For many campers, the BEST part of the camp day is the ride to and from Elmwood. The moment our campers step foot onto the bus the camp day has begun! We know how important it is that the first Elmwood face your camper sees is full of warmth and excitement for what the day holds. This is why we select bus counselors who are not only focused on safety but who also care deeply about providing a fun, safe and meaningful ride on the bus or van.
Every Elmwood vehicle has a certified driver and bus counselor. Their most critical role is to provide a safe travel experience for our campers. When we think of safety, we immediately think of car seats, seat belts, non-distracting behavior, etc. At Elmwood, we expand this notion of “safety” to include the social and emotional needs of our campers. It is the mission of our transportation staff to create a fun, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere where our campers feel and are both physically and emotionally safe.
Every camper and parent meets their bus counselor before the summer with a home visit. During these pre-camp meetings with bus counselors and campers, a relationship is formed that is carried throughout the summer. This additional set of eyes and ears knows how to make every minute count. They are there to offer a morning high five or hug and make sure that each and every camper on the bus feels cared for, connected with others, and that their Elmwood day starts and ends with a sense of belonging and, of course, fun!
From decorating the bus, celebrating birthdays and Special Event days, to creating their own performances in the end-of-summer Camper Counselor show, the bus ride provides an opportunity for mixed-age campers to bond in a unique way, and the bus often takes on it’s own group identity.
Each bus has an activity bin filled with trivia games, puzzles, mazes, Rubik’s Cubes, and card games, as well as an Elmwood playlist counselors use to lead everyone in their favorite songs. The playfulness and comfort that comes from starting and ending the camp day with this group of staff and campers is truly special. As a camp, Elmwood will continue to nurture this “bus bond” and ensure that the first and last smile your camper sees on the bus is one rooted in joy.