FAQsFAQs

Staff FAQs

LIVING
All cabins have hot and cold water, showers, sinks, toilets and electricity. We serve high quality, home cooked meals emphasizing good nutrition and choices with unlimited quantities of fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, chicken and meats. Counselors eat with their campers and sometimes act as waiters or waitresses.

CULTURE
Camp Towanda’s campers are 98% Jewish and we observe a Friday Evening Service as well as say a grace prior to each meal. Our staff always adds a warm cultural mix to our camp family. Counselors, if On Duty, attend the service with their campers. It is a cultural experience that recognizes friendship, respect and good values.

CABINS
Most cabins house 16 campers with at least four staff members.

ACTIVITIES
We specialize in all activities; Sports, the Arts, and Outdoor Adventure. Take a look at our application for some of the activities we offer.

ORIENTATION

We provide a Staff Guide in May and a week-long orientation program is required prior to the campers’ arrival. Depending upon which department you are in, we may ask you to arrive earlier than the general orientation session.

STAFF CURFEW AND O.D.
Our curfew on nights off is 12 midnight. O.D. refers to being On Duty with your campers after lights out. A counselor is usually O.D. two times per week

DAYS OFF
Staff members get six days off for the 8-week staff session. That’s one day per week except the first and last week. We also provide a recreational activity program for off duty staff.

TRANSPORTATION
We recommend that you bring your own car, if you have one. However, transportation is provided to town most nights.

SALARY
Salary offers are based on a scale that considers school class, skill qualifications, certifications, previous camp employment and includes room, board, linens, laundry and a travel allowance. There is also a “no tipping” policy. We believe it promotes favoritism and the ACA discourages this practice.

PRE & POST SEASON
There is additional work available, in addition to the 8-week counselor program. There is, of course, extra pay for participating.

DRUGS, DRINKING, SMOKING, GUM, EARRINGS & BODY PIERCING
No drug possession or abuse permitted. Drinking on campus or when On Duty is not permitted and will get you fired. The Pennsylvania drinking age is a strict 21. We maintain a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY regarding underage drinking or irresponsible off duty behavior that potentially results in negative effects. We do not allow gum at camp. Men and women can wear ear studs only (nothing dangling). No body piercing.

HOW TOUGH IS IT?
There will be times when you wonder why on earth did you take this job! The answer is that you can make a valuable positive impact on children’s lives.

You are expected to be a role model to the children. Decision-making, good judgment and listening skills are a tremendous part of your job. You are always on duty, even when you are off! Therefore, good time management skills are essential.

Teaching program skills are important, but showing a camper how to get along with others, creating fun, learning to share, helping through crises such as homesickness and developing group living skills will make this a challenge you’ll need to be “up” to.

The days are long and the campers will keep you on your toes. However, you will NOT be alone, our leadership team will be there for you and your campers to assist and support as needed. We are essentially, a giant family!

WHAT YOU ARE GETTING YOURSELF INTO…
Camp Towanda is a place where people return year after year. Wherever you go in the world, you’ll probably run into someone who went or knows someone who went to Towanda!

We are a giant family. For many, this is their first job away from home. It is all encompassing and as a team we all have fun, learn, grow and develop. At camp, we count and rely on each other.

MORE INFO ABOUT CAMP
Please look through our entire website, it will help you get a feel about our program. Watch the videos, read the Towanda Times, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Watch our Vimeo and You Tube videos. Please call us or email with any questions!

What Makes Camp Towanda Different From Other Camps?

Although we have the highest quality facilities and almost every conceivable activity; the ingredient that makes our camp different from all others is that Camp Towanda is privately owned and operated by the Reiter family, that's us! This is what we do, this is our passion. So when you talk with us, you are talking with the source! We feel that parents are sending their children to our home for the summer. That is exactly what sets the tone for our entire camp. All decisions are based simply on what we would do, allow and be comfortable with, in regards to our own children. We sincerely feel that we are parenting partners, the surrogate Mom & Dad for the summer.

