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HomeCamps & ProgramsWeekenders Respite

100 0999Weekenders is Camp Starfish's year-round program. Offering a chance for campers to reconnect with camp and change their scenery for a few days, and giving parents/guardians much needed respite, these weekends are fully staffed with the trained Starfish counselors and administrators you and your camper know and love. They’re also chock full of the fun, great programming, safety and fun that you have come to expect from Starfish! Weekender campers enjoy time up at camp, reconnect with friends from the summer, and continue to work on their Tools, Keys and goals. Counselors travel back to camp from their schools and jobs to make sure campers have a great time! Space is limited. Request enrollment by completing this form

 

2016 Fall Respite Weekend Dates: 

Weekend I - Friday, September 16 - Sunday, September 18
Weekend II - Friday, October 14 - Sunday, October 16 (Includes Halloween Hurrah!)

January 2017 Winter Weekend Dates: TBD

To learn more about Weekenders, click any of the sections below: 

Sample Weekend Schedule

This is a sample of a Weekenders Schedule for October:

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4:00 PM Van Pickup of Campers 
5:30-6:00 PM Arrivals & Chill/Free Play 

6:00 PM

Unpacking & Make Your Own Pizzas
6:30 PM Expectations, Gathering, Dinner
7:30 PM Change into PJ's / Movie Night!
   
SATURDAY     

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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
   
SUNDAY  

 

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9:00 AM Wakeup
9:15 AM Gathering/Breakfast
9:45 AM Homework & Reading time
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  
3:30 PM Van arrival in Waltham  

 

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 Fall/Spring Weekends: $445
Tuition for Winter Weekends: $495

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 9/1/16).

Other Logistics

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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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