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PARENTS GUIDE FOR CAMP

SEND YOUR CAMPER PREPARED!

Contact Information:

Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center
10896 Nixon St.
Indianola, IA 50125

Phone: 515-961-4523

Email: [email protected]

Overnight Camp and Day Camp at Wesley Woods provides an opportunity for youth and families to meet new people, learn and try new things, and grow in their faith with Christ. We want both campers and families feeling safe, comfortable and excited about their camping adventure.

Preparing Your Child For Camp

Whether it is for a few days or a full week, time at camp can be intimidating for both parents and youth and could cause some anxiety. This is normal and can be worked through both prior to a camp experience and while at camp.

Packing List

Day Camp programs need a day pack with a change of clothing, swimsuits and towels, sunscreen and bug spray, and water bottle. Be prepared that your camper may be coming home tired and dirty each day! 

When packing for overnight camp you will need bedding (if applicable), toiletries, water bottles, clothing, shoes and LOTS of socks. View a complete PACKING LIST

Here are a few things remember:

A camping experience is full of learning and growth opportunities, from meeting new people, trying new things, and sharing about your faith. Camp is a safe place to learn and grow.

Having conversations with your camper about how to act and handle situations that may arise will go a long way in helping them have a positive experience.

Check-In

When you arrive, you will park in the main parking area and be greeted by our staff at your vehicle. You will be guided to where to place your camper’s luggage, check-in, get your camper identification card, that you will need for check-out, and visit with the health center staff for a simple camper wellness check and to check in medications. Please have your prescribed or OTC medications available during this time. After checking in your camper, they’ll be given a water bottle and then they can join their group!

Check-Out

You will be greeted by camp staff, at which time you’ll present your camper identification card and collect any medications checked in at the beginning of camp. You will be guided to a closing program once most parents of your camper’s session are present. Please allow some time in your schedule for your camper to introduce new friends and to watch the closing program they planned and practiced. Cabin Leaders will be available to visit with you about your camper’s time at camp.

Campers Camp Store

Each day, campers will have the opportunity to visit the camp store. The camp store carries items such as beverages and snacks, t-shirts, hats, water bottles, souvenirs, etc. Items in the store range in price from $1.00 to $25.00. A good rule of thumb is $4 per day (this will allow your child to get 1 drink and 1 snack item) plus any additional for souvenirs.

At check-in parents may choose to deposit money into a personal account for their camper using either cash or personal check. When campers make purchases at the store, their account is debited for that amount. Cash is not accepted from campers at the camp store. Campers should not keep money with them at camp. Refunds will be processed at the end of Camp week and returned to the camper before leaving camp. Parents may elect to donate any remaining funds towards Camp Wesley Woods Campership Fund, helping those who need support to attend a week of camp.

Forms

Please fill out all forms at least 2 weeks prior to the start of your camper’s event. Remember to check to be sure you’ve signed all forms so your camper will be able to participate in all activities. Having all forms completed prior to the event will speed up your check in process. You may log in to your child’s account HERE. If you have troubles logging in, please contact our camp registrar.

Contacting Campers

Mail: Campers LOVE to receive mail! Please allow at least four days for standard mail to reach camp. Keep in mind that for shorter events, you may need to mail letters before your camper leaves home. Please do not mail your camper any snacks or candy. You are also welcome to leave letters to be distributed throughout the week with a staff person during check-in time. Simply write what day of the week and you want the letters delivered. Mail can be sent to Camp Wesley Woods, 10896 Nixon St, Indianola, IA 50125.

Phone Calls: Campers can receive phone calls at camp in case of emergency. If you need to speak to your camper you are more than welcome to call us at 515-961-4523 during business hours and we’d be happy to put you through to your camper.

One-Way Email: Campers may receive emails at camp Monday-Friday. We encourage family and friends to keep emails loving, positive, and encouraging in the case of potential homesickness. Send an email to [email protected], and be sure to write the camper’s first and last name and event name in the subject line.

What is the cancellation policy?

If the camping office needs to cancel a camp for any reason (health/wellness, weather, minimal campers needed to operate events), you will be notified in order to reschedule or receive a full refund.

If a camper needs to cancel, we will provide a full refund in the event of illness, exposure or an emergency. Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to request a refund. A refund will be issued only if requested. All camper cancellations must be received in writing at [email protected]. Please call the camping office at (800) 765-1651 (toll free) with any questions.

If a camper needs to cancel for any other reason, we will provide a full refund minus the $100 deposit. If a camper is a no-call or no-show, no refund will be issued.

