Q: How are the staff chosen and who will be overseeing my child?
A: Every single staff person undergoes a rigorous interview and reference check process. This year, we are working with Bent-Eriksen HR Professionals to add an extra layer of deep-dive vetting for every candidate. All staff must be over 18, have experience working with children, pass an enhanced FBI criminal background check, and must provide three professional references in addition to employment verifications. We have a 1-8 adult-to-camper ratio, plus extra support and leadership staff.
Q: How are Camp Wilani staff trained?
A: Every staff person participates in both pre-arrival training over a week of in-person on the ground training. Staff are trained in positive behavior management, soothing homesickness, risk management, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion training, emergency procedures, positive communication, and more. We bring in trainings from the very best in the business including Michael Brandwein and Nick Daily, and our training is based on American Camp Association standards and The Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets
Q: What are meals like at camp and can my child bring their own food?
A: We serve balanced, kid-friendly meals and snacks. We offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. We always serve kid favorites: spaghetti (with a buttered noodles option), mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, hamburgers, hotdogs, pancakes, sausage, cereal, yogurt, fruit, veggie sticks, and much more. There are always options. OUTSIDE FOOD IS NOT ALLOWED AT CAMP. The chipmunks at camp are. . .robust. They chew through luggage and poo all over everything if they smell food. Nothing will ruin your child’s camp experience faster. Please do not send food to camp. Seriously.
Q: What activities do you have at camp?
A: We have archery, swimming, canoeing, arts & crafts, sports and games, hammock time, forest time, a zip line, low ropes course, outdoor cooking, nature hiking, camp fires, skits and songs, and more. All activities are challenge-by-choice, and we strive to have kids in the “yellow zone”: pushing their own boundaries and making new neural connections; but not in the “red zone” of mortal terror. We encourage, but never force or shame. We celebrate small victories.
Q: Can my child have their cell phone and call/text me?
A: The magic of resident camp is allowing kids to explore their independence, develop new friendships, and navigate their feelings under the care of an empathetic adult mentor and their peers. Phones never have been and never will be allowed at camp. We strongly encourage letter writing for parents and campers. Parents/guardians can always reach our staff in an emergency. Cell phones will be safely secured in the Health Center until the end of the week if they are discovered at camp.
Q: What is the environment like at camp?
A: Camp Wilani is in a forested “bowl” of trees with a pond, pool, and many trails. We have simple, cozy cabins with electricity, heat, light, fans, and air purifiers. Although Camp Wilani is only 5 minutes from Veneta, Oregon, you really feel out in the woods. It’s quiet and lovely with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Young people want to shape the world.
Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.
In Camp Fire, it begins now.