Parent FAQ’s

Aren’t ALL camps ACA accredited?

No! Absolutely not. We take pride in being ACA accredited. It is the best evidence parents have of a camp’s commitment to a safe and nurturing environment for their children. This voluntary accreditation assures parents that camp practices have been measured against national standards and go a step beyond a state’s basic licensing requirements. Accreditation is based on a commitment by the camp to best practices. Accreditation requires the camp to pour substantial time, energy and financial resources into achieving and maintaining the accredited status. Accreditation is a sign that the camp is willing to go the extra miles to ensure the camp is safe, the staff is well-trained and the programming excellent. For more information, click here.

Where do most of your campers come from?

Our campers come from all over the world and all are welcome to Camp Tall Timbers. A portion comes to us from the Washington/Maryland/Virginia areas. Additionally, we have campers from Pittsburgh, PA, Atlanta, GA, Florida, Spain, France, and China.

How many campers are in camp and how are they divided?

Camp Tall Timbers operates a program for between 150-175 campers. We cap our enrollment to ensure that each camper gets the attention he/she deserves and that our facilities are readily accessible and abundant. Division is made by both gender and the school grade they have just completed. We have found that by dividing by grade works as a better barometer of maturity than going strictly by age. A cabin group is made of approximately 8 campers and 2 staff members.

Where does your staff come from?

We operate camp with a few different levels of staff persons. First, our counselors. These young men and women come to us from colleges and universities from across the country and from around the world. We spend a lot of time in the off season traveling to college campuses interviewing and hiring qualified staff. A portion of our staff comes to us from Great Britain. They, too, are college students who go through a rigorous application and review process prior to coming to camp. In addition to these talented people, we employ administrators, or unit leaders who oversee cabin and activity areas in camp. These staff members are a mix of teachers and coaches that provide added supervision in the camp setting. We have a 4 -1 ratio of campers to staff.

Tell me more about your staff.

Based on our years of experience we know that the staff we have working directly with our campers makes all the difference in creating a memorable summer. The entire team at Camp Tall Timbers is a wonderful mix of teachers, coaches and college students. Each staff member is carefully selected for their teaching expertise in a given activity area, their personality, as well as their interest in working with children. The staff reports to camp several days ahead of our campers so that they may go through our Counselor Institute. Some of the situations we thoroughly review during Institute are daily responsibilities, staff conduct and emergency procedures. Additionally, by the time our campers arrive, our staff has reviewed all the information about their individually assigned campers as provided by their parents. This is one more way we strive to ensure a safe, fun and personalized camp experience.

Our counselors eat, sleep and interact with their campers. Background and reference checks are just two of the procedures we go through to ensure a staff member is right for our camp setting. Many are graduates of our “counselor – in – training” program and/or are former campers. Were proud of our 4 to 1 camper to counselor ratio.

How does my child(ren) get to camp?

We provide charter bus service from Baltimore, MD, Rockville, MD, Tyson’s Corner, VA and shuttle service from Dulles International Airport. These services are available at no additional cost. You are of course welcome to drive your child to camp as well. As we continue to grow, we will offer service from other areas. Call us for detailed directions.

How about getting my camper’s luggage to camp?

We request that your child’s luggage arrive at camp prior to their arrival. This allows us to take the time to unpack and store their luggage. Then, when your child arrives at camp, the cabin is already set up and we are ready for them to get involved in camp instead of hassling with unpacking. Luggage service is available at the bus pick up locations, and via UPS.

Do you have a camp uniform?

Camp dress is casual and no uniforms are required. We do recommend that all campers have two Camp Tall Timbers t-shirts so that we, as a group, are easy to identify when on an off site camp trip. A camp baseball hat is also recommended. We have a recommended clothing list available for your use. Check out the Camp Tall Timbers store!

What do the campers do at night and what time do they go to bed?

Each evening we plan an activity for our campers. It may be Campfire, Song Pantomime Night, Cheesy Skits, Pool Party or Game Night to name just a few. After an evening snack, campers’ bedtime varies depending on their age and the pace of our day. Lights out range from 9-10:30.

Does everyone eat at the same time?

While we may stagger the times that campers enter the dining hall, the entire camp population eats together.

What type of food do you serve?

We serve well-balanced meals, professionally prepared in our kitchen. Breakfast consists of a hot entree in addition to bagels, toast, and a fruit and cereal bar. Milk and juice are also available. Lunch always contains a salad bar and a rotating, kid-friendly, main course and side items. There is Grilled Cheese, Pizza, Turkey and Pasta, just to name a few. Dinner is another well-rounded meal with a hot entree with vegetables and a full salad bar. All lunches and dinners include dessert. Low fat and vegetarian options are always available.

My child has a food allergy. How is that handled?

While Camp Tall Timbers is not a camp that specializes in specific food allergies or other disorders, through our many years of camp experience we are able to handle a variety of dietary requirements including allergies to nuts, gluten and dairy. With regards to nuts, other than peanut butter (which we do provide but in a separate area of the dining hall) we are a nut-free environment and do not stock any foods containing nuts, however, some foods may have been processed in an environment where nuts are present.

What are the cabins like?

All of our cabins are new or have been renovated over the last 5 years. All have full electricity, showers and toilet facilities. The cabins are constructed to be used in spring, summer and fall. They are insulated and have screened windows for better temperature control and have closed ceilings. Shelving is provided in the cabins so that campers may store their clothing and not have to live out of a trunk or suitcase.

What if my child takes regular medication?

For safety reasons and in conjunction with the American Camp Association guidelines all medications are kept locked in the infirmary. Our nurse brings all medications to the dining hall at mealtimes. Campers can simply come to the medical table, take their medication and continue with their meal. All medications are properly labeled and strict records are kept to record the medicine dispensed. We can even give routine shots at camp. Please call us to ask any questions that you may have concerning our medical department.

