A Primitive Camp for Boys, Ages 10 - 14
Parents' Handbook 2020
Registration and Enrollment Policies
We welcome all boys, ages 10-14, who are sincerely interested in our program and who will adhere to camp policies.
The tuition for Night Eagle is all-inclusive and covers all program expenses, in-camp health supplies, laundry, and one camp photograph per session. There is no reduction for campers arriving later or leaving early as expenses are contracted for the season and our enrollment is limited.
Fee Payment Schedule
A $500 deposit (which will be applied to tuition) must accompany each application.
Unless other arrangements have been made, if applying after February 1, a $500 deposit and half of the remaining tuition is due with the application. For applications after April 15, full tuition is due with the application. As we do not invoice, we appreciate your recording these dates on your calendar and submitting payments promptly.
A completed application, camper questionnaire, health form and travel form complete the application process. We are unable to accept a camper or opening day unless we have had adequate time to review his complete application prior to his arrival.
Extended Payment Plan
Some families have found it helpful to extend tuition payment over several months. Interested families should request an extended payment plan application from the office.
A 10% early enrollment discount is given to all campers who enroll before October 15th and pay in full by May 1st.
A 10% sibling discount is given to the second (or subsequent) camper from the same family. This discount can be applied in addition to the early enrollment discount if the camper is eligible for both. However, any second discount will be taken from the already discounted tuition total.
If a parent recommends a new camper who enrolls in Night Eagle, that parent is given a one-time, 10% referral discount for each new camper recommended (an amount equal to 10% of the new camper’s tuition is deducted from the recommending parent’s total tuition).
If for any reason prior to the start of a camp session the session must be canceled, Night Eagle shall refund all monies paid by parents/guardians. If during camp it is necessary to terminate a camp session, a prorated portion of the full tuition for that session will be refunded.
If a camper’s application is withdrawn prior to April 1st, all tuition payments will be refunded, less a $100 registration fee. After April 1st, tuition will be refunded (less the registration fee) only if your son is unable to attend Night Eagle for reasons of health or if his vacated spot can be filled. There will be no refund if your son is asked to leave during the season for infraction of a camp rule or if he is voluntarily withdrawn. Tuition will be refunded on a pro-rated basis if illness or accident shortens a camper’s attendance.
Terms and Expectations
We expect all campers and staff at Night Eagle to contribute positively to the community and reserve the right to refuse acceptance of any applicant who in our judgment will neither benefit from nor contribute to the camp experience. We are selective in admissions because of the close community we strive to foster and the quality experience we seek to provide. Although we have worked successfully with many boys as they are maturing into young men, Night Eagle’s staff is not trained or licensed to work with troubled boys. Our program is designed for boys who enjoy being outdoors and are excited about learning wilderness skills.
For the safety and welfare of all members of our community, campers are expected to obey the rules and policies of Night Eagle and to exhibit behavior that does not physically or mentally threaten the welfare of themselves or others. The failure of a camper to adhere to the camp rules, policies and behavior expectations will result in immediate expulsion without refund.
The signing of the registration application indicates that the parents have read and understand the description of Night Eagle’s program and attest that their son(s) is enthusiastic about participation in this program. It further authorizes him to fully participate in all offered activities both in and out of camp. These activities may include, but are not limited to, backpacking, rock-climbing, swimming, canoeing, archery, tomahawk throwing, and service projects. By signing the application, parent release Night eagle, its officers, agents, and employees from any claim of liability for loss, damage or injury incurred during the program in which their son is participating
Physical exams are required of all campers and staff. Upon receipt of your application, we will send you a health form to be filled out by both you and your son’s doctor. The health form has a section for your health insurance information, which must be completed fully. The health form is the most important piece of paper that assists us in the responsibility of caring for your child’s well-being. It is critical that you complete and return his health form by the due date. Our nurse reviews all forms prior to opening day. Campers will not be allowed to remain at camp without completed health forms.
Campers must be covered by a health insurance policy provided by their parents. When you submit your son's health form, please attach a photocopy of your insurance card and a copy of your prescription card (if applicable).
