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First Timers: What to Expect

The CWW New Camper Formula for Success

While campers look forward to their first summer at camp, we know that being away from home for the first time can be a little scary. Over the years we have discovered a formula that helps campers feel comfortable on their very first day of camp, allowing Camp Walt Whitman to feel like a home away from home right away.

Each year dozens of first-time campers arrive at CWW. Here’s how we give each one of you a warm welcome to our family.

We find the best bunkmates and counselors for you

During the spring, you and your parents will complete an online Biography Form that you will submit to us along with your photo. You’ll tell us all about yourself and your favorite activities. You’ll also tell us about any special concerns you or your parents may have about your first time away at camp. We’ll then know enough about you to place you in the cabin that has the best group of kids for someone like you, and we’ll even be able to put your bed between two campers who share some of your interests! If there’s anything special that you’ve told us about, it will not be forgotten.

Your Big Brother/Sister will show you the ropes

In early June, you will get a call from your Big Sister or Big Brother, a 13-year-old Walt Whitman camper who will answer any questions you might still have and tell you about all the fun you’re going to have this summer.

When you arrive at camp, your Big Sister or Brother will come to your cabin the very first day to meet you. The next day you’ll go to a fun party with your Big Brother or Sister. And for the rest of the summer, your Big Brother or Sister will be there for you to talk to, to introduce you to older campers and to hang out with.

Your Unit Leader will get to know you before camp starts

Before camp, your Unit Leader will call you to get a head start on getting to know you. A Unit Leader is someone who has been a counselor for two or three summers and oversees our staff as well as the boys or girls in your group.

Since your Unit Leader’s job at camp is to make sure you have an amazing summer, it will be exciting to get to know him or her before camp starts!

Your trip to camp will be super exciting

Before camp starts, we’ll send you a special t-shirt to wear to the bus so that all of the counselors and the other campers on the bus ride from Boston or New York will know you are coming to camp for the first time, and everyone will make a special effort to meet you. The actual bus trip to camp is very exciting, as you’ll meet some of your bunkmates and counselors. There are lots of games, sharing stories, and movies to watch, and you’ll have new friends before you even arrive at camp!

Your counselors will be there for you the moment you arrive

When you step off the bus, your counselors will be looking for you and will recognize you from the photo you attached to your biography form. Right away they will take you to your cabin to get settled in, introduce you to your new friends, and help you learn everyone’s name. You’ll go for a guided tour all around camp and maybe even for a swim. Your Big Sister or Brother will also stop by to see how you’re doing on this very exciting day.

We cure homesickness if needed

You can expect to feel right at home pretty quickly. If you do experience some homesickness, as some campers do, there are lots of people at camp to help you get through it. We truly care about you and your success at camp, and we’re here to make sure that you’re having a great time. Pretty soon you too will feel that Camp Walt Whitman is your second home and that CWW is like a second family!

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