How Campers Actually Schedule - New Camper Blog Series

Welcome back to another week of our New Camper Blog series! Last week we kicked off our 2020 season with some details about food, and this week we are going to be looking at scheduling. Already, we have some great posts about scheduling on our New Camper Blog series: Making the Perfect Schedule (which has so many details on how to think about your schedule overall) and Scheduling Tips (which includes tips from our current campers on how to make the best schedule). These two posts are the bread and butter of scheduling, so make sure to check them out.

What more can be said about scheduling after these two great posts? Today, we’re going to talk about deciding on classes, a tip to parents on scheduling, and how girls actually schedule on Opening Day so that you’re prepared for the process.

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Deciding on classes:

When thinking about what classes to take, the best place to look is on our website by exploring all of our different class options and by checking out this cheat sheet list of things to think about when choosing your classes (for example, water vs. non-water classes, active vs. relaxed classes, etc.). Once you’ve looked over the big list of classes, write down a list of activity options you’re interested in taking and pack it in your trunk - this will help you and your counselor on Opening Day.

A Word to Parents:

I did want to talk about one thing for parents specifically: many times, parents see the list of classes that we offer, and they become very excited about their daughter trying new things that they have never done before – very normal! However, when you receive a copy of your daughter’s schedule (we will send you a scanned copy through your Greystone Account within the first few days of camp), you may see that your daughter signed up for activities that she could easily do at home, and she has not in fact signed up for all of the cool classes you recommended she take. For example, your daughter’s taking Pool Games (when she swims all the time at home) instead of Glass Beads (which you think she would love and she can only do at camp).

What do you do?

My recommendation is two-fold:

  1. If you think your daughter would really enjoy a specific class, talk to her about it before she even arrives. Show her pictures on our website, watch a video of that class, remind her of the name of the class before she comes. This will help put that class in her mind so she doesn’t forget.
  2. Just let it go! If you see she didn’t take the classes you were hoping, don’t worry about it. You can email her to remind her that she can switch her classes if she’d like to, but after that, just let her enjoy camp. She is getting to do so many new things and is experiencing new things every single day (from trying new foods to sleeping in a bunkbed in a cabin with others to dancing on stage with friends). You don’t need to worry that she’s not taking advantage of every single new class – she’s already taking advantage of so many new opportunities!

We’re on your team to help your daughter make the perfect schedule that she will enjoy. With so many classes, it’s always hard to choose which to take, but your daughter can always try more activities when she comes back next year!

So now…on to how girls actually schedule on Opening Day.

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Junior campers:

Scheduling is so very easy for Junior campers…mainly because it is already done when you arrive at camp. When our Online Forms go live (next week!), Junior campers will fill out their class choices, and we pre-schedule those classes before you even arrive. After parents leave on Opening Day, campers will receive a copy of their schedule from their counselor. Counselors will show girls where classes are located, and campers have the ability to change classes after trying them out (we have a schedule change station set up at the office for girls who would like to switch). So, for Junior Campers, the process of scheduling is easy – there is really nothing you need to do! Parents will receive a copy of each camper’s schedule in a scanned letter we will send to you through your Greystone Account after the session begins.

June, Main, and August campers:

During our longer sessions, girls will schedule after parents leave on Opening Day. Counselors will give each camper a copy of a blank schedule and girls will look over all of the classes offered during their session (over 80+ classes are offered each summer!). Girls will make a list of all of the classes they are interested in taking or work with their counselor to make that list (depending on their age). Campers can also bring a list with them of the classes they are interested in taking - this is great! After finalizing this list on Opening Day, each camper will work with her counselor using our class scheduling map to see when certain classes are offered.

We offer some classes during every single class period (classes like tennis, painting, archery, etc.). But some of our classes are only offered once or twice at very specific times (classes like basketball, videography, jazz, etc.). Your daughter’s counselor will work with her to make sure she finds the right times to take everything and will help her find the classes on our schedule map. It’s a little bit like a puzzle, but our counselors are trained and ready to help with the process. They will also be using our cheat sheet list of suggestions on scheduling to make sure your daughter isn’t running all over camp or isn’t changing in and out of a bathing suit multiple times throughout the day.

After everyone in the cabin has figured out her schedule, the cabin group heads to our Dining Hall to put their schedules in the computer. Each camper will pair up with one of our staff members and enter her individual schedule into our database system. The database updates quickly as we enter schedules, which allows us to see how many campers have signed up for each class. This is GREAT! If a class has many girls signed up, we can help switch classes around right away. While we never close down a class (any camper can take any class at any period no matter the number of people), we do want to help girls find the BEST time to take a class. No one wants to be in a tennis class that has 60 people in it! Our staff can help girls find a class with only 10 campers that will allow for much more individual instruction. It’s a great system!

After our classes begin, campers can change their classes during the first few days of class. If a camper goes to Waterpark and just doesn’t like it, she can switch into Drama Improv. We set up a scheduling station in our office for girls to come switch, and we will help every camper find her perfect schedule.

We will scan a copy of each camper’s schedule into your Greystone Account within the first three days of camp. And this year (for the first time!) we will be scanning meal ticket letters home on Sunday (these are the required letters we ask girls to write as their “meal ticket” to get into dinner on Sunday night). We will have the girls copy their schedule a second time for you on the first of these Sunday letters so that if your daughter changed her classes, you will have the correct copy of her final schedule.

We have a great video on Scheduling as well, so check it out below to see girls in action as they schedule their classes on Opening Day:

That rounds up our details on scheduling, but if you have any more questions, comment below and we will help answer any other questions you may have. We will see you back here next Tuesday for our next New Camper Blog post!