A well-rounded, wholesome, well-supervised, safe and secure environment for everyone. Not only as owners and directors are we close friends with all the campers, but when you call and ask how "Johnny" is doing, we don't have to figure out who "Johnny" is... we know who and how he or she is!

What is Towanda’s Philosophy?

We bring out the best in everyone, no matter who it is and no matter what that best is. Our goal is to have the campers and staff leave feeling better about themselves than when they arrived. The ingredients and life skills learned at Camp Towanda build on each other and throughout the multi-year experience at camp. These benefits of camp life are truly exceptional as they help set the foundation for honest and good morals and values. We develop trust and confidence with the parents and campers through healthy activities and healthy choices in a healthy atmosphere.

Who Is Camp Towanda For?

Camp Towanda is for kids who want to be kids. Camp Towanda offers a lot. We provide a program that adapts to the versatility and diversification of our campers. No matter what your level of experience, ability or interest is... Be it a soccer game, musical, water-skiing, overnights, tennis tournament, golf lesson, ceramics or pottery, basketball game, swim instruction or lacrosse game; Camp Towanda's program provides the opportunity for instruction, development, game time and choice.

We host tournaments in all sports and anyone who wants to be on a team. Teamwork and camaraderie are more important than a must win (however, we don't mind winning!). What is important is that everyone tries to the best of their ability and has the opportunity to develop and utilize his/her skills.

Our kids come from many different states and a few different countries. We attract "down-to-earth" families and don't go in for any fancy, high-gloss impressions. We have a beautiful campus, a high quality program and a very caring and sensitive staff. That's high quality, not high gloss! In fact, Mitch and Stephanie wrote all this information, not a hired advertising agency!

Camp Towanda is a safe and secure home that combines fun, friendships and special warmth with professional and responsible supervision and care. Our camp is one big family where everyone gets to know each other.

What Does Towanda Specialize In?

We don't specialize in one particular activity. We, in fact, specialize in everything! Really. This means high quality instruction, skill development and game time in all areas. Not just sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis and roller hockey; but, activities such as sculpture, nature, drama, mountain biking, martial arts, video, ropes and climbing. The list is virtually endless. However, we would say that we specialize in "life skills"; providing the proper tools to learn how to get along with different personalities and interests, teaching and demonstrating respect, camaraderie and appreciation.

If your child is a natural athlete; he or she will grow, develop and utilize many skills at camp. If your child is not a natural athlete; we still instruct and teach; however, we look for what they shine in to foster self-esteem. Camp Towanda is not just sports, that's just part of our day. We are about youth development.

Suffice it to say we are well rounded and offer many activities for all interests and abilities. We are not a competitive camp; however, we do offer a lot of competition for those that want to participate in inter-camp games and tournaments. Anybody can be on a team; one just needs to choose to go to a practice.

Our schedule is structured. The kids travel with their counselors and group from activity to activity; in addition, each camper can also pick and choose "options" every day, of what they want individually. Our program progresses as the campers get older, providing more choice as well as exciting privileges, excursions and experiences. Each year is unique as well as highly anticipated by the campers.

Describe Camp, Please.

Camp Towanda is situated on over 235 acres located in the lush, rolling countryside of Northeastern Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. It is beautiful! Lots of open space and pure, pine tree fresh air! Everything at camp is maintained in top condition. We are continuously investing in and innovating our camp. In fact, if you would surprise visit us any day—you would find that camp is always in prime condition.

The feeling that we have for the kids shows up in the pride of the campus; it feels like home to everyone here. We own a private, spring-fed 35-acre lake that has everything from water-skiing and sailing to the Tarzan swing, Tubing, paddle boats, canoes and white sandy beach. On top of that, down the dirt road we have a larger lake for advance waterski and sailing. To put in words or pictures is not really fair - you have to be here to really grasp the beautiful, secure, spirited feeling of camp.

