going to bed. Camp Claret is known for its excellent food.
Do you have a nurse at camp?
We have a registered nurse living at camp and available to campers 24 hours a day. If a child has an accident or becomes seriously ill, once the doctor has diagnosed the problem, the Directors will communicate with parents to make the arrangements that are deemed necessary by the Camp. At the end of each camp session, the nurse prepares a short report for the parents whose child received special medical treatment following a visit to the doctor’s office.
Must parents fill out a medical form for their child prior to camp?
Yes, of course, and it is very important to do so! Every year, in the interest of continued good health for everyone, a medical form is sent to the family of each camper after registration. This form must be fully completed on a yearly basis by the parent(s) or the physician and returned to the office before the 1st of June. This record contains critical information and allows the nurse to take good care of your child.
All campers must be deemed physically and mentally capable of participating in the full spectrum of camp activities and have the social skills appropriate to their age groups. In case of doubt, refer to the registration office in Sherbrooke. And because team life is so important, a child may be returned home at the beginning of camp if he or she is unable to cope.
Can children with allergies go to camp?
A child or a teenager suffering from severe allergies must go through a screening process at the main office in Sherbrooke before registration to ensure that the camp has adequate medical support. You must take into consideration that we are an hour’s drive from the nearest hospital.
Do the campers keep their prescription drugs or other medication with them in the tent?
Upon arrival at the Camp, all medication must be given to the nurse. She is available to meet parents and will complete the child’s medical record with any additional information you may have to give her. Only the nurse controls medication taken by your child before or after meals and/or at bedtime, be it prescription drugs or over the counter products. She is on hand around the clock to meet the needs of campers who might become ill. You may also speak to her on the phone during the time your child is at Camp if you so wish to do so.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a way of getting to camp by organized transportation?
Transportation to and from the camp is always provided by the parents. It has been our experience that campers benefit from an easier transition period when accompanied by their parents and introduced together to their counsellors. Moreover, having the opportunity to meet with the Directors in person as well as being acquainted with the site leave parents reassured knowing that their child is in good hands.
Are there rebates for sending more than one child of the same family to Camp Claret?
Most of our campers are brothers and sisters, so we prefer to make all campers benefit from very reasonable prices. If however, you wish to send to camp 3 or more children of the same family, we will charge only 1 registration fee of $ 65.00 for the 3 or more children.
What about the food at Camp?
We have a well-balanced diet and the menu is approved by a Dietician who has seen to the needs of growing children aged 7 to 16.
We do not have a special diet for vegetarians. Everyone eats the same dishes be it the Director or the youngest camper. Children are served by their counsellors at every meal and they can have as many servings as they want be it from the main menu or the 2% milk which is directly on the table. One very important criteria remains: we must eat what we ask for!
Can teenagers choose 1 week-sessions?
The answer is no. Our teenage adventure programs are designed for two-week sessions and adapted to the different age groups 12 to 16. Campers have two very intensive outdoor ventures, a 2 or 3-day backpacking experience on the wilderness trails of the very beautiful “Sentier Pédestre des Trois Monts”, and a canoe Rally on Lake Elgin that includes overnight camping at the other end of the lake where the sunset is breathtaking. In addition to this, teenagers are active in each of the on-site activities that Camp Claret offers its campers and all of this combined make for an exciting vacation.
Living in a tent is a new experience for our child. How are these tents organized?
Camp Claret is set up on over 500 acres of forest and playing fields in Quebec's Eastern Townships. The tents fit in well in this natural setting. Each tent is well mounted on a cement platform with a second outer roof as a double protection. Each child has his own individual bed with a good foam mattress. The tents are spacious and well taken care of. One of the 2 or 3 counsellors always sleeps in the tent with the children no matter their age. Each tent is in a setting of fur trees, maple trees and birch.
In addition to tents, there are also many buildings on the property to ensure that campers have all the services of a resident camp: activity halls, first-aid center, showers, dining hall, etc...
Can friends that come to camp together be placed in the same tent?
In each of the 4 sections of camp, Jean-Rieurs, Étincelles, Boucaniers and Claire-Nature, friends of the same age can be together and share the same team life with the other children of the group as long as the parents of both families give their written agreement at the time of their registration.
Can parents phone at the camp to know how their child is adapting?
It is always a pleasure to hear from you. If you wish to speak directly to your child's counsellor or to the "chef de camp", Josée, our Secretary, will take the message and she will ask you to phone back at a specific hour after mealtime when they are near the facilities. You can contact the Director of the camp, Ms Pauline Rondeau at your convenience, and follow with her the progress your child is making to integrate. She will be happy to answer any question you may have concerning your child.
