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2023 Parent Handbook


Important Dates and Contact Information


  • First Day of Camp: Thursday, June 22
  • Short Somer 1 Ends: Thursday, July 6
  • First Session Ends: Friday, July 14
  • Visiting Day: Sunday, July 16 (Full Somer Campers Only)
  • Second Session Begins: Monday, July 17
  • Short Somer 2 Ends: Monday, July 31
  • Last Day of Camp: Tuesday, August 8

Contact Information

  • Phone: 617-744-3385
  • Fax: 617-453-2968
  • Kate:
  • Josh:
  • Office Email:
  • Health Center Email:
  • Address: 11 Somerset Lane | Smithfield, ME 04978

mySomerset Account

Your mySomerset account is your one stop shop where you will complete all the required forms for the summer, update contact information, view the daily photos, email your daughter, access the phone reservation system, and re-enroll for next summer. If you have multiple campers, they will be linked under the same account.

To access your mySomerset account, visit: You can also access forms and documents from the Campanion app which can be downloaded from Apple or Android app stores. Your login information is the same for either platform.

Your username is your email address, and your password was created when you initially completed the application. If you forget your password, you can click “Retrieve/Set Password” from the login page. If you forgot your username and password or find yourself locked out, please email for assistance.

Camp Forms & Due Dates

All the required camp forms can be found under the “Forms & Documents” section within your mySomerset account. Most of the forms can be done online, while a few will need to be downloaded, printed, completed, and scanned and uploaded to your account or returned via fax to You will receive an email explaining each form as they become available.

Below is a listing of all forms, the type of form, and their due date.

  • Transportation, Online Form, Required, Due February 1
  • Camper Profile, Online Form, Required, Due February 1
  • Bunk Requests, Online Form, Optional, Due April 1
  • Camper Photo, Online Form, Required, Due April 1
  • Letter to My Counselors, Paper Form, Required, Due May 1
  • Camper Behavior Contract, Paper Form, Required, Due May 1
  • Technology Registration, Online Form, Required, Due May 1
  • Luggage Form, Online Form, Required, Due May 1
  • Horseback Riding, Online Form, Optional, Due May 1
  • Health History, Online Form, Required, Due June 1
  • Medication Form, Online Form, If Needed, Due June 1
  • Health Insurance Card, Upload Online, Required, Due June 1
  • Physician’s Exam, Paper Form, Required, Due June 1
  • Immunization Form, Paper Form, Required, Due June 1
  • Intensive Instruction, Online Form, Optional, Due June 1
  • Enrichment Form, Online Form, Optional, Due June 1

Travel to/from Camp

There are three options for getting your daughter to and from camp: plane, bus, or car.

By Plane

Somerset’s travel agent, Dianne Doucette at Atlas Travel, is happy to assist with any of your travel bookings for trips to Maine. Dianne is also the travel agent for Manitou and can coordinate getting brothers and sisters on the same flights.

Dianne Doucette, Atlas Travel

  • Phone: 508-488-1193
  • Fax: 508-488-1593
  • Email:

For those who require a flight, you may send your daughter on one of Somerset’s escorted group flights (see below) or fly individually. We also list recommended flights which are NOT escorted (unless we have a minimum of 10 campers on the flight). Please contact our travel agent and see the section below for details on the recommended flights.

Escorted Flights

Somerset offers escorted group flight from the areas listed below. To book a flight, please use the Group Flight Sign-Up Form. If you book a group flight, you do not need to complete the Transportation Form in your mySomerset account.

Group flight locations include Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, NYC, Atlanta, Denver.

Please let our travel agent know if you would like to inquire about a group flight from your area (if not listed). If we get enough campers for a region (and session), we will try to organize a group flight.

There will be pick-up and drop-off charges if your daughter is flying into Portland Jetport ($50) or Logan (Boston) Airport ($125). The charge will be listed on your final bill in March.

Recommended and Individual Flights

Recommended, but unescorted, flights from other parts of the country are available. While not escorted, there are usually a number of other campers on the flight. Our staff will be on hand in Portland to pick up your daughter as soon as she disembarks. If we end up having 10 campers on any of these flights, we will chaperone the flight! Details for each of these flights can be found by contacting the camp travel agent.

If you would like to fly individually, our travel agent is happy to assist in your booking. We ask that all flights arrive into Boston by 12 pm and Portland between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on arrival day and depart between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on departure day. Once booked, please fill out the Transportation Form in your mySomerset account.

By Bus

Bus travel to and from camp for all sessions will be available except for the Short Somer return. All Short Somer campers must be picked up at camp. Bus pickup and drop-off locations, as well as one-way charges, are listed below.

  • Burlington, MA ($125)
  • Fairfield, CT ($165)
  • Port Chester, NY ($165)

Technology is permitted on the bus rides and will be collected and safely stored upon arrival. Campers on all buses should pack a brown bag lunch.

Bus charges will be listed on your final invoice. If you would like to reserve space on one of the buses, please log into your mySomerset account and fill out the Transportation Form. Specific bus locations, departure, and arrival times can be found here.

