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Summer Camp FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about summer camp! Please be sure to also read through the Camper Booklet for your camp. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact your Camp Director or Customer Care at 888-623-1237.

Jump to the FAQ topics below:

General FAQs

Where can I find summer camp session information?

All our camp sessions are on our website here. You can also download a digital copy. Additionally, camp guides are mailed to all registered girls (one per household) and are available for pickup at all service centers.

What are activities like at camp?

There will be a mix of pre-planned activities selected by the staff relating to the camp theme and girl-planned, girl-led activities. See your session’s camp description for some of the pre-selected activities, including any field trips. Girl-planned activities are decided on the first day of the camp session with guidance from camp staff. This is part of what makes the Girl Scout camp experience unique, as it encourages creativity, problem-solving, decision making, leadership, and gives girls more ownership of their camp experience. Encourage your girl to think of some things she wants to do at camp, and encourage her to express this during girl-planning!

How do I apply to work at summer camp?

You can apply to work at summer camp on our website here. Scroll down and click “Ready to Apply?”

Can I visit camp beforehand?

Visiting camp before the summer can help campers and parents feel more comfortable and confident about camp! If you are interested in visiting camp, we encourage you to attend an event at one of our camps by checking out our events calendar. You can also set up a tour by contacting your camp director or calling Customer Care at 888-623-1237.

I'm not a Girl Scout. Can I attend summer camp?

Yes! A $25 annual membership registration fee will be added to the total cost of the summer camp session registration if you are not a currently registered Girl Scout. If your register for more than one camp session, you only pay the membership registration fee one time for the summer.

How old do you have to be attend camp?

For most day camps and mini-resident camps, campers must be at least 5 years old and entering 1st grade in the fall. There are a few exceptions to this—check your specific camp session for details. Resident campers must be entering 2nd grade in the fall, and age ranges vary by session.

How can I make sure my camper is with her buddy?

During registration, you will have the opportunity to enter a buddy’s name. Buddies will be in the same group/tent. Buddies should request each other to be guaranteed to be together. Only one buddy is guaranteed. Buddies may be separated temporarily for certain activities, but will be kept in the same group/tent.

How is the weather handled at summer camp?

Camp activities may change due to weather. If the weather is inclement, girls may not be able to participate in activities that are affected by rain, storms, and extreme heat, including but not limited to horseback riding, boating, swimming, challenge course, and archery.

Activities and schedules will be modified as necessary. In the event of severe weather, a building at camp is reserved for the safety of campers. Staff members are able to communicate with each other and the camp office for weather updates and emergencies.

When severe weather occurs, all girls are safely moved to the designated buildings for shelter and an all-camp activity takes place to occupy them, such as a dance, camp idol contest, or pajama party. This helps to ease the girls’ concerns about the weather and keeps the focus on fun!

Is there a camp store?

Yes! Each camp has a “trading post” with camp and Girl Scout items such as stuffed animals, fun patches, necklaces, t-shirts, etc. Items vary by camp location. You can add money to your camper’s trading post at registration or deposit a check, cash, or cookie dough at check-in. This money is kept by camp staff for safe keeping.

Please note, if you deposit money into your camper’s trading post during registration, any unspent money will be contributed to our campership financial assistance fund. Unspent money deposited at check-in will be returned at check-out.

Is there a lost and found at camp?

Camp staff will be gathered daily and staff will attempt to reunite lost items with their owners. To help with this process, please make sure to write your camper’s name clearly on all belongings.

Any unclaimed lost and found will be available for you to peruse at the end of the week. Unclaimed lost and found will be kept until the end of the summer, at which point it will be donated or thrown away.

Please contact your camp director if you discover your camper is missing something when she returns home.

What are the campers allowed to bring to camp?

: Strapless tops; sandals; Crocs or open-toed shoes; hair dryers; curling irons; cell phones; tablets or similar electronic devices; headphones; radios; CD players; MP3 players; gaming systems; DVD players; iPods; expensive jewelry; weapons or weapon look-a-likes; alcohol; illegal substances; tobacco products; marijuana products; vaping or similar devices; pets/animals; or personal sports equipment are NOT permitted at camp. Campers may be checked for these items. If found, items will be held by the camp director for safe keeping until the end of the camp session.

Accommodations & Accessibility

How do you accommodate girls with accessibility or special needs?

We do our best to accommodate all girls and include them to the fullest extent possible in all activities. Please contact the camp director to discuss your camper’s needs and how we may be able to accommodate.

Are special dietary needs and allergies accommodated?

We do our best to accommodate all special dietary needs and allergies. Please contact the camp director to discuss your camper’s needs so we can be prepared at camp.

Registration & Payment

When does summer camp registration open?

Camp registration opens on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 8:00 a.m.

How do I register my girl for summer camp?

