If your questions aren’t answered here, just give us a call! 860-354-5030
What is a typical day at Buck’s Rock
7:30am Wake-up Gong (8:30am on Sundays)
8:00am Breakfast (9:00am on Sundays)
9:00am-12:00pm Shops are open (10:00am-12:00pm on Sundays)
12:00pm-2:00pm Lunch and Rest Hour
2:00pm-6:00pm Shops are open
7:00pm Early Evening Activity
8:00pm Late Evening Activity
10:00pm Put to Bed Gong
At Buck’s Rock we don’t have a typical schedule like most other camps. Campers do not have to choose a “Major” or “Minor” activity that they are committed to for the entire summer. Campers have the Freedom of Choice to choose their activities on a daily and even hourly basis. They can focus on one shop or studio during the summer, or they can try all 32 different shops and studios.
Campers don’t have to eat meals with their bunkmates or go to the pool or archery or any other activity with their bunk. Nobody is going to tell you what to do or where to go. Campers can spend their whole summer in Theater, Dance, and the Music Shed. Or, they can spend their whole summer in the Woodshop, Glassblowing, and Batik. Campers can spend an entire morning in Ceramics, or they can spend an hour in Ceramics, have a Flameworking lesson, rehearse for their part in the Play and then go jam in a Rock Band.
At Buck’s Rock, you can do ANYTHING! But we have one rule: You can’t do nothing! You must be engaged in a shop when they are open. You can’t hang around and do nothing.
Who are your staff and where do they come from?
Our staff are the key to bringing our mission to life. Because our focus on the creative and performing arts and Montessori-based philosophy appeal to a growing number of young adults, we receive an extraordinary number of staff applications, and our hiring is highly selective. Our leadership team and heads of shop tend to be older than those at most sleepaway camps. We thoroughly screen all staffers, and their training includes pre-camp reading and videos, an immersive week-long training, and ongoing supervision and mentoring. Creative and performing arts shop staff are professional artists in their fields and art students. House counselors are selected for experience and talent in caring for children and many have education backgrounds. The majority of our staff come from the U.S.; many hail from Europe, Latin American, Australia, Israel, and other countries. Additionally many of our staff are Buck's Rock alums.
How does Buck's Rock Address the health and safety of its campers?
Safety is our number one priority. We maintain an outstanding 2 staff members for every 3 campers. We work closely with the American Camp Association and our state and local health department, and surpass the basic standards in may areas. During orientation, all staff are trained in our fire-department-approved safety and security procedures. Assigned staff members ensure that all visitors report to the camp office on arrival, appropriately escorted. Our staff maintain proper certifications for lifeguarding, archery, first aid and more.
One or more registered nurses is available 24 hours a day in our health center/infirmary, which exceeds American Camp Association standards for best practices. A pediatrician comes to camp nearly every morning and is always on call. The nearest hospital emergency room is three miles from camp. Campers who take routine medications have them stored and dispensed in our infirmary.
The Connecticut State Department of Health requires all campers have completed medical forms and signed emergency authorizations by May 15th.
Emotional safety is supremely important as well. We select our counselors for emotional intelligence, and train them in connecting effectively with each of their campers. Our positive, supportive environment is the foundation of everything here.
My camper has food allergies. Can you accommodate them?
Our chefs work to accommodate various dietary needs including diets free of lactose, gluten, soy, and meat. We are a completely peanut and tree nut free camp since the summer of 2017. Our kitchen is not kosher but we can assist your campers in following a vegetarian diet if they prefer. If your camper has severe allergies, you will have the opportunity to speak with our chefs to make sure your camper's needs are met. Please feel free to give us a call for more details.
what are meals like at Buck's Rock camp?
We provide three healthy meals a day plus an afternoon snack in our historic communal dining hall. We pride ourselves on offering a variety of choices, including a daily soup and fully stocked salad bar with fresh veggies, a variety of proteins, and fresh fruit. There is always a vegetarian option, as well as dairy and gluten free. We also have ice cream, candy, and snacks for purchase at the canteen, which is open daily.
Is there a visiting day? Can I drop in and say hello?
Parents are welcome to drop in and visit camp any time after the first week of each session. We don't allow families to visit during the first week as these visits can disrupt not only your camper's experience at camp, but also that of their bunkmates. We work hard to make sure that all campers adjust to camp life as quickly as possible and enjoy their daily routine. Staff will communicate with each family in the first week with updates about campers, and parents are welcome to call the office in the event of emergencies or special concerns. After the first week, campers will have access to their phones during lunch and rest hour for daily calls home. Additional guidelines for family visits are listed in the Parent Manual.
What are the living areas like?
We live in beautiful dorm-style buildings with indoor shared bathrooms. In the application, you can let us now whether you prefer a top or bottom bunk. We do our absolute best to make sure everyone has an awesome cabin experience and can accommodate one mutual bunkmate request. We know you’ll have a great time at camp no matter who is in your cabin!
