Parent Guide Sleep-Away Camp - YCAMP

Parent Guide Sleep-Away Camp




CAMPER FORMS (Health, Authorization and Confidential) CAN BE COMPLETED here.

Please complete and return to Y Camp at least one week prior to the camper's camp session.
MAIL: Y Camp, 1192- 166th Drive, Boone, IA 50036
FAX: 515.432.5414



To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, body and mind for all.



Y Camp creates a safe, fun and magical experience so that campers grow socially and independently while learning the core values of Caring, Honest, Respect and Responsibility. Y Camp ensures this experience by making five promises: 1. We are a seed planting camp based on Proverbs 22:6 2. We operate with responsive leadership 3. Our programs and leadership are intentional 4. We are relationship focused 5. We are character driven



Y Camp staff are carefully screened and selected to ensure a safe environment and the highest quality experience for your camper. Each staff member participates in a week-long training, during which they learn safety awareness, camper relations and programming options. Y Camp staff are required to have current certifications in CPR, First Aid and AED. We use a 6:1 camper to staff ratio; well below American Camp Association standards.



A $50 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Balance dues are dues are AUTO-DRAFTED through your credit/debit account. 

- The credit/debit account used for your deposit payment will be used to draft your payment. This draft will occur on Thursday prior to the camper's session start date.

- If you would like to use a different credit/debit account to draft the balance due payment, if you paid by check or if you need to make other payment arrangements please contact the Y Camp office at 515.432.7558 or

Want to make payments towards your balance due? You may call the Y Camp office at any time to make a payment or mail a payment to Y Camp.



Through generous contributions from YMCA members and the United Way, no one is turned away from the YMCA due to verifiable inability to pay.



Week-Long Session   Sunday 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Mini Camp A              Sunday 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Mini Camp B              Wednesday 3:00pm – 5:00pm


Week-Long Session  Saturday 9:00am

Mini Camp A              Wednesday 9:00am

Mini Camp B              Saturday 9:00am

* Please check out your campers during the published times as late pickups can cause anxiety for  campers.

Beginning at 9:00am Saturday Y Camp holds a closing program including songs, an explanation of the week and an address from the Camp Executive Director.

Only authorized individuals are allowed to pick up a camper. A person is authorized if his/her name is listed on the authorization form.

  • Only authorized individuals will be permitted to pick up a camper. All authorized individuals should be listed on the Authorization Form. Please contact the Y Camp office to update this form if needed.
  • All authorized individuals MUST SHOW AT PHOTO ID at the time of pick-up. Campers will not be released to anyone failing to show a photo ID.

All campers must be checked-in and checked-out. Please visit the camp office if you are dropping off or picking up your camper outside of scheduled times.



The Trading Post is open for campers every day. Items for sale consist of snacks and camp merchandise. When you check in your camper, you may deposit money into a Trading Post account. All unspent money is returned to the camper prior to checking out. Your child will not be permitted to spend over their account credit, so please deposit enough for his/her needs. On average, campers have between $30 and $50 in their account. Prices range from $1 for snacks to $15 for t-shirts, or more for a sweatshirt. Personal items such as soap or toothpaste are available to campers that need them.



Parents, friends and family are encouraged to write letters or emails to their campers. It’s a good idea to send letters to your camper in advance so that they arrive on the first day. Campers are encouraged to send mail to their family and friends. Postcards and stamps are available for purchase at the Trading Post

Please send all mail to the following address: Y Camp, Camper Name – Cabin Name, 1192 166th Dr., Boone, IA 50036

            HOW TO EMAIL YOUR CAMPER! (one-way email)

                   • Go to

                   • Fill in your camper’s name, cabin and write a message. (If you do not know their cabin name, choose “N/A”)

It’s a free and easy way to let your camper know you are thinking of them while they have fun at Y Camp!



In the event your child becomes ill or injured while at camp in a manner that requires a stay in the Good Health Center or need further attention by the Health Care Provider the child’s parents will be contacted.

To avoid overheating and dehydration during the week, water bottles are mandatory at Y camp . Campers are welcome to bring one from home or purchase one from the Y Camp store. Dehydration is a serious matter! Help us prevent heat related illness. If your child has special needs that require specific attention, please notify Y Camp. We will make all reasonable attempts to accommodate those needs, however, our staff is not trained to handle all medical or psychological needs.



All medications (including any over-the-counter or “as-needed” medications) must be turned into the Y Camp Health Care Provider during check-in. Medications are only distributed during meal times (8:00am, 12:30pm and 6:00pm) and bedtime (9:30pm). All medications must come in their original bottles or packages. Prescription medications must contain original prescription information. We encourage families to include only enough doses for the week.



Upon arrival at camp parents will be asked to fill out a short screening form detailing the general health of camper. Please be honest when answering, as the health and well-being of camper is foremost on our list of priorities. Screening forms are reviewed by Y Camp’s Health Care Provider. Anything abnormal will be addressed privately with a camper’s family, and in some cases camper may be asked to attend alternate weeks.



At Check- In, Y Staff will perform a head lice check. This check is necessary to avoid an outbreak at camp. If lice are found, the camper will be sent home for treatment. Campers are welcome to return 24 hours later for another check. Campers will not be admitted without a clear scalp examination.



If any camper chooses to tease, bully or physically confront another camper with the intent to cause harm, they will be expelled from camp by the discretion of the Summer Camp Director. Refunds will not be awarded to camp families for campers sent home for disciplinary reasons. Parents are responsible for transporting campers from camp and are expected to respond in a timely fashion.