By Car

Coming to Somerset via camp transportation is not only fun, but it is the best way to help your daughter acclimate to her new surroundings and make some connections before even pulling into our gates. If you anticipate an emotional goodbye, let it be at the bus stop and not at camp. Some tears on the bus are normal, but our chaperones will make the experience fun and engaging so that every camper is leaping off the bus, all smiles.

If you choose this mode of transportation, please plan to drop your daughter off between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm on arrival day and pick her up between 9:00 am and 10:00 am on departure day. Prior to arrival day, you will receive a specific drop-off time window by age group. We ask that you adhere to this timeframe to control traffic and limit the number of people in camp. Once at camp, we ask that you stay by your vehicle until your daughter has been checked in, at which point you may say goodbye. Parents will not be permitted into the dining hall or cabins, so please be prepared for a quick goodbye.

Please indicate this preference in the Transportation Form by selecting “car.” If you are considering either dropping off or picking up your daughter, but not both, we recommend picking her up.

We know that you and your daughter may be nervous, but we genuinely believe that parental oversight only adds to the anxiety. Please allow your daughter to detach so can become engaged with her bunkmates and counselors. Lingering because you are worried will send the wrong message.

Travel Confirmation in June

All travel plans will be confirmed in June. Our office staff will contact you to review travel plans, flights, bus times, etc.

Travel Day Uniform

Please be sure that your daughter is wearing a Somerset red t-shirt and blue shorts on travel day. This applies to all sessions. Don’t forget to set aside the opening day uniform before your bags are picked up.

Luggage and Camp Trucking

For shipping luggage to and from camp, we recommend Camp Trucking. They provide door-to-door pickup and delivery of your daughter’s luggage and have served many camps in our area for decades. Camp Trucking contacts families directly to arrange shipment.

Camp Trucking, Inc.: Phone: 970-949-0690

No trunks or duffel bags are allowed on buses or airport vans due to space limitations. To foster a comfortable opening to camp, staff members will completely unpack all campers prior to their arrival. For that reason, all camper luggage must arrive at least 4 days prior to opening day.

Once you have determined the method of shipping of your daughter’s luggage to and from camp, please complete the Luggage Form in your mySomerset account.

Please note that for the Short Somer (2-week) sessions, Camp Trucking will not pick up those campers’ bags until the last day of the first session on July 14 or the last day of camp on August 8. If you choose to use Camp Trucking, we will hold the bags until then.

Medical Forms

Health History Form & Physicians Exam Form

Completion of the Health History and Physician’s Exam are mandatory for your daughter’s participation at Somerset this summer. The Health History is an online form to be completed by a guardian. It captures medications, allergies, immunization dates, permission to treat, insurance information, and more. If you choose, you may instead submit immunization details using the Immunization form in mySomerset or as a printout directly from your doctor’s office. We will also accept a printout from your daughter’s doctor for the Physician’s Exam.

Immunization Form

A completed Immunization Form is required. You may either enter this information into the Health History, use the blank form provided within your mySomerset account, or provide a record from your daughter’s doctor.

Insurance Card

A valid health insurance ID card is required for all campers. Please upload a copy of both the front and back.


Somerset partners with PackMyRx to handle the organization of all camper medication. PackMyRx provides us with the proper number of doses of pre-packaged medication, ensuring that every camper gets the correct medication and dosage, at the right time and on the right days.

Medications that are in pill form (including vitamins), will be individually packaged, sealed, and sorted according to date and time of administration. The packets are clearly labeled with the camper’s name, medication(s), dosage, date, and time to be administered. Due to most insurance regulations, medications can only be dispensed 30 days at a time. If a camper requires medication for more than one month, the additional month of packaged meds will be sent to us in ample time before needed.

If your daughter will be taking medication at camp this summer, please read the PackMyRx information in your mySomerset account and sign up for PackMyRx at You must order your daughter’s medication at least 30 days before her arrival at camp.

Other than emergency medications, such as inhalers or epi-pens, do not send your daughter to camp with any medications - you must go through PackMyRx (exceptions: Accutane, growth hormone, insulin, injections).

Camper Behavior and Background Forms

Camper Profile Form

The Camper Profile is a mandatory form that helps directors and staff learn more about your daughter. Specifically, we want to educate ourselves on her camping background, personality, interests, dietary concerns, and expectations for the summer to best help meet her goals. We want you to think of us as a partner in your daughter’s welfare. We do our homework, and a thorough camper profile helps us a lot. If there are concerns or issues you would like to discuss beforehand, please call or email .

Bunk Placement & Requests

Communal living and the relationships that it creates are arguably the most rewarding part of the summer camp experience. At times, it can also be the most challenging. We expect our campers to take personal responsibility and contribute to the bunk’s welfare by being flexible in their own needs and understanding the needs of others.

Campers are bunked together by school grade. While many campers attend with friends from home, we believe the greatest value in camp is meeting new friends. If there are multiple bunks in an age group, separating your daughter from her friends from home is not a bad idea, and she will still see them regularly. We will welcome up to four camper bunk requests per camper and will do our best to honor one of them but cannot make any guarantees.

Should your daughter have any bunk requests for the summer, the Bunk Request form is the place to list them. We do not guarantee all bunk requests but do our best to accommodate one or more of them. If you wish for your daughter to be with specific girls, please indicate this in the appropriate field.

