Giving the Gift of Camp

 

From Christmas to Kwanzaa, Hanukkah to New Years, and birthdays scattered throughout, the winter months always bring with them the gift giving season. If any of these special occasions have you searching for the perfect gift for your child, consider giving the gift of camp this summer! We’re sure the gift of camp is going to bring a smile to your child’s face because the best gifts really aren’t objects at all— they’re experiences. It’s not just us saying it; there’s a significant amount of scientific research backing up the fact that humans form richer, stronger memories tied to adventures and experiences compared to memories attributed to material objects. 

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

For starters material goods break and wither over time, while the memories and friendships made at camp can last a lifetime. With that being the case, the gift of camp truly is a gift that keeps on giving for your child. What’s most exciting is that this isn’t just a one-off gift, it’s the beginning of something much greater than that. The aforementioned scientific research conducted by Thomas Gilovich with the Cornell Department of Psychology, concludes that people may think about future experiences in more abstract ways, which actually makes them seem more significant and more gratifying. As we enter the height of the harsh winter months, we think it is especially important to give your child something great to look forward to. What better way to beat the cold than to daydream of warm days out on the lake or horseback riding in the summer sunshine!

An Experience Entirely Unique to your Child 

Some of Gilovich’s earlier studies show that another reason that experiences are a better purchase for attaining happiness is that people are less likely to compare their experience to someone else’s. Looking at it from a different angle helps to demonstrate why this is the case. Would you rather have a higher salary that is lower than that of your peers, or a lower salary that is higher than your peers? Though this is a fairly subjective question, researchers found that the large majority of people would choose to have a lower salary that is higher in comparison to their peers. This is because of the way humans are hardwired to think. We are predisposed to compare our material possessions to others in order to determine our own relative worth or value. For kids, it can be the same story with Holiday presents. Kids are very likely to compare their gifts to others, with material gifts like bikes or new game systems constantly being flaunted for superiority. Conversely, researchers found the opposite was true for experiences with most people opting to take more vacation time even if it was lower than what their peers received. This shows that experiences can’t be compared from one person to another and thus actually have more innate value. Your child’s camp experience will be completely unique to them. It will carry its own value that is so special to them that it cannot possibly be diminished through the usual tactic of comparisons that happens with material gifts. 

Sharing the Gift of Camp 

Even though each child’s camp experience is entirely unique, it doesn’t mean that the gift of camp is something to consider exclusively for your child. For many with a strong sense of community, giving season goes beyond gifts just for family. Recommend the gift of camp to friends, neighbors, fellow PTA parents, and anyone else you know who can brighten their child’s life with the gift of camp.

Whether you plan on sharing the gift of camp with your own family or others close to you, Camp Tall Timbers is here to answer all of your questions along the way to ensure that every camper has the best experience possible. For questions, please contact us at (301) 874-0111 or email us at info@camptalltimbers.com so that we can help you provide memories to last a lifetime this holiday season. 

A Drive Away from the Everyday 

 

Located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, Camp Tall Timbers provides a summer getaway where boys and girls ages 7-16 can come to unwind, enjoy the great outdoors, and make new friends along the way. Our camp experience promotes independence, socialization, skill-building, confidence, creativity, and self-discovery in a safe and nurturing environment. We are proud of the fact that families across the country entrust us to take care of their children and provide them with this experience. We work hard to have a national presence, but we are especially proud to have become a top summer destination for campers from Mid-Atlantic states. Exploring A drive away from the everyday, we wanted to take a look at a few of the benefits that families in the region stand to gain from sending their kids to a sleep away camp near home. 

Easy access grants peace of mind 

Camp Tall Timbers is a convenient drive from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and Dulles Airport. Our convenient location makes camp a breeze to get to and that accessibility is a major benefit for our families on many levels. For starters, it cuts down on drive time making the trip to and from camp each year as easy as possible on our campers— with a scenic drive along the way to boot! We also find that our accessibility gives our campers and families the peace of mind to be able to enjoy a worry-free summer. One of the greatest benefits sleep away camp provides is the restored sense of independence that it instills in a young child being away from home. Becoming more independent is an extremely important part of every child’s life journey. As liberating as it is to be off on their own for the summer, it can be stressful for younger children at the same time. At Camp Tall Timbers, we provide our Mid-Atlantic campers with a taste of true independence without having them feel like they are completely out on their own. In the case of an emergency, campers and parents could still be together within a few hours drive— Not that we ever anticipate emergency situations, but then again who does. It is a fine line to tow, but the goal is to let the campers feel like they are off on their own in the camp bubble, while also knowing that there is a safety net to fall back on should an issue arise. Our central location gives Camp Tall Timbers the perfect happy medium of the two, so that parents and campers in the DMV and greater Mid-Atlantic region can enjoy their summers apart without worry. Our location is also great for the pocketbook compared to the travel costs some families run into when forced to use planes, trains, and buses to get their children to their final destination. Being a drive away saves money getting to and from camp at the bookends of each session, plus additional trips for family weekends or other parental visits. 

