The following information pertains to Big Blue Summer Day Camps, not our Partner Programs. Please refer to documents and information provided to your family by our partner camps for specific information related to their programs.
Register for Big Blue Summer Day Camp on CampBrain.
What to Pack
What to Wear:
- Play Clothes/Athletic Clothes
- Sneakers/Closed-toe Shoes
Mandatory Pack List:
- Bathing Suit
- Water Bottle
- Change of Clothes
- Pair of tall socks (for hiking)
- Rain gear
- Bug repellent spray/bracelets
- Sweatshirt/long sleeve shirt
Please apply sunscreen before dropping off in the morning. If you would like your camper to reapply sunscreen during the day (and they should!), make sure you pack a labeled bottle/stick in their backpack.
Please DO NOT PACK:
- Money, phones, electronics or other valuables
- Outside food as we are trying to protect many campers with severe food allergies
Food & Allergies
Lunch is included for Big Blue Summer Day Camp campers! Campers are also offered a snack as part of their day camp morning. Please do not pack food for your camper.
Sage Dining Services uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare a hot lunch each day in Pingry’s kitchens. In addition to hot entrees, campers can always find their favorite cold options in the salad and sandwich bar. Vegetarian options are always available.
Counselors eat with their campers to build relationships and encourage nutritious eating. We encourage each camper to find some protein to give them the energy to get through the afternoon, and to try the fresh vegetables and fruit! Younger campers eat family style, with counselors helping to serve the meal. Campers entering Grade 1 and up get to make their own selections from the service line.
Allergies & Dietary Restrictions
Big Blue Day Camp and Sage Dining Service do not prepare or serve any foods or snacks containing tree nuts or peanuts during the summer months. Pingry’s Basking Ridge campus is a nut-sensitive environment.
If your child has other allergies or dietary restrictions, we would be happy to schedule an appointment for you to speak with a representative from Sage about menus and accommodations. For campers with severe or multiple allergies, we may recommend that you send a nut-free packed lunch from home. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Drop Off & Pick Up
Big Blue Summer Day Camp – Athletics Entrance
Drop off at the doors to Bristol Gymnasium between 8:45am and 9:00am. Parking is not required.
Pick up through the open doorway between the gymnasium entrances at 1:00pm – Parking Lot 4
** Note that pick-up procedures have been upgraded for safety. You will be required to identify yourself to designated camp staff each afternoon before collecting your campers. Campers may only be released to adults on the camper’s Approved Pickup list in CampBrain. To make additions or changes to this list, contact the office (908-647-5555 x1217).
Pingry Academic Programs – Middle School Entrance
Drop off and Pick up at the Middle School entrance – Parking Lot 4
Before Care – Athletics Entrance
Drop off through the front entrance as early as 7:30am – Parking Lot 4
After Care – Main Entrance
Pick up through the front entrance under the clock tower as late as 6:00pm – Parking Lot 4
Transitions to Afternoon Camps
Big Blue Summer is pleased to offer many Partner Program options in the afternoons, which, when coupled with a Day Camp morning, create a full day experience for your child. Our staff will escort campers to their afternoon programs and ensure that they are checked in safely to the new location each and every afternoon. If your child attends an afternoon Partner Program, please be sure to check that program’s information page for pickup time, location, and procedures.
Bus transportation is available from the Short Hills Campus to the Basking Ridge Campus.
|Route||Departure Time||$/Week||Departure/Arrival Location|
|Morning Shuttle - Short Hills to Basking Ridge||7:30 a.m. from SH||$70||Departs from Short Hills Front Circle|
|Mid-Day Shuttle - Short Hills to Basking Ridge||12:00 p.m. from SH||$70||Departs from Short Hills Front Circle|
|Mid-Day Shuttle - Basking Ridge to Short Hills||1:00 p.m. from BR||$70||Arrives at Short Hills Front Circle|
|Afternoon Shuttle - Basking Ridge to Short Hills||4:30 p.m. from BR||$70||Arrives at Short Hills Front Circle|
|Round Trip Shuttle from Short Hills||7:30 a.m. from SH, then 4:30 p.m. from BR||$140||Departs from and Arrives at Short Hills Front Circle|
Do not send any medications to camp without first notifying the camp office. Only emergency medications (auto-injector, inhaler, etc.) will be permitted. Any medications needed at camp should be labeled and turned in to staff for safekeeping. Emergency medications will remain with your child’s counselor and follow your child throughout their day.
If your child is ill, please call us at 908-647-5555 ext 1217 to let us know. Do not send your child to camp if:
- Your child has a fever over 100 degrees (your child may return to camp after 24 hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication).
- Your child is vomiting or has diarrhea (your child may return to camp 24 hours after the last episode).
- Your child has as a severe sore throat, earache, pink eye, or rash (your child may return when symptoms have cleared OR with a doctor’s note – if doctor’s note specifies 24 hours on medication first, your child will not be re-admitted before 24 hours).
- You suspect your child may have a contagious illness.
- Your child would not be up to participating in camp activities. Keep in mind that campers spend much of their day outdoors in the sun, active and busy. Sometimes rest is best, and the best place to rest is at home.
If your child falls ill during the camp day we will contact you, followed by your emergency contacts if necessary, to request that you pick up your child from the camp office.
Please log into your CampBrain account and complete the medical form. This form does not require a doctor’s signature, but you will need to input your child’s vaccination and medical history, so we recommend having those records at hand.
Each group of campers travels with two counselors throughout the day, typically one college student and one high school student. Younger staff travel with groups as a third set of hands. Counselors are selected for their reliability, leadership, and ability to connect with children in their age group. All staff receive training in health and safety, camper management, providing social/emotional guidance, and activity leadership prior to the start of camp. Ongoing training occurs informally throughout the day and formally each afternoon.
- Minis (ages 3-4) Counselor Ratio – 10:2
- Kinder (kindergarten) Counselor Ratio – 12:2
- Junior (grades 1-2) Counselor Ratio – 14:2
- Intermediate (grades 3-4) Counselor Ratio – 14:2
- Senior (grades 5-6) Counselor Ratio – 16:2
- LIT (grades 7-8) Counselor Ratio – 18:2
In addition to group counselors, a number of senior staff members will interact with your child throughout the day:
Activities are designed and led by staff members in college and beyond who have a passion for their activity area that translates easily to their work with campers. These artists, athletes, explorers, and teachers ignite the curiosity that campers need to discover new passions of their own, or to build skills in an area of interest.
Each Counselor reports to a Division Leader who oversees activities throughout the summer, assists with camper behavior management, and conducts ongoing training. These staff members are experienced teachers and college students in education programs working as a team to ensure that Big Blue Summer offers the highest quality camp experience. They are dedicated to weaving our Honor C.O.D.E. values throughout our summer programming.
During swim lessons, campers work in a small, ability-level group with a dedicated swim instructor with a maximum ratio of 6:1 for advanced swimmers. Beginning swimmers typically work 2:1 or 5:2, and beginning Minis swimmers receive 1:1 assistance until they are comfortable in the water! Additional Life Guards and Counselors supervise the pool deck to provide the safest possible environment. The pool is overseen by the Aquatics Director or Assistant Aquatics Director at all times. All pool staff hold a Life Guard certification and receive specialized training prior to working with swimmers. Counselors provide supervision during changing times in the locker rooms.