Our infirmary is staffed by a registered nurse throughout the summer. She screens minor complaints, provides first aid, and administers and dispenses medications as needed. With the exception of second inhalers for asthmatics, epi-pens, and prescription dermatological creams, all medications must be kept in the infirmary.
Medications taken on an “as-needed” basis do not require special packaging but must be in the original packaging with a label. Common medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines, eardrops, wound ointments and creams, and antacids are stocked in our Infirmary. You do not need to bring such medications to camp.
Any camper allergies or special medical needs should be completely communicated to camp - by written summary - PRIOR to your son’s arrival.
You and your son must check in with the nurse at the infirmary on opening day of camp. At that time, you should discuss with the nurse your son’s medical needs and management of any medication. Any new prescriptions for an illness prescribed just before camp opens should be given to the nurse in the original bottle, labeled by the pharmacy. On closing day, please remember to pick up your son’s unused medication at the infirmary.
The nurse regularly dispenses medications three times a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner. When your son is on a hike out of camp, his medication will be dispensed by the counselor on the hike.
Incidental treatment and supplies are handled at camp with no charge, but prescriptions or “in-town” doctor or dentist visits will be billed to the insurance company on file, and parents will be responsible for payment.
With our emphasis on healthful well-balanced meals, campers are able to try different types of food while at camp. If, for medical or religious reasons, your son needs special foods or has dietary restrictions, please communicate this well in advance of his arrival. With advance communication, we can work with you to determine what accommodations we are able to make.
It is Night Eagle’s expectation that by sending your son to camp, you are asserting to us that your child has the knowledge of his diet and can manage his food choices.
Any camper allergies, special medical needs, or dietary restrictions should be completely communicated to the camp director or nurse by written summary - PRIOR to your son’s arrival to discuss whether Night Eagle is properly equipped to manage your child’s needs.
Places to Stay
Night Eagle is located between the cities of Manchester (south), Rutland (north), and Ludlow (east). All are popular year-round tourist destinations and offer all types of accommodations.
Rutland is the closest city to Night Eagle and has several chain motels, which can be researched on-line. There are also family-owned places that will give you a much nicer memory than the more well known chains for about the same price. One such motel, Mendon Mountain Orchards, is located just outside Rutland in the middle of an apple orchard.
If you would prefer something out of town and on a backcountry road, then you should look at several of the bread and breakfasts in the area: Maple Crest Farm in Shrewsbury is “typical Vermont” and a working farm. They serve a great breakfast, and they have two little attached apartments for families. The Crisanaver House is a lovely, more upscale inn, which is also in Shrewsbury on a back road with beautiful sunset views. The Victorian Inn and the I.B. Munson House are located in Wallingford, just minutes away from Night Eagle.
Please arrive between 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. and park at our front gate. You will be met there by campers and counselors who will help you and your son carry his gear into camp. There you will first check in with the nurse in the infirmary and go over your son’s medical information. In camp you will be able to meet your son's counselor and tour Night Eagle. An ideal time of arrival, if travel plans allow, is around 11:00. This allows you time to meet our son’s counselor and tour camp before your son is called to lunch – which then provides the perfect opportunity for parents to slip out. Our experience has shown that allowing the camper to unpack by himself, with the help of his counselor, helps him find things more easily once the session is underway and also allows him to begin developing rapport with his counselor.
With adequate advance notice, Night Eagle staff can meet flights in Rutland, VT (state airport) or Albany, New York (international airport) or Burlington, VT (international airport) or Hanover, New Hampshire. (Listed in order of preference.) Please call our office and confirm coordination of pick up/drop off times before booking your flights. In addition to completing the travel form, you must attach a copy of the camper’s complete air itinerary. Notify the camp office if your son will have a return ticket in his possession when he arrives at camp. If you plan to mail the return ticket to us, please do so well in advance of the departure date. We will confirm receipt of the ticket. For departures, Night Eagle staff will stay with the camper until he has properly checked in and his flight has departed. (A transportation fee will be charged for this service.)