How can parents send mail to their children at camp?
Your child will be thrilled to receive news from you. You can send letters by regular mail, fax or e-mail. Just make sure your child's full name and tent number are clearly written and it will be a pleasure for us to distribute your letters each day after lunch. However, e-mails and faxes must be limited to a written text only. The camp is not equipped to print out e-cards, pictures or drawings. Thank you for your understanding and corporation.
You can well understand that campers do not have access to the telephone, fax or e-mail services. Children have siesta time after lunch to nap, read or to write home and talk to you about their camp experience. Please prepare pre-addressed and stamped envelopes especially for the little ones. Don’t forget that being in a rural area, it takes a little longer for mail to reach its destination.
Will brothers and sisters be able to see each other during the day?
Of course! If they wish, they can see each other and talk together every day before and after mealtime. Moreover, if both are in the 7 to 11 age groups, that is Jean-Rieurs and/or Étincelles, they can play together at the beach during the free swimming time from 15h00 to 16h00 under the supervision of their counsellors and lifeguards. Then it is snack time for everyone there. As the days pass, each child will develop friendships with the other campers of his team and will need less attention from his older brother or sister
Do you have an “Open House”?
The answer is no. First of all, parents have the opportunity of visiting the camp when they come personally to drive their child to camp. In addition to this, with all of the information and pictures we have put on our website, we believe that parents are very well informed on all the aspects of life at Camp Claret.
Moreover, once June comes around, the camp is usually full. It is for this reason that we cancelled “Open House” several years ago. The disappointment was great when parents realized that there were no more places available! It will be much more interesting for you to let your child give you a guided tour of the camp when you come to get him/her at the end of the session.
How old are your counsellors?
All our counsellors are College and University students, 18 and over, especially interested in working with children during the summer. The Directors themselves personally interview each candidate to select the best possible staff many of whom are qualified as Lifeguards.
The week prior to the arrival of our campers at Camp Claret, we hold an intensive one week pre-camp training session on the site for all the staff. Training continues during the summer and each staff member is part of a continuous evaluation system with his Section Director. Counsellors who reach excellence in their work with the children have shown real team spirit, a desire to grow as a person and close cooperation with their Section Director are awarded at the end of the summer with an “Award of Excellence” which is very highly regarded.
Can bedwetters go to Camp Claret?
Regrettably, we are unable to meet the special needs of bedwetters. However, it may happen, for one reason or another, that a child wets his/her bed. If this is the case, the child takes a shower and we see to it that his pyjamas and/or other clothing, as well as the sleeping bag, are washed and returned to the child the very same day. It is important that the other campers of the tent not be aware of the incident. Of course, we will bill you for the laundry expenses when you come to get your child at the end of the session.
Concerning hygiene, a schedule is in effect throughout each session ensuring that each camper showers regularly.
Laundry services are not available for campers who register for a 1 session only. It is available only for campers registered two or more consecutive 2 week sessions. The extra fee charged for laundry is included in the price paid to stay at the camp during the in-between sessions. Please let us know your intentions in this regard at the time you register your child.
What is a typical day at camp like?
Here is the schedule for a regular day at camp:
Rise and shine: 12 to 16 year olds
Rise and shine: 7 to 11 year olds
Nap time (reading, writing letters)
Swimming: 7 to 11 year olds
4th Activity: 12 to 16 year olds
Time to get ready for bed
Can we visit our child during his stay at camp?
In order that your child easily adapts to camping life, to maintain the activity program going and facilitate team life spirit, there are no visits for the children during their stay at camp. You drive your child to camp and thus have the opportunity of meeting the Directors, get to know your child’s counsellors, explore the grounds, see the waterfront and facilitate the transition necessary so that your child’s experience be a positive one.
Your child will be thrilled to read your mail and through these little love notes, you can encourage him/her to participate, make friends and practice his/her French. You also come to get your child at the end of camp. This is a very special moment for you! You will see how your child has matured and campers will have 101 stories to tell.
The same policy applies for parents bringing in or coming to get a younger child registered for a one-week session. This goes also for grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends…
Can a child remain at camp between session breaks?
At the end of each session (two-week periods) the camp counsellors take a well-earned break. Children who are enrolled for two consecutive sessions of 12 days (or more), should return home if at all possible, returning to camp on the Sunday to join the new group of campers. Where this is not possible, they may stay at camp for an additional fee of $300,00 per child laundry included.
Please let us know your intentions in this regard at the time you register your child.