Frequently Asked Questions – Camp K

 

DAILY SCHEDULE

7:15 am: Good Morning!
7:45 am: Hoppers (kitchen assistants) to Lodge
8:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: Kapers (camp chores) and Ready for the Day
9:30 am: Morning Fun with Activity Groups
12:15 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm: Cabin Quiet Time
2:15 pm: Afternoon Activity Group Time
4:00 pm: Afternoon Choice
5:00 pm: Free Time
5:45 pm: Hoppers to Lodge
6:00 pm: Dinner, Songs, Announcements
7:15 pm: Evening Activity
8:30 pm: Group Quiet Time
9:00 pm: Ready for Bed
10:00 pm: All Quiet

CAMPER QUESTIONS

 

Are children separated by age?
Yes, Camp Fire organizes groups by age for activities and housing. However, some activities include children from multiple age groups. These are pre-planned as leadership building activities and generally provide an opportunity for older campers to mentor or assist younger campers with adult supervision.

Can my child be in the same program with his or her friends?
Yes, if your child has a preference for a cabin mate, please mention it on the registration form. Camp Fire can keep friends together in cabin groups as long as they are the same age and gender. We like campers to make new friends while they are at camp, so we limit the number of friends you can request for cabin mates to two.

I have a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old, can they be together?
They can be at camp at the same time, but in camp we group our campers by age and find that they have the best experiences when they are with campers of their own age. This helps with developing skills such as independence, confidence, and identity. All campers eat meals together every day and there are opportunities for campers to choose activities at times throughout the day. We also have evening activities where the whole camp is together and they would have an opportunity to be together then as well.

What if my child has special needs?
We are generally able to accommodate most children, but reserve the right to make determinations on a case-by-case basis. Our kitchen can accommodate most food allergies and we have a camp nurse available for medical emergencies. However, the camp is difficult for physically challenged individuals to navigate. Please give us a call to discuss your child’s needs.

Where do the children sleep?
While at camp, your camper will be assigned to a group of seven other campers based on age and gender, and will stay in a cabin with their counselor and another group. Each set of two cabins is attached by a large wrap-around porch with open-air gathering areas. Each cabin is equipped with sturdy, wooden bunk beds with mattresses. Your camper will need to bring a pillow and warm bedding from home. The cabins do get cool at night, so please pack warm pajamas and sleeping gear. Windows provide light inside the cabins, but a flashlight will help your child navigate cabins at night, as well as provide light for those who enjoy reading or writing letters before bed. Check out the camp website for pictures of our new cabins.

***If your child would like to be assigned to a group or cabin with a friend or relation of the same age and gender, you must list this information on the health form when registering.

 

PARENT QUESTIONS

Can I call or text my camper?
There is no wireless or internet service at camp and campers are not allowed any electronic devices anywhere in camp. We strongly recommend that you do not communicate with your child during the week they are at camp. Camp can be a life-changing event around a child’s adventure into independence, autonomy and community building. Having a conversation with a parent can jeopardize a camper’s sense of belonging to their camp unit, and may increase their level of homesickness or worry. In the event of an emergency, you can call the Camp Fire office to pass along a message to your child.

What should my child bring to camp?
Here is the Camp K packing list. Campers should be prepared with adequate clothing and a good positive attitude! Please remember that there is no electricity in the cabins. Candy, gum, food, matches, lighters, weapons, fireworks, cigarettes, illegal drugs, alcohol, pets, blow dryers, curling irons, cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed at Camp K on Kenai Lake.

Can I take my child to camp instead of taking the bus?
Yes. You may decide to transport your camper to camp on your own or pick them up. Here is the bus schedule and parent drop off/pick up schedule.  The camp is located about four miles down Snug Harbor Road on the south side of Kenai Lake, driving directions can be found here. If you plan to drop off or pick up your child yourself, please indicate that on your registration form.

What is the best way to prepare for homesickness?
It is not uncommon for campers to experience homesickness. Our staff work very hard to assure that campers remain busy and have a great time, but parents can help prevent homesickness before children come to camp.

1) Spend time talking about how much fun camp will be—talk about activities, songs, projects—and that they can tell you all about it when they get home. Try not to say things like “I will miss you so much.” or spend a lot of time talking about all the things they will miss while they are gone. We want campers to anticipate the fun, not what they might be missing.

2) Write some cheery, short cards to your child. The mail delivery at camp is not dependable, so we suggest you pre-write them and drop them off with staff on departure day. By doing this, your child will be guaranteed mail.

3) Plan a special “together time” when your child gets home so they have something to look forward to.

4) Try not to say, “If you’re really homesick call me and I will come and get you”. Instead, encourage them to talk to staff when they are feeling sad. Camp staff and your child will come up with a plan to feel better.

5) Sometimes a picture of loved ones helps, so send one. (This could go either way, so use your judgment.)

6) Visit camp with your child before their session begins. Sign-up for a spring work weekend and get to really know camp, or take a virtual tour together on our website before camp.

7) Let us know about potential “homesickness” problems on the Camp Medical Form or write a note to the counselor.

COUNSELOR QUESTIONS

What are the counselors like?
Camp staff are carefully screened to ensure that they 1) love and respect the needs of children and know how to have fun 2) have first aid, CPR, and other appropriate certifications and 3) are prepared for the unique demands of a residential camp setting. Our staff typically return to work at Camp K for several years. They are often college students who are studying education, psychology, sociology, recreation or other youth development related fields. All camp staff are required to be at least 18 years old.

What training do counselors receive?
Camp staff are required to have their first aid and CPR certificates, a completed background check, two interviews and three excellent references completed before working. Camp Fire Alaska hosts ten days of training before the beginning of the summer where staff are oriented in the Camp Fire program philosophy, safety and emergency procedures, group and behavior management, roles and responsibilities, and child development.

FACILITY QUESTIONS

What are the facilities like?
Camp K on Kenai Lake was constructed in 1966 by a dedicated team of volunteers. From 2010-2015, a major upgrade took place including four new cabins with adjoining restrooms, a new dining hall, new shower house and a new nurse station. Camp K has running water, flush toilets, and showers, but no electricity except in the dining hall and the kitchen. There is no wireless or internet service at camp.

What are your health and safety standards?
We have clearly defined policies around health and safety including facilities, water supply, kitchen and lodge procedures, food and garbage, an evacuation plan and an annual maintenance plan. During camp sessions, the Camp Director performs a daily inspection of the facilities, including kitchen, restrooms, and cabins. Our water supply is checked regularly by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Due to the camp’s remote location, our staff are particularly diligent about the need to prevent accidents and illness. The camp is equipped with a satellite phone used to contact the Camp Fire office for regular check-ins and for emergency use. The Camp Director also carries a cell phone for voice messages.

What is ACA?
Camp K on Kenai Lake is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). As a leading authority in child development, the ACA works to preserve, promote, and improve the camp experience. The association certifies that accredited camps have

• safe camp communities
• caring, competent adult role models
• healthy, developmentally-appropriate experiences
• service to the community and the natural world
• opportunities for leadership and personal growth
• discovery, experiential education, and learning opportunities
• excellence and continuous self-improvement