Electronics at camp?
At camp we unplug from electronics so that we can plug into community and ourselves. Cameras are welcome, as are kindles and music-playing devices. Phones are kept in a safe location by house counselors and provided to campers for use during lunch and rest hour daily after the first week of each session. We do not provide WiFi for campers and strong encourage parents to remove all apps and games from phones prior to arrival at camp. Tablets, computers and electronic gaming devices are not allowed at camp. We do have recording equipment, so campers can record their own live music and videos in groups and individually.
What are Camper Accounts?
Every camper has a Camper Account that can be used to purchase toiletry items, candy, ice cream, drinks, and snacks from our Canteen, which is open daily from noon to 2 pm. The Camper Account is also used to cover charges for materials for certain shops like metalsmithing, woodworking, weaving, glassblowing etc., and for field trips that require an admission fee (Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, Shakespeare Festival, etc.). While it’s hard to predict how much each camper may spend during the summer, we suggest you pay $300 into your camper's Camper Account to start. In the event that your budding artist is attempting their own Christo or some other unusually pricey project piece, we will contact you first.
my camper plays a musical instrument. should they bring it or can they Rent one at Buck's Rock?
Your child is welcome to bring their own musical instruments from home. If your child wants to rent an instrument for one of our music programs or just for some free form jamming, please contact our Music Department at the beginning of the session. Rental cost ranges from $30 to $60 per instrument per session.
Does buck's Rock offer transportation to and from camp?
Most parents drop off and pick up their campers at Buck's Rock. We don’t have a bus, but we do provide a limited number of pickup and drop off rides to and from JFK and LGA. Just shoot us a call or email us for more details. There is a $100 fee for each airport pickup or drop-off.
does buck's Rock offer scholarships or Financial Aid?
Friends of Buck’s Rock, Inc. is a non-profit organization (501(c)3) established in June 2001, dedicated to promoting the educational ideals and life philosophy initiated by the Camp’s founders, Ernst and Ilse Bulova. The organization is a separate entity from the camp and through the generosity of individuals and the camp directors, has awarded more than 70 scholarships for a summer experience at Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp. Please contact them directly at www.friendsofbucksrock.org. In addition to the Friends of Buck’s Rock Scholarships, we have a strong Financial Aid Program and offer tuition based on a sliding scale. For more information contact us.
What is the Junior Camper Program?
Our Junior Camper program is specifically designed for campers age 9-10. The Junior Campers receive slightly more structure and supervision than the regular age campers. Junior Campers are allowed to participate in all of the shops and studios with the regular campers.
However, the Junior Campers have their own play, one dance, one puppet show and one comedy/improv performance. All Junior Camper productions happen on Festival.
We have found that Junior Campers are most successful when they are able to immerse themselves int the program and not have any other contact with home. Therefore, Junior Campers are also not allowed to bring cell phones to camp, have visitors, email or speak to their parents on the telephone. They will send at least two post cards home during their session and they are allowed to receive USPS mail and care packages.
Can I come to camp with my child as a work-trade?
Thanks for your interest! You are welcome to review the Work Here page and complete a staff application if you see a position that fits. We are also glad to talk about financial aid possibilities and sliding scale tuition for your camper - we want to make it possible for them to come.
What if my child has special needs?
We determine case-by-case what needs we are able to accommodate properly. Please call and let's talk.
What is your policy on sending packages to camp?
Letters from home are always very appreciated. We allow families to send one care package per camper per week. Care packages must be no larger than a shoe box. It's ok to send food items to your camper but please make sure they have a secure Tupperware box in their bunk to store the food so it doesn't attract wild animals or insects. No peanuts or tree nuts of any kind are allowed anywhere at camp. Soda and soft drinks are also prohibited.
How does Buck's Rock celebrate my camper’s summer birthday?
Camp birthdays are always special at Buck's Rock. Our chefs will bake you a special cake and your whole bunk gets a yummy celebration! Also expect your house counselors to plan a tasty pizza party and/or pool party for a combined celebration for all the birthdays in your session. Parents may send a special birthday package and talk by phone with their camper.
How do I communicate with my camper while they're at Buck's Rock?
After the first week of each session, campers have access to their cell phones for one-half hour per day, with the exception of Junior Campers. You can call, text, and email during that time. And even though sending letters, packages and postcards might seem old school we promise campers still love getting the real stuff. You can also check out our Photoblog, Facebook, Instagram. We also video all performances and make them available online under the Parent Resources tab on our website's main menu.
What if I need to reach Buck's Rock Camp after regular office hours?
During the summer, you can call us at (860) 354-5030 at any time. From 9:30 pm to 8:30 am, you'll get a voicemail system. You can leave a message or send an email to email@example.com. Our Camp Director checks these messages often and will get back to you as soon as possible.