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Camp and Outdoor FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about our camp and outdoor programs. If you have a question that is not answered here, contact Customer Care at 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347) or customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

Jump to the FAQ topics below

General

Accessibility & Accommodations

Registration, Payments & Refunds

Where do Campers Sleep?

Day Camp

Resident Camp

Backcountry

Camp and Outdoor Jargon

Property Rentals & Troop Camping

Custom Programs

Other Outdoor Program & Training Opportunities

General FAQ

Where can I find all the camp programs offered at GCNWI?

Our Camp Guide is the best resource to learn about all program offerings. Camp guides typically come out in late December or early January. You can also find camp program offerings on our registration site.

Access our registration site and browse program offerings »

How do I apply for a job at camp?

Browse jobs and apply online on our website.

I am interested in attending the Camp Open Houses.

The open houses are listed on our website. 

I’m not a Girl Scout. Can I go to camp?

Yes! If your girl is not currently registered please select the “not a registered Girl Scout” checkbox when checking out for a camp program. A $25 membership fee will be applied to your registration cost. The membership fee includes basic accident insurance coverage as a supplement to existing insurance coverage for all registered Girl Scouts.

How old do I have to be to go to summer camp?

For programs that occur prior to June 1, register your girl for the grade/age group that she is currently in. 
 
For programs that occur on or after June 1, register your girl for the grade she will be entering in the fall of the following year.

Can my camper bring a buddy and be in the same tent or cabin?

All campers are assigned to tents or cabins (site specific) before their arrival at camp. If girls are signed up for the same camp program they will likely be bunking near each other. 

Every attempt is made to honor a camper’s request to be with a friend if both girls request each other on the application and both girls are in the same program during the same session. 

Please note that only two girls matched as buddies can be accommodated. Camp is all about meeting new friends from all over our council. Programs will take place to assist girls in meeting and getting to know the girls and staff at camp.

How is weather handled at camp?

Camp happens rain or shine! Part of Girl Scout camp life includes learning how to be prepared for the outdoors, including wearing cool clothing or rain gear, drinking water to stay hydrated, and wearing sunscreen and hats. 

At all camps, staff monitor the weather. If severe weather develops during the camp day or evening, appropriate measures will be taken. Indoor shelter is available for all campers and staff. Our first priority is the safety of all of our campers, so please be advised that staff may not be available to answer phone calls during this time. Phone lines need to remain open. Please do not come to camp to pick up your camper, campers will not be released until there is an official "all clear."

What about lost and found?

Lost and left-behind items are collected each day and staff will do their best to reunite owners with their belongings daily. However, please understand that this is not always possible. Please write your camper’s full name on everything of importance—if it’s left behind, we’ll make every effort to contact you by phone or email. Lost and found items will be kept for 2 weeks. Any item not claimed by September 1 will be donated.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to personal belongings, money, or items left at camp.

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Accessibility & Accommodations FAQ

Can you accommodate girls with accessibility or special needs?

Caregivers of girls with special needs—including those with disabilities or health concerns—should contact us prior to registration at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347)

This is to allow us the opportunity to provide accommodations and adequate support for her camp experience. Our staff can also help you choose the sessions that are the best fit for your girl. 

Can you accommodate special dietary needs or allergies?

Special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. Contact us at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

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Registration, Payments, & Refunds FAQ

Summer Day and Resident Camp Registration at a Glance

Click here to learn more about our registration system and set up an account if you do not have one already. 

Click here to access our registration system. 
 

Before February: 

  • Make sure your Girl Scout membership is renewed. 
  • Make sure your account is created and up to date in our registration system. 
  • Build a wish list of programs you want to remember to register for! Please note: adding programs to your wish list does NOT guarantee entry. You will still need to register at or after registrations for summer programs open in February. 

When summer camp registration opens:

  • Search by the program name or alphanumeric code for each session your girl wishes to attend. 
  • Full payment or a deposit is due upon registration. Final payment for summer camp programs is due by June 1. Financial assistance may be available. 

Next steps after registering for summer camp 

  • Check your inbox for your receipt. This email is your program confirmation and includes links to your camper’s information packet and information about completing your camper’s required paperwork. 
  • Complete your camper’s required online paperwork before May 1, including a health history. Resident camp also requires a current physical. 
  • Reference the Camper Information Packet which includes camp packing lists. These packets can be found on the Summer Day Camp and Summer Resident Camp pages after summer camp registration opens.
  • Watch for follow up emails from camp with additional program details.
Volunteer-led Day Camp Registration-at-a-Glance

Registration for volunteer-led day camp is handled by volunteers directing the programs and may vary. 

