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Choice Camps Recommendation of Camp Emerson

With activities like CO2 Car Racing and Forensic Science, Camp Emerson is certainly not your ordinary summer camp. While the camp has all of the traditional sports, waterfront, and arts activities you would find at a typical summer camp, Camp Emerson is constantly striving to break the mold and give campers unique choices they wont find anywhere else. Emerson campers are creative, intelligent, and enthusiastic to explore new things on the 175 acre site in the Berkshire Mountains.

Camp Emerson is best known for exceptional directors and staff who give personal attention to each child. The personal attention even extends to families camp director Sue Lein carries a cell phone at all times specifically dedicated to parent phone calls. Accessibility and hand-on attention are key components of the camps philosophy.

Program Description

Camp Emerson is a free-choice program for campers. Every two weeks, campers can choose their five favorite activities from a list of more than 50 options. In addition to the five daily free-choice activities, campers have one swim period and a camp-wide evening activity which is known to include famed Camp Emerson pillow fights.

Campers can choose from a broad range of field sports, water sports, arts programs, and individual activities. Camp Emerson is also known to be a dominant force at inter-camp competitions and tournaments.

A unique element of Camp Emerson is the Step Beyond program which features activities for campers who crave intellectual stimulation as part of their camp experience. Activities include circus arts (director Kevin McDonough is a former Ringling Brothers Circus clown), magic, Myth Busters, rocketry, movie making, robotics, and more.

Staff Overview

Camp Emerson has been owned and operated by the Lein family since 1968 and two generations of the family remain active at the camp. The family operates the camp year-round and is always accessible to current and prospective families.

Camp Emerson hires 110 staff members for the 220 campers on-site. Counselors are an average age of 24 and there are no junior counselors or CITs at the camp. More than 40% of the staff returns each year.

All staff members undergo a pre-camp training session. More than 20% of Emerson staff members are parents and many more are teachers, ensuring an environment with many childrens professionals.

Setting & Accommodations

Camp Emerson is set on 175 beautiful acres in the Berkshire Mountains. The camp borders the Appalachian Trail that extends through western Massachusetts. Camp Emerson boasts two on-site lakes in addition to a full-size heated pool. The camp is about a 2.5 hour drive west of Boston and 1.5 hours from Hartford, CT and Albany, NY.

At Camp Emerson, campers live in 26 different wood cabins separated by gender. There are typically 6-10 campers and 2-3 counselors per cabin there are no bunk beds. All cabins have electricity and screened windows.

Campers eat in Emersons 10,000 square foot dining hall. The menu changes daily and features many favorites such as chicken fingers, spaghetti, burgers, and more. There is always fresh fruit and a salad bar available to campers at each meal.

Safety Standards

Camp Emerson employs a local Board Certified Pediatrician, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, and Registered Nurse on-site at all times. At night, Camp Emerson has a professional security officer monitoring the camp from dusk to dawn. Camp Emerson is accredited by the American Camp Association and meets more than 300 safety standards set forth by the organization.

Camp Emerson Session Dates

Session Name Dates Ages Tuition Get Info
Full Session (6 Weeks) 6/30/14 - 8/10/14 8 - 15 $9250 Request Info
Session One (4 weeks) 6/30/14 - 7/27/14 8 - 15 $6540 Request Info
Session Two (2 Weeks) 7/28/14 - 8/10/14 8 - 15 $3250 Request Info

Camp Emerson Overview

Program Overview

  • Type: Traditional, Arts, Sports
  • Specialty: Performing Arts, Fine Arts, Dance, Music, Photography, General Sports, General Arts
  • Religious Affiliation: none
  • Camp Gender: Co-ed
  • Campers per Session: 200
  • Camper-to-Counselor Ratio: 3:1

On-Site Activities

  • Archery
  • Baseball and Softball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Fishing
  • Fitness
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial Arts
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wakeboarding
  • Waterskiing
  • Windsurfing
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Camping Skills
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing/Ropes Course
  • Dance
  • Drama/Performing Arts
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Model Rocketry
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Radio/TV/Video
  • Hockey
  • Circus Skills
  • 3D Design
  • Batik
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Experimental Art
  • Fashion Design
  • Jewelry
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Silk Screening
  • Stained GLass
  • Tye Dying
  • Wheel Pottery
  • Astronomy
  • CO2 Race Cars
  • Cooking
  • Forensic Science
  • Electronics
  • Game Lab
  • Magic
  • Mythbusters
  • Scale Modeling
  • Wood Working

Off-Site Activities and Trips

  • Golf

On-Site Facilities

  • Tennis Courts (6)
  • Athletic Playing Fields
  • Playground
  • Private Marina
  • Lighted Basketball Courts (2)
  • Fencing/Martial Arts Courts
  • Art Center
  • Theater and Performance Hall
  • Archery Ranges (2)
  • Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Center
  • Gymnastics and Dance Studio
  • Ropes Course
  • Heated Pool
  • Roller Hockey Arena
  • Rocketry Cabin
  • Radio Broadcasting Studio
  • Computer Lab

Special Accommodations

  • Peanut Allergies
  • Vegetarian Friendly

Program Accreditations & Affiliations

  • American Camp Association (ACA)

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