West End House Camp was founded in 1908 by James Jackson Storrow, who in 1906 had also founded the West End House Boys (& Girls) Club in Boston. It is located on land originally occupied by Camp Wildmere, which had ceased operations a year or two earlier. Situated on Long Pond in Parsonsfield, Maine and encompassing 140 acres of land, WEHC initially consisted of a small, leased area with tents for the campers and a wooden building (the “Wildmere” structure) that served as a dining hall, food storage area, and recreation room.
Major renovations took place in 1950, when many of the buildings (the 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, the dining hall, and gym) were constructed. The current gym (built in 1956) replaced the original structure, which had collapsed during a severe ice and snowstorm in 1952; the 5’s were built in 1961, the same season Gottlieb and Bancroft were combined. The administration office, the “Kezar,” was built in 2000 with support from Mike Finn. In 2008 the Jack Burnes/Old Infirmary complex was thoroughly renovated with funding from Laurie Kaplan, and in 2009 two new cabins for staff with families were built with funding from Myra Kolton. That same year Gottlieb was rebuilt after having received damage during the winter of 2007 – 2008. The Auxiliary cabin renamed to honor Bobby Gordon was renovated in 2012. For 2017 the Eddie Andelman Gym- a fitness pavilion was built with funds partially raised by the Andelman family. For 2018, the Health Center was renovated and the outdoor basketball, volleyball, and beach volleyball courts were redone. For 2019 the Margolin Center was built and in 2021 the 1’s bathrooms and floors were renovated as well as the new Kane Council Ring was completed. Other changes and additions over the years have made WEHC into one of the most modern and best equipped camps in the country.
West End House Camp is a private, nonprofit Maine corporation, managed by a Board of Directors of 32 individuals. The President of WEHC is Jeff Kublin, Executive Director is Bill Margolin, Advising Director is Steve Lepler, Camp Director is Ryan Wilensky, Waterfront Director is Allan Jacobs, Assistant Director is Josh Daigle, Steve Dancey is Business Operations Director, Aidid Brayboy is the Night Supervisor and Steve Dushan is a Special Assistant. In addition, Natasha Williamson is our Health Care Supervisor, Brock Major II is our Assistant Health Care Supervisor and Ellen Collard is our Margolin Center Coordinator.
Our Mission is to:
- Operate and sustain a premier summer camp for boys from all backgrounds, regardless of their financial means.
- Encourage development of lifelong friendships and bonds among our campers, staff, and alumni in order to form a supportive brotherhood.
- Cultivate self-confident, independent campers who become engaged community members, contributors, and leaders of high character.
Purpose of Guidelines and General Statements
In order for campers to experience a safe, healthy, emotionally stable, and happy season, it is important that written guidelines be produced and distributed to ensure that WEHC staff members demonstrate the highest standards and qualities of responsibility, skills, and performance. Staff members must do their best to ensure that the goals of the Mission Statement become a reality; they need to have a positive attitude as they teach, reinforce, schedule activities, and as they counsel children. A staff man must realize that he is taking the place of a parent; as such, he must give the best possible advice and make the best possible decisions regarding campers. A wrong, foolish, or neglectful action can spell disaster for a child or for the camp; the correct decision can make a positive difference in the life of a youngster that will be beneficial forever. We categorize our staff as youth development professionals to emphasize and honor the importance of their position.
The camp administration and Board of Directors are intent on making sure that each summer is the absolute safest, healthiest, and most fun it can possibly be. To that end, if you feel you cannot or will not agree to these guidelines and rules, or if you do not intend to take your responsibilities seriously, please do not waste your time or ours by being at camp.
This year we will once again have the following posted in each cabin for review by campers and staff alike:
The Four Questions
All of us must ask ourselves these four questions before and during all we do:
- Is it safe?
- Is it fun for me and for everybody?
- Are we doing/teaching the right thing?
- Would leaders at camp and our parents say “Go for it?”
WEHC is the best place in the world. Be grateful that you’re here. Make it even better!
- Positive attitude
- Positive actions
- Listen to your counselors
- Try your hardest
- Respect and treat others and their property as you would like to be treated
We have established the following list of goals and outcomes:
S.P.I.R.I.T. of the House
Social, Perseverance, Independence, Responsibility, Integrity, Teamwork
Social goals: Communicating and creating meaningful relationships.
- Campers will establish meaningful friendships with other campers.
