“This is the first summer that there has not been, "I don't want to go to camp!" or, “It’s too hot and the bus ride is too long!"”
As a parent of a day camp child, you may have some questions pertaining to the transportation program in camp. We hope to provide you with greater insight.
Establishing routes in the best interest of the most number of campers is our goal! Each route is planned in order to allow minimal driving time and efficiency for campers.
Certain routes cover a very small area. When this occurs, the driver will make every effort to drop off the first child picked up in the morning, first in the afternoon. First on, first off etc. Although a short ride to camp for each child is desirable, the location of your home has a direct bearing on the length of time your child is on the mini-bus.
If your home is located on that part of the route that causes your child to be the first one picked up and the last one dropped off, you have the option to meet the mini-bus at a different pick-up and drop-off point and time.
Campers are assigned to a specific route and mini-bus at the onset of the summer. You are reminded that once a camper is assigned to a mini-bus, the camper is not allowed to switch to another mini-bus. We are limited in seating capacity and we do not wish to have confusion for the camper, counselor or driver. When a child would like to go another camper's home, and that child is on the same mini-bus route, a written note is acceptable.
Pick-up and Drop-off
Campers will be given pick-up and drop-off times before camp begins. These times may change during the summer due to additions or deletions of campers on the route. You will be notified if the time changes. Please have your child ready each morning and waiting at the curbside. Please be ready 10 minutes earlier than the established time,that way, the mini-bus pick-ups will be smooth. If the driver and campers must wait for your child in the morning, it unnecessarily increases the time in getting to camp. At the close of the camp day, your child is dropped off at the curbside in front of your home.
Please Be Present When Your Child Gets Off the Bus
Mini-bus staff is NOT permitted to leave your child at the curb in the afternoon unless you make our presence known or have made prior arrangements in writing. If someone is not present, your child will stay on the mini-bus and continue the rest of the route. Your child will then be brought to the home of the mini-bus staff or back to camp where you will have to pick them up.
Late Drop-off and Early Pick-up
If your child is not going to camp on the mini-bus in the morning, be sure to call the mini-bus counselor by 7:30 A.M. or the night before, if possible. If a camper must leave early, then it is the parent's responsibility to make arrangements for early pick-up in writing or by calling the office by NOON. The parent must pick-up and sign out the child at the camp office, ROOM 53.
Friends or relatives must have written permission from the parent to pick up a camper. Children must be picked up by 3:15.
First Day Jitters
It is possible that the first day pick-up may be a little behind schedule. Parents and campers may be a bit delayed. Once the first day jitters are over for campers and parents, you can expect a very consistent and punctual pick-up and drop-off time.
Meeting Your Child’s Driver and Counselor
If your child is beginning camp Weeks 1 - 4, you will be meeting your mini-bus counselor/driver at your home on Wednesday evening, prior to the first day of camp, between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. If your child starts camp the beginning of Week 5, the counselor/driver will visit on Wednesday, prior to your child starting camp, between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. You will receive a reminder. When they leave your home, you will have:
- Your child's shirts
- A card with the phone numbers of the driver and counselor
- The approximate time of pick-up for Monday A.M.
- The approximate time of drop-off for Monday P.M.
Even though the State Law does not require supervision on a mini-bus, other than the driver, we provide a camp counselor on each mini-bus. The role of this person will be to assist campers on and off the mini-bus, control safety, and help them with any other areas of assistance they may need.
We would appreciate it if you would discuss with your child, the importance behind safety rules on the mini-bus. These rules are to be followed at all times.
- Stay 5 steps back from the curb until the mini-bus stops.
- Wait until the mini-bus comes to a complete stop before you approach it.
- When crossing a street to board your mini-bus, or after leaving your mini-bus, wait until the driver and counselor check for traffic and then allows you to cross with the counselor.
- Do not reach under the mini-bus to retrieve a fallen item. Ask the counselor for help.
- Never chase a mini-bus.
- Once seated in the mini-bus, do not change seats.
- While seat belts are not required by the state of N.J. on conventional school buses, we have seat belts on all of our mini-buses. You can help us by reminding your child to stay in his/her seat and to use the seat belts at all times. Seat belt use is not negotiable. Campers must wear seat belts.
- Keep your arms and head in the mini-bus at all times.
- Talk with your friends; do not yell in the mini-bus.
- Stay in your seat until the mini-bus has come to a full stop.
- Never throw anything out of the window.
- Follow all directions from the driver and the mini-bus counselor.
- If something should fall, do not leave your seat to get it. Ask the mini-bus counselor for help.
- Be cooperative and have a good time.
Inspection and Maintenance
Our mini-buses are maintained and inspected regularly during the school year by Laidlaw Bus Company. Just prior to the beginning of summer, the mini-buses are given an additional inspection. Routine maintenance records are also kept on each mini-bus.
Once camp begins, there is a mechanic from Laidlaw on call on a daily basis. Preventive maintenance is the key to any mini-bus safety program and is practiced on a regular basis. Every mini-bus is also inspected by the N.J. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Most drivers are staff members maintaining a position of counselor or activity specialist. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that each driver be at least 21 years of age, possess a current N.J. license and good driving record. The other drivers are school bus or mini-bus drivers during the school year.
All drivers must successfully complete a medical examination, a drug test and the CDL Class B or C written and physical driving examination. Drivers and counselors attend periodic meetings during the summer to review policies and procedures.
The Parental Point of View
As an adult living in our society, you may have been conditioned to driving in an automobile that provides for comfort and convenience. Often you cannot see yourself riding a mini-bus, and in some cases you have never been on a mini-bus. If this is the case, you may have a tendency to view the ride to camp as something that causes emotional and physical stress to your child. Please make every effort to refrain from projecting your adult feelings to your child.
Riding to camp is fun — it is different — and it is a part of your child's camp experience! The camp day begins when your child enters the mini-bus, and not when he/she arrives at camp. Each morning your child, when entering the mini-bus, is greeted by the driver, mini-bus counselor, and friends.
Experiences are shared and the child becomes a part of camp even before arriving at our camp location. Please allow your child to have this experience by projecting positive thoughts about the mini-bus ride to and from camp.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important that all messages for the camp office be given in writing to the mini-bus counselor, so that the message can be processed through the appropriate channels without confusion or misinterpretation.