Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – August Camp 2021

Because Camp 2021 will be quite a different experience than the typical Camp out west, we have updated these FAQ to include questions about what to expect at a Camp held on AMC’s Little Lyford Pond Camp location in Maine.

Q: What are the major differences to expect in 2021 versus past years?

A: None of the usual August Camp equipment will be available, such as tents, cots, coolers, chairs, dining tent, etc. Campers will be housed in cabins, bunkhouse or their own tents. Lyford staff will provide all meals, including packed lunches. There are no Camp vans – all transport to hikes will be in personal vehicles and there is no shuttle service to/from any sort of public transport.  AMC, State of Maine and local COVID-safe regulations in effect at the time of Camp will be followed.  See our COVID plan for more info.

Q: Will COVID vaccination be required?

A. Refer to our COVID plan for details.

Q: How much does Camp cost this year?

A: It varies by accommodation.  See the application for details.  A 10% gratuity for staff will be added to those fees at time of payment.

Application Questions

Q:  How do I apply for August Camp?

A: Fill out the application found here and submit it online as directed.  All applications received between Feb 8 and Feb 17 will be entered into a random lottery.  Any applications received after Feb 17th will be considered on a space-available basis.  Applicants may elect to be placed on a waitlist if Camp is full.

Q: How does more than one person apply?

A:  Each member of your group needs to fill out the application separately and list who you are traveling with. The registrar will link your applications. 

How many campers will be accepted? 

The maximum capacity each week is 42, including five hike leaders.

Q: How will I know if I have been accepted to Camp?

A:  You will be notified via e-mail of acceptance by March 10 or within a few weeks of receipt of your application if submitted after February 17.

Q:  What happens if I apply and the week(s) I’ve requested are already filled?

A:  If the week(s) for which you have applied are already filled, the Registrar will contact you and give you alternatives to consider. If camp is completely filled or if you can only attend the week requested, the Registrar will put you on a waitlist.  People are waitlisted in the order in which the Registrar receives their application.

Q: If I am waitlisted, what are my chances of actually getting into Camp?

A: There is no way to tell how many cancellations will be received for any given week at any given Camp.  It has been historically true that as many as 30 people on wait lists are eventually accepted at Camp. The more flexible you can be in the week(s) you want to attend, the better your chances.

Q: If I plan to attend Camp with someone else, how can I be assured we all get in?

A: The only way to be sure you and requested tent mates/friends/family will all be accepted for the same week(s) is to clearly list their names on your application.

Q: Can I bring my child/grandchild/nephew/niece?

A: Yes, with the understanding that you are responsible for their supervision at all times, and that this is primarily an adult hiking camp, with no formal children’s program. Youngsters under age 18 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian on all activities. There have been many young people age 10 or older who have loved their time at August Camp. The cost is the same, regardless of the age of the camper.

Q:  Can I register online and pay with a credit card?

A: Registration is online and August Camp accepts payments through PayPal.  You do not need a PayPal account and may pay through PayPal either by direct debit from a bank account or by credit card.

Q:  Can I pay online for another person?

A: Yes, we have set up the payment page to allow you to use one payment method to pay for multiple people or weeks of camp. 

Q: What is the age range of August Campers?

A: The majority are age 45-65, with some older and some younger.

Q: Are there single people who come to Camp?

A: Yes—many singles attend Camp. Unlike our usual practice, we are unable to pair up solo campers due to COVID.  You may choose the tenting option and bring your own tent.

Travel Questions

How will campers get to Camp this year?

Everyone is responsible to get themselves to camp.

How long a drive is Camp from Boston?

From the center of Boston, it is a five-hour drive without stops or traffic delays.  Google Maps can generate detailed directions if you enter: LITTLE LYFORD LODGE & CABINS, 15 Moosehead Lake Rd, Greenville, ME 04441

Where can I pick up supplies, snacks, ice, beverages?

Greenville is the last town on the way to camp with stores and services and it is a 45+ minute drive to/from camp.  We suggest you bring your supplies from home or pick them up in Greenville on your way into camp.  It is not anticipated that cars will be going to Greenville after hikes as the hikes are not located near to town.  We hope to arrange for ice to be available for purchase at times during the week if Lyford staff can take orders before their trips into town.

What about gas?

A. Please top off your tank in Greenville.  We would like everyone to arrive with a full tank of gas since we will be using personal vehicles to drive to hikes.

Activity Questions

Q: What are the daily hiking options? 

A: Most days there will be hikes offered at 3 or more levels of difficulty and length, led by our team of experienced volunteer leaders.  Some hikes will leave right from Camp, others may be up to an hour’s drive each way.  The A hikes are the longest, highest, fastest and most challenging, up to 15 miles and sometimes over 3000 feet of elevation gain. The C hikes are shorter, generally, about 4 to 5 miles, climb less, generally less than 1000 feet of elevation gain, and are at a slower pace. The B hikes are in between and generally at a less demanding pace than the A hikes.  Trails in northern New England tend to be rougher and steeper than those out west, though the max elevation is much lower; most summits we will climb are under 4000’.

Q: Will a novice hiker fit in?  How about a fast, competitive hiker?

A: We offer hikes at a number of different levels so there really is something for everyone. You will enjoy the activities much more if you get in shape ahead of time. You must be able to be on the move for 5 or more hours daily; even the easiest hikes will require you to be able to hike a minimum of about 5 miles with 500-700 feet of elevation gain. Shorter, easier hikes will be combined with others or with other activities to make for a full day's outing. Check with your health care provider if you have questions about your ability to participate. Our hike leaders are experienced in helping people of all levels have an enjoyable day. The A hikes are usually challenging enough for most participants.