Tell Us More.

There are about 220 boys and 220 girls, just the right amount of kids in each group. This capacity allows us to know everyone individually. Although our daily activities are separate, we do eat meals together and conduct the evening activity with the entire camp. Our counselor to camper ratio is at least 4:1 in the cabin. The younger bunks have a higher ratio. Our department heads and administrative staff are older, more mature staff members; parents, themselves. The return rate for campers has been about 90%.

As the Owners and Directors, we interview everyone we hire and make all decisions based on what we would do for our own children. The majority of our staff returns each year and many are former campers turned counselors.

We encourage our campers to stay on to become counselors. In preparation for that, we offer a Leader-In-Training (LIT) program, as well as a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program. These programs entice the younger kids to aspire to be like their older "camp brothers and sisters". The campers range in age from 6 - 17.

What Else Should We Know?

We are Accredited by the American Camp Association, members of the Wayne County Camping Association, Association Of Independent Camps, Association of Camp Nurses and Camp-Alert-Network....Mitch has been on the Board of Directors of The American Camp Association- New York Section and Steering Committee for The Tri-State Regional Camping Conference...He is currently on the Board of Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge (SCOPE) and Leave Out Violence (LOVE), both disadvantaged youth oriented organizations. We have many campers who are 2nd & 3rd generation...We know how to take care and be supportive of first time campers and their parents!...We have a real wholesome Friday Evening Shabbos Dinner and Service...Our Canteen is a great "playroom"....Horseback riding, golf outings, culinary classes and tutoring are available...We offer an optional intensive tennis clinic for all levels...We have golf on our driving range as part of the regular program...We eat Family Style...We have an extensive salad bar...We love barbecues and astronomy (not necessarily at the same time!)...Laundry is done in our own facility, once a week---same day service (we still lose the socks)!!...Showers, toilets and sinks in all the cabins...Beautiful bunks!...Olympic swimming pool with splash pad…Ropes and challenge course, Mountain Biking...Awesome Swiss Family Treehouse...weekly highlights video, camper photo uploads, theatre productions...15,000 square foot gym, multiple large indoor facilities (basketball, hockey, gymnastics, etc), Outdoor amphitheater, Unique evening activities…Intercamp tournaments...This is the greatest place!...So much more to tell you, too!!

How Long Is Camp?

2 miles! No really….We run a full 7-week program (just one session). Yes, we believe that a full summer is what camp is all about and those that come to our camp want that. It is truly the only way to get the most out of the experience of being away from home and making new friends.

We do offer a "First 4 Weeks" option for first year campers only. Be aware that everyone always ends up staying the full summer; but this plan seems to help the "nervous" parents!

The fun and camaraderie doesn’t end with the summer; throughout the off-season we have THE TOWANDA TIMES newsletter, our fabulous FRIDAY NITE FLIX channel, email (mitch@camptowanda.com), our web site (www.camptowanda.com), chat rooms, social media (Facebook, Instagram (#ctrunins #ctmeetups #towanda), Twitter & Pinterest) reunions and get-togethers.

We still go strong during the "off-season". In Fall we host a Fall Foliage Barbecue for a beautiful and relaxing day in the country. There is a Northern New Jersey Reunion in November, a Florida Beach Party in December, in January we have a New Camper Get-Together (which we call "Group Scoop") and a Ski Trip, The Senior Sleepover At Camp in February and much more!

What Is The Next Step?

Look through our website... Then, it is very important that we speak with each family; after all, you will be sending your children to our home for the summer! We wouldn't part with our children to just anyone. So, let's get together and talk camp! We can send you more information, in addition to the website stuff. Please call to set up an appointment and camp visit. Looking forward to talking soon!

Where Exactly Is Camp Towanda Located?