- Find a positive role model amongst counselors and camp staff.
- Be encouraged to express their feelings constructively.
Perseverance goals: Continued effort toward achievement
- Campers will display a willingness to learn new skills and participate in new opportunities.
- Improve on several skills (ex. swimming, waterskiing, archery, fitness, athletics).
- Receive affirmation for skill area achievement(s) through praise, smiles, high fives, fist bumps, camp announcements and formal awards at the end of each session and the end of the summer.
Independence goals: Learning and applying life skills
- Campers will organize and take care of their personal space and belongings
- Participate in daily cabin clean-up.
- Achieve all daily hygiene goals including brushing teeth, changing clothing and showering.
- Participate in overall beautification of the camp. Examples include “reverse littering” (picking up trash), returning clothing, putting equipment away and other opportunities.
Responsibility goals: Being accountable to yourself and others
- Campers will give respect to peers, camp staff, environment and personal belongings and receive the same respect in turn.
- Respect and receive appropriate privacy.
- Follow the daily schedule of camp events by arriving promptly with the appropriate attire.
Integrity goals: Honesty with sound moral character
- Campers will follow safety rules and follow the direction of staff.
- Own their actions/attitudes and apologize for any wrongdoing.
- Abide by the golden rule, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”
- Welcome the differences of others and embrace other(s) individuality.
Teamwork goals: Working for a common cause
- Campers will work together towards a common goal.
- Learn to effectively communicate with others.
- Learn positive techniques for problem solving.
Working with Campers
- There is a zero tolerance policy towards bullying. This is not acceptable for campers or for staff. Bullying is defined as mean, hurtful behavior that occurs repeatedly in a relationship with an imbalance of power or strength. Staff are required to set a positive example and intervene proactively and immediately if a situation begins to occur, and staff must notify the Directors. There are no chants or jeers in the dining hall or elsewhere that might be considered bullying, teasing, scapegoating, or mean-spirited.
- There is also a zero tolerance policy towards hazing. Hazing is defined as unrealistic, embarrassing or dangerous tasks or projects assigned to new people in order for them to be accepted into the ranks of their peers.
- Set the example and uphold the policies in everything, including language, manners, hygiene, respecting authority, not fooling around, not walking barefoot, not swearing, no pranks, etc.
- Be pleasant, smile, look directly into a camper’s eyes when speaking to him, and be nice. Your upbeat attitude will rub off! Offer encouragement and instruction, not criticism or ridicule. Be positive.
- Spend time with campers and get to know them. Become a friendly mentor. Earn their trust and admiration.
- Treat campers fairly and equally – no favorites or pets, no discrimination whatsoever.
- Keep discussion about any camper problems confidential. Camper concerns of a serious nature must be shared with the Directors immediately.
- Ensure that the camper is leading a healthy lifestyle – eating habits, hygiene, brushing teeth, showering, wearing appropriate attire, etc. Ensure campers do their laundry at the appropriate times. Ensure that all clothes and items get repacked at the end of a session. Make sure the campers follow the We’re Extremely Healthy Campers guidelines that are posted in each cabin.
- Follow the specific health and cleanliness guidelines that are posted in each cabin.
- Be aware of which of your campers take medication and ensure that they go to the Health Center in a timely manner at the appropriate times. Also, be aware of any food or other allergies or health issues of your campers, and any major health issues of campers that you may be working with at other times of the day. Learn the names and home towns of the campers in your cabin within the first day. Be aware of birthdays at camp and ensure the camper in question is recognized at lunch or dinner.
- Ensure campers are fully awake and washed up by second bell. Showers nightly. Calm after cake and milk. Campers need to be indoors by 8:30. All campers are back in their own cabins no later than 9:00 p.m., Gottlieb and G1 campers using the rec hall need to back in their cabins by 9:30. Lights out at 10:00 p.m. Campers who choose to go to bed before then must be respected.
- All campers playing any sport will wear sneakers and socks. The only times sandals or flip-flops can be worn are when heading to the waterfront, at meals, and in the cabins. Bare feet allowed if playing Beach Volleyball.
- There will be no activity that requires campers to go into the woods.
- Listen to a camper – do not ignore him or his complaints. If it is important to a camper, it had better be important to you.
- Make sure you know the whereabouts of all the campers who are supposed to be with you.
