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Camp and Outdoor FAQ

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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

Summer 2020 Cancellation

General

Accessibility & Accommodations

Registration & Payments

Backcountry

Day Camp

Resident Camp

Where do Campers Sleep?

Camp and Outdoor Jargon

Summer 2020 Cancellation

What is being canceled?

All in-person programs, council-sponsored travel opportunities, outdoor programs and trainings, including day camp, resident camp, volunteer-led day camp, adult outdoor trainings, property rentals, and troop, group, and family camping that are scheduled to take place through Aug. 14, 2020.

Why is camp being canceled?

The decision was made to ensure that we put the health and safety of our girls, families, and communities first at a time when there are still too many risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

Why did camp get canceled now rather than closer to the start of summer?

Families and others concerned about their girls’ health and safety have requested that we make a timely decision so that other arrangements may be made.

Can camp registrations be transferred to next summer?

Registrations cannot be transferred to next summer because each year’s camp schedules and programming varies. When a new schedule is created for next year and registration opens for 2021, we encourage you and your family to sign up again for a camp program.

Will I get to register early for summer 2021 programs since my 2020 registration was cancelled?

We are not able to accommodate early or priority registration for summer 2021. All summer camp program registrations will go live at the same time.

When will in-person programs resume?

We will continue monitoring guidelines from federal and state governments to determine when we can resume in-person programming while guaranteeing the health and safety of participants and staff. We are hoping to resume some level of in-person programs and activities in fall 2020.

Will the decision to cancel summer camp change if the stay at home order lifts?

We will continue monitoring the guidelines given by state and federal governments, but we will not be offering any in-person programs prior to Aug. 14, 2020, at the earliest, including summer camps. Please continue to check the GCNWI blog for more updates about when in-person programming will resume.

Will summer camp programs be offered later this summer (after August 14)?

We will not be running any traditional summer camp programs this year, but we hope to return with some level of in-person programming this fall, according to any state and federal health guidelines in effect at that time.

When will the status of fall 2020 programs/outdoor trainings/troop camping be announced?

We will continue to monitor the current COVID-19 situation and the guidelines being provided by state and federal governments. Any updates about the status of future programming will be announced on the GCNWI blog.

Will there be summer camp in 2021?

We are planning for an amazing summer in 2021 and hope to see you all there!

I registered my girl as a Girl Scout when I completed her camp/program registration. Is she still a Girl Scout?

Yes, her Girl Scout membership is good through Sept. 30, 2020.

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Payments & Refunds

I signed up for the payment plan when registering, will my credit card still be automatically charged on June 1?

No, we have halted all automatic payments. You will not be charged the remainder of your balance on June 1.

Will I get a full refund, including my deposit?

Yes, you are eligible for a full refund and you can choose how you would like to allocate the funds.

If you are able, you can choose to donate part or all of your program fee to Girl Scouts GCNWI, keep the fee as a credit on your account, or receive a full refund including the deposit.

Will the $25 Girl Scout membership I paid for when registering my child be refunded?

GSUSA national memberships are not refundable. Your daughter will be a current Girl Scout member through Sept. 30, 2020. We encourage you to participate in virtual programming and in-person programming when it resumes. However, if camp was the only program that your daughter was interested in, and you have no intention of participating in any other Girl Scout activity, we can reimburse you for the cost of that membership.

I paid for bus/train transportation for my camper. Will this be refunded?

Yes, all transportation fees will be refunded like the program fees.

Can I get a refund on a pamper camper kit I already purchased?

Yes, you will receive a refund for the camper kit. The refund will be processed with the refund for camp registration.

I ordered a pamper camper kit, am I still able to receive it?

If you would still like to receive your camper kit, that cost will not be refunded. The camper kits will be shipped out to your daughter on or around June 1st.

How do I check the balance on my account to know the amount I should be refunded?

If you registered on or after Feb. 3, 2020, you can find your history of registrations and other transactions on the “Previous Transaction List” under “My Account.

If you registered prior to Feb. 3, 2020, for a program and would like to know the balance, please contact customer care at 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347) or customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.

When will my refund arrive?

We will begin processing refunds after May 11. Please be patient. Due to the high volume of refunds we will be issuing, it will take longer than typical for those refunds to be processed. Our goal is to have all refunds processed by July 1, 2020.

How will I receive my refund?

If you registered on or after Feb. 3, 2020 any credit card payments will be refunded directly to the card saved on file. If no card is saved on file, you will be contacted. You also have the option to take the refund as a credit on your account.

If you registered for a program prior to Feb. 3, 2020,, your refund will be issued as a check.

If I did not previously save my credit card information to my account, can I do it now and receive my refund to my card?

If you registered on or after Feb. 3, 2020,, you are able to go into your account at any time to add a credit card.

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?

If you registered on or after Feb. 3, 2020, , you will receive an email receipt for the refund when it is processed.

If you registered prior to Feb. 3, 2020, you are welcome to reach out to customer care for more information.

If I take my refund as a credit on my account, will I be able to use it for summer camp registration next year?

Credits will not expire until September 2021 and can be used to register for any program on our registration site.