Click here to view all our summer camp sessions and select your favorite session or sessions.  You may register for multiple camps in your online registration. The sessions are sorted by categories and camps. Click on the green session name. This will take you to the session you want to register for. A $25, non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Nutty Bucks and Cookie Dough cannot be used for the camp deposit when registering. 

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. When you register, you will be asked if you would like to apply for financial assistance. Check the box indicating that you would like to complete the financial assistance form. This will take you to the form that must be completed.

If applying for financial assistance, the $25 non-refundable deposit must be paid. Financial assistance applications are reviewed starting in April. You will be notified of the status of the application. Nutty Bucks and Cookie Dough cannot be used for the registration deposit.

Can I pay with Cookie Dough or Nutty Bucks?

Yes! The $25 non-refundable deposit may NOT be paid with Cookie Dough or Nutty Bucks. The balance owed can be paid with these.

How do I know that I’m registered and confirmed for camp?

You will receive a confirmation email shortly after registering for camp. If you do not receive it within 24 hours, please contact Customer Care at 888-623-1237 or customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org. They will confirm if you are registered, let you know your balance, and re-send confirmation emails.

How is the waitlist handled?

If you would like to be added to the waitlist for a session that is full, please contact Customer Care at 888-623-1237 or customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org. With your name, camper’s name, name of session, and contact information.

The waitlist is handled on a first-come, first-served basis. If a spot opens up for you, you will be asked to respond within a certain amount of time (varies depending on length of waitlist and how long until the session). If you do not respond, you will forfeit your spot on the waitlist.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

Contact Customer Care at 888-623-1237 or customercare@girlscouts-gsci.org at least 2 weeks prior to your camp session. The $25 deposit is non-refundable.

Healthcare at Camp

What is required for the Health History form?
  • All campers must submit a completed health history form signed by the parent/guardian.
  • All campers must submit a complete vaccination record or official letter of exemption signed dby a doctor. GSCI Camps follow the same requirements put forth by IDPH for public schools. Please see the IDPH website for information on currently required vaccines for your child’s age.
  • Overnight campers (3+ nights) must also have a physical completed within 24 months prior to the last day of the camp session. This may be the physician portion of the health history form or simply a copy of a recent physical.
  • Health Records will be collected at check-in and are kept confidential.
What if my camper needs medication?

We ask that you bring the medication with instructions in the original packaging to check-in. Medication will be administered by select, authorized staff members at the scheduled time. Be sure to mark when each medication is to be taken on the Health History form.

What happens at the health check?

At the health check, you will be greeted by a staff member who will check temperature, look at the campers throat, head, arms, legs, hands, and feet. You will also complete a COVID-19 screening.

Your camper may be asked to take out any braids/pony-tails, so you may want to skip the fancy braids for the day, or be prepared to re-do it afterwards. (Note: we will not ask campers to take out protective hairstyles.) We are looking for signs of communicable diseases or any injuries we’ll need to know about while at camp.

You’ll also fill out some paperwork about your camper and answer some questions about how your camper is feeling. At this time you will turn in any medication, the Health History form, and have a chance to talk to the nurse or administrative staff about any health concerns. Overnight campers will be asked for proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test performed within 72 hours prior to arrival at camp.

What if my camper gets sick at camp?

Should a camper become ill or injured at camp, the staff will administer first aid and follow written procedures given by the camp physician. 

This may include a visit to a local doctor’s office or emergency room after hours. If a camper requires a long rest period for recovery or she cannot remain at camp, she will be sent home. Parents/guardians are responsible for arranging pickup in a timely manner. 

If a camper’s illness or injury is severe, she will be given emergency care at the scene and be transported to the hospital emergency room.

When a camper becomes ill or injured, parents/guardians will be notified of the camper’s condition. In life-threatening situations, treatment may begin before notification, as indicated on the health consent form.

If your camper is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 you will be asked to come get your camper immediately and take them to be tested before returning to camp.

Day Camp-How does check-in work?
On the first day, you will be asked to park and speak with camp staff to turn in paperwork and complete a health-check. After the first day, if you have registered for before/after care, you may simply drop off your camper between 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. at the check-in station from the first day. If you have not registered for before/after care, you will drop off your camper at the same location between 8:50 a.m.- 9:10 a.m.

Day Camp- How does check-out work?
Check-out occurs at the same place as check-in. Your photo identification will be checked every day to ensure that campers are leaving with an authorized person. Campers will not be permitted to leave with anyone who is not on the camper pickup form. Pickup is from 4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.for those registered for before/after care. Those not registered for before/after care must pick up between 4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Overnight Camp – How does check-in work?
Change to: instructions for check-in vary depending on your specific session. You will receive details about check-in from the camp director approximately two weeks before your session start date.