How do I register for programs?
Summer Camp Payment

Full payment for summer camp is due by June 1.

You can pay in full at the time of registration, or hold a spot with a non-refundable deposit. Deposit prices may vary depending on the length or total cost of the program.

What do Day Camp Fees Cover?

Day camp registration fees cover a wide variety of camp activities, supervision provided by skilled and compassionate adult staff, a lunch or dinner cookout during the week, and meals for overnighting campers.

A camper is not fully registered until her fees are paid in full. Camper registration may be cancelled if full payent is not received by June 1. For registrations made after June 1, all fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. There will be a $25 service charge for checks returned due to insufficient funds.

Is transportation available to and from camp?

Transportation to day camp at Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos. This is an optional add-on and is an additional fee.

Proposed transportation options can be found in the Camp Guide.

Bus stop locations are tentative and subject to change. In the event of a change, you will be notified before your designated day camp program.

Transportation to resident camp is not available.

What do resident camp fees cover?

Resident camp registration fees cover lodging, a wide variety of camp programming, adult supervision, and meals.

A camper is not fully registered until her fees are paid in full. Camper registration may be cancelled if full payment is not received by June 1. For registrations made after June 1, all fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. There will be a $25 service charge for checks returned due to insufficient funds.

Is Financial Assistance Available?

Yes. GSGCNWI makes funds available to girls whose caregivers could otherwise not afford the cost of camp. 

Any girl who is a registered Girl Scout is eligible to receive confidential financial assistance for one session of any day or resident camp program. Assistance is awarded based on available funds. 

Steps to receive financial aid: 

  1. Register for camp & make the initial payment. A deposit or full program fee must be paid at time of registration. Camp registration must be paid at time of registration. Camp registration must be made prior to applying for financial aid.
  2. Complete the financial assistance application.
  3. Notification and disbursement of financial assistance. 

Approved financial assistance will be deducted from the total owed for the session. If you registered and paid for a program in full, the approved financial assistance amount will be refunded to you.

Paying with Girl Scout Cookie® Dough

Girls can pay for all or part of their camp registration with the rewards they earn through GCNWl product and cookie programs. When you are ready to use your rewards, please contact our program registrar at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org. Because camp space is limited we highly recommend not waiting for Cookie Dough to register or pay a deposit on a program.

Registration Confirmation

Within 48 hours of a successful registration you’ll receive a confirmation email with the camper information packet, packing list, and link to our online camper paperwork forms. First check your spam or junk folders, then contact customer care if you do not receive a confirmation email.

Day camp only: A second confirmation email will be sent approximately two weeks prior to the camp session with specific information regarding your camper’s unit and transportation details and agreement, if applicable. 

Waitlist

Join the waitlist for any program that is full through our NEW registration system or contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 1-877-ILOVEGS (456-8347). You will be contacted if a space opens in the program, but it is not a guarantee of entry. We encourage that you register for your second- or third-choice program to ensure you do not miss out on an opportunity to come to camp. We can transfer your camper if a spot opens in your waitlisted choice.

Cancellations & Refunds

Cancellations received at least two weeks prior to program start date may be refunded, minus the non-refundable processing fee of $25 for day camp, $50 for three- and six-day resident camp programs, and $100 for resident camp programs longer than six days.

How will I receive my refund?

Your refund will be processed and refunded onto the credit card on file that was used to pay for the program.

I made a deposit or signed up for a payment plan when registering, when do I need to have paid in full?

Full payment for summer camp programs must be received by June 1. Your credit card will be automatically charged your remaining balance on June 1 if full payment has not been received by that point.

If you register for a program after June 1, payment must be paid for in full upon registration

How will I receive my refund?

When receiving a refund, you can choose how you would like to allocate those funds. You can choose to take the entire refund in one method or receive parts of your refund in different ways.

You can: 

  • Donate all or part of your refund to Girl Scouts
  • Take your refund as a credit on your account which you can use to register for other programs in the future 
  • Have the refund sent back to the credit card on file

Have questions? Contact customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org

Can I get a refund on the $25 Girl Scout membership?

