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Camps and Programs

Letter from the Executive Director

Please see this Video about our Summer 2020 News:

Sophie cancel video

Dear Camp Starfish Community,

I hope that you and your family are healthy and well during this uncertain time. Today I am writing to you with a heavy heart: Due to COVID-19, our Board of Directors and staff have decided that we will not hold camp this summer.

Since it began, we have carefully monitored the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have planned for camp, we have consulted extensively with the CDC and other public health experts, as well as camping industry leaders. Our staff and board have explored every option to determine whether we can safely bring campers and staff to Starfish this summer. However, the health risks for our campers, families, and staff are simply too great.

Families, I know what a vital role Camp Starfish plays in the lives of your campers and your family. We are heartbroken by the fact that we cannot safely run camp, and imagine the disappointment and loss you may feel. We now know that we won’t be hearing your campers splashing in Lake Monomonac’s waters, or their laughter as we circle around the campfire together. We won’t hear everyone cheering for every Starfish kid as they step onto the field, and hug each other. But we know we have made the right and safe decision.

We encourage families to share this news via our special message to campers from our Camp Director, Jamie, here. We also have answers to frequently asked questions available for you (see below).

I have come to know Starfish campers, staff, families, friends, and volunteers, as a community with extraordinary resilience and care for each other. Whether you have known us for decades, or were looking forward to your first summer with us, you carry the spirit of Camp Starfish with you.

We are committed to supporting our campers through this difficult time. We will continue to find creative ways to keep connected with all of you, through the summer and beyond.

We will continue to work toward an amazing summer of 2021.

Thank you for being part of Camp Starfish. Please keep in touch, and stay well. We will be counting the days until we see you at camp!

Sophie Wadsworth
Executive Director

Special Message to Our Campers from Our Camp Director

Jamie Cancel Video

Summer 2020: Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our Board of Directors and staff have decided that we will not hold camp this summer. We know what a vital role Camp Starfish plays in the lives of your campers and your family.  And we are heartbroken by the fact that we cannot safely run camp.

We expect you will have many questions about next steps and what this decision means. Please see answers to some frequently asked questions below.

Camp Starfish has thrived for twenty years and, with your support and care, will be here for many years to come.  Thank you for being part of Camp Starfish. Please let us know of other questions you may have — you can reach out to us anytime!

We will miss seeing you this year, and are already counting the days until the Summer of 2021!

What if I already paid towards tuition for summer 2020?

For families who have paid deposit and tuition, you have several options including:

  • Receiving a full refund of tuition paid towards 2020, including deposits
  • Crediting your child’s tuition toward camp for the summer of 2021
  • Donating a portion of your tuition and/or deposit to provide critical support for Camp Starfish. Your tax-deductible support helps keep Starfish strong for next summer and years to come!

If you have questions regarding tuition payments or making a donation to camp, please feel free to to reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our Director of Operations: 978-637-2617.

□ What if we utilize agency assistance to fund tuition?

If you utilize agency assistance to fund the camp experience, we will work directly with your agency, there is nothing you need to do!

□ Is there anything else I need to do right now?

Right now there is nothing that you need to do. We will stay in touch and let you know what is going on. We hope find ways to enjoy the outdoors, and connect with others while staying healthy and safe.

□ Have you considered modified sessions for 2020?

We considered every option for bringing campers to camp this summer. Our enrolled and applied families learned about a modified camp plan in April. We have consulted extensively with the CDC and other public health experts, as well as camping industry leaders. Having explored every option to determine whether we can safely bring campers and staff to Starfish this summer, we have decided that the health risks for our campers, families, and staff are simply too great.

□ What about registration for Summer 2021?

We anticipate that registration for Summer 2021 will open in November. We will send you further information closer to this date, on the application process for first time campers. We will send an email to all returning families this fall when enrollment begins. Until that time, you can reach out to our Camp Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with any questions.

□ How can we / our camper(s) stay connected with you this summer?

Although we cannot be together at Lake Monomonac, we can stay connected and support each other from a distance. Our staff is exploring ways to keep in touch and stay connected. We encourage families to share this difficult news via our special message to campers here.

You may find us on Facebook here.

You may reach out to our Camp Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

□ May we visit camp this summer?

We can’t wait to see all of our campers and families back at Camp Starfish in 2021. Until next summer, our campground remains closed to the public for health and safety reasons. If you would like to schedule a tour of the facility prior to summer of 2021, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to set up a guided tour next spring!

Message from Our Executive Director

Please see this Video about our Summer 2020 News:

Sophie cancel video

Dear Camp Starfish Community,

I hope that you and your family are healthy and well during this uncertain time. Today I am writing to you with a heavy heart: Due to COVID-19, our Board of Directors and staff have decided that we will not hold camp this summer.

Since it began, we have carefully monitored the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have planned for camp, we have consulted extensively with the CDC and other public health experts, as well as camping industry leaders. Our staff and board have explored every option to determine whether we can safely bring campers and staff to Starfish this summer. However, the health risks for our campers, families, and staff are simply too great.

