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Camp Gottalikachallenge is one of the oldest creativity camps in the United States. Every summer, we welcome campers from all over the world to a week of summer camp fun at a variety of sites around New Hampshire.
We provide a fast-paced adventure in problem solving. Our campers’ days are filled with hands-on learning, challenging activities with plenty of mental muscle-stretching games, and zany fun guaranteed to get the creativity flowing! Our program focuses on helping each camper to develop their creative potential. The goal is to empower our campers to approach life’s challenges with confidence. We do this by honing their creative and critical thinking skills, leadership skills, problem solving abilities, and teamwork.
We are excited to continue our DAY CAMP offerings in 2020 at SNHU! Campers spend 5 days on the beautiful SNHU Campus, July 20-24. Our camp day runs from 8:30am to 4:15, and lunch can be purchased through SNHU Dining Services. Parents and friends are invited to join us for the campers’ final presentations on Friday afternoon. Day Camp is open to campers age 9-14, going into grades 4-9.
OVERNIGHT CAMP sessions are hosted at beautiful Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. The 2020 sessions are August 2-7 and August 9-14. Check-in is on Sunday afternoon, and pick-up is Friday afternoon. Campers and staffers reside in dorms, and all meals are provided by Brewster’s wonderful dining hall that can accommodate any dietary restrictions. Overnight Camp is open to campers age 10-14, going into grades 5-9.
“Gotta Camp” creates a safe, structured, caring and supportive environment. Campers are encouraged to share their talents, to take risks, to recognize their similarities and differences, to be inclusive, become leaders, and to have fun! In this idyllic place, campers often form lasting friendships with their team and dorm mates. Approximately 50 campers attend each session. No prior experience in creative problem solving is necessary, but campers should have an enthusiasm for group activities, curiosity, a sense of humor, and enjoy a challenge!
Each morning, campers work in teams of 10 with two staff members to create a solution to the week’s Gotta-Problem! Every day, campers are given a choice of activities—outdoor games, swimming (overnight camp only), or a specialty session—a potpourri of stagecraft techniques, arts and crafts, unusual projects, and other offerings. Each afternoon, campers are given a shorter “capsule challenge” that could include a combination of building devices, improvising a performance, or completing physical feats. Evening activities at overnight camp range from campfires to a talent show to group games.
Gotta Camp’s high-energy staff is dedicated to making each child’s experience at camp thoroughly rewarding. The staff includes a Director, Assistant Director and experienced coaches and junior coaches–many of whom were campers themselves. Adult staffers have degrees in education and/or extensive experience with Destination Imagination, and all are skilled in facilitating creative problem solving activities. Each staff member has unique skills and talents to share, and plans specialty games and activities for campers.
All of our 2019 Gotta Staffers completed LEAD’s Camp Mental Health 2-year certification. This training introduces camp staffers to the risk factors, warning signs, and prevalence of mental illness in adolescents, and addresses topics unique to the camp community, like anxiety and homesickness. LEAD training empowers camp professionals with strategies to promote mental health in their own life and in the lives of our campers and fellow staffers.
New to Gotta Camp?
We’re so excited for you to join us! Our alums and staffers created this video just for you, so you can learn our camp song “We Love Gottalikachallenge” before you arrive at camp this summer.
A non-refundable deposit of $150 must be submitted at time of registration. Financial assistance and team discounts are available – contact Camp Director Lou McKenna for more information. Additional payments can be made at any time, and final remaining balance is due July 1.
Got a question we haven’t covered? Email Camp Director Lou McKenna!
Q. When does camp registration close?
A. Camp registrations will be accepted as long as space allows! Currently there is plenty of space in all three sessions, though overnight sessions are nearing half full.
Q. How big is a session of Gotta Camp?
A. Our camps have a maximum capacity of 50 campers per session.
Q. Is financial assistance available?
A. Yes! Visit our full website for details and to apply.
Q. Are the challenges the same at Day Camp and Overnight Camp?
A. Nope! Day Camp is a completely different set of challenges from the Overnight Camp challenges! Campers are welcome to come to both camps!
Q. What are the hours for day camp?
A. Camper arrival is 8:30-9:00am, pick-up is 4:15-4:30pm
Q. What age range is Gotta Camp?
A. Day Camps are open to kids age 9-14, those going into grades 4-9. Overnight Camps are open to kids age 10-14, those going into grades 5-9.
Q. Tell me about the dorms at Overnight Camp
A. Campers are grouped by gender and age for dorms. The dorms don’t have predetermined ages or grades, it all depends on what the enrollment looks like at that session. Two or more Staffers live in each dorm with 10-15 campers. Roommate requests are encouraged, and we do our best to accommodate everyone! Most rooms are doubles, with a few triples and quads mixed in. Anything other than a double room is based on which dorms Brewster assigns us, and cannot be guaranteed. Lights-out vary by age, and wake-up times are agreed upon as a dorm.
Q. Is there a packing list?
A. The full packing list and information packet will be emailed to all registered families in June. If you have any questions before that, just email or call!
Q. Can I just bring our paperwork to Camp on the first day?
A. We require everyone to complete ALL of the paperwork ahead of time in the CampBrain system. This is for many reasons – less to worry about on check-in day, no risk of forgetting something important, plus a shorter wait for everyone. But the MOST important reason is safety! When all of your camper’s paperwork is easily accessible to us within the CampBrain system, we can reference it quickly. We also need to provide a list of allergies and sensitivities to dining services prior to Camp. Any PAPER submitted on check-in day must be scanned and uploaded into the system by the director on Sunday night, and then properly stored and disposed of–that all means time away from campers!! If you have any trouble uploading or completing the forms online please let me know, I am happy to help: email@example.com
Q. What is Fort Knox?
A. It’s our greatest treasure! On the first day, every camper is asked to bring contributions for Fort Knox – these are the raw materials for all of our projects all week. Seek out (scrounge and scavenge, DO NOT purchase) some cool stuff to share – recyclables like boxes and tubes, last year’s halloween costume, craft supplies, and so on! Please no glitter, no styrofoam peanuts, and nothing super-messy!
Q. How can I learn more?
A. Email Lou to be added to our email list, and check out our social media accounts for pictures and videos from previous seasons. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. We also have a private group on Facebook just for Gotta Parents to ask questions and share tips!
Q. I want to work at Gotta Camp! How do I apply?
A. That’s great! Applications for the 2020 season will open soon! Interested applicants should email Queen Lou to request the application, firstname.lastname@example.org
PSSSST! Are you a Gotta Camp alum? We would love to stay in touch with you, click here to join our alumni mailing list!
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