Camper Photo

We ask that you upload a recent photo of your daughter into your mySomerset account (use the Camper Photo form). The mySomerset system requires the photo to be at least 500 pixels high x 500 pixels wide. If you have trouble uploading, please email the photo to us at, and we will assist.

Camper Behavior Contract

Our community functions best when every camper, parent, and staff member believes in and adheres to our core values. We work hard to create an environment where every camper has the tools to: grow every day, be a good friend, make an impact, and be herself. We want our environment to be a safe, friendly, and supportive place for everyone who enters its gates and we require everyone’s participation to make this possible.

Behavior such as bullying (including cyber-bullying), violence, possession of weapons, repeated profanity, disrespect, bigotry, homophobic comments, drug and alcohol use, inappropriate uses of electronic devices (before or after camp), or any other unsafe conduct will not be tolerated.

We require that every camper and parent reads and acknowledges the camper behavior contract. We hope that you will take the time to discuss this with your daughter and encourage her to model good behavior and be a good friend to everyone she meets. The Camper Behavior Contract outlines our codes of conduct and expectations for each age group that we feel will best achieve a safe, comfortable, and rewarding experience for all. We ask for all campers and parents to review, sign, and send back.

Letter to My Counselors

Your daughter should fill out the Letter to My Counselors Form that can be found in your mySomerset account. Once completed, please scan and upload it to your mySomerset account (or fax/email back), and we will share it with her counselors before she arrives at camp. This letter will complement the Camper Profile form that you completed, and help give our staff greater insight into each camper’s goals and expectations for the summer. That being said, we ask that this form be completed by your daughter. Please note that the “Letter to my Counselor” is for all campers currently in 7th grade and younger.

Technology Policy & Registration Form

It is our goal to provide a positive experience for our campers by connecting with the amazing people and beautiful surroundings of camp and disconnecting from technology. This policy also safeguards and protects your daughter.

Any item with an on/off switch and digital screen is prohibited. This includes any item that can make phone calls, send text messages or email, access the internet, and play videos or games. While permitted, Ipod nanos may not contain any downloaded content except for music.

Technology Registration Form

We ask that ALL families complete the Technology Registration Form regardless of whether your daughter is traveling with any technology or not.

Cell Phones

Cell Phones are not permitted. Part of the camp experience involves learning to develop independent living skills, which, for a number of reasons, cell phones may diminish. Cell phones found in camp will be confiscated and returned to your daughter when she leaves camp. If your daughter is traveling with a phone, we will collect and safely store it and return it (charged) for her travel home.

Video Game Players & E-Readers

Video game players such as Gameboys, Nintendo DS, and PSPs and electronic readers such as Kindles and Ipads are not permitted. Books are welcome!


Any iPod, or digital music player, that has a screen for videos, photos, games, is not allowed. We recommend either the SanDisk, the Mighty (requires Spotify premium account), or the Campfire Player.

Optional Forms

Intensive Instructionals

In addition to Somerset’s regular programming, we offer the option of additional instruction for those who wish to concentrate in the following areas:

  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Softball
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Piano
  • Beginner bike riding

Please note that each of these programs is optional, and sessions are scheduled during periods that have minimal impact on a camper’s regular schedule (no major camp events, trips, or evening activities will be missed). To enroll your daughter in an intensive instructional, please complete the form in your mySomerset account. Additional charges will apply. Intensives are available for campers in Upper Den or older (completing 4th grade and up) and are not available to Short Somer campers. Campers may only participate in one intensive at a time. Full Somer campers may elect to participate in two different intensives, one per session.


Somerset offers academic enrichment in a number of subjects for all ages. Classes are $35/session, with a Somerset staff member who is not a professional educator, and $65/session with a Somerset staff member who is a professional educator. To enroll your daughter in enrichment, please complete the form in your mySomerset account. You will be contacted before the summer begins about materials and goals for the summer. If you have any questions, please email .

Horseback Riding

Somerset horseback riding lessons take place at Thistle Ridge Equestrian, under the instruction of their trained staff along with supervision from Somerset counselors.

Thistle Ridge is located in our hometown of Smithfield and is only a short, five-mile drive from camp. They operate a year-round facility with beautiful, well cared for horses, professional instructors, and two large riding rings, both indoor and outdoor, meaning that campers will always be able to ride, rain or shine!

Thistle Ridge has all the necessary riding and safety equipment. Campers are only responsible for bringing a pair of boots with heels. Riding boots are suggested but not required.

To sign up, please complete the Horseback Riding Sign Up in your mySomerset account. Please also complete the Riding Release Form.

Additional fees apply for riding and they will be added to your account and billed before the summer. This summer’s fees are listed on the sign-up form.

Uniform Policy and The Camp Spot

Somerset is a uniform camp! We want our campers to wake up each morning thinking about how to get the most out of their day, not what they’re going to wear or what someone else is wearing. This is also a very easy way to keep their summer clothes separate from their other clothing that is worn during the school year. Additionally, we want the girls to present themselves and Somerset with class, and so we ask that any clothes sent from home are appropriate (no short-shorts, no holes, and nothing too revealing!) If there is a question or concern, just ask us. You’re also welcome to send us a photo of any item of clothing if you are not certain it meets camp standards.

