HWS Campus


Photos of camps

The time and effort spent in selecting the camp your youngster will attend is very important. Keep in touch, especially if it is your child’s first camp experience. If possible, visit the camp before or during the camping season.

Rights of the Parents and Guardians

  • To be informed by the camp director, or his/her designee, of any incident involving your child including serious injury, illness or abuse.
  • To review inspection and investigation reports for a camp, which are maintained by the local health department issuing the camp a permit to operate (present and past reports are available).
  • To review the required written camp plans. These are on file at both the camp and the health department issuing the permit to operate.

Responsibilities of the Camp Operator

  • To inform you and the local health department if your child is involved in any serious injury, illness or abuse incident.
  • To train staff about their duties.
  • To provide supervision for all campers 24 hours a day at overnight camps, and during hours of operation for day camps.
  • To maintain all camp physical facilities in a safe and sanitary condition.
  • To provide safe and wholesome meals.
  • To have and follow required written plans for camp safety, health and fire safety
  • To notify the parent or guardian, with the enrollment application or enrollment contract, that:
    • The camp must have a permit to operate from the New York State Department of Health or the designated permit-issuing official;
    • The camp is required to be inspected twice yearly; and
    • The inspection reports and required plans are filed (address of state, county or city health department) and available for their review.

For further information about New York State Health Laws relating to Summer Camps, call the State Health Department’s Bureau of Community Sanitation and Food Protection in Albany at 1 (800) 458-1158 ext. 718 or the Local Health Department at 315 (789) 3030. For further assistance, please contact the Conferences and Events Office at 315 (781) 3103 or via e-mail at events@hws.edu.


  1. Are the camp facilities and activities safe? Does the camp have a written safety plan?
    The camp operator, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, has a written safety plan that includes maintenance of facilities, provision for training staff members and orientation of campers, supervision of campers, campsite hazards, emergency procedures and drills, safety procedures and equipment for program activities.

  2. What are the qualifications of the camp director?
    The New York State Health Code requires that the director of an overnight camp be at least 25-years-old or hold a bachelor’s degree; a day camp director must be at least 21-years-old. All directors must have experience in camping administration or supervision. The State Department of Social Services Central register of Child Abuse screens Camp directors’ backgrounds and Maltreatment for reported incidents of child abuse and maltreatment. The Health Department for criminal convictions screens the directors’ backgrounds. Only individuals who are considered to pose no risk to campers are accepted by the NYS Health Department as camp directors.

  3. How are the counselors selected?
    The staff is a group of trained professionals from various prominent colleges and high schools. The staff is made up of college and high school coaches, athletic trainers and college athletes. The staff must have experience in camping and supervision of children or have completed an acceptable training course. For overnight camps, staff must be 18 years of age or older. For day camps, staff must be 16 years of age or older. Staff retention is very high which provides consistent professional coaching and counseling throughout the camp.

  4. How are the counselors trained?
    All coaching staff arrives for a ½ day training session before camp begins. The training session consists of the camp safety plan, which includes supervision, water and fire safety, and daily schedules.

  5. Ratio of counselors to campers?
    Our ratio is 1 counselor to 10 campers. Camp rosters are given to every coach and counselor. Residence doors are labeled with the coach’s name for easy reference. At least 2 coaches are on each floor for supervision during overnight stays. Dorm ratio is 1 counselor to 25 campers.

  6. How many counselors are trained in first aid and CPR?
    All medical staff, trainers and campus safety staff, are trained in CPR for the professional rescuer and responding to emergencies. In addition, many of the coaching assistants are also trained in CPR and first aid.

  7. Is the camp insured?

  8. How long has the camp been in business?
    The Colleges have been in the summer camp business for over 40 years.

  9. Are good health practices observed in the dining areas? Does the camp serve food your child likes?
    Hobart and William Smith Colleges Dining Services are inspected regularly by the New York State Health Department. Food preparation and handling activities are reviewed to assure safety and sanitary practices. The camp meals are based on children ranging in age from 7-18. The dining services offers a wide variety of foods such as fruits, salads, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.

  10. Does the camp have a preventative injury plan in place?
    At the beginning of camp, the counselors walk the playing fields and check the following:
    • No tripping or piercing hazards.Goals are in good condition.
    • Water fountains are clean, in working condition and continuously flowing.
    • Before each session, the counselors check that the players have the proper sports equipment on.
      • Shin guards
      • Mouth pieces
      • Helmets, shoulder pads
      • Personal Protective Equipment
      • Proper shoes
    • Before each session, the trainers make sure they have the following items.
      • Two-way radio
      • Golf cart
      • Ice
      • First Aid Equipment
      • Health Forms
      • CPR mask

  11. Are there periodic fire drills for campers and staff?
    The first morning of camp at approximately 7:30 a.m., the Colleges’ Campus Safety Officers provide each camp with a fire drill. The fire alarm sounds, the campers evacuate the buildings and the information is recorded in the Security Journal.

  12. Are functioning smoke detectors located in every sleeping room?

  13. Who provides medical care?
    • Qualified trainer and/or Health Director.
    • Geneva General Hospital Emergency Room.
    • Injuries and illnesses must be reported to the Health Department within 24 hours.

  14. Does the camp require medical records for campers?
    Camps must keep current medical history reports on file for all campers. Be sure to detail your child’s history of immunization, illness, or allergy. Specify special diets and activity restrictions. Provide written instruction for any medication your child must take.

  15. When is a parent called regarding their child?
    • The child is having difficulty adjusting to camp.
    • The child is en route to the emergency room.
    • The child has violated known camper policies.

  16. Who drives camp vehicles?
    Our campus is a walking campus. Medical staff, trainers, coaches and associates from the conferences and events department drive camp vehicles. Campers are not allowed to ride in vehicles unless injured.

  17. Are waterfront personnel qualified? Are campers always supervised while in the water?
    The Colleges have a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) that runs the pool each summer. The WSI has worked in this position for over three years. All lifeguards under the WSI have experience with CPR, responding to emergencies, lifeguard training and community first aid and safety. The ratio in the pool is 1 lifeguard to every 25 swimmers, and 1 coach to every 10 swimmers.

  18. Are campers tested to determine their level of swimming ability before participating in aquatic activities? Are non-swimmers kept in water less than chest deep?
    Yes, the campers are tested on their level of swimming on the day they arrive at camp. If the camper passes the NYS Health Department test requirements, which includes swimming the full length of the pool and then, after a 1 minute rest treads water for 45 seconds. The camper then receives a neon-colored bracelet to be worn when swimming in the deep-end. If the camper does not have a bracelet on their wrist then the camper will only be permitted in the shallow end of the pool.

  19. How is supervision handled at night?
    Coaches have last roll call at 10:15 p.m. with lights out by 10:30 p.m. Periodic rounds are done throughout the evening until approximately 1 a.m. The ratio in the residence halls is 1 coach to every 25 campers. There are at least two coaches on each floor with campers.

  20. How can I reach my child at camp?
    During an emergency, call (315) 781-3656 (Campus Safety)
    Campers can bring phones with them to camp. Messages can be left with the conferences and events office at (315) 781-3103. Please leave your name, phone number, your child’s name, age and which camp he/she is attending.

Letters can be sent to:
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Conferences and Events
300 Pulteney Street
Geneva, New York 14456


Conferences & Events
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Mailing address: 300 Pulteney St., Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-3103

Email: events@hws.edu


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.