GSUSA national memberships are not refundable. Your daughter will be a current Girl Scout member through September 30, 2022. We encourage you to participate in virtual programming and scheduled in-person programming.

How do I check the balance on my account?

You can find your history of registrations and other transactions on the “Previous Transactions List” under “My Account” found on our registration site when you are logged in.

How do I add or update a credit card in my account?

When logged into the registration system, go to “My Account” and select “Saved Credit Cards List” under “Account Program” and click “Add New.” All credit card information is stored securely.

Will I receive a receipt for my refund?

You will receive an email receipt for the refund when it is processed.

How can I use credits on my account?

Any credits on your account can be used to pay for anything on our registration site, including, but not limited to, programs, outdoor programs, and summer camp. It cannot be used to pay for membership dues or retail purchases.

How do I use a credit on my account to register for a future program?

Credits can be applied by you as a method of payment when registering for a program.

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Where do Campers Sleep?

Platform Tents

Platform tents are sturdy canvas tents that rest on a raised wooden platform. They have four cots each inside of the tent. There is room underneath the beds to be able to store campers' belongings. Platform tents make for dry, comfortable sleeping at camp!

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Lodges

Lodges are buildings with indoor sleeping accommodations, such as cots, bunk beds, or floor mattresses . Many lodges have flushing bathrooms inside, or toilets close to the lodge.

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Cabins or Tabins

Cabins or “Tabins” are small screened-in cabins, with cots or bunk beds inside. Sleeping in one is similar to sleeping in a screened-in back porch. 

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Yurts

Yurts are round canvas structures on a sturdy base. Campers sleep on cots or bunk beds inside. 

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Pop-up Tents

Pop-Up Tents are small, portable canvas tents. These are made to travel to new locations! (Think of the classic rolled-up tent you might find in the sporting goods section of the store.)

Many of our camps have girls practice putting up, taking down, and sleeping in pop-up tents as part of a sleepover or backcountry experience. 

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Day Camp FAQ

What is the day camp schedule?

Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos. Day Camp runs from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Before and after camp program options are available at Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos for an additional cost.

Girls can attend before-camp beginning at 7:00 a.m. (Camp Greene Wood) or 7:30 a.m. (Camp Palos) and stay until 6:00 p.m. for after-camp to allow for more fun and flexibility. 

Transportation options are available for Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos.

Is there transportation to and from day camp available?

Transportation is available to Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos. Transportation options vary year after year based on interest and registrations from years prior. Transportation options will be shared in the Camp Guide each year.

What if my camper is going to be absent?

Please be sure to contact the camp director to inform them of an absence. Make sure to leave a message sharing your camper’s full name and unit. 

What should my camper bring to day camp?

Though girls are only coming to camp for the day, it is important that they come prepared!

Detailed packing lists are available in the camper information packets.

Do you allow cell phones at day camp?

We do not allow cell phones at day camp. We want the campers to truly engage in their camp experience and enjoy their time outdoors with their new camp friends! If a camper has a cell phone at camp, they will be reminded it keep it off and in their backpack. However, if it becomes an issue, it will be collected and locked in the administration building and returned to the camper’s guardian. Our camp staff are highly trained to meet the needs of your camper. You will be contacted by the camp director if there are any concerns.

What is required day camp paperwork?

Day camp paperwork is due May 1.

After you register for a camp, you will need to fill out your required online camper paperwork before your girl joins us at camp. We recommend filling out this paperwork sooner rather than later. Girls will NOT be able to attend day camp programs without turning in these required forms.

Within 1-2 weeks after registering for a summer camp program you will be emailed a link from CampDoc to complete your camper’s required camper paperwork. Be on the lookout for this email after registering for camp. 
 
When filling out these forms, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347).

Is there a trading post at camp?

Day camp participants can check out our virtual trading post at the GSGCNWI Shop. You’ll find the trading post stocked with camper kits, mess kits, and more!

What does the health center at camp do?

Our staff and campers work together to take a preventative approach to health care at camp. The camp health center staff are at camp to take care of your camper. Our health center is equipped to handle common camper illnesses and minor injuries.