If I take my refund as a credit on my account, what can I use that money for?

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. Please note: If you registered for a program prior to Feb. 3, 2020, we cannot issue a credit to your account for any registrations in our previous program registration system.

How do I use a credit on my account to register for a future program? Can I do it myself or do I need to call in to register?

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

Will my financial aid for summer 2020 be applied to summer 2021?

You will have to reapply for financial aid in 2021 after registering your camper for a new summer camp program.

Yes. Cookie Dough does not expire.

Making a donation to Girl Scouts is a private decision that we have made available for those families who have already begun to ask how they can help support Girl Scouts during challenging times.

If I donate all or part of the camp fees I have paid, how will that money be used?

Donations will be used to provide critical financial assistance to members in need, keeping Girl Scouting and future camp seasons accessible for every girl, regardless of her family’s circumstances.

Refer to donate link.

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Property Rentals & Troop Camping

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

No, all of our camp properties are also closed for use through Aug. 14. We will continue to assess when and if it is safe to re-open properties following state and federal government guidelines.

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.

My property rental is not until later in the summer and I have a really small group. Can we still go to camp?

All property reservations are cancelled through Aug. 14, regardless of group size.

If the stay at home order is lifted, can my family walk around camp?

No, all of our camp properties are also closed for use through Aug. 14. We will continue to assess when and if it is safe to re-open properties following state and federal government guidelines.

Will all camps re-open at the same time?

We will be assessing the policies and guidelines in effect for the state where each camp is located when deciding when to re-open camps.

Can I still schedule a camp tour so that I can explore the property before requesting a troop camping rental or custom program?

No, all of our camp properties are also closed for use through Aug.14. We will continue to assess when and if it is safe to re-open properties following state and federal government guidelines. If you'd like more information about our camp properties, you can reference the " Our Camps and Properties " tab on our website. 

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Custom Programs

Can we reschedule our custom program for a later date?

We will do our best to reschedule any programs after August 14 that were canceled. However, this is a very fluid situation and we will need to continue to assess our ability to run programs based on state and federal guidelines for group gatherings.

My group is very small, can we still do our program?

All in-person programs are cancelled through Aug.14, regardless of group size.

Can I request a custom virtual program for my troop?

At this time, we are unable to provide custom virtual programs, and encourage you to check out Girl Scouts from Home for current offerings

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Summer Camp 2021

Will there be summer camp in 2021?

We are planning for an amazing summer in 2021 and hope to see you all there!

Will you be offering the same program sessions next year for summer camp?

Program offerings will be very similar, but we may change or add new programs based on the interest shown for 2020 programs, just like we do every year. The schedule for when programs will be offered in 2021 will change. Make sure to look for our 2021 camp brochure in December!

Can my camper’s 2020 paperwork be re-used for next summer?

Yes, your information will be saved, but will need to be reviewed and updated by you in 2021.

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Other Outdoor Program & Training Opportunitie

Will any programming be offered during the summer?

Yes! We will be staying connected through various virtual programs throughout the summer to keep our girls and adults engaged in Girl Scouts. You can find more information about Girl Scouts From Home here

Will canceled spring programs be rescheduled for fall? Can I transfer a registration for a workshop, overnight or weekend camp program to a similar program happening in the fall?

Your credit will be able to be used for any future programming on the calendar after August 14.

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!

When will we be notified if programs start back up in the fall? How will we be notified?

We will continue to monitor state and federal guidelines and use that information to decide when and how we resume in-person programing. That status of in-person programming will continue to be updated on the GCNWI blog and the council will continue to communicate program opportunities to our membership.

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Miscellaneous

Will my camper still receive a 2020 summer camp shirt and patch since we registered for camp?

Unfortunately, since we are not operating summer camp we will not have a designated summer 2020 camp shirt and patch. There will be opportunities in the future to show off your camp spirit.

Can I still buy badges, patches, and other retail items while the camps and offices are closed?

Yes, you can do so on our website at www.shopgirlscouts.com

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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)

Which council-sponsored trips are being cancelled?

All council-sponsored trips for summer 2020 are canceled. That includes Intro to Travel: New You, Camping in the UK, Nashville, Milwaukee and You-and-Me on Mackinac Island. Refunds for New York and the UK have been processed. If you were scheduled to attend You-and-Me on Mackinac Island you will receive a full refund for your deposit.

Are council-sponsored trips being rescheduled to summer 2021?

Yes, some trips are being rescheduled to 2021 and others we will be offering similar trip opportunities.

Are troops allowed to go on trips this summer?

Troops should follow all appropriate stay-in-place recommendations for Illinois and Indiana. Those who have trips already booked through Aug. 14 should have a conversation with your girls’ families to make a decision about rescheduling a trip to a later time or canceling.

Are trip and travel forms still being approved?

We will not be approving any trip and travel requests during the time of our stay-in-place recommendations. As more information is known about the risks of COVID-19, we will update our procedures.

Are Girl Scouts signed up for Destinations able to still go on their trips?

Destinations are part of a national program opportunity. Please contact the host council for more information.

How will we be getting our money back for Destinations?

