Pros: My daughter said the staff often snuck food for campers or themselves!!!
Cons: Please read my review if you would like to hear my story!
Well I decided to write my little ol' review after speaking with my daughter during a recent mother daughter road trip we took last weekend. I sent her to this camp not wanting to in the first place. I am a mom and I trust my instincts, from my first interactions with this camp and it's owner and staff, I just did not feel it was the right kind of environment for a girl who has so many issues with self-esteem and weight. I love my child she's my only one and all I live with are regrets and empty pockets to say the very least. To put a long story short, I contacted several camps. I was going to send her to a Co-Ed camp in PA but the owner of this camp Phillip, convinced me not to send her there for A,B,C reasons.(I Don't believe them to be true after reading nicer reviews on the other camps! They seem more fun and properly run, I've seen them on TV...) My daughter who I will keep anonymous for obvious reasons is very intelligent, friendly, cute, and a really nice 14 year old girl. She said the food was under-cooked, milk was spoiled at times, and the snacks seemed like a good idea but campers and STAFF at this place are notorious for taking tons of extras back to their bunks and passing them out like appeteizers! My daughter stayed almost the whole summer,she lost more weight on Weight Watchers in the Winter and lost 20 pounds then.For this kind of money a parent does expect drastic results. After all this is a WEIGHT LOSS camp isn't that the main focus? I was sold on too much hype and empty promises.. Shows and concerts and sporting events, all seats that were what she called nose-bleed sections. I pay for camp and then all these extras too. I suppose the other camps would have been a better investment, at least they have real camp quarters and lakes, and boats, and real pools etc. There is no need for these extras when the fun is provided by the camp itself. I spoke with the owner of the other camp after her summer at Pennbrook and offered me a nice discount if we sent her back to his camp but I am skeptical but the offer was nice.
Lastly, I can say that I was mostly bothered by the Staff who seemed very under-qualified to be working with girls that have such severe issues with food, weight, and eating disorders. Not to mention there is also a large population of girls at this camp who have mental, emotional, and other disorders as well. In no way am I a discriminating person but my daughter did mention that the girls would poke fun and call the camp a Special Ed camp, even staff members and girls called J.C's. That's just not what I signed up for. The assistant to the owner apparently was the tennis aid for years and that to me is almost comical. I don't understand the hiring process and the lack of care when it comes to such important key components to such a specialized type of camp. Other staff just seemed very self-absorbed and others were down-right abnoxious and mean to the girls according to my daughter. I know that most staff were also there to lose weight since many of the are very over-weight themselves. I wanted role-models for my daughter not leaders who would nag and complain all day like the kids. Not leaders who had so little energy that they could barely motivate themselves or the kids. NUTS!
I think Camp Pennbrook has much re-organization that needs to take place. A camp is a home away from home, it should have been a great experience for my daughter, it should have been everything I was promised. I read other reviews and I just find them hard to believe. I am always rooting for the under-dog but unfortunately I chose the under-dog when choosing a camp and I ended up losing at then end of the day and all she can say about her summer was, "it was Ok, it was blah, I was glad to leave that hell hole!" Not things a parent feels so great hearing. To you other moms or dads, think twice, don't buy all the bologna, do your investigating before sending that check away. God Bless.