FAQs

We've got answers to all (or almost all) your camp questions.

This page provides answers to some of the questions we most frequently get from new campers about Camp Mont Shenandoah. If you’ve already got some camp experience, feel free to skip to the section that interests you! If you have questions that are not answered below, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide more insights to help you prepare for a successful summer with us.

Who are our campers?

Campers travel from all over the country to attend Camp Mont Shenandoah. Most girls come from the mid-Atlantic region, but they also hail from New England and as far away as California and the Pacific Northwest. International campers are part of our family, too.

Is camp accredited?

Camp Mont Shenandoah is a fully accredited member of the American Camp Association and has been since 1954 when they first instituted the process! As an accredited camp, we are evaluated every three years on all matters related to health, safety, and risk management.

What training do our counselors receive?

All counselors and staff members participate in comprehensive training workshops before camp begins. Most counselors began as campers, and by the time they become counselors they are exceptionally well qualified when it comes to listening, nurturing, team building, coaching, inclusion, and homesickness.

How may I communicate with my camper?

Friends and family are encouraged to send letters (although please no packages and no food) through the US Postal Service. If you want to write a few letters before camp begins, your camper will begin receive mail right away.  Through our partner CampMinder, you may send one-way e-mails that we print and deliver on a daily basis.

How can my child communicate with me?

Campers are encouraged to write letters home! Campers deposit letters in the camp mailbox and they are mailed every weekday.

May I visit my daughter during her session?

We invite family and friends of campers to visit for special occasions and Parents Weekend but request that visitors refrain from coming at other times. It has been our experience that unscheduled family and friend appearances can hamper our program and be disruptive to the overall camp experience. Campers may not leave camp except for emergencies and family weddings.

What about homesickness?

Most campers will experience some degree of homesickness, especially if this is their first time away from home for an extended period. Getting busy and making friends are the best ways to conquer these normal but powerful emotions. Counselors are trained to empathize with camper’s feelings, share their own experiences, and offer encouragement.

Do you post photos during sessions?

Yes, we frequently post photos through CampMinder, which provides you with an update on camp life. Photos typically include images of activities and/or evening programs. We cannot guarantee photos of every camper, but we try our best!

How are girls assigned to cabins?

We place girls in cabins according to age and make every attempt to accommodate cabin requests whenever possible. We want to remind campers and parents that it’s great to come to camp with friends but we encourage all girls to meet new people and develop new friendships. Being in a cabin with girls other than those from home will help facilitate this process.  Learn more about cabin life.

How do you handle food allergies?

Our staff is generally able to accommodate special menus for campers with allergies. The kitchen has years of experience with special dietary requirements, including lactose intolerance and Celiac disease. We serve vegetarian and gluten free options at every meal. Please note that CMS is not a certified nut-free camp.

How does my daughter choose her activities?

Upon arrival, the campers will have the opportunity to create their own schedule. All campers take swimming every day and those campers that sign up to ride will have that scheduled as well. Because Roots & Shoots is an introductory camp experience, all campers participate in all of the activities offered.

May my daughter bring her phone or tablet to camp?

Our philosophy is the less technology while at camp, the better! Campers are here to learn and grow in a shared community and natural environment. Mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets are not allowed. Summer camp nurtures the creative distance-building that is essential to a child’s growth. Access to cellphones can quickly short-circuit that growth potential so we limit phone calls to campers on the occasion of a birthday and in the event of a family emergency. Exception: campers traveling by air are allowed to travel with a cell phone; these phones will be collected and returned for the trip home.

Does Camp Mont Shenandoah have any traditions?

Yes, yes, yes! Our summers are built around many longstanding traditions that bind our new campers, our experienced campers, and our enthusiastic staff and alumnae together. These traditions take a front seat every day, from our color team rivalry (the Greens versus the Buffs), The Fives (girls who have attended camp for five summers or more), Wishing Boats, Songfest, Honor Meets, Final Banquet and our Camp Spirit Ceremony, and many more. Read more about our traditions here.

What are the "Five Virtues" of Camp Mont Shenandoah?

The tenets of Love, Loyalty, Friendship, Sportsmanship and Spiritual Awareness form the central guiding principles of our camp experience.

Is Camp Mont Shenandoah considered a religious camp?

We are not a religious camp but we do strive to find the spiritual in our everyday life and in our natural world. We think of spirituality in a holistic sense, and consider the well being of the mind, body, and spirit. There are Wednesday evening Vespers and Sunday services — these gatherings are conducted by campers and counselors and focus on character building. They are loosely based on Judeo-Christian principles as well as the Twelve Laws of Woodcraft.

How does Roots & Shoots differ from the three- and six-week programs?

Roots & Shoots is an introductory one-week camp session for girls between the ages of 7 and 13 who aren’t yet quite ready for an extended time away from home. All campers participate in all activities offered, including swimming, archery, tennis, arts & crafts, athletics, soccer, drama and music. Horseback riding is an option also available to R&S campers. During the week, girls are brought together and introduced to summer camping in an intimate, inclusive and caring setting. Most CMS traditions are reserved for three- and six-week campers but we do introduce the new girls to the concept of teams. Learn more about Roots & Shoots.

Are scholarships available?

Yes, a Camp Spirit Scholarship provides a financial resource for campers to attend camp that may not otherwise be able to due to financial constraints.  The Camp Spirit Scholarship is held by the Community Foundation for Rockbridge, Bath and Alleghany Counties (CFRBA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information on the scholarship and to view the application, please contact our office. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the fund, click here. Families may wish to explore additional financial aid or payment options. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Is there a deadline to register?

Space fills up quickly and we encourage you to get started with the registration process as soon as possible. Available slots are filled first-come, first-served. As we are a small, family-owned camp, our program has limited availability and typically fills up at least six months before camp begins.

Packing List

Everything you should bring to camp, from cabin and bath supplies to daily camp essentials.

Let's Go!