Travel by Commercial Bus or Train
With adequate advance notice, Night Eagle staff can meet Vermont Transit buses in Rutland, VT or Amtrak trains in Rutland, VT or White River Junction, VT. For departures, Night Eagle staff will stay with the camper until he is boarded and the bus/train has departed as scheduled. (A transportation fee will be charged for this service.) Please communicate with the office before you finalize your plans in order to coordinate our efforts. There is a nominal transportation fee per family for each one-way trip we make to the airport, bus, or train station.
We cannot accommodate campers arriving or departing on days other than opening or closing days for the session.
Specifics for campers arriving or departing at times outside of the arrival and departure time periods on opening and closing days need to be discussed with the camp director. The same applies for campers arriving after opening day or leaving before closing day.
If it is necessary for you to ship the camper's baggage to or from camp (by U.P.S. or FedEx) we are happy to assist you. However, you must contact our office in order to coordinate this before shipping anything to us; preferably a week or more in advance.
Please Note: Our shipping address DIFFERS from our mailing address:
•c/o Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures, P.O. Box 475, Wallingford, VT 05773 (
We take luggage to UPS or Fed Ex at the end of a session to be shipped home. To expedite this, make sure that you note this option on the Online Travel Form, with address information, and please indicate which pieces of luggage are to be shipped.
Please note the exact date camp closes. All sessions end on a Saturday. You may arrive anytime after 9:00 A.M. and before 12:00 noon. Earlier times are discouraged because campers need time to do their chores and prepare to welcome you. Please park at the front gate and enjoy your walk into camp. If we are in Morning Reflection when you arrive, feel free to sit and join us.
Advanced emergency care and consultation are available at Pediatric Associates and Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vermont. A camp nurse, physician, or director will communicate with parents by phone in the unlikely event of significant illness or injury.
Campers are placed in tipi groups of mixed ages. We have found that this arrangement works extremely well, allowing older and returning campers to help new campers as they adjust to camp life. By parents filling out the application form carefully regarding social and physical maturity, we are able to make a proper placement. By being placed in a different tipi than a friend from home, campers can be individuals without someone else defining who they are. They are also completely free to make new friends and to learn the most from the diverse camp community.
Campers' clothes are washed once a week. Please mark each item with the camper's name. Please adhere strictly to the "What to Bring" list. Having too many clothes can cause a storage problem, and our experience is that campers who bring too much are more likely to lose things. Writing an inventory of all items packed and attaching it inside your son's duffel will help your child in repacking. Leave all valuables at home!
What to Bring to Camp
Large quantities of clothing are not needed at Night Eagle as laundry is done weekly and many campers and staff wear a simple breechclout when the weather is nice. However, as the temperature can sometimes dip into the 40’s, make sure that your son has an adequate supply of warm clothing. Our gear list has been carefully compiled to ensure his wellbeing and to prevent lost clothing and clutter in the tipi. It is requested that you adhere STRICTLY to this list! Send old clothes as camp life has a way of treating clothing harshly.
Please find the complete gear list under “Forms” in the “Parent”s section of the website.
Campers should not bring food, lighters, matches, aerosol or spray cans, glass containers, flashlights, watches, or electronics of any sort to camp. If these items are brought to camp, we will collect them and hold them in our office until closing day. Campers may bring cameras and film, but digital cameras are not allowed.
Cell phones, wallets, electronics, passports, and ticket information will be collected from the camper and held securely in the Program Office for the duration of the camp session. Phones will be charged prior to closing day if a charger is left with the phone.
There is NO NEED FOR ANY CASH to be brought to camp. An exception is made for campers who are be flying home and may need spending money for the airport. Cash for travel should be checked in with the director on opening day. If incidental needs arise (film, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) these items can be purchased when a staff member next goes to town and then charged to you.
A small folding knife with a 2” or 3" locking blade that fits into a pocket can be a useful tool at Night Eagle. Since some campers prefer to wear a breechclout in camp, they may bring a small sheath knife that can be worn on their belt.