Families, I know what a vital role Camp Starfish plays in the lives of your campers and your family. We are heartbroken by the fact that we cannot safely run camp, and imagine the disappointment and loss you may feel. We now know that we won’t be hearing your campers splashing in Lake Monomonac’s waters, or their laughter as we circle around the campfire together. We won’t hear everyone cheering for every Starfish kid as they step onto the field, and hug each other. But we know we have made the right and safe decision.

We encourage families to share this news via our special message to campers from our Camp Director, Jamie, here. We also have answers to frequently asked questions available for you (see below).

I have come to know Starfish campers, staff, families, friends, and volunteers, as a community with extraordinary resilience and care for each other. Whether you have known us for decades, or were looking forward to your first summer with us, you carry the spirit of Camp Starfish with you.

We are committed to supporting our campers through this difficult time. We will continue to find creative ways to keep connected with all of you, through the summer and beyond.

We will continue to work toward an amazing summer of 2021.

Thank you for being part of Camp Starfish. Please keep in touch, and stay well. We will be counting the days until we see you at camp!

Sophie Wadsworth
Executive Director


Special Message to Our Campers from Our Camp Director

Jamie Cancel Video


Summer 2020: Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our Board of Directors and staff have decided that we will not hold camp this summer. We know what a vital role Camp Starfish plays in the lives of your campers and your family.  And we are heartbroken by the fact that we cannot safely run camp.

We expect you will have many questions about next steps and what this decision means. Please see answers to some frequently asked questions below.

Camp Starfish has thrived for twenty years and, with your support and care, will be here for many years to come.  Thank you for being part of Camp Starfish. Please let us know of other questions you may have — you can reach out to us anytime!

We will miss seeing you this year, and are already counting the days until the Summer of 2021!

What if I already paid towards tuition for summer 2020?

For families who have paid deposit and tuition, you have several options including:

  • Receiving a full refund of tuition paid towards 2020, including deposits
  • Crediting your child’s tuition toward camp for the summer of 2021
  • Donating a portion of your tuition and/or deposit to provide critical support for Camp Starfish. Your tax-deductible support helps keep Starfish strong for next summer and years to come!

If you have questions regarding tuition payments or making a donation to camp, please feel free to to reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our Director of Operations: 978-637-2617.

□ What if we utilize agency assistance to fund tuition?

If you utilize agency assistance to fund the camp experience, we will work directly with your agency, there is nothing you need to do!

□ Is there anything else I need to do right now?

Right now there is nothing that you need to do. We will stay in touch and let you know what is going on. We hope find ways to enjoy the outdoors, and connect with others while staying healthy and safe.

□ Have you considered modified sessions for 2020?

We considered every option for bringing campers to camp this summer. Our enrolled and applied families learned about a modified camp plan in April. We have consulted extensively with the CDC and other public health experts, as well as camping industry leaders. Having explored every option to determine whether we can safely bring campers and staff to Starfish this summer, we have decided that the health risks for our campers, families, and staff are simply too great.

□ What about registration for Summer 2021?

We anticipate that registration for Summer 2021 will open in November. We will send you further information closer to this date, on the application process for first time campers. We will send an email to all returning families this fall when enrollment begins. Until that time, you can reach out to our Camp Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with any questions.

□ How can we / our camper(s) stay connected with you this summer?

Although we cannot be together at Lake Monomonac, we can stay connected and support each other from a distance. Our staff is exploring ways to keep in touch and stay connected. We encourage families to share this difficult news via our special message to campers here.

You may find us on Facebook here.

You may reach out to our Camp Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

□ May we visit camp this summer?

We can’t wait to see all of our campers and families back at Camp Starfish in 2021. Until next summer, our campground remains closed to the public for health and safety reasons. If you would like to schedule a tour of the facility prior to summer of 2021, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be happy to set up a guided tour next spring!

Sample Weekend Schedule

This is a sample of a Weekenders Schedule for October:

FRIDAY          100 0145
6:00 - 6:30 PM Arrival at Camp
6:00 - 6:30 PM Chill/Free Play 

 

Unpacking & Getting Settled
6:30 - 7:15 PM Expectations, Gathering, Dinner
7:30 PM Change into PJ's / Movie Night!
   
SATURDAY     

100 0160           

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 0163

9:00 AM Wakeup 
9:15 AM Gathering/Breakfast
Pack up picnic lunches for later
10:00 AM Field Time - GaGa, Soccer, etc.

