Camper FAQ's

If you have questions about what your campers will encounter at summer camp, feel free to read the information below.  
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact us. 

General Questions: 

What are the age divisions for summer camp?
Age divisions are in place so we can best serve your campers along with those in their immediate age group. Campers can be exiting or entering the grades included in each group. For example, a camper may have just finished 5th grade: he could either go to Kids Kamp or he could go to Junior camp since he is entering 6th grade--It just depends on what week the parents think would best suit their camper.
Kids Kamp is for kids in grades 3-6
Junior High Camp is for middle schoolers in grades 6-9
Teen Camp is for high schoolers in grades 9-12.

How long does a week of camp last?
Camp check-in and drop-off goes from 9 AM to 11 AM on Monday. Campers are to be picked up between 9 AM and 10 AM on Saturday.
It is extremely important that drivers be punctual in dropping off and picking up their campers. We also ask that parents do not stay around long when dropping off or picking up campers so we can resume normal activities without a big interruption.

What are their accommodations?
Campers stay in gender restricted cabins with other campers their age and their counselors. There are several bunk beds in the cabin and a private bath and shower facility in their campground.

How many chapel sessions are there?
Throughout the week, there are 9 one hour chapel sessions. Sessions include a time of songs as well as a message from God’s Word.

Questions Regarding camper-parent communication:

Can I call my camper to talk during the week?
The best way to communicate with your camper during the week is by sending them letters in the mail or by e-mailing your camper.  During camp, there will be a link on our homepage so you can send a one-way email to your camper.  We ask that parents do not encourage their campers to call home during the week.  Calls home take out a lot of valuable time with our campers.  They also are quite distracting and disruptive to the program.  If, in the case of an emergency, you need to get a hold of your camper during the week, please call the camp office (608) 489-3810 to get in touch with our staff.

Why can't my camper keep their phone with them? 
Camp is not the greatest place to have a phone.  Even our camp staff has a hard time protecting their phones from the occasional water balloon launch, lake incident or mud puddle.  There are many hazards that threaten the integrity of your phones, so it's best to leave it at home.  Phones are distracting.  There are many ways phones can take our focus away from where it should be.  Lastly-- for safety: Phones can be used in many ways that would not be acceptable at camp.  Leave your phones at home and give them a nice week of vacation!  If your camper has built up a reliance on their cell phone or other electronic device, it's best to wean them off that device in the weeks preceding their camp week.  

Can I send letters to my camper?
Absolutely.  Postal mail is welcomed by campers.  Send all postal mail with enough time to reach campers.  Mail call will be held at supper time each evening.  
Postal mail can be sent to:
(Camper's Name)
c/o Trail Ridge Camp
S2695 Cherith Way
Hillsboro, WI 54634
Sending an email to your camper is also a great way to brighten their day.  The "Email your camper" link will be available on our home page.  Simply complete that form and submit it.  Our camp office will print these emails and deliver them to campers during mail call.  Even though campers aren't able to respond to these emails, they sure do a great job in bringing smiles to their faces.  

Questions regarding Programming and activities: 

What kind of activities will they be participating in? 
Camp is a place with a broad range of activities.  We spend as much time outdoors as we can--it's camp: ).  Here's a list of the types of activities we offer during summer camp: Outdoor "Campy" Activities-- Boating, hiking, stargazing, Swimming pool, Horseshoes, Tetherball, Disc Golf, Hike the Solar System, BB Guns, Slingshots, Archery, Playground, Go-Karts, etc.  Game Room: Foosball, Pool, Carpetball, Ping Pong and Board Games.  Other Indoor Activities: Basketball, Mini Golf, Crafts, Snack Shop and more.  Group Activities: Basketball, Octo-Ball, Sand Volleyball, Gopher Ball and 4-Way Volleyball.  We also have a sports shack where campers can check out different recreational equipment to start their own activity like a game of croquet, kites, soccer, kickball, football, etc.  At camp, the possibilities are endless!

My camper is not inclined toward athletics or is not competitive.  Do they have to participate?
If a camper is not experiencing a medical reason for not participating in an activity, they are required to participate.  That may seem a little inconsiderate to you, but let us explain.  At camp, young people are living in a community environment.  We hold activities for a few reasons.  Camp activities help strengthen a family atmosphere.  When you compete alongside someone else, elements like trust and camaraderie are strengthened between the participants.  Competing together helps campers bond with each other and with their counselors.  These activities are meant to allow campers to enjoy some competition, provide opportunities for counselors to connect with campers and to get everyone together for a good time of fun!  Not all big group activities are "athletic" related.  Group activities often require skill, critical thinking, agility, speed (both mental and physical) and strategy.  

Questions regarding food Service: 

What kind of snacks should I send with my camper? 
NONE. :)  We do not allow out campers to snack in their cabins as that attracts unwanted critters.  Please keep the snacks at home; and don't forget to send some spending money for your camper to enjoy the snack shop.

What will they eat at camp?
Our kitchen staff takes great care to be sure campers are well fed.  This includes serving three healthy meals each day.  The majority of the cooking is done from scratch; so our staff is very mindful of the ingredients in what's going into the food.  We are also sure to provide a hearty variety of options for our campers to choose from.  Appropriate portions are served, but many campers still enjoy going back for seconds after the "Seconds Bell" rings.  

