Now Enrolling for Summer Camp 2018!
Do you have a 2, 3, 4 or 5 years old that is looking for an authentic and exciting camp experience this summer? Then Happy Acres Ranch is the place for them! Our preschool camp is run much like our School Age Summer Camp and has a full daily schedule of activities. They will swim for 45 minutes everyday in our beautiful lake (25 minutes of games and 20 minutes of free play) and have Pony Rides once a week. The Preschool Camp is run by our most fun teachers who love getting down and dirty with the kids. Each week will have a unique theme with new highlighted activities each day. Our entire camp, ages 3-13 years, has the same themed calendar but the activities are tailored to the age of the group. Please note ~ Preschool Camp is only open to families on a year round contract with HAR. This means your child has attended our Spring 2018 Preschool/VPK or will attend our Fall 2018 Preschool/VPK programs.
But wait, when my older child finished VPK, they got to go to summer camp. What has changed?
In the past, all children went to “summer camp” the day after finishing VPK. Despite our best changes, this was still an incredibly difficult transition for the 4 and 5 year olds who have never been to school before. The large group of 200 campers was overwhelming to many of them. Changing their clothes twice each day was more than some could handle. After lunch, the office was flooded with the ones that needed a nap. This summer, these kids will participate in a transitional group that is more rooted in Preschool than Elementary school. Campers who have completed VPK will use the entire summer to transition for Preschool Camp to School Age Camp. Teachers will offer activities for those who no longer need a nap while still providing a space for those that do. As the summer progresses, these campers will participate in more and more activities with the School Age Camp.
Benefits of Preschool Camp (2-4 years) over School Age Day Camp (5-13 years)
Smaller group size (11-1 preschool camp, 15-1 school age camp)
Changing for swimming in large classroom instead of small changing room (also more time to change)
Eating lunch in smaller preschool classroom (22-) instead of large dining hall (75+),
Family Style dining instead of buffet style
Year round teacher instead of high school or college age counselor
More Free play time
Benefits of the VPK group (4-5 years)
Activities offer for VPKers who do not nap
Archery, Arts and Crafts, Outdoor Ed., Athletics, and Nature once per week
Lessons, Lessons, and more Lessons
Looks good right? We think so but what are the questions we haven’t answer the you should be asking?
Do you background check your staff? Yes, every staff member (including volunteers) are level 2 background checked through the State of Florida before they begin working with campers.
Do you offer training to staff? Yes, all staff are required to attend a minimum of 24 hours worth of camp specific training before each summer (this includes returning staff). Year round staff must all complete the 40 hour DCF training within 1 year of employment. Preschool teachers are also required to have an additional 40 hours worth of job specific training each year.
Do you have insurance? Yes, we have property, liability, auto, and student accident insurance for all campers.
Are you regularly checked by any outside agencies? Happy Acres Ranch is. We are regularly, and without notice, inspected by the Department of Children and Families, Early Learning Coalition, American Camp Association, and APPLE.
Are you accredited and what does that really mean? Happy Acres Ranch is. Our camps are accredited through the American Camp Association and the Preschool through APPLE. It means following their rules and standards at all times. It means we are doing “best practices” which is over and above state standards. An accredited camp puts a lot of time and money into accreditation. We spent over $2,000 in annual dues alone this year!
How do I sign up?
Interested in signing up? All new families are required to tour before requesting an enrollment form. Returning families should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an enrollment form.
Did you know all families are required to check off on the enrollment form that they have read and understand the Preschool Camp Parent Handbook? Click to read the ins and outs of our camp policies in the Happy Acres Ranch Parent Handbook.