Frequently Asked Questions
Reservations & Payment
How does the reservations process work?
What if I don't get my first choice of dates?
The Registrar uses a lottery to assign space for each week. Depending on your position in the lottery, you may get your first, second, or third choice. If none of your choices are available, the registrar will contact you directly. Parties that can’t be accommodated will have priority the following year.
How do I pay my bill?
For the summer season, a deposit of $200 per person per week is required with your reservation application. The balance of your bill is due on the island one day prior to your departure. Payment is only by cash, personal check, or money order.
For the fall season, fees are payable in full at the time of reservation.
There are three people in our party. Can we share one cabin?
Yes. While the cabins are designed for two people, portable cots can accommodate a third person, although cabin space will be tight. Please specify your request when making your reservation.
To Bring or Not to Bring ...
Can I bring my cell phone with me to the island?
Electronic devices, including telephones, computers, iPods and earbuds, should be used only in private, and out of sight and sound of others. You may use your cellphone in the privacy of your cabin. Consider bringing a solar charger, as cabins have no outlets and there are limited places to recharge. Parents are asked to help their children follow the electronics policy.
Do I need to bring bed linens?
During the summer season, sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and towels are provided. In the summer, campers should bring towels for use at the dock. In the fall, a pillow and two wool blankets per bed are provided, but no linens. We recommend campers bring their own sleeping bag, sheets if desired, pillowcase and towel during the fall season.
Do I need to bring any food with me? May I bring alcohol?
Campers do not need to bring food. Hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served family-style at 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM daily. Bag lunches are available upon 24-hour notice for off-island day trips. Snacks and candy are available at the camp store, or from the mailboat at midday. Food is not available other than at the set meal-times. Campers sometimes bring snack items with them for convenience.
Alcohol is allowed in the camp, but not at meals nor in common facilities. Guests sometimes host "happy hours" in the vicinity of their cabins.
I'd like to bring my boat with me.
There are a few small slips available at the main dock for small powerboats. Contact the managers at least two weeks prior to your visit to reserve a slip. Many campers also bring their own canoes or kayaks. It is sometimes difficult for the croo, on busy transition days, to transport small boats to the island. If you do bring a canoe or kayak, consider paddling the 1-1/2 miles from Shep Brown's to the island. Note that the camp has canoes, kayaks and sailboats available for rent at nominal rates.
How do I get to the island?
The camp launch, The Appy. leaves from Shep Brown's Boat Basin on Lovejoy Sands Road in Meredith, NH.
Launches run at 9:00 AM, noon, 2:00 PM (Saturday only) and 5:00 PM. The efficiency of the camp is greatly improved if campers arrive in the afternoon. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to unload your car, tag your bags and park your car in the Three Mile lot.
How does my luggage get out to the island? Will it get wet?
During the summer, the TMI Croo transports luggage on the camp baggage boat directly to your cabin. Please clearly tag all of your luggage with your name and cabin name and number; tags and markers are available from TMI staff just before your launch.
For Fall weekends, staff will bring your luggage to the main dock. You will have to carry it to your cabin. If you need help, please ask one of the weekend staff for assistance. Also, please be aware that Friday evening arrivals in the fall are in the dark.
In case of rain it is not always possible to provide shelter for your luggage en route to or from the island. Some people bring a couple of large trash bags or a dry bag to protect their most vulnerable items in case of a rainstorm.
The Island and Its Amenities
What are the cabins and facilities like?
Two-person cabins with porches are spaced around the Island shoreline, and offer excellent views of the surrounding lake and mountains. Most cabins have small individual docks. Each cabin has two single beds, modest shelf space, and a couple of sitting chairs. They have no electricity.
A central lodge (“Main House”), where campers dine family style, also has a fireplace, wood stove, card tables, comfortable chairs, and a great room (the “Main Room”).
The "Retreat" is a separate building with a fireplace and electricity that offers readers and writers a place to go where noise and young children are off-limits.
A horseshoe pit, tennis court and volleyball court are all centrally located and easily accessed. Canoes, kayaks, sunfish, and day sailing boats may be rented during the guest's stay for a nominal fee.
A large central dock and raft complex along with a recreation hall is where many congregate for swimming or to talk with friends.
Outhouses are located near common areas and at intervals around the island for access from camper cabins.
What to know about toilets in the woods.
There are no flush toilets at Three Mile, but there are clean, well-maintained outhouses spaced throughout the island. Those closest to the main house and main dock are Clivus composting toilets with ventilation systems.
Are there any showers on the island?
No, although each cabin has a sun shower. Sun showers are rugged plastic bags that use solar energy to warm up water for bathing. Bathe away from the lake with biodegradable soap.
What is a typical day at Three Mile Island like?
Our bugler sounds reveille at 7:30 AM, and campers gather for breakfast at the Main House at 8:00. There may be announcements during the meal about events going on that day.
During the day, people find their own rhythm of quiet and activity, depending on the weather and their own inclination. There are few planned events at Three Mile, allowing campers to do what they like and invent their own fun and relaxation.