Friendships that last 

Camp is also not just about any one camper; it is a social experience. Camp provides kids with chances to make new friendships that can last a lifetime, and we think those bonds are even stronger when we are able to pull campers from such similar areas around the Mid-Atlantic. Campers from the same areas arrive on day 1 already sharing common-ground, and these shared experiences make it easier to bond and form friendships. For some, it could be a love of the same sports team. For others, long days and weekend trips spent at their favorite destinations like Hershey Park or Shenandoah Valley. Even down to a shared love for cracking crabs and spending time out on the Chesapeake, we see every summer how these little connections can go a long way building social relationships between campers. 

We care about our campers, and we want their camp connections to be meaningful. The best friendships are the ones that carry on even after the sessions have ended, which is why it is such a big plus for our campers when they make friends who are from the same areas as they are. It allows them to be together year-round, linking up in the winter and spring months for fun events like camp reunions, weekend trips, and birthday parties. Even after their time at Camp Tall Timbers comes to an end, we still see our campers staying in touch and finding ways to meet up with other camp alums in their area.  

Nestled in the scenic heart of Hampshire County, Camp Tall Timbers provides our camp families with an accessible drive away from the everyday. If you are a parent in the Mid-Atlantic region looking for a sleepaway camp that near by, where your child can make lasting memories and lifelong friendships, look no further than Camp Tall Timbers. Visit our Summer Sessions page to learn more about our rates and dates for this upcoming summer. 

 

Don’t Sleep on Sleep Away Camp


For many who attend, overnight summer camps are an unforgettable experience full of personal growth and lasting memories. Activities from zip lining to rock climbing give the kids a unique opportunity to branch out from their comfort zones, while the bunk lifestyle brings campers together to forge lasting friendships. Many parents don’t realize that registration is already open, with spots filling up fast. While we do encourage our parents to sign up before rates increase, we also understand that some families need more information to know if sleep away camp is the right fit for their children. 

How Camp Can Help Your Child 

It’s not all just fun and games. Dr. Peter Scales received his PhD in Child and Family Studies in 1976 from the University of Syracuse. Since then, he has distinguished himself as an author, educator, and field expert when it comes to developmental psychology. According to the American Camp Association, Dr. Scales believes that “camps are one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. [They] help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values. Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of experiences end up being healthier and have less problems”. Some of the obvious reasons why camp supports these developmental needs— which are not fully satisfied by the current educational system— include fresh air, increased exercise, and an emphasis on personal interactions rather than technology and screen time. Additionally, the structured days are designed to balance routine activities with free time blocks, which teaches campers about effective time management. Children who acquire all these things through progressive experience will be better prepared for adulthood and are shown to be healthier overall. Family therapist Dr. Michael Popkin has also commented on the importance of sleep away camps for kids, stating that one of overnight summer camp’s greatest benefits is that it empowers young people to find and cultivate their interests, values, and talents. It comes at no surprise that children are more prepared for adult life based on their camp experiences. Sleep away camp shows campers how to take care of themselves and manage their lives independently from their parents early on, compared to some other kids who do not learn to be self-sufficient until much later on in life. Not only does camp teach children these life skills, but it also builds their confidence in their abilities through experiential learning. 

Camp Tall Timbers Adapts with the Times 

Clearly there are plenty of developmental benefits to sleep away camp, however the COVID 19 pandemic has forced many families to question if the benefits outweigh the risks. Camp Tall Timbers has the solution! In the summer of 2021, we were one of the few overnight summer camps to welcome campers without a single case of COVID-19. Our Director, Glenn Smith, created a safe bubble environment by implementing thorough safety precautions designed to protect Camp Tall Timbers’ campers, staff, and families. You can see a full rundown of Glenn’s COVID Safety Plan here. These precautionary steps allowed us to run sessions that were safe without sacrificing any of the authenticity that make camp so special. We are thrilled that the 2021 summer sessions were so well received, and we can’t wait to build on that success for an even better experience in 2022!

Onward and Forward!

Do you want to learn more about how your child could have this experience? Looking ahead, Camp Tall Timbers is running bigger and better sessions in 2022, while still focusing on safety as a top priority. As part of that mission, the Tall Timbers family wants everyone interested to be able to have a taste of the camp experience for themselves, right from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Sign up today to partake in our virtual open house and see if overnight summer camp is the right choice for your happy camper.

Time to Start Packing – Summer is Here!

SUGGESTED CLOTHING LIST

PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING!!!

