Camp Kelly Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT US

General Questions

Common Concerns

Camp Logistics

What is United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania (UNC)?

UNC is a nonprofit organization that works to meet the needs of local low-income families, seniors, and youth, while also empowering them to attain self-sufficiency. For over 90 years, UNC has made its mark by listening to the community. When the agency heard that the community wanted Camp St. Andrew to stay open, they worked with the Diocese of Scranton to make that happen. Camp St. Andrew was renamed UNC’s Camp Kelly and UNC was happy to retain most of the staff through the transfer. Camp helps UNC to reach its mission by instilling confidence and improving social skills in the campers and young staff members who attend.

Why do you do what you do?

As an agency, UNC has been running Project Hope Day Camp on the property for more than 40 years. From the beginning, we knew Camp was an incredible place. At Camp Kelly, campers have the opportunity to build confidence, social skills, and character in an environment where it is okay to make mistakes. Camp is a unique place that simultaneously encourages young people to act like children while giving them the tools they will need to become responsible adults. Many campers experience their first week away from home at Camp, and UNC is thrilled to empower them to become more self-sufficient and independent.

Who is Camp Kelly’s Director?

UNC’s Director of Camp Initiatives, Kelly Langan, has years of experience running writing and theatre programs in public schools and working with young adults on personal and professional development. Kelly spent the past 10 summers working at Camp St. Andrew and UNC’s Camp Kelly. She first came as a counselor and loved finding new ways to keep her campers enthusiastic. As she progressed from counselor to Village Leader to Assistant Director, Kelly always focused on programs that kept the staff sharp and the campers engaged. This will be her second year as Camp Director.

Who are your staff? Are they good role models?

Our staff is comprised of intelligent, compassionate, charismatic young adults who know the impact their words and actions can have on their campers; they take this responsibility very seriously. Counselors in Training (CITs) will be entering 11th and 12th grade, and Counselors are typically college-aged. Village Leaders, who interact with campers and staff throughout the day, are our most experienced counselors who have consistently shown maturity and compassion.

COMMON CONCERNS

Will my child be safe?

Our staff know safety comes first. Each cabin has at least one live-in staff member present around the clock to ensure their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. Many of our staff are certified in Pediatric and Adult First Aid, CPR, and AED administration. All of our staff learn strategies to keep campers physically, emotionally, and socially safe. We have a live-in Registered Nurse for the duration of overnight camp to assist with and advise on any medical issues that may arise. The Camp Director is a certified First Aid, CPR, and AED Instructor and has training in Youth Mental Health First Aid to help campers in crisis; ServSafe to ensure safe, healthy meals; National Weather Service Basic SkyWarn to recognize any incoming severe weather; and Heads up to Concussions through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We take your child’s safety seriously.

Will you respect my child’s differences and beliefs?

Yes. We celebrate every camper’s differences and beliefs. Our campers’ differences make Camp a very special place. If you have any concerns about how we might accommodate your child, let us know when you register and we will create a plan together.

Will you make sure my child is not bullied?

We do everything we can to ensure that campers are not bullied. From the first day of Camp, our staff work with campers to prevent bullying behavior. Our counselors and administrative staff are always watching and listening to identify any camper who is being excluded so they can intervene. Of course, campers need to talk with us in order for us to know what they are experiencing. Campers who don’t bring cellphones to Camp are much more likely to talk with a counselor about their feelings because they can’t rely on friends and family who aren’t there. Keeping your camper’s cellphone at home will help us ensure they have a great time at Camp.

Can my child opt out of activities?

If a camper feels uncomfortable or unsafe during an activity, they always have the choice to opt out. Our staff are taught that people operate in three zones: comfort, growth, and panic. In our comfort zone, we feel safe and nurtured, but not challenged. In our panic zone we feel unsafe and pushed too far. We aim to get our campers and staff to step into the growth zone so they can take calculated risks in a safe environment.

My child has important daily medications. Who will make sure they’re administered correctly?

We will have a licensed medical professional on-site to administer prescription and over-the-counter medications. For prescription medications, we require a doctor’s signature on a special form from the registration site as well as the child’s name clearly printed on the label of the original packaging. For over-the-counter medications, we require legal guardian authorization before the licensed medical professional will administer the medication.

How will you deal with my child being homesick?

With love. Our staff are tuned in. Homesickness is a fairly common experience at Camp, and our counselors know what to do when a camper exhibits signs of missing home. We work to overcome homesickness in a way that gives campers agency. If homesickness seems extreme, we will contact the parents and create an action plan together. As a team, we will work through any challenges a homesick camper may present.

My child is shy; will she/he fit in?

Our senior staff talk about this often: the reason we fell in love with Camp when we first attended is because we really felt seen. It has become our goal to make sure each camper has this same experience. We teach our staff to pay attention to each camper, not just those who are outgoing. We challenge our staff to learn something new about every camper every day, not just on day one. Camp staff take the time to notice what’s unique about each camper.

How will you ensure my child eats well?

Campers enjoy three full meals a day, and we always offer alternatives to the main course. If your child doesn’t like the food that’s being offered, our staff will find a substitution. After everyone is served, campers are welcome to enjoy second helpings.

CAMP LOGISTICS

What activities are offered at Camp Kelly?

All campers have the opportunity to enjoy our rock wall and zip line, boating on the lake, swimming, campfire, and ghost stories. Resident campers also enjoy activities like archery, hiking, arts & crafts, and various team challenges, among other exciting surprises along the way.

What are the cabins like? Will a staff member sleep there?

Each cabin has 6 sets of twin-sized bunkbeds and one staff room. At least one staff member stays overnight in each cabin. There is electricity in the cabins.

How hot is it during the day? How cold is it at night?

The average low in Tunkhannock in July is 61°, and the average high is 83°. Campers typically wear shorts and t-shirts during the day and require extra blankets at night. In recent summers, the temperature sometimes dipped into the low 50s at night, so pack an extra blanket and your camper will be just fine!

Can my child bring a cell phone or other electronics?

Because of the disconnect it creates between campers and their camp experience, we don’t recommend sending your child to camp with a cell phone. Service is poor, but, still, campers with phones often rely on family and friends outside of Camp rather than talking to their cabin-mates or counselors. In addition, electronics are prone to being broken or misplaced in a natural environment like Camp. We have not yet decided to formally ban electronics, but we highly recommend leaving them at home. Anything you send to Camp with your child, you send at your own risk.

Will my child need cash?

On move-in day, many campers deposit cash into the Canteen to buy soda, Gatorade, and snacks throughout the week. Most campers will do well with $20-$30 for the week and the balance is refunded on the last day of Camp. Campers should not bring cash into their cabins.

Will my child be required to swim in the lake or pool?

No. We suggest that all campers take a “swim test” on the first day of Camp so the lifeguards know their level of ability, but campers are not required to swim in the lake or the pool. Swimming is an optional activity during free time.