- Campers who wish to be bunkmates should list each other as bunkmates when registering online.
- Each camper may list one bunkmate/buddy and they must list each other.
- It is strongly recommended that bunkmates register as close to the same time as possible because we will not be able to hold a spot for the second one if the session fills up.
- Campers may not list additional cabinmates.
- Bunkmates/buddies may not be more than one grade level apart.
- Campers who sign up alone will be assigned to a cabin with at least 1 to 3 other campers who also signed up alone.
My camper wants to be in the same cabin with 2 friends. Will you allow that?
No, campers can attend camp with one bunkmate but may not list additional cabinmates. A significant component of camp is the relationships that evolve, both new relationships and continuing relationships that grow deeper. While we work to promote great interactions as a cabin community and among bunkmates, we recognize we have a role in establishing the best context for these relationships to flourish. With this in mind, it has been our experience that campers who are part of a group of three are subject to a less-than-ideal camp experience. Additionally, a group of three can negatively impact the rest of the cabin.
I understand that 3 campers together is not ideal, but what about 4 so they are paired off?
An important factor in the significance of a camp experience for children is found in the relationships they encounter during the week – two relationships in particular: their sense of connection with their counselor, and their sense of acceptance and belonging in the community that forms in the cabin. As we consider the community of the cabin, we have consistently found the experience is optimized when children only know one or two others in their cabin group.
- It levels the field. In the context of eight or ten in a cabin, if four already know one another, they become a dominate subgroup in the cabin (even though they are not a majority, their numbers overwhelm the other pairs). The small group influences activity choices and behavior patterns. It may be a very positive group of children, but even while unintentional, it removes the opportunity for the developing community as a whole to shape its identity with influence from all.
- It encourages relationship building. Children coming alone or with only one friend are much more likely to engage in making new friends – an important skill we promote at camp, and a significant component in developing that cabin community that we desire them to experience. When children come knowing several others, they withdraw into that small group as a security measure, which ultimately detracts from their experience and the community’s development. Part of the success of camp is pressing our comfort zone in this safe environment.
- It frees the child. Social pressures are ever present, but camp can be an escape from this. We all tend to live into certain expectations depending upon the group we are with. The prior relationships that are carried into camp tend to restrict children from pressing their comfort zones and trying new things. Rather, they continue in the expected attitudes and behaviors placed upon them by the network they’ve brought with them from home. Again, these may be positive relationships, but they are still inhibiting and make the camp week less then it could be.
Why do we allow Fill-a-Cabin groups then?
Briefly, these groups bring a distinct change of approach for our counselors. The field is level because all the children do know each other. The social pressures are present, but because it is one community, the staff can address the existing community (with its positives and negatives) and work to develop it further as the children consider their faith walk and accountability as individuals and as a community that will endure beyond the camp week.
More info on Fill-a-Cabins
The only friend my camper can find to attend camp with is two grades older/younger than my child. Why can’t they be bunkmates?
We assign cabins/groups based on a common grade level. To achieve this, the registration form asks for a bunkmate/buddy who is no more than one grade level different than your child. GENEVA strives to create the most conducive environment possible for children to thrive spiritually, socially, and emotionally. A significant step towards that end is for us to make cabin assignments based on common grade level. It has been our experience that when campers are more than one grade level different, the developmental gap significantly hinders the camp experience. To give an example, having bunkmates two grades apart means a 7th grader may end up in a cabin of 9th graders or a 9th grader may end up in a cabin of 7th graders. Of course, this can lead to the child at the extreme end of the population feeling the vast developmental difference in conversation, interests, activities and physical development. This impacts not only the two paired together, but the entire cabin community.
My camper is going into 6th grade and his friend is going into 7th grade. Can they be bunkmates?
Each week is designed for specific grades levels, so we require that you come during a week appropriate for your grade. Since 6th graders are at GENEVA Shores and 7th graders are at GENEVA Pines, it won’t be possible for you to come together.
Fill-a-Cabin/Day Camp Group
GENEVA offers the Fill-a-Cabin or Day Camp group program giving families the opportunity to gather a group of friends to experience camp in the same cabin/group together.
