Youth Camps

Parent Information


41.2266° N, 75.2676° W

The Summer Camp team at Spruce Lake makes it a priority that every camper has a safe, enjoyable, life-changing week at camp. To that end, here is all the information you need to know to prepare your child for camp. Below you will find our policies and information regarding health care and medications, communicating with camp and your camper, packing for camp, arrival and departure policies, and more. If you are the parent of a Summer Wilderness Expedition camper, we have a special section on Expedition Information.

If you have questions about one of our camp programs, visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page. For further questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office.

Contact Us

Health Care and Accident Insurance

Health and Safety Policy

We require two forms to be completed for your child to participate in camp, as they help us ensure your son/daughter’s wellbeing during their time at camp. The Health Form includes emergency contact and health-related information. The Safety Waiver gives your child permission to participate and gives us permission to dismiss your son/daughter to someone other than yourself.

Please mail the Camper Health Form at least 3 weeks prior to your son/daughter’s week. You may also complete/update the health form online. You may attach a copy of your child’s immunization records and both sides of your insurance card.

You are responsible to provide health and safety updates after the form has been mailed. Updates include changes in your child’s health, emergency contact information, adults permitted to pick up your child, and any other information that would help us in caring for your child.

Medications

All medications must be sent in the original container with the original label. Please send OTC medications only if your child needs them on a regular basis – all medications will be turned in to the nurse and should have your child’s name clearly marked. If your daughter/son has a medication that needs to be with them at all times (bee sting kit, inhaler, etc.), please provide a fanny pack for your child.

Health Care at Camp

A camp nurse is on the premises at all times while camp is in session. They are responsible to administer medications, provide care under our standing orders, and inform counselors of health-related issues. Numerous team members are trained in CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguarding. In addition, 911, hospital, and clinic services are available as needed with an approximate 20-minute response time.

Accident Insurance

Your child needs insurance while at camp. There are plans available that provide coverage for one week while your child is at camp that can be purchased independently. Please contact our camp office if you need one of these.

Communicating with Camp

Emergency Communication

If you have an emergency and cannot get through to the camp office on the phone, try the appropriate Emergency (Director’s) Cell Phone below:

Day Camp: 570-202-1617

Overnight Wilderness Camp: 215-933-9521

As a last resort, call the Retreat Center at 800-822-7505 or 570-595-7505 – and ask if they would contact the summer camp office by radio. Please be assured that in the event of a communications breakdown such as a power outage, regional crisis, or national incident, we are doing everything in our power to care for your child. When you register, you can sign up for Text Updates.

Emailing Your Camper (Overnight Wilderness Camp only)

While your child is at Wilderness Camp, we offer a convenient way to send messages to them. Visit our Email Your Camper page to learn how you can provide encouraging and supportive messages to your camper.

Contacting Camp

During the offseason, you can contact us via the Spruce Lake contact page. During summer camp, we maintain the following office hours:

  • Monday-Thursday           8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Friday:                                8:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Sunday:                              1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

You can reach our office at 570-595-7505. Our team will be able to help with forms, special requests, and answer any questions you might have.

Please contact us right away if any of the following changes:

  • Camper Wellness Issues that have changed since filling out the Health & Safety form. These include recent injury or illness, psychiatric issues, or traumatic events.
  • Travel Related Issues that will affect your drop-off or pick-up times.
  • Change in Pick-Up Plans, such as arranging for a person not listed on the Registration Form to pick up your child.
  • Planning to Visit Camp while camp is in session. Let us know if you are visiting Spruce Lake for any reason, and please understand that visiting with your son or daughter is not permitted while camp is in session.

Preparing for Camp

Packing for Overnight Wilderness Camp

The camper details for your son/daughter’s week can be found on our Forms & Information page, under the name of that week’s camp (Discoverers, Trekkers, Adventurers, Navigators.) Included in the Printable Details is a packing list. In addition to clothing items, some commonly overlooked items are dishes, sleeping bags, flashlights, and rain gear.

  • Please look over the packing list at least 1 week prior to camp.
  • Please help your son/daughter plan what to take, making sure they are bringing an appropriate amount and style of clothing, noting the modesty request.
  • Make sure that luggage and important items have your daughter or son’s full name on them.
  • Campers in a week for ages 12 and up are asked to bring dark pants and a long-sleeved shirt for an evening game. Navigator campers are asked to bring a casual dress outfit for the theme dinner.
What to Bring to Day Camp

Each day, your camper should wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes for active wear and bring a backpack with a swimsuit & towel, water bottle, sunscreen & bug spray, and a change of clothes.
Day Campers will have a designated location to keep their belongings.

