How long has Moosilauke been in existence?
Moosilauke was founded in 1904, making it one of the oldest private camps in America. It has been run by the Miller family since 1938. Moosilauke celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004!
Is the Camp accredited?
Moosilauke is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). This means that the Camp has met the rigorous standards of ACA, which is the national accreditation body for private camps in the U.S.
Who are the key administrators?
Bill and Sabina have been directing Moosilauke for over 25 years. When we are not at Moosilauke, they live and work at The Thacher School in Ojai, CA. Bill am the Director of Enrollment and Planning, and Sabina is the Dean of Students. They both attended Colgate University and received graduate degrees from Columbia. (Bill earned an M.B.A. and Sabina her Masters in Education.)
Ken Miller, Sabina’s brother, is our Associate Director and second in command. Ken attended Colgate, where he played 2 varsity sports, and he also has his Masters in Teaching. In the off-season Ken lives, teaches, and coaches baseball at a private school in Colorado.
Sabina and Ken’s sister, Ingrid Hale, manages the business end of things, along with the office, marketing materials, and all our social media postings (pictures, videos, etc.). Ingrid and her family live in Richmond, Virginia. She has 15+ years of experience working in higher education administration, including admissions, student life, and community outreach both at Colgate and the University of Richmond.
Todd Gelfand serves as our all around administrative troubleshooter. As many of you know, Todd has a one-of-a-kind Moosilauke story. He was a camper for eight years and then a counselor at the camp in the 1970s. Two of his kids have attended and worked at camp. When not at Moosilauke, he is the Managing Partner of a C.P.A. firm with offices in Los Angeles and Connecticut. Seven years ago, for his fiftieth birthday, he asked his wife, kids, and Bill and Sabina, whether he could celebrate by spending a session working at Moose. It turned out so well that Todd has built a house a “stone’s throw” from the camp and now spends much of the summer helping to run Moose.
We have three head counselors this year – Preston Miller, Jake Miller, and Quinn McMahon. All three have worked at Moose for at least 8 years! Preston, Kenny’s oldest, graduated with a Master’s from Colorado State University and teaches history and coaches at the Highland School in Virginia. Jake, Kenny’s youngest son, attended Colorado State and teaches science and coaches cross-country and track at the St. Andrew’s – Sewanee School in Tennessee. Quinn, Sabina and Bill’s oldest, graduated from Colgate and is an admissions officer and varsity lacrosse coach at Hampton Roads Academy in Virginia. Both Quinn and Jake are ACA certified canoe instructors and help lead our white water trips.
Quinn’s wife, Charlotte, and Jake’s wife, Marin, also work at Moosilauke. Charlotte has been at Moose for seven years serving as head of hill and helping to direct the waterfront. She earned her Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Colgate and also works at Hampton Roads Academy. Marin has worked at Moose for nine years and serves as office manager during the summer. She is an administrator and coaches at the St. Andrew’s – Sewanee School in Tennessee.
Gordon “Port” Miller, the Owner, grew up at Moosilauke and took over for his father over forty years ago. He attended Horace Mann School, Colgate University, and received his doctorate from Columbia. He has written a number of books in the field of decision making, including Teaching Your Child to Make Decisions and The Little Book for Big Decisions. Port’s wife, Heide, oversees the Camp’s business operations.
Where does your staff come from?
Moose staff members are carefully selected. We have very low counselor turnover and most new counselors are either ex-campers or are recommended by former counselors and parents. Although many counselors are in college, key administrative positions are filled by professional educators, some of whom have been associated with the Camp for over 20 years. Moosilauke also participates in international exchange programs, which bring counselors from around the world.
What kind of training do they receive?
All counselors attend an extensive eight-day training session prior to the start of Camp. Topics covered include behavior and discipline protocols, tripping safety, conflict resolution, working with homesickness, emergency procedures, and how to build caring and professional relationships with campers. In addition, all counselors complete a certification course in CPR and receive training in First Aid. In addition, over half the staff are certified lifeguards and all outdoor trip leaders are certified as Wilderness First Responders.
Where do your campers come from?
Unlike many camps that source their children primarily from one region, Moosilauke offers a truly diverse population. Campers come from over 19 states and 8 different countries.
How big is the Camp?
With approximately 140 campers, 50 activity staff, and a hands-on group of administrators, Moosilauke provides an intimate camp experience. At most camps, especially large ones, the directors can’t have a sense of how your child is doing. Instead, your child’s welfare is left in the hands of college age counselors. Moosilauke’s size, combined with Bill and Sabina’s passion for their work, ensures that they will know your child and actively monitor his summer. When it is time for a progress report call home (for all new campers after the first week of the 4 1⁄2 week session), Bill and Sabina personally update parents on their child’s experience.
How do we stay in touch with our boy(s)? How will we know how they are doing?
Campers are required to write home on Wednesdays and Sundays. Additionally, and as referenced above, new campers during the 4 ½ week session are allowed to call home during the second week of Camp. We ask that parents only call their son(s) if there is a special event such as a birthday, or an emergency.
Our Directors, however, welcome calls from parents at anytime, even for just a brief check-in. And we post on average between 100 and 150 pictures daily in our photo gallery of the summer.
Is there a Parents’ Day?
We have a Parents’ Day for all 4 ½ week and 7 week campers that runs from 9:30am to 2:00pm and is on the last day of the 4 ½ week session. During this fun-filled day parents have the opportunity to see their son(s) take part in activity classes and parents join their children in a variety of activities as well.
