FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE DO YOUR CAMPERS COME FROM
The majority of Merriwood campers come from the states on eastern seaboard while a number also hail from states such as California, Texas, Florida, and Colorado. We also have girls from England, Spain, China, Korea, Hong Kong, and France.
WHAT'S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE AT MERRIWOOD?
Each camper has five teaching activities in her schedule per day. Our Junior group (ages 8-10) have a well balanced program giving them a sampling of many different activities. Inters, Sub-seniors, and Seniors (ages 11-15) choose their program, with lifelong sports of tennis and swimming already in their schedule. There is ample room for flexibility. The last period in the afternoon is an elective activity which each girl selects from a list after breakfast. Our electives period gives girls the opportunity to try activities they do not normally have in their schedule. Please view our “Typical Day” video to go through a day as a camper.
HOW ARE CABIN ASSIGNMENTS DONE?
We take a lot of time building our cabins based on grade, hometown, session length, and personality. We work to mix returning and new girls in a cabin grouping. Much time and thought goes into this process to create a cohesive, well-rounded cabin group.
WHAT ARE YOUR CABINS LIKE?
Most cabins are situated near the lake with whistling loons and croaking bullfrogs to serenade the girls to sleep. The cabins are wood frame and each is equipped with toilets, sinks, and hot and cold running water. The cabins have screens, windows with glass, curtains and doors. All cabins have electricity and smoke detectors are hard-wired. Shelves are provided for clothing and linens. All trunks and duffles are stored till packing day. Two or three staff members are in each cabin with one member on duty every night. There is always a staff person with each cabin each night. A "job wheel" is made for each cabin that shows the assigned chores of the day such as sweeping, shelf organization, emptying wastebaskets, etc. A professional cleaning staff takes care of cleaning toilets and sinks.
HOW IS LAUNDRY DONE?
Laundry is sent out to a private service in a town nearby. It's a 24 hour service and each girl sends out her own bag marked with her name.
WHAT ARE MEALS LIKE AT MERRIWOOD?
Not many camps dare mention "food" positively when describing the camp experience, but here at Merriwood, we're proud to boast about our abundant meal offerings and the quality of our food! As a matter of fact, ask any Merriwood girl one of the things she likes best about our camp after “my friends”, "food" is consistently the next response. Chef Joe O’Malley has been with us for over 25 years and knows what girls like to eat. He takes a personal interest in the requests from the girls and staff. Vegetarian dishes are offered regularly and a full salad bar is available every lunch and dinner as well as a main meal consisting of favorites such as chicken, pasta, pizza, tacos, etc. Fresh fruit is offered throughout the day and the day isn’t complete without milk and cookies at bedtime.
WHAT'S THE DINING ROOM LIKE AND HOW ARE MEALS SERVED?
We eat family style with 20 tables seating 8-10 girls, including a staff person at each end. We have one sitting at each meal. New girls sit with their "Camp Sister" through the first week and then table assignments change on Sundays. Age groups are mixed at the tables so girls get to know everyone in all divisions. A Senior girl (14-15) serves the table. Barbeques are a popular weekly event. The girls get their meal at the gazebo and then sit around the quad with friends, cabin mates and staff.
WHAT IS YOUR SCREEN POLICY?
This is best answered through a conversation with an alum who is also a Merriwood parent:
"Thanks for everything that you do to keep camp unplugged, disconnected and unchanged. How many places are there left in life where a simple break from modern reality can actually be achieved?
Written letters home vs emails; no video game/computer lab; text free days, weeks and months. No posting the good times, just living them. Daily human connection, tether free.
All in attendance, present and accounted for, life in real time, in your most perfect corner of the world nestled around Upper Baker Pond.
Thank you Merriwood!"
Couldn't have said it better!
HOW WOULD MY DAUGHTER GET TO CAMP?
A coach bus service is available to pick girls up in the greater New York area. Families from other areas drive their daughters to camp or arrange for airport pick-up at the Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH. Return trips by bus are available to Connecticut, New York, and Boston with flights out of Manchester, NH.
ARE THERE UNIFORMS?
The daily dress is very simple and comfortable. No fashion statements made here! Merriwood is a non-uniform camp, however, we do require that each girl purchase two Merriwood t-shirts and two pairs of shorts from our supplier. These are worn for special camp events.
HOW WILL I COMMUNICATE WITH MY DAUGHTER?
Campers are required to write home to their parents at least twice a week. We encourage parents to write to their daughters often--the girls love to get mail. To help with the adjustment to camp, phone calls are permitted after the first two weeks of camp during specific blocks of times when the girls are not in classes. We encourage parents to limit the number of times they call, and the calls must be from parents. Emails and faxes are limited to our international campers.
WHAT IS YOUR LETTER AND PACKAGE POLICY?
Letters are written home twice a week, Sundays and Wednesdays. Campers only receive letters except for birthdays where a small box is welcome.
WHAT IF MY DAUGHTER IS HOMESICK?
We like to call this “home-missing” and is a natural experience of being away from parents. During staff orientation, much time is spent in educating staff on how to help the girls get over this hump. We're also always available for a hug or a supportive talk. We find that keeping the girls involved in activities and with their peers is the best way to overcome any “home-missing,” which usually doesn't last long. Our Camp Sister program is a wonderful relationship that’s established before the girls even get to camp. She takes her younger sister under her wing from the moment they step on camp grounds.
“This was my first summer at Merriwood. Everyone was so nice. I didn't have time to feel homesick.”
“My favorite activity is waterskiing. Wait, no, it's probably rockclimbing - or maybe horseback riding . . .”
“My counselor was the BEST! She's like my mom, my sister and my best friend all wrapped up into one.”