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Youth Camp FAQs

We want to help!

We want to make getting to and from camp easy on you – we’re happy to take care of transportation to and from summer youth camps. Driven and chaperoned by trained Fort Staff, vans and/or coach buses can take your child to camp, back home, or both!

A Look at Fort Wilderness

Is Fort Wilderness Certified?

Fort Wilderness is certified by the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCA). Our Horsemanship Program is certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). Our Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Emergency Medical Responders (EMR or First Responders) on staff are certified by the State of Wisconsin and the Red Cross. Our lifeguards, Program Staff and Summer Staff Leaders are certified by the Red Cross in First Aid and CPR.

Do you offer Scholarships?

Generous Fort friends make it possible for us to offer scholarship help through our camper scholarship program. These scholarship are intended for our youth camping programs (we welcome special requests for Family Camps, Adult Retreats and Winter Programs). You can find a scholarship application form here.

Do you have to be a christian to come to camp?

A religious background or faith is not required to attend any of Fort’s camps and events. There are many campers who don’t have a Christian background. We as a staff do believe that Jesus Christ died for us to pay for our sins and that he loves us greatly. Because of what Jesus means to us, we naturally, and respectfully, share about him.

Is Fort Wilderness safe for my children?

Safety is an important component to all staffing and programming at Fort Wilderness. Volunteer and paid Staff are required to complete our extensive application and background check process and complete our Camper Safety Training (online and in-person). Staff are also trained in their specialized areas and certified if necessary (Lifeguards, Program Staff and Summer Staff Leaders are Red Cross Certified in First Aid and CPR). In the event of an emergency Fort Wilderness has an on site Safety and Security Team, certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Emergency Medical Responders (EMR or First Responders) who can assist within minutes. If necessary a modern hospital is located only 14 miles from Main Camp. Keep in mind that while your children are at camp they will be active outdoors and engaging in activities such as running, swimming, archery… etc and many other activities that carry natural risks (soreness form horseback riding for instance). We cannot eliminate every single of these natural risks but we do everything we can to minimize these risks so that your child can have new experiences in a supportive environment.

What denomination is Fort Wilderness?

We are a not for profit, non-denominational Christian camp. People from many different church or unchurched backgrounds are welcome at camp.

Health Care

What if my child has medications? Is there a nurse at camp?

There is a nurse on duty all week at each one of our youth camps. There are also multiple EMTs and EMRs available quickly if an emergency arises.

On opening day of camp, parents and campers will meet the Nurse at registration time, check in all medication and be able to discuss any additional information. Medications are then dispensed when needed by appropriate medical staff throughout the week. Please see attachment for new procedures for accepting medication. The health form has a list of medications provided by Fort.

Can Fort Wilderness accommodate food allergies and/or special diet?

Food is important in the Fort camping experience. We work hard to make tasty meals. We can accommodate gluten, nut and dairy allergies as well as some special diets related to specific health needs. It is valuable for us to work with you to make a plan at least 2 weeks ahead of camp for special situations. If you are gluten free please plan to bring your own bread and desserts as Fort does NOT provide these items. For any food allergy, we want to help. Please email no less than 2 weeks before the first day of camp. Contact the Youth Camp Food Service Director (Janet) at janetmer@fortwilderness.com

Will I be notified if my child becomes ill or injured?

We care for kids and want their overall experience at camp to be successful, so that they will come back next year with a friend. In the event of an injury, we will treat them quickly and, if needed, call Emergency Medical Services to assist. We will call you if needed.

Programming

Can you explain the “Overnight Campout” activity?

Camping has changed over the years. The overnight campout is a great chance for kids to spend the night camping in a tent, often for the first time. With an age-appropriate location selected, kids have the chance to sleep under the stars. Many fun memories are built, and counselors and staff are only a stone toss away if the need arises.

What if my child doesn’t feel comfortable trying a certain activity?

“Challenge by Choice” is a fundamental principle of how we do adventures at Fort. We want campers to be happy campers. Therefore, if a child doesn’t feel like they can do it, even after appropriate encouragement from staff, they are not forced to do that activity.

Staying at Camp

What should my child bring to camp?

A comprehensive Prep Guide is available for each youth camp. Check the camp guides section on your respective camp page.

What if my child gets homesick?

Since 1956, Fort Wilderness has cared for experienced and first-time youth campers. Homesickness is natural to some first time youth campers who have never been away from home before. You could say that we are used to it. In a large majority of these situations, we have been able to create a great camping experience to help these campers adjust to the new environment and have a memorable week at camp . In the event that homesickness gets exceptionally strong and we need to call home, we will do so and seek to work out a solution.

Occasionally my child wets the bed. Are you able to handle that?

We have worked with children over the years who wet their bed. We do so discreetly so as to protect them from embarrassment.

When are forms & fees due?

They are due at least 2 weeks prior to camp. It helps us plan best when forms are sent even earlier. State Law requires a Health Form for all youth campers.

When do I drop off my kids and when do I pick them up?

If you drive your kids to camp, they should arrive between 2:00PM and 3:30PM on the Saturday that camp starts. They can be picked up starting at 9:45AM on Friday (the last day of camp), with most pick-ups done by 10:30AM.

What is your staff to camper ratio?

Our staff to camper ratio for a typical youth camp is around 1:3. For younger kids, it is around 1:2. For older kids, it is around 1:4.

What kind of training do you do for your staff?

Our staff are fully trained in their specific work areas in addition to being certified by the Red Cross in CPR and First Aid if necessary. Other training that is required from our staff includes: Child Protection, Safety Protocols (Emergency situations, severe weather,…) and Driver Training. Prior to summer our Summer Leaders and Missionary Staff work together in team building, skills and leadership training to facilitate the smooth operation of camp.

I registered online. Can I get back into my account to make changes?

Yes. You may logging to your account at any time. However if you try and are unable to make a change, you may call the office at 715.277.2587 during business hours or e-mail register@fortwilderness.com for assistance.

Is there a dress code at Fort Wilderness?

We have few specific rules regarding dress. We have found that when male and female campers dress responsibly it helps reduce distractions and provides a healthy environment for spiritual, social and mental growth. We encourage clothing that doesn’t draw attention to the private areas. Some specific requests include one piece or tankini swimwear for water activities and clothing that does not reveal undergarments in general.