Parents of 2 ½ week session campers visit the camp for an orientation when they drop off their children.
How much choice is there in terms of activities?
We strongly believe that a combination of structured activities and choice provides the optimal growth experience. To ensure that all campers experience the full breadth of opportunities available, boys of all ages are assigned during the 3 morning activity periods. Classes range from tennis to mountain biking to archery to kayaking. However, to allow campers to grow and specialize in the areas they are most interested in, campers sign up for the two afternoon periods. Additionally, there are special free-choice days throughout the summer. Evenings are usually reserved for special activities like fishing, waterskiing, tubing and team-building games.
What is your philosophy in terms of competition?
Intercamp competition is a core part of the Moosilauke Experience. However, we are very careful to keep our competition and instruction low stress, and to ensure that every boy who wants to compete – regardless of skill level – is able to. Our highly trained staff, many of whom have coached at the varsity level, is committed to providing healthy competition that promotes sportsmanship and teamwork. Campers and counselors will often comment on the “second scoreboard” when announcing results of any competition – recognizing campers who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and teamwork.
Is it unusual for a boy to come without a friend?
No. Many boys initially come to Moosilauke without knowing anyone else at Camp. However, given our small size and caring environment new campers make a quick and positive adjustment to Camp.
What’s the food like?
Our campers tell us they love it. At every meal there is plenty of choice so you can always find something you like. At breakfast there is always a main course (like eggs or pancakes) plus hot and cold cereal, yogurt and a fruit bar. At lunch, main courses include chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and tacos, plus there is always a large salad and soup bar. Dinners include pizza, lasagna, hamburgers, Chinese food, and a Friday night barbecue, along with a large salad bar. Vegetarian options are available. Additionally, every summer we have campers with food allergies (such as peanut and gluten).
What if my child has a food allergy?
Moosilauke routinely has campers and staff attend who require gluten-free diets. At every meal we can provide gluten-free meals. Please know, however, that gluten-free meals will be made in a kitchen with wheat products and campers will dine at tables with other campers eating products with gluten. Most families sending a child with Celiac to Moose will augment the Camp’s gluten-free food supplies with snacks, etc. that their child enjoys.
In terms of nuts, we can always provide nut-free meals and snacks. Similar to with gluten, however, we are not a nut-free camp. On occasion, we will serve things like PB&J sandwiches and candy that can contain nuts so children should not come who have an airborne sensitive allergy. When we do serve the rare sandwich or snack with nuts we always have alternatives for campers who are allergic, whether in the dining hall, or on a trip.
Parents with children with food allergies should call the directors prior to applying to ensure that Moosilauke’s policies and practices are a healthy and positive fit.
What time do the boys go to bed?
Boys have “lights out” on a staggered system, with Juniors (8-10 year olds) at 8:45pm, Inter Bs (11 year olds) at 9:00pm, Inter As and Senior Bs (12-13 year olds) at 9:30pm and Senior A1s and A2s (14-15 year olds) at 10:00pm.
Will I be charged hidden fees?
No. As opposed to many other camps, Camp Moosilauke’s fees are all inclusive. There is an additional charge should you decide to use the chartered bus transportation to/from Camp (from/to NYC and Greenwich, CT only) or if you require transportation to/from Camp from/to the Manchester or Boston Airports on Opening and Closing Days. You will not be assessed additional charges for items like canteen fees, trips, spending money, laundry, and camper postage.
What about health insurance coverage?
Parents must provide their own coverage for illness and dental occurrences that require medical intervention.
What kind of medical facilities and personnel are available?
Two full–time nurses are always in residence, a local doctor is always on call, and Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, one of the top medical facilities in all New England is only 30 minutes away.
What is the system for laundry?
Campers’ laundry is professionally washed once a week and returned the next day. No additional fee is charged for this service.
Is there a Camp uniform and when do campers wear it?
All new campers are required to purchase a basic Camp uniform.
How do campers get to and from Camp?
Campers flying domestically can be picked up in Manchester, NH. Campers flying internationally can be picked up in Boston. Privately chartered buses are available for boys traveling from the New York/Connecticut area to Camp on Opening and Closing Days. All other boys are driven to camp. There is an additional fee for the chartered bus transportation and for transportation from/to the airports.
Is financial aid available?
Moosilauke prides itself on providing campers of all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds a unique summer experience. Towards this end, Moosilauke provides significant scholarship funds to families in need that would benefit from a summer at the Camp.
Are religious services available?
Moosilauke is a nonsectarian Camp and no religious services are held on campus. However, transportation is available to town for those boys who wish to attend services.
How can I find out more?
Selecting a residential summer camp is a very important and complex process. On the surface, many camps appear similar. However, beneath the glossy pictures and fancy web sites, there are striking differences. We urge you to take the time to find out the true nature of the camps you are investigating. What are the backgrounds and philosophies of the people running the camp? Do they support the experience you are providing at home? Who will really know your child and be able to report on his progress? Do the facilities and program provide the activities and expertise you and your son are interested in? What do current families have to say about the camp? At Moosilauke, we are proud of the experience we provide, and look forward to any and all questions you may have. To start your search, go to our Why Moosilauke? page on our website. Also, peruse the rest of our site, including our photo and video galleries, and blog section. Then call or email us so you can attend a gathering where you would meet Bill or Sabina and returning campers and parents.