Please join us in the multipurpose room of the Irving L. Adessky Community Centre! The main purpose of our visit will be to briefly introduce our program, describe a typical day, and to answer all of your specific questions. We hope you will join us!
We want to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves. We are two married couples who are four close friends and we are also the proud owners of Camp Walden. Feel free to check out our “autobiographies” here.
Like you, we have recently learned from Ronnie Braverman that Camp Pripstein’s has closed. Pripstein’s has always had a tremendous reputation in the Canadian Camping community. The very few campers and staff that have migrated from Pripstein’s to Walden over the years have had nothing but positive things to say about the family feeling and grounded experience that Pripstein’s has provided. Likewise, we have had a lovely collegial relationship with Ronnie over the years. We are truly saddened to hear that such a wonderful camp with such longstanding traditions was forced to close.
When Ronnie first called us just a short time ago, he described that he was on a search for a camp that could accommodate his registered campers and that would philosophically be a comfortable transition for Pripstein’s families. We were thrilled to hear that Walden was his choice. As such, we are honoured to have this opportunity, hopefully the first of many, to make contact with you. We are equally honoured by the opportunity to build on the foundations you have experienced at Pripstein’s – foundations in which we so strongly believe: instilling positive values, developing friendships, and setting the scene for the type of bonding that only camp can provide.
We are coming to Montreal on Wednesday (details below) but for now, we hope that the following Q&A style will help you find the information you need to start making your summer plans:
Well, we think this 90 second video says it best but in a nutshell, Walden is a traditional camp where nurturing and caring staff put kids’ needs first. Individual cabin groups spend most of each day together and cabins have schedules that are mostly predetermined so that together they can experience exposure to all the activities camp has to offer. Walden celebrates the artists, intellects, and athletes alike and is often described by long-time campers as the place where kids can be “the real me”. Mandatory cabin canoe trips, a strict electronics policy (in an area with no cell service), and wonderful traditions of singing folk music around the campfire all contribute to the “back to basics” experience we provide. We are a large camp and we love the opportunities for spirit that this provides, but Walden is also described as a camp that feels small thanks to its village design. We are grounded in our camp’s philosophy; campers and their parents do not speak by phone while camp is in session, but we do report to parents about their child’s progress. Sol & Jen direct Walden full-time, while Howie & Sari share their time with the popular Toronto day camp that they own, Camp Robin Hood. Robin Hood feeds Walden with a steady stream of younger campers allowing Walden to have multiple cabins in each age group.
Yes! We have recently completed our early registration process. With 400 new and returning Waldeners already registered, our registration is nearly complete. But we have done a careful analysis of the numbers and ages of Pripstein’s campers and have determined that indeed we do have room for cabin groups to stay together in many cases and in others for groups of friends to join existing and welcoming Walden cabin groups. Guaranteed spots for Pripsteiners will be held until December 19.
We have created a very special exception to our earlybird rules: Our Oct. 1st earlybird rates will be extended to any Pripsteiners who enrol by December 19. We also offer discounts for those who wish to pay by cheque and/or pay in full at the time of registration. And we have yet another discount for siblings (5% for the second child, 10% for the third). Like in Quebec, we are required by law to charge 13% HST but at Walden, this tax is not “built in” and must be added to the total. A fee calculator can be found on our Rates and Dates page.
Montrealers have been sending campers to Walden in each year of our 45 year history. We provide round-trip Montreal bus service to and from Decarie Square. Our busses leave just after 8 am and consistently arrive between noon and 12:30. The bus ride is usually exactly 4 hours.
We are very happy to accept all interested Pripstein’s grade 10’s as Walden CITs and in the following year, those that demonstrate an openness to feedback, skills working with children, and a positive attitude will be invited back to work on staff in 2016.
2014 Pripstein’s staff and CITs will be invited to a special interview opportunity next month in January. By then we will have a sense of what opportunities are available and we will consider Pripsteiners ahead of the general public. In comparison to American camps, it is a nice bonus that Visas do not need to be secured to work at Walden.
There are four ways really:
1. Call or email us! We are eager to hear from you this week and next. You can reach us at the toll free number and email address shown above.
3. We recently created 15 “bite sized” 90 second videos on a variety of topics.
4. Join us on Wednesday!
We thank you for taking the time to read this letter. No matter what your summer plans are, we wish you the very best for an amazing summer of 2015.
All our best,
Sol Birenbaum on behalf of Jen Birenbaum and Howie & Sari Grossinger
Co-Owners, Camp Walden
30 Rue Lyncroft, Hampstead, QC H3X 3E3