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Here are some of the common questions that we hear from camp parents, families, and kids. We always welcome the opportunity to talk with you individually about our programs. Contact us at any time or come see us at camp!
How do I know if my child is ready for overnight camp?
Each child is unique and may be ready at different developmental levels. There is no magic age when they are "ready," although we recommend our 4-day program for 7-9 year olds and the full week program for 9-14 year olds as a guideline. Let your child guide you! If they express excitement and interest in overnight camp, they are probably ready. A few other signs are that they have had success at a day camp experience, show independence in social or extracurricular activities or have slept away from home and the family for at least one night.
Can I take a tour of Camp before my child attends or registers for summer camp?
Absolutely! We welcome and encourage camp tours for our campers and their families. Contact Us and come see us!
How will my camper be placed into a cabin group?
Each cabin group consists of 10-12 campers of the same gender and approximate age. You may request a cabin mate at the time of registration. Requests must be mutual and within one year of age. If your child will not be coming with a friend, we will place him/her into a group with other single campers to help with building friendships and cabin group cohesion.
Where does my child stay at camp?
We are a year-round camp, so we have cozy insulated cabins with hardwood floors, fireplaces, bunk beds with safety railings. Your camper will stay in a single bunk bed for the week. The counselors stay in the same cabin as their cabin group.
Where are the bathrooms and showers located?
We have centrally located bathhouses on each side of camp (boys side and girls side). We have modern, private showers and bathrooms. Do the toilets flush? You bet!
When does the camp week begin and end?
The camp week begins on Sunday afternoons. Families are responsible for their camper's transportation to camp. The camp gate will open at 1:30 and you will be greeted by a camp staff member to receive your cabin and counselor assignment. You can then spend some time settling in and touring camp. Families are welcome to attend our Opening Ceremonies at 3:30.
The camp sessions wrap up on Friday afternoons. Campers board the bus for Green Bay at 3PM and arrive to the West Side YMCA in Howard between 4:15-4:30PM. You can also make arrangements to pick up your camper right at camp at 2:45pm if you wish.
Tell me about the camp store - how does my child make purchases? Are there limits?
The camp store is open before and after dinner each day. Each camper will have a camp store account, as we do not want them to have any cash while at camp. Each camper begins with $5 credit and additional monies can be added at the time of registration or on check-in day. When your camper visits the store, the amount of their purchase will be noted on their account and "debited" from their total. They can only purchase treats after dinner and are limited to 2 edible items and 1 drink each day.
Balances that remain on your camper's store account at the end of their week will be donated to our Annual Campaign, a fund that provides financial assistance and program subsidies for our campers.
How are the camp counselors selected and trained?
Our camp counselors are selected based upon their strengths in being a strong and positive role model for youth and providing a fun and safe environment for our campers. Each counselor is at least 18 years of age and undergo application, interview process, reference checks and background checks. Many of our camp counselors are "home grown" and have progressed from being Unie campers and Teen Leaders to full camp counselors, while others are new to the camp family including international staff and bring wonderful perspective, energy and ideas!
Camp counselors are certified in Lifeguarding, CPR/AED, and First Aid. Our trip leaders also receive training in Wilderness First Aid. The staff team participates in an 10-day pre-camp training session to learn all of the skills and practices necessary to lead an effective camp program, work with campers, and ensure a safe camp week for all.
What types of meals are served at camp?
Meals are served in our Dining Hall. The campers sit together as a cabin group with their counselor and enjoy a community, family-style meal. We serve healthy and kid-friendly food. If your camper has special diet restrictions, you can note these on your health form (included in your confirmation materials), or feel free to contact us at camp!
How can I stay in touch with my camper while they are away at camp?
Each day, photos from the day are posted to our website so that you can see what our campers have been doing. You can also send daily emails to them that will be delivered at dinner time using our free one-way email system called Bunk1. Good old-fashioned snail mail is wonderful to receive as well!
Can my child call or email me while they are at camp?
Your camper will not have access or the ability to call or use a computer to email you while they are away at camp. We encourage them to write a letter home, so send along a stamped, pre-addressed envelope or postcard. The Camp Director is always available by phone or email if you want to check in, and she would be happy to report back!
What if my child gets homesick?
Homesickness is a very normal, and often temporary, response for some children who attend camp. Proper preparation and preventive measures will allow your child (and you!) to have a great week. With proper handling by parents, staff, and campers, a case of homesickness can be prevented or easily overcome, while the camper gains independence and feelings of success and pride. The camp staff are extensively trained to handle homesickness in a sensitive and compassionate way so that your camper has a great week!
Here are some tips for camper families to begin the process before their camper even begins packing their bags for camp.
1. Encourage sleepovers at a friend or relative's home prior to camp.
2. Plan a visit to camp prior to their camp session. This allows campers and parents to see the "unknown", ask questions, become familiar with camp, and get excited about their week away. Tours are available anytime, simply call 715.276.7116 to schedule and come on up for a visit!
3. With your camper, explore the camp website so that camp surroundings look familiar when your camper arrives in person.
4. Read stories about camp to your child or have a friend or sibling who has attended camp share their stories.
5. Tell, tell, and re-tell your child how much fun you want them to have at camp. While you will surely miss them, you want them to have a great time, make friends, and try new fun activities. Share your pride in their success at camp.
6. Do not give your child an "out" such as promising that they can call or come home or that you will pick them up early, this often makes matters much worse. The Director will always call if needed. Campers are not allowed to call or email during the camp week.
7. Send a familiar object from home such as a stuffed animal or pillow. This "transitional" object will ease adjustment to camp.
My child is not a strong swimmer, will they still be able to participate in the swimming and boating activities?
Absolutely! On the first day of camp, campers are assessed by our Waterfront Director to determine their swimming ability. They will be assigned a buddy number and ability color (red, white or blue). Based upon their level, they may have to wear a camp lifejacket in the deep-end, shallow-end or both. The swim test is optional and all campers can enjoy the water in the shallow areas if they choose.
For boating, all campers are required to wear a lifejacket regardless of their swimming level. They will be taught how to properly wear and fasten their lifejacket on the first day of camp, and staff check to make sure that they are on correctly before any swimming or boating.
We use a buddy system for all water-related activities, and they are supervised by certified lifeguards. Campers check into and out of the waterfront using their buddy chips and we perform frequent buddy checks to ensure camper safety.
What should I pack for my camper's week at U-Nah-Li-Ya?
A detailed packing list and video on how to pack for camp are available in the parent portal.
Can my camper bring electronic devices to camp?
The only electronic item we allow at camp is a digital camera which should be labeled and remain with your child or in their belongings. Please do not allow your child or teen to bring a cell phone, ipod, or electronic games for their week at U-Nah-Li-Ya. These are valuable items that we do not want as part of the camp experience.
Camp is the original "social network" and we want kids to disconnect from electronics, cell phones, and texting so that they can connect with themselves, new friends, and the camp experience. Please help us to preserve the integrity and character of the overnight camp experience by supervising your child's packing to make sure that they take a break from technology and plug into nature and camp!
If you have questions that we have not answered here, please try our parent portal, it's is packed with parent approved resources for your camp journey. And as always contact us directly for further assistance.