Do all summer camps have a doctor on-site?

No, most camps do not. Our registered nurse is on site 24/7 and can handle most medical situations. And our well-equipped infirmary is ready to handle any situation around the clock. While rarely, needed medical specialists are available 20 minutes away in nearby Winchester, VA.

Camper FAQ’s

Where do the kids who come to Camp Tall Timbers come from?

Most of our campers come from the Washington DC and Maryland, Baltimore and Rockville areas as well as Virginia, however we also have many campers from other parts of the country – Atlanta, Philadelphia and California to name a few and even campers from all over the world. They travel as far as Spain, England, France and China! What’s great, is you will make friends from near and far!

Should I take the bus to and from camp?

We offer a charter bus service from Baltimore MD, Rockville MD and Tyson’s Corner VA to and from camp – it is a great chance for you to meet new friends or travel with old friends independently from your parents however, if you wanted to be dropped off at camp that’s fine too.

Do most new kids come to camp with a friend?

Some campers do, but most take the plunge on their own – this may seem a little daunting but as soon as you step foot on the bus there will be lots of friendly faces to greet you and we know you will have made lifelong friends before you know it.

Do I have to clean up?

Yes. Every morning we all spend about 30 minutes getting our cabin ready and ourselves for the day a head. This will involve making your bed, making sure your cubbies are neat, and doing one chore in the cabin such as sweeping the cabin floor or making sure all lights and fans are switched off before everyone leaves for their first activity!
And remember: If your cabin is the cleanest at the end of the week – you could get a very special trip out of camp – for delicious ICE CREAM, for your cabin ONLY! Yeah!

Are there bathrooms in the cabins and are they nice?

Yes! Every cabin has modern cubicle bathrooms and sinks and showers, we make sure they are kept very clean.

What should I wear every day at Camp?

CTT is very informal casual, and you need to be ready for any adventure – so every day wear is a t-shirt, shorts and sneakers. Make sure you are comfortable and ready go!

Can I bring costumes and props for special events?

Please do! Costumes and props are great for evening activities and special days.

Can I bring stuff to decorate my cabin with?

Of course, photos, posters, cards, stuffed animals, lights are usual decorative items that really make it feel like a home away from home.

What if there are some activities that I really want to do and others I do not?

Well the AWESOME thing about Camp Tall Timbers is that here YOU make your own schedule – you choose exactly what activities you would like to do! You tailor your schedule to all the fun things you want to do and learn. We always encourage campers to try something new and challenge themselves but ultimately the choice is yours… enjoy the freedom!

How will I know what is going on at all times?

Every day at breakfast, lunch, and dinnertime we have announcements in the dining hall explaining all events for that day. Don’t worry if you don’t remember. Your counselors will know what is going on at all times, so they can help you.

How will I keep track of time?

We have a loud BELL here at CTT located outside the office, that helps us stick to our schedule. No need for a watch, just listen out for the bell. When you hear it, it’s time to move on to the next fun activity!

How will I know where my activities are located?

On your very first day at camp, your counselors will give you a tour of camp. Before you know it you will be finding your way around like a pro.

Do I stay in my cabin on rainy days?

Not necessarily – we will usually find a fun activity to do inside either the gym or the rec-hall; the rain never stops our fun!

What happens during rest hour?

During rest hour you can take the time to write a letter home to let everyone know about your time at camp, you can take a nap, play cards with your cabin mates – a quiet activity to re-charge your batteries ready for a busy afternoon of fun!

Do I have to be a good athlete to do well at camp?

Not at all. We have some very athletic campers who really flourish at camp but similarly we have many campers who think they are not athletic at all and improve and grow as the summer goes on… all we ask is that you try, you may surprise yourself. Emphasis is on teamwork, fair play and improvement. We have a strong athletic program but with our water sports, horse back riding, outdoor challenges and creative and performing arts programs there is something for everyone.

Can I watch TV and use my cell phone?

Unfortunately no. There are no TVs at camp and cell phones are not permitted.

Can I take private lessons?

Yes! Currently we offer individual tuition for golf, tennis and guitar. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Do boys and girls eat and do activities together

Yes, both boys and girls do their activities together. We are a co-ed camp and believe co-ed interaction is invaluable for social development. Boys and girls do eat at the same time, but on separate sides of the dining hall. Each cabin sits together at meal times.

What trips can I go on?

We have wonderful facilities at CTT but sometimes we like to venture out. Some of the trips we take include: roller skating, Cacapon State Park Beach, Hershey Park, Kings Dominion and bowling.

Can I sign up for any other trips?

If you have completed grade 7 or above, we offer a theater trip, go-karting and water rafting too.

Is there a camp cookout?

Yes we usually cook out at least once a week. Yummy!

What happens after dinner?

After dinner you will have a little bit of down time where you may choose to rehearse a skit or song or something for the evening activity or you may choose to relax in your cabin or you may want to play some baseball or ping pong until the bell rings for the evening activity to begin.

What are the evening activities like?

So much fun! The evening activities vary considerably, but they are always great fun. One night may be cheesy skit night and the next may be a campfire with s’mores!

What happens on my birthday?

If you are lucky enough to have a birthday at camp, you will receive a birthday cake, the whole camp will sing to you as you skip around the room! Sound fun? We will be sure to make it an unforgettable birthday.

Who can help me if I have a problem?

Any of the staff at CTT will be on hand to help at all times. Your counselor will be closest to you, but if they are not around, any of the CTT staff will be happy to help.

What happens if I feel sick?

We have a nurse on site so a quick visit to the infirmary and you’ll be back enjoying yourself again in no time.