We believe every child can benefit from a Christian camping experience. Like you, we want your child to have a good first camping experience, and will make every effort towards that goal. Below are some questions other parents have asked. Feel free to contact the camp staff with any other questions or concerns you have about your child’s upcoming camping experience. We are here to help.
Why is camping important to you and your child?
Parents like the fact that time at camp increases positive identity, social skills, and spirituality, as well as physical and thinking skills, according to American Camping Association research. These are skills that help children and youth become more successful adults. Camp staff and volunteers make every effort to provide a safe and nurturing environment for campers, while encouraging them to try new experiences. What could be more important than this time at camp for your child?
What can your child expect from their camping experience?
- Outdoor Adventure
- Christian Community
- Personal Growth
- Faith Formation
- Friends, New and Old!
Attending summer camp is a very exciting event for both campers and parents. It is natural for both you and your child to be anxious about the camper leaving the comforts of home, adopting new routines of daily activities, and meeting many new friends. We want to familiarize you and your camper with our procedures to minimize any “first day anxiety.” The camp staff will make every effort to make campers feel welcome and at home by playing lots of icebreaker and get to know you games. Camp staff also works with campers the first night to develop a camp covenant of behavior expectations for the week.
A typical day at camp begins with breakfast at 8:00 am. Mornings and afternoons are filled with activities such as crafts, games, swimming, canoeing, and more. Each day after lunch there is a quiet time for campers. A part of their daily activities will be a daily Bible study related to the theme. After supper, most campers will participate in an all-camp activity. As the sun sets, we gather around the campfire or in the chapel to worship and praise God for all our daily blessings.
What have parents suggested after their child went to camp?
- Invite one of your child’s friends to come along to camp.
- Send pre-addressed envelopes with campers, addressed to family and friends and put on the necessary postage.
- Leave letters to campers at the registration desk that can be distributed during the camper’s stay.
- Send old clothes that your child will recognize as their own. There is no need to buy new clothes for camp. Do not send designer clothing or other valuable items.
- Label everything and pack light.
- Make sure you have all the necessary forms for check-in. It will save time during registration.
- Your child will probably come home tired and may need additional rest after their stay at camp.
- Talk with your child ahead of time about how you expect them to behave. Explain to them that they will not be able to call home. Tell them that if they have questions or concerns about anything, talk with their counselor or another staff person.
- Questions about registration and payment are to be addressed to the Camping Office in Sun Prairie at 877-947-2267. For questions about the camp program and/or our facilities, contact Lake Lucerne at 877-582-3763 or Pine Lake at 800-648-9630.
How are meals handled at camp?
Meals are served “family style.” That means we all sit down together and pass around the serving dishes after the blessing. This gives campers a chance to have discussions at the table with their counselor. Campers also participate in setting the table, serving the food, and help with clearing the tables. Special dietary concerns are a growing challenge for parents and young people today. The summer camp menu is set up at the beginning of each summer. Our food service manager plans balanced meals with as much variety as the economy will allow. Salad bar or salad options are available at least once each day. We are happy to provide you with a copy of the menu a week ahead of your child’s camp stay so you can see if there are areas you would need to send additional food items to accommodate your camper’s diet. Dietary concerns, such as food allergies, should be noted on the health form. Please do not send “cabin snacks” along for your camper. Food in the cabins can attract unwanted pests. Contact us with any questions you have about our meals.
How does the camp deal with child medications?
All prescription medication brought to camp must be in the original bottle or container with the camper’s name, dosage, time when the medication is administered and the doctor’s name on the label. If you bring medications not in the original container, they need to be accompanied by written orders, signed by a physician, which includes camper’s name, dosage and time. All medications, including over-the-counter (vitamins, creams, lotions, cold remedies, etc.), are required by Wisconsin law to be turned into our camp health supervisor. A handy way to bring medications to camp is to put all of them in a zip lock bag with the camper’s name on the outside. Please do not send medication in daily pill sort containers. Please do not pack medication in your camper’s luggage.
We have many common over the counter medications on hand and will administer them to a camper following written guidelines approved by our consulting physician. All medication, both prescribed and over the counter, is to be given to the camp health supervisor at registration and recorded on the health form.
An insurance contract is provided and the cost is included in the camp fee. This is a supplement to your personal health/medical insurance. Coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the Master Contract held by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church. Call our Sun Prairie office at 877-947-2267 if you have questions about our insurance policy.
What if my child has emotional or physical needs?