Because of our concern for safety, we require boys to tell a counselor prior to using their knife. When using a knife, campers must be sitting down and wearing a thick leather glove on the hand that is not holding the knife. When not in use, the knife must be stored under control of its owner. Any violation of these rules will result in a staff member confiscating the knife for a period of time.
It is assumed that boys who bring a knife to camp have the approval of their parents. When they arrive at camp, they will be given a knife safety test to ensure that they know how to handle a knife properly. Dismissal from camp will be immediate if a knife ever represents a weapon.
Expensive clothing, sports gear and any other items of sentimental value should be left at home. Night Eagle is not responsible for lost or damaged items. Any lost and found items will be kept for a short time following camp, and then donated to local charity if not claimed. Mailing related costs may be charged to your account.
Although many camps require their campers to wear shoes during the summer, most Night Eagle campers choose to “lose their shoes” while they are at camp and try to get closer to the earth by wearing moccasins or going barefoot.
Campers feel that going barefoot or wearing moccasins at Night Eagle gives them a deeper, more respectful relationship with Nature and, from an environmental point of view, lessens the impact they have on the earth by not disturbing even the most delicate ground cover.
When feet are bare or clad in moccasins, they are also silent, barely whispering to the ground. Even when running, bare feet make a sound, which seems much more in keeping with the forest around Night Eagle than the sound of shoes.
Packages from Home
We live in the woods, and tipis are small. Everything brought into camp has to be carried in and carried out. Excessive “stuff” does not fit with the Night Eagle community life style. In this vein, packages are not always the best idea for Night Eagle. Certainly, if your son forgot something - that was on the gear list, feel free to send it along. If he has written saying that he needs some-thing or that something he brought is inadequate for the job, then respect his judgment and feel free to fill his request.
If you decide that you do want to send a package, be creative! A book by or about American Indians or a craft supply (special beads, for example) is a good idea. A “disposable” camera with a note about taking pictures to share withy you at home makes a great care package. However, in order to retain a sense of wilderness, newspapers, sports magazines, etc. are discouraged.
Food, even healthful snacks, should never be sent to a camper as it creates a situation of “haves” and “have-nots.” Food in the tipis can attract skunks, mice and insects and wrappers become litter. Relatives and friends also need to know this. The campers enjoy making desserts when they are on cook crew, so send us your favorite dessert recipes and the ingredients needed to serve 50 people.
Because most campers attend Night Eagle for three weeks, we do not have a scheduled visiting day for parents. Instead, parents, families, and friends are invited to visit Night Eagle and participate in our Work and Play weekends, which are scheduled each year in September and May.
Social Media Policy
Campers and staff may not post words, photos or videos that may reflect negatively on camp, other campers, or staff members. It is each parent’s responsibility to monitor his/her son’s Facebook page and other social media outlets. We have guidelines for our staff regarding social media use and interaction with campers outside of camp. We cannot be responsible for staff/camper interaction outside of your camper’s camp session.
Mail comes in and goes out daily, except on Sunday. Campers enjoy mail, so please write to your son once or twice a week. You may want to encourage relatives and close friends to do the same. If mail arrives prior to your son's session, we will hold it until his arrival. Quality mail means much more to a camper than a flood of letters, cards and packages as "too much" mail can be uncomfortable for the receiving camper. No overnight mail please!
The CAMPER SUMMER MAILING ADDRESS is:
Camper Name - c/o Night Eagle
P.O. Box 479,
Wallingford, VT 05773
Letter Writing Hints
Campers enjoy receiving mail and hearing from home. However, be aware that phrases of missing your son too much may bring a bit of guilt that he has left the family at home. In our efforts to help the campers learn self-sufficiency and independence, we teach them to rely on their ingenuity and creativity. The camp experience encourages living close to nature, enjoying an atmosphere free of materialism and technology, and developing a sense of responsibility to help take care of our world. These are values we attempt to maintain in the Night Eagle environment. Please help us in our endeavors.
