FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How will you keep campers safe from COVID-19?
A: We take the safety of all participants very seriously, and will implement all suitable precautions to minimize the chance of exposure to COVID-19. Please see click here for the latest updates to our COVID-19 policy.
Q: How many campers and counselors will there be at camp?
A: While we cannot predict the final number of campers and counselors at this time, we anticipate around 250 campers (between grades 4-9) and 60 counselors (between grades 10-12). Final numbers will be determined by both demand and volunteer availability.
Q: Where do kids sleep?
A: Kids will sleep in cabin-style housing in a camplike setting. Cabins will have multiple bunk beds in a large central room, along with bathrooms and showers. Each cabin will have campers of similar grade and same gender, with adult volunteers overseeing them. There will be no mixed-gender sleeping pods. To see pictures of camp lodging, click here.
Q: Who can come into the cabin where kids will stay?
A: We have exclusive use of the whole property. Only those associated with or contracted by IFNet and/or Somerset Camp will be on-premise, and only campers, counselors, volunteers or Somerset Camp staff will be permitted into the space.
Q. Do I have to stay for the whole time or can I leave early if needed?
A: Campers, counselors and volunteers must stay for the entire camp. Of course, unexpected health issues or emergencies may result in early departure, but outside of these unforeseen events, we will not be able to accommodate late arrivals or early dismissals. Please register only if you can commit to staying the entire time.
Q. What is the security protocol around activities, meals, sleeping time, etc.?
A: At every activity, whether it’s sports during the day, at the cafeteria for meals, or at night in cabins, we will take roll calls. Our small camper to volunteer ratio will allow us to keep an eye on campers, and we will also implement the buddy system.
Q: Can campers walk out at night?
A: Campers will not be permitted outside after designated times.
Q. Will children be allowed to roam on their own?
A: Campers will be required to stay in designated areas.
Q. Who will be managing kids? How equipped are they to handle a variety of situations?
A: Volunteers and counselors will supervise campers. Every volunteer will be CORI checked (or have a similar background check) before being allowed to help at camp. Parents and counselors will undergo training in a variety of topics.
Q. What if a child is not interested in a specific activity?
A: Part of our responsibility as organizers is to expose kids to a variety of activities that have been planned for an optimal camp experience that meets our goals. We expect kids to participate in every activity at camp (unless exempt for safety and/or health reasons) so they are able to get the most from the experience individually and collectively.
Q. What if a child doesn’t want to partake in water activities?
A: We recognize not all kids will be good swimmers and/or confident to participate in water activities such as swimming, canoeing or kayaking. We will allow kids to skip going in the water if they prefer not to do them.
Q. What happens if a child is injured?
A: Parents will be notified, and volunteers will make every effort to help the child. Please review our health & wellness protocols here which outline our medical support during camp.
Q. What is the refund policy?
A: The full amount of camp fees will be collected at registration, and will not be refundable. There are a couple of reasons for this policy. First, there is high demand for IFNet camp, and we would like people to register when they are 100% committed to going. It is not fair to hold tentative reservations while others ready to commit are placed on wait lists. Second, the toll of managing the payout of refunds sits on the same volunteers who are organizing camp. We would like their precious time to be focused on building the best camp experience for campers, rather than fulfilling administrative duties. For unforeseen circumstances (health, injury, etc.) we will try our best to process returns after camp is completed.
Q: How and to what degree will religion be taught at IFNET camp?
A: We are not a religious camp. We plan to emphasize generalizable values over specific religious customs, and we are not aiming to "teach" religious beliefs. We welcome and encourage campers of any religion to attend camp, and the majority of activities will not have a religious component. However, given the intersection of religion, culture and history that exists in India, there will be some activities with a religious connection, such as aarti during dinner time on a daily basis. One or more class(es) could include stories that may originate from religious traditions and/or Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and/or Jain concepts. The festival of Holi will also be explained and celebrated with color play during camp.
Q. Are electronics allowed at camp?
A: IFNET camp will be an electronics-free retreat. Please review our electronics policy here.
Q. What if my child misses home?
A: Counselors and parent volunteers will have cell phones and if really needed, kids can use the phones to contact parents. Please note that while kids will miss home and ask to talk to their parents, sometimes these conversations make homesickness even worse. We will use our discretion in deciding if a call home is needed and might be helpful. Please know we will do our best to make sure kids are happy and having a great time.
Q. Will transportation to camp be provided?
A: Bus transportation to and from camp is included in the camp fees, and will be provided from the Boston area. Families from outside the Boston area are expected to make arrangements to arrive in Boston for drop off and pick up of campers.
Q. Can I come for part of camp?
A: Campers, counselors and volunteers will need to stay for the entire camp, we will not be accepting requests for partial attendance.
Q. What if my child can’t sleep at night?
A: We will check and make sure kids are going to bed on time and also conduct checks to make sure they are sleeping. As parents that care about your children, we will make sure they are getting enough rest and if not, we will assess what can be done differently.
Q. Can I visit my child at camp?
A: For security, liability, covid-19 and other reasons, no visitors will be permitted at camp. However, we'd love for you to get involved, and encourage you to sign-up to become a volunteer here.
Q: Can I make a friend request for my child’s group or sleeping arrangements?
A: No friend requests will be taken. However, we will be very thoughtful about groupings to ensure kids have similar-aged friends throughout the day and in their sleeping pods.
Q. What if my child has allergies, is vegetarian or vegan?
A: We will work with you to make sure we stick to your child’s dietary restrictions. The cafeteria will have plentiful options so your child will have multiple choices at each meal.
Q. How can I get in touch with my child?
A: You will get the contact information of a parent and counselor as your contact point. We also send out a daily email to update parents of the day’s activities and highlights.
Q. If one meets the grade/age criteria, can anyone be a volunteer or counselor?
A: In addition to meeting grade/age requirements, volunteers and counselors must have a demonstrated knowledge of Indian culture.