The daily uniform, assuming nice weather, is a Somerset logo tee shirt or tank top or plain white tee shirt or tank top along with royal or navy blue shorts, either with or without the Somerset logo.

Somerset partners with The Camp Spot to provide camp families and staff with uniforms and equipment. The Camp Spot has been providing excellent service to camp families for more than fifty years.

Please remember that camp orders are custom. They take time to purchase and process. Ordering early will give you time to make any necessary size exchanges and pack prior to luggage pick up. The Somerset store can be found by visiting and searching “Somerset.” If you have any questions, you may reach The Camp Spot directly at 973-994-7416.

Other Apparel Vendors

There are many small boutique vendors that make and sell custom camp clothing and accessories. While we realize that much of this merchandise has become quite popular, coming to camp with excessive clothing and accessories goes against our uniform philosophy. To that end, please limit the number of customized items that you send with your daughter to camp. While at camp, only Somerset logo apparel from The Camp Spot may be worn, or clothes as described in the packing list (white shirts, blue bottoms) or apparel that is provided directly from Somerset. Apparel from outside vendors, individually purchased, that include a Somerset logo/name/design are a wonderful holiday or birthday gift and may be worn outside of camp.

Bed Decorations & Accessories

Campers may decorate the area that is nearest to them and the wall that is by their bed. Nothing permanent (i.e., stickers) may be put on the walls or beds. However, campers may put up pictures, letters, drawings, etc., with removable tape. Please do not send an abundance of bed accessories (such as pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals) as they limit space for sleeping and end up on the floor. A battery-operated clip-on fan and a stationary box are suggested. String/fairy lights are not permitted.

The Somerset Blanket

Every new camp family is required to purchase a comfortable navy fleece blanket that will be embroidered with both the Somerset logo and the camper’s name. These blankets are to return to camp each summer and will be the canvas for all the patches your daughter will collect during her summers at camp. The blankets will tell the story of a girls’ time at Somerset and we hope they become something that every camper will treasure forever.

Please place your blanket order with The Camp Spot when ordering all your other apparel. Patches will need to be sewn on when your daughter returns home at the end of the summer.


The complete packing list can be found here. Please do not send anything to camp that cannot be replaced because things can get misplaced! If your daughter is coming for the Short Somer (two-week session), you are welcome to reduce the amount of clothing as you see fit. Keep in mind that a week’s worth of clothing is still needed (laundry is done once per week), and campers change outfits frequently during the day.

For certain items on the packing list, this Parent Handbook is referenced for further guidelines which are listed below.

  • Casual Outfit or Sundress: Something fun, modest, age appropriate, and not revealing.
  • 4th of July Outfit: Red, White & Blue Americana. Tee shirts, tank tops and hats are welcome. Shorts must have 5” inseam.
  • Somer Sendoff Outfit: See guidelines above for “Casual Outfit or Sundress”


  • Label Everything. Help us to help your daughter return home with everything she brought to camp! Mark your daughter’s belongings with nametags or indelible ink markers. The inside or sides of shoes, backpacks, sleeping bags, rain gear, bathing suits, hats, tennis racquets, etc., need to be marked (especially flip flops, sneakers, water shoes), as well as all clothing. Unmarked items left at camp will be donated to a charitable organization.
  • Order Labels. The Camp Spot has all the labels you will need for clothing and equipment.
  • Pack for Maine weather. Maine weather can be unpredictable. Typically the climate from mid-June to early August is sunny and pleasant with just a few very hot days or nights. Daytime temperatures range from 65 -85 degrees Fahrenheit. The evenings are between 60 -75 degrees Fahrenheit. We do experience heat waves up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as cooler weather primarily in rainy periods. The temperatures at night generally drop into the range of 50 to 60 degrees. Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with the unpredictable weather. We are flexible with our camp program and if we have severely hot weather, we spend a lot of time at the waterfront. During cooler periods, we spend less time in the water.
  • Pack and ship your luggage at least two (2) weeks prior to camp and be sure you have made arrangements with Camp Trucking. If there is anything she needs in the days leading up to camp, she can bring it on the plane or bus.
  • Pack with your daughter! Make sure she knows everything that is being sent to camp.
  • Our counselors unpack campers prior to their arrival so it is important that their bags arrive at least four days before the campers arrive.
  • Laundry is done once a week, on site. Please pack accordingly and send two laundry bags.
  • If your daughter takes medication, you must order the appropriate amount of medication for her summer camp session from PackMyRx (see medication info). They will send the medication to camp prior to her arrival. This is very important to ensure proper amounts and no handling in luggage or while traveling.
  • Somerset provides linens and towels for each camper, so it is not necessary to pack these for your daughter. Each camper’s laundry and bed linens are washed once a week. Towels are washed daily.
  • We ask that each camper wear a Somerset red t-shirt and blue shorts on the first day of camp for all sessions. This is especially important for campers traveling with our escorts. Please remember to set aside this travel day uniform when packing your daughter’s bags.
  • We request that campers leave valuable items at home. Campers may bring small iPods/mp3 players for music only. Somerset cannot be responsible for lost items of value. Feel free to encourage your daughter to bring her favorite games and books.
  • Upon departure, your daughter’s bags will be shipped as indicated by your Luggage Form. If you have post-camp travel plans, you should consider having your daughter set aside clothes she will need because bags often take more than a week to arrive at your home.
  • Safety is the top priority at Somerset. Please do not send any high-voltage electric appliances or anything that cannot run on batteries.
  • Do not send expensive clothing, jewelry, electronics, or money.
  • The following clothing items are not permitted at camp: clothes that are ripped, sexually explicit, vulgar, or graphics that depict alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.