- Cleanup: Counselors will physically participate and have an active role in the cleanup up of the cabin. Help, teach, supervise. When supervising, do so from a proactive position, not by lying in bed and dictating orders. There will be a list of cleanup and sanitizing tasks that must be done by the counselors. Take inspection seriously. It has been proven that even the youngest children can clean well (with the assistance of their staff). No excuses for messy cabins. Cabins that become dirty or messy after inspection will be required to be cleaned before the end of the day. Inspection will be done every day. It is ultimately the responsibility of the counselors to make sure that the cabins are clean. Chronic poor performance in this area will lead to loss of time off.
- Each counselor’s area must be a positive example of cleanliness. No items should be kept under anyone’s bed. No towels/wet items can be in the rafters. Shutters need to be up to get proper ventilation in the bunk.
- Be fair, be consistent, be patient, be proactive, be there for the kids!
On Duty Expectations
- Staff will adhere to the schedule of activities, supervision, and time off, and will wear a watch. Bring one. Cell phones will not be allowed at activities or in the bunks for keeping track of the time, for inspection scores, or for any other reason. Violations will be subject to progressive discipline.
- All staff are on duty during clean up, meals, elective time, and rest period. Staff must actively supervise and interact with campers during those times. During rest period, staff must be awake, alert, and supervising the campers in the cabin or at other venues in the camp. If there are campers in the cabin during elective times or rest period, there must be at least one staff person there.
- Active supervision is expected during meals. There needs to be one counselor on the ends of each table. If there is a bunk without two counselors present, ask a counselor from a different cabin to help cover. Staff must enforce immediate quieting down at the dining hall bell or at the W quiet sign. No one should go to the bathroom during meals unless it is an emergency, and only with a staff person accompanying him to the camper’s own bunk and waiting on the porch.
- No staff should be in the Kezar during “elective” times. The only exception would be if they are doing specific preparations for an upcoming camp activity and if their bunk is covered.
- Staff assigned to activities are expected to be on time, in appropriate attire (socks and sneakers, etc.), with necessary equipment (whistle, athletic equipment, etc.). Staff is expected to ensure that activities run the designated length of time to ensure proper supervision. Morning league games will go to at least 11:15 and afternoon league games until at least 4:00. Positive coaching, officiating, and supervision are expected from all staff, along with the exhibition and fostering of the highest standards of hustle, sportsmanship, competition and positive teaching.
- Ratios – Without exceptions, all activities (especially games) and those with over 8 campers, should have at least a 2nd counselor on duty with that group. Gottlieb (15 year olds), can have 1 staff per 10 campers. During unstructured times, in the cabin, 1 counselor in a cabin actively supervising is permitted. Other activities where 1 counselor is sufficient include Gaga, Tennis and other non team sport activities that do not require extra safety precautions (ex. Archery, All water activities, hiking). Evening activities, trips and major activities (ex. Desert War), require all on duty staff. If there are extenuating circumstances, a director must approve so they can provide the extra supervision. Trips require at least an adult driver (21 years old) and 1 staff for a full van of 13 campers.
- When there is a trip, staff should never take their eyes off the campers and make sure to have a person on the entry and/or exit point so kids stay within the parameters. In the case of large camp trips (ex. Sea Dogs, FunTown), staff will circulate consistently in small groups while ensuring the campers stay within the confines. Staff will wear easily identifiable West End House shirts. A minimum of 2 adults and a typical 1:8 staff:camper ratio. Any overnight outdoor trip requires a Wilderness Certified adult.
- There is never a scenario where a 16 year old CIT is the sole counselor in charge of 15 year olds. They would be the support counselor in that scenario.
- Elective time does not start until 11:30 or 4:15, so if the game/activity ends before then, you are still responsible for supervising those campers until 11:30 or 4:15. Do extra instruction before the game starts and/or creative related activities after the game/activity is over. You need to be with your group one place or another until 11:30 or 4:15.
- Staff are responsible for making sure their campers get from one activity period to another in a quick and timely manner. One person needs to accompany the group until they are handed off to the next activity leader.
- Think before you act. When in doubt, ask. Don’t do stupid things that you might regret for the rest of your life. One incident can damage 113 years of a well-earned positive reputation.
- Staff are expected to be clean and neat and in appropriate attire. Staff shirts will be worn on opening, changeover, closing, and visiting days.