Payment Information/ Camperships/ Refund Policy

A non-refundable deposit of $100, or the full amount if the camp is less than $100, is required to secure your registration. Cancellations will be refunded fees paid minus non-refundable deposit. “No-shows” will not be refunded. Policy exceptions due to unforeseen tragedy or serious circumstances will be considered on an individual basis. If your camp event is cancelled, you will receive a full refund including the deposit.

It is the position of the Board of Camps that no camper shall be turned away due to lack of funds. Therefore camperships are available through the Iowa United Methodist Camps office. However, as funding is limited, our expectation is that your local church/agency, personal funds, and conference support will combine to cover registration costs. 

To apply for campership funds, please speak to your local pastor to see if your church has scholarship money available. Then you can fill out a campership application form and submit to the Camp Registrar. For assistance with or questions regarding payments, camperships, or refunds, contact the Camp Registrar at [email protected], 800-765-1651 (toll-free), or 515-974-8946.

Homesickness

We take homesickness seriously. We train our staff and plan our program in such a way as to help avoid homesickness. We create the most nurturing, comforting environment possible, and with all our activities, most children are able to overcome their homesickness quickly. However, there are a few children every summer who are unable to shake homesickness. If this happens, one of our leadership staff will contact you.

Prevention Strategies

Set your camper up for success: practice spending extended time away from home at a friend or neighbors’ home. Don’t promise to rescue your child if they become homesick, instead form a plan for if it happens.

Talk about what could happen while at camp and talk about the exciting opportunities that await, whether it be friends, games, activities or meeting new people.

Don’t suggest phone calls-it is very difficult to manage and takes focus off of the fun and experiences waiting for them at camp. If needed, leadership staff will be in contact to work on an action plan.

For tips for preventing homesickness, please visit: https://www.acacamps.org/press-room/how-to-choose-camp/homesickness.

Medications

Camp Wesley Woods has a Health Care Manager qualified to handle distribution of medication, health issues, and, if necessary, accidents. On check-in day, medications and health forms are reviewed by parents and the camp Health Care Manager to ensure all special needs are being properly addressed. For more information, contact Camp Wesley Woods directly. A health screening will be done the day of check-in.

Severe Weather

Camp staff are trained in safety procedures in the event of severe storms, including flooding and tornadoes. We have below ground storm shelters where campers can gather if there is a tornado warning. Camp also stays closely connected to weather watch and warning sources, including NOAA weather radios, local news stations, and local law enforcement. If there is excessive heat, campers are given regular breaks and encouraged to wear sunscreen and drink water. Most sleeping and dining accommodations are held in air-conditioned spaces.

Discipline

Camp Wesley Woods staff are trained to deal with inappropriate behavior in a safe, constructive way that leads to positive outcomes. At Wesley Woods, campers will be held responsible for their actions in a positive and respectful way. Misbehavior in a camping setting takes many forms. At the Iowa UM Camps, we want to ensure campers and guest feel safe, secure and loved. As staff we try to stop and redirect behaviors in which are not in alignment with this core value. Each behavioral situation is dealt with on a case by case basis. If staff are unable to correct the misbehaving, parents or guardians may be called to address next steps, potentially resulting in removal from camping program.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The policy says simply this, without exception: Any Camper who is guilty of bullying or ruining another’s camp experience may be sent home. Camp Wesley Woods strives to be a safe and welcoming environment and we reserve the right to remove any individual that jeopardizes those values.

Wesley Woods Camp Staff

Wesley Woods Leaders are carefully screened and selected to ensure we provide a safe environment for campers to thrive. Each staff member participates in two-weeks of training. During training, staff learn about safety awareness, camper relations, safely facilitating programming. Along with the training to work with youth, all staff are trained in CPR, First Aid and AED. We follow standards set by the American Camp Association to ensure staff are ready to care for your child.

Animals at camp

In order to limit risk, we strongly recommend that no animals are brought on to camp property. In the occasion animals are on site, they should be limited to service animals only. Emotional support animals do not qualify as a service animal. All Service Animals must remain on lease and in possession of owner.

ACA Accreditation

Camp Wesley Woods and the Iowa U.M. Camps are accredited through the American Camp Association. The ACA is a nationally recognized accrediting body for camping programs and a leader in childhood development, education, and welfare. To earn ACA accreditation, our camps must comply with more than 300 health, safety, and program quality standards. Iowa United Methodist Camps are regularly reviewed by ACA professionals to ensure they continue to meet these high standards.

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