Need to Know
On This Page
- Drop-Off + Pick-Up
- Camp Health + Concerns
- Emergency Contacts
- Safety + Weather
- Life at Camp
- Activities + Celebrations
- Gifts + Donations
Registration, Cost, Assistance + Girl Scout Membership
Learn all about signing up for camp, including attending with friends and how you can pay for camp on our How to Sign-Up page.
Cancellations + Refunds
Learn about cancellations and refunds on our Event Policies page.
Contact Your Camper
Learn all about how you can reach your Girl Scout, including letters, care packages and internet notes, on our Contact Your Camper page.
Stuff to Bring
Find packing lists and essential forms on our Stuff to Bring page.
Learn about behavior expectations of girls and adults on our Event Policies page.
Drop-Off + Pick-Up Information
Please see our Bus to Camp Northwoods Page for information on getting to and from Camp Northwoods.
All Other Camps
Arrive between 3 pm and 4:30 pm on the first day of your camper’s session. Upon arrival, please allow an hour for the following check-in process:
- List who can pick up your camper.
- Help camper complete general health check and turn in medications.
- Bring money and cookie credits to camp store. (Credit cards are only accepted at Camp Lakamaga.)
- Move luggage to your camper’s unit, and help her settle.
- Meet counselors and staff.
Smoking and pets are not allowed on camp property.
Pick up your camper between 1:45 pm–2:30 pm on the last day of her session. You will receive the following:
- Medications and remaining camp store money.
- A letter from your camper’s counselor about your camper’s experience.
- A note from the health director if your camper required anything beyond basic first aid treatments or if there are any concerns.
Additionally, you will be asked to officially check out your camper by signing a checkout report. Parents/guardians or designated adult to pick up a camper should bring a photo ID. If you are unable to pick up your camper by 2:30 pm, please let us know when you drop her off. If necessary, we can accommodate late pickups.
- All medications and vitamins MUST be in original containers. Include doctor’s name and instructions with medications. Camps have a supply of commonly used over-the-counter medications. It is not necessary to send these to camp.
- The health supervisor will keep medications, vitamins, ointments, etc. in the health center during camp.
- On a trip, we will send medications, etc. with staff. Inhalers, Epi Pens and other necessary items will be kept with each camper as determined by the health supervisor and information on the health history form.
If your camper has specific health needs (i.e. injections, specialized equipment, dietary concerns beyond vegetarian), contact the Camp Director two weeks prior to your camper’s attendance.
Illnesses, Communicable Diseases + Lice
Do not send your camper to camp if she has been exposed to a communicable disease or if she is ill. Camp has a no nit policy. Please check your camper for lice before coming to camp. All girls are screened upon arrival or at the bus stop. Any child with lice or a communicable disease will need to leave camp. We will make every effort to reschedule your girl in a different session, but no refunds will be issued if a camper goes home due to nits or lice. For more information, visit the National Pediculosis Association’s website or contact them at 617-449-NITS or headlice.org.
Please attach a copy of your camper’s insurance card to the 2013 Resident Camp Health History form. Supplemental sickness and accident insurance is provided for campers through their Girl Scout membership. The Girl Scouts’ plan provides secondary coverage and is not intended to replace the benefits available under a family medical plan.
Please let us know if your camper is a bed wetter (which is not unusual and nothing to be worried about) on the camper information sheet and/or health history form. Your camper should speak with her counselor or another staff person, if she has an accident. Staff will discreetly launder the bedding and clothes.
This summer, hundreds of girls will experience their first taste of independence at summer camp. For many, it will also be their first encounter with homesickness, but families don’t have to feel helpless about homesickness. The best prescription is a simple solution of preparation and patience. According to a study by Dr. Christopher Thurber, feeling homesick is a normal occurrence at camp. A whopping 83 percent of the campers studied reported homesickness on at least one day of camp. The American Camp Association (ACA) suggests the following tips for families to help their camper prepare for camp:
- Encourage independence throughout the year.
- Discuss what camp will be like before your camper leaves, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom.
- Remind your camper ahead of time that you will not be able to contact each other via phone during your camper’s stay.
- Send a note or care package ahead of time to arrive the first day of camp. You can send a River Valleys Camp Care Package either through a shop or our website.
- Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.
- When a “rescue call” comes from the camper, such as a letter saying she is homesick, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective. Avoid the temptation to take the camper home early.