NECESSARY ITEMS:

  • NEW – disposable masks (pack of 50 recommended)
  • 10 pairs pants (7 short, 3 long)
  • 10 T-shirts or Polo shirts
  • 2 Camp Tall Timbers T-shirts
  • 2 sweatshirts or sweaters
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 pairs of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair sturdy shoes
  • 1 pair rubber shoes for shower & pool
  • 1 pair wet weather shoes/boots
  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 10 pairs underwear
  • 1 pair lightweight pajamas
  • 1 pair heavy pajamas
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 poncho or raincoat & hat
  • 1 baseball cap
  • GENERAL SUPPLIES:
  • 3-4 towels
  • 2 washcloths
  • 2 laundry bags
  • 1 flashlight + extra batteries & bulb

 

The packing list is long but you don’t want to forget anything. Crossing off each item as clothes and shoes are laid out let’s you know how far down the list you’ve come and how much more you must go.  It’s crazy how counting out 10 pairs of pants, 10 t-shirts, 10 pairs of socks, 10 pairs of underwear can get you revved up for the summer adventure awaiting you at Camp Tall Timbers. Whether you are a first-time camper or an experienced veteran, readying the clothes you’re going to bring to camp can unleash all kinds of emotions. For our returning campers, the excitement is real. Sleep away camp is a known entity. Summer friends will soon be reunited, there will be new activities to try, new people, to meet. For first time campers, preparing for sleep away camp can be overwhelming. Sure, there is excitement but there are nerves and anxiety too as all the “what if…” scenarios run through your head – What if nobody talks to me? What if I don’t like the food? What if I don’t like the activities? What if I get homesick? This is where you can take a deep breath and relax. Our experienced staff is well-trained for any eventuality. Most importantly, as our experienced campers know, our staff is there when you need them to make your time at Camp Tall Timbers your best summer ever!

Family Camp: Packing List

 

Click on the link below to print a copy of the Family Camp Packing List.

7-13 Family Camp Packing List

Clothing & Personal Accessories

T-shirts

Shorts

Long pants

Warm (fleece) Jacket, Sweater or Sweatshirt

Rain gear

Pajamas

Socks

Underwear

Bathing Suits

Sunglasses

Baseball hat

Sneakers

Beach/Water shoes/Flip Flops/Slides

Rain Boots (optional)

 

Equipment

In an effort to reduce the risk on camp, we are

recommending that families bring their own athletic equipment if possible.

Tennis Rackets

Tennis Balls*

Basketball*

Soccer Ball*

Fishing Rod*

Baseball Gloves

Camp Chairs

Water Bottle

Flashlight with batteries

Fans (battery-operated or plug-in)

Linens

Twin Sheets*

Blanket(s)*

Pillow(s)/Pillow cases*

Bath Towels

Beach Towels

*Needed for each family member and can be provided upon request.

Toiletries

Shampoo/Conditioner

Soap

Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Deodorant

Comb/Brush

Sunscreen

Bug Spray

Daily Medication

OTC Medication

Rx Medications (i.e. EPI-Pens &  Inhalers)

Required at Camp

Face Masks*

Hand Sanitizer*

Thermometer

White shirts and clothes for tie-dye

Goggles for swimming

Books

Musical Instruments

Tight-sealing cooler for personal drinks

and snacks (we’ll supply the ice)

Note: items with an asterisks (*) may be requested while at camp

 

Hello Campers, Parents and Alumni

Of course, I hope that this note finds you, your family and your friends in good health.  I will not spend your valuable time telling you how to wash your hands and practice social distancing, etc.  I am sure you are doing whatever is necessary to keep yourself and others safe.

Why would I be so confident that you are doing the right things at this critical time?  Because you are a part of the Camp Tall Timbers Family.  Whether a current camper, family member, staff or alumni; you know what it is like to show compassion for others, work with a group to achieve a common goal, organize and show enthusiasm in all that you do.  You are the people that others will look up to during this critical time.   I am convinced that the foundations of your camp experience will be helpful over the next few weeks.

As far as camp goes, we are working hard to prepare for our 50th summer.  Hiring staff, making improvements, building and cleaning up.  We have worked on our activity calendar and started to gather the supplies we need to support our program.  We did a lot of painting and improvement work in the Fall so the usual wet weather of the Spring will not be a factor in our preparations.

We are closely monitoring the implications of Covid-19 and will continue to keep in touch with any updates and information should any of the events encroach on our camp schedule.

In the meantime, you, your families and everyone around you, healthy and safety should be the paramount objective at this time.  Should anyone here at Camp Tall Timbers be able to help you in any way please contact us.  I can be reached at glenn@camptalltimbers.com or via phone at 301-874-0111.

 

Be Safe,

Celebrating 50 years of Camp Fun!

