Summer Camp door to door transportation

As a parent of a day camp child you will most likely have many questions concerning the transportation program in camp. This page has been created in hopes of clarifying ARROWHEAD DAY CAMP’S transportation program. It will answer many questions, provide you with information and allow you to become better acquainted with this phase of our camp program.

We personally oversee all aspects of our transportation operation – including routing, vehicle maintenance and staffing. Our entire transportation service is designed with one purpose in mind – to give each child the safest and most efficient ride to camp. We never lose sight that we are transporting very precious cargo – your children! Safety is always our primary concern.

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We have been providing house to house transportation for our campers since our inception in 1956. We utilize three modes of transportation: 1) school buses (48 passengers) 2) school mini vans (18-25 passengers) and 3) private passenger vans (9-14 passengers). Our school buses are leased through G. Krapf & Sons – the oldest and largest provider of pupil transportation in Chester county, with a reputation for safety, service, and dependability. Numerically about 1/3 of our campers are transported by school bus, 1/3 by school van, and 1/3 by private van.
63761386-d167-4e61-e4cd-416581e21c0dOur buses are maintained and inspected regularly during the school year. Just prior to the start of the summer there is a thorough service provided for the entire fleet. This inspection includes all maintenance records, daily driver inspection reports, and driver records. There is a mechanic on call for the leased buses. Preventive maintenance is the key to our vehicle safety program, and we practice it at all times. All private passenger vans will have the latest PA state inspection sticker.
Each driver is a camp staff member hired and employed by ARROWHEAD DAY CAMP. The DMV requires that each bus (CDL) driver be at least 21 years of age, possess a current PA driving license and have a good driving record. Each CDL  driver must complete a medical examination. Classroom education for our bus and van drivers consists of learning safety awareness, bus rules, emergency procedures, first aid, route preparation and parent/camper relations. All private passenger van drivers have their driving record checked for safety compliance. Prior to the opening of camp, drivers of all vehicles have several “dry runs” of their routes to familiarize themselves with the area, fine tune the timing and work out any ‘kinks’ to help facilitate a smooth first day.
polaroid tilt-rightSeat belts are not required by the State of PA. on conventional school buses. Safety studies have shown seat belts on the larger school buses tend to be more of a hindrance than an asset in case of an accident or emergency. Our school mini vans and private passenger cars are equipped with seat belts and capacity on these vehicles never exceeds the number of seat belts available. You can help us by reminding your child to stay in his/her seat and to use the seat belts at all times.
Pleasing each family on the route by having each camper, ideally, picked up last and dropped off first is an impossible task. Although a short ride to camp for each child is desirable your home location has a direct bearing on the duration of your child’s ride. Each route is planned in order to assure minimal driving time and maximum comfort and efficiency for both the camper and the driver. If your home is located in that portion of the route that necessitates your child being the first one picked up and last dropped off, then you have the option to meet the bus at a different pick-up and drop-off point and time. All routes are designed so that the driver starts at the farthest point from camp and finishes at the closest point. Some routes are localized and cover a very small pick-up area; hence, whenever possible the driver attempts to drop off first that child who has been first picked up. This can be done only as travel and time conditions permit.
0dfbb82e-0bf4-4353-8a63-b995bfa36e74Riding the camp bus is fun – it is different – and it is a very definite part of camp! Our philosophy is based on the fact that the camp day begins when your child enters the vehicle and not when he/she arrives at camp. Each morning as your child enters our vehicles there will be greetings by the driver, supervisor and camp friends. While on the vehicle your child will have an opportunity to meet new friends and share camp experiences. This is a very valuable extension of the camp day. Please allow your child to enjoy this experience by reinforcing and inspiring positive thoughts about the ride to and from camp.
Even though the State Law does not require supervision on a bus, other than the driver, we provide a supervisor on each large bus and some mini vans. The role of this person will be to assist campers on the bus, control safety, take attendance and provide any other assistance that may be needed. Some vans may not have a supervisor, therefore, the driver will be singularly in charge.
63e37cf0-06c4-4168-b8fe-9fd44dd16ae1Any time you desire a scheduling change you must contact the office. All changes must go directly through the office and not the driver. All requests must be in writing and approved in advance by the camp. Phone requests will not be honored. This is for your child’s protection! If your child is sick the night before or the morning of camp, please call the driver immediately. Please do not call the camp for absenteeism. Prior to your child starting camp, the driver will contact you in person at home. This information will provide you with the driver’s name, vehicle ID and pick up and drop off times. If the driver does not make contact, please call our office the week before your child begins camp. Once the route is established please keep your AM and PM conversations with the driver to a minimum. Your driver has many children to pick up and lengthy conversations with several parents along the route can cause a vehicle to be as much as 30 minutes late.
Most campers will be picked up between 8:30 and 9:15 AM and dropped off between 3:30 and 4:15 PM. Often a route may change drastically just prior to the start of camp or during the first two weeks. We reserve the right to change the camper’s pick up and drop off time. It will; however, remain within the already noted time. Please make every effort to have your child ready each morning. If the driver and other campers must wait for your child each morning the vehicle will assuredly arrive late to camp and may severely limit your child’s program schedule. Punctuality is of the utmost importance to prevent this emotional stress and disappointment. At the close of the day, when your child is dropped off, the driver will wait to make sure that your child enters the home. Please make sure your child has a way to enter the home and that you are present upon the arrival of the vehicle. The vehicle will wait up to 2 minutes, then a note will be left and the child will remain on the vehicle and proceed to the end of the route. You will have to pick up your child at the end of the route should the aforementioned incident occur.
7934bdff-8804-4e8d-8981-f2755aa6f1c9Campers are assigned to a specific route and vehicle at the onset of the summer. In an attempt to shorten and modify routes the transportation director may elect to reassign your child to another vehicle. Usually this change occurs within the first 2 weeks of the summer based on the need to change a route or add a vehicle. Two weeks is the average time required to stabilize a route due to adjustments and our never ending effort to minimize travel time. You are reminded that once a child is assigned to a vehicle that he/she is not allowed to randomly switch to another vehicle. We are limited in seating capacity and we do not wish to confuse either the camper or the driver of the routes that are involved. When there is a divorced family situation we cannot provide pick up and drop off at alternative homes