- The camp director has extensive experience with homesickness. If you have a concern, voice it to the camp director before camp, so the staff can provide the best experience for your camper.
- For many children, camp is a first step toward independence and plays an important role in their growth and development.
Other resources for preparing for camp can be found at the American Camps Association’s website.
All designated emergency contacts should be available while your camper is at camp. Camp staff may call you for the following:
- Homesickness of your camper that is getting worse, not better
- Inappropriate conduct by your camper for Girl Scout camp
- Illness or injury to your camper for an extended period of time, requires medical attention outside of camp, or requires her to be picked up by the parent/guardian
Safety + Weather
Campers participate in a swim skills assessment early in their session, and will be assigned to swim areas according to their ability. If campers are not comfortable in the water or taking the swim skill assessment, please alert the staff when dropping off your camper.
Life jackets are required in all boats, regardless of swim ability. Certified lifeguards supervise all aquatic activities.
Weather + Emergencies
Camp staff teach and practice emergency action and weather procedures. If the weather is unusually hot or cold, activities are changed for safety.
Weather alert radios are monitored, and there are designated storm shelters for each camp. Please remember, during weather alerts, phone lines need to remain open to contact different parts of camp or emergency services; please do not call during severe weather.
Life at Camp
All camp programs and activities are subject to change due to weather, availability of materials, facilities and staff. Girls work together with their group and practice decision-making to plan camp activities. The number of activities varies by session length and program focus.
Sample Camp Schedule – Exact Times Will Vary
|8:00 am||Breakfast, flag raising and kaper game|
|9:00 am||Kapers (camp chores)|
|9:30 am||Connection or Discover Path activities, includes mid-morning snack|
|12:45 pm||Quiet/rest time, usually in girls’ cabins|
|1:45 pm||Connection, Discover Path or other large group activities|
|4:00 pm||Activity time including open swim and “verb” time (girls choose their activity)|
|6:30 pm||Connection, Discover Path or other large group activities|
|8:30 pm||Camp Store/Trading Post and large group activities|
|9–10:30 pm||Z Time – quiet time, journaling or small group activities, then get ready for bed.|
Meals + Food
Our goal is to provide healthy, home-cooked and delicious food for campers and staff. Our menu features fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or soy dairy products. There are vegetarian and lactose-free options at each meal. We can also provide gluten-free meals and accommodate other allergies as well. Each meal is prepared daily by dedicated cooks. If you have a special dietary need, other than vegetarian, notify us two weeks in advance. The head cook can discuss the menu with you and ensure we have appropriate food and the knowledge to meet your camper’s needs.
Meals are served family style, with a main entrée and sides. Our hope is for campers and staff to try and enjoy the main dishes served. We offer mid-morning, afternoon and evening snacks and fruit is available at all times. Please do not send food or snacks with your camper.
Showers at Camp
Each camp has shower facilities. Younger campers may not be accustomed to showering or washing hair. Please help teach this skill to your camper prior to her arrival to camp. We strive to have girls shower at least every other day.
Activities + Celebrations
In addition to the activities described in the camp description, River Valleys camps have extra fun activities and celebrations that vary depending on when your Girl Scout attends.
Camp Theme Weeks
Each week of camp we have a different theme and plan special activities that revolve around it. Wednesday’s lunch and Thursday’s dinner will be a dress-up meal to celebrate the theme. Campers can bring theme-related clothes or items.
June 23 — Space
June 30 — Patriotic
July 7 — Western
July 14 — Around the World
July 28 — Hawaiian
Aug 4 — Pirate
Aug 11 — Prehistoric
Aug 18 — Super Hero
Please let us know if your camper’s birthday occurs during her session. We want to recognize her special day! Let us know at the health check-in or email the camp director.
Camp Store/Trading Post
Each camp has a store or “trading post.” The trading post will be open on the first day of each session. You will be able to shop and deposit money into her account. We accept cash, cookie credits or checks. Credit cards are only accepted at Lakamaga. The remaining balance is returned during pick-up. The shop is open to campers each day of their session. Trading post items may include: camp T-shirts, stuffed animals, stationery, stamps, a camp patch and postcards. Prices range from $1.25 -$35.
Gifts for Staff
Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys staff may not receive or accept tips, gifts or gratuity, monetary or otherwise. To thank staff for a job well done or to provide funds for all girls to go to camp, please consider a donation to River Valleys.