History, Accreditation, and Affiliations
How long has the camp been operating?
The property has been a camp for over 60 years. It is under it's current ownership since 1990, and the current program has been running since 1995 under the direction of Kathy Ann and Greg Joseph.
Is the camp accredited? Is the camp licensed?
Yes, Sandy Hill Camp is an ACA (American Camp Association) accredited camp.
Sandy Hill Camp is also a licensed youth camp in the state of Maryland. We also hold numerous county and state licenses for the pool, beach, stable, kitchens, conference center and camp.
How many campers are there each week?
There are approximately 450 campers and 160 staff on site during each week.
Is the camp affiliated with or owned by a larger organization?
No, the camp is family owned and operated and is not associated with any other organizations.
Does Sandy Hill serve campers with special needs?
Sandy Hill Camp strives to provide a positive camp experience for children with various needs whenever possible. However, Sandy Hill does not provide programs that are rehabilitative or therapeutic in nature, and does not specialize in serving children with special needs, including children with severe emotional, social, or behavioral difficulties. Campers must be able to properly care for their own hygiene, live cooperatively with other campers and staff, and actively participate in the camp's daily activities. Campers cannot have a condition which, in the judgment of the camp, is beyond the camp's capability to provide proper care or poses an unreasonable threat to or adversely affects the physical or emotional health or safety of themselves, other campers, or staff.
Sandy Hill Camp reserves the right to refuse enrollment or cancel the reservation of any camper. If your camper has special needs, please call the office before you register your camper to discuss whether or not the Sandy Hill Camp program is appropriate to meet the specific needs of your child. Your honest disclosure of information about your child's needs is important in determining if Sandy Hill Camp is a fit for your child.
The Registration Process
How do I sign up for camp?
Registration for camp is done through our online registration system. You are able to instantly reserve a space for your camper and pay the required deposit with a Visa or MasterCard. Click here to register online.
Can I register without using the online registration system?
We do not accept paper applications. If you cannot register online, please call the office at (410) 287-5554 to make alternative arrangements.
How do I find out which programs are still available?
Click here for the latest information on availability. This is the same information that we can see in the camp office and is accurate as of the time stamp at the bottom of the availability page.
What does JV and Varsity mean?
One-week sessions are divided into two sections by grade. The younger section is called "JV" (short for Junior Varsity), and it is made up of campers who will have finished 2nd through 5th grades by the summer of 2019. The "Varsity" section is made up of campers that have completed 6th to 10th grade. All one-week campers (JV and Varsity) will eat in the same seating, but their instructional activities, electives, free time, and cabins are separate.
Can I pay my final balance due by May 1st online or over the phone?
Online - yes. Fax or phone - no. You can pay your final balance online by credit card (a $15 convenience fee per camper applies). To pay online, login to your camper's home page and choose the link for "pay balance online." To avoid the online convenience fee, you can pay by check or money order through the mail. Payments by check must be postmarked by May 1st.
Partial payments cannot be accepted via the online payment system but can be accepted by check or money order.
For security reasons, credit card payments cannot be taken verbally over the phone or by fax.
The session I want is full. How can I get on a waiting list? How do the waiting lists work? How/when will I know if I got in?
We are taking online applications for waiting lists for those sessions that are already full (red on the availability charts). To get on a waiting list, you must complete an online application. There is no fee for being on a waiting list nor is any credit card information required. Indicate any and all sessions that you are interested in attending. We cannot take registrations or hold spots over the phone.
As spaces become available (due to cancellations), the next name on the waiting list is called and offered the space. If you are the one to receive the call, you can accept or decline the offer. If you accept, you will go online and "complete" your registration by paying the deposit online (see refund and cancellation policy). You can decline the offer for any reason with no penalty. We simply call the next name on the waiting list. An additional advantage of being on the wait list in 2019 is that even if you do not get into camp, you will be in the first batch of people to receive the 2020 registration information the following fall because you will be considered a "returning camper."
Your name stays on a waiting list until the day that that session begins. You can remove yourself from a waiting list by calling or emailing the office.
What are the chances of getting into camp from a waiting list?