Due to available space on the vehicles, we do not allow children to go home or be picked up on a different vehicle. If the camper must leave camp early, it is the parent’s responsibility to make arrangements for early pick up. This is done by sending in a note in advance to the office identifying the camper and the time of pick up. All campers must be picked up by 3:00 PM or they will be sent home on their vehicle. If you are dropping your children off at camp in the morning, no child will be admitted before 9:30 AM. Arrowhead does offer drop- off and pick up service from the hours of 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. We provide supervision and activities for those campers electing this option. It is limited in space and must be consistent A.M. and P.M. throughout the entire season. Please feel free to call us for further details.

Each bus possesses a first aid kit, emergency warning markers, a fire extinguisher and a packet containing emergency procedures and phone numbers on his/her bus. The driver has been fully trained as to the proper use and procedures for each of these items. Our buses and vans are equipped with cellular phones and we maintain 4 spare vehicles and drivers to respond to any breakdowns that may occur to and from camp.
As a service to our working parents whose schedules do not coincide with our morning and afternoon drop off times we offer supervised play at our facility.  Our doors open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. sharp daily.  Those parents requesting this option must do so throughout the entire chosen camp session.  Camp can not accomodate switching of days between transport and extended day service.  As part of our ‘all inclusive” tuition we do not charge extra for this service.  Camp pledges to provide a safe and fun environment for all of our Extended Care children.
It goes without saying that there will always be questions pertaining to transportation. We will always be available to assist. Please realize that we have many children and many routes during the summer and that we try to accommodate an overall majority of parental needs in order to prevent continual problems from reoccurring. An understanding of our transportation program in its complex entirety will hopefully allow you a greater appreciation of any problem-solving that is necessary during the summer. Prior to camp opening, our phones are open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. During the camp season all calls are taken from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The camp phone number is (610) 353-KIDS. Please Post!
We would appreciate it if you would discuss, with your child, the significance of existent safety rules on the buses and vans. These rules are to be followed at all times.

  • Stay on the curb or sidewalk until the vehicle arrives.
  • Wait until the vehicle comes to a complete stop before you approach it.
  • When crossing a street to board your vehicle or after leaving your vehicle, wait until the driver or counselor checks the traffic for you and then allows you to cross.
  • Always stop, look and listen before crossing any street when going to or leaving the vehicle.
  • Never chase the bus or any vehicle.
  • Once seated in the bus, do not change seats.
  • Always wear your seat belt (if applicable).
  • Do not get out of your seat to depart from the vehicle until it has come to a full stop.
  • Talk quietly with your friend, do not yell in the vehicle.
  • Do not put your arms or head out of the window.
  • Never throw anything out of the window.
  • Sit with your back against the seat at all times.
  • Do not sit on your knees or turn around at any time.
  • iPods, cell phones, electronic games and toys are not to be brought to camp or allowed on the vehicle at anytime.
  • Follow all directions from the driver and the counselor.
  • Remain seated at all times.
  • Enjoy your ride to camp!

It is our hope that this informational page has given you a better understanding of our transportation program. We will be most delighted to discuss our transportation service with you in greater detail if you have the need. We look forward to providing you and your child with an excellent transportation experience for the coming summer.

In the interest of SAFETY, we at ARROWHEAD answer your question as to “WHY… SCHOOL BUSES DON’T HAVE SEAT BELTS?”

It seems counter to common sense. If we’re buckling up for safety in our cars, shouldn’t the kids be buckled into their bus seats, too? The answer is no, says the Pennsylvania School Bus Association. Unlike the family car, which carries passengers low to the road and in the same plane as a colliding vehicle, a school bus carries its riders above the impact zone and away from the engine. School buses are designed to carry kids somewhat like eggs in an egg crate – that is, each seat serves a separate padded compartment. The design prevents the seated child from being tossed about, in or out of the bus. Crash tests conducted by the Canadian Department of Transportation found that dummies wearing seat belts on buses actually received higher injury scores than unbelted dummies. The reason: The crash forces were spread out over large areas when the unbelted body struck the rear of the seat in front. Belts caused the dummies to pivot, so that the brunt of the impact was sustained in the head and neck areas. The most dangerous place for a school bus-riding child, says the association, is within 10 feet outside the bus … where they are struck by cars that fail to stop.

To read even more information regarding school buses, seat belts and safety click here.