Parent Guide - Camp Life

Daily Camp Life

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Daily Camp Life at Walcamp

There is one question we hear a lot, from first time campers, parents, teachers and group leaders:

What is it like at camp?

This is a big question - since Walcamp is a year-round organization running lots of ministry opportunities that are attended by hundreds of campers and families each year.

This page describes common experiences of campers like you. Whatever goals or group or activity interests are bringing you to Walcamp, we hope this helps you to prepare for your stay.

See you soon!


Living Spaces and Food

Campers typically stay in our Main Lodge or in our Retreat Cabins.

  • Our cabins are set up with twin-size bunk beds, with space for groups of 14 or 16 people.
  • Cabin spaces are equipped with heat and A/C, water and electric.
  • Each building has hang-out space and clean restrooms and showers.

Some campers choose programs that include outdoor camping... or they may choose to spend a night outside with their group. These options are "unplugged," with no running water or electricity available.

Outdoor options include:

  • Treehouse Village - two cabins up among the trees and cots for 9 people to sleep comfortably.
  • Hammock Village - two-dozen posts in a pine grove, perfect for hanging up about 16 hammocks and "hanging out" with your friends.
  • Tent Camping - We have a limited number of tents, typically reserved for our Rock River Canoe Trip
  • An evening under the stars - one favorite group activity is to spread out a tarp in our "Big Field" and spend the night in sleeping bags under the stars.

Meals are served cafeteria style in our Dining Hall.

Some groups choose to spend one or more meals outdoors, cooking their food over a campfire and eating 'picnic style' in the outdoors.

Activity Options

Typical Summer Camp
Daily Schedule

7:00 am - Rise and Shine

7:45 - Lake Lessons & morning stretch

8:00 am - Breakfast

8:40 - First Word - songs and a meditation from our Pastor or a team leader.

9:00 - Activity Session #1, often our Bible Encounter

10:00 - Activity Session #2

10:00 - Activity Session #3

12:00 pm - Lunch

12:30 - Rest & Relaxation

1:30 - Activity Session #4

2:30 - Activity Session #5, often Swimming

3:30 - Activity Session #6, often a Snack Break

4:30 - Activity Session #7

5:30 pm - Dinner

6:30 - Activity Session #8

7:30 - Large group game with all of camp

8:00 - Campfire, music and devotion (and sometimes S'mores!)

9:00 - Cabin time and showers... or a night hike!

10:00 pm - Lights out


Typical Outdoor Education or Retreat
Daily Schedule

7:00 am - Rise and Shine

8:00 am - Breakfast

8:40 - Morning Devotion

9:00 - Activity Session #1

10:30 - Activity Session #2

12:00 pm - Lunch

12:30 - Rest & Relaxation

1:30 - Activity Session #3

3:00 - Snack Beak

3:30 - Activity Session #4

5:00 - Cabin time

5:30 pm - Dinner

6:30 - Evening Activity

8:00 - Campfire, music and devotion (and sometimes S'mores!)

9:00 - Cabin time and showers

10:00 pm - Lights out


Camp Activity Options

At Walcamp we offer a variety of activities that include classic camp favorites, hands-on exploration, and specialized interests. There is plenty of fun waiting for both first-time and returning campers, with opportunities for exciting outdoor adventures and time for friendship and personal growth. Our programs run year-round, so there is always something new to experience with the changing seasons.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

Recreational Activities

  • Archery
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Baseball / kickball
  • Book club (with a Summer Day Camp Season Pass)
  • Canoeing or Kayaking
  • Capture the Flag
  • Climbing Tower and Zip-line
  • Creek Walks / River Floats
  • STEaM Fun
  • Fishing
  • Field Games (like tag)
  • Gaga Ball / 9-Square
  • Team Building challenges on our Group Initiative Course (GICs)
  • Music and songs
  • Nature Hikes
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Playground / unstructured
  • Swimming
  • Tubing on our Lake
  • Volleyball
  • ... and so much more!

STEaM Time and Outdoor Ed Activities

  • Observation (Five-Senses) Hike
  • Animal Tracking
  • Aquatic Antics
  • Life of a Tree
  • Mad Scientist (Chemistry)
  • Micro-Communities
  • Our Solar System
  • AH! Roller Coasters (Physics)
  • There’s Garbage in My Nature (Pollution)
  • Weather Watch
  • Where is my Polar Bear? (Endangered Species)
  • Pioneer Life
  • Servant Events
  • GIC Team Building Course
  • Cross-Country Skiing*
  • Snowshoeing*
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Survival Skills
  • Disc Golf
  • Awe-stronomy
  • Extreme Games
  • Night/Twilight Hike
  • Who Gives a Hoot? (Owls)

What is a...?

Bible Encounter - Bible Encounters are interactive Bible studies where campers play games, read Bible stories
and see faith lessons come alive through hands-on activities.

Lake Lesson - We gather by the lake, where a counselor sits in a canoe and shares a scripture verse and a thought for the day.

