YMCA Camp Colman Outdoor Environmental Education Program Student Packet
Life at Camp Colman: Frequently Asked Questions
Arriving at camp
When you arrive at Camp Colman, you will be greeted by the camp staff. These are the people who will be teaching your classes during your stay. After they introduce themselves, they will take you on a tour of camp to show you the places where you eat, sleep, learn and play.
Where will I sleep at camp?
You will stay and sleep in tree-house style cabins. The cabins have bunk beds, bathrooms, showers, and a wood burning or propane stove. You will have a chaperone staying with you and the rest of your classmates in other cabins nearby.
Will animals come into my cabin?
Only if you have something they want! There are some ninja squirrels and pirate raccoons that live at Camp Colman who enjoy nighttime snacks. If you have food in your cabin, they might decide to visit. So as long as you refrain from hiding food, gum or candy in your backpack or duffel bag, Colman’s furry friends will not bother you.
When can I shower?
Your teachers can tell you more about when they would like you to use the showers, but in general you can use them early in the morning before breakfast or in the evening, after your night program.
Are the classes at camp like my classes at school?
No! In general, classes at camp are very different from classes in school. Your teachers bring you to camp so that you can do something other than sit in a classroom! During a typical day at Camp Colman, you’ll take 3 classes, two in the morning after breakfast and then one in the afternoon, after lunch. What classes you take depends on what your teachers, in their infinite wisdom, have signed you up for. They involve playing games with hula hoops and rubber chickens, exploring the forest or the beach, and checking out the sea creatures in the Marine Center. Each Colman instructor has their own style, and so every class will be unique.
What happens in the evenings?
After dinner you will have time to go back to your cabin and get warm clothes for the evening. Your evening activities are more like games than classes. You might have a campfire with skits, go on a camp-wide scavenger hunt, or explore through the woods on a night hike.
Will I have any free time?
Of course! After your last class of the day, which ends at 3:30, you will have free time until dinner. During this time you have a lot of options. Colman staff and your chaperones will be running different activities around camp, and if you choose to, you can participate in one of these.
Archery—Try using a bow and arrow to hit a target
Arts & Crafts—Check out the craft of the day…beading, dreamcatchers, etc. Boating—Take a rowboat out into the Colman lagoon
Beachwalk—Come walk explore the beach
Volleyball, Basketball, Pickle ball, or the ball field—Collect some friends & start up a game
What, where and when do we eat?
Ah, food. The most important question. The answer is that you eat wonderful food prepared by our kitchen staff, who spend a lot of time making sure that they prepare something for everyone. If you’re vegetarian, or have a food allergy, we will make sure you don’t go hungry.
Here’s some typical camp offerings:
Breakfast may begin as early as 7:45 and always offers…
Milk & juice
Cold cereal (Rice krispies, raisin bran, cheerios)
Hot cereal (Oatmeal or cream of wheat)
Fruit (Oranges, apples)
The Main Course (Like eggs, French Toast, & more!)
Vegetarian Option (This might be soup or a casserole) The Main Course (sandwiches, ravioli, mac-n-cheese.)
Salad bar (with all the fixins, different kinds of dressing, and pasta salads) Vegetarian Option (Like veggie burritos, rice & curry, etc.)
The Main Course (Like spaghetti,, turkey and potatoes,, fish fillets, & more!) Dessert! (It’ s a surprise…)
What is “The Ort Report”?
“Ort” is a real word that means “a morsel of food left at a meal”. We use it to refer to the scraps of food you leave on your plate after eating. At the end of each meal we collect, weigh and graph all of the food waste from everyone in the dining hall. Throughout your stay at camp, you can see how low you and your classmates can keep your Ort.
Why does it matter how much food I leave on my plate?
At home, if you leave uneaten food on your plate, it might not look like a lot. Here at camp, we have hundreds of people eating in the lodge all at once! If we all left food on our plates, we would end up with a gigantic heap of uneaten food scraps after every meal. All that wasted food adds up to a lot of wasted energy. Our mission, at camp and at all times in our lives, is to conserve energy and use only what we need.
What You Can Do: Making Camp a Place You’ll Love to Visit
As with any community–whether it is your home, school, or city–there are certain things we do to keep everyone in the community healthy and happy. Students are a very important part of the Colman community and you are responsible to help make sure camp runs smoothly! Before you arrive at camp, your teachers will give you a schedule of classes, duties and cleaning assignments. Some of the responsibilities you will be asked to do are listed below:
Super Student: Camp Colman may not look like school, but you are still responsible for being a
great student –
Follow directions from the Colman staff that will be your instructors.
Keep an open mind and be excited about learning.
Be on time to all of your classes.
Participate in class activities and asking questions.
Meal Duties: KP (Kitchen Patrol or Kitchen Party), Garden: Everyone in the Colman community
is responsible for taking turns on meal duties, even your Colman instructors! Your teachers & chaperones will let you know which meals you are in charge of. When it’s your turn, be on time and look for the Colman instructor to give you directions. You will:
Meet 15 minutes before the meal!
Listen carefully and follow directions from Colman staff you will learn some new skills!
Gopher (The person who “goes for” food): To make sure meals run smoothly, only one person at a time at each table is allowed to go to the kitchen to get seconds. This person carries a “Gofer” tag as
their ‘ticket’ into the kitchen. Take turns at each meal so everyone gets a chance to be the Gofer.
Cabin Clean-up Crew: Everyone in the Colman community is responsible for cleaning their cabin
every day and especially at the end of their stay. This includes:
Putting clothes away
Emptying cabin trashcans into the big cans around camp
Sweeping floors and picking up litter around the cabin.
Litter Patrol & Habitat Helpers: Camp is a big place, and you are the people who see the most of it!
We need your help keeping it clean and safe for people, plants, and animals. Some ways you can do this are:
Whenever you see litter (Even if it’s not yours!) pick it up and put it in the trashcan or recycling.
Remind other people to stay on trails and to be gentle and quiet around the wild creatures living at camp.
Thank you for all your help! See you at camp…