If a camper gets hurt or shows signs of illness, she will be taken to the health center for evaluation by the health supervisor. Though we will not call home for every scrape or stomach ache, we will notify parents by phone in the following situations:

  • Any illness or injury requiring the camper to spend more than 2 hours in the health center
  • Allergic reactions
  • Any illness or injury that interferes with camper's participation in the program
  • Any illness or injury requiring outside medical attention
How do I access my day camp paperwork?

Please complete your campers' paperwork online using CampDocs. Invitations go out from CampDocs weekly after summer camp registration opens to all newly registered camper e-mail accounts. 
 
Haven’t seen the e-mail? Please double check your e-mail including your spam/junk folder for the CampDocs invitation to complete summer camp paperwork. 
 
If you still cannot find the e-mail, it’s okay! Resend the invitation email to yourself by following the steps below. 
 
To resend your invitation email: 
    1. Go to app.campdoc.com 
    2. Click the SIGN UP button 
    3. In the Email Address box, type the email address you used to register your camper for summer camp 
    4. Click the BEGIN button 
    5. Click the RE-SEND button, the invitation will be sent to the email address you entered

What if my camper needs medication while they are at camp?

If your camper is taking any prescription medication or supplements, fill out the portion of the online day camp paperwork that asks for that information. All medication must come to camp in its original container with the original label. 
 
All campers must complete the section regarding over-the-counter medication. Our health staff keeps a supply of common over-the-counter medication, as authorized by a physician, to treat simple complaints such as bug bites, headache, mild upset stomachs, menstrual cramps, etc. You do not need to send any medications for these problems. For more complex or serious complaints the health staff will consult with the doctor and you. Parent signature is required on the over-the-counter medication section. If you do not want us to give over-the-counter medication indicate that on the form.

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Resident Camp FAQ

How do I know if my camper is registered & confirmed for resident camp?

After registering your camper for a program session at resident camp, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and receipt. (If you do not receive this email, please check your junk or spam folders.)

Once you receive this e-mail, please double check that the camp location, program, and session dates are correct. This e-mail will also contain links to an important information packet, camper paperwork, and other valuable information.

What is required resident camp paperwork? 

Resident camp paperwork is due May 1.

Within 1-2 weeks after registering for a summer camp program you will be emailed a link from CampDoc to complete your camper’s required camper paperwork. Be on the lookout for this email after registering for camp.

After you register for a camp, you will need to fill out your required camper paperwork before your girl joins us at camp. We recommend filling out this paperwork sooner rather than later. Girls will NOT be able to stay at camp without turning in these required forms.

When filling out these forms, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or at 1-877-ILOVEGS (456-8347).

How do I access my resident camp paperwork?

Please complete your campers' paperwork online using CampDocs. Invitations go out from CampDocs weekly to newly registered camper e-mail accounts.

Haven’t seen the e-mail? Please double check your e-mail including your spam/junk folder for the CampDocs invitation to complete summer camp paperwork.

If you still cannot find the e-mail, it’s okay! Resend the invitation email to yourself by following the steps below.

To resend your invitation email:
    1. Go to app.campdoc.com
    2. Click the SIGN UP button
    3. In the Email Address box, type the email address you used to register your camper for summer camp
    4. Click the BEGIN button
    5. Click the RE-SEND button, the invitation will be sent to the email address you entered

For resident camp, what do I need to submit for the “health physical”? 

Health Physical Exam Form [PDF]

We require each camper have a health examination/physical within 24 months of her arrival date at camp. The health form must be signed by a physician and include the date of the physical. Copies of school/sports physicals are accepted as long as they have been completed within 24 months. 

  • Campers who do not either submit a health exam/physical by uploading it to CampDoc by May 1st OR bringing a copy to resident camp at check-in will not be admitted into the camp program. 
  • Campers who are attending multiple sessions at the same location need to only bring a copy of their physical for their first camp session. 
  • Campers attending sessions at different camp locations need to bring a copy of their physical to each unique location for their first camp session. 

No camper will be allowed to stay at camp without a signed and completed health physical form. We are not able to return health forms after camp. We suggest that you photocopy the health form to keep in your records to use for school and sports.

What if my camper needs medication?

If your camper is taking any prescription medication or supplements, fill out the portion of the online resident camp paperwork that asks for that information. All medication must come to camp in its original container with the original label.

