Frequently Asked Questions

Are all activities co-ed?

No. Team sports are either all boys or all girls and grouped by age. Some activities are co-ed, such as theatre productions, fine arts, sailing, etc. Tennis is grouped by age and within age grouped by ability, so that tennis lessons are most appropriate to each group.

Are there as many sports for girls as there are for boys?

YES! Our sports program for girls is every bit as strong as that offered to boys, and both programs are outstanding.

Where do most Laurel South campers come from?

Last year, we welcomed campers from 28 states, but certain geographic areas are represented more heavily than others because most of our campers hear about Laurel South through friendships with current camp families. New York, Boston, New Jersey, Connecticut, Baltimore, Washington, South Florida and Los Angeles are all well represented. The New York area is the largest of those groups, with campers evenly divided between Manhattan, Westchester, Northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County as well as a small number from Long Island. We also welcome a few overseas campers.

Who are the Directors of Laurel South?

Laurel South’s Directors are Roger and Dagni Christian. Roger and Dagni each have degrees in Elementary Education. Additionally, Roger has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. They are very committed to working with children and have more than 25 years of camp experience. Roger and Dagni’s ability to motivate campers and staff, combined with their patience, warmth and skill in relating to campers and parents, make them a highly qualified and enthusiastic pair. They are members of the American Camp Association (ACA) and the Maine Youth Camping Association. Roger has served as a Standards Visitor for the ACA. Roger and Dagni have two children.

How does the program work for younger campers?

Laurel South’s program is designed to expose younger campers to a wide variety of new activities and provide proper instruction. The program is individualized – campers each have an individual schedule. Younger campers have certain requirements for their individual schedule, such as swim instruction, free swim, tennis, and at least two team sports, but they are also able to participate in activities of particular interest to them. Careful, professional guidance by Laurel South’s staff goes into the development of each camper’s program.

How does the program work for older campers?

Each age at Laurel South is treated differently. As campers grow older, they enjoy more choice in determining their individual program. All programs are individualized and each camper follows his or her personal schedule for each program day. Because Laurel South offers an unusually wide variety of activities with a great deal of depth of instruction, it is quite possible for older campers to specialize in one or two areas.

How does a camper's day-to-day schedule work?

An individual schedule is prepared for each camper. This schedule of age-appropriate activities is followed in an alternating daily schedule… A Day / B Day.

In addition to the regular daily schedule, there is a period at the end of each day for daily choice of activities. During this individual choice (IC) period, most program areas are open for instruction, plus IC special events are offered every day. Team practices, semi-private tennis lessons, extra play rehearsals, hikes, intercamp games, and free swim also take place at IC. The IC period provides a natural break from the pattern of scheduled activities.

Another break in the schedule is provided by Special (S) Days in camp and occasional Trip Days. The in-camp S-days are designed to maximize the various talents of the Laurel South staff, as well as interests of the campers. Campers always look forward to the special in-camp days as a chance to have a later breakfast, make their own sundaes at lunch and enjoy creative offerings by the counseling staff. The out-of-camp Trip Days feature one day excursions, primarily along the beautiful Maine coast.

Do all campers eat at the same time?

YES, all of our campers eat together. Breakfast and dinner are served family style. Lunch is served buffet style.

What time do campers get up in the morning and when is bedtime?

Wake-up for all campers is 7:45 a.m. On S-Days, campers enjoy an 8:15 a.m. wake-up. Bedtime varies by age. Our youngest campers are in bed the earliest, usually by 9:15 p.m. As campers get older, their time for lights out gets progressively later.

How do the children get to/from camp?

We are very experienced with transportation arrangements to/from camp. We have children arriving from all over the world and can work with you to arrange all details.

We use Boston and Portland as central meeting points and arrange to meet campers flying into both cities. In addition, we have chaperoned group trips from several cities in the United States. Campers arriving from overseas and from non-chaperoned cities either fly or drive directly to Boston or Portland and will be met by Laurel South staff. They are then transported by chartered buses, arranged by the camp.

There is an extra charge for these chaperoned trips, depending on origin. We are aware of the importance of proper transportation arrangements for our campers and always meet flights as children arrive. We would be glad to discuss your specific situation in detail.

Would you say Laurel South is structured or non-structured? Competitive or non-competitive?

The whole issue of structured/non-structured and competitive/non-competitive is one that is destined for a great deal of misinformation and cross-claims by varying directors.

