Welcome to Ghostlight 

We are thrilled that your camper will join us for the summer of 2023!

Enclosed you will find important information that will orient you and your camper to camp and help prepare you for this summer at Ghostlight. Our goal is for your child to spend their summer expressing their individuality and to have an incredible experience making theater,  lifelong friends, and memories in Maine. Our leadership team is always available to give your camper the attention and care they need. Our cabin counselors and artistic staff are top-notch and help us ensure a fun, safe camp experience.

We need your support to make this summer the best one possible. We believe that families play an integral role in the success of their child’s camp experience. As camp owners and directors, we are partners and available to speak with you anytime. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns.

We’re counting the days until our community is again together in Maine.

Best,

Signature

Lesley Levy & Chris Murrah

 

Summer Contact Information

Main Office - (207) 358-0641

Lesley Levy - (207) 841-7660; lesley@ghostlighttheatercamp.com

Chris Murrah - (917) 450-7216; chris@ghostlighttheatercamp.com

Address: 7 Camp Eastwood Cir., Oakland, ME 04963

Our Values

The Ghostlight is one of the oldest theatrical traditions. When the cast, crew, and audience have all left, the Ghostlight stands center stage, shining into the theater\'s darkness to keep it energized before the next show, keeping the spirit of the theater alive. Since our inception in 2003, our camp has held firmly to the four core values that drive everything we do: Joy, Creativity, Gratitude, and Community. 

We reflect on these core values daily at mealtimes, during classes and rehearsals, and in our cabins. Whether during a silent reflection, a game of Gotcha!, or an end-of-the-day Power Down, we return to the Ghostlights to frame our time together at camp. Our sincere hope is that by practicing these values, campers may return home filled with inspiration and confidence, ready to share the practice with family and friends in all they do.

Your Family Dashboard

Your CampSite Family Dashboard is your one-stop-shop for everything from forms to your contact information. 

To access your Family Dashboard, visit: http://ghostlight.campmanagement.com/campers

Take a moment before and after each summer to ensure all your information is current, including your camper’s school information and email address. We love to include campers in newsletters, birthday and holiday greetings, and other fun information, but we will never email your camper directly regarding enrollment, financials, or other privileged topics.

General Camp Information

Cabin Placements

Campers are grouped according to their age range and stated gender identity. We respect and honor all camper and staff member gender expressions. When assigning campers to cabins, we consider both the well-being of your camper and the entire camp community. We cannot guarantee that cabin requests will be honored and ask that you not make cabin placement promises to your child that camp may be unable to fulfill.

Auditions and Casting

Our community-minded and ensemble-based philosophy is reflected in how we approach auditions and casting at camp. Our audition process is full of support and encouragement. When the cast lists are posted, we often see campers who are as proud of their cabinmates as they are of their accomplishments. We will also send families the cast lists and the Festival Day schedule by email.

Show Selection

We are very intentional about the shows we select for our summer season. We prioritize finding shows that allow each camper to be an active member of their cast and that tell stories that align with our core values and reflect our camp community. Occasionally, we choose to include shows with mature content. After we announce our festivals’ shows, we ask families to familiarize themselves with show titles and contact us with any questions or concerns about their child’s casting before the start of the session. In the days before each Festival, we will communicate more details about any shows with mature content so you can decide about the show\'s appropriateness for any younger siblings in your family.

Tipping

Staff gratuities are not permitted. If you wish to acknowledge a staff member, we invite you to write a thank you note and share with them how their summer has impacted your camper. We also welcome donations to our scholarship fund as a way to honor staff members. We will be certain to share your recognition with those staff members.

Laundry and Baggage

Please be aware that clothing can get stained, muddy, and lost at camp. Please do not bring items that cannot be replaced if lost, stained, or damaged. Clothing, shoes, jackets, and all other items should be legibly labeled with your camper’s name.

Campers should bring clothes for rehearsal, such as sweats, warm-up or dance pants, and any dance or show shoes they have. Rehearsal clothing should not restrict movement. Please also pack at least one pair of closed-toe shoes for rehearsal and tech work.

Although it can be pretty hot during the day, it usually cools significantly in the evenings. On our hottest days, daytime temperatures can reach the 90s, and on our coldest nights, temperatures dip into the 50s—pack options for layering and rainy days.

Each camper is required to bring three items that can be ordered from Amerasport:

  • 2 Ghostlight clothing items (1 t-shirt of your choice and 1 sweatshirt/longsleeve shirt of your choice)

  • 1 Ghostlight Laundry Bag - Laundry is done by Ghostlight and this bag is essential in helping make sure every camper\'s laundry is returned to them.