- All on duty staff need to be in their own cabins by midnight. The Night Superisor or another Director will monitor and ensure this.
- If staff are unable to perform in a professional manner because of lack of sleep, appropriate action will be rendered to ensure the problem is solved. All staff and campers are expected to be in the
Council Ringat the designated spot within 5 minutes of second bell.
- Staff may be paged for phone calls if they are clearly off duty or if it is an emergency. Otherwise, a message will be taken.
- Coverage is at end of evening activities; relief and coverage will overlap from 10:00 – 10:15 p.m. Both staff need to be there until the bunk is quiet.
- The OD (Officer of the Day) will go from cabin to cabin after cake and milk and until cabins are quiet and asleep. You will ensure camp is calm, kitchen remains clean, kitchen and gym are closed by 11:00 p.m. A complete list of “OD Responsibilities” will be provided. ODs are not allowed to just hang out in the Kezar at night, nor play basketball or workout on the stage or at the Fitness Pavilion.
- Kitchen duties will be performed by all CITs. The responsibilities of the AOD (Assistant Officer of the Day) will be rotated through all JC’s. Rec Hall coverage will be rotated through the JC’s and CITs.
Gaga and Fitness Center supervision during rest period and after dinner elective time will be assigned to Senior Counselors. First priority is to supervise the Fitness Center, while still keeping an eye on the Gaga Pit. On duty league referees will be responsible for covering the Fitness Center, Gaga Pit, and Outdoor Courts during morning and afternoon elective times. 2021 adjustments will be made.
- Color War, Desert War, and World Cup do not change the expectations of staff behavior and decorum.
Camp Procedures + Protocols
- Support and enforce camp policies and rules, even if you are not in 100% agreement with them.
- Contraband items such as weapons, drugs, and alcohol must be confiscated immediately and passed into the Directors; campers will be subject to immediate dismissal. Other items not allowed (such as cell phones, matches, squirt guns, etc.) are to be confiscated and turned into the Directors for safekeeping. They may be returned at the end of the session. It is the staff’s responsibility to ensure that there are no items in the camper’s possession that are against our policies. If a staff person does not enforce this, there will be consequences, including loss of time off. Staff will lose a night off on the first instance, a day off on the second instance, etc. The offending camper will lose privileges as well.
- All camper trunks/big suitcases will be put into the storage area, except for bunk bed campers. WEHC is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items. However, money, jewelry, plane tickets, etc. may be locked in Bill’s cabin for safekeeping.
- A point of emphasis will be for all campers and all staff to totally respect others’ property, including clothing items, sporting supplies, and snacks. Any taking of items will have major consequences.
- Obscene or inappropriate materials, such as videos, DVDs, and magazines cannot be on camp property. There will be major disciplinary action for violations.
- Only PG movies can be shown at the appropriate times. PG-13 movies must be approved by one of the Directors before being shown. No R rated movies should ever be played in the cabins at any time. No X rated movies or material should ever be at our camp. No music that contains swears or inappropriate lyrics may be played. The offending device will be taken away and the staff person who played it will lose a night off.
- The only exception to the “no laptops in the bunk” policy is for specifically earned and approved “reward” movies for over 90 inspection scores and continued cleanliness at that cake and milk checkpoint. The laptop can be used for a movie and then be immediately returned to the lockers in the Kezar.
- Keep your personal lives/issues/problems private and away from campers.
- Show respect (and ensure campers do the same) at flag raising and lowering, and during speeches or talks given at meal times, at evening activities, etc.
- Campers come first, including meals, special events, barbecues, etc.
- Please put soda, juice cans and bottles in containers on front porch for collection.
- Ensure that each camper writes a letter home to be collected before dinner on Wednesdays and Sundays. Ensure that campers write legible and accurate addresses. Counselors will go to dinner when they have collected 100% of their letters.
- Keep staff noise levels at a minimum at night. No loud music or loud TV’s, no slamming of doors.
- Phone calls will be answered in the Kezar by administrative staff or their designee. Administrative staff will decide how to best proceed for camper phone calls. If you answer the phone and the caller is asking for a camper, take a message and give it to a Director. Campers will never be paged from an activity unless it is an emergency. We will decide if it is an appropriate time and an indicated situation for the camper to be paged, whether there should be a supervised call or whether one of the Directors should speak with the parent to give an update. There will never be an announcement made such as “_____, you have a phone call.” Instead it will be, “_____, please come to the Kezar.”