How to request a Fill-a-Cabin or Day Camp Group Code
- There is limited availability for Fill-a-Cabin/Day Camp Groups for each session. This is important in order to provide all campers lodging by grade level.
- Fill-a-Cabin codes are not available in the following sessions because of low capacities.
- Day Camp with Thursday overnight – sessions D1R, D2R, D4R, D5L, D7R, D9R
- Day Camp Spanish Language & Culture – session D5R
- All High School sessions
- The parent who is coordinating the group will need to request a Fill-a-Cabin code.
- In order to accurately identify the timing of the requests, the process for requesting a code will be done through an online form. You are welcome to call with any questions.
- Fill-a-Cabin group codes will be assigned on a first-come, first-served, basis based on when the request form is received.
- For 2021, the online form to request a Fill-a-Cabin/Day Camp Group code will be available on our website beginning at 12pm on Tuesday, December 1.
- An email will be sent to all who requested a Fill-a-Cabin code informing them of their status and whether or not we are able to accommodate their group and for which session.
- The parent who is coordinating the group will give the Fill-a-Cabin code to each of the campers who are going to register for their cabin, along with instructions on how to register.
- Since registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis, having a Fill-a-Cabin code does not guarantee a spot. It simply means that if all of the campers in the group register before the session fills, we will keep them together.
- Shores/Pines: Sign up 10 campers for the same session
- Must be same gender. We will place them all in the same cabin.
- When campers with a Fill-a-Cabin code register, they may list a bunkmate if they want but if all of the campers don’t pair off, we will ask the coordinator of the group to decide how they are paired.
- If more than 10 kids sign up who want to be together, we will place the first 10 in a cabin together and any additional campers will be placed near them but be paired off according to our normal policy of allowing each camper to name one bunkmate. For example, if 12 sign up, we will divide them 10+2, not 6+6. If 16 sign up, we will divide them 10+2+2+2.
- If one or more campers cancel and the group ends up being 9 or fewer, we will pair them off and place each pair in adjacent cabins.
- Day Camp: Sign up 8 campers for the same session
- Do not need to be same gender
- Must be same grade level or not more than one grade level apart. See our summer camp schedule.
- All 8 campers must sign up for the same session number, not just the same dates.
- We will place them all in the same Day Camp group.
- When campers with a Fill-a-Cabin code register, they may list a Day Camp buddy if they want but if all of the campers don’t pair off, we will ask the coordinator of the group to decide how they are paired.
- If more than 8 kids sign up who want to be together, we will place the first 8 in a group together and any additional campers will be assigned to the same pavilion but will be paired off according to our normal policy of allowing each camper to name one buddy. For example, if 12 sign up, we will divide them 8+2+2, not 6+6.
- If one or more campers cancel and the group ends up being 7 or fewer, we will pair off the remaining campers and place them in separate groups.
- If a camper cancels and there is enough time to find a replacement, we will allow that as long as the new camper has a completed registration turned in to us no less than one week before the camp session begins.
- All cancellations are subject to our cancellation/refund policy.
Scholarships are available for families requiring financial assistance for reasons such as multiple children attending camp or financial hardship. If a family wants to send their child to GENEVA but can’t afford the full camp fee, please direct them to information on financial assistance.
Need help recruiting campers?
If you have friends who have never been to Camp Geneva before and would like to see the grounds before registering for camp, you can call 616.399.3150 and request a personal tour. We will do our best to be available when it’s most convenient for your family.
Camp Scholarships/Financial Aid
Does GENEVA offer camp scholarships?
We understand that families sometimes face economic challenges and must make difficult choices. Our hope is that no child would be deprived of a summer camp opportunity because of this. We don’t want any child to miss out on this potentially life-changing opportunity because of cost. GENEVA friends and donations have helped us provide scholarship assistance for families with need. In order to address financial concerns, we’ve outlined ways to make camp accessible for EVERYONE.