All campers must complete the section regarding over-the-counter medication. Our health staff keeps a supply of common over-the-counter medication, as authorized by a physician, to treat simple complaints such as bug bites, headache, mild upset stomachs, menstrual cramps, etc. You do not need to send any medications for these problems. For more complex or serious complaints the health staff will consult with the doctor and you. Parent signature is required on the over-the-counter medication section. If you do not want us to give over-the-counter medication indicate that on the form.

What is the packing list for resident camp?

Detailed packing lists are available in the camper information packets.

Resident camp important information packets can be accessed on the website starting in February.

What are campers not allowed to bring to camp?
  • Electric appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, music players, computers, gaming devices, etc.)
  • Glass bottles or containers
  • Clothing that will not protect campers in the outdoors (such as shorts with a short inseam)
  • Snack food (candy, gum)
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Hidden cell phones
How can I contact my camper?

Everyone loves getting mail at camp! Happy mail—not worrisome news or information on what she is missing out on—is the best type of mail to send. Please do not send food to your camper as it attracts bugs and other critters. If a camper receives food, it will be kept in the kitchen or camp office and returned at departure.

We have a couple ways in which you can send messages to your daughter during her stay at camp:

  • Drop off her mail at check-in. Please label all letters with your camper’s name, program, session, and the day you would like her to receive her mail.
  • Send letters and packages by U.S. Mail. (We recommend pre-mailing before camper arrival to make sure her mail arrives while she is at camp.) 

Families are welcome to call or e-mail the camp director at any time with questions or check-ins about their campers!

Do you allow cell phones at resident camp?

At resident camp, campers staying for six or more days may choose to check-in a cell phone. 

Based on past experience, many campers who have been having a great time may become homesick while speaking to someone at home. It is normal to miss home. We ask that you support your camper in staying and having fun at camp-encourage her to think of things she has already enjoyed or things she can look forward to doing at camp.

  • Campers who bring a cell phone will have the opportunity to call home on Wednesday afternoon between lunch and dinner (times vary by camp, check with your camp director for details).
  • It is a camper’s choice to call or not call. 
  • Girls in sampler sessions (2 nights) will not have cell phone time.
  • Phones will be collected at check in and stored in the camp office. 
  • GSGCNWI is not responsible for lost or damaged phones. Phone service for different providers is not guaranteed and cannot be verified for each site. Electricity to charge phones is not available.
  • Please assist us in honoring our procedures by not giving your camper a cell phone and asking her to hide it.
  • The camp phone is for business and emergency use only. If a camper’s phone does not work at camp, she will not have access to the camp phone.
Is there a trading post at camp?

Yes! All resident camps operate a small trading post stocked with small items such as postcards, jewelry, pens, stuffed animals, and camp apparel. (Snacks and soda are not available for sale.) Trading posts are open for campers at least once during their session, as well as for families at check-in and check-out.

Money for trading post camp be left for campers at check-in, typically campers bring $5-$20 for the week at camp.

You can also order online and send your camper to camp with everything then need » 

What if my camper gets homesick?

It is not uncommon for campers to experience some homesickness while away at camp. Homesickness typically disappears within the first two days at camp as girls adjust to the new people and routine. Staff are trained to work through this with your camper, and they’ll be there for your camper 24/7. 

Homesickness is normal, and you can help your camper prepare to deal with it well by:

  • Encouraging independence throughout the year
  • Discussing what camp will be like before your camper leaves, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom
  • Reminding your camper ahead of time that you will not be able to contact each other via phone during your camper’s stay
  • Contacting your camper by sending letters, care packages, and even e-mails while she’s at camp
  • Packing a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal
  • Believing in her ability to handle her own emotions and have fun at camp
  • Being visibly excited for her, even though you might miss her as much or more
  •  We encourage parents to reassure their campers that they will be successful throughout their camp session and that they look forward to seeing them on closing day
  • If your camper continues to have problems adjusting, the camp director will contact you
What happens during swim time?

Campers will have the opportunity to participate in free swim each day while at resident camp. Lifeguards and trained watchers are on duty at our lakes and pools during any water activities. 

All campers will take a ‘swim check’ within 24 hours (weather permitting) of arriving at camp, to demonstrate their swimming abilities and comfort level in the water. Campers are then assigned a color cap which designates their swim area. Campers must wear their cap every swim session and can only swim in the areas of the water that match their skill level; this allows the aquatics staff to better manage and ensure safety for all campers in the water. 