- Make sure all campers use the inner path. Coaches must accompany campers in transit. At Watermelon time walk up and down with the team.
- When announcements are made, it is the responsibility of staff to ensure that pertinent information is passed on to the campers. Music in a cabin needs to be played at a moderate level so announcements can be heard.
- Mail will be delivered once per day to everyone. This will be during the afternoon elective time. Mail, including staff’s, will be delivered to each cabin only when the cabin is clean and neat.
- Monitor the amount of food in the cabins. The total amount of all food/drinks by a camper must fit into a small container (16 inches long by 12 inches wide by 6 inches high). Make Directors aware of excessive amounts and a decision will be made as to how best to redistribute/utilize the excess. Counselors, the OD, the Assistant Director, Night Supervisor and the Special Assistant will monitor and enforce this.
- Kitchen: Clean up after yourself. If this does not happen, kitchen will be off limits. No use of equipment.
- Instruction to campers, as well as proper usage of equipment by campers, must at all times be stressed.
- Campers and staff can not write on the walls and ceilings of the cabins. At the end of the summer, a bunk list of all 4+ week campers and staff that season will be painted on a board and will be put in place on the ceiling by our Property Managers. The order of the campers’ names will be done alphabetically or by years at camp.
- Pets/animals are not allowed to be brought to camp and are not allowed in cabins in which campers live or participate in activities. Adult personnel can have pets in their cabins and surrounding area (away from campers).
- For camp bonfires and or during an extremely rare camping trip (which may require a campfire), a wilderness certified adult would manage the fire, drinking water and or accompany the group on that trip.
- Orientation will take place during the days leading up to Opening Day. Staff that cannot be present then will receive orientation as soon as possible after their arrival. Orientation will include a review of this manual, job expectations, information concerning procedures, discussion of scheduling and assignments, policies concerning time off, discussion about campers, review of emergency and disciplinary procedures, training in several important areas/topics, and any and all other information that is merited. Guest speakers and role-playing may be a part of the orientation before and/or after camp begins.
- All staff will be formally evaluated at least once per summer. End of the year evaluations and analyses will be also be conducted.
- Staff meetings will be held at least once a week, most often on Sundays. Staff should submit potential agenda items in advance.
- Staff should feel free to meet with the Directors at any time necessary; staff are encouraged to speak up, voice an opinion at the appropriate time and in a constructive manner. Don’t just be a problem identifier; be a problem solver!
- Work together with the other staff in your cabin; discuss situations as a group before coming to the Directors. Share cabin responsibilities. But then come to the Directors if campers and staff situations are not improving.
- Staff are expected to communicate campers’ needs/problems to one of the Directors as soon as possible.
- Praise in public, give constructive criticism in private, both for interactions with campers and with staff.
- Camp priority is to have a full, active, and properly supervised program for the campers. The first priority is to utilize your talents to maximize the positive experience for the campers. Although efforts will be made to allow for occasional in-camp time off, campers’ needs and the supervision of them must come first.
- Staff will sign up on Sunday Nights for the appropriate days and nights off. Time off may be limited to ensure that the proper number of people remains in camp to supervise activities and allow for proper cabin coverage.
- There are no “extended vacations” for staff. All time away from camp will count as days/nights off. Senior staff in the same cabins will not be allowed same days/nights off. Staff can take up to 2 days off per week (no more than 2 consecutive days) unless there are extenuating circumstances. Make the Director in charge of time off aware of extenuating circumstances before the campers arrive.
- Time off policy will be reemphasized at the beginning of the season. Nights start AFTER dinner and will end at 1:00 a.m. All off duty staff need to be in their own cabins by 1:00 a.m. The Night Supervisor will monitor and ensure this.
- There will be 5 days off for Senior Counselors who are at camp for the entire summer, 3 for JCs and 1.5 for CITs. All Senior Counselors and Counselors must take a minimum of 1 day off for the first session (weeks 1 and 2) and a minimum of another day off for the 2nd session (weeks 3 and 4) or they will lose the day off. Nights off will be done on a rotating basis with 3 shifts. CITs will need to schedule their weekly night off. Time off for staff who are with us for less than the full season will be prorated. 2021 – Time “out” of camp is still TBD.
- A counselor must use a Night off with a Day off.