Arriving to camp to find everything in place is very comforting for a child and allows us to begin camp with fun activities and introductions, rather than boring unpacking!

  • Beds will be pre-assigned based on top or bottom bunk preference. Counselors do not have permission to alter any bed assignments.
  • All campers have one drawer under the bed and an armoire next to the bed with hanging and shelf space.
  • Most shoes go into the labeled shoe boxes in the mudroom with additional shoes in a shoe bag at the end of the bed. Somerset provides a bed bag for additional personal items.
  • All toiletries go into a labeled cubby in the bathroom.
  • Empty duffel bags, trunks, and sleeping bags are stored in the loft space above the bathrooms

Bedding, Towels, and Laundry

Bed linens (sheets and pillowcases) are provided. Please send your own pillow along with a solid color blanket or comforter.

Clean towels are also provided daily in the cabin, at the waterfront, and at the pool. Please do not pack any bath or beach towels. There is no need for hand towels as all bathroom facilities have paper towels. You are welcome to pack face towels/washcloths if you desire.

Laundry is done once a week and returned within 24 hours or less. Plan on packing a week’s worth of clothing (factoring in extras and changes throughout the day for different activities) plus additional items that may be needed.

About the Cabin

All Somerset cabins sleep approximately 14-16 people, typically 10-12 campers and at least three counselors. Den cabins (campers having completed 4th grade or younger) have four counselors.

The entry mudroom has a bench for putting on shoes, high hooks for hanging coats and rackets, and individual shoe boxes for each camper. The main room holds seven bunk beds, each with two large drawers under the bottom bunk, one for each camper. Next to each bed is a divided armoire that provides ample hanging and shelf space for each camper. The main room has private, high windows along the sides, along with a large picture window that allows for lots of natural light. Bathroom facilities are in the cabin and contain three (3) showers, two (2) toilets, and three (3) sinks, along with a closet for clean towels, a hamper for dirty towels, and a broom closet for cleaning supplies. The showers have a double curtain allowing for private changing space, and each camper receives a cubby for her toiletries.

Camper Bank Fund and Spending Money

Included in your final bill is a charge for the camper bank fund that covers all necessary spending money for out-of-camp trips. The cost of the trips is covered by your tuition. Depending on the trip, we may give the campers an appropriate amount of extra spending money from their bank fund to purchase an extra snack or souvenirs.

Please DO NOT send any additional cash with your daughter. Money in the cabin can be easily lost and creates unnecessary competition. If you must provide your daughter with money for traveling to/from camp, we will collect it upon arrival and return it on the last day of camp.


Homesickness is normal, especially for a camper away from home for the first time. They do not know their surroundings, their bunkmates, or what will happen each day. All this, plus missing their family, can be incredibly overwhelming for a child. It is not uncommon for these campers to lose their appetite or develop a stomach ache or headache. Typically, homesickness lasts only a few hours or up to a day or two. Our schedule is designed to immediately get the campers engrossed in camp activities and forming relationships. The busier they are during the day and the more tired they are at night creates less opportunity for them to miss home. It’s just that simple.

Our staff is trained to recognize the signs of homesickness and implement strategies to help our campers overcome it quickly. The best thing we can do is engage a homesick camper in activities to lift her spirits and build her confidence.

The best thing you can do is to try and prevent homesickness by preparing your child before camp. Tell her you are proud of her, excited for her, and jealous of all the fun things she will get to do and all the wonderful people she will get to meet. Never make a promise that she can come home if she is unhappy or that she can call you at any time. As partners with you on this issue, these are promises we cannot deliver on, nor should we. A homesick camper is as painful for us as it is for you, but we must be unified in helping her overcome it.

When you write to your daughter, ask her questions that she will need to respond to, such as “What did you sing for karaoke?” or “Tell me about the pie on Sunday night.” Avoid talking about all the family activities she might miss or how much you will miss her. If you are receiving letters that are of concern to you, contact Kate or Josh immediately.

If you are concerned about homesickness, when it comes to mail, less is more. While it may seem that receiving multiple letters or emails every day is a good thing, in fact, it may work oppositely. We recommend an email or two per day at the most. Mail from other family members is great, but we encourage you to ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., to send mail periodically during this time. Finally, do not promise that you will write every day but instead say you will write “often.” Inevitably, due to work, travel, or life, you will miss a day or send it late after the mail has been delivered. Some campers can instantly begin to worry that something terrible has happened if they did not get an email. We encourage you to set reasonable expectations for your daughter and yourself.

Additional Family Resources

The following resources have proven valuable to directors and leadership as they craft one amazing summer after another. We recommended them for parents as well as prospective staff members.

