Bunk Life, All You Need To KnowPosted by on May 15, 2017

It’s hard to believe it is already May! Camp is right around the corner, and with that comes a lot of preparation. When campers are asked why they return to Fernwood Cove each summer, resoundingly, the answer is “friends!” One of the hot topics this time of year is bunk life. It can be a stressful time for both parent and camper. “Will my daughter be in a bunk with all her friends”? “How many people should we request”? “Can my daughter bunk with her friend from home”? Don’t panic, the Fernwood Cove Directors are here to help you.  Below we share all you need to know about bunk life.

Fernwood Cove Directors

As a team, the Fernwood Cove Directors have almost fifty years of experience working in girls’camping. Throughout those years we have gained knowledge, understanding, and insight that have helped to develop our current bunk life policies. We combine our knowledge and experience, Fernwood Cove values, and the following external factors when developing bunk families each summer.

  • Returning campers’ requests,
  • Geographic location,
  • returners vs. new campers,
  • schools,
  • outside of camp relationships, and
  • counselors bunking reports from previous years.

We understand the impact that bunk life has on the overall camp experience. Thus the Fernwood Cove Directors take it very seriously. We spend several days working to ensure bunk families are well-rounded and inclusive.

Our Bunk Life Policy

It is our policy not to bunk home or school friends together. There are a myriad of examples to support this policy on why campers are more successful when they “camp alone.”  As a parent, you want to help smooth the way for your child. If she’s new, you want her to have a friend, someone she feels comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for your child, but there are downfalls. Campers who are in a cabin with no one they know, are more successful sooner. They walk into each situation wanting to make new friendships, rather than spending all their time with the one person they know.

  • If both campers are new, remember that misery loves company. We have seen many cases where one friend is homesick and the other is not. That can create an uncomfortable dynamic where either the non-homesick friend resents her homesick friend, or they are both homesick as a result.
  • If one camper is new and the other is a returner, you can often see a “3rd wheel” situation. Our returning campers are welcoming, kind and inclusive to all our new campers, however, they are very excited to see their returning camp friends. New campers can often feel left out by the already established relationship.
  • Bunking together with home friends or school friends at camp can shift the existing friendship dynamics. We want to ensure that your daughters remain friends both at camp and at home, and therefore this policy is in place.

Advice for returning campers

  1. Submit bunk requests! Having a list of who returning campers would like to bunk with helps us place campers into cabin groups.
  2. Please fill out as many names as possible! The more names the better. If a returning camper only request 1 person, we cannot guarantee she will get that person. It’s incredibly helpful to have multiple names on the list.
  3. Fernwood Cove’s policy is to not bunk home or school friends together. If a home or school friend to the list it is the same as not putting anyone down at all. Returning camper should add friends that they do not get to see outside of camp!
  4. Prioritize! Is it more important to bunk with friends? Or to NOT bunked with specific people? We can usually accommodate one or the other – but not both scenarios.  We know everyone is not best friends, but remember, summer camp is about being kind, inclusive, and making new friends, even some unexpected ones!

Please remember these helpful tips when you begin looking at bunking. Remember, we have all the information- who requested who, counselor notes, notes from other parents, and information which we cannot disclose.  We do our very best to bunk your daughter appropriately, with people who want to be with her and with others we think she might get along with. It is not an exact science, but please trust us. When your daughter arrives, sees the list of girls in her cabin, please know this: it’s the most ideal bunking scenario for EVERYONE involved. Above all else, remember, this is going to be an extraordinary summer for your daughter!