Around 7:45 some campers are already starting their program day. For instance: The hosts, guests, and engineer of the live morning radio show are in the studio beginning their broadcast. A cabin fishing trip is well on its way at the camp lake. A group of campers and staff are beginning their day with a morning yoga class, meditation, or warmup. Only a small portion of the camp is going this early; interested campers will do live morning radio about once a week, and other morning activities rarely meet more then three times a week. All early morning programs are optional.
We run a “quiet dining hall” — no chanting or singing, banging on tables or running around. Quiet, pleasant conversation is the norm. Younger campers sit at assigned tables that change each week. Meals are a community time, and we want campers to broaden their social horizons at camp by meeting children from other programs. Visit our food page for menus, chef bios, and details on our outstanding foodservice; emphasizing fresh, local, and sustainably-produced foods.
After breakfast there are announcements; Staff announce the morning’s schedule, calling rehearsals, classes, lessons, and other activities. Campers are encouraged to approach staff with their interests during mealtimes, when everyone in present, and staff seek out and plan with campers who have expressed interest in the dining hall as well.
Following a little free time after breakfast, campers and staff go to program areas for the morning: 9:00-12:00.
ROCK: The Rock Farm program day begins with a 45 minute "master class," and then band rehearsals begin. Between band rehearsals, rock campers will have lessons, participate in the other areas of camp, or have free time to practice, jam, email home, read a book, etc...
ART: The art studios are open all morning; Farm Arts program campers will work with our Farm Arts visiting artists from 9-11, and after that can continue to work on the visiting artist project, work on their own project, attend a lesson, or participate in any of the other camp activities.
DANCE: We offer dance classes all morning, and Dance Intensive campers' mornings are filled with technique and composition classes.
THEATER: About half of the plays and musicals have regular full-cast work sessions in the mornings. Campers in “half-day” theater will rehearse either in the morning or the afternoon.
OTHER: The whole camp is active and busy all morning: instrumental and vocal music lessons, video classes, radio shows, horseback riding, sports, swimming lessons, ensemble rehearsals, and more all happen in the morning. A “free swim” is usually available 11:00-12:00.
Campers and staff return to cabins at 12:00. Since every camper has his or her own schedule during activity periods consisting of rehearsals, classes, time in the art studios or the sports area, this is an important time to ‘re-group’ at the cabin before the meal. These cabin times are part of our balance between structure and freedom in the program; although very little time is spent as a ‘cabin group’ during the day, these times are important to keep each busy day flowing smoothly. Campers are accounted for at 11 different times per day, whether it’s as a cabin or a table in the dining hall.
Visit our food page for menus, chef bios, and details on our outstanding foodservice; emphasizing fresh, local, and sustainably-produced foods. Each table in the dining hall seats 5 or 6; with at least one staff-person at each table in our main dining room.
Each day campers and staff return to their cabins to relax after lunch. Campers write letters (yes, real letters!), play quiet games, and nap. We run a very active program, and this mid-day rest is essential for everyone. Every day during rest period, ‘WBAY’ camper radio broadcasts pre-recorded camper produced radio shows including music shows, talk radio, radio plays and more
Campers and staff gather on a shady hillside for a short meeting about the afternoon schedule of rehearsals, classes, and other activities, as well as news about upcoming productions and activities.
As in the morning, all campers and staff go to their rehearsals, classes, lessons, demonstrations and other activities. About half of the plays and musicals will have a full cast work session during the afternoon. Shows going up will have their full-tech-dress rehearsal in the afternoon. No one is in the cabin areas during these activity times: At Ballibay the cabins are not a focal point of camp life; the program areas are where campers make their important lasting friendships. Free swim is available 4:00-5:00 most days.
ART: The art studios are open all afternoon. Farm Arts campers interested in theater will rehearse in a one-act play in the afternoon.
ROCK: Most bands rehearse in the mornings and evenings, giving Rock Farm campers the afternoons to have lessons, participate in other areas of the camp, or practice their instruments. Camper-formed bands can use band rehearsal spaces in the afternoons.
DANCE: Dance classes are offered all afternoon; Dance Intensive campers can take classes at this time, or, if they are interested, participate in other activity areas.
Nearly every day there is an impromptu performance or showing from a group of campers at 5 PM: work-in-progress from the dance classes, original songs by camper-formed bands, instrumental or vocal ensembles, and short performances and exhibitions of all types set all over the beautiful Ballibay campus. Campers proceed directly from the Five-O'Clock Special to the dining hall for dinner.
Visit our food page for menus, chef bios, and details on our outstanding foodservice; emphasizing fresh, local, and sustainably-produced foods.
A break in our program day, this is free time ‘on the hill,’ a chance for busy campers to play sports, read, or relax. The sports field is very active every day at this time, with volleyball, softball and soccer.
During the evening activities all of our program areas are open and calling classes and lessons. Full-cast theatre rehearsals do not meet so that campers busy in theater all day can participate in other activities.
THEATER: Usually, a show is preparation, and many campers are busy with sound-checks, costume and makeup, video team meetings, and technical theater cue-to-cues.
ROCK: Some rock bands rehearse in the evenings, and there are spaces open for jamming, camper-formed bands, and special rock projects.
ART: The art studios are always busy in the evenings, with lots of campers who are otherwise engaged int he AM and PM coming to the studios to work on their projects.
DANCE: Dance classes continue in the evenings, and this is priority rehearsal time for Dance Intensive campers.
Campers and staff return to cabins at 8:00. Since every camper has his or her own schedule during activity periods consisting of rehearsals, classes, time in the art studios or the sports area, this is an important time to ‘re-group’ at the cabin before the meal.
These cabin times are part of our balance between structure and freedom in the program; although very little time is spent as a ‘cabin group’ during the day, these times are important to keep each busy day flowing smoothly.
The majority of our nights are filled with theatrical productions, dance and music concerts, camper cabarets and special events including movie nights, dj dances, and a band night each session. The nights are a particularly important part of what makes Ballibay a special place; over the course of three weeks at camp, a camper will see and/or participate in at least 3 cabarets, 5 plays, 2 musicals, a band night, a dance and/or ensemble concert, a dj dance, 2 movie nights, and a bonfire with songs & stories!
Campers not involved in the performing arts have live entertainment almost every night, and campers in the performing arts have a wide variety of performance opportunities, and constant inspiration!
Campers in the Farm Arts program are encouraged to attend performances, but the art studios are open to them stating at 8:40 for the duration of the evening's performance.
Campers and staff return to cabins after the Nighttime program. Nighttime programs typically last 30 minutes to one hour; depending on the cabin's bedtime, this means that some campers will be getting ready for bed as soon as they get back to cabin, while older cabins will have some time together as a cabin group before "lights out."
‘Lights out’ time varies from cabin to cabin, from just a few minutes after the evening program for the youngest campers to 45 minutes or so after the evening program for the older cabins.
Our staff makes sure that campers get enough sleep and that campers who want to sleep are not disturbed. Our days are long and plenty of rest is essential for campers of all ages and our hardworking staff.
One counselor is always in the cabin from the end of the evening program through breakfast the next morning. Our office is staffed until 1:00 am every night for any nighttime difficulties, and directors, the deans, and our camp nurse are available 24 hours a day for any serious problems.