- The night off schedule has 3 shifts the Senior Counselors and Counselors are on. So, for example Monday might be an A shift night off, Tuesday-B, Wednesday-C, Thursday-A, Friday-B, Saturday-C, Sunday- nobody as we have staff meetings that evening.
- We do have certain black out dates such as the Monday evening after a new session, the night before Visiting Day, the major activities,
- Time off ends once our “Color War begins.”
- If staff are off during an activity period, they are off only during the duration of the activity period; they are on duty up to and after the activity period(s) in question.
- When you have a day off, you will be assigned to an activity during the block of time preceding your day off and also during the block of time immediately upon your return. Expect this and let us know immediately if the schedulers did not do this properly, or you will lose future time off. Take initiative and tell your scheduler you will be leaving and when you are coming back.
- Violations of curfews and days off policies will result in disciplinary action, which will include loss of time off. There will be regular monitoring to ensure these policies are being followed.
- Staff need permission to use the waterfront.
- There will be no swimming inside or outside of WEHC unless a lifeguard is present.
- Fully equipped lifeguard (walkie-talkie, gear) must be on duty.
- Buddy system (IN/OUT Board) must be used for all staff
- Absolute diligence is required at the waterfront at all times. Do not gather together for social chatter if you are supposed to be watching the children. Eyes on campers at all times.
- All motorized boat drivers must be preapproved by the Directors and trained by the Waterfront Director or designee. Motorized boats are not to be used for personal pleasure. Nobody under the age of 16 can drive a motorboat.
- Waterfront must be cleared by dusk (8:15 p.m.) each night; this includes prohibition on after-hours swimming, boating, fishing, and socializing.
- Any activity at the waterfront can only take place if the Waterfront Director or his designee is on the waterfront.
- All waterfront rules posted and/or expressed by the Waterfront Director need to be followed.
- All staff that will be driving a camp vehicle must participate in a training led by a Camp Director.
- Except in cases of absolute, dire emergencies, no one under 21 years of age may drive a camper or other staff while on camp business. Camp vehicles may be driven only by preapproved staff who are 21 or older. On time off, under 21 year old drivers may drive staff only in their own vehicles, leaving no liability to WEHC, Inc.
- Campers will be allowed to leave camp only on authorized camp trips.
- Everyone wears seatbelts, staff included, and only the proper number of passengers can be put into a vehicle.
- All staff vehicles must be parked neatly in the parking lot and nowhere else, even during set up week.
- Camp vehicles and personal vehicles must be driven below speed limit, particularly on back roads, especially including The Road Between The Ponds, Joe Berry Rd, Long Pond Rd, Elm St, Route 5, and Route 25.
- Each staff person individually must sign out and in when he leaves and when he returns to camp. There is a Sign In/Out Sheet in a folder in the Kezar.
- The driver of the vehicle must have a cellphone and must alert the camp immediately if an issue arises.
- There will be an assigned captain on any bus/van who is in charge of all behavior/activities on that vehicle and must notify the directors immediately if any issues arise.
- Only Senior Counselors with a proper driver’s license and a good driving record are allowed to have an automobile at camp. In the event there are not many Senior Counselor vehicles, Junior Counselors may be allowed to have a vehicle upon the approval of the Directors.
- Counselors are not allowed to transport or be transported in the back of trucks or wagons on any public roads. Exceptions can be made on camp grounds, at extremely low speeds (5 MPH) with Director approval (ex. For Gold Rush rocks).
- There are no electronic games to be used in the cabins at all by campers or staff. No video game consoles or other devices that can play electronic games can be in a cabin at any time. Staff may use electronic games in the dining hall when they are off between 9:30pm and curfew. We discourage these being brought to camp, but if they are, they must be kept in the lockers in the Kezar. Directors will confiscate game consoles if they are seen at the wrong place at the wrong time and a $100 fine will be given to the owner of the console.
- Do not allow a camper use of the camp phone or staff’s own cell phones. Staff must enforce this rule and also alert Camp Directors immediately if any camper has a cell phone.
- No movies may be shown before the end of cake and milk.
- Utilities: Ensure lights, radios, fans, etc. are off when not needed. The last person out of a cabin must shut off the lights and fans.
- **Cell phones and other communication devices, while discouraged, may be brought by the staff. However, communications via them are not allowed inside buildings (except in the Kezar) at activities, or around campers, nor are campers allowed to have access to them in camp or when on trips. All staff cell phones and laptops need to be locked up out of the cabin when not in use and can only be used when they are off duty. Staff should not use cell phones during the course of the day, unless they are specifically off duty and away from the campers.
