Is the high ropes course safe?
Safety is always our number one priority. Due to our close relationship with international schools in Taiwan and our adherence to American Camp Association policies, we work with professional international organizations to maintain our course and insure our staff remains properly trained. Our high ropes elements were designed and constructed by American firm, Project Adventure using only the best imported materials. Every year our course is inspected and we receive a written report detailing the results. All of our equipment is up to ACCT (Association of Challenge Course Technology) standards. Our safety and challenge course staff are all licensed and all certifications are verified current each summer.
What if my camper is homesick?
Not nearly as many children get homesick as parents think. In our experience about 10% of campers experience some homesickness. Counselors are trained with how to deal with these cases. Most homesick children can be redirected to all the fun they are having at camp and by the second or third day, they are no longer missing home. Campers are at camp 24 hours a day for six days, there will be times when they are feeling down and times when they are feeling great — just like at home. By the end of the week, campers will have dealt with these moments with the help of counselors, but without the help of mom and dad. It is a great step toward independence for children.
We have never had a homesickness case so severe that a child has had to return home. On rare occasions we will organize an emailed letter home but only after first contacting mom or dad and coaching them on what to write to their child. Please let your campers know that they will be at camp for the week and they will have a great time. Do not tell them that if they miss home, you will come pick them up. That will guarantee you have a homesick camper and your child will miss out on a great opportunity. Of course, if you think your child is not ready for this time away from home, then it is best to wait until that time.
Is there a camp nurse? What are the qualifications of counselors?
Camp Taiwan employs a registered nurse throughout camp. Counselors are normally university-aged and come from all over the world. Half of our staff are native Chinese speakers and half are native English speakers. Camp Taiwan recruits staff from the outdoor education field and only accepts those with relevant qualifications. All full counselors must be currently certified in First Aid/CPR/Heimlich. Our senior staff members are certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR) and our safety director is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Transportation to and from camp? Can I pick up/drop off my children?
Camp Taiwan provides buses from Taipei locations for each camp and parents must drop off and pick up their children at these locations. The roads in and out of camp are small and not suitable for many cars to get in and out for camps. Also, it is best for campers and parents to say their goodbyes in town so campers can start to adjust to their new environment on the trip out to camp. Should parents want a tour of camp before their child’s session, contact our office to reserve a spot for one of our guided tours.
Can I call my camper?
No. Part of the mission of camp is for the campers to develop self- reliance – or self confidence. Some parents are afraid that their child will be home sick and that this will be helped if the parents can call and speak to the child; however our experience is that this usually makes it worse. Even the most home-sick camper is usually settled by the third day. In summer camp, our staff will call you on the third day, let you know how they are doing – and answer any of your questions then.
Can my child bring a cell phone?
No. Camp Taiwan does not allow electronic devices, except for cameras. Camp is about nature and interacting with peers and counselors. Electronic devices are a distraction that they can live without for one week. Cell phones especially are not allowed for the same reasons parents cannot call and speak with their campers (see question above). By the second day, most campers do not even miss their phones or devices. They are welcome to bring books, cards, board games and other traditional camp-friendly social distractions.
Can I visit my child at camp?
When parents visit camp unannounced it means that camp staff must take time from their schedule to deal with the visitors. This distracts counselors from their primary responsibility — the campers. Also, for the few campers who do get home sick during camp, seeing mom and dad is not part of the solution, but usually part of the problem. For this reason, if an adult relative breaks this policy to come and visit their child at camp, we ask they take their child home with them when they leave. No refund is provided in this situation.
What kind of food is served at camp? What about food allergies?
We have a full kitchen at Camp Taiwan and we prepare three large meals a day for campers. We prepare balanced meals influenced by North American summer camp industry standards. Counselors serve meals and campers are encouraged to try everything. We do not allow campers to pick and choose just what they like as we want to make sure they eat a well-balanced diet throughout the week. Some meals are Asian and some are Western — all of it is delicious. After campers have finished their first round, those who are still hungry are allowed to come up for seconds of some of the dishes.
Should your child have a food allergy, it is important that you put that information in the health form when you register online. For those who cannot eat certain things (like meat, seafood, peanuts, etc.) optional menu items are provided just for those campers. Please do not put what your camper ‘doesn’t like’ to eat. We have not yet met a camper who is allergic to broccoli. If your child doesn’t like broccoli, that will be our responsibility for the week. You can take a break and leave the healthy eating up to us!
Where do the campers sleep at night?
Most summer campers stay in our platform style safari tents while younger campers and mini campers stay in our Eco Lodge. Safari tents are bungalows with wooden floors, electricity, beds and mattresses. All bedding and pillows are provided by camp. In the Eco Lodge, campers sleep in dormitory-style rooms on bunk beds.
How many campers in a tent or a room?
Our tents accommodate 4- 6 campers. We also have a large yurt that sleeps 12. Each room of Eco-lodge accommodates 14 campers. Our new teen camp area has yurts and long houses that accommodate 8-12 campers each.
Do the counselors sleep with the campers?
Only for the mini camp. During the regular camp and teen camp the counselors sleep in the neighboring tent or room. There is always a staff member in the sleeping area when the campers are there – even in the evening. We assign a night duty person to be with the campers until all the other staff duties are finished for the day. Then at night all the counselors sleep near the campers.
Are there toilets and showers in the tents and eco-lodge? What about air conditioning and heater?
Each group of tents or cluster (6 tents – 4 for campers 2 for staff) has a communal bath-house with toilets and showers. There are toilets and showers in the eco-lodge. It is fairly cool in the mountains at night – so the campers are usually pretty comfortable – there are screens on the doors and windows of the tent, which brings in fresh cool air. We do have fans in the tents for the daytime to help bring in a breeze. Our Eco-lodge is hotter than the tents, so there are air conditioners in the lodge for use in the summer.
What if my child has to go to the toilet at night – who will take them?
We talk about this when the campers arrive – as a group and again when the counselor puts the campers to bed the first night: campers wake up one other camper in the tent or room as a bathroom buddy – the two campers go to the toilet together. There is a counselor on duty patrolling until 10:30pm – if your child needs to be taken to the bathroom because they are a bed- wetter then we will arrange for a counselor to make a special visit for your child each evening.
How many campers per activity – or group.
Most activities have 10-12 campers. When we take the campers to special activities there may be as many as 15 campers but if we do this we add extra staff. Most activities have a 1-6 staff – camper ratio.
How many counselors look after the campers?
There is one counselor “in charge” of each tent group (4-6 campers). We put two tent groups together – including staff to make up “teams”. Teams visit activities together until the campers have free choice activities. The two counselors in charge of each “team” of two tent groups work together to manage the team. There is one Native English speaking staff and one Mandarin speaking staff for each team. Also most teams have an intern or PAL working with them.
How much English does my camper have to know?
Campers who have a basic understanding and knowledge of English seem to benefit the most from the Camp Taiwan experience. The program is run (instructions, all communication, songs, activities, games) in English. In most cases Camp is a wonderful opportunity to use and practice the English that children have learned – and a great opportunity to learn more in a safe and nurturing and encouraging environment.
Do you teach English?
We are not an English school. English is the language of camp because it is a North American-style residential camp with a distinct culture – we call it ‘living the language.’ Our counselors model English and English is the language of all activity instruction, songs activities. There is a lot of social language learned in the week that campers come.
Can my child be expelled from camp?
There are some important rules campers must follow to make sure camp is fun for all. These rules can be found in our registration notice here.