Getting in from a waiting list is based solely on cancellations. Cancellations are unknown, random, and unpredictable events that occur at any time up to and including the arrival day at camp. On average, there were 5-6 cancellations for each Varsity and two-week session per gender. There are historically only about half as many cancellations for JV campers per session. For example, in week 5 of 2018, there were 5 cancellations for Varsity girls. Because we allow people to sign up on multiple waiting lists (more weeks than they are interested in coming), the number that you are down on the waiting list is actually a little inflated. For example, you may be fifth on the week 3 Varsity female traditional camp waiting list. A spot opens in week 2 for someone who is on both the week 2 and week 3 wait lists. They accept the spot in week 2 and so their name comes off of the week 2 and week 3 lists. You are now fourth on the Varsity female traditional camp wait list even though no spots actually opened up in week 3.
SUMMARY - Our rule of thumb is...
For a Varsity or Two-week session, if you are in the top 5 on the wait list, you stand a very high probability of getting in due to cancellations. If you are in the top 10 on the wait list, it is probably about a 50/50 chance. Much beyond 10, the chances start to get pretty slim.
For a JV session, if you are in the top 2-3 on the wait list, you stand a very high probability of getting in due to cancellations. If you are in the top 5-6 on the wait list, it is probably about a 50/50 chance. Much beyond 6, the chances start to get pretty slim.
Last summer, many sessions had more than 10 campers on a wait list. Because there is no risk associated with being on a waiting list, we strongly encourage you to get on as many lists as you could possibly attend. Then cross your fingers, and we'll hope to be in touch with you with some good news!
As a courtesy to others, if your plans change such that you are no longer interested in being on a particular session's waiting list, please call or email the office and let us know so that we can remove you from that session's wait list.
How many waiting lists can I be on?
As many as you like. We want you to be able to get into camp, and if your summer schedule is flexible enough to be on multiple waiting lists, then go for it! As a courtesy to others, we do ask that if you make other plans such that you can no longer come to a session for which you are on a waiting list, please call or email the office and let us know so that we can remove you from that session's wait list.
It looks like the program I want is full, and I'm not interested in being on a waiting list.
How and when can I sign up for next summer?
If you are on a waiting list for this year or if you have attended Sandy Hill Camp in the past, you are already on the mailing list. You will be eligible for early registration for 2020. Registration for returning campers and their siblings usually begins on November 15th. If you choose not to go on a waiting list for 2019, please send us your name and address to be added to our mailing list for 2020. Being on the mailing list will ensure that you get the mailings in the fall of 2019 for summer 2020.
How many weeks of camp can I come in a summer? Do I have to go home on the weekends?
You can come for one, two or three weeks of camp per summer in any combination of one and two-week sessions. Here are the different combinations you can consider:
A one-week session
Two one-week sessions
Three one-week sessions
A two-week session
A two-week and a one-week session
Please note that a camper can only stay for a maximum of two weeks (12 nights) straight through. There are no weekend programs offered for campers attending a one-week session.
How old do I have to be to attend a two-week session?
Campers are eligible to attend a two-week session once they have completed the 5th grade (a rising 6th grader) - this typically is when they are at least 11 years old. Campers are no longer eligible to be a 'camper' once they have completed 11th grade or turned 17 years old.
What is the difference between a two-week session and two one-week sessions?
Campers in a two-week session attend camp for 12 consecutive days. They will have the same cabinmates and counselors for their entire time at camp. Two-week campers participate in special weekend day trips and activities but do not go home on the weekend between their weeks of camp. Campers coming for two one-week sessions will have different cabinmates and counselors each week, and they go home on the weekend. They can also attend one-week sessions that are separated in time by more than a weekend - for instance, weeks 2 and 7.
What will the weekends be like during a two-week session?
Click here and go to the bottom of the page to learn about weekends during a two-week session.
Is the daily schedule different for two-week and one-week campers?
Yes and no. The types of activities offered are the same, but the times at which they are offered are somewhat different. Click here to view a detailed daily schedule for each type of camp.
Will pick-up and drop-off times be the same for one-week and two-week campers?
No, registration for one-week campers is on Sundays between 4:00 and 5:30 PM. Two-week campers arrive on Sundays between 4:30 and 5:30 PM. Parents with campers in both one-week and two-week sessions can arrive between 4:00 and 5:30 PM.
On Fridays, there is a closing ceremony at 4:00 pm that parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. Campers are ready to go home at approximately 4:45 pm. Please remember though, that two-week campers are on an out-of-camp trip on the Friday afternoon at the end of their first week and the Sunday of their second week.
How will campers staying for a two-week session do their laundry?
