Attendance is taken at the beginning of each day. Group counselors take frequent head counts throughout the day.
Please make sure to email or call the office, at (608) 850 -6000, if your child is going to miss one or more days of camp. If you know in advance that your camper will miss certain days, a note or email to that effect would be helpful.
Unless a child is enrolled in our early morning Extended Day program (available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily), the camper may not be dropped off at camp before 8:50 am. We do not have staff available to supervise before camp begins.
We respect the fact that summer is a time for more relaxed family schedules. However, we feel that our campers do best when they arrive in time to start their day with the rest of their group. Arriving late at camp can be hurried and confusing, especially for younger children.
We encourage everyone to help their camper transition as smoothly as possible by following our 8:50 to 9:10 am drop-off time. If your child does arrive at camp after 9:10 am, please proceed to the front desk to sign them in. This is necessary for us to clearly account for all children once groups have begun their camp day. One of our staff will then bring your camper to their group.
Pick up Procedures
Dismissal is 3:45–4 p.m. each day. You may drive up to the front door, tell the frontline staff your child's name, and wait in the carline until our staff sends your child to your car. You are also welcome to park in the parking lot and walk into the lobby to wait for your child. Please do not leave your car unattended in the carline!
Please respect our daily pick-up times. If a parent is more than fifteen minutes late picking up their child, the child’s counselor will bring the child to the front desk and he/she should be picked up there. Repeated lateness will incur an Extended Day charge.
Unless a student is enrolled in our late pickup extended day program (available from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily) or our Monday/ Wednesday Cooking Camp (3:45–5 p.m.) or our Middle School Volleyball Camp until 6 pm, they should be picked up by 4 p.m.
If you arrive later than 4 p.m. or your child attends any of our extended day programs, please call the front desk at 608-850-6000 and we will send out your child. You are also welcome to park in the parking lot and walk into the lobby to wait for your child.
If, for any reason, your child is to be picked up early from camp, please provide a note to our frontline staff or front desk in the morning. Notes should contain the following information:
● Child's name and parent’s name
● Time and date of pick-up
● Your child's grade
Pick-Up by Someone Other Than Parent/Guardian
If a camper is to go home with someone other than the parent, we must have a Camper Release Authorization Form signed by the parent stating who the alternate pick-up people are. Campers will, under no circumstances, be placed in cars with anyone who is not listed on this form unless we receive permission from the parent in writing.
What to Bring
Lunch and Snacks
Campers should bring bagged lunch and water bottles every day. This year, there is NO option to purchase lunch on campus.
We will provide FREE morning and afternoon healthy snacks with a variety of well-balanced options. You are also welcome to send your camper snacks from home, but they MUST BE NUT FREE.
Food Allergies and Special Diets
Parents must make us aware of any allergies or special diets. We encourage all parents of campers with food allergies to have a conversation with our health office prior to the camp season, to discuss their specific concerns and needs, even if you've already marked the food allergies in your registration form.
No Nut Policy
We do not serve any peanut or tree nut products or any foods that contain hidden nut products. Please don't bring any snacks or lunch containing any nuts. We have campers with severe nut allergies onsite. Thank you!
We offer gluten-free options each day for snacks and lunch.
Sun Protection & Hydration
MCDS Summer Discovery understands the importance of hydration and keeping campers safe in the sun. Through a team effort that involves parents, our staff, and campers themselves, we can achieve the best results.
We ask that you please send your child each day with the following:
● Sunscreen product (SPF 30 or greater)
● Water bottle
● Appropriate dress for the weather each day
● Labeled hat
Our staff will do the following for your camper:
● Make sure there are frequent water breaks
● Encourage campers to drink water
● Act as role models, applying sunscreen to themselves and wearing hats
Please apply sunscreen to your child before coming to camp each day. Our staff will remind campers to reapply sunscreen throughout the day; however, each camper is expected to do so themselves. Staff will assist campers in the Lower Camp program as necessary.
Clothing & Personal Belongings
To help minimize loss, please mark your camper's name on all articles including clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. While at camp, personal possessions will be kept in shared, unlocked lockers. Therefore, we suggest that you NOT send your child to camp with their most expensive clothes/ sunshade/ belongings. Counselors make every effort to help campers develop a sense of responsibility for their possessions, but possessions can be misplaced. If an item is missing, we recommend you immediately notify your camper’s counselors. MCDS Summer Discovery assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to campers’ personal property.
What to bring:
● Hat with a brim
● Sunscreen and bug spray (labeled with name)
● Rain gear and an extra set of dry clothes in a Ziploc bag
● Lunchbox/ snack box
● Water bottle
Don’t forget to label all of your belongings!
What to leave at home:
● Cell phones. We have a strict no cell phone policy.
● Other digital devices such as ipads, computers, or electronic games
● Valuables or money (no exceptions)
● Sports equipment such as a baseball glove (unless specifically needed on a given day)
● Explicit T-shirts or other apparel deemed offensive, discriminatory or of suggestive nature
● Knives of any kind, or other weapons
● Drugs or alcohol
● Pets or other animals
Lost and Found
At the end of each day, parents should check with their campers to ensure that they have all of their belongings. If an item is missing, please first notify your child’s counselors. We also maintain a central Lost and Found near the Front Desk. We will make every effort to return any items marked with your camper’s name directly to them during their time here. At the end of the summer, all unclaimed articles will be donated to a charitable organization.
At MCDS, a positive approach to behavior management begins by offering an engaging, developmentally appropriate camp experience. By providing support that benefits all campers such as adequate structure, clear expectations, good modeling, and positive reinforcement, we strive to create the optimum conditions for campers to fully and appropriately participate in camp activities. We recognize, however, that every child is unique and some require additional support to be successful. Within the bounds of maintaining a safe camp community, we are committed to making every effort to meet the needs of all campers.
Specifically, MCDS staff are expected to:
● Create a constructive, positive atmosphere for children where strengths are maximized and weaknesses are minimized.
● Strive to keep expectations of children developmentally and physically appropriate while keeping in mind the children’s dignity and self-respect.
● Establish a group atmosphere that is non-punitive in nature and where comments focus on reinforcing children’s appropriate behaviors rather than commenting on negative behaviors.
● Comment on behaviors in constructive ways and suggest appropriate alternative behaviors.
● Encourage children to be responsible for their own behaviors.
● Recognize that each new day brings a fresh start for each camper.
The following camper behaviors are not acceptable and may result in the immediate suspension of a child:
● Endangering the health and safety of children and/or staff members
● Continuing to disrupt the programs
● Refusing to follow the behavior expectation and/or our camp rules
● Using profanity, vulgarity or obscenity frequently
● Leaving the group without permission
● Stealing or damaging MCDS or personal property
Suspension and Dismissal
A camper may be temporarily suspended and sent home if, in the opinion of the camp administration, his or her actions give rise to a threat of injury to him or herself or others, or cause excessive disruption to the camp’s activities. A temporary suspension shall be instituted for a period not to exceed three camp days, during which the camp administration will be available to meet with the camper’s parents/guardian to discuss the events which gave rise to the suspension and to design a mutually agreeable resolution to the problem.
A camper may be permanently dismissed from the camp if, in the opinion of the Director, his or her actions have demonstrated an inability to abide by the camp’s rules and/or have created a risk of injury to the camper or to other members of the camp community. The Director may give the parents/guardian of a camper who has been dismissed from the camp a written statement outlining the reasons for the action taken and will meet with the parents/guardian to discuss the situation. There will be no refund of camp fees for suspensions and/or dismissal.