Frequently Asked Questions
It is best to begin by reading the Parent Information Guide. The questions below augment that guide.
I never went to camp as a kid. Why should I send my kid?
Well, where do we start? There are so many benefits to experiencing a week at camp, some that are just now being documented with extensive research. But aside from the research, we can tell you what we’ve seen and what any camp professional (or camp alumni) would say: Camp gives kids a world of good! Time outside, away from the typical routine and stresses of life gives children/youth the chance to breathe, to rejuvenate, and refresh. Your camper will meet new friends, learn to adapt to new situations, feel like a part of a loving and caring community, and try new things in a safe and encouraging environment. Does this sound like it will prepare a person for life in the real world? You bet! And, we have enthusiastic, fun and multicultural counselors with a sound Christian commitment ready to help your camper experience all of this.
Tell me more about your summer staff.
Each staff member is interviewed thoroughly and each reference is checked personally by the executive director. (International staff are interviewed by the reputable company we use overseas, and then interviewed again by the executive director of Camp Westminster.) Since we treat each camper who attends a session at CW as our own, we only hire the most capable individuals. All staff must be at least 19 years old and have completed one year of college or university.
How do you accommodate campers with food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities?
We are a nut-restricted camp all summer. For campers sensitive to other food allergies we can do simple ingredient or food product substitutions. Camper families are encouraged to bring foods for us to use for their camper if they need a specific brand. Please contact us with any questions.
What is the daily schedule like for a camper?
Fun, hilarious, serious, fun, wet, crazy, contemplative, creative, fun and active…and did we say fun? It is a sincere hope of the staff that each and every camper enjoys their time at camp. And while not everyone will prefer every activity, part of the experience is trying new things out! Each day’s schedule includes yummy meals shared family-style, capers (chores) after breakfast, Bible Quest time, activity periods throughout the morning and afternoon, FOB (rest time after lunch), camp store time, all camp swim at 4:30, evening vespers (worship) after dinner and a large group evening activity before lights out!
AS WE PREPARE FOR CAMP…
Tell me more about the Camp Store.
Each day, all campers visit the Camp Store. This is an important chance for each child to exercise decision-making skills on their own (we do have their counselors and other responsible adults present to help) and to also help the camp community as well as the international community. Every purchase from the store benefits the Campership Fund, and we also offer many fair trade items which ensure that the artisan is fairly paid. This is all explained to the campers before their first visit on Monday. There are also healthy snacks: juice, water in reusable Camp Westminster water bottles, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.
What if my camper gets homesick?
This is totally normal! And, we have lots of experience dealing with it…think about our international staff who come from all over the world.
Help! We are packing and wondering if we have forgotten anything!
The camper packing list is complete, please refer to it. Don’t forget a water bottle (or you can purchase the popular Camp Westminster Nalgene water bottles in the camp store!); closed-toe shoes (flip flops are for the beach ONLY); and a camera to record your memories! Girls: one-piece swimsuits or sports tankinis only are acceptable. Please remember that just as important as the things you do bring to camp are the things you DON’T bring to camp. Please keep at home all electronics (cell phones, iPods, e-readers, tablets, laptops, etc.); candy, food, gum (snacks are available for campers in the Dining Hall and Camp Store); weapons of any kind, and other illicit items.
How does a camper receive mail?
Snail mail is discretely handed out during FOB time (rest hour) after lunch. This gives each person some downtime to read and reflect before tackling the rest of the day’s activities. We mention “discretely” because not everyone receives the same amount of mail each day. Send mail to the summer camp address.
May I bring our family dog with us to pick up our child at camp?
Unfortunately, we must say no. Camp policy does not allow any animals (except those that live there year-round and on-duty service animals) on site. In addition, this is out of consideration for other guests who may be allergic to pets or small children who may have a fear of animals. Thank you very much for asking and respecting this policy.
Which activities will my camper participate in at Camp Westminster this summer?
Each day will present new opportunities. Generally, we try to offer a variety of activities throughout the week. This allows exposure to new experiences and makes the traditional camp aspect of Camp Westminster all the more rich. Each camper will choose activities to focus on for the week, hopefully gaining some knowledge and expertise in those activities. Then, the camper can return next year, ready to pursue that activity further or choose a new one!
When can a camper climb the Lighthouse Climb or take on the challenge of the High Ropes Course?
The Lighthouse Climb is open to campers 10 years and older. The High Ropes Course is used for groups age 12 and older. This is for safety reasons, as well as the maturity needed to make decisions and handle the challenge. (There are exceptions to this rule: Family Camp and Visitor’s Sunday, when parents/guardians are present for younger participants.) But don’t worry if a camper doesn’t have the opportunity to climb this year; there is plenty of time to return to CW and try something new!