How does check-in work for resident camp?

At resident camp, families are responsible for camper transportation to and from camp. Resident camps will be open for check-in on the first day of the session, 1:30-3 p.m. Late arrivals should contact the camp director as soon as possible.

Once you arrive at camp, you will be directed where to go. You will be asked to do the following:

  • Park and unload luggage
  • Confirm receipt of camp forms
  • Health Check (for campers)
  • Drop off and confirm medications with the Health Supervisor
  • Move luggage to your camper’s unit and help get her settled
  • Meet your camper’s counselor and other staff. 

Please leave pets at home. For the health and safety of all visitors, pets are not allowed on camp property. 

How can we prepare for check-in at resident camp?

Be prepared for some walking to your camper’s unit to help get her settled in! We suggest closed toe shoes. 

Bring the following items outside of your camper’s luggage:

  • Any medications (prescription or otherwise, in original & labeled containers) 
  • Camper mail for us to deliver during your daughter’s stay at camp (if desired)
  • Camper cell phone (if desired)
  • Funds for Trading Post (if desired)
How does check-out work for resident camp?

At resident camp, closing ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. During closing ceremony we celebrate the girls’ time at camp! Campers will be dismissed around 7:30-7:45 p.m.

Campers must be signed out to a person designated on the camper release form. Parents/guardians or others designated to pick up a camper should have photo I.D. ready. 

Luggage will be available to pick up from the same area it was dropped at, sorted by unit. 

Before leaving camp, families should make sure they have the following:

  • All medications that were dropped off with the camper
  • Remaining trading post money and cell phone
  • Checked the lost-and-found station and luggage pick-up with the camper to make sure everything goes home
  • A packet including your camper’s patches, a badge card (if applicable), and notes about the week at camp. 

Please leave pets at home. For the health and safety of all visitors, pets are not allowed on camp property. 

What happens at the check-in health screening?

Upon arriving and checking it at camp, girls will take part of a brief health check that allows camp staff to ensure that your daughter is healthy to attend camp. 

During this check, staff will be taking temperatures and looking at overall well-being, campers will be asked to remove their shoes and socks to check for any feet injuries or warts, and hair will be checked for lice or nits.

If lice/nits are found: parents/guardians will be responsible for taking their camper home to be treated before the possibility of returning to camp. Though often a hassle, lice happen; talk with the camp director to determine return options for your camper. For more information about head lice check out: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/head-lice.html

What does the health center at camp do?

Our staff and campers work together to take a preventative approach to health care in camp. The camp health center staff are at camp to take care of your camper. Our health center is equipped to handle common camper illnesses and minor injuries.

 If a camper gets hurt or shows signs of illness she will be taken to the health center for evaluation by the health supervisor. Though we will not call home for every scrape or stomach ache, we will notify parents by phone in the following situations: 

  • Any illness or injury requiring the camper to spend the night in the health center
  • Allergic reactions
  • Any illness or injury that interferes with camper’s participation in her program 
  • Any illness or injury requiring outside medical attention 
What are meals like at resident camp?

Ample, well-balanced meals are served in the dining hall. This includes daily snacks and dessert. Special dietary needs must be noted on the health form. Please do not send food with your camper. All food brought to camp will be collected by the camp staff and returned at the end of the session. Food in the living quarters attracts unwelcome animals & bugs.

What are “kapers”?

Each staff member will model and teach campers the proper way to care for their environment and their camp surroundings through tasks called Kapers. Kapers at camp are done as a group and are composed of unit and all-camp tasks. Kapers are a Girl Scout tradition that helps build responsibility and team work skills. During Kapers staff assists girls in clean-up ensuring that health and safety procedures are of the upmost importance when completing tasks.

Unit Kapers include tidying up sleeping areas, cleaning bathrooms, gathering firewood, picking up litter, cooking at cook-outs, and fire building. 

All-camp Kapers are rotated throughout all groups during the week and include flag ceremonies, tidying the shower house, and hopping (setting tables and helping serve food/clean-up after meals).

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Backcountry FAQ

What are backcountry programs like? 

Backcountry trips are intensive, next-level primitive camping opportunities. These trips are “off the grid” and away from the modern conveniences of camp and home. The experience of a backcountry wilderness trip includes carrying or paddling all personal and group gear, food, and equipment on an overnight trip while following Leave No Trace principles and working as a team. 