Camp Geneva has a variety of scholarship funds which have been set up to provide help for campers who cannot afford the full registration fee. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and, as a general rule, do not exceed one-third of the camp fee.
How can I apply for a scholarship?
- If you wish to apply for a scholarship, simply fill out the Scholarship Application which is integrated right into the online registration form.
- When we receive a registration that includes a scholarship application AND the $50 deposit, our scholarship committee will determine the amount of your scholarship. Scholarship applications will not be sent to the committee until we receive the $50 deposit.
- We will send you an email letting you know the amount of the scholarship and the balance due, if any. If you paid with a credit/debit card, we will set up the balance on a payment plan. If you paid by check, you can send it when you are able as long as it’s paid at least 2 weeks before your camper comes to camp.
Are there other ways Camp Geneva makes camp affordable?
1. Option 1: Pay in full by check or credit/debit card. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.
2. Option 2: Payment Plan using credit/debit card. Payment Plan is not available if paying by check.
- There is a $10 payment fee per camper if you choose this option.
- Deposit: $50 at time of registration
- Balance: 1/2 of balance will automatically be charged to your card approximately 1 month and 2 months after your first payment. We will email a reminder about your payment one week in advance.
- Note: If you register after April 1, we will charge the balance on the first Friday in June.
- If you register after May 1, the payment plan is no longer an option. You must pay in full.
In addition to financial assistance, we have a few sessions that are shorter and less expensive.
Session 4: Lakeview: July 6-9 (Grades 1-3) – 4-day – $195
Session 4: Ridge: July 6-10 (Grades 3-4) – 4.5-day (Thursday & Friday Overnight) – $275
Session 10: August 16-19 (Grades 1-3) – 4-day – $195
Session 4: July 6-10 (Grades 3-6) – 4.5-day – $385
Session 10: August 16-20 (Grades 3-6) – 4.5-day – $385
Session 4: July 6-10 (Grades 7-9) – 4.5-day – $415
Session 10: August 16-20 (Grades 7-9) – 4.5-day – 415
How to register
- Register online – pay by credit/debit card or mail a check (note that your registration will not be considered complete and we will not hold a spot until payment/deposit is received.)
- All registrations must be done online.
- The deadline to register is 10 days before the week you are signing up for; however, keep in mind that many weeks fill up so we recommend you register early. Last year we were 75% full by the end of January!
- Registrations are processed on a first-come, first- served basis and are open to everyone regardless of race, national origin, or religious affiliation.
- Register according to the grade your camper is ENTERING IN THE FALL. Camp activities are geared for specific grade levels, therefore no exceptions will be made.
- To accommodate as many children as possible, registration is limited to one session per child. Exceptions are made for children entering 3rd or 4th grade who may register for a session of Day Camp and a session of Shores because of the program distinctions.
If this is the first time you’ve used our online registration, you’ll start by setting up a user account. All the information you enter will be saved so you may stop at any time and return later to complete the form.
If you have an online account from a previous year but forgot your password, please click on “password reset”. (Please do not create a new account with a different email as that will create a duplicate household for you in our database.) Once you are in the form, you should see your household information. Please review it and make any necessary changes. All the information you enter will be saved so you may stop at any time and return later to complete the form.
Punch cards, as an alternative to cash for the camp store, are offered for overnight campers. Punch cards in the amount of $10 or $20 can be pre-ordered at the time of online registration.
Can my child attend two different sessions?
- Registration is limited to one session per child. Exceptions are made for the following because of the program distinctions:
- Campers entering 3rd or 4th grade may register for a session of Day Camp and a session of Shores.
- High Schoolers attending GENEVA Down the Road or CIT may also attend a GENEVA Classic session or Pack and Paddle.
- Rationale for this policy: Most sessions fill up and we want to be able to offer a camp experience to as many children as possible. Also, much of the programming is repeated from week to week within each program as we utilize the same Bible study curriculum, crafts, and activities. This repetition of programming means a child is left comparing weeks, rather than growing from a new and different experience.