Camp is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, nestled between the Pocono and Catskill Mountains. Camp is just eight miles north of Honesdale, Pennsylvania and approximately 2½ hours from the outskirts of New York City and Philadelphia by car.

Where Do You Get Your Staff?

Many staff members are former Towanda campers, adding to the spirit, giving back and making camp camp! We pride ourselves on our multi-year process of staff recruiting. The average age of our bunk counselors is 21. The staff comes from over 25 states, Canada and then a handful of overseas countries, adding to the spirit and culture of a great camp experience. Our Senior Staff are seasoned professionals, many of them, parents themselves. The majority of our staff returns each year! See OUR STAFF.

What Do You Wear?

Our staff always wears easily identifiable staff shirts. The campers are required to wear specific, but fun uniform items on most days (all depends on the activities that day). In addition, there is an opportunity each day for personal choice; however, we have found that wearing our hip and cool clothing adds to the spirit and helps eliminate provocative or unnecessary competition. Each morning at reveille "the dress for the day" is announced!

We are not into make up, blow dryers, curling irons or jewelry. Everyone wears socks and sneakers to activities. Sunscreen is applied several times daily!

Any Religious Observation?

Having predominately Jewish clientele, we say the "motzi" in Hebrew and English before each meal, have a wholesome Shabbos dinner and brief Friday evening service. There is an optional havdallah service in the garden on Saturday evenings during Free Play. Our food is served kosher style; however, one can have a cheeseburger if so desired. All this in an unimposing way….more of a wholesome and appreciative experience. Those who are not Jewish, are respectful and interested, as we would be in their home.

What’s With The Bunks?

Not bad! Not a five star hotel, but not bad! Beautiful wood floors, electricity, hot and cold water, windows, screens, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, wood platform beds and loads of spirit!

Umm, Is There Food?

We should say…YUM! Dining at camp is awesome excitement! Healthy choices are encouraged through balanced meals and fruit is always available. Our menus have been nutritionist-certified. We all eat at the same time! The Mess Hall is not a quiet room! Campers eat with their bunkmates and counselors. Our older camper waiters serve family style! In addition there are always alternatives at the extensive salad bars. We are happy to accommodate and oversee special dietary and allergy needs (on an individualized basis), including gluten-free, Celiac, Diabetes, Kosher, Dairy, etc in our specialized Galley Kitchen.

Adjustment to Camp?

We have many year round events that help with the transition of becoming a camper and a camper’s parent! An autumn barbecue, a Florida beach party, a new camper-parent orientation get together in January and our terrific camp big brother and sister program. All this helps lead to the magic of camp. Along the way, Mitch and Stephanie will spoon feed all information and are just a phone call away, year-round. We become your parenting partners.

Do You Have a Rookie Camp Program?

If your future camper would like to get a taste of camp, we offer special ROOKIE DAYs in July; we call it the S'MORE TOUR; we are happy to tell you s'more about it!

ACA Accredited

ACA Accreditation means that the camp you are considering for your child cares enough to undergo a thorough (over 300 standards) review of its operation – from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

ACA helps accredited camps provide:
Healthy, developmentally appropriate and learning experiences and activities;
Discovery through experiential education; Caring, competent role models;
Service to the community and the environment; Opportunities for leadership and personal growth.

Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that camps have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children.

ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service into specific areas of programming, including camp staff from director throughout counselors, emergency management plans, health care, and management. ACA applies separate standards for activities such as waterfront, adventure and travel.

Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA’s website www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.
If the camp you are considering is not ACA accredited, ask WHY NOT?


Camp Towanda is not only accredited by the American Camp Association, but has staff members that serve on the ACA Board of Directors as well as one of their Accreditation Inspectors of other camps. Mitch is a former board member himself, of the ACA as well as a Steering Committee member and speaker at the annual camp association conference. He is actively involved and on the boards of several charitable organizations (SCOPE, L.O.V.E. and VisionWalk) that he gets the campers involved in.

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