Parents are encouraged to share any special concerns about your child’s emotional, behavioral, or physical needs. You can indicate this on the health form. We will only share the information with those staff who we feel need knowledge of this special circumstance to ensure the safety of your child and the other campers. While we try to be as inclusive as possible with campers who have special needs, we cannot expect our staff to deal with problems outside the normal range. We cannot accept a child who requires a large amount of individual attention.
How does the camp handle accidents?
In the event of an emergency, camp staff will take appropriate immediate action, and attempt to contact parents or other emergency contacts as listed on the camp health form. We will continue to attempt contact until one of the emergency contacts is reached. Please be sure to fill out contact information completely. Should no one be available, we will act according to the Parent’s Authorization statement located on the health form.
Can we contact our camper during their time at camp?
Yes! Hearing from home is a great encouragement to campers. Here are some suggestions that have worked well for other families:
- Emails are printed and distributed to the campers at mail time. Campers do not have access to a computer to respond to emails. We will not print photos, etc.; just plain text.
- Take the time to write a thoughtful letter. A hand written letter can mean so much more to a camper than a quick email – often being kept for many years to come as a keepsake.
- Have a grandparent, aunt, or uncle write a letter.
- Ask your minister or youth leader to send a note.
- Send favorite comic strips, stickers, etc. (postal letters only)
- Letters should focus on the camper’s activities and be encouraging. Letters revolving around how much you miss your camper can be hard on a camper already experiencing “homesickness.”
- Detailed information about emailing your camper can be found in your camping confirmation letter.
- Also please avoid writing how much fun you are having on vacation while your child is at camp.
- Stay positive, you can discuss real problems with your camper when he/she returns home.
If you receive a letter written the first night in which your child sounds upset, please don’t be alarmed. By the time you receive it, your child will have adjusted to camp life and will be having a lot of fun. Our counselor staff are coached and trained in how to redirect homesick campers and help them develop life-long coping strategies for dealing with separation and other growing pains we all experience. If you would like to check on the well-being of your child during the week, you can contact either site and we will be happy to give you an update on how things are going.
We are concerned about homesickness. How do you handle this?
Temporary homesickness is a normal reaction, particularly to new campers. Our staff makes an effort to help campers overcome homesickness by helping them learn to accept the natural feelings of missing family and friends. We welcome this opportunity to help our campers grow in this area and develop life-long coping skills. We train our staff to handle homesickness in constructive and loving ways. There are a couple of things you can do to help your camper adjust to camp life.
One way is to talk about the differences in the routines, and in camp life itself. (No television, air conditioning, no phone calls, no electronic games, meals are on a schedule, shared living quarters, etc.) Let the child know that you, while you will miss him/her when they are at camp, you have confidence in his/her ability to cope with the differences. Telling a child that you can call or will come and pick them up if they are homesick communicates to the child that you do not believe they can last the week.
Another way to help with the adjustment is to count out the days (day-by-day) the child will be at camp, so the child has a better understanding of the length of the event. If you child has never slept away from home, having the child go to grandparents or to a friend’s house for a sleepover is a great way to have the child learn what it is like to be away from you for a period of time.
Finally, encourage your child to share his/her feelings with his/her counselor if they become homesick. It is okay for them to tell their counselor they miss their family. By hearing this, our counselors are aware they need to give extra attention to the camper to help them cope with the transition of being away from home.
What about discipline at camp?
Our camp staff provides a nurturing environment where children can feel free to express themselves. Our underlying principle that “every child is a child of God,” is displayed through our counselors and staff who genuinely care for campers in a small group, as well as on an individual basis. Staff develop a camper covenant with their cabin group each week to outline behavioral expectations of the group.
Please encourage your child to follow the instructions of their counselor and other camp staff. Camp life is structured and many of the rules we have are necessary to ensure the safety of all our campers. We may not let your child do some of the things (canoe without a lifejacket, climb a tree, snack at any time, etc.) that they may do under your supervision.
What are campers not allowed to bring to camp?
- Tablets, video games and other electronics
- Cell phones
- Personal sports equipment which requires special storage, such as archery or climbing equipment.
- Knives, hatchets, tobacco products, liquor, fireworks, pornography
- Any type of revealing or suggestive articles of clothing
- Clothing with designs, messages, slogans, etc., that are vulgar, suggestive, or promotes improper behavior (i.e. smoking or drinking)
- Immodestly cut swimwear or two-piece swimsuits (campers with revealing swimwear will be asked to wear a t-shirt)
- New clothes, designer clothes, expensive jewelry, or any item which the child can’t live without if lost or damaged.
My child is registered for camp. What should they pack?
When you registered, you should have received an email with the camp packing list. It is also available for download below.