My camper is a picky eater.  What will you do for them?
As mentioned, we offer several options for campers at each meal.  With the variety of options at each meal, even the pickiest of eaters always seem to find something suitable for their palate.  Campers are encouraged to try new things while dining at Trail Ridge. 

My camper has a food allergy/intolerance.  How does that work at camp? 
We always do our best to accommodate for those with food allergies and intolerances.  If your camper has a SEVERE allergy or intolerance, please get in contact with our kitchen staff.  Our goal is to keep all campers safe and healthy; however, we do not have facilities to provide all services required for things like a "peanut-free kitchen."  There are times we will ask parents to send food to camp to supplement the provided meals.  In the case that your camper has a sensitive life-threatening allergy, we'd suggest finding a camp that would be able to make such accommodations. 

I heard you have a snack shop.  What do you sell in the snack shop?
The snack shop is open for a special treat in the afternoons and evenings.  Campers are able to purchase snacks if they need a little "pick-me-up."  The snack shop sells ice cream, popsicles, and slushies for those hot days.  Campers can also get refreshed with a cool drink like bottled water, juice, fruit drink, soda or sports drink.  If the campers are hungry, they might enjoy some candy, a pack of crackers, popcorn, chips or cookies.  Campers are limited to how many sweets they are allowed to purchase.

If you have any other questions regarding food service, please contact our head cook by e-mailing kitchen@trailridge.org.

Questions regarding Dress standards and things to bring to  camp: 

Is there a Dress Code?
Over the years, we've come up with (what we believe) a reasonable, modest dress code that everyone can live with.  Dress standards are maintained by all camp staff, volunteers and campers; and is enforced by camp staff and administration.  Here's the camp Dress Code: Please bring clothes to camp with modesty in mind. Dress at camp is casual, but not sloppy. The length of the shorts must be to within one hand’s width (About 4 inches) of the top of the knee. Tank tops or revealing clothes are not to be worn. Pants will be worn at the waist. No saggin’ or baggin’. Messages on clothing, jewelry, and other personal belongings that relate to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, immorality, and vulgarity are not permitted. Some items of clothing you will want to consider bringing: long pants and long sleeved shirts or hoodies for cool evenings, rain coat or poncho, a sturdy pair of sandals (flip flops do not hold up well here), a hat, sunglasses, some clothes you don’t mind getting very dirty or stained.
Girls: Bathing suits must be modest 1-piece. Modest cover-ups must be worn to and from the pool.
Boys: Bathing suits must be boxer-type swim trunks. A shirt must be worn to and from the pool

What if I can't find clothes that will fit within these guidelines?
As mentioned, we feel this is a reasonable dress code for everyone to follow.  When parents are having a difficult time, we recommend looking at second hand stores, online retailers, and even places like Wal-Mart.  It's surprising when you start looking how much you can find at a reasonable price.  Campers who bring clothes to camp that do not fit within these guidelines will not be allowed to wear that clothing.  We'll let that camper know they need to find a replacement article of clothing, and we'll offer for them to find something that will fit in our lost and found closet.  

What should I pack for my camper?
-Sleeping Bag and Pillow
-Flashlight
-Backpack
-Two Towels
-Personal Toiletries
-Swimwear (see dress code)
-Sunscreen
-Enough Clothes for the Week (see dress code below)
-Bible, Notebook and Pen
-Any Prescription Medications your Camper needs in their original labeled container
-Two Pairs of Sturdy Walking Shoes
-Spending Money for Snack Shop and Camp Store (suggested amount $20-$40)

Campers should not bring:
-Electronic Devices like cell phones, MP3 players, video games, tablets, computers, personal DVD players, etc. (Digital cameras are the only exception although we still do not recommend bringing an expensive camera to camp.)
-Weapons or anything that would endanger our campers or staff
-Alcohol or Illicit Drugs
-Morally offensive literature
-Clothing that isn’t approved in the dress code

Questions regarding camper health and safety: 

How is my camper protected at camp? 
We take great care to ensure that the volunteers and staff we bring in are vetted with thorough background and reference checks.  Our staff is constantly keeping track of their campers at every activity.   Every week of camp, a camp nurse is on hand for all medical needs throughout the week; and all waterfront and pool activities are supervised by a certified lifeguard.  All people entering or exiting the camp property are monitored throughout the day.

Do you have a camp nurse?
Yes, each week there is a licensed healthcare professional on the campgrounds. They are in charge of dispensing medications and taking care of any and all other medical concerns. We also have a certified lifeguard on hand for all pool and waterfront activities. Several other staff members are also certified in CPR and AED.

What if my camper gets sick or needs me?
If a camper is facing challenges at camp that cannot be met by our camp staff, we will have that camper give their parents a call.  The camp director will follow-up with parents to determine an action plan.  It's recommended parents of campers answer all calls placed to them while their campers are at camp as we may need to reach you from a cell phone or another unfamiliar phone number.  It's also very important that parents complete camper registration forms as thoroughly as possible with phone numbers, emails and emergency contact information.  

WAIT, i still have more questions!!! How can i get them answered?

Don't worry, if you have any other questions, we would be glad to get them answered for you. Just call the camp office (608-489-3810) during regular business hours or email us at info@trailridge.org and we’ll get your questions answered as quickly as possible.