FAQ’s – Campers
Girls from all over the world come to Wohelo. Our campers represent 24 different states, 6 different countries, and lots of different personalities. Some of you have heard about Wohelo through friends, many of you have been to Wohelo before (about 50%) and some of you have never been to camp, but your parents or grandparents went to camp. What every Wohelo girl shares is a love of learning, a sense of adventure and the motivation to have fun.
The counselor that will live in your cabin will be like a big sister, but she’ll be even more excited to do cool things with you. All Wohelo counselors have experience either at camp or working with kids. They are hired because they specifically enjoy working with kids. There are also other counselors that don’t live in cabins, and they are more like moms. Wohelo counselors are funny, smart, capable and caring. We love our counselors and we think you will too!
Yes and No. The cabins don’t have electricity, but many main buildings like the dining hall, buildings used to meet in the evening, the infirmary and office all have electricity. The cabins have walls, doors, screens and a guaranteed view. At night you will fall asleep to the sounds of nature, so exhausted from all the fun activities that you can’t stay up past 9 pm. anyway. The bathrooms are centrally located throughout camp, but take your flashlight because there isn’t electricity there either. Camping at Wohelo really is camping, and that’s fun!
Your counselor will be waiting for you. She may help you unpack and then give you a quick tour of camp. She’ll help introduce you to the other girls, she’ll be there if you get a little homesick and she’ll also be there if you and your cabin mates get a little rowdy. After your parents drop you off is the beginning of camp and a summer you will never forget!
This is where your sense of adventure kicks in. You will spend the first couple of days learning about camp. You will get a full tour of the buildings and layout. You will learn about each activity, and you will meet all the counselors and play games to meet the other campers. In the beginning everyone looks out for each other and helps to make sure we are all going in the right direction. Most important, if you don’t know, ask an adult.
Wohelo campers have been known to write letters home only talking about how delicious the food is. Our camp cook has been at Wohelo for more than 20 years. She loves Wohelo and takes pride in well cooked meals that kids and adults like. There is lots of variety to the meals and usually options like a salad bar or cold cereal. Sometimes the cook even takes surveys from the campers to decide the menu. We eat breakfast and lunch at assigned tables and dinner is served as a buffet (think yogurt, PB& J, deli sandwich, salad and hot dish options) to be eaten outside as a picnic hanging out with friends. We also like to have pancakes, famous Wohelo BBQ chicken, hotdogs and hamburgers all cooked over the fire.
Yes. It is in the camp activities that you meet friends, learn skills and discover hidden talents. We assume that everything is new to everyone and we clearly go over rules, how to stay safe and how to begin. As your skills advance we will teach you new things and soon you will be doing things that you didn’t think you could. There are however, times during the day when you will have a choice. You may decide to take time out to read a book in your favorite nature spot or write a letter in the cabin, or there will be other activities to sign up for.
More than 50% or our campers come for the full summer. We hope that eventually every Wohelo girl returns for the full seven weeks. In seven weeks you will learn the most, make the most lasting friendships and really learn to live and take care of yourself away from home. If you have never been camping before, it’s great to try the three and a half week session.
THE VALUE OF SEVEN WEEKS – The seven week full session is the best way to get the most out of the Wohelo experience. It takes some time to settle into camp life, get to know the schedule, one another, and start to learn the activity skills. Once that settling in time period has passed, THAT is when the real learning starts. Half session campers are just starting to get into this amazing groove of living together and working together as a team in a thoughtful and cooperative way. The learning that is so unique to our camping experience happens to a much higher degree for the girls who are with us for full session. The life long friendships that are formed in the full session are built upon this commitment to living and working together for the full seven weeks.
At Little Wohelo, your cabin will have a “shower hour.” This happens once a week. If you would like to shower more often you may choose to shower during free swim or free time before or after dinner everyday. At Sebago Wohelo, the showers are open all day and campers can shower when they like.
Laundry is done by camp and by cabin, once a week. In the morning you turn in the laundry and in the afternoon it comes back – smelling fresh and clean.
Friends – making friends, being with friends, learning with friends and having fun with friends. When we ask our campers what the best part of camp is, they say, “our friends. “ You will find that your camp friendships are slightly different than all the other friends in your life. At Wohelo you get to know each other on the inside, not based on what you look like on the outside (we all look the same in our uniforms, anyway). Living and learning in a fun and relaxed atmosphere is the perfect place to make and grow the most valuable friendships. Your Wohelo friends last a lifetime.
Missing home is a very normal feeling and shows that there is something about home that you love, which is a wonderful thing. Most campers who feel homesick only feel it a small or moderate amount, and they are able to help themselves feel better by just engaging in activities. It is most common to feel homesick during quiet times so be prepared to bring things to do to keep yourself occupied during rest hour such as crafts, stationary, or books you’d like to read. Our counselors are trained to help campers work through feelings of missing home, and you should always feel comfortable going to them for help. Other campers, especially those that have been to camp before, are also good resources. They may have ideas for you to try that worked for them when they were missing home. They may also be good people to show you things to do during quiet time or free choice time and just by going to those activities together might help you keep your mind from dwelling on feelings of missing home. Remember, it is normal to miss home some, and it may take some effort to be able to put those feelings aside when you want to.
What we have found, in our 100 years of camping, is that phoning home most often is not helpful in overcoming feelings of homesickness. One of the greatest things we can give our campers is the opportunity to gain independence and self confidence. One of the reasons this happens so often at camp is because campers are able to navigate through challenging situations on their own and with the help of peers and counselors. Calling home doesn’t allow for this opportunity and usually stirs up stronger feelings of homesickness. Remember, camp is just a short part of your year so try to take advantage of every second!
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