Bunks at Brant Lake are a camper’s home base for the summer. No doubt a bit more rustic than his own room, it is where he will sleep, relax, socialize and play games during his stay. Importantly, it is a place where close relationships with campers and counselors are forged—which is one of the primary philosophies of Brant Lake Camp.
The bunks have hot and cold water, washing and toilet facilities and most of the younger age group bunks have showers—although the boys generally use their nearby area shower houses. The bathrooms are cleaned and sanitized daily by our camp maintenance staff while the boys have the responsibility, with guidance and help from their counselors, of keeping their living area swept and clean, beds made daily and clothes as well as belongings put away in their respective cubbies. Weekly clean up competitions help keep everyone on their toes, particularly in the younger age groups, with ice cream sundaes often the reward for winning– giving everyone a little extra incentive.
In order to maximize interaction among all our boys, and unlike many other camps, bunks at Brant Lake do not form the basis for activities, sports instruction, meals, etc., other than an occasional evening group game. They are places to live, change clothes for activities and enjoy down time with their counselors.
Bunks are also organized and staffed differently depending on the division:
In the Soph area, there are an average of only 5-6 boys per bunk while the younger age boys have as few as 4-5 campers. There are three counselors in each bunk for Sophs; two are male counselors (who sleep in each bunk) and one female counselor who sleeps very nearby. We have found that the addition of female counselors provides an extra bit of “motherly” attention as well as hugs— which has been very well received by our campers. The ratio of campers to counselors is less than 3 to 1, ensuring close supervision. Favorite stuffed animals, banners and other special items from home are allowed and always on display. Most of the Soph bunks are double bunks providing even more interaction among campers. Rest period also occurs in and around the bunk area where you will often see campers and counselors playing games on the large front porches of our beautiful and newer Soph bunks. Bed time is generally about 9 PM but flashlights, reading, quiet talking and listening to music are allowed until the boys fall asleep– with counselors present in each bunk during this time. Additionally, Key Staff circulates through all Soph bunks during “bunk times”.
In the Junior group (comprised of boys finishing 4th grade), bunk sizes increase slightly to 7-8 boys and two counselors sleep in each of the bunks with the campers. Additionally, there are two females who work with the group as counselors although they are not assigned to bunks. Double bunks are the norm in the Juniors and the camper-to-counselor ratio increases slightly to 4 to 1. Key Staff members are also assigned to every two bunks. Bed time is around 9:30 PM.
Inter bunks comprise what we call Inter row and there are usually 8 boys and two counselors in each bunk plus a Key Staff member assigned to oversee every two bunks. A couple of Inter B bunks may be bigger double bunks and include a 3rd counselor. The camper-to-counselor ratio remains about 4-1. Bed time is about 9:45 PM. Campers are expected to keep their bunks clean and neat and must pass weekly inspections—with occasional incentives.
Senior Camp- In the Senior Camp, bunk sizes vary greatly with the younger Seniors living in mostly single bunks with about 8 boys and two counselors. Bed times and wake up times are later, as we have learned not to battle the teenage clock. Seniors have nightly snacks at around 9 PM and generally are back in their bunks by around 10:15 PM, going to bed around 11:00 PM. The older Seniors live in the large KOOL bunk complex and evenings tend to run a little later. Daily clean ups are also expected.