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Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Program

Where will the program be held?
In our backyard! (71 Powers Street Needham, MA) We have a nice size backyard and lots of fun things to do.
What if it rains?
We'll be here rain or shine! If it rains, we will be under canopies, maybe get a little wet or, if it's heavy rain, we can escape to the garage and basement for some indoor fun!
What do we need to bring with us?
Please come wearing a bathing suit (under your clothes) and already have sun screen applied. Bring a towel and a bag or a backpack to hold your things and keep your items together. If you're not buying lunch, you should bring a bag lunch and snack.
How many children participate?
It depends on the number of counselors we have for each session. We want to have no more than a 4-to-1 child to counselor ratio. Our target number is between 30 and 40 children and 10-15 counselors
Can we still sign-up by day?
In our first two years we learned that it is very challenging for us to allow by-day registration. Group sizes would fluctuate forcing us to move kids between groups to accomodate the changes and usually after one day, the kids beg their Moms to come back every day, so we would have to account for additional children. Therefore, we ask parents to register for a full week. We hope this does not cause much inconvenience.

About Our Fees

What are you going to do with the fees collected?
We are raising money for charity. We will donate the money to (To be determined), .

About the Food

Where does the food come from?
Most of the food item will be made in our kitchen by adults, counselors and sometimes by the kids too! Cooking has become a favorite activity for the kids.
How do you handle food allergies?
Parents must make us aware of any allergies. Children with allergies need to be able to avoid foods that may cause them a problem. We will take every precaution to keep your child clear of foods they are allergic to.

About Safety

Will my kids be safe?
Safety is a priority with everything we do. We review program rules with the children. We have a great ratio of at least one counselor to every 4 children. In 2011, we had one counselor for every 2 1/2 kids. As one parent put it, "sounds like you watch the kids a lot more closely than I do in our backyard!"
Are you insured?
We are not licensed, insured and we are not a camp. Safety is an absolute priority for us, but parents must agree to assume all risks and will sign a waiver.
Are there adults involved?
Yes, of course. At least two adults are on the premises overseeing and supporting the program. The program activities are run by the High School and Junior High Counselors.

Politics of a Camp

Are you a camp?
Absolutely not! No way, did you hear us say we were a camp? No, we didn't. Our program is specifically outside of the Massachusetts definition of a "camp." Since we are (absolutely) not a camp, we do not follow the long list of legal requirements that a camp must adhere to. Although we are not a camp, we are an amazing program where your kids will have tons of fun!
Why do you keep saying you're not a camp?
Our name used to be Backyard-Camp, but the Needham Times (our local hometown newspaper) insisted that we change the name. The term "camp" has a specific legal meaning and carries with it a long list of requirements. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to not be a camp, because of our small size and limited schedule. So, now we are not-a-camp just like everybody else!
Are you the only not-a-camp?
Many programs avoid being a camp due to the strict regulations. In fact, the Town of Needham has only NINE camps. All other programs, sports, school sponsored activities, after-school programs, church sponsored activities, and even Park and Rec summer programs are NOT camps.