Having the time of their lives

Camp Fire USA Eastern Massachusetts Council
Programs >> Camp Ponkiwanee >> FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Camp Director?

Our Camp Director, Rebecca Skerry, is a full time Program Manager for Camp Fire. She is very excited to return for another summer at Camp Ponkiwanee. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and is currently taking classes to earn her Masters Degree in Education. She has spent many summers working at camps and loves working with children in and out of the classroom.

Rebecca will be joined by several other returning staff during summer of 2013. Rebecca can be reached at 617.745.4150 x160 prior to camp and you can email her This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Engaged and caring staff focused on your child's experience at camp.

How do you hire and screen staff?

Each Camp Ponkiwanee senior counselor is at least 19 years of age or older and is assisted by a junior counselor who is 16 or 17. All staff members fill out a thorough application, undergo a thorough interview process, and three references are checked. In addition all staff must have a criminal background and sexual offender check. We look for people with camp experience or experience with children, who are responsible and mature, good listeners, capable of learning, cheerful, outgoing, creative, and with a good sense of humor. Staff participate in an intensive week-long training process, and in-service training happens throughout the summer.

Is Camp Ponkiwanee licensed from the city and/or state?
Yes, in Massachusetts, recreational camps for children must be inspected and licensed by the local board of heath. In order to be licensed, the camp must meet all regulatory standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

If you would like a copy of the state regulations of additional information concerning recreational camps for children, go to the MA Department of Public Health Website.

What is a typical camp day?

7-8:45 am

Early Morning Care Program

9:00 am

All Camp Welcome, Check In, Songs and Announcements

9:30 am

Team building games

10:15 am

Swim Enrichment Lesson

11:00 am


11:45 am


12:15 pm


1:00 pm

Specialty Program

1:45 pm

Specialty Program

2:45 pm

Specialty Program

3:35 pm

All Camp Reflection, Songs, Camper Recognition, and Dismissal

4:00 pm

Camp Ends

4:15 pm

After Care Begins

Our first and last camp days are slightly different to incorporate site, staff and group orientations and celebrations. Each session also features special day events and opportunities for performances.

I work from 8am until 5:00 pm, do you offer extended day programs?
We do! Morning extended day is 7-9 am and afternoon extended day is 4-6 pm. Youth participate in various games, arts & crafts, and self choice activities. Activities choices are driven by campers’ requests and creativity.

Is there transportation to camp?
Yes, we offer regularly offer bus transportation to camp from the following communities: Dorchester, Hingham/Rockland, Jamaica Plain, Quincy and Weymouth. Click here to download bus schedule with times and locations. The weekly fee is $30. If campers attend for the full summer, the $240 fee is waived.

Are there any programs for children older than 11?
Yes, this summer we are offering Ponkiwanee Teens from June 24-July 12 and also from July 29-August 16 for campers ages 12-13. Our senior camp program will feature traditional camp programs along with leadership and team building programs along with a special overnight for teens and field trips. Join us for the full summer by also attending ZooCamp July 15-26 between sessions of Ponkiwanee Teen.

Do you offer scholarships/financial aid?
Yes. Our scholarships, called camperships, are available on a first-come basis. Please see the dates and rates page for more information.

Can my child attend multiple sessions?
Yes. If you desire, your child may attend all sessions of Camp Ponkiwanee. A discount is offered for multiple sessions-$10 off each session after the 1st full priced session.

Can my child attend all summer (8 weeks)?

Yes. There is a deeply discounted full summer rate and we also waive the transportation fee is child attends all summer.

What about lunches and snacks?
Campers are to bring a nourishing lunch, snacks, and water every day. It is important that our campers have the nourishment and water assisting them in their active and hot day. It is the first step in keeping your child safe at camp. Please note refrigeration is limited, so food items that spoil easily should not be included in your child’s lunch. A small insulated lunch bag with a small ice pack will keep lunches cool.

What should campers bring to camp?
Please label all of your child’s clothing and personal effects with a name tag or indelible ink. The following is a list of items to bring to camp.


· Backpack or small duffel bag

· Sunscreen

· Hat

· Light jacket

· Non-perishable lunch and 2 snacks

· Water Bottle

· Swimsuit

· Towel

· Water shoes

· Closed-toed shoes (like sneakers)


· Raincoat and pants

· Change of clothes, including socks

· Boots or other waterproof foot gear

· Plastic bag to hold wet clothes

Camp Open Houses

If you would like to meet our camp director and a few of our summer staff as well as tour the camp site and have your questions answered, please come to one of our open houses. We ask that you This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to our open house in case of weather cancellations.

April 17, Wednesday  3:45-4:30pm  (after school vacation program)

May 4, Saturday  10:30am-12pm

June 8, Saturday  9-10:30am

Site procedures
When driving in to the site at pick up and drop off times, traffic on the access road will be directed and managed by camp staff. The traffic will be well managed by a communication system that should not pose too many restrictions and is intended to keep traffic flowing on the narrow entrance road. Brief delays may occur to allow cars in or out of the site. If driving to the site at other times follow the entrance road to the parking lot and please report to the Camp Office located in the first building to the right of the Needles Lodge. Maps and procedures will be sent to families once registered for our program.

Tell us about Camp Ponkiwanee Day Camp’s partnership with the town of Hanson.

Camp Fire USA Eastern Massachusetts Council is working in collaboration with the Kiwanee Recreation Commission to bring our Camp Ponkiwanee to Camp Kiwanee in a seasonal capacity. We are excited to bring this resource to the town and to have youth once again fill the site each summer. The site features a waterfront on Maquan Pond, a playing field, a volleyball court, numerous cabins, bath houses, a screen house, a pavilion, and trails and wetlands to explore.

What is the History of Camp Kiwanee?

In 1906 Albert Burrage built “The Needles” lodge as a summer home for his family. Shortly after completion a fire destroyed the house, but it was rebuilt in 1908 and remains on the property. Today the house is used for weddings and local performances. In 1922, Burrage sold “The Needles” to the Camp Fire Girls of Greater Boston, who called the camp “The Kiwanis Club of Boston, Camp for Camp Fire Girls.” Camp Kiwanis opened on June 25, 1923 with 250 girls attending from throughout New England. In 1957, the name was changed from Camp Kiwanis to Camp Kiwanee, said to mean “spirit of joy and youth.” It remained a Camp Fire residential camp until 1979 when Camp Fire sold the property to the town of Hanson. The property has become a treasured town resource and we are excited to return to this site by reestablishing a Camp Fire presence on the property through our co-ed day camp.