The Essence of Camp In Photographs

Each summer provides us with opportunities to capture the real essence of camp via photographs. Having been in operation for 36 summers, we often peek back at some of our earlier photos to see what the camp and our campers looked like.  Many of these campers are now treasured staff members and it is fun to see how much they have grown and matured.  We are also now beginning to see the next generation of campers or children of our previous campers!

I was recently asked if I could find a photo of a staff member when she was a young camper. When I began looking back through the hundreds of digital photos I have on file by years, it was then I realized it has only been 10 years since we have relied so heavily on digital rather than film cameras.  That means most of our campers do not even know what 35mm“film” cameras were!

With film you seemed to be more selective in what you photographed because you only had 36 chances to get it right, unless you had another roll of film handy. Today you can shoot endlessly, and plan to keep only a few perfect shots.  Even then, there are photo editing capabilities right on your camera or phone that can make pretty much any picture worth saving.

With this advent in electronics we have made our photographs of your children readily available to view and purchase. Through our online service called Smugmug you can sort through your child’s session and choose that perfect photo that captured his/her summer experience.  Be it the cross-country jump trail or a cannonball off the diving board, we have tried to capture the essence of camp so you can see for yourself how much enjoyment the children experience here at Pompositticut.

See all the excitement at: https://pompositticutfarm.smugmug.com/

Any ideas who these two cuties grew up to be????

Hint:  Project Soar & Swimming!

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Summer Campers Continue with Autumn Excitement at PFDC!

We are officially into the fall season as of September 22. The date alone, coupled with the sudden change in temperatures both during the day and night, certainly reminds us of this.  I for one really love the fall and all it brings with it.  Living in New England you cannot help be rewarded with all that encompasses an autumn day:  apple picking, corn husk decorations, pumpkin everything, harvest fairs, colorful leaves. . . and even horseback riding.

Our camp equestrians were eager to start right up with their fall riding lessons soon after camp concluded. Parents were sending emails during camp so they would not miss enrolling their child in our sought after lessons. As a result September began with one of our largest group of equestrians ever!  So many were excited to get back in the saddle and continue with all the progress they had made during the summer and have committed themselves to riding right up until Thanksgiving.  Indeed, with the exception of just a few, the majority of these excited riders were part of our camp programs including the Day Camp as well as our specialty programs, Short Stirrup and Heels Down.  They also had been part of our Spring Riding Lesson Program so these participants have truly committed themselves to the sport and all it has to offer.  Some are as young as 5 years old and already have an interest in pursuing this technically challenging sport.

What a testament to our instructors who worked so diligently throughout the hot summer days to instill in these young people the love of everything equestrian. Both Allison and Nikki who headed up Short Stirrup this summer, are teaching these fall lessons along with a couple more recruits who assist in making sure everything runs smoothly and on schedule.  They should both be complimented on their own accomplishments of obtaining their MA riding instructors’ licenses!  Allison, who obtained hers a couple years ago and now Nikki who more recently passed her technical written exam with just one error.  This, along with Nikki’s degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare and Allison’s master’s degree which she utilizes as an elementary school teacher, make for a talented duo of instructors.

Did we comment on how we also have a few adults/parents who are back in the saddle? We won’t mention any names, but these brave riders have put their all into relearning past skills.  Although a couple have admitted to being sore after their first couple lessons, each are always smiling and seem to enjoy using this special time just for themselves.  It will be interesting to see if they all will be willing to participate in the Fall Fun Day on October 16th where they can display their skills along with our other younger riding enrollees here at Pompositticut Farm. Who said fun is wasted on the young?!

Summer Camp is a Tax Deduction

As a parent you may not be thinking about your taxes during the summer months. You might be thinking about your much needed vacation or how you are going to keep the kids occupied for the summer. Here is a solution that your kids will love and so will your bank account when the tax bill arrives. Summer Camp!

How is this possible you may ask? Some summer camps specifically day camps such as Pompositticut Farm Day Camp can be used as a tax deductible by qualifying for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. According to TurboTax, “Under the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you may receive a credit up to $1,050 of your expenses for one child under 13 and up to $2,100 for two or more children under 13 and there is no age limit if they are disabled.  There is one catch though.  Overnight camps do not count.

There are a few qualifications necessary in order for you to save with the Child and Dependent Care Credit as follows:

The care must be provided for a qualifying person who is your dependent under the age of 13  when care was provided.  Note: Care may also be provided for your spouse or certain other dependents who are physically and mentally incapable of self-care.

Your child or qualifying person must be in summer camp or daycare so that you can work or look for work.

Your tax filing status must be single, married filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with your dependent listed on your tax return.

The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year in question.

The care provider must be identified on your tax return and cannot be your spouse, the parent of your qualifying person, or your dependent child under the age of 19 by the end of the tax year.

Hopefully this helps to be thinking forward to plans for next summer or using summer camp this year to help with those pesky taxes. Pompositticut Farm Day Camp is happy to provide any of the information you require to complete the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your taxes.

 

 

When Should You Apply?

February is that twixs and between month.  It’s the time of year when we are teased by the weather into thinking spring is just around the corner.  Certainly with the drastic temperature changes we just experienced from -15 degrees to 54 degrees proves this fact.  Despite these fluctuations, we are lured into hoping that it will be a short winter and summer also is not far away.  It is these reminders that should encourage you to begin thinking about applying for summer positions.

Those of you who will be needing summer employment, NOW is the time to start filling out applications.  Because Pompositticut operates under the guidelines of the local and state regulations, proper applications and affiliated forms are required to initiate the job process.  These forms are currently available on this website and should be filled out entirely before consideration can be given to an applicant.  You may include a resume, but the full job application and references must be included. 

In the past, the March college break has been the perfect time to arrange for a personal interview.  Both returning and new staff should take advantage of this time frame to communicate with the camp office about arranging appointments.  You don’t have to wait until March though, as we are available to speak with you as soon as you contact us. The whole process begins and ends with you. Decisions on summer staffing are often on a first-come, first-served basis, so time is of the essence in applying for a specific position.  You can never be too early to think about and plan for your future!

As you can see here, Gaby will be enjoying another summer with her fellow staff and campers at Pompositticut.  As one of our international staff she was required to return through a global recruitment agency. These applicants complete similar paperwork requirements and go through the process of a personal interview by the agency as well as by the hiring camp.  With the advent of Skype and FaceTime interviewing is more efficient than just a phone call. The camp’s preference is an in-person interview at the UK camp recruitment fairs which are arranged for this specific reason:  to meet applicants and see from both perspectives if it’s a good fit.

So whether you are from the US, the UK, or anywhere in the world the requirements for summer employment are the same:  mandatory paperwork and an interview.  From there, it’s up to you.  If you are that exceptional individual looking to share your summer with children, we want that smile and laughter here at POMPOSITTICUT!

Gaby Richardson 2016

Safety is Our Camp’s Priority

Pompositticut Farm Day Camp is proud to boast we have once again earned the prestigious Safety 1st designation from Markel Insurance.  For over 15 consecutive years we have been honored with this recognition and are the longest continual recipient of the Safety 1st Award in the United States!

According to Michael Swain, Senior Management for  Markel Corp of Glen Allen, Virginia, states that in order to receive this award, “Camps and clubs must meet stringent criteria to qualify for the Safety 1st designation. They must have a proven safety record, undergo formal assessments and inspections, and participate in continuing education and certification programs. These facilities deserve to be recognized for keeping safety a top priority.” 

Despite the repeated years as an honoree, PFCD Continues to strive for excellence in all areas of scrutiny and does not Take the honor for granted and accepts the this honor as affirmation of our staffs hard work and continued dedication to their job.  We continue to make camp safety our top priority, ultimately making Pompositticut a special place for all to explore, learn and flourish within a dependable environment!

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What if I had Won Powerball?

Recently Powerball was in the news due to the extraordinary amount of money a few lucky winners finally won.  A BILLION dollars was at stake and it certainly got people thinking about what they would do with the money.  I know I gave it consideration, despite the fact I only purchased one ticket on the first go-around.

My thoughts first went to how it would change my life and relationships with friends and family. Then, after the initial dreams of how many luxury items I could afford, my thoughts went to how I could actually spend that money to better mankind.  Although it seemed a stretch, would there be a way I could bail out a desperately poor town whose budget needed balancing?  How about just building a group of houses in an area ravaged by tornadoes or floods?  What about anonymously paying off patients’ medical bills in a hospital? There are so many ways that money could be put to good use with numerous people benefitting instead of just one lucky winner.

Altruism is not something we think about in our everyday lives nor are most of us in the position to afford extreme amounts of charity.  Although it seems we all lead busy lives, we could afford to give more of our time.  Indeed, even the top Ivy League universities are demanding more of their applicants.  Not only is it imperative these perspective college students be in the top percentile of their classes but also that they are well-rounded individuals.  Intellect, athleticism and talent certainly might get their foot in the door, but more and more colleges are asking what a student has contributed to society as a factor in determining who is accepted.  Have they volunteered or donated their time and effort to a charitable cause?  Have they put their egos aside to help those less fortunate or in need of comfort? Have they proven they have the potential of being not only a doctor, or scientist but a caring, empathetic citizen? It’s something we all could take a look at inwardly and consider whether we are all doing our very best. 

Here at Pompositticut the opportunity to give back and help others in need was created several years ago. With the passing of Jackie’s Mom in 2012, the founder/director became personally aware of the hardships and challenges cancer patients face when undergoing chemotherapy. As a result Jackie established a scholarship program entitled “Serving More Kids” or SMK, with the ultimate goal of providing a wholesome camp experience for children whose custodial caregiver will be undergoing cancer treatment during the summer months.  This is basically the only criteria required to apply and we encourage anyone who may know of a friend or family member going through this process to do so.  Applications for these annual scholarships are available on the camp’s website

It may not be a billion dollars, but if we all contributed in some small way it would eventually add up.  Who knows, it may even feel like a billion dollars to the person on the receiving end! 

                                                                                                       Carlene

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A Special Place

image1Those of you who have been to Pompositticut Farm know what a beautiful property it is.  The wooded trails, yellow hay fields, and meandering stream are home to many animals.  Red tail hawks, wood ducks, wild turkeys, whitetail deer and even few discrete coyotes enjoy the abundance of food sources around the farm.

It is the domestic animals that are the luckiest though as they reside on what the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation deems Pompositticut Farm as a 2015 Horse Farm of Distinction!  Our horses, (as well as a few chickens and two goats), reside year round on the property and are housed in facilities that have been judged by the Farm Bureau to be “the cream of the crop”.  MFBF President, Dr. A.Richard Bonanno added, “These farms present to the public a safe and professional image.  They truly show-case the horse industry in Massachusetts for the public.”

Each farm or stable nominated for this prestigious award is evaluated in the areas of Horse Health Management, Farm Management and Compliance with Regulatory Requirements and must meet the highest of standards of excellence.

Scoring for the overall horse health represented half of the points accumulated in making this distinction and included is the appearance of the animals together with evidence of a sound equine health program.

Farm management areas considered were numerous.  The judges evaluated neatness, ventilation, cleanliness and safety of buildings, land and equipment.  Safety, first-aid and protection programs were scored as well as pest control and adequate horse care provisions both indoors and outdoors.

Farms are also judged on evidence of good farm/community relations as well as compliance with state and local operating and instructing licenses.  Given the stringent review of all these practices, not all farms that apply, actually receive this prestigious designation. 

Pompositticut is and will continue to be one of those influential and respected farms known as the landlord of this area’s most admired camps, who for 36 years has strived to maintain the highest of standards for all who have had the opportunity to be part of the many programs offered throughout the year. What a great place to call home!

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