Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find information about the Sebago Leadership Camp?
The best way to learn more about the Sebago Leadership Camp is to speak with one of our staff. If you send an email to sebegoleadershipcamp.com asking us to contact you by telephone or email, we will be happy to answer any questions you have.
The camp is one of a number of activities offered from the Chestnut Hill Center, a center of Opus Dei located in Newton, MA. There is more information about the center at our website at www.chestnuthillcenter.org.
How old does my son need to be to attend the Sebago Leadership Camp?
We accept boys entering fifth through eighth grades as campers.
Although for the first several years of the camp we did not encourage applications for entering fifth graders, we did accept a few boys that age who had older brothers on the camp. Because this experience was very positive, in 2013 we began to officially welcome applications for entering fifth graders. We encourage any parent who is concerned about whether your entering fifth grader is ready for an overnight camp to contact us for a personal conversation. If your son expresses interest and has a brother or friend on the camp, then he will most likely have a great time.
This will be my son’s first experience away from home. What is the best way to prepare him?
We have found that often it is the parents who have the hardest time. Your son will take his cues from you – your confidence about his ability to make new friends and learn from new experiences should be enough to help him manage any anxiety he may have. A few actions you can take to help prepare him for a great camp experience include:
- Explain to him ahead of time that some homesickness is perfectly normal, especially if it’s his first time away from home. This is especially true during the first couple of nights. We normally don’t allow phone calls home, since in our experience these calls can trigger home sickness even in a boy who is having a great time.
- Encourage him to see camp as a chance to build his self-confidence and healthy sense of independence.
- Help him focus on the great opportunities for fun and learning that the camp offers, and the chance to make many new friends. Most boys are so engaged in the activities they don’t have time to feel homesick.
- Guide him away from the idea that leaving early is an option if he does not like camp after a day or two.
- If possible, have him meet some of the other boys going on the camp ahead of time, or one of the counselors.
We also recommend you speak with one of our returning parents, who can offer encouragement and their own positive experience.
How big is the camp?
Over the years the camp has grown from 32 boys to about 84. While we hope to accept everyone who wants to come, this summer our maximum number of campers will be 98. The camp is divided into cabins of about seven campers, each cabin with a senior counselor and a junior counselor.
Can my son be assigned to the same cabin as his friend?
We make every effort to build cabins that have a balance of boys from different grades and backgrounds. One of the best experiences the camp offers is the chance to grow in self-confidence by making new friends. That said, we will do our best to accommodate reasonable cabin requests.
When do you start accepting applications, and how will I be notified my son is accepted?
We begin accepting camper applications on March 1. Families are notified by email of acceptance or wait-list within two weeks of their application. A final notice, along with directions, information about camp arrival and departure times, contact information, as well as what to bring and what not to bring to camp, goes out in mid-June about a week before the start of the camp.
Is there a discount for families sending more than one son to the camp?
Yes, we offer a $50 discount off the regular price to families for every additional son attending the camp.
What training do Sebago Leadership Camp staff members receive?
All of our adult staff participate in the Virtus training offered by the Archdiocese of Boston.
All of our counselor staff participate in preparation meetings beginning six months before the start of the camp. The monthly meeting focus on preparing the counselors to care for the safety and well-being of the campers, working as a team and giving great example. Our goal is for each camper to have the best week of his life, a week filled with fun and interesting activities in an atmosphere of faith, friendship and good cheer. Our counselors know that this depends largely on them, on the tone they set and the care and leadership they give the boys.
What do you do to care for the medical needs of the campers?
Dr. John Barravecchio will be joining us again for the full week of the camp. For emergencies, the nearest hospital in Windham, ME is just 15 minutes away. We notify parents immediately of any significant health concern.
Are there regular updates from the camp?
How do I contact my son in an emergency?
If there is an emergency and you need to contact your son, please call John Paul Lechner at 202.733.0771. Because the camp is very large, you will probably need to leave a message, since chances are he could be at any one of a number of venues at any given time. We will regularly check email at firstname.lastname@example.org for messages from home.
What is the schedule for arrival and departure?
Campers should arrive at the camp on Sunday, June 23 between 2:00 and 3:30 PM. We will have an introductory talk and take the camp photo at 3:30 PM. There will be no Sunday afternoon Mass this year.
Families are welcome to join us for Mass at 9:00 AM on the day of departure, Saturday, June 29. Following Mass we will have a quick cabin clean-up and our awards ceremony. The camp will disband at the end of the awards ceremony, around 11:00 AM.
When is the balance of my payment due?
Please mail a check for any balance due on your son’s camp fee by June 1 to
Sebago Leadership Camp
481 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467