Who operates the camp and what is their background?
Pine Forest Camp has been owned and operated by the same family since 1931, making it one of America's oldest camps under continuous family ownership. The original founders were Hughie and Selma Black.
Today, Hughie's grandson, Mickey Black, and his wife Barbara run the camp. Mickey grew up at Pine Forest and served as a counselor for many summers. Mickey has held several leadership roles in organized camping, including President of the Association of Independent Camps and has also served on the National Board of the American Camping Association. Barbara was an elementary school teacher prior to becoming a full-time camp director.
The camp's success is a direct result of the leadership of prior generations; Marvin and Annette Black, Hughie and Selma's son and daughter-in-law, and Libby and Ted Halpern, their daughter and son-in-law. All were active in camping at the local and national level and were highly accomplished camping professionals and mentors. They have guided Pine Forest's progress over the years and their values and ethics continue to be its touchstone.
How many campers attend?
There are about 400 campers, evenly divided up between boys and girls. Divisions are broken down every two grades, and each has about 50 children.
What is the staff/child ratio?
Overall, there is 1 staff member for every 2 children. Each cabin sleeps 3 counselors and 10-12 children.
Is it possible to stay for less than the full season?
95% of the children stay for the full season which lasts 7 weeks. It goes by fast. However, there may be exceptions on a limited basis in certain age groups for half season. Also, half season is offered to our international campers. In addition, if you're looking for a great half or 6-week season, check out our brother and sister camps, Lake Owego and Timber Tops, located just one mile away.
How old are the counselors? Where do they come from?
A camp is only as good as its counselors, so we make sure we hire only the best. Most staff members are child development professionals or students that we personally recruit from colleges and universities from across the country. The average age of our counselors is 20-21 years and about 90% come from the United States. The rest come from England, Scotland and other English-speaking countries.
What is the food like?
Our food selection accommodates even the pickiest eaters. Eating healthy and supplying the proper nutrition is imperative, especially when campers exercise daily. So, we provide a menu with food that tastes good and is good for them! Included with all their favorites is an impressive salad bar and a variety of vegetarian options available at every meal. Our kitchen can also provide meals for campers with special dietary needs.
How often is laundry done?
Laundry is picked up once a week by an outside professional laundry service. Therefore, we recommend that campers pack about ten days worth of clothing.
Is there a doctor or nurse in residence?
Doctors and nurses are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have one doctor and four nurses who live at the camp and work in our new, modern health center.
What should my camper bring?
Here’s our official packing list!