- **Violation of the staff cell phone/laptop policy will result in the item being taken away for an escalating amount of time and locked in the administrative locker. The first violation will be a warning, the second violation will be a 1 day item “time out,” the third violation 2 day item “time out,” the third violation will be a 3 day “time out” and a loss of a night off, etc. An approved day off will result in a pause and then a resumption of the consequence. If someone is in the midst of a consequence, they will not be able to use the item on a night out, unless that person is the driver of a vehicle. Then the “time out” time for the driver will be added at the end of that consequence period.
- Any device used with a headphone is not to be used by staff when they are around campers and/or on duty. When walking around camp, even if off duty, use of headphones is not allowed.
- Staff laptops can not be in the cabin (with specified exception) and only be used when staff are off duty and away from campers. No staff computer can be left on unattended. Laptops can only be used for approved and wholesome activities. Inappropriate use of computers will have major consequences.
- Social Media must be used responsibly. Inappropriate content and pictures must also be avoided. Any violations could lead to dismissal. Pictures or videos may not be taken by staff of the campers in the cabin or elsewhere, unless it is a WEHC sanctioned purpose/photographer. Staff can not initiate a friend request to a camper, but can accept a friend request by a camper made to them.
- All communication in and out of session, whether on Internet or by any other means, must be done in the most professional manner. There can be no activity that could reflect poorly on yourself or the camp. You are an ambassador for WEHC and all that you do must reflect positively on the camp.
- Any communication with parents is to be done in the most positive and professional manner possible. If there are any negative or controversial issues or situations, only the Directors may discuss these with parents.
- The Kezar and its computer’s first priority is always camp business. Staff may not use the primary camp computer, unless they are given specific permission to work on an approved camp activity.
- There will be times when the Directors need the Kezar space alone for confidentiality purposes and private meetings. Staff are asked to respect this and return to the Kezar at a later appropriate time.
- The loud speaker system can only be used by staff (minimally, briefly, and at a moderate volume). The walkie talkie system is to be used only in emergencies. All communication must be done in a professional manner.
- Be respectful of our neighbors. Be excessively polite. Ensure campers are as well. Avoid all conflicts. Avoid electronic communication such as social media with the locals.
- The Directors know many people in the area and surrounding towns. Everyone knows West End House Camp. Everything that you do in public will be noticed and reported back to us.
- Behavior outside of camp is expected to reflect West End House Camp in the most advantageous manner. If such behavior is injurious to the reputation of WEHC, time away from camp will be limited or canceled.
- Hessian Hill is off limits for traveling by car.
- The Girls’ camp is also off limits except for visits that are approved by both the Boys’ camp and the Girls’ camp directors. No water activities can go within 50 yards of the Girls Camp. No verbal interaction from the lake to the shore, even from a distance.
- Kennards is off limits after dark.
- Staff members are encouraged to participate in the Community Service projects, but it is not required and it is not considered being “on duty” time.
- 2021 – no visitors allowed (Directors will need to make a few exceptions).
All visitors must check in at the Kezar with one of the Directors.
- On opening day and changeover days, be active with the campers, tour the newcomers around, outline your expectations, socialize with them, not with each other. Introduce the new campers to the veterans and vice versa. There is absolutely no excuse for campers (especially rookies) to be alone that day. Never take a nap on changeover days.
Staff expecting visitors must ask the Directors for approval. This especially includes recent former staff.Staff should not expect that visitors will have use of camp facilities, nor spend the night on camp property.
- In the event that a visitor (even camp alumni) wants to visit the Girls’ camp, they must be approved by the Girls’ camp director.
On “Visiting Day” staff is on duty, so family should visit on a day when staff is off or during a pre-approved block of time off. Any exceptions need to be cleared with the Directors. No other visitors of staff are allowed on Visiting Day.
- Emergencies: Seek proper assistance, set the example, do not panic. This includes power failures, noise on the road, accidents, severe weather conditions.
- Medical problems – emergencies, get the Health Care Supervisor. Do not move an injured person until or unless absolutely necessary. Non-emergencies should wait until after meals.
- Do not under any circumstances dispense any medicine to campers, including Tylenol, aspirin, cold medicine, sleeping aids, etc.