Getting in Touch and Refraining from Doing So
Because of the nature of our program, we cannot stay by the office phone. Like your sons, we too would much rather be in the woods! Night Eagle staff cannot give parents instant feedback regarding their sons’ adjustment to camp or their progress - we are too busy working and playing with your sons. We realize that this is a radical change from our daily culture of instant communication and instant gratification. However, we don’t apologize for it. It is exactly what makes our program successful. Allowing your son to have his experience and patiently waiting for him to tell you about it in a letter or when he returns home fits exactly with the goals of self-reliance and independence that you tell us that you want to foster in him. Also, camp letters are priceless keepsakes.
Your son’s counselor will send you a postcard after the first week. If there is an emergency and you need to communicate with us, please leave a phone message or send an e-mail to the camp office. Messages are checked daily, and we will always respond as soon as we are able.
The practice of having a short, daily reflection time is an integral part of Night Eagle. The meeting is a silent time of meditation in the morning that begins after someone reads a myth or a story about the American Indian or a quote from an environ-mentalist. Sometimes people share thoughts that come to them. Morning Reflection is held in a beautiful outdoor setting and does not conflict with other religious traditions. It is a time set aside for recognition of spiritual needs common to all religions. Morning Reflection sets the tone for the day and is a unifying element for the community. It gives everyone an opportunity to think about his personal values in life and his place in the Night Eagle community.
Coming to camp for the first time, and occasionally the second, may be cause or a brief case of homesickness. Homesickness is neither a dislike for camp nor evidence of camper maladjust-ment. We regard homesickness as a normal, healthy occurrence in a child. The newness of the camp environment, making new friends, and the natural longing for the "old and familiar" make moments of homesickness happen for nearly all of us.
Our experience has taught us to expect the symptoms of homesickness to occur over the first few days of camp, often during quiet, reflective times. Our counselors are sensitive to a camper's moods and emotional adjustments. If a child is homesick, he will be encouraged to talk it out. We will try to help the child understand the emotion he is feeling while ensuring that the camper is fully involved in all camp activities. Usually within a few days the camper is busy having fun. With the security of new friends and exposure to numerous interesting activities, the home-sickness soon dissipates.
If you receive a letter with homesickness signals, remember that while campers are experiencing homesickness they are relating back to home and parents. The same is true if they are ill. At that moment they are most inclined to write a letter home and pour out their emotions. Three or four days later (often after the homesickness is gone) parents receive the letter. Don't panic. By the time you get the letter, your son is probably having a good time. Immediately write an encouraging letter. Do not say you miss him or give detailed accounts of what the family is doing. Ask about camp activities, counselors, campfires, etc. Above all, set a positive, encouraging tone. Express your confidence in his ability to cope and camp’s ability to assist. Some homesick campers become prolific letter writers (2-3 letters a day). If your son is still writing homesick letters after the first week of camp, feel free to call or e-mail the camp office. Together we can determine the best plan for helping your son be successful.
An appropriate pre-camp preparation is the best "medicine" for homesickness. A positive family attitude, discussions of expected camp activities, and gentle encouragement that missing home is okay will usually suffice to give your son the tools needed to make the camp transition a valuable growth experience.
During the summer Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures, Inc. takes photographs that are used for promoting Night Eagle. This is standard industry practice. Submission of a camper application signifies that parents consent to the use of photographs or likenesses of their child by Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures, Inc. or by anyone to whom they may assign such rights. Parents also release Night Eagle or anyone to whom they may assign such rights from any claims arising out of the use of such photographs or likenesses of their child.
We ask that no gratuities be extended to the counselors or to any member of the staff. If you would like to show your appreciation, we suggest that your contributions be made to our library or Campership Fund. A written thank you note is also always appreciated by staff members. Camp wish lists are sometimes included in our off-season newsletters.
Offseason Work and Play Days
Work and Play Weekends are usually scheduled for the first weekend in September and the first weekend in May. These weekends give campers and their families a chance to get to learn more about Night Eagle and to meet other Night Eagle campers and their parents while completing various projects around camp.
While staying in camp with your family will be fun, it does require attention to a few guidelines that we ask you to follow in order to help us maintain the goals of our program and meet our responsibilities to all the families at camp. More complete information will be sent as the weekend dates approach.