Leading on Trail

Backcountry trips provide a great opportunity to practice leadership at each level. According to the grade-level and maturity of participants, girls are encouraged to take proactive roles in organizing details of the trip from planning activities to navigation, and from group living arrangements to problem solving on the trail. 

Where do I start?

Backcountry Skill Level 1 & 2 will focus on the basic skills of working with a team in the wilderness, cooking meals over a fire, purifying water found while on the trail, and traveling under one’s own power each day. After mastering the basics, choose to advance to another level each summer.

Backcountry Level 1

  • No experience necessary
  • Trip Length: Primitive campout one night on site at camp

Backcountry Level 2

  • 1st level trip of any kind or camping experience recommended
  • Trip Length: 2-3 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 25-40 lbs. of gear 
  • Daily Travel: 6 miles per day on foot, or 8-12 miles by water

Backcountry Level 3

  • Prerequisite: Level 2 trip, completion of Backpack Wanderer, or camp director approval
  • Trip Length: 3-5 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 30-45 lbs. of gear
  • Daily Travel: 4-8 miles per day on foot, or 10-14 miles by water

Backcountry Level 4

  • Prerequisite: Level 3 trip, completion of Backpack Adventurer, or camp director approval
  • Trip Length: 5-7 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 30-50 lbs. of gear
  • Daily Travel: 6-10 miles per day on foot, or 10-18 miles by water

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Camp Jargon

What is a mess kit and a dunk bag?

A “mess kit” is any plastic/metal plate, bowl, cup, and silverware, that can be reused for multiple meals. (Please do not send disposable products!) These go into a “dunk bag,” a mesh bag that allows for dishes to drip dry once washed. A lingerie bag works well. 

Mess kits in dunk bags are available for purchase through the shop »

What are Pamper your Camper Kits?

Pamper your Camper Kits are fun care packages that can be delivered to your Girl Scout at Camp.

Order them online »

What is a sit upon?

This cushion is a Girl Scout tradition which will keep your camper relatively clean and dry whenever she sits on the ground. (Google “Girl Scout Sit-Upon” for instructions on how to make your own!)

Camp sit upons and more are available for purchase through the shop »

What are kapers?

Each staff member will model and teach campers the proper way to care for their environment and their camp surroundings through tasks called Kapers. Kapers at camp are done as a group and composed of unit and all-camp tasks. 

Unit Kapers include tidying up common areas, cleaning bathrooms, gathering firewood, picking up litter, cooking at cook-outs, and fire building. Kapers are a Girl Scout tradition that helps build responsibility and teamwork skills. During Kapers, the staff assists girls in clean-up, ensuring that health and safety procedures are of the upmost importance when completing tasks.

Why do camp staff have nicknames?

During staff training, each camp staff member may choose a “camp name.” Camp names are nicknames used at Girl Scout camp for several reasons.

  • A camp counselor is a unique position between big sister and authority figure; the camp name allows staff to create a memorable relationship with your daughter distinguished from that of her teacher, other authority figure, or even yourself.
  • It also keeps us from having two “Karens” or five “Amandas” on camp at one time.
  • And lastly, camp names add to the “magic” of Girl Scout camp tradition that has been passed down for generations.

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Property Rentals & Troop Camping

Can I reserve a property and go to camp on my own or with my troop?

Yes. All property rentals are done through our registration site.

At this time, no indoor or overnight rentals are available. Troops can rent an outdoor shelter for troop meetings.

Learn more about how to reserve a site here.

My property rental was cancelled, can I reschedule it for a later date?

We will be working with groups individually to determine the best option for rescheduling or refunds.

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Custom Programs

Can I request a custom virtual program for my troop?

At this time we are not doing custom virtual programs. However, we are constantly putting out virtual programming opportunities that we would love for you to join in on. Search for these virtual program opportunities on our Girl Scouts from Home page and get registered today!

Where can I request a custom program?

At this time, we are not taking requests for custom programs.  Stay tuned for future updates.

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Other Outdoor Program & Training Opportunities

Where can I find in-person and virtual outdoor programs to register for?
Can I still take the outdoor training modules so that I can be prepared to take my troop camping in the future?

Stay tuned for updates on our council blog!

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Contact Information

I have a question that was not answered here, who can I contact?

Please contact customer care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347)