Sandy Hill contracts with an outside laundry company to do the campers' laundry for them one time during their stay at camp midway through the session. Campers will only be able to have clothes and towels laundered, not bedding. The cost for the optional laundry service (approximately $20) will be deducted from their store account.
Is the housing for two-week campers different than one-week campers?
Yes. Two-week campers live in lodges (click here for photos and details). One-week campers stay in cabins.
Preparing for Camp
I need the packing checklist and/or health form?
Click here to download the Parent Handbook including your packing checklist. The health form is completed online via your Camper's Home Page. There is a Physician's Page that must be signed by the camper's physician, and, for camper's bringing any medications with them to camp, a Medication Administration Authorization Form for each medication must be completed as well.
Can campers bring electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, or e-readers? Do campers have access to internet or wifi?
We have a “no cell phone” and “no internet” policy at camp. This also includes any other wireless communication, internet, e-readers and gaming devices. First, these items are expensive and can get lost or stolen, and the physical camp environment is not kind to such items. Second, there is the issue of trust. When children come to camp, campers and parents are making a leap of faith, temporarily transferring their primary care from parents and guardians to the camp staff. As children learn to trust other caring adults, they grow and learn, little by little, to solve some of their own challenges and rely on other adults outside of their immediate family. Third, we want our campers to be fully engaged in the camp experience and become a part of this special community during their time here. They need to be “unplugged” from their headphones, cell phones, and gaming devices to make the most of their camp experience. We will let parents know if a camper is experiencing a challenge in his or her adjustment to camp. We encourage parents to help by talking with their child before they leave for camp and telling them that there is always someone they can reach out to, whether it be a counselor, a trusted activity leader, a unit leader, a camp director or camp medical staff. Please check out Parent Handbook to learn how families can communicate with their campers while they are at camp including letters, care packages, one-way emails, and phone calls. We also post photos to a password-protected website to give families at home a flavor of what is happening at camp each day.
How much storage space is underneath the bunk beds?
There is at least 12 inches between the floor and the underside of the lower bunk bed.
What sports equipment should I bring?
You may want to bring the equipment for any of the activities below that you have requested. You can find out which of your preferences you have been scheduled for by logging into your family's account on the Thursday before you arrive at camp.
- Field Hockey: stick, shinguard, and mouthguard
- Horseback Lessons: long pants (jeans are fine) and shoes with a heel. Riding helmets are provided. If you have your own riding helmet, breeches, jodhpurs or riding boots, you can bring them too.
- Lacrosse: mouthguard
- Outdoor Living Skills: sleeping bag for overnight campout
- Soccer: shinguards, mouthguard, and outdoor soccer shoes
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT - the camp has the basic equipment for the following activities, but if you prefer to bring your own, you may.
- Fishing: rod and tackle box
- Guitar: acoustic guitar and pick (no electric guitars please)
- Tennis: racquet
When can I find out my schedule of instructional activities?
You can log into your family's account and go to your Camper's Home Page on the Thursday before your session begins.
May I repeat an instructional activity if I'm coming for multiple weeks?
We want campers to be exposed to lots of activities at camp. And, since the classes are the same each week, it would be repetitive for many of the classes to take the same class twice in most cases. For example, in crafts class, you would end up making the same crafts twice in a summer.
Although you cannot be scheduled in advance to repeat an activity during the summer, you can make changes to your schedule upon the Sunday of your arrival to repeat a class from a prior session if space is available.
What time is drop-off on Sunday? What time is pickup on Friday? Can I pick my child up early on Friday?
Arrival time for Sunday registration is from 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM. The security gate at the camp entrance will not open until 3:30 PM. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY. You will not be permitted to wait outside the gate when it is closed. So as not to cause a traffic hold-up along Route 272, early arrivals will need to turn around and drive back towards town. Camp is 10 minutes from the quaint little town of North East. If you find yourself ahead of schedule, please enjoy some time in North East rather than arriving early, only to be forced to turn back around at the camp gate.
For pickup on Fridays, all parents are invited to attend our closing ceremony at 4:00 PM. Plan to arrive no sooner than 3:45 PM if you would like to watch the closing ceremony. Please do not arrive earlier than 3:45 PM as the gate will be closed. It is NOT permitted to wait at the camp entrance or alongside the road near camp. Campers will be ready to depart at 4:45 PM. Traffic can be heavy on Friday afternoons, so please plan accordingly.