    Please do not overpack, as there’s only so much shelf and cubby space in each cabin. We provide laundry twice each session and once during Intersession (for full-session campers). Please pack one week’s worth of clothing, plus some extra socks and underwear.

Packing

We recommend packing in one or two large duffle bags, but suitcases or trunks are also acceptable. Whatever the type of luggage, please make sure it is clearly marked with your camper’s first and last name. Many campers travel with their bags (under our charter bus, or as checked luggage when traveling by plane), however, you are also welcome to ship bags or items directly to camp before your camper’s arrival. Please coordinate all shipping arrangements with Lesley Levy (lesley@ghostlighttheatercamp.com).

Performance Festival Information

Our Performance Festival is the last full day of each session. You will receive an email with cast lists along with the order and time of our shows on the fourth day of camp.

Campers are required to see all the shows and most families also enjoy seeing all of our shows. Most families spend the night in an area hotel or bring tents and camp on our property. Following the last show, we have a closing ceremony and cast party (for campers and staff only). Campers remain in camp after the cast party for one final night in their cabins.

Spending Money

Campers do not need to bring spending money with them to camp. As part of tuition, each family pays a Trips and Activities Fee that covers incidental expenses, camp store purchases, and spending money when away from camp. 

 

Arrival and Departure

Arrival

  • Camp Provided Transportation
    • First Session campers often arrive on our chartered bus or vans from New Jersey (Newark), New York (NYC), or Massachusetts (Worcester). Pick-up times and locations will be confirme d before departure day via email.
  • Air Travel*
    • For First or Second Session campers arriving by plane, the preferred arrival times are:
      • Portland Jetport (PWM) - between Noon and 4:00 p.m.
      • Boston Logan Airport (BOS) - between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Family Drop Off
    • For campers arriving by car, you will be assigned a particular drop-off time slot (between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. for First Session; between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for Second Session). Please get in touch with Lesley Levy by June 1st if your travel needs require a specific time slot within those hours.

*Note: The preferred airport for arrival and departure is PWM. Transportation from or to Boston Logan Airport costs $200 each way.

 

Departure

Departure is on Sunday following the Festival Day of each session, between 10 am and 11:30 am. Ghostlight does not provide transportation home for campers (campers generally travel home with their families). Let us know if you need assistance planning for travel home.

 

Important Dates for 2023

Session Arrival
Date
Festival
Date
Departure
Date
Session 1 June 24th July 15th July 16th
Session 2 July 17th August 5th August 6th
Emerging Artists July 17th July 26th July 27th

Expectations and Agreements

General Expectations

The safety of our campers is our primary consideration. Our staff and counselors are trained to promote a healthy and safe camp environment. We ask that you review and reinforce the following rules and expectations with your child before they arrive at camp.

Behavioral Expectations

Ghostlight does not permit violence, alcohol, drugs, or leaving the boundaries of camp without supervision. Campers who violate these policies may be dismissed from camp without refund.

Every person at camp (and everyone with whom we interact while attending camp) is to be treated with respect at all times. Behavior such as theft (of camp property or personal property brought to camp, including borrowing items from others without permission), bullying (including cyber-bullying), aggressive profanity, disrespect, bigotry, homophobic or transphobic comments, inappropriate uses of electronic devices (before or after camp), or any other unsafe conduct will not be tolerated.

Families and campers must sign the Camper Responsibility Code, found in the Family Dashboard.

Technology

Campers cannot have cellular or WiFi-enabled devices, including cellphones, tablets, or smartwatches. Any cellular or WiFi devices brought to camp will be stored in the office and returned at the end of camp. Each summer, we strive to help our campers make lifelong, authentic friends with peers and adults, appreciate nature, grow and extend the boundaries of their comfort zones.

Campers may not use an old phone as a music player or camera. Campers who travel to camp unaccompanied may travel with their phones and then store them in the office upon arrival at camp however, cell phones will NOT be permitted on our chartered bus/van transportation.

Other Items Not Allowed at Camp

Campers are prohibited from possessing or using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs at camp. Campers may not bring weapons (including pocket knives). Camp staff reserves the right to confiscate any object from your child believed to be inappropriate for the camp setting, or potentially harmful to others.

Please do not bring valuables to camp. Ghostlight’s insurance policy does not cover camper personal property and valuables, and we strongly recommend that items of value be left at home.

Summer Communication

Phone Calls

Camp is an investment in your camper’s growth. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to disconnect from their usual routine and settle into a different kind of rhythm. We encourage communication via letters to and from home while your camper is at camp. Don’t forget to pack stationery, envelopes, and stamps!