STEaM Time - Walcamp has built STEM/STEAM activities - Science Technology Engineering Art Math - into our Outdoor Education program since the 1970s. We now also incorporate these concepts into our summer youth programs, engaging campers in hands-on activities, fun science and opportunities to take a closer look at our world.

Some activities are dependent on the season or certain weather conditions.

Living in Camp Community

Attending camp is an important step in a child's life, encouraging growth in both independence and in living as part of a larger community. Whether your child's camp experience spans one day, one week, or the entire summer, here are some of the tools we use to encourage positive community at Walcamp.

Full-Value Contract (FVC)

To provide each person with the best value for their experience, Walcamp staff and campers are asked to act according to the following five ideals:

1. Safety First. Each person’s behaviors must ensure the safety of every individual. This includes physical, mental and emotional safety.

2. Choose Your Challenge. Each person receives opportunities to try new activities and to practice skills required to live in community. They have the opportunity to express when an activity or behavior takes them beyond their limits or feels unsafe.

3. Respect Self and Others. Each person shows respect to everyone through their words and actions, with the expectation that they will be treated in kind. It is possible to disagree with someone and still act respectfully towards them. Each person also treats our facilities with respect.

4. Give your 100%. Each person is encouraged to do their best and to give their best effort for their group. This includes joining in all group activities, not just the ones they prefer.

5. Have fun! Each person determines the level of fun within any given moment or activity. It is their actions and attitudes that make camp a great place to play and to grow through new experiences and interactions with others.

Each person at camp is asked to hold themselves accountable to these ideals, and to kindly and lovingly
encourage others to do the same.

The Full Value Contract is adapted from Project Adventure

Behavior Corrections

In the event that a specific behavior needs to be addressed, our Group Leaders follow a 3-step method used by Walcamp and other youth organizations.

  1. Verbal reminder of expected behavior(s)
  2. Second verbal reminder, with explanation of future consequences
  3. Third verbal reminder, followed by appropriate consequences. Parents will be informed of these behaviors at pick-up time or earlier.

Behavior consequences may include:

  • A brief time out from that activity, especially when there is a risk to someone’s safety
  • Brief discussion with their counselor or another team member
  • Comparable consequences: such as cleaning up a mess they made intentionally.
  • Extreme or repeated behaviors may be addressed as outlined below.

A Program Director or other senior staff member may step in to help address behaviors that are dangerous to the camper or others, or behaviors already addressed but not corrected.

If a camper continues to act in a way that is self-harmful or harmful to the group, the Program Director may choose to take one of the following actions:

  • A call home for the child to discuss the situation and their behavior choices with their adult.
  • Time removed from the group, often spent sitting in the office.
  • In an extreme case, a parent or guardian may be called to pick-up their camper early if the behaviors are unsafe to the camper or the group.

If you do not feel a situation between your child and their group leader was handled appropriately, please speak to a Program Director (Pearl or Ducky) to address your concerns or for help facilitating a discussion. Please do not confront a team member personally.

Vehicle Orientation and Safety Rules


If your child participates in a Walcamp activity that takes them on an off-site adventure, we ask that they follow these five rules for vehicle safety.

  1. Listen to the Driver. The Driver is your chauffeur for the day and it is their job to get you safely to your off-site adventure and back again. Please respect the Driver and follow any directions they give.
  2. Don’t Distract the Driver. We allow passengers to talk, sing and listen to the radio, and there may be times where the Driver asks for everyone to be silent for safety reasons. Please listen immediately; the Driver will allow conversation and songs to resume as soon as it is safe.
  3. Only the Driver touches the doors. Please do not touch the vehicle doors, either to enter or exit a vehicle, or at any time while the vehicle is in motion. Our drivers operate the doors to ensure that it is safe for everyone to enter or leave the vehicle. Campers and other team members get to be “royalty for a day” and let their chauffeur do the work.
  4. Seat Belts Activate! Seat belts must be worn at all times, unless the door is open and it is safe to enter or exit the vehicle. Passengers requiring “booster” seats will be fastened by the driver or another team member. Click it for safety!
  5. Keep it with you, take it with you. Side windows in the vehicle may be opened when driving in a camp van, so long as they are closed again before exiting. Please keep all hands, personal belongings and faces inside at all times. All belongings you bring into the vehicle need to exit with you (including trash) at the end of each day’s trip.


In addition, Walcamp has procedures in place for the safety of your child during their off-site adventures.

  1. All vehicles are checked for safety before use, and receive regular inspections and maintenance.
  2. Each driver’s record and skills are verified for safe use of each vehicle type they drive.
  3. Passengers may be asked to load vehicles front to back, leaving room in the back for luggage.
  4. In case of an emergency, the Driver will report to the Walcamp office as soon as it is safe to do so. The Office team will then contact parents to inform them of the situation and any developments.
  5. Please contact our Program Director of you have any further questions about our emergency procedures regarding vehicles and off-site adventures.