Summer brochures are mailed to every family that had a camper at GENEVA in the past 3 summers. Summer brochures are also mailed to most local churches, so if you aren’t on our mailing list, you can probably pick one up at your church. You can also request a brochure by emailing us or calling 616.399.3150.
When will Camp Geneva begin taking registrations for the coming summer?
Registration for summer camp 2022 will open in the first week of January, 2022. Stay tuned for details!
How can I register?
All of our registrations are done online.
How soon should I register?
As soon as possible after registration opens! Some of our sessions fill up before the end of January.
Schedule and Availability
Where can I find the Summer Camp schedule?
The Summer Camp Schedule and Pricing can be found here.
Summer Staff and Training
How do you train your staff?
Preparing staff for the summer begins almost as soon as the last summer ends. Each year, GENEVA employs a group of interns who help to put together the next season’s program. Through this process, these individuals spend a lot of time with GENEVA’s program staff to develop in their understanding of mission, methodology, and necessary skills for camp operation. As we begin the interview process, the leadership team are among the first staff hired, and often the interns are part of this group. Leadership team members have increasing interactions with GENEVA program staff through the winter and spring in preparation for the variety of programs to be offered that summer.
Finally, the entirety of the summer staff arrive on camp almost 2 weeks before the first session of campers. These are intense days of preparation which include investment in program planning, community development, learning state licensing regulations, and more. Topics addressed and skills sharpened include: CPR training, Bible study leadership, child protection policies, bully prevention and response, aquatic observation and water safety, challenge course procedures, discipline policies, age group development characteristics, archery leadership, food allergies, team building, behavior management policies, OSHA safety trainings, leading games, responding to homesickness, drama writing, worship leading, responding to abuse concerns, prayer, working with children with special needs, food service training, craft leading, and so much more! Typically staff are college students, while others have recently graduated or are just entering college. All have felt God’s call on their life and desire to serve Him by ministering to campers this summer.
How do you find and select summer staff?
Each summer approximately 90 college students arrive on site for a summer of serving based in their love for Christ and His children.
The staff recruiting process begins in October as applications become available and GENEVA staff travels to colleges throughout the Midwest meeting with students interested in working at camp. Anticipation for summer starts early and grows through the winter and spring.
As soon as applications start rolling in, the interviews begin. Camp Geneva’s program team interviews every applicant. Their reasoning for doing so is to give students an interview experience and because an application is only a partial indicator of a student’s potential for a position. Interviewing for a summer staff position differs from other jobs because it is a person’s character that will win them a job rather than their ability to sell themselves. During an interview, the team first considers the student’s personal faith and their passion for children. Secondly, they must possess the ability to share their faith in both word and action with the campers.
Once a candidate has demonstrated their potential for staff through the application and interview process, GENEVA reaches out to others’ experiences with the student. References from varying categories of ministry leaders, academic or professional supervisors, and close family friends, provide valuable perspectives on the faith, character, and experience of an applicant. Three of these written references are received for further insight on the candidates. Candidates who rise to the top through these stages are finally screened through state background checks.
Once a candidate is deemed a good fit, they must be placed in a specific role. An applicant’s preference is part of the placement, but is not the sole consideration. The hiring team looks at personal gifts, talents, and passions, their personality, past experiences, and where God has impacted them along their journey.
The selection and placement process is not accomplished solely by GENEVA Staff. Board members, staff alumni, and other friends of GENEVA are in continual prayer for wisdom in hiring the summer staff. Still, the hiring process is not always so systematic. Some students may initially be turned away, and then called up again even months later because a position has opened. Some apply for multiple years before being hired while others are hired the first year they apply. One returning staff member said, “We all have such different ways of getting here, but it’s so evident that God has chosen us.”
Late Arrival/Absence/Early Departure/Cancellation Policies
What is GENEVA’s policy if my camper needs to arrive late?
- GENEVA will only accommodate late arrivals which are health-related or family emergencies. If families anticipate not being able to arrive on time, they will be encouraged to register for a different session.
- We reserve the right to cancel the registrations of children who do not show up and have not notified us by noon on Monday.
- Cancellations will be subject to GENEVA’s cancellation/refund policy.