Allowing your camper to be fully present at Ghostlight without thinking about phone calls
from home supports our goals of encouraging and strengthening each camper’s confidence, independence, and self-expression. Campers develop invaluable social and emotional skills from navigating camp without the distraction and interruption of phone calls home. Camp directors are available to speak with you as often as you need. Should you need to speak with your camper, please reach out to Lesley or Chris to discuss alternatives.

Mail

Campers LOVE receiving mail! We encourage letters and care packages with magazines, games, and fun toys or activities (particularly ones that can be shared with friends at camp!) We do NOT allow food of any sort, or for any reason. We have an excellent dining staff and work hard to provide the most top-quality food we can for our campers. Any food sent to camp will, unfortunately, be disposed of.

💌 Campers Love Getting Mail

Your Camper’s Name - Cabin
Ghostlight Theater Camp
7 Camp Eastwood Cir.
Oakland, ME 04963

Communication from Camp

In any medical emergency, our medical staff or a director will call a parent/guardian (or emergency contact if necessary) and indicate that the call is an emergency. There are two hospitals in nearby Waterville, so we are not far from emergency medical attention. In non-emergency medical situations, our philosophy is “when in doubt, we’ll call home.”

Small interpersonal and behavioral issues sometimes arise, as does homesickness. These tend to work themselves out under the supervision and support of our counselors and directors. However, we find that most families appreciate an update if something like this comes up. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

While campers will not have internet access, we like to keep families updated on our activities during camp. You will receive a daily email from Chris or Lesley each morning of camp and we will also post a daily slideshow of pictures.

Emails

Families and friends have the option of writing emails through their Family Dashboard.  Please note, while the office does not make a habit of reading camper emails, it should be emphasized that emails sent to campers during camp are not private.

Families can choose to allow friends and relatives to email their camper using this same system through their Family Dashboard. For information on how to allow family and friends to email your camper, download this How To.

 

 

Health Care and Medical Info

Camp Health Center

Ghostlight maintains a centrally located, well-equipped health center. Two registered nurses work at camp, one of whom is always on site and on-duty (24 hours a day). There are two hospitals in nearby Waterville and a number of Urgent Care centers. It is our policy to contact a camper’s family if an overnight stay in the health center, a trip to Urgent Care, or a trip to the hospital occurs. A camp staff member will always accompany a camper to Urgent Care or the hospital. Based on the insurance information provided on the Health Form and Insurance Card, insurance may be filed by the Health Care provider or billed directly to you.

Communicable Diseases and Head Lice

Ghostlight requires all campers and staff members to be vaccinated for Measles and COVID-19. No child who has been exposed to communicable disease may attend camp before the period of incubation has elapsed. Please be sure to inspect your child for head lice three weeks
prior to arrival at camp and again immediately before camp begins. Please note, you will be charged $150 if your child has to be treated for nits or head lice upon their arrival at camp.

Please notify Lesley (lesley@ghostlighttheatercamp.com) if you have treated your child for lice within the month prior to camp. This information will be kept confidential, but allows us to discreetly recheck your child and avoid further lice issues!

Medical Insurance

Medical care provided by any of the camp nurses is included in your camp tuition. Should it be necessary for the well being of your camper to use outside medical care, the family will pay for all expenses involved. The medical provider will bill your insurance directly and will mail you an invoice for any expenses that are not covered by your insurance.

Camper Medical Information

At Ghostlight Theater Camp, our number one concern is the health and well-being of your camper and our entire camp community. You will be required to complete a Health History form. It is your responsibility as families and caregivers to disclose any emotional, physical, psychological, or medical information about your child to allow for their best camp experience.

Full disclosure is required before each camper arrives at camp. Please be proactive on any clear issues or past behavior from previous years at camp or school. Failure to provide complete and full disclosure of all medical history, past and present, may result in dismissal from camp.

Prescription Medications

Ghostlight has partnered with Pack My Rx for all camper medications. This is the safest and most efficient way for our Health Center to support your camper while at camp. Pack My Rx packages each camper’s medication(s) in a strip of individual pouches labeled with the camper’s name, medication(s), date, and time of day to be given. They will ship all medications directly to camp prior to arrival day and again before refills are needed (for full session campers).

If your camper will take medication at camp, please register for Pack My Rx at your earliest convenience and download our Pack My Rx Information.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

If your camper takes a daily OTC, vitamin, or supplement, you must register with and use the Pack My Rx medication service. If your camper takes occasional or as-needed (PRN) Over-the-Counter medications, please contact Lesley Levy to find out if we stock that medication at the Health Center or if you will need to provide it for your camper. All medications (except EpiPens and rescue inhalers) will be stored at the Health Center and administered by our nurses.