Are there other expected activities to be offered or available?

We hope to offer a trail maintenance activity each week. 

There are ponds in the area and some canoes are available (none right at Lyford). 

See the Activities page (available in the spring) for other offered activities.

As the COVID regulations change, we may offer other excursions in the area – stay tuned to the website for more info as it becomes available. 

In addition, you may elect to “do your own thing” on any given day, such as mountain biking (bring your own) or kayaking/canoeing or hiking on your own. Bring your own boat or use AMC canoes on a first-come basis). 

Under current (mid-Feb) COVID conditions in Maine, we do not want to plan or participate in any activities that would closely expose us to others outside of our Camp community, such as a sightseeing boat trip up Moosehead Lake).

Q: Do we need to bring guidebooks for hiking?

A: No, there is no need to have your own personal maps and guidebooks. However, if you are interested in familiarizing yourself with the area ahead of time, refer to the guidebooks listed on the Hike List page available in April. 

Q: Where can I mountain bike?

A: The KI-Jo Mary is a working forest with active logging trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles are prohibited on many roads. Currently, bikes are permitted on the Upper Valley Road as well East Side and the roads that go up around Baker Pond and Horseshoe Pond. Guests can definitely bike directly from Lyford (but there are hills!)

Around Camp Questions

Q: What are the cabin accommodations like?

A: See the Lyford web site for info.  Cabins have propane lights and various bed types. If you are in a cabin, the registrar will inform you of the bedding types.

Q: How hot or cold does it get at Camp? What clothes should I bring? What kind of sleeping bag?

A: Summer temperatures can range from the 40's at night to the high 80’s during the day. Consult the equipment list for suggested clothing and gear. If you are tenting, a full-length pad to put under your sleeping bag is essential for comfort and warmth.

Q: What about bugs?

A: Maine may have more insects than perhaps we are used to seeing out west.  But the worst of the dreaded black fly season should be over by mid-July.  But do bring insect repellent and you may wish a head net for campfires.

Q: What about cell service?

A: There is cell service in Greenville but not in Camp or anywhere that we are likely to be hiking.  Phones should be left off or in airplane mode to conserve battery power.

Q: Will I be able to charge my phone or tablet or camera?

A. There is no electricity in the cabins.  We suggest charging small electronics in cars while driving and/or bringing a portable charging power pack, and/or extra batteries.  We expect to have a charging station for small electronics outside the main lodge.

Q: Can my vegetarian/vegan/lactose/gluten needs be accommodated?

A: Yes, AMC can and will accommodate most typical dietary restrictions (vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free). If a camper has a more restrictive diet then we will connect the camper with the lodge manager to determine what is possible and if the camper should bring some supplemental foods or snacks. Please note you must note your dietary restrictions when you fill out the camper info form after acceptance.  Also, due to kitchen limitations, we are not able to provide Kosher meals

How will meals be handled? 

While plans may change as the COVID situation improves, the current (mid-Feb) plan is that meals will be by a staff-served buffet with a designated entrance into the main lodge and a set exit for unidirectional travel. This will also allow us to limit the # of guests in the building at any one time. Campers will eat outside, keeping social distancing in mind with respect to those people not in your “bubble.”  You may eat in your cabin or tent or on the lodge porch if space is available.  While cabins have a couple of chairs and a small table, campers will want to bring camp chairs for the campfire.  Campers who are tenting will likely need camp chairs for eating as well. 

Q: What about bear boxes for food and cosmetics?

A: While bears are not expected to be an issue at Lyford, there may be small critters that would love to nibble.  Campers should bring airtight containers for vulnerable items and plan to keep those in your car.  Small critters can and do get into closed and locked cars.

Q: Besides the cost for attending camp, are there other expenses?

A: You will need money for all items of a personal nature, including alcoholic beverages and snacks for happy hour.  Some activities involve extra charges, such as entrance fees and outfitter charges. Please bring a good supply of small bills (singles) to chip in for gas if you share a ride to a hike with someone else.

Q: Where do I do my laundry?

A: The only services are in Greenville.  It is unlikely that you will be able to do laundry.

Q: Lyford says it is dog-friendly.  Can I bring my pooch?

A: We do not allow pets at Camp as other campers may be uneasy around strange dogs or have allergies.

Q: Can I bring my hairdryer and other appliances to camp?

A: There is no electricity in our camping area. If you have a camera or other device that needs recharging, you may want to consider having spare fully charged batteries available or see if there is an adapter that will allow charging in a car.  Some such devices can also operate on regular batteries – check your owner’s manual.

Q: What kind of medical facilities are available?

A: See the Site Information Page or the Specifics document (available in April) for info on this year’s location. This information is also posted at Camp.

Q: If I decide to leave camp early for any reason, can I get a refund?

A: No refunds are given for Campers leaving early.  Campers are encouraged to obtain trip insurance, such as that offered by RoamRight, a company the AMC works with.  Phone: 866-891-6614.

If, after reading all the info about Camp on the August Camp website you still have questions, here is contact info for real people:

General and registration info:  Lois Rothenberger, 267-219-8346 or [email protected]

General Camp questions:   Lennie Steinmetz 610-694-8677 steinme[email protected]

Note:  All calls before 9 pm eastern time, please.