Money at Camp

Please send Camp Store Deposits prior to camp. Campers deposit spending money into the online camp spending account, and all purchases are tracked electronically. Money not spent will be refunded in whole dollars only.
Recommended amounts are:
$25-50 per week for overnight Wilderness Camp
$5-10 per week for Day Camp
Common purchases are:

  • Camp apparel (Sweatshirt, $24, T-shirt $12)
  • Miscellaneous Gift Shop items ($0.25 – $15 per item)
  • Retreat Center Snack Shop money ($1 – $4 per day for a drink and/or snack
  • Certain activities such as Leather Crafts, Tie Dye and Wilderness Art may require $1 – $7 for a project.
  • Wilderness Camp only: Freewill Offering– campers are invited to participate in a freewill offering to support the Wilderness Camp’s Compassion children in Haiti. The one-time offering is taken Thursday evenings.
Tent Assignments (Overnight Wilderness Camp)

Camp is a time to meet new people as well as enjoy existing friendships. We ask that you communicate well with other parents and be prepared to help us find good tenting solutions when tent mate ideals are in conflict. Tenting assignments are done 1-2 weeks prior to your week of camp and it is our goal to:

  • Honor as many tent mate requests as we can.
  • We will honor requests of no more than 3 campers together. All 3 campers must request each other.
  • Look for age compatibility within tent units.
  • Group several campers coming without a tent mate request together.

Registration/Arrival

Overnight Wilderness Camp:

Registration opens Sunday after 3:15 p.m. in the Wilderness Camp Pavilion. Buses will arrive by 4:00 p.m. Discoverer Mini-Camp registration will open Wednesday just after 10 a.m.
To register, campers must have:

  • Any special notes or instructions
  • Medications clearly marked in original containers
  • Camper Bank money if not already sent
  • Camper Health Form & Safety Waiver, if not already completed. These are required to participate at camp.
Day Camp:

Standard arrival time (with the exception of before care) each day for Day Camp is 9 AM.
Drop-off will be at the Day Camp Clubhouse at the Retreat Center.

Dismissal & Dismissal Policy

Overnight Wilderness Camp:

Dismissal is Friday at either 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Parent-Child Mini-Week, Trekkers, Adventurers and Navigators are dismissed at 6:30, and you are invited to attend the Closing Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Dismissal for Discoverer Mini-Week and Discoverer Weeklong will be at 3:30 p.m. with a Closing Ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Day Camp:

Standard dismissal time (with the exception of after care) each day for Day Camp is 4 PM.
Pick-up will be at the Day Camp Clubhouse at the Retreat Center.

Camper Dismissal Policy – Only authorized persons will be permitted to pick up a camper from camp. Parents/Guardians will be asked to list, on the Safety Form/Registration, all authorized adults who have permission to pick up their child/children. Campers not riding the bus will remain at their table with their counselor and wait for an authorized adult to sign them out. If the person picking up your child is not on the list of authorized persons, (such as a friend or sibling), they will not be able to leave with your child until our staff contact you or another emergency contact person for permission.

This procedure also applies to the Bus Drop-Off Locations. You or the authorized person will be asked to sign out your child/children prior to departing. If you arrive early, you can sign out before the bus arrives.

Early Dismissal/Pick-up at unusual time – If your camper needs to be picked up for any reason at a time other than the normal dismissal, we ask that you make arrangements with the office ahead of time. You or your designated authorized person should come to the office to sign out the camper prior to departing.

Parent Information for Wilderness Expeditions

Wilderness Expeditions are very different from the on-site resident weeks of camp, since the majority of the camping experience will take place off-site. We ask that you read the following exceptions and special procedures if your daughter/son is involved in an Expedition. Please refer to the Forms page and your camper’s specific expedition for more details, packing list, and other helpful information.

Communicating with Off-Site Expeditions

  • The expedition team has a cell phone with them; however, it is for emergencies only and often kept off to preserve the battery.
  • Specific “Camper Checks” are more involved because of reduced and delayed communication, but they are possible. Our communication with Expeditions teams involves leaving messages and waiting for call-backs. Trip leaders are instructed to check for messages nightly and to provide timely call-backs as reception allows.

Health & Safety on Expeditions

When your son/daughter is on an Expedition, the following health care and safety measures are provided:

  • One or both trip guides will be certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid.
  • Guides who are driving have had their driving records checked that year, have taken a driver safety course, and have experience driving the vehicle with which they are transporting campers. Each vehicle is checked by an experienced maintenance staff before leaving the site.
  • Guides leading aquatic activities will be fully certified as a Lifeguard and be trained in rescue.
  • On all trips (except the Parent Child Canoe trip when offered),  a Registered Nurse will screen campers and meet with guides prior to the trip to discuss medical/food issues related to the campers on the trip.
  • At least one cell phone accompanies all trips providing more immediate contact with camp, 911, local hospital and clinical services. Each guide will carry a logistical contact sheet with them that includes emergency contact information, local medical care facilities, and logistical contact information. Note that cell reception may not be available in some areas.

Expedition Registration/Arrival/Departure

Register at the Pavilion – Registration timing is Sunday 3:15 – 4:30 p.m., just like Wilderness On-site Camps. Upon arrival, you may take your luggage to the Blueberry Pavilion, a smaller pavilion located to the right and slightly uphill from the main pavilion, but then you will need to go through the registration line in the main pavilion.

Departure – Most trips dismiss Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.

Bus Service for Expeditions – Bus service for most weeklong expeditions is available by the same schedule and locations as Wilderness on-site camps. Depending on the dates, some trips may not have bus service provided, or may have bus service that does not travel at the traditional camp times. Please refer to the details for your child’s expedition or contact the office to confirm transportation options.