What is the average length of stay?
Our sessions run from 2 to 8 weeks. Most campers stay an average of 4 to 8 weeks. If unsure on number of weeks, we are flexible. Sign up for a minimum of two weeks. If your daughter is having fun, making friends, and losing weight, you will always have the option of extending your stay once you are at camp!
Can you extend your stay once you are at camp?
Yes. We want you to feel comfortable. Unlike other camps that make you sign up in advance, at Camp Pennbrook you can enroll for any 2 week period or longer, and add on more time later on.
What is the average weight loss?
Every girl’s body and metabolism are different. Everyone attends Camp Pennbrook for a different objective—lose weight, develop better eating habits, etc. However, our campers AVERAGE a 3 to 5 pound weight loss per week. It depends on the individual and how much they need to lose. Aside from losing pounds, the girls will lose inches and get into better physical condition!
How do you choose my daughter’s roommate?
Campers complete a Personal Profile form with her backgrounds and interests. This helps our staff review her personality and find a roommate of similar age and grade. Some campers are paired up when meeting other campers at one of our Open Houses at camp. Either way, we get the roommates right at least 85% of the time. Since there are 25–30 girls in each group, our staff is very good at making quick adjustments if necessary.
What is the recommended clothing list?
We are not a “dress-up camp.” A sample list is on our website. You do not need every item there and laundry is done weekly. You do not have to bring a tennis racquet or softball glove if you don’t own one. You can borrow one. Most clothes will not fit when you go home, so just bring your workout clothes!
How do we do our laundry?
Laundry is included in the camp tuition. We use an outside laundry service that has a 2-day turnaround period.
How do we sign up for the special trips to concerts and Broadway shows?
We have an average of one major trip per week. Campers who sign up with the Early Bird enrollment receive one free non-premium trips. You select from a list of the weekly trips consisting of Broadway Shows, concerts, amusement parks, rafting trips, etc. Not everyone goes on every trip and those campers who remain in camp, or prefer to remain in camp, have regular activities. You are under no obligation to enroll for any special trips. There is no charge for local trips to movies, bowling, ice skating, miniature golf, etc.
How much extra spending money do we need?
It is suggested to bring an average of $25 per week in cash which is locked up in the office for safekeeping. Campers only need money on trips for souvenirs, t-shirts, etc. The shopping trips are for parents’ discretion as most girls like to buy an outfit or pair of jeans they could not previously fit into.
Are all activities required?
We have five periods a day. One is a daily aerobics class with a choice of 2 or 3 live instructors per day, and there is one period of free choice period. The free choice lets campers focus on activities or sports they would like extra time or instruction in. The rest of the schedule rotates between a balance of athletic and non-athletic activities. Everyone participates, no one sits on the sidelines.
What if I don’t like the food? My daughter is a picky eater.
The goal of our camp is for girls to lose weight and re-educate their eating habits. Unless there are medical restrictions, allergies, etc., everyone receives 3 portion controlled well balanced meals and two snacks every day. We serve 90% of the same food the girls will eat at home—no cookies, cake, or junk food. There are special programs for all dietary needs available, i.e. vegetarian, kosher, lactose intolerant, etc.
What do you pick for your choice period?
Girls can change their electives every day or every week. There are about 12 options each day—some athletic and some non-athletic.
What choices do we get for our daily aerobics class?
We have the best aerobics and personal trainers in camping. Each day the girls choose their workout—step, kick boxing, hip hop, and boot camp are some of the daily choices.
How are the counselors hired and chosen?
Almost 90% of our staff are “home grown”. Most counselors and specialists have been campers and have been with us for many years. We have known most of them since they were 11 or 12 years old. They have gone through the Counselor in Training and Junior Counselor training program. All new staff are thoroughly screened and interviewed to meet our high standards and background checks are required.
Where are most of the campers from?
About half of our campers come from within a 200 mile radius of camp (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia). The other half come from all over the country and some come from overseas.
How do you get picked up at the airport, bus, or train?
Our staff pick up many campers at the Philadelphia airport, bus, or train station, which is about 50 miles away. There is no charge for pickups on scheduled arrival dates. Campers are met at baggage claim by a staff member wearing a camp shirt or carrying a sign. All unaccompanied minors are signed out in a special room run by each airline. Pickups are available for a slight fee if you require special arrival and departure dates. International campers may arrange in advance to be picked up at Newark Airport.
Can I ship some boxes ahead of my arrival?
Since most airlines now charge for additional baggage, many parents send boxes ahead via UPS. We also help campers pack them up at the end of their stay and ship them home via UPS prepaid shipping. You may ship suitcases, trunks, duffle bags, bedding and linen about 7 days prior to arrival.
What do you do when it rains?
Our camp is 100% weatherproof. Unlike the camps in the woods, we have full activities, rain or shine. We have 2 indoor gyms, an Olympic-size indoor pool, a multi-purpose dining room, a fine arts center and an air conditioned theatre. Our staff has a 5 minute transition if it rains to the alternate activity. Unlike other camps, we don’t have to rotate the entire camp around one indoor building.
What if I don’t like a specific activity?
Campers have five periods a day, including one choice period and one aerobics class. Even aerobics offer a choice or two or three live teachers, and most activities are on a “split” between two sports (half of the group would go to soccer, the other half to arts and crafts, etc). However, everyone participates—no one sits on the sidelines!
What type of safety and security does the camp have?
Our staff must keep all campers within their sight at all times. At night we have “OD” or night patrol in each dorm and the campus employs a full time security patrol force.
What is the difference between Camp Pennbrook and other camps?
- We are a “traditional camp” with much nicer facilities. The girls sleep in beautiful air-conditioned dorm rooms, two to a room, with lots of privacy as opposed to 10 or more in a wooden cabin (no bugs!).
- Most of our staff are former campers and know how our camp functions. We do not have mostly new staff or foreign students who have other priorities for attending the camp.
- Our post-camp follow-up program includes monthly follow-up calls from our counselors and food advisers. We have many off season events in New York, Philadelphia, and Florida to keep everyone in touch.
- We do not have hidden fees for transportation, luggage, medical deposits, etc.
- Accurate video—we shoot our own video. We do not use a high tech production company. What you see is what you get—we do not mislead you by showing lakes and boats that are not on site, or by saying that you can be reimbursed for camp via insurance. Our camper and staff interviewed are not staged—they really care about the camp.
- Return rate—we have almost a 40% return rate at our camp. The campers know it’s like attending a regular camp except that they are eating correctly. They love the staff, camaraderie, and the great activities and trips we have. Some campers return to be on the maintenance plan and some return because they need additional motivation and support. Our program not a quick fix—is a way of life.