We welcome Summer 2020 with great joy as we celebrate 50 years of camping fun! As we begin this year, we want to thank all of our campers, counselors and staff– for helping us reach this milestone.

Your friendship, talent and enthusiasm have helped Camp Tall Timbers continue its mission: to be a welcoming, friendly and encouraging place for summers filled with learning, growing, laughing and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Our first campers have their own families now, many of whom have sent their own children to spend the summer with us. We are grateful for all of our wonderful alumni, campers and friends, who have become part of our Camp Tall Timbers Family.

We feel fortunate each and every summer as we meet our returning and new campers who come to us for summer fun, new and old friendships, awesome experiences, caring counselors and a chance to unplug and connect.

As we begin 2020 we are looking forward to a new summer filled with amazing campers, their families, staffing team and the endless possibilities the Camp Tall Timbers experience will provide.

Away from the Everyday. Our very best to you and your families for much happiness, good health and joyful 2020.

Woheelo, (translation: friendship everlasting)

Glenn

Summer is here- Packing Count Down Begins

Anticipation has been building for months and camp session 1 is kicked off and it’s time to start packing for session 2, 3… at Camp Tall Timbers!

The packing list is long but you don’t want to forget anything. Crossing off each item as clothes and shoes are laid out let’s you know how far down the list you’ve come and how much more you must go.  It’s crazy how counting out 10 pairs of pants, 10 t-shirts, 10 pairs of socks, 10 pairs of underwear can get you revved up for the summer adventure awaiting you at Camp Tall Timbers. Whether you are a first-time camper or an experienced veteran, readying the clothes you’re going to bring to camp can unleash all kinds of emotions. For our returning campers, the excitement is real. Sleep away camp is a known entity. Summer friends will soon be reunited, there will be new activities to try, new people, to meet. For first time campers, preparing for sleep away camp can be overwhelming. Sure, there is excitement but there are nerves and anxiety too as all the “what if…” scenarios run through your head – What if nobody talks to me? What if I don’t like the food? What if I don’t like the activities? What if I get homesick? This is where you can take a deep breath and relax. Our experienced staff is well-trained for any eventuality. Most importantly, as our experienced campers know, our staff is there when you need them to make your time at Camp Tall Timbers your best summer ever!

Okay, all the items in multiples of 10 have been readied. Now there are 3 bathing suits and 3 sweatshirts. This is becoming a counting game! 2 Camp Tall timbers t-shirts to order from the website, 2 pairs of sneakers, 2 pairs of lightweight pajamas, 2 laundry bags, 1 jacket, 1 pair of sturdy shoes, 1 pair heavyweight pajamas, 1 pair of rubber shoes, 1 poncho or raincoat, 1 pair of rain boots, 1 Camp Tall Timbers baseball cap to order from the website. That’s all the wearables but, there are still towels and washcloths and a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and shampoo, a flashlight with batteries, stationery and pens, sleeping bag and water bottle to add to the growing pile of possibilities. Whew! Now to grab a few optional items and you’re ready to blast off for an unparalleled experience, a chance to get away from the everyday!

Welcome to Camp Tall Timbers Summer -sure to be the best summer ever!

Away From the Everyday

Sleepaway camp is an amazing and wonderful experience for any child. With the challenges and stresses of everyday life, sleep away camp provides children with an opportunity to safely explore, grow, build confidence —and make long lasting friendships. Living in a cabin with nine other people the same age encourages responsibility, builds teamwork, respect for others, and develops bonds that last a lifetime. Camp friends are friends for life.

At Camp Tall Timbers we have been providing magical summers for children for over 46 years. Magic and meaningful experiences happen when kids are learning and growing independently as well as collaboratively –each and every single day. We encourage our campers to step outside books, ipads and gaming— we want them to experience the world around them. When they unplug, they reconnect with the world in amazing ways. At Camp Tall Timbers we have a world away from the city, the stress, the traffic and the noise. Our world is comprised of swimming pool blue, pine forest green, hiking-trail brown and campfire gold,. Nature is our playground.

Our campers fuse into this environment and make it “the best”. Each summer we watch them build confidence and respect for themselves and others. We watch them test themselves by taking on new challenges, embracing the outdoors and finding laughter that echoes through the trees. Our professional staff safely guide and encourage campers to embrace new challenges, develop and expand skills and make it fun all along the way. We love building confidence and smiles.

We are an award winning nationally accredited camp. We provide 120 acres of activities and adventures–swimming, tennis, soccer, horseback riding, zip lining, kayaking, arts and crafts, biking, hiking, golf and so much more. While we want our campers to have fun and get silly –we take our job, caring for them, very seriously. Our counselors are well screened, trained, qualified and experienced professionals, including teachers, coaches and college students. We have onsite nurses and nearby doctors.

Magic happens here. Away From the Everyday.