Medical Specialists, Dentists, and Orthodontist Information

If your child must see a medical specialist, dentist, or orthodontist while at camp, it is your responsibility to schedule these appointments. We are happy to provide you with a list of local providers but ask that you please coordinate these appointments with Lesley so your camper’s camp schedule is least disrupted.

Preventing Tick-borne Illnesses

Tick-born illnesses are a reality of life in New England. Ticks can carry disease (the most concerning of which is Lyme disease) and can be difficult to see, so it’s important to talk about them with your child before camp and review some simple, basic ways to keep ticks and Lyme disease in check.

While camp and families do their best to prevent tick bites, it is also important to know the symptoms of Lyme disease and take your child to a doctor right away if you suspect your child may have had a tick bite. Symptoms of Lyme disease include muscle aches, fever, headaches, rash (sometimes ring-shaped), and fatigue.

Success at Camp

Before camp:

  • Discuss what camp will be like before your child leaves home.
  • Review the Ghostlight website together.
  • Show confidence that they will do well on their own.
  • Expect them to love camp!
  • Discuss the value of completing what they begin.
  • Tell your camper you’ll be thinking of them having fun.
  • Give lots of hugs.
  • Remember to take comfort in the fact that you can’t always make their world perfect.

Prepare your camper for:

  • Wildlife noises - frogs, birds, chickens, mosquitos, etc.
  • How to write a letter (we suggest sending pre-addressed envelopes to mail letters home).
  • Our technology policy - practice enjoying some reduced screen time at home to prepare for camp.
  • Friendship-making skills like listening and asking questions.
  • Cabin Inspection - including bed making, sweeping/using a dustpan, cleaning the bathroom, hanging wet towels on a clothesline, putting dirty clothes in a laundry bag, etc.

Role-play different scenarios:

  • How do you like to introduce yourself?
  • What if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night?
  • What will you do if you’re not feeling well one day?

Other Ideas:

  • Pack your child’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket (they are never too old to bring a stuffed animal to camp with them)!
  • Send your child with a few photos of your family (including pets) so that your child will have a reminder of home.
  • Send a letter to your child before camp begins so it is waiting for them upon arrival at camp.
  • Acknowledge their pre-camp feelings - such as feeling anxious, apprehensive, nervous and excited. These are all very common feelings, reassure them that most campers are feeling the same way (even those who have been to camp before)!
  • Give your child a cheery send-off. Goodbyes are the hardest (for parents particularly). It certainly gets easier in the future, when your child returns to their summer home.

Things to avoid:

  • Promising to pick them up early if they are unhappy or homesick. We consider this the most crucial rule when preparing your child for camp.
  • Discussing your own fears or your own bad experiences at camp.
  • Cueing negative responses, i.e., “I’ll be lonely without you.”
  • Letting your child overhear plans you have made with family and friends while your child is at camp.

Homesickness

Homesickness is, above all, a normal feeling. It is the natural result of separating from home and loved ones. In a recent study, nearly 96 percent of all campers who were spending two weeks or more at overnight camp reported some homesickness on at least one day. Almost all children (and grown-ups!) feel homesick when they’re away from home. People’s feelings simply vary in intensity.

What causes homesickness?

There are several factors that put children at greater risk for becoming homesick. For example, children with little previous experience away from home, children who have low expectations of camp, children who feel forced to go to camp, children who are unsure whether adults will help them if they need help, children who have little practice coping with negative emotions, and children whose families express a lot of anxiety are most likely to feel homesick.

When is it a problem?

Most feelings of homesickness are not problematic. In fact, missing home isn’t a problem until it becomes a preoccupation. When the feelings of sadness and anxiety associated with missing home become so strong that making friends, having fun, sleeping, eating, and participating in activities is difficult, something must be done.

What can be done?

It used to be thought that feelings of missing home disappeared spontaneously after a few days at camp. Although this is true for some cases of mild homesickness, research has demonstrated that, if left unchecked, homesickness can intensify over time. Ghostlight trains our staff rigorously and much focus is placed on techniques for helping campers move through periods of homesickness.

If homesickness (or other adjustment problems) do occur while your child is at camp:

  • Do NOT tell your child you will pick them up from camp. Children typically lose any and all motivation to try to succeed at camp if they think a parent is coming. Part of camp is learning how to work through different situations that may not always be easy. What may seem like a difficult situation one day is usually replaced with a fun-filled, busy, and exciting next day at camp. Please know that some of the most homesick campers at the beginning of camp are the same campers who do not want to leave camp and end up returning for many years.
  • Talk candidly with a camp director to obtain their perception of your child’s adjustment.
  • In your letters or emails, acknowledge your child’s feelings and communicate your love, while expressing your confidence in their ability to cope. Also convey your support of your child’s efforts to work out the problems with the help of the camp staff.