- Notify the Directors immediately if a child is missing, has run away, or is exhibiting bizarre or uncharacteristic behavior.
- All staff will be required to familiarize themselves with camper orientation policies. All staff and campers need to be knowledgeable about fire evacuation and all emergency procedures, which are posted in each of the buildings.
Federal and State Laws
The rules listed below are not subject to revision or discussion. They are designed to state clearly that certain boundaries just cannot be overstepped and that violation of these rules will not be tolerated. They are put into effect to ensure that campers are treated with the attention and dignity expected, and that the staff are at all times in the best possible frame and condition of mind. In addition, they are designed in many cases to conform to State of Maine and/or Federal laws.
- Use of tobacco in any form by anyone under legal age is not allowed. Evidence of such use will lead to forfeiture of time off and/or a fine. Second offense may lead to dismissal.
- Use of drugs and alcohol is not allowed. This includes vaping. Evidence of such use can lead to immediate dismissal of the supplier and appropriate action against other individuals. Such action may include dismissal, confinement to camp, and/or a fine.
- Negligence is inexcusable and may result in dismissal. Keep your eyes on the campers and stay focused!
- Keep your hands off the campers except in self-defense, to break up a fight, to assist in an emergency. This is to be done in the safest, least forceful way to stabilize the situation. Besides the possibility of doing physical harm to a camper, there is the distinct possibility of legal action being brought against a staff person and/or the camp itself due to actions or remarks real, imagined, or construed.
- No unnecessary physical contact with the campers.
- Hazing, initiations, or similar actions, whether against other staff or campers, are not allowed in any form.
- Sexual harassment, neglect, suggestive remarks, attempts at sexual humor or teasing, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and touching campers in inappropriate places are totally unacceptable and forbidden. This is serious and will not be tolerated.
- All staff members are mandated reporters. If any actions of abuse or neglect are seen, the observing staff person must report this to the Directors immediately. Not doing this could lead to legal action taken against the observing staff person. If staff have any indication or concern that there is anything occurring that may border on abuse or neglect, err on the side of caution and report it to the Directors. This includes camper reports of events at home or in their community.
- Camp is not the place for obscene and pornographic material. It can not be on campus. Appropriate major punishment will be rendered.
- Any infraction of state or federal laws (including stealing, purposely damaging another’s property, having a weapon, possession of fireworks, endangering lives by illegal or inappropriate or negligent behavior) will result in appropriate action, including the probability of dismissal.
- For the protection of all concerned, staff should never leave children unsupervised and staff members should never be alone with a single child in an area where they are not visible to others. For example, if a camper really needs to go to the bathroom during a meal, go with him, and wait outside on your cabin’s porch.
- Anyone affiliated with West End House Camp cannot discriminate against or treat disrespectfully anyone based upon race, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, family situation, gender, or any other similar characteristic. We treat people with respect and tolerance. Violations of this will be dealt with immediately and severely.
- All of your performance and behavior this season that we see or become aware of will be part of your evaluation and will determine your future employment with us and impact upon any potential future recommendations/references for you.
Medical expenses are covered for accidents or injuries that are directly related to work and to job duties. Costs associated with accidents and injuries sustained outside of this realm remain the responsibility of individual staff members, as does any illness.
Damage to a privately owned vehicle, even on camp business, is the responsibility of the owner. Injuries sustained in a private vehicle while on camp business will be reported to our insurance company, which may or may not seek to share medical costs with the vehicle’s insurer.
Please sign below and return this last page via mail or email to Ryan Wilensky, Bill Margolin or Steve Lepler. Keep the previous pages for your initial and ongoing review.
- I have reviewed the West End House Camp Staff Manual for the 2021 season and I understand – and agree to abide by – the rules and policies set forth herein or revised in any way, and to do my best to ensure the success of the season and the well-being and safety of the campers and staff.
- I understand and agree to abide by the clarified policies about no cellphones and laptops in the bunks or at activities at any time. I will keep these items in permitted locations and use them at permitted times and places.
- I further understand that violation of these rules and policies will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
- I hereby state that I have not been in violation of any city, state, federal or other laws or regulations that would make me unfit to be a staff person, and that I have never been found guilty by any authority of any crimes or misdemeanors of a sexual nature.
- I understand that my current and future employment and potential future references are dependent upon my performance and adherence to all of these policies.