 

 

Day Camp FAQs

What if my camper is going to be absent?

Please let your camp director know as soon as possible of any absences. 

What should my camper bring to day camp?

Each day campers should bring the following items in a backpack: filled water bottle, bug spray, sunscreen, swim suit, towel, poncho/rain jacket. Kiwanis campers should bring a sack lunch. Your camp director will let you know of any special items to bring for certain activities.

What should my camper bring for an optional overnight?

In addition to the daily items listed above, all overnight campers should bring a sleeping bag or blankets and sheet, pillow, flashlight, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair-ties, pajamas, and a full change of clothes. 

What paperwork is required for day camp?

All of the required paperwork is available at the end of the the Camper Booklet.

How does check-in work?

On the first day, you will be asked to park and speak with camp staff to turn in paperwork and complete a health-check. After the first day, if you have registered for before/after care, you may simply drop off your camper between 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. at the check-in station from the first day. If you have not registered for before/after care, you will drop off your camper at the same location between 8:50 a.m.- 9:10 a.m.

How does check-out work?

Check-out occurs at the same place as check-in. Your photo identification will be checked every day to ensure that campers are leaving with an authorized person. Campers will not be permitted to leave with anyone who is not on the camper pickup form. Pickup is from 4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. for those registered for before/after care. Those not registered for before/after care must pick up between 4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

Overnight/Mini-Overnight Camp FAQs

What is required resident camp paperwork?

All of the required paperwork is available at the end of the the  Camper Booklet.

What is the packing list of resident camp?

The packing list for resident and mini-resident camp is in the Camper Booklet.

Where will my camper be sleeping?

Campers will sleep in platform tents (4 girls per tent) or rustic cabins (8-10 girls per cabin). Units will be assigned at check-in. Both tents and cabins are rustic, and you should pack the same for either location. 

How can I contact my camper?

We encourage you to contact the camp director. She will be happy to speak with you about your camper!

For resident camp, you may send letters or one-way emails that are delivered daily after lunch. To ensure that mail arrives while your camper is at camp, send it a few days prior to your camper’s departure or bring it with you to check-in. Mark each piece of mail with the day you would like it delivered to your camper (Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.).

Mail is delivered to campers once daily. Address the letters with camper’s first and last name, camp name and session, and delivery day. If you choose to send a one-way email, include camper’s full name and session name in the subject line. Camper will not be able to send an email response. Send all mail and/or email to:    

Girl Name/Camp Session
Camp Tapawingo
1450 Hickory Point Rd.
Metamora, IL 61548

Email: camptapawingo@girlscouts-gsci.org

Remember to keep letters/emails to your camper positive and cheerful; positive letters will help reduce homesickness.

What if my camper gets homesick?

Being homesick is a completely natural experience and is experienced by all campers on some level. Learning to cope with homesickness is a great life skill to learn, and we are well-equipped to help them through this at camp! Staff receive extensive training on how to help campers cope with homesickness. Parents/guardians will be contacted about homesickness when deemed necessary, or at the parent/guardian’s request during the health check.

 You can help your camper cope with homesickness by:

  • Discussing it with her prior to camp. Encourage her to talk to her counselors about how she is feeling and what she is thinking about camp—both the good and the bad. Role-play at home so she will find it easier to talk about her feelings.
  • Making her aware of what camp life is like: deep woods, sounds of nature, bugs, platform tents, latrines, outdoor cooking, making new friends, learning new skills, rainy days, sunny days, hot days, bugs and, most of all, fun times.
  • Encouraging her to bring something familiar from home, such as a favorite stuffed animal, a favorite book or new paperback she has wanted to read, a photo album, or stationery to write letters.
  • Writing positive and encouraging letters and e-mails—don’t dwell on how much you or her pets miss her.
  • Please do not tell your camper that she can call you or you will pick her up if she becomes homesick. This is vital to her development and to learning coping skills. Tell her that you believe in her and know she can do it!
How does check-in work?

Instructions for check-in vary depending on your specific  session. You will receive details about check-in from the camp director approximately two weeks prior to your camp session start date.

How does check-out work?

Please park in the parking lot and wait for a staff member to greet you there and direct you where to go meet your camper or join her for Friday Family Lunch. For safety purposes, please wait in the parking lot until a staff member has checked your identification. Anyone picking up a camper from camp, INCLUDING parents/guardians, must present a driver's license or other photo identification AND be listed on the Camper Pick-Up Form. For safety and risk management purposes, campers will not be released to anyone not listed on the pick-up form and cannot be released to anyone without a photo identification. 

Equestrian Camp FAQ

Do I need to bring my own boots and helmet?

Camp provides boots and helmets for all campers who ride horses. If you have your own boots and helmet, you are welcome to bring them. Personal equipment will be inspected by the equestrian staff to ensure it meets all required standards.