Q: HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD FOR CAMP?
A: To register your child, you must send us a completed registration card and a $500 deposit. Payment can be made by check, cash, Master Card, Visa or American Express. Or you can use our secure on-line registration system. Links to both can be found on our Registration page
Q. CAN CAMP RIVERBEND PROVIDE REFERENCES?
A. Yes! Please contact us and we will put you in touch with a current Camp family who lives in your area and has a child the same age as yours. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 908-580-CAMP.
Q. WHAT TYPE OF BUS WILL MY CHILD RIDE TO CAMP?
A. We use 16, 20 and 24 passenger yellow school buses.
Q. WHO DRIVES THE CAMP BUS?
A. Some of our bus drivers are counselors and some are professional bus drivers, but all of them have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with a special certification to drive passengers. To earn a CDL, a driver must go through a rigorous application process. A bus driver must be at least 21 years old, have a good driving record for the past three years, submit fingerprints to the State Police, pass a physical exam, pass a challenging written test, and pass a comprehensive road test which includes demonstrations of safety awareness! Our insurance company checks the driving record of every bus driver every year. Each bus also has a riding counselor, who is responsible for supervising campers on the bus.
Q: HOW LONG IS THE BUS RIDE TO CAMP?
A: We try to arrange our bus routes so each camper's trip is as short as possible. The buses pick up the campers who live farthest away and work their way towards Camp. Most bus routes begin around 8:30 a.m., and arrive at Camp around 9:15 a.m. We dismiss at 4:15 p.m. and almost all buses have delivered their campers home by 5:00 p.m. Your exact pick-up and drop-off time will depend on your town and your place in the bus route.
Q. WILL MY CHILD WEAR A SEATBELT?
A. Yes! All campers wear seatbelts at all times.
Q. WHAT IF THERE IS A PROBLEM ON THE BUS?
A. We communicate with buses via two-way radios and cell phones. We can talk to any bus at any moment and the buses can call us with any questions. Buses call in at the end of every trip, so we know that everyone is home safely.
Counselors and Groups
Q: WHO IS MY CHILD'S COUNSELOR?
A: We take pride in our mature, talented counselor staff. Group head counselors are teachers, or college juniors or seniors who we believe are capable of running a group. Assistant group counselors are college students. There is no CIT program. No high school students supervise campers. Prospective counselors are carefully screened; we verify past work history, run background checks and talk to their past employers and references. Then all staff members, new and returning, are trained over four days before Camp starts. Our staff training teaches safety rules for camp, techniques for working with groups of children and fun games and activities to do with campers.
Q. WHAT IS THE STAFF TO CAMPER RATIO?
A. There is one counselor for every 5 campers throughout Camp. Each group of 16-18 campers has two counselors. Pre-school and kindergarten groups have two to three counselors depending on the size of the group. The senior staff supervises six to ten camper groups and spends considerable time with campers. Activity instructors and swimming instructors interact with campers throughout the day.
Q: CAN MY CHILD BE IN A GROUP WITH HER FRIEND?
A: Yes, if the friend is the same sex and in the same grade as your child. (Pre-school and kindergarten groups are co-ed). On the registration card is a space where you can list friends with whom your child would like to spend the summer.
Q: WHAT IS THE TIPPING POLICY AT CAMP RIVERBEND?
A: Tipping is totally voluntary. Our counselors do not expect, but are grateful for, any gifts. With or without a money gift, our counselors appreciate personal notes from camp families, expressing their appreciation for the summer's work.
Q. WHAT WILL MY CHILD DO AT CAMP?
A. Campers do a wide variety of activities each day and throughout each week. Swimming is an important part of each day (see below). There are seven activity periods each day. Our instructors teach a wide variety of skills in creative crafts, team and individual sports, performing arts, team building and nature. Click here to take our virtual Camp Tour. Most groups also have a daily period that we call PIY ("Pick It Yourself"). Counselors, with input from their campers, plan a group activity. PIY might be a game of t-ball, arts and crafts, a hike in the woods, or rehearsing a group skit.
Q. CAN MY CHILD CHOOSE HIS OWN ACTIVITIES?
A. Yes! Individual campers entering first grade and above can choose their favorite activities during club time after lunch Monday through Thursday. Campers entering 4th and 5th grades choose a cluster of related activities (such as drama, music and dance or basketball, baseball and tennis) two afternoons a week in our Tracking program. Campers entering 6th - 8th grades choose three activities to concentrate on three afternoons a week in our SuperChoice program. During the rest of the Camp day, groups are assigned to specific activities.
Q: WILL MY CHILD LEARN TO SWIM AT CAMP RIVERBEND?