  • Camp Parents — The camp resource for families, provided by the American Camp Association, offers expert advice on camp selection, readiness.
  • Dr. Christopher Thurber — A board-certified clinical psychologist and internationally-recognized expert on education, youth development, mental health and summer camp.
  • Partnership for 21st Century Skills — P21 aims to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K-12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.
  • Dr. Michael Thompson — A clinical psychologist, school consultant and international speaker on the subjects of children, schools and parenting, with special emphasis on the impact of summer camp experiences. Dr. Thompson is a New York Times bestselling author of “Homesick and Happy,” a must read for any new camp parent.


First Day Reminders

The first day of camp is the greatest day of the summer! Yes, it can be sad for both campers and parents, but the best thing everyone can do is focus on the wonderfully positive journey that is about to begin. Regardless of the session, here are our Top 5 First Day Reminders…

  1. Smile and be happy. If you cry, she’ll cry. Or maybe she won’t. And then you’ll cry even more wondering why she isn’t crying.
  2. Keep your phone on. We will call you when the bus arrives, text you when the photos are up, and email you a day one recap.
  3. Send her an email as soon as she departs telling her how proud you are! Receiving a piece of mail on the first day of camp is a comforting and welcome surprise.
  4. Spread the word. Be sure your extended family knows how to email and check the photos.
  5. Stay calm, take a breath, and remind yourself what a great parent you are for sending your daughter to camp and giving her this amazing opportunity!

Communication with Camp

How to reach Kate and Josh

The Somerset office is open everyday from 7:30 am until 6:30 pm. Our cell phones will ring in case of an after-hours emergency.

  • Phone: 617-744-3385 (# forwards to Maine during the summer)
  • Fax: 617-453-2968
  • Email:

Our friendly and professional office staff are on hand to answer all calls and respond to emails in a timely manner. To reach Kate or Josh, please call the office and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We strive to spend as much of the day out of the office with the campers but we will return your call or email as soon as we return to our desks.

Division Heads

These head staff members are in charge of a specific age group. They oversee 4-5 cabins and are a support system for both campers and staff. They assist with programming, are in and out of their cabins regularly, and help ensure a positive and rewarding camp experience for every camper in their division. Your daughter’s Division Head will email you an introduction, with contact info, about a week prior to your daughter’s arrival.

Social Media

We will regularly update our Facebook and Instagram accounts throughout the summer and reserve the right to use any camp photos.

Camp Photos

Every night we will upload the day’s photos to the Campintouch system. We aim to have photos posted by 11 pm each night, if not earlier. Occasionally, due to camp activities, they may not be available until the following morning, but this is very rare.

To view the photos, log into your mySomerset account, and click photos. Alternatively, you can view photos via the Campanion app, which can be downloaded from your app store. Your login information is the same for both platforms. Within Campanion, you can upload a photo of your daughter for facial recognition purposes and notifications when a photo posted.

Photos may be downloaded or printed in various sizes. Photos can also be shared on Facebook or emailed to yourself or a family member. We will do our best to capture every camper, enjoying the day and all that Somerset has to offer. But please bear in mind, we do not want to inhibit their day with constant photos, nor do we want you to have to scroll through thousands of pictures! If you can’t find your daughter in the photos, please do not read into it or assume she is not having fun. Oftentimes, the exact opposite is true.

Good Morning from Somerset and The Somer Sun

We want to keep you informed as to everything that is going on at camp, from the schedule, to the menu, to the surprises and highlights. Every morning you will receive an email from Josh highlighting yesterday’s events along with all that is in store for the day ahead. Plus, we’ll share with you a copy of that day’s “Somer Sun,” our daily dining hall “newspaper.” The email and the Sun are not only a great way to start your day but offer plenty of content and questions for when you email your camper.

Communication with your Daughter

Email and Mail

Emailing your camper is fast and easy. To email, log in to your mySomerset account, click email at the top, draft the email, and click send. We will receive the email with your daughter’s name and cabin for easy sorting. If you have more than one camper, you will see a checkbox for each camper, allowing you to send the same email to both campers if you wish. Emails will be printed every day by 11 am. All emails received after 11 am will be delivered the following day.

When sending regular mail, please include your daughter’s cabin name on the address label as this helps our office staff with sorting. You will be notified of your daughter’s cabin after her arrival.

The mailing address for your camper will be:

Camper Name Cabin Name Camp Somerset 11 Somerset Lane Smithfield, ME 04978

Campers will be required to write home two times per week. Upon receiving a letter, if you read anything that causes you concern, of course, do not hesitate to call us.

Phone Reservation System

During the summer, you will be able to schedule a phone call with your daughter. Campers are permitted one ten-minute phone call per session. There are no phone calls the first week of camp, as campers are settling in. Special arrangements can be made for birthdays and other important dates. Kate, Josh or a counselor will be with your daughter as she receives her phone call, and when she hangs up, just in case she needs a hug!

To access the system:

  • Login to mySomerset
  • Scroll to the “Your Camper” section and click “Phone Reservation System”
  • Select a date in the leftmost column, then select a time slot and the phone number where you would like to be reached on the day of the call.
  • Reservations must be made at least two days in advance (so campers may be notified of their pending call).
  • The phone reservation system does not open until after camp begins. Parents will be notified once the system is accessible.