- Rationale for this policy: Much happens in the first few hours of camp, with implications ranging from personal comfort, to cabin bonding opportunities, to state licensing regulations. For these reasons, regardless of your camper’s comfort or experience level with camp, it’s important that they arrive near the start of the camp session.
What is GENEVA’s policy if my camper has a conflict and needs to leave for a period of time during the camp session?
- GENEVA will only accommodate camper absences which are health related or family emergencies. If families anticipate arrival conflicts or conflicts due to sports or otherwise during the camp session, they will be encouraged to register for a different session.
- We reserve the right to cancel the registrations of children needing absences during the week for reasons other than health or family emergencies. Cancellations will be subject to GENEVA’s cancellation/refund policy. See policy below.
- Rationale for this policy:
- Camper – An absence from camp disrupts and diminishes the child’s experience of camp in several ways. Time away means loss of involvement. Relationships built through common experiences and time spent together in conversation and activity are foundational to the growth opportunity for the week. When the child misses even some of this time, they’ve lost a portion of that common experience and its fruit. Neither are these isolated losses; many aspects of the program build upon the prior activities. Missing activities then leaves gaps in the week’s programmatic progression (for example, songs and skits sets up Bible study which in turn sets up evening worship, or campfire dinner develops increased comfort levels leading to participation in the talent show). The child who has missed activities returns to camp feeling out of the loop, having missed out on the experiences others have had and less comfortable in embracing the coming activities. This all plays into a loss of personal development potential. The multi-day experience away from home provides children with self-confidence and esteem building opportunities as they make their own decisions and make their own way apart from their families. Having touch points with home takes away the child’s sense that they are doing things successfully on their own. A final impact of camp is found in a child’s ability to disengage from the routines of daily life and reset. This is often where the Spiritual impact is found. Just as it often takes adults a couple of days to settle into a vacation, children need to step away from the pressures and concerns of their regular obligations and relationships. In doing so, we are able to become refreshed and more clearly hear the truths of Scripture.
- Bunkmate – we’ve also noted significant ramifications for the bunkmate of campers who are absent, sometimes more than the absent campers themselves. Cabin groups are often set up based on multiple sets of pairs, and it becomes difficult for the remaining camper in the periods where their partner is gone, especially after having been looking forward to this week with their friend for the months leading up to it.
- Cabin community – Social development is one of the significant opportunities of the camp week. As the group gets to know one another and plans events and shares activities, the community loses the valuable gift the absent child adds to the community and vice versa.
- Cabin counselor – Knowing a camper’s relationship with their counselor is a key component of the camp experience, the counselor is put in the difficult position of striving to make up for lost time with the camper who was absent as the counselor tries to fill the camper in on what was missed, and develop a relationship with less opportunities for engagement. In addition, the time spent waiting for the camper to be picked up and returned pulls the counselor from activity leading responsibilities and relational opportunities with other campers.
What is GENEVA’s policy if my camper has to depart early?
- We strongly discourage early departures.
- Rationale for this policy: The end of the camp session is designed to wrap up the week and transition campers back into their daily routines. It is filled with debriefing conversations, picture signing, and other closing activities that are significant in the child’s experience. If you must pick up your child early, please contact the office to discuss the most opportune time.
What is GENEVA’s cancellation policy?
In the event that your child is unable to attend camp, here is our cancellation/refund policy:
- All refunds are subject to a $50 cancellation fee.
- Refunds will be given if requested at least 14 days before your week of camp.
- If cancellations are received less than 14 days before your camp session begins, refunds will only be given for medical reasons or a family emergency.
If you need to cancel, you can do so by filling out the cancellation form.
What is your camper to counselor ratio?
- Day Camp – 8 campers/counselor
- Shores – 8-10 campers/counselor for full weeks and 10 campers/1 counselor and a CIT (Counselor-in-Training) during CIT sessions
- Pines – 8-10 campers/counselor
- High School Camps – 8-10 campers/counselor
Campers with Food Allergies
Can Camp Geneva accommodate my camper who has food allergies?