In most ways, Laurel South is a very “structured” camp. We have set schedules for our day. Campers know what they will be doing each day and are expected to follow through with their programs. On the other hand, we could be considered less “structured” than some camps because our program is scheduled individually, rather than scheduled by cabin group.

Labels are always difficult. We consider ourselves to be a structured camp with an individualized program. As our campers get older, they have more choice in the program, but with a great deal of guidance and commitment to follow through with their program.

Laurel South is not a “hang around” camp. It definitely has an extremely busy and dynamic program.

“Competitive” or “non-competitive” is another issue subject to distortion in the camping community. At Laurel South, we “compete” a great deal. We have in-camp leagues and intercamp teams in many programs. We compete with other camps in our area in both boys’ and girls’ soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, archery, softball, swimming, sailing, etc. We are considered by most to be a “less competitive” camp.

We enjoy this dichotomy, as we have found that we can operate our camp in a manner that will challenge those looking for a great deal of sports competition, but also suit campers who are not “great athletes” and want to be in an atmosphere where they can achieve success in ways not related to athletics.

We recognize each camper’s strengths and encourage the pursuit of growth in those skills.

How many campers are there and how is the camp divided?

Each Laurel South session enrolls around 200 boys and 200 girls. For certain daily activities and evening programs, Laurel South divides into age-appropriate groups. This allows us to provide a very personal, close-knit atmosphere and a great deal of individual attention.

Kennebago Boys Kennebec Girls
SacoCompleted grades 2-4 KineoCompleted grades 2-4
AllagashCompleted grades 5-6 BaxterCompleted grades 5-6
RangeleyCompleted grades 7-9 KatahdinCompleted grades 7-9
Could you outline a 'typical day'?
7:45Wake up
9:35Morning Cove
10:00-10:501st Period
11:00-11:502nd Period
11:50Fruit Break
12:00-12:503rd Period
12:55-1:25Buffet Lunch
1:30-2:30Rest Hour
2:40-3:304th Period
3:40-4:305th Period
4:40-5:20I.C. Period
5:30Cabin Time
6:00Evening Cove
7:00Twilight (Rec. Time)
7:45Evening Program
Taps/Lights Out(Varies by age)

Note: This “typical” schedule is followed during regular program days. Every fifth day is a Special Event Day at Laurel South. Campers enjoy either a “Trip Day” out of camp or a “Special Day” in camp.

Is there intercamp competition and do you have to 'make' the team?

There is intercamp competition with other camps in our area in activities such as tennis, soccer, baseball, street hockey, softball, basketball, volleyball, sailing, swimming, and archery. Laurel South’s philosophy is to allow any camper who wants to participate to be “on” the intercamp team…we have no “cuts.” While we are definitely interested in winning any competitive sport that we play, our “win/loss” record is not the determining factor in judging the success of our camp’s summer. At Laurel South, we play to win, but consider the game a success if we played our best, were good sports and had a great time.

Is Laurel South a uniform camp?

No, but this does not mean that there is a “clothes competition” at our camp. The dress is very casual, without emphasis on who is wearing what or how much it costs. Laurel South’s campers and camp parents are a very “down-to-earth” group who prefer an environment without undue emphasis on clothing. We send a suggested clothing and equipment list to help you in your packing. There is a modest amount of required uniform for sports, games, trips, special events, etc.

Are there any religious services at the camp?

No. Laurel South is a non-denominational camp. We have no services on Friday or Sunday. A high percentage of our campers come from Jewish homes, but Laurel South accepts and welcomes children from all backgrounds, religions and faiths.

Do all cabins have electricity?

Yes, all cabins have electricity. In addition, a “night light” is left on throughout the evening in many cabins.

How clear is the lake?

Laurel South is located on 3-mile-long Crescent Lake. The crystal-clear lake is naturally warmed and the water temperature gets as high as 80 degrees during the day.

I love tennis. How much can I really play?

We have a beautiful tennis facility. Campers 6th grade and under are automatically scheduled for tennis instruction every other day of the session. Most campers 7th grade and older elect to play tennis. All of our campers can elect to play tennis daily, and some even play as many as two hours a day.

How is the food?

Campers, counselors and guests tell us our food is excellent. We have fruit available four times each day and daily salad bars at lunch and dinner. In addition, we have a bagel station at breakfast, and a baked potato or pasta station and hot vegetarian alternative included with every dinner. Our Chef takes special pride in his baked breads, cakes and cookies.