Wondering about counselor training? Curious about sending a care package? We’ve got you covered. Feel free to peruse our FAQs, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you’ve got more questions! We’re happy to help.

For Parents

What kind of training do counselors receive?

Many counselors are former campers who are knowledgeable and eager to carry on Chippewa’s timeless traditions. All staff are lifeguard, first aid, and CPR/AED certified. All staff are trained on how to teach a handful of the camp activities, how to handle behavioral problems with campers, how to promote growth and learning experiences, and how to prepare for and lead a multi-day out-of-camp canoe trip. Camp also brings in child psychology and development professionals who train our staff further on how to best work with campers of all ages. Weekly staff meetings are held to reaffirm our commitment, discuss successes and challenges from the past week, and prepare for the week ahead.

How will my son get to camp?

Planes, trains, and automobiles! Except swap trains for buses. You may fly your camper to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) where they will be picked up by Chippewa staff. You may drive your camper to MSP where they will board a bus to camp with all the other campers flying into MSP. You may drive your camper to Camp Chippewa proper for a beautiful road trip through the Northwoods of Minnesota! Travel logistics and specifics are found in greater detail in the Parent Handbook once you enroll your son!

Who will meet my son at the airport?

Counselors wearing a Camp Chippewa Staff T-shirt with documentation issued by airport security will meet your camper at the gate as they deplane. Campers wait at a designated area with other campers and staff members until they board a coach bus to camp. For their flight back home, counselors will accompany campers to their gate and ensure they board the plane when leaving MSP at the end of the summer.


What should my son pack for camp?

The most important things to send with your son are clothes, toiletries, bedding, and basic camping equipment. There is a thorough camper packing list available in CampInTouch once your son is enrolled. If your son is entering high school, there will be a canoe trip gear list with a guide to help you purchase the appropriate gear. We adopt a simpler lifestyle at camp. Please adhere to the packing lists. Contact us about additional items to ensure they are acceptable at camp; those lists are the product of over 85 years of camp experience.

How are medications distributed?

The camp doctor/nurse distributes daily medications during meals and before bed. Please contact the camp office if your son takes meds at another time of day. While on canoe trips, counselors distribute meds following instructions from the camp doctor/nurse. Camp Chippewa uses a prescription medication service called PackMyRx. Please do not send any meds with your camper or in their luggage.

What if my son forgets something?

Camp receives deliveries from USPS, UPS, and FedEx Monday-Saturday. Contact the camp office before sending a package whether it’s forgotten camping equipment, clothes or something else.

What if my son gets sick or injured?

A doctor or nurse is on staff and lives at camp throughout the summer. They are able to treat a wide range of minor wounds, injuries, and ailments. Severe injuries and illnesses require a 25-minute trip to the hospital in Bemidji. Emergencies are handled by calling EMS. Camp will contact you if an emergency arises involving your son.

How do you handle picky eaters and food allergies?

Please document all food allergies in the online Health History form. The majority of food allergies can be accommodated. Camp serves meals made entirely from scratch that are nutritious and delicious. Picky eaters are encouraged to try new foods and foods they may not have liked in the past, and many find that all of the food at camp tastes great when eating in front of counselors and fellow campers.

Can I send care packages to my son?

Campers love to get mail but please do not send any care packages with food or toys. Acceptable items to send are card games, books, and magazines. All packages are opened in the camp office with your son and any contraband will be discarded. 

What percentage of kids are returning campers?

Over the past 5 years, 75% of our campers return for another summer. That number is closer to 90% when considering the number of older campers who return to work on staff.

What if my son isn’t a strong swimmer?

Camp has qualified swim staff who are able to work with a wide range of swimming strengths. All campers wear PFDs when out on the water, and swimming is a required activity for all campers who have not completed American Red Cross Swim Level 6.

Why can’t my son stay for a shorter period of time?

Camp is all about being engaged. Our in-camp program and canoe tripping program require at least 2 weeks for campers to completely immerse themselves in camp life. Current research shows that meaningful developmental changes in the brain take a minimum of 2 weeks to occur. Living without technology, spending meaningful time with friends, and learning from positive role models has the most beneficial impact on campers when they spend 4 weeks at camp. Many campers who sign up for 2 weeks choose to stay for 4 weeks after being at camp for a short time. The end of the 4-week session is full of large group activities, advancement in ranks, and closing ceremonies that campers do not want to miss.

How can I communicate with my son?

Please write letters to your camper! The USPS delivers mail 6 days a week. We recommend writing anywhere from 1-3 letters per week to your camper. Campers are required to write home once a week, and their counselor will write you a letter about your son once a week as well. To discourage homesickness, please do not write about how much you miss your son or all the fun and exciting events he is missing back home. Instead, write encouraging letters about what he may be experiencing at camp and how proud you are of him and what he is accomplishing.

What if my son gets homesick?

Chippewa staff have been working with homesick campers for over 85 years. We are really good at it, and what’s even better is that getting homesick is ok! It means your son has a good, happy life at home. Missing home is something a lot of people at camp have dealt with, even counselors. Campers have a broad support network of friends and staff to help them through their homesickness and continue to have a wonderful summer at Chippewa!

How can I communicate with camp?

If you need to get ahold of the camp office, please email the directors. If it is urgent, please call the camp office. We, in turn, will email if we need information or to relay news to you about your son. Please read our email as soon as you can. We try to limit too many emails home, so when we do, the information is timely and requires your attention. During the summer, we will reach out weekly with a review of what’s happening at camp and a few pictures on our social media platforms to give you a taste as well. In the camping world, no news is good news!

For Campers

Can I be in a cabin with a friend?

Campers are placed in cabins based on the grade they will be entering in the fall. Because we are a smaller camp, we usually have one cabin per grade. If you are coming to camp with a friend who is in the same grade as you, then you will most likely be in the same cabin.

How do I communicate with my parents?

You may send letters in the mail to your parents. Every camper is required to write a letter home on Sundays, and many campers choose to write multiple letters each week.  

What if I get homesick?

Getting homesick is ok! It can happen to anybody, even counselors. It means you have a good, happy life at home. Missing home is something a lot of people at camp have dealt with. Your counselors and friends will be there to help you through it and enjoy your time at camp!

What if I don’t know anyone before I go?

One of the best parts of Camp Chippewa is making new friends. Many new campers show up not knowing anyone and then make friends at camp that they keep for the rest of their lives. Once you’ve been to Chippewa, you’re a part of our family, and our family sticks together no matter where you go!  

What’s the food like?

The food is delicious! Our kitchen staff makes three meals a day entirely from scratch, and you won’t find better food at another camp. Fan favorites include BLTs, mac and cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, French toast, and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

What kind of activities can I choose from?

Camp Chippewa has over a dozen activities to choose from. Our most popular activities are archery, soccer, sailing, riflery, climbing, swimming, canoeing, fencing, and tennis. Some other activities like waterskiing, trap, orienteering, campcraft, and nature are only sometimes available. Campers get to choose new activities twice each week, so you will get a chance to try everything!

Where do I sleep?

All campers sleep in rustic cabins with their cabinmates and counselors. You will have anywhere from 3-7 cabinmates, and every cabin has 2 counselors. Just like at home, you’ll have to keep your cabin clean. But unlike at home, you can win the coveted Honor Cabin prize if your cabin is the cleanest of them all!

Ready for an unforgettable summer experience?

group boys smiling and holding a colorful sign in the shape of a bird at a camp.