Commonly, the main dock is a hub of activity, with swimming, boats, a fleet of reading chairs, and a Rec Hall with ping pong, game tables and foosball. Some take boats out, fish, play tennis, or take a kayak or canoe on an adventure. Some may opt for the quiet of reading, their own cabin or conversation in the row of rocking chairs on the Main Porch. Each cabin has its own small private dock, where campers can swim or relax.
Lunch is at 1:00 and dinner is served at 6:00. Some nights feature an organized activity for any who wish to enjoy; Each week there is an evening of singing, an educational presentation and a final evening of square dancing.
While much about Three Mile is guided by the simplicity of the setting and the routines of shared meals and a weekly calendar of activities, most everything else is impromptu and emerges spontaneously day to day.
How old must children be before I can bring them to Three Mile Island?
At least four years old at the time of the child’s visit. Each family is solely responsible for their children, including when they are swimming at the dock, whether or not the lifeguard is on duty.
Is the island accessible to the physically challenged?
Yes. Wheelchair ramps have been installed at the Main House, one of the outhouses, and in the Rec Hall. One of the cabins, Edgewater 3, has a low-angle ramp with railings. If you have any specific questions regarding access issues, contact the summer managers or off-season manager.
Is there a store on the island? What is sold there?
There is a camp store located next to the main house. The story carries snacks, essential sundries (e.g., flashlight batteries, biodegradable shampoo and soap, bug repellant) and a small collection of postcards, books, and Three Mile Island Camp T-shirts.
In addition, the U.S. Mailboat visits the island Monday through Saturday during the summer season at noon. Especially popular among younger campers, the boat delivers and picks up mail, and sometimes sells candy, ice cream and soft drinks.
Are lifeguards on duty at the waterfront?
During the most popular swimming times, lifeguards are on duty. However, parents are primarily responsible for the safety of their children at the waterfront and elsewhere on the island.
What types of activities are available at Three Mile Island?
Explore the Lake:
Three Mile is located at the northern end of Lake Winnipesaukee—a 26-mile-long lake with over 240 islands in the heart of New Hampshire's Lake District. There are many hour- to day-long canoe trips around the lake—only limited by the skill and imagination of the canoeist. Popular destinations include Blueberry Island, with a wide, sandy beach and occasional Eagles' nest with eaglets, and Stonedam Island, a natural preserve owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Three Mile has a small fleet of sunfish, kayaks, and small sailboats available for guests. Fishing and sailing are also popular.
Take a Hike:
The White, Presidentials, Ossipee and Bald Peak Mountain ranges are all an easy day trip from Three Mile. Hikes range from Mount Major, a short family hike with views of the Lake, to all-day hikes in the Presidential mountains. Often a group of guests will go "off Island" for a trip together. There is a beautiful perimeter trail around Three Mile for those who want a shorter walk. Campers may also choose to participate in the maintenance of nearby Five Mile Island, recently acquired by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust as a nature preserve.
On Island Activities:
Three Mile has been carefully managed to conserve the Island vegetation, and there is a large variety of both animal and plant life. Often deer can be found on the Island; sometimes fox, mink and wild turkey as well. Nature walks and activities are conducted several times each week. Talks are given some evenings by storytellers, the Loon Preservation Committee, or the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. A Hymn Sing is held each Sunday, and Friday night features a square dance.
Off Island Activities:
The New Hampshire Lakes District is a summer vacation destination with many local recreational facilities. There are three excellent golf courses within fifteen minutes. The Weirs offers several theme parks with water slides, miniature golf and so on. Three cruise boats ply the lake and offer sight seeing for a half day. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center features many excellent exhibits, including a steam engine driven saw mill. Antique and craft stores are found in large numbers throughout the area.
However most people come to Three Mile and stay on the island. There are only three boat trips a day to the mainland, and it can take a while to get where you're going.
Are there games or activities provided for children?
In comparison to a traditional children’s summer camp, there are no organized activities provided for children. However, many families spend a large part of each day at the waterfront enjoying swimming, boating and the recreation hall. There is also a junior naturalist program, trips to nearby islands (such as Blueberry, Five Mile and Stonedam Islands), weekly games of volleyball and Capture the Flag, and evening programs enjoyed by people of all ages.
Dietary Restrictions and Guests
How does the camp accommodate dietary restrictions?
Please note any dietary restrictions on your reservation form. There are vegetarian options available at all meals, but the cook and baker need to plan how much of these to make. If you have other dietary needs (such as gluten-free, lactose-free, allergies, vegan) please contact the summer managers in advance. We do our best to accommodate special requests, given enough planning time in advance. If you need to bring your own food, we can provide refrigerator space for it.
May I invite a guest for lunch on one of the days during my visit?
Limited space is available for guests at meals. A nominal meal fee will be added to the host's bill. Contact the summer managers well in advance of your guests' visit. It is usually easier to accommodate meal-time guests mid-week.