If we are not able to host an in-person visiting day, a visiting day Zoom call will be arranged for all Full Somer campers in addition to their phone calls. Half and Short Somer campers will only receive their one phone call, as usual.

The phone reservation system does not open until after camp begins. Parents will be notified once the system is accessible.

If you or your daughter are concerend that a phone call could cause her overwhelming sadness and be detrimnental to her experience, then we do encourage a discussion about the merits of a call. There are many campers who opt out of their call, which is a difficult yet mature decision that we support. While not having the call can be hard for a parent, doing what is best for the camper should always come first.

Birthdays at Camp

We know that being away from your daughter on this special day can be hard, so that’s why we go out of our way to make a big deal out of every camp birthday. Birthday girls will be acknowledged in the morning Somer Sun, receive a special tee-shirt, will raise and lower the flag and lead all meal cheers and will receive a dinnertime celebration complete with a cake and a special birthday song. If you would like to sponsor a surprise pizza party for her cabin, we can happily arrange this and charge $50 to your card on file.


Packages often create unhealthy competition among campers. Also, the anticipation of receiving a package can shift the emphasis at camp from fun to awaiting the arrival of the mail. Our policy, detailed below, extends to all parents, relatives and friends. In order to ensure fairness, the following will be strictly enforced.

What is allowed?

  • Regular first class letter envelopes
  • Magazines, books and photographs that fit in any 9 × 12 flat envelope are fine to send occasionally. These will be opened by our office staff and distributed through our regular mail system.
  • If your daughter arrives at camp and is missing necessary clothing or equipment, our office staff will contact you and an exception will be made to the package policy.

What is not allowed?

  • Any package larger than a 9 × 12 flat envelope
  • Anything that does not meet the above criteria
  • Anything that contains food or non-reading material

Visiting Day

Visiting Day for Full Somer campers is on Sunday, July 16th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Half Somer families will be able to tour camp and join us for lunch on the last day of each session (July 14th and August 8th).

See what your daughter’s extraordinary camp experience is all about and enjoy a wonderful weekend in Maine! A list of local accommodations and things to do around Maine can be found below.

An RSVP form will be posted in your mySomerset account.

Directions to Somerset

Somerset is located on East Pond, a member lake in the beautiful Belgrade Lakes chain of central Maine. Camp is a three-hour drive north from Boston, MA and an hour and a half from Portland, ME. If you are using a GPS, please use the following address: 8 Somerset Lane, Smithfield, ME.

From the South

Follow Interstate 95 North to Exit 127 to Waterville/Oakland. (In Maine, I-95 becomes the Maine Turnpike, which turns into I-95 again just south of the camp). At the end of the exit, take a left onto Route 137 toward Oakland.

Follow Route 137, staying to the right of the Mobil gas station at the fork in Oakland. After approximately six miles, just before D&L Country Store, turn right onto East Pond Rd. Somerset is just over one mile down East Pond Rd. on the left.

From the North

Follow Interstate 95 South to Exit 127 to Waterville/Oakland. At the end of the exit, take a right onto Route 137, and proceed as stated above.

By Plane

Somerset is an hour and a half drive from Portland International Airport, an hour drive from Bangor International Airport, and a three-hour drive from Logan International Airport in Boston.

Delta and American fly to Bangor, while the Portland airport is served by Delta, Jetblue, Southwest, United and American. Logan is served by a wide variety of national and international carriers.

Where to Stay

For a complete list of local accommodations and restaurants, visit our Area Resources page.

2023 Visiting Day Schedule

Campus Time and Food

We believe that the best visiting day experience is spent enjoying all that camp has to offer with your daughter. With this in mind, we ask that everyone stays on campus for the duration.

Please do not buy your daughter any clothes or accessories that were not on the original packing list, and keep food and drink to a bare minimum. We will allow them to enjoy their snacks that night, but all the food still in cabins come Monday will be collected and donated to a local food bank. Please remember that Somerset is a 100% nut-free environment.

We also kindly ask you not to bring or buy any bunk gifts. This is part of our philosophy that “less is more,” and the girls are at camp to enjoy each other and their surroundings. They do not need extravagant gifts that may foster unnecessary competition amongst campers or parents.


Individual staff gratuities are not permitted. If you wish to acknowledge a staff member, we invite you to complete a staff recognition card, which can be found in the office. We also welcome donations to the staff appreciation fund.


Due to allergies as well as for the safety of both the entire camp community and the animals, we ask that no pets be brought to camp. Service animals are, of course, permitted.

Health & Safety

Communication with Health Center

Somerset’s medical staff is on hand in the Health Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the summer. The nurses, health aid, and doctor are completely devoted to the well-being of every camper.

The health center call hours are from 9 am until 8 pm daily and they can be reached by calling the camp office or via email at .

In the event of an emergency, a member of the medical staff will call you immediately and the purpose of the call will be clearly stated at the outset. You will also be called if your child stays in the Infirmary overnight, has an allergic reaction, needs to see the camp doctor, or needs antibiotics. In the event of an after-hours emergency, we will provide you with the health center’s overnight phone number.

