PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Q. What should my child bring to camp each day?
A: On a Saturday prior to the opening day of camp, Pierce hosts "Bundle Day." Bundle Day is when all Pierce buses stop at each camper's house to pick up the camper's camp "Bundle." A "Bundle" is anything that you want your child to have at camp for the duration of the season. All "Bundles" will be kept in the camper's cabin area in an individual cubby.
A few weeks before opening day, parents will receive a mailing suggesting what articles to include in their camper's "Bundle". Suggestions include 3 bathing suits, sun block, a sweatshirt in case a day turns cold, a rest towel/blanket for children younger than 7, swim goggles, Aqua shoes, and long pants & heeled shoes if your camper is a horseback rider. Baseball mitts can be left at camp or brought to and from camp each day. Of course name tags and name labeling help us to keep track of it all!
Q: How long is the camp day?
A: Buses begin to arrive at 8:45 a.m. Our daily schedule concludes at around 3:30 p.m., with a 4:00 p.m. camp-wide dismissal time. Our Mini-Day program for 3 and 4 year olds ends/dismisses at 2:00 p.m. each day.
Q: What do campers do at Pierce if it rains?
A: Rain or shine, Pierce means FUN! Pierce is equipped to supply comfortable shelter and exciting indoor activities better than any camp out there! We have an indoor Olympic pool allowing swimming to continue no matter what the weather brings. We also have lots of terrific indoor facilities including cabins for every age-group, our fabulous Clubhouse, and our beautiful Mansion. Activities vary by age level, and all campers enjoy a terrific Pierce Day!
The Pierce Clubhouse is a rainy day FUNzone! With an 8 foot movie screen, professional karaoke unit, and 100 portable key pads allowing groups to challenge each other to game show competition displayed for a live "studio audience," campers are busy and having a blast! Our Mansion has a beautiful Music Room where younger campers can sing and play. The Mansion's large dining hall doubles as a bingo room. We also boast three covered Arts & Crafts areas, and a covered dance pavilion, Imagination Station, Studio Art and Ga Ga court. The air-conditioned Computer studio and indoor Rhythm activity area also help keep our campers' imaginations and creativity flowing.
On rainy days Pierce even goes a step further with exciting trips to fantastic local facilities! We rent local movie theatres, take over local bowling alleys, and travel to two nearby gymnasiums for basketball and other camp games. We also bring campers to Active Kidz, and indoor play facility, where they can enjoy Arts & Crafts rooms, a gym, a giant ball port/maze, and more! Remember, we own all of our own buses, allowing Pierce to be mobile whenever needed.
Rain? No problem – you can't rain on our parade! At Pierce, we got you covered!
Q: When will I meet my camper's bus driver and bus counselors, and how will I find out about my child's pick-up and drop-off times?
A: On Bundle Day parents and campers will have the opportunity to meet their bus driver and bus counselors before camp begins. They will also get more information regarding their camper's daily pick-up and drop-off time. Bundle Day also gives families a chance to see what other children from the area will be riding on their bus.
Q: What do I need to do if my camper will be absent from camp?
A: We appreciate when parents alert us to the fact that their child will be absent. This prior notice makes for a more efficient bus ride. We can be reached 24 hours a day at the camp office, 516.621.2211. After hours we routinely monitor the messaging system and will let the corresponding camp staff member know of any absences.
Q: What is the latest time I can pick-up my camper from camp?
A: The latest pick-up time every day is 3:00 p.m.
* Fridays are typically very busy, plus we offer our popular Pierce Jitney coach bus service to the Hamptons.
Mini Day campers – Prior to 2:00 p.m., Monday – Friday
Advance notice of at least two hours greatly assists us to provide you with excellent service. All campers being picked up early will be located in our front gazebo by our putting green. The gazebo is very capably staffed to offer proper supervision and service. Your car will be stopped upon exiting our front gates as a final check point.
Q: Can my camper ride another bus home with a friend?
Sure! Room permitting... All buses in NY State have a "Capacity Rating" established by the NY State Department of Transportation. If we have room we will gladly accommodate this type request. Here is how you can help us. Please make sure that you notify us at least two hours in advance of dismissal. We ask that both sets of parents call in this request so that we get cross-confirmation. We will not accept a verbal request from campers.
Q: Will I have the opportunity to speak with my child's Group Leader prior to camp opening?
Yes! Your child's Group Leader will call you a week or so before camp opens to introduce him or herself, learn more about your child and answer any questions that you may have. We believe in strong communication between camp and home. Our Group Leaders' goal is to partner with you to insure that your child receives the best possible attention and care.
Q: How do I communicate with the camp during the camp day?
A: Feel free to call camp anytime you have a question or need to communicate anything to camp regarding your child. Our summer office hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily. Our after-hours answering service accepts calls thereafter. We regularly monitor this service. 516.621.2211.
Your child's Group Leader will be your primary contact here at camp. He/she will be in touch with you before the summer begins and on a frequent basis throughout the summer. Should you want to speak with your camper's Group Leader at anytime, call our office and we will get him/her to you as soon as possible.
Q. How will I know what events and activities are happening at camp?
A: Pierce partners with parents to keep you informed throughout the summer. The most effective communication will take place one-on-one between you and your child's Group Leader. In addition we will keep you posted on exciting camp events in several ways. We have a daily, season-long camp calendar on our website that is also sent home to all parents before camp begins. We also have The Pierce Chieftain, our official camp newsletter, which we publish a few times per season and circulate to you via bus and through our website. Finally, Pierce utilizes an automated phone tree service that will phone your home should we need to remind you of an event or alert you of a Pow Wow cancellation due to rain. Broadcast emails and a variety of other means all add up to plenty of communication to keep you in the loop. We also post thousands of photos online via our secure website. This allows us to share all of the FUN and excitement of a Pierce summer with our camp families.
Q: Are their opportunities for parents to visit camp during the summer?
A: Pierce's visiting policies vary by age level. Pierce maintains a no visiting policy for the first two weeks of camp. After that, parents of our 3 and 4 year-olds may visit by appointment. Thevisit is usually centered around the afternoon swim period. Mini-Day campers might only have a morning swim period, so parents of these campers can schedule their visits in the morning.
Campers in our 6 and 7 year-old divisions have a night Pow Wow during which their parents will join them at Pierce. Pow Wow's offer a spirited opportunity for our campers to sing, dance, swim, and play sports for their parents and friends. Our 8 year-old groups host an evening "Family Camp Night" for their parents and friends. The Pow Wow's and Family Camp Nights are on our camp calendar. Reminders will be sent in advance both by email and snail mail. There is no visiting for our Senior and Super Senior Groups.
SESSIONS AND GROUPING
Q. What if I want to extend camp by adding additional weeks?
A: We love it when our campers stay with us for even more summer FUN! Just call the camp office and we will gladly accommodate your request. Once camp begins campers can add additional weeks, but we cannot permit "trade downs."
Q: How are campers "grouped" at Pierce? Can I request to have my child be with his/her friends?
A: Campers are grouped according to grade in school completed. We will have multiple groups for each age/grade. We maintain a strict limit as to the size of our groups and will not compromise established ratios and group numbers. In early spring, we will mail you a "Grouping Request Card". This request card provides the opportunity to make your requests for your child's friends to be grouped with one another. We ask that you limit requests to two, as the requests are numerous and at times it can become a mathematical issue. We also ask that when making these requests, parents cross endorse each other to insure the compatibility of the request.