Hamden Hall, Hamden * Summer Camp
August 2012. My two children attended Hamden Hall Summer Camp this summer and were sad on weekends because they LOVED camp. My children both learned to swim without bubbles and enjoyed the daily swim lessons, which I was allowed to stop in and view. I was impressed that by the second day of camp my boys were so comfortable with the staff. To my surprise each group was lead by experienced teachers dare I call them older teachers, they were wonderful and warm and caring.
My children learned many new games and some old time ones I had forgotten like 4 square and hopscotch. Everyday they came home with a art project and stories of the new games and activities. They were there for 8 weeks and never were bored. They especially like the olympic week, from making torches and running with their torches to having opening ceremonies and marching in behind their heritage flag. They participated in their own olympic games and came home with many interesting facts about the history of the olympics, I loved that they were learning!
I really appreciate the hands on of the camp directors of Claire and Bruce, they greeted us every morning and afternoon and were always very helpful with any questions or when my son couldn’t find his towel, Claire took him by the hand and helped him find it :)
The field trips were fun and my boys loved that they got to go canoeing and try archery for the first time. We will be back next year! Melissa, parent
July 2011. Ages of campers: 5, 7, 8. Convenient and fun daycamp. Hamden Hall on Skiff Street has a beautiful facility that includes fields, indoor pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, and playground. The hours of 9-3:30 are great for working parents, and there is also an early and extended day option. (each one hour)
Exposure to sports, field games
Indoor pool, so decreases sun exposure (swimming twice a day)
Access to indoor space for rainy days, and nice and cool for eating lunch
Fun field trips each week including hike to sleeping giant, canoe on Lake Wintergreen, Horse Farm, Eli Whitney, Lighthouse Beach
Arts and crafts
good ratio, but large groups- other camps we have attended had smaller bunks of 10 or so kids. These groups are large with about 30 kids. Plenty of staff, though some are young.
Boys and girls together in group (which may also be a pro) but if your girls are not very aggressive in sports, it can be a little intimidating.
I thought swim lessons would be daily, but it seems instructional only a few times a week. They do swim twice a day, which is great!
Overall, my children all came home happy each day. My youngest learned how to swim without a bubble (which was my main goal for the summer!)
They also give a discount for siblings (half off the second, third sibling…which is a huge cost savings!)
They also have sports camps. We did not try these yet. There is also a combo option which is half day academics and half day camp. This may be a good option for kids who need a little catching up on academics for the summer.
Amanda L., parent
Sept 2011. Very disappointing. I heard such rave reviews about Hamden Hall I made it a last minute addition for the last week of their program. Big mistake. The college students were totally disengaged and just “done” by this last week. 2 of the 5 days my daughter came home in tears from this camp and I was not able to get any explanation from the staff. Also they advertise swim lessons plus open swim everyday. My daughter got 1 swim lesson during the week. (One day was “assessment”, 1 day was a field trip. 1 day the instructor did not show up and 1 day they apparently canceled for their closing ceremonies.) From her description the lesson was only a couple of minutes long. She enjoyed open swim in the indoor pool but she is already a strong swimmer – probably would not have been as successful for a non-swimmer who really needed the lessons. I paid in-full when I registered on-line but then got a bill during the camp week for the full amount. I checked with them and they confirmed that I had indeed paid in full in advance. I am still getting bills from them 2 months later. I will definitely NOT be going back to Hamden Hall.