For all non-emergency calls and emails, please allow a 24 hour response time. Volume in the health center is greatest after meals and before bedtime. The best time to call is usually mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Cabin Cleanliness and Sanitation

Campers and counselors are responsible for cleaning their cabins on a daily basis. We believe this is an important lesson in both teamwork and personal responsibility. Daily duties include making their beds, keeping their clothes folded, and personal spaces tidy. Additionally, daily job responsibilities include sweeping all floors, retrieving clean towels from the laundry, cleaning all bathroom surfaces, and mopping the bathroom floor. Additionally, cabin bathrooms are professionally cleaned and sanitized weekly by our housekeeping team and all public bathrooms in other camp facilities are cleaned three times per day.

Food Service and Allergies

If your daughter has special dietary requirements or allergies to food, please indicate this on the health history form and email us with detailed instructions. Our dining hall can easily accommodate lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and both vegetarian and vegan diets.

Food allergies are serious and are one of the main reasons why we cannot allow outside food in camp. If your daughter has a food allergy, please be sure that you have both spoken with Kate and indicated this on her health history form. Camp Somerset is a 100% nut free facility and, when out of camp, campers and staff are prohibited from eating or buying any products with nuts or any products that may have been produced in a facility that contains nuts. Click here to learn more about our procedures concering food allergies.


Daily and frequent application of sunscreen is extremely important to us and is constantly reinforced by our staff. Somerset is equipped with six sunscreen stations conveniently situated throughout camp. We use Rocky Mountain SPF 50 but you are encouraged to send your own sunscreen if your daughter requires a specific brand.


Lice is a serious concern at camp. Only half of lice-infested children experience the telltale itching, and many children show no symptoms at all.

Your daughter will be professionally screened for lice upon arrival at camp so that we can catch potential issues quickly. If lice or nits are discovered, our professional screeners will treat your daughter and you will be billed for the cost (approximately $300 depending on treatment time). Campers will be treated as quickly as possible, but the process is very time-consuming. Please help avoid a potentially disruptive start to camp and make sure your daughter arrives at camp lice free. Our very strong recommendation is to have your child screened before camp. Lice professionals, hair stylists, and school nurses are excellent screeners.

It is possible to miss an early infestation if there are not yet nits. If your child has a friend or sibling who has had lice in the past six months, please let us know.

Medical Expenses and Insurance

All campers are required to have active health insurance in order to attend camp. You or your medical insurance carrier are responsible for all of your daughter’s medical expenses including doctor visits, x-rays, other medical treatment, and hospitalization. Medication will be charged to your credit card on file.


The End of Somer Blues & Transition Home

Let’s face it, leaving camp is hard!! We know that you will be excited to see your daughter when she comes home from camp, and she will be equally excited to see you. However, the transition from camp to home is different for every child. Some kids are eager to share every story and memory and will be full of energy. Others may be a bit more somber, sad to have left camp, or simply tired. We encourage you to ask questions and learn all you can about your daughter’s time at Somerset, but we urge you not to rush to any conclusions based on the first few days home. Trust us, no one has a bigger case of the blues than us!

Along those lines, we have a very active program, and your daughter uses up a lot of physical and emotional energy at camp. We recommend giving her a few days to re-charge before scheduling other travel or activities.

Lost Items

It is our goal to make sure that your daughter returns home with everything she brought to camp. But, as you can imagine, in a large community like ours, things do go missing. This is one of the main reasons that we discourage sending anything to camp of great value and urge you to label everything.

Please be sure to include your packing checklist when you ship your daughter’s bags so we can reference this when we go to pack. This list will allow us to know if anything is missing so we can try to locate it before your daughter departs. Once we begin the full clean-up of camp, we’ll be sure to keep looking for any lost items and ship them to you if located. Again, labeling EVERYTHING will help make sure it all makes its way home. Please give us a few days to clean camp and organize lost and found before contacting us for lost items.

Online Communication

Fortunately, we live in a time when staying in touch is super fast and super easy. Unfortunately, as we all know, many of the platforms that allow us to stay in touch can be as damaging as they are convenient. We expect our campers to continue to embody our core values even after camp has ended. We want them to stay connected to share stories, memories, and highlights of their year back home. But, like you, we expect them to do this in a safe, healthy, kind, and inclusive manner.

The official Somerset Facebook and Instagram pages will continue to serve as open forums for our entire community to enjoy both memories of the summer past and excitement for the summer ahead. It is our expectation that all members of our community will conduct themselves appropriately when posting on official Somerset pages. This includes refraining from posting: hurtful comments or photos; sexualized comments or sexually suggestive photos; degrading, homophobic or racist comments or photos; swear words; or comments relating to drugs or alcohol.

Please note that we strongly urge our staff to be careful when accepting friend or follow requests and require, that if they do so, that they only post material appropriate for children or risk not being invited back to camp. We also understand that a staff member not accepting a camper’s request might be hurtful or misunderstood by that camper. We will do our best to prepare the campers for this possibility before heading home and ask you to do the same.

Enrollment for Next Summer

Enrollment for next summer will officially open in mid-July. We hope that your daughter is having the time of her life, and the decision to re-enroll is an easy one for you. We strongly suggest that you secure your space early and take advantage of all the available discounts.