If you need to pickup your child early on Friday, you must do so during lunch. You may not pickup campers between lunch and the end of the closing ceremony. If you live in the DC area and you would like to have your camper transported to a central location in the DC-Baltimore area, you can use our Friday dropoff service.
Cabinmate Requests and Cabin Assignments
What is the camp's philosophy on cabinmate requests?
Remember that old song, "Make new friends, but keep the old." Our philosophy is to balance the opportunity to meet new people with the comfort of being with friends. So, we do honor cabinmate requests, but our policy tries to make sure that no more than half of the campers in a cabin know each other before they arrive to camp.
We have an online system for requesting cabinmates. There are typically 8 or 9 campers in a one-week cabin. Up to four one-week campers can request to be together. For two-week campers, the lodge rooms accommodate 9-11 campers. So, up to five two-week campers can request to be together. Campers who are on a Cabinmate Request List together are guaranteed to be in the same cabin.
When assigning cabins, multiple "lists" of campers of similar age and different geographic areas are put together to fill a cabin. Campers who are not coming with friends are grouped into cabins with at least two other campers who are also not coming with friends.
What is a Cabinmate Request List? Do I have to have one?
A Cabinmate Request List is a list of campers that want to be together in a cabin. Cabinmate Request Lists must be made up of campers who are in the same section of camp (JV, Varsity, or Two-week) and who are in the same grade or within one grade of each other. For one-week campers, there are 8-9 campers per cabin and Cabinmate Request Lists can have up to 4 campers. For two-week cabins, there are 9-10 campers and Cabinmate Request Lists can have up to 5 campers.
Singles are folks who come to camp not knowing anyone or who choose not to be placed with campers that they know so that they can maximize their chances of meeting new people and making new friends. Many campers come as singles, so campers certainly do not have to be on a Cabinmate Request List. For any cabin with singles, there will always be at least 3 singles in that cabin.
When we put requested cabinmates together in cabins, we try to have the groups and singles be from different geographic locations so that campers have a chance to meet people from different areas than their own.
Is it guaranteed that all of the people on my Cabinmate Request List will be together in a cabin?
Yes. As long as you meet the criteria for being together in a cabin listed below, you are guaranteed to be together.
Remember that we don't actually finalize cabin assignments until a few days before you arrive at camp. You'll be able to see your cabin assignment on the Thursday before you arrive at camp using your Camper's Home Page.
How do I get on, change or create a Cabinmate Request List?
After you have registered for camp, the easiest place to join, create or make changes to your cabinmate requests is from your Camper Home Page. You can access your camper home page after you have logged in using the Log In button above.
Once you've gotten to your Camper Home Page, click on the gray button labeled "Cabinmate Requests."
Do I have to figure out my cabin request list during registration or can I do it later?
No, you do not have to figure out your cabinmate requests during registration. After you've registered, you can access this section any time you like from your Campers Home Page. You can make changes to your request up until June 1st.
Who can I be in a cabin with?
You can be in a cabin with anyone who wants to be with you and who meets the following criteria. All members of a Cabinmate Request List must:
Be in the same camp session - remember that two-week campers and one-week campers cannot be together in a cabin.
Be in the same section of camp - JV (currently in 2nd to 5th grade), Varsity (currently in 6th to 10th grade), or Two-week
Be the same gender :-)
Be in the same grade or within one grade in school. Remember that cabinmate request lists can only span two grades in total. So, for example, a 3rd grade JV male can be with a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade JV male in general. But, that same 3rd grader cannot be with both a 2nd and a 4th grader. Why? Because a Cabinmate Request List can span no more than two grades.
What if more than 4 one-weekers or 5 two-weekers want to be together in a cabin?
Then you will need to break up the larger list into multiple smaller lists of 4 or fewer. For example, a group of 6 one-week campers can break up into a list of 3 and 3, 4 and 2, or 3 lists of 2.
Cabinmate Request Lists cannot request to be put together with other Cabinmate Request Lists unless the two lists would fill an entire cabin (8 or 9) or lodge room (9 or 10). In other words, now that a list of 6 has split into two lists of 3, the two lists of 3 cannot request to be together so as to recreate the list of 6 again. If you are interested in filling an entire cabin/lodge room, please contact the office for assistance.
My friend isn't signed up for camp yet. How can I hold a space on my list for them?
You can hold spaces in a list by "locking" a list. Lists can be locked and unlocked at any time by anyone who is already a part of the list.