Y Camp staff are trained to deal with inappropriate behavior in a constructive, safe and non-degrading fashion. Campers will be held responsible for their actions in a positive manner. Y Camp reserves the right to send a camper home at the parent’s expense if the camper’s behavior consistently takes away from the experience of others or endangers his/her safety or others. A camper will immediately be sent home for incidences concerning violence or threats of violence. Again, parents are responsible for transporting campers from camp and are expected to respond in a timely fashion. For more information on bullying and Y Camp’s response, please visit



A common question among parents sending their children to camp is: “what should I send with them?” The first thing to remember is: Y Camp is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items. If it’s too precious or expensive to lose, please find an alternative item or avoid packing it. Labeling items you do send can help too! The second thing to remember is that, while we provide clean and comfortable accommodations, camp can be dirty! Mud, sand and sweat will come home on most articles of clothing, footwear, etc. Prepare for those elements when packing at the start of the week. Here is a short list of suggested items.



  • Multiple pair of shoes – Camp can be dirty and it can be nice to have dry shoes to change into. (Please do not pack Flip-Flops, as they can be hazardous around camp.)
  • Swim wear – For all those trips to the pool! Campers will stop at the pool at least once a  day.
  • Towels – Always good to stay dry.
  • Personal Care Items – Toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, etc. are all suggested for hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Clothes for All Weather – Some mornings and evenings can be brisk and a sweatshirt or jacket can be a good idea.
  • Jeans – Your camper will need them to go horseback riding.
  • Sunscreen – While camp has back-up bottles, you know your campers skin-care needs. Sending your own bottle is a good plan.
  • Bug Spray – To deet or not to deet? Another personal choice, as chemicals like bug spray can irritate both mosquitoes and your camper’s skin. Send the spray you use at home. Camp has back-up spray that does not contain deet.
  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow – Sheets can be nice, but can also be a hassle. Camp beds have mattresses but not sheets or blankets. Sending a sleeping bag is a great way to keep warm and it’s an easy option.
    • (Reminder: Camp’s cabins are air-conditioned (except Treehouses)
  • Flashlight – It can get dark at night at camp! Pack a hand-held light to help avoid bumps and bruises.
  • Disposable Camera – It’s a great way to remember camp and keep the memories with you!
  • Book – Y Camp encourages reading, so bringing a great book to enjoy during down-time can help with summer learning and improving literacy.


Please visit our website at for addition information regarding packing lists. If you have additional questions, feel free to call our camp office at (515)432-7558.



Y Camp restricts telephone use at camp for two reasons:

1. The number of camp phones is limited

2. Homesickness often increases after speaking with a family member

Parents are encouraged to call in case of an emergency. To communicate with your camper, please use our email service or send a letter. This is important to fostering a sense of independence and confidence in the camper. Cell Phones should be left at home. First, Y Camp holds no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged electronic items and cell phones easily fall into all three of those categories. Cell phones can also take away from the camp experience and can be a distraction. If Y Camp finds a camper in possession of a cell phone, we will place it in our safe until Check-Out.



Some items will be taken and stored safely until Check-Out. Other prohibited items will require a phone

call to parents or result in the dismissal of a camper from camp. DO NOT BRING candy/food, electronics

(handheld games, iPods, cell phones, etc.), cash, knives or other weapons, fireworks, alcohol/tobacco

products or illegal substances, personal sports equipment, animals, flip flops or lighters.



A week at camp can be intimidating for both child and parent. Sometimes it is the first time that a child has been away overnight and can cause some anxiety. A little anxiety is perfectly normal and expected for every camper. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Camp is a growing experience and growth means change. The short-term uneasiness often creates opportunities for long-term growth.
  • A week at camp builds confidence and a new sense of independence. Your camper is gaining important personal skills through their new experiences.



  • Being familiar with camp helps; talk with experienced campers, visit camp and contact us with questions!
  • Set your child up for success: don’t promise to rescue your child if he or she is homesick. Focus on providing positive support and how proud you will be when he/she succeeds. Campers who make up their minds to enjoy the week avert homesickness by seeking new friends and getting involved in camp activities.
  • Some campers feel guilty about leaving the family or pet behind. Assure your camper that you love him/her, that you will be happy thinking about the good experiences he/she is having, and that you’ll look forward to hearing about them after camp.
  • Please don’t suggest phone calls – these are extremely difficult to manage and campers should focus on having fun and participating, not on a phone call. If your camper is experiencing a significant difficulty, the Summer Camp Director will contact you to work on an action plan.



Bed bugs have made a resurgence recently, especially in the hospitality industry. Camp is included in this category and needs your help to prevent visits from these pests. As a human issue, bed bugs can be brought into camp at any time by any guest. Our staff are well trained in detection and response and Y Camp has procedures in place in case the pests are brought in. Please help us out by following these tips:

  • Wash and dry (on high heat) all items you are sending to Y Camp prior to packing your camper’s bag.
  • If you are concerned that you have an infestation, contact Y Camp to work through how best to prepare your gear and how Y Camp can help make sure the pests don’t come with your camper.
  • When your camper returns home, leave his/her bags outside until everything in them can be washed and dried on high heat.
  • Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about bed bugs. Having bed bugs doesn’t mean you are dirty or unsanitary – it means you had the bad luck of coming in contact with them. More awareness and information is key in helping Y Camp in the fight against bed bugs.

For more information on bed bugs visit:





Take a moment and like our Facebook page to see pictures from the week, find out what’s new at Y Camp and to look back on summers past. Find us at

Find videos from the week at

You can join our Y Camp Parent’s Page at

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