Prepare for Camp

boys with camping gear sitting on a rock next to a lake.

Probably the biggest job for our camp parents is preparing their son to go to camp. From completing camp forms to double-checking packing lists to making travel arrangements, it is a busy time. But don't worry; we're right here with you every step of the way.

boy giving thumbs up in the back of a rowboat while fishing.

smiling group of camp counselors.

Get ready for a summer adventure.

You will receive regular communication from the camp office before, during, and after your son’s attendance at Camp Chippewa.

Once you have enrolled your camper, you will be able to log on to CampInTouch (CIT), the parent’s portal to submit forms, download packing lists, and read the all-important Parent Handbook. If you are concerned about communicating with your son during camp, packing, travel, or homesickness, you are not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last! Many questions that parents have about preparing for camp are answered in the Parent & Camper FAQs. We’ve collected a number of Parent Resources providing information about the purpose of camps, our counseling strategies, and outside perspectives on why camp is so important for young people. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with additional questions. We are happy to help!

Traveling to and from camp is the parents’ responsibility. All campers flying to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) or Bemidji Minnesota Regional Airport (BJI) will be met by Camp Chippewa staff as they deplane. Travel arrangements can be made through Travel One of Minneapolis (800-245-1111) or on your own as long as all flight times fit within our travel windows (8:30am-12:30pm for arrivals and 1:00pm-4:00pm for departures at MSP). Camp provides a chartered bus to/from Camp and MSP on the session start and end dates. The fare or the chartered bus is included in the camp tuition. More detailed information on travel is included in the Parent Handbook which is accessible at the time of enrollment.

Routine care is furnished by the camp’s resident doctor/nurse and provided at no charge. If your son takes daily medication, registration with CampMeds is required. Dietary restrictions/allergies are accommodated by our kitchen staff. Details regarding your son’s healthcare at camp will be collected in medical forms completed by the camper’s parent/guardian and physician. In the event of serious illness or emergency, the Urgent Care Center in Bemidji is 25 minutes away. Ambulance and First Responder service respond promptly to camp.

If you or your son are concerned about homesickness, know that it is not an unusual situation, even among returning campers and staff. We will handle it with an understanding approach that stems from years of experience. Talk to your son, letting him know that a telephone call is not a solution and often makes the situation worse. Trust us and know that our active program and dedicated staff will help him feel at home. Do not—in an attempt to comfort your son—tell him you will pick him up before his session is over. This will prevent him from developing resilience when faced with anything he doesn’t like at camp.

Parent Resources provides a list of books or online articles about homesickness and strategies for dealing with you or your son’s concerns about being away from home.

Parents communicate with their camper by writing letters sent through the US mail. Email letters are only accepted from international families and those who live outside of the continental US. One to three letters per week is recommended. Phone calls are not accepted, birthdays being the exception. Campers and their counselors will write a letter home to you on Sundays unless they are out of camp on a trip. Direct any concerns to the camp directors. We are happy to speak with you. Care packages with toys, candy, gum, or other food items, are not accepted at camp and will be discarded or returned at the sender’s expense—books or magazines are accepted We will send an email the first night of your son’s session letting you know he has arrived safely at camp. Highlights from the week’s activities and a few photos will be posted on our social media and emailed to give you a taste of what is going on at camp.

Follow the camp packing lists (available upon enrollment and in Parent Resources) to ensure your son has everything he needs during his stay at camp. Pack everything in two large, soft-sided duffle bags with a change of clothes and swimsuit in your son’s carry-on backpack. We recommend using ShipCamps to ensure your son’s belongings arrive at camp on time. Delayed baggage is difficult to retrieve and stressful for the camper when he arrives at camp. Laundry service is done every week and is included in the camp tuition. The most important thing to remember is to LABEL EVERYTHING you send to camp. An additional equipment list is supplied for campers going to Canada for a canoe trip, as well as a gear buying guide.

Every camper has the privilege and right to enjoy their summer at Camp Chippewa. We intend to have an environment free from discrimination, violence, intimidation, and/or harassment by either language, attitudes, or behaviors. We encourage campers to discuss any issue with their counselors or the camp directors at any time if they have concerns regarding these issues.

For the protection of all campers, we reserve the right to dismiss—without refund of tuition—any camper whose influence or behavior is, by our judgment, inappropriate. This includes but is not limited to: respect for the camp and its property, respect for other campers, staff and their property, possession and/or use of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, and weapons.

Campers must be willing and able to be positive, contributing members of our community. This includes participating in the entire program each day, abiding by cabin guidelines, practicing good manners, respecting others, showing kindness, and handling oneself appropriately.

He absolutely loves Camp Chippewa.  The experience has provided such positive development for our son in terms of hard work, self-reliance, maturity, and patience.  He also looks forward to seeing his cabin-mates each year.

Jennifer Camp Parent, New York

Ready for an unforgettable summer experience?

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