Step 5: Families with Children

The conference pays for hall-monitors for allocated rooms in the dormitory between 8 and 11 pm. The hall-monitors are not responsible for putting your children to bed. Parents must return to their rooms by 11:00 or share this responsibility between parents on your floor. Please fill out this form below by June 1.

Hello Northfield Families with children!

To consider when packing: Pack clothes for outdoor activities, rain or shine, hot weather or not so…we want to be outside as much as possible. Sunscreen and bug repellent are recommended. The program is offered to kids ages 3-13 yrs. Children younger require a babysitter for the mornings (9am-12). We have a list of local sitters the conference hires for the evenings, who may be pre-arranged to baby-sit during the mornings if you have a child under the age of 3.  The conference will waive the registration fee if you choose to bring your own babysitter from home. Fourteen (14) year olds and over are participants in the “adult” morning curriculum of conference hour and families.

There is a required meeting of parents, teachers and children in the East Dining Hall, Sunday at 8 am.  The East Dining Room is a separate room adjoining the space we use for all of our other meals.  Bring your breakfast.  We will introduce the teachers, go over the schedule framework, and babysitting arrangements, as well as review conference ground rules pertaining to families of young children specifically. This will also be the time to advise (if not done so earlier) the teaching staff of children’s special needs (health/diet considerations, medication etc..), if any, and to have any of your last-minute questions answered.

The Daily Routine

Mornings:

9am-12pm

The children depart from Blake (leaving adults to their conference hour and “Northfield family” gatherings) in their groups with their teachers.

The Social Hall, 60 yards from the Dining Hall,  is our “base camp” where we begin our activities and have our 10 am snacks. CHILDREN SHOULD BRING ONLY WHAT IS NECESSARY, as we move around and items might be lost. Water is supplied during snack time, but water bottles are encouraged as we will often be outside, away from the buildings. Children are welcome to bring a small backpack for personal items if that’s helpful.   If required, sunscreen and bug spray should be applied in the morning before the program. Bug spray should be applied outside or be fragrance-free.  Social Hall is base camp,

Afternoons:

Feel free to bring sports equipment from home for your kids to share with others during any free time. Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, tennis racquets (yes- there are courts!), scooters, etc. may be used in pre-approved areas. Helmets must be worn for biking, boarding and roller blading.

The conference does not offer organized care for children in the afternoons, although many options are available should parents/guardians wish to attend workshops offered (or to just relax!!) during this period.  There are multigenerational workshops every day you may want to take part in with your children. If needed, you may hire local babysitters, interested conference teenagers or, as most often done, share childcare responsibilities with other families.

Parents can network ahead of time with other conference parents, new and returning, on the Facebook page dedicated to this purpose.

Most intergenerational workshops request that an adult accompany children under 10.

Note:  Workshops and other activities do not have childcare like the morning program.  If your children require supervision it is up to you to provide it or to arrange with others to do so.

1-2 pm:  Organized sports and games (basketball, soccer, Frisbee, capture the flag etc..) are offered to all after lunch and sometimes later in the day.

Pool Hours

The indoor pool (with lifeguards) is open the following hours.  Sun, Mon, Wed : 2:30 – 5; Tues, Thurs 1 – 3:30

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Evenings:

Sacred Circle 6:45-7:30

Children are both welcomed and encouraged to attend our daily “Sacred Circle” gathering, but are expected to listen and respect the sacredness of that shared community time. We must ask that parents/guardians supervise their children during Sacred Circle.

8:00- 11:00pm

The conference pays for hall-monitors for allocated rooms in the dormitory between 8 and 11 pm. The hall-monitors are not responsible for putting your children to bed. Parents must return to their rooms by 11:00 or share this responsibility between parents on your floor.

Note to Parents/Grandparents About Children’s Safety

The Mount Hermon campus is a remarkable facility for a family conference: it has playing fields, an olympic swimming pool, endless grass, little traffic, great food, and wonderful places to play and be outside.  As those of you who have been to the conference know, there is an incredible variety of activities  for young and old alike.

Parents/ guardians are responsible for the safety of their children at all times during the conference.  The conference provides supervision for 3 to 13 year olds during the morning from 9 to 12 and assigns hall-monitors in the dorms in the evening but at all other times parents are asked to supervise their children and at no time does responsibility for their safety get transferred to others or the conference or school.

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