A: Yes! We pride ourselves on our excellent swim instruction program. Each camper has a swim lesson every day. Children are grouped for swim lessons based on their swimming ability. Lesson groups are small, with about 6-8 campers, taught by a swimming instructor and an assistant. We have 20 lifeguards on staff that teach swimming skills and guard free swims. Each child has almost 1 hour of swimming daily (a 20 minute lesson and a 35 minute free swim).
Q. WHAT OTHER KINDS OF ACTIVITIES DO CAMPERS DO?
A. We have regular special events for all campers. Each Friday is a special day, with performing artists, ice cream socials or counselor talent shows. In years past we have imported "snow" for sledding in July, built and raced cardboard boats, and served giant pizza-sized pancakes. Our annual carnival is a special day for all. Special days like these provide fun and excitement for campers.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT RAINS?
A: We have indoor locations for all campers on rainy days. We continue with our regular program inside. Instead of swim lessons in the pool, our waterfront staff might demonstrate safety techniques on a rainy day. Canoeing instructors might teach paddling techniques inside.
Q. WHO PROVIDES LUNCH FOR MY CHILD?
Starting in 2017, Camp Riverbend will provide daily lunch for all campers--kid favorites and healthy choices, with options every day. Our kitchen will be nut and allergy aware and able to accomodate many food restrictions. Visit our web site shortly to see a sample menu.
Q. ARE SNACKS PROVIDED?
A mid-morning snack and juice/water are given to Clubhouse campers each day. An ice cream/ice pop snack is provided for all campers at about 4:00 P.M.
Q. WHAT ABOUT OTHER FOOD FROM HOME?
Since many campers have all types of food allergies, we do not allow any food from home to be given to other campers. For birthdays, we suggest you send in some simple (non-edible) favors for the group.
Safety and Security
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CHILD FEELS SICK AT CAMP?
A: We have a full time registered nurse. A camper who feels sick will go to the nurse, who evaluates his or her condition. Then the nurse will either contact the child's parents to pick him or her up, or treat the child with over-the-counter remedies (according to parental pre-authorization.) Our Camp nurse also treats basic injuries that occur during the day, such as bug bites, scrapes, etc. In case of serious injury, our Camp doctor is on call, and the Warren Township Rescue Squad aids us. The Camp nurse administers all medication (prescription and over-the-counter) to campers who require it during the day.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR SECURITY POLICY FOR CAMPERS?
A: When registering, parents are asked to select a secret password. To take home a camper, any adult picking him/her up must sign out and give us the password. No camper will be released to any adult without his or her password. All visitors to Camp must sign in at the Camp office and get a visitor tag. All visitors to camp must know the security password for the child they are visiting.
Q. HOW IMPORTANT IS CAMPER SAFETY?
A. Camper safety is our number one priority! We are accredited by the American Camp Association and the New Jersey Department of Health. We undergo rigorous inspections annually for safety by local and state officials, who evaluate every aspect of Camp, including sanitation, transportation, food safety, staff qualifications, fire prevention and medical record keeping. Through the American Camp Association, we keep current with the newest developments in camp safety and operations. We are committed to keeping Camp Riverbend as safe and secure as possible.
After Hours Care
Q. I WORK FULL TIME AND CAN'T WAIT FOR THE CAMP BUS. DO YOU OFFER EXTRA HOURS?
A. Yes, we have an optional extended day program. You can bring your camper here as early as 8:00 a.m., and pick up as late as 6:00 p.m. Counselors supervise extended day campers in games, swimming, crafts, sports and quiet activities. There is no extra fee for the extended day program, if you use it instead of bus transportation.
Riverbend Is Unique
Q: CAN I VISIT MY CHILD DURING THE SUMMER?
A: Yes! We are happy to open our doors to parents (and grandparents and baby brothers and aunts) almost every day of Camp. There is no parent visitation on the following days: July 1, July 26, August 15 or August 16, 2013. We also ask that you not visit during lunch, 12:00 – 1:00 pm.
Q. WHO RUNS CAMP RIVERBEND?
A. The Breene Family has owned Camp Riverbend since 1962. Our Camp directors, Harold and Marianne Breene, and their children, Roger Breene, Jill Breene Cheng, Paul Breene, Robin Breene Hetrick, Debbie Breene and Miriam Peretsman, supervise every aspect of the daily operation of Camp. Their involvement guarantees personalized attention to the needs of your family, and will insure a fantastic summer for your camper and you!
Q. WHAT ELSE MAKES CAMP RIVERBEND SPECIAL?
A. Our philosophy builds "confidence, not competition!" We honor each camper's talents and efforts. Camp Riverbend is a place where they can be themselves, explore the world and learn new skills in a fun and supportive environment. We encourage every camper to participate in all activities. We applaud every achievement, from a camper's first at-bat to a grand-slam home run!