Yes, Camp Fire organizes groups by age and gender for housing, and by age for activities. 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. Camp K is committed to providing a safe and inclusive experience for all gender identities and expressions. Accommodations will be made for individuals on a case by case basis at this time.
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. 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.
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.
Camp Fire Alaska is committed to making a safe and inclusive experience at camp and we are 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 prior to registering to discuss your child’s needs. Our family services manager can help put together a plan of care to be communicated to your camper’s counselors in a secure and private way.
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. Camp K is committed to providing a safe and inclusive experience for all gender identities and expressions. Accommodations will be made for individuals on a case by case basis at this time. 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.
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.
There is no internet service at camp and campers are not allowed any electronic devices anywhere in camp. We 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 caregiver often increases their level of homesickness or worry. However, the Camp Director does have a camp phone you can text/call for updates if that is supportive to you. These In the event of an emergency, it is advised to call the Camp Fire office as well to pass along a message to your child in case of poor service on the camp phone.
Please refer to the packing list. Campers should be prepared with adequate clothing! 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. For families needing help obtaining items on the packing list, please reach out to the Camp Fire Alaska office.
Yes. You may decide to transport your camper to camp on your own or pick them up. 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.
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 caregivers 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 our work weekend and get to really know camp, or peruse Camp photos to take a virtual tour before camp.
7) Let us know about potential “homesickness” problems on the Camp Medical Form or write a note to the counselor.
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 Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and other appropriate certifications and 3) are prepared for the unique demands of an overnight camp setting. 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.
Camp staff are required to have their wilderness first aid and CPR certificates, a completed background check, an interview and three excellent references completed before working. Camp Fire Alaska hosts two weeks 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, appropriate child supervision, roles and responsibilities, child development, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) practices.
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. From 2019-2021, another upgrade took place when three new cabins, a gender inclusive shower house, and tent platforms were added to upper camp.
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 leadership when campers and staff our out in the backcountry. The Camp Director also carries a cell phone.
Since 1966, Camp K has been accredited by the American Camp 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