10:45 AM

Activity Choice # 1
12:00 PM Field Trip meeting, get ready to go
12:30 PM Leave for field trip 
Picnic lunch, outdoor games
Field Trip - Apple & Pumpkin Picking
4:30 PM Return to camp
Snack & Rest time, Showers
6:00 PM Free Play
6:45 PM Wash up / Gathering / Dinner
7:30 PM Campfire-n-s’mores
8:00 PM Ready for Bed Routine, Bunk Chill
   
SUNDAY  

 

      200pixpic006 

9:00 AM Wakeup
9:15 AM Gathering/Breakfast
9:45 AM Homework & Reading time or LC-style activity
10:30 AM Activity Choice # 2 (field games, canoeing, arts-n-crafts, etc)
12:00 PM Gathering / lunch
12:40 PM Bunk clean up and packing
1:30 PM Outdoor time, goodbyes  
2:00 - 2:30 PM Departure/Pick-ups  

 

Tuition & What's Included

100 0103The Weekenders cost includes meals, snacks, activities, field trips, project supplies and staff supervision. If you receive agency funds to help cover respite costs, Starfish is happy to work with you and your agency to determine the best method for billing and payments.

Tuition for 2019 Weekends: $550

Is Weekenders Right For My Camper?

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How is camp different from Weekenders programming?
Starfish is proud to be a program where campers with diverse needs can find success and have safe fun. While our summer camp programs are extremely highly structured and tightly scheduled, our respite program is significantly more low-key.
 
At Weekenders, our day has a schedule that is forecasted and previewed for campers, but activity periods are more loosely organized; for example, if campers choose to sit out and watch a kickball game, they will be encouraged to join in and given options for how to do so, but provided they stay safely with the group, that's OK. Transitions are more casual because campers are not split into activity groups; rather, we gather back up as a full group and announce where everyone is going next. This can take a little bit of time and a little more patience than when campers know that for each day in a two week session, they go to swim lessons after breakfast. 
 
In addition, while we still expect campers (and staff!) to use the Starfish Tools and Keys, and we still have a 1:1 ratio, we do not work directly on individual goals during the Weekenders program in the way we focus on them during summer camp. Weekenders is a time for relaxation and a true "respite" - a break and a full focus on fun, within safe limits and while respecting others' right to also have fun. 
 
If you aren't sure whether the Weekenders style of Starfish programming is going to be right for your camper, we encourage you to talk with a member of our year-round team. Generally, the following criteria help us determine whether a camper is ready for the Weekenders experience:
 
200pixpic0631) They want to be there. Weekenders is not the place to push being away from home as an "experience" in the way camp can be designed to be. It is not a testing ground for independence. Kids enjoy Weekenders most when they are engaged and having a good time with staff and friends. 
 
 
 
  
100 08982) They are able to go out in the community safely and without behaving outside appropriately defined boundaries. Weekenders participants go on field trips which include car, van or bus rides, brown-bag lunches (that they make themselves with counselor help), time at a public playground where non-Starfish youth and families are playing, and activities at public places like aquariums, parks, bowling alleys, museums, farms, etc. Participants need to be able to stay with assigned staff, be flexible if plans change a little (with coaching and support from staff), and be able to follow directions. Often times, our Weekenders campers do well on community trips with camp staff that they have not been successful participating in with family members because we do maintain much of our Starfish structure while on the trip. However, it is concerning for everyone if a camper becomes disregulated and overwhelmed while out in the community - so please let us know if you believe this will be a concern. Due to our staffing structure and strict ratios, we are not able to leave campers behind at camp during field trips.
  
aaphoto23) They have minimal aggressive or high-attention behaviors/incidents. While at camp during the summer program we are prepared and equipped to deal with more consistently aggressive or high-attention behaviors, our Weekenders program is not appropriate for campers who are actively acting out on a routine basis. We do have certified intervention staff on our Weekenders crew; in addition, all of our Weekenders staff are part of our extensively trained summer teams, and at least one year-round director is always present. However, while we certainly expect behavior and are more than happy to encourage participation for campers with infrequently occurring higher needs, at Weekenders we are simply not set up for the constant greater-than-1:1 staffing that persistent heightened behaviors require. 
 
100 01914) They're ready for a great (unplugged) time! Weekenders is different than camp but it's still super fun! Staff make sure that there is lots to do, and we're basically unplugged just like at summer camp. During Weekenders events, especially those which begin at the end of a long week of school, we watch one movie, usually after dinner. Otherwise, there's no hanging out in front of the TV or immersing oneself in video games - it's all live, person-to-person interactions, just like at summer camp. It's not the way most respite programs work - but we like to be different. 
 
As with everything at Starfish, the Weekenders experience is going to feel different for each individual camper. Please don't hesitate to reach out to one of us at the year-round office if you would like help deciding if Weekenders is a good match for your camper!  
 

Enrollment & Registration

100 1020The Weekenders program is small and spaces do fill up quickly. Enrollment is limited based upon staffing ratios, available beds, successful completion of summer Starfish programming, ability to participate within behavioral guidelines for Weekenders programs, and other factors. 
  
To complete a request for participation in Weekenders, click here. This request form requires the signature of a parent/guardian. A member of our year-round staff will respond to the request within 4 business days* to confirm enrollment status (*starting from 8/28/17).

Other Logistics

100 0191

A complete Weekenders Guide will be emailed to you prior to the Weekend, including a packing list, weekend schedule, transportation details/confirmation, and more. Medication packets will be mailed to you directly at least one week prior to the drop-off. If you have any questions, please call our office or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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