Please contact the host council for each specific Destinations experience for more information.

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General FAQ

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

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

Link registration site: https://apm.activecommunities.com/girlscoutsgcnwi/Home

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 and Payment FAQ

Summer Day and Resident Camp Registration at a Glance

As of April 27, 2020 all in-person programs, including 2020 summer day and resident camp, are cancelled due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.  
 
If you registered for one of these programs be sure fill out this form to designate how you would like your fees reimbursed. For more information read our current blog post about program cancellations. If you have questions please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347). We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.  
 
Summer 2021 registration will open in early February.  
 
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 wishlist of programs you want to remember to register for! Please note: adding programs to your wishlist 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?

As of April 27, 2020 all in-person programs, including 2020 summer day and resident camp, are cancelled due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.  
 
If you registered for one of these programs be sure fill out this form to designate how you would like your fees reimbursed. For more information read our current blog post about program cancellations. If you have questions please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347). We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.  
 
Summer 2021 registration will open in early February.  
 
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. 

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 Palos and Camp Greene Wood is availble by chartered bus or train. This is an optional add-on and is an additional fee. 

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

As of April 27, 2020 all in-person programs, including 2020 summer day and resident camp, are cancelled due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.  
 
If you registered for one of these programs be sure fill out this form to designate how you would like your fees reimbursed. For more information read our current blog post about program cancellations. If you have questions please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347). We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

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.

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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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Day Camp FAQ

What is the day camp schedule?

As of April 27, 2020 all in-person programs, including 2020 summer day and resident camp, are cancelled due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.  
 
If you registered for one of these programs be sure fill out this form to designate how you would like your fees reimbursed. For more information read our current blog post about program cancellations. If you have questions please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347). We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

Camp Greene Wood, Camp Palos, and Vernon Hills Day Camp offer day camps that run from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m with an optional overnight experience for girls in 4th grade and up on Thursday night of their camp week.

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 will be available in the camper information packets when released in February.

What should my camper bring for the Thursday overnight at day camp?

If your camper is joining for the Thursday night overnight, she should bring:

  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow – please note that sleeping bags may not be warm enough on a cold night. We recommend bringing an extra blanket to stay warm.
  • Flashlight with New Batteries – campers will be walking around camp at night. A handheld flashlight or headlamp will help her get around safely in the dark.
  • Mess Kit – any plastic/metal plate, bowl, cup, and silverware. Please don’t send anything disposable. 
  • Dunk Bag – a mesh bag that allows for dishes to dry in once washed. A lingerie washing  
    bag works well.
  • Sweatshirt or Light Jacket – warm clothes are recommended for wearing around the campfire and at night. 
  • Pajamas or Sleepwear – pajamas or a t-shirt and shorts or pants work well. Plan for cool night temperatures just in case. Having sleepwear that can be adjusted for cool or hot nights is recommended. 
  • Small Stuffed Animal – sometimes stuffed animals make the overnight experience easier. Please refrain from sending numerous, large, or any favorite stuffed animals to camp.
  • Clothes for the Next Day – include socks and underwear. Don’t forget to pack this year’s camp shirt to wear on Friday!
  • Extra Shoes and Raincoat – be prepared for the weather and outdoor camp conditions.
  • Medications – any medications that your camper may need for the overnight in the  
    original labeled container and marked with the camper’s name. Medications  
    must be turned in to camp staff upon arrival at camp for the overnight.
  • Backpack or Duffel Bag – to carry all overnight items. Use a separate bag to pack day  
    items. Please don’t use large trash bags as they tend to tear and result in dirty and wet  
    belongings.
  • Day Camp Supplies – sit upon, bug spray, sunscreen, water bottle, hat or bandana, etc. 
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 at the end of the session. Additionally, do not send cell phones with your camper for the overnight. 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?

Yes! All day camps operate a small trading post stocked with small items such as friendship bracelets, stuffed animals, camp apparel, pens, and so on. (Snacks and soda are not available for sale.) Trading posts are open to campers once during their week at camp. Families can also feel free to stop by the trading post at our Girl Scout Gathering places.

Campers will be told when their unit will have the opportunity to stop by the trading post. Girls are responsible for their own money during this time. $5-$20 is recommended.

The Girl Scouts of GCNWI and Girl Scout camps are not responsible for the loss, theft, or damage of money or trading post items.

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 or during the overnight?

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?

As of April 27, 2020 all in-person programs, including 2020 summer day and resident camp, are cancelled due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.  
 
If you registered for one of these programs be sure fill out this form to designate how you would like your fees reimbursed. For more information read our current blog post about program cancellations. If you have questions please contact Customer Care at customercare@girlscoutsgcnwi.org or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347). We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty.

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?

A detailed packing list will be available in the resident camp information packet released 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 & 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 can be left for campers at check-in, typically campers bring $5-20 for a week at camp.

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?

For Butternut Springs, Juniper Knoll, and Pokanoka, 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 Butternut Springs, Juniper Knoll, and Pokanoka, closing ceremony will begin at 7:00 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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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.

lodge-interior_bns_camp-19
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. 

yurt
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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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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 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!)

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.