Camp Geneva is blessed to provide food service through partnership with Creative Dining Services. As instances of fruit, nut, gluten, dairy, egg and other allergies and sensitivities become more common, this relationship offers expertise in nutrition and the ability to navigate many special dietary restrictions with confidence. The following outlines how it all comes together:
When registering, simply indicate the child’s dietary needs on the registration form. From there, the information goes to both our food service director and our camp health officer/nurse.
In the case of severe food allergies, our food service director will contact you approximately 1-2 weeks prior to your child’s arrival to discuss any concerns. He will have the ingredient list for the entire summer’s menu available, as well as applicable substitutions tailored to your child’s needs.
The camp health officer/nurse will also be prepared to respond to any allergen exposure and will have equipped your child’s counselor to work towards exposure prevention.
At the first camp meal, a member of the food service staff will introduce themselves to your child and help ensure they know which foods they may eat from the main menu and which foods have a substitute provided for them. This staff member will continue to serve as a resource for your child throughout the week, striving to make sure they have a balanced meal with the appropriate options.
It is our desire that all children be able to experience camp without concern or anxiety about dietary restrictions. If you have any questions, please feel free to call 616.399.3150 or 800.808.0808 or email us.
Campers with Special Needs
I have a child with special needs. Can they go to camp?
At Camp Geneva, we enthusiastically pursue opportunities to welcome campers with special needs. We recognize that the term special needs has many dimensions including physical, cognitive, and/or emotional needs, so each camper registration will be uniquely considered. GENEVA’s intent is that campers with special needs be involved in the regular camp programming, meaning all programs are available for your consideration.
When registering your child, you will have the opportunity to indicate if your child has special needs. After you make this indication, you will be directed to a questionnaire that asks detailed questions which allow us to learn more about your child and assess our ability to accommodate their needs. In some cases, our Coordinator for Campers with Special Needs may call to request further information.
Many of the summer staff will have had prior experience working with children with a variety of special needs. This has become a quality we look for when hiring summer staff. These staff are eager for opportunities to have campers with special needs in their group or cabin. Our Coordinator for Campers with Special Needs will work with the counselor, equipping them with any skills or strategies for working with their campers, and will serve as a resource for the counselor throughout the week. As opportunity offers and circumstance requires, the Coordinator may also bring in additional staff to come alongside your child.
GENEVA also has student nurses/health officers on site who will oversee the administration of medication and any other medical needs.
In addition, GENEVA does offer a program specifically for middle school and high school boys with high functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome called CONNECT.
Please call our office at 616.399.3150 or email us if you would like more information about GENEVA’s programs.
Does GENEVA accept names on a waiting list if the week I want is full?
Yes, if your first choice of session is full, please choose the wait list option for that session.
When we receive your registration, if we are able to get you into your first choice, we will do that and send you an invoice so you can pay.
If your first choice is full but there are openings in your second choice or third choice, we’ll put you into that session. If we put you into your second or third choice, we will also put you on the waiting list for your first choice only if you indicate you want us to when you register.
If we are not able to get you into any of your choices, we will send you an email indicating that you are on the waiting list.
How will I know if I’m put on a waiting list?
If you are placed on a waiting list, you will be notified by email.
If I’m placed on a waiting list, when will I know if openings become available?
If we get a cancellation and you are next on the waiting list, we will contact you. We keep bunkmates together, so if there is only one opening, we will call somebody who registered to come alone, even if your registration was received earlier. If your camper is willing to come alone, let our registrar know so he can note that on your registration. It may increase your chances of getting in.
Can I call GENEVA and find out where I am on the waiting list?
Because of the amount of activity in the waiting list (we are adding and/or removing names daily), we are unable to tell you exactly where you fall on the list.
If I’m placed on a waiting list, what are my chances of getting in?
That’s hard to say because we never know how many cancellations we are going to get. We do have a lot of cancellations and sometimes if we have cabins and staff available and the wait list is long, we can expand capacity. Sometimes we get cancellations just a week before camp begins. Sometimes we even have no-shows at check-in, in which case we may call and offer the spot