For example, if you and one friend are already in camp and are both on the same list, then you are currently a list of 2. Lock your list until your second friend gets in. Once the second friend is confirmed into your camp session, you can unlock your list to let them in. If you want, you can then lock your list of 3.
Can I make changes to my requests? Until when?
Yes. You can remove yourself from a list and/or join another list as many times as you like. You can change your requests up until 14 days before you are scheduled to arrive at camp.
You cannot remove other people from your list or add other people to your list. You can only change the list that you are on. If you want to change who is on your list, you can remove yourself from a list and create a new one. Then you can lock/unlock it as necessary so that those you want to join you will be able to do so.
What do I do if someone joins my list that I don't want to be with?
You can remove yourself from that list and create and/or choose another list. If necessary, you can "lock" your new list so that other people cannot join your new list.
How can I add myself to a list that is locked?
If a list is locked, you cannot join that list until it is unlocked. Any current member of the list can login and unlock the list so that you can get on it. You will need to be able to contact one of the existing members of the list so that they can unlock it for you. To protect our campers' private information, Sandy Hill will not provide contact other campers information for to you to do this. We assume that if you want to be together, you will have the friend's contact information.
Who can "unlock" a list?
Any current member of a cabin request list can lock and unlock a list from their Camper Home Page.
What forms of payment are accepted? Which are preferred?
Sandy Hill accepts payments by check, money order, e-check, Visa or MasterCard. Payment by e-check is preferred. On registration Sundays, cash is accepted for additional money in a camper's store account.
Payment by online E-Check: Via your Camper's Home Page online, you can pay by online e-check with no processing fee. To pay online, login to your camper’s account, go to your Camper's Home Page, and choose the “Pay Balance Online” link.
Payment by Paper Check or Money Order: Checks and money orders should be made payable to “Sandy Hill LLC” for the “Balance Due." You can also add any additional store account money you wish to add. Please write your camper’s name and the amount of any additional store account money you are adding in the memo section of your check. Checks and money orders should be mailed to the following address:
Sandy Hill Camp
3380 Turkey Point Road
North East, MD 21901
Payment by Credit Card: You can pay your “Final Balance Due” with a Visa or MasterCard. For debit cards, there is a $10 convenience fee per camper when paying final balances online. For credit cards, there is a 2.70% surcharge. Partial payments by credit card cannot be accepted. To pay online, login to your camper’s account, go to your Camper's Home Page, and choose the “Pay Balance Online” link . Debit and credit card payments can be made in person at the Sandy Hill Office with no fee. Please call ahead to setup an appointment if you would like to pay in-person. For security reasons, credit card payments cannot be made verbally over the phone or by fax.
Can I make partial or installment payments?
Installment and partial payments can be made by paper check or money order. Partial payments cannot be made online. The entire balance is due by May 1st.
How do I find out my balance due?
Login to your camper’s account, go to your Camper's Home Page, and look in the Balance Due section.
When is the final payment due? When is the payment for waterskiing and/or horseback lessons due?
Final payment for all camp fees except for activity fees for waterskiing and horseback lessons is due by May 1st. Payments by check or money order must be postmarked by May 1st to avoid potential cancellation of sessions. Payments by credit card must be made online or in-person by May 1st.
On the Thursday before you are scheduled to arrive at camp, you will be able to find out your camper’s instructional activity schedule by logging into your Camper’s Home Page. If, at that time, your camper is scheduled for waterskiing and/or horseback riding lessons, you should be prepared to pay the $60 or $85 fees by cash or check upon your arrival. Your Camper’s Home Page will also indicate if you have a balance due. To save time at registration, you can also pay these fees online starting on the Thursday before your camper arrives.
Can I pay the balance due online by debit or credit card?
Yes, you can pay your final balance online by debit or credit card (for debit cards, a $10 convenience fee per camper applies - for credit cards, there is a 2.70% surcharge). You can pay by e-check with no fee. To pay online, login to your camper’s account, go to your Camper's Home Page, and choose the “Pay Balance Online” link. To avoid the online convenience fee, you can pay by paper check or money order through the mail. Payments by check must be postmarked by May 1st. Partial payments cannot be accepted via the online payment system.
Can I pay the balance due over the phone?
No. For security reasons, Sandy Hill does not accept payments over the phone or by fax.
How can I find out if/when you've received my final payment?
Login to your camper’s account, go to your Camper's Home Page, and choose the “See Statement of Account” link in the "Balance Due" section.
What is the refund/cancellation policy?
Click here to read the policy.