Adaptation to Excellence

“We also make sure the instructors are teaching, rather than just setting up a loose game. We have separate staff — counselors, instructors, food service, maintenance, secretaries, nurses and a full-time doctor — for each component of camp.

When counselors take kids water skiing, they’re required to participate and learn with the kids. The instructor takes over from there,” explains Marovitch. “Counselors are there to supervise and participate and create a bond with the kids through participation. You don’t just want a babysitter to put the kids in front of the TV; you want someone who will participate with your children.”

International Connection

As Marovitch mentions, MaroMac is seeing increasing numbers of American campers, but it also receiving more international campers. Marovitch says the Web site, which lists the camp’s activities, provides interactive features through Bunk1, and showcases its high-quality cabins, has helped increase the influx of Americans and Europeans.

Marovitch says that about 70 percent of MaroMac’s campers are from Montreal or areas around Montreal, 15-20 percent are American, and the rest are international — mostly from Europe, but also places like Mexico, the Caribbean and Australia.

“Whenever we have children from a certain country we make sure we have someone who can speak that language. Mostly, parents call us from other countries and tell us they don’t want their children speaking their native language, but we always have someone on staff to translate,” says Marovitch. “About three years ago we had three children from Russia and we had to go far and wide to find a staff member who could speak Russian. For French kids it’s easier because almost all the staff can speak French and English.”

Because of this international mix, Marovitch says they make a point of raising all of the flags of the nations represented at camp.

“If you come from another country, we raise your flag. We had several Australians here last year who sang their anthem. We’re here for a good time and education, but we don’t stress patriotism,” says Marovitch.

Technology has become an important ingredient at Camp MaroMac, whether it’s communication technology, Web features and tools or back-office management.

“You can’t survive without keeping up with technology — Internet, fax and cell phone. When I do a schedule change for a cabin, I do it on the computer in a second,” says Marovitch. “Now parents contact their kids by e-mail and see their pictures from camp. It’s a lot of work, making sure there are pictures up all the time, but the parents love it. It’s the first time they get to see what the kids actually do during the summer. They seem to enjoy it very much. I don’t how it affects our return rate yet, since this is our first year, but many of the kids from the first session decided to stay for the second session, so I think it helps.”

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