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Our aquatics staff hold current Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certifications.

Daily Swimming

Campers must participate in water activities to learn water safety and develop stamina/skills. Also, this essential activity helps with the camper’s overall health as the water cools them down in the hot summer temperatures.  Camp-To-Come-To and Free-To-Be campers are provided with a combination of general instruction and recreational free swim times throughout the week.  On their first day of each session, these campers will be given a swim test.  This procedure allows us to place campers into a swimming group appropriate to their abilities.  The pond is scheduled for Free-to-Be and Camp To-Come-To every day also.  Busy Bees enjoy the splash pool on a daily basis and the 25 yard pool weekly.  Teen Camp is scheduled to enjoy recreational swim or water polo daily.

Dock Test

A dock test must be passed at the beach in order to swim out to the dock, roughly in the center of the pond.  In order to pass the dock test, campers need to be able to swim out to the dock in the deep water area (8 feet deep), tread water for two minutes without holding onto a lifeguard and swim back to the shallow end.    If a child does not pass the dock test, they are welcome to try again.  Campers that pass the dock test will wear a bracelet to be easily identified.

Buddy Checks

Swim “buddy checks” are conducted every 7 minutes to be sure all swimmers are accounted for. An air horn will sound in the event of a camper not accounted for at the swimming area or vicinity.  The land and water will be searched until the child is located.  All emergency procedures will go into effect with coordination of the Camp and Aquatic Staff.  Camp Gordyland practices these drills during camp hours.  They are better known as “Pond Drills”.

Camp Group Ratios and Training:
To ensure the safety of your child, our staff are required to attend 13 hours of training in Child Abuse Prevention, Camper Behavior Management, Water Front Safety Procedures, Positive Discipline, Inclusion, Risk Prevention and more. First Aid, Ropes, Archery, and Canoeing Staff has further specialized training.
Camp Gordyland maintains a lower maximum amount of campers per group than mandated by the State of Connecticut. Camp Gordyland has a counselor to camper ratio that ranges from 1:6 to 2:14.
**See the bottom of the webpage for a sample of our Employee Code of Conduct and Staff Job Performance Evaluation (Camp Forms & Information).

Medication Policy & Forms:
All medications, including inhalers, must be given to the Camp First Aider for approval either before or on the campers first day of camp. Medications cannot remain with a child at camp; they will be kept in the Camp Office in a locked box. If your camper needs to take medication, either over the counter or prescription, during the camp day, our camp First Aid Staff can dispense medication if the following requirements are met.

1.The medication is in its original, sealed bottle/box with the campers name printed on the prescription.

2. A physician has filled out and signed the Authorization for the Administration of Medications Form and it is on file in the camp office. Forms are available on the website or in the lobby.

3. The medication has not expired.

4. Any remaining medication must be picked up by the parent on the last day of camp. All remaining medications will be destroyed one week after camp ends.

** Please click here for EPI-pen care & Medical Administration form, Individual Care Plan and Medical & Emergency Contact 2019


Campers should apply sunscreen or bug repellent before coming to camp each morning.  There is also scheduled time for sunscreen to be reapplied in the afternoon. Under camp guidelines, staff cannot apply sunscreen unless it is the spray.  If campers need sunscreen reapplied during the day, please show them how and counselors will remind them to do so.

If your child’s physician strongly recommends that he/she needs more sunscreen application, the Authorization for the Administration of Medications form must be completed by the physician.  The camper will be taken to the Camp First Aider at the appropriate times for it to be reapplied.

Keeping Hydrated at Camp:

We ask that you provide a full waterbottle for your child each camp day.  We will have “Hydration Stations” positioned around our camp grounds so children can refill their waterbottles.  Counselors will remind campers to re-hydrate often and we have scheduled water breaks at all the activities.

Allergy Protocol:

Campers with peanut/tree nut allergies range in severity.  For this reason we are “peanut/treenuts aware” and ask that camp families refrain from bringing peanut/treenuts products as well as “made in a facility that processes peanut/treenuts”.  If you are interested in bringing in cupcakes or baked goods for your child’s birthday, please provide ONLY store-bought products that are sealed and contain the ingredients.  All products need to be preapproved by a Camp Director before being served to campers to account for any other food allergies in the group.

Camp Gordyland’s Protocol for a “Peanut-Aware” Camp

1. All lunches will be inspected by your child’s Counselor before distributing lunch bags to the group.

2. Any foods that contain peanut/tree nut products or are processed in a plant with peanut products will be discarded.  Please inspect your child’s snack ingredients for possible traces of peanuts/treenuts.



3. If your child’s lunch or snacks contain nut processed products, parents will be called first and it will be discarded. We will provide a substitute lunch of a jelly or cheese sandwich. There may be a fee for continual disregard for this policy.

4. Campers are not permitted to share food.

5. Please send in box labels for food that is not sold in individual packages (Costco or BJ’s brands) for quick review by Camp Staff.

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