Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

You’ve probably got a lot of questions about the experience at Camp Mowglis. Here are the most common questions that we get, and their answers. If your specific question isn’t answered, please call 603-744-8095 or email Director Nick Robbins with ANY questions, and he’ll be happy to answer them!

Mowglis is a small, traditional, values-oriented summer camp for boys. Mowglis gives boys a place to connect with nature and learn to be ethical, well-rounded members of a community.

Mowgli is the man-cub of The Jungle Book stories. Our founder, Elizabeth Ford Holt, requested permission from author Rudyard Kipling’s to use his characters as inspiration for the camp traditions she began in 1903. Mr. Kipling instructed Mrs. Holt on how to pronounce Mowglis (“Mow” sounds like cow, and “glee”), and how to pluralize the name of Mowgli the boy character in the books, by adding a silent “s” to represent a group of campers.

Mowglis is located in East Hebron, New Hampshire, on the shores of Newfound Lake, in the foothills of the White Mountains.

Mowglis is owned and operated by the non-profit Holt-Elwell Memorial Foundation, whose trustees hire, advise, guide and support a professional camp director. Mowglis receives hundreds of generous contributions each year from alumni, parents and friends to help close the gap between tuition and expenses.

At Mowglis boys are immersed in outdoor life. We offer A range of traditional camp activities, and encourage boys to find something at which they can excel and gain enjoyment and confidence from that experience. The program encourages skill development with campers working on requirements in activity areas they choose and earning ribbons for achieving competence.

Through cabin life and daily duties, weekly hiking and camping trips, music and singing, and our unique crew program, our campers develop a strong sense of community. The Mowglis program emphasizes respect for nature, encourages personal growth, fosters life-long friendships, and is a ton of fun!

Mowglis focuses on traditional outdoor camp activities like archery, riflery, swimming, boating, crew and hiking in the White Mountains. Although we play sports like soccer and basketball for fun, we are not a sports camp.

The Mowglis campus covers 155 acres on the northeast corner of Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. The main camp is situated on 55 acres located directly on the lake with over 1,300 feet of shoreline. There are over 30 rustic buildings.

What does this mean? The American Camp Association sets the highest standards in the industry. Being ACA accredited indicates a level of professionalism in camping and means we have voluntarily taken the time to insure our program and site meets the strictest codes of safety and excellence. Learn more about ACA accreditation.

Cubs range in age from 7-10 years old, boys in the Pack range in age from 10-15 years old, and Yearlings are 15 & 16 year old high school aged boys. Enrollment is limited to 110 boys.

The 7-week session is key to our program. However, we do offer a 3-week session for our youngest boys (ages 7 to 9). Older first-time campers of all ages may attend the first 4-weeks of the summer with the option to extend their session to the full 7-weeks. If your son has never been to camp, and you would like to explore the option of a shorter session, please contact the director.

At a time when most camps offer short sessions Mowglis continues to offer a full 7-week program. Experience has shown the greatest benefits of camp result when boys form lasting friendships, become immersed in camp activities, and integrated into the camp community. This takes time, and after seeing the growth in their sons at the end of the summer, our parents understand the benefits of a longer program.

The small size of our camp is one of the things that makes Mowglis special. Every boy and counselor knows every other boy and counselor, and our director knows everyone by name. Our connection with the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Rudyard Kipling, is unique and over 100 years later we still emulate the lessons from his Jungle Book stories. Our crew program is probably the only one of its kind in the country. Our “School of the Open” programming includes requirements for graduation and when campers reach their final year each graduate receives an engraved sterling sliver metal.

In a single season as many as 20 states and 10 countries are represented. Our small population includes boys from the world’s largest cities and smallest towns. Thanks to our generous tuition assistance program we are able to ensure a good mix of boys from different socio-economic levels. Additionally, we always have a few international counselors.

Yes, part of the mission of the foundation that owns and operates Mowglis is to provide scholarship assistance to worthy boys in the form of tuition grants or tuition reductions, in order to enable such boys to benefit by the summer camp experience. Please speak with the camp director if you would like to apply for financial aid.

We have a network of over a 500 alumni, many of who attribute their success in life to their Mowglis experience. Our notable alums include a United States Senator and Representative and a Federal Judge, an award-winning chef, producers/executives from NFL films, ESPN and NBC. Our alumni have pursued a variety of passions and professions ranging from architects to explorers, hedge fund managers to philosophers and historians to professional white water paddlers. What they all have in common is their Mowglis experience.

No, campers and staff come from a variety of religious backgrounds. As a community everyone participates in a weekly non-denominational service on Sunday afternoons in our beautiful Chapel-of-the-Woods.

The health and safety of campers is our number-one priority. A registered nurse lives at the infirmary all summer. We are 15 minutes from Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth. Boys must pass swimming and boating tests before they are allowed to fully participate in those activities, and life jackets are always required. Boys who wish to carry small Swiss Army Knives must first pass a knife safety test.

Any medications or special dietary needs should be discussed with the camp director in advance. Meals are prepared by our experienced chef and are nutritious and plentiful with an emphasis on quality and variety. Some of our produce is from local farms, and we serve natural grass-fed beef. Fruit is available around the clock. We can accommodate vegetarians and boys with food allergies. Our camp nurse will review medications and our camp chef will review any dietary management needs with the camper and his parents.

We conduct thorough background checks on all our staff before they are hired. Our counselors are chosen for their proficiency in an area of instruction and for the leadership and the example they provide. Most young men on the staff are Mowglis alumni. We also have a few women on staff each season including our “Cub Mother”.

The staff receives training for ten days prior to the arrival of the boys and is instructed in the general education of youth. All our counselors are American Red Cross certified in CPR and First Aid. Key waterfront personnel are WSI (Water Safety Instructor) certified, and Lifeguard-certified through the American Red Cross. Key trip personnel are certified Wilderness First Responders. Counselors who drive campers are at least 25 years old.

The best way to communicate with your son during the summer is by mail. Nothing is more exciting at camp than getting a personal letter. Phone calls are reserved for emergencies and special occasions such as birthdays. Parents can send email; however, please note your child will not respond by email. Boys are required to write one letter home a week, so parents are guaranteed regular communication.

Family and friends are invited to visit Mowglis on two weekends each summer. On visiting weekends families can join us for events on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, and take their boys out of camp for the day on Sunday.

Campers send at least one letter home each week. We maintain an invitation only Facebook group for parents where we post pictures of camp life several times each week. And, yes, you can call the camp director if you have any special concerns about your son. We are a small camp and the director knows each boy personally and he is happy to receive your call.

At Mowglis we try hard to promote a healthy lifestyle. We serve generous portions of nutritious, delicious food and ask parents not to send candy and treats. We also emphasize simplicity and discourage packages.

It is not unusual for boys who are away from home for the first time to be homesick. Most work though these feelings quickly and go on to have a great camp experience. We provide structure and keep the boys busy from morning until evening. By the end of the first week, most new boys have made friends and adjusted to the routine and any homesickness has passed. In the rare instance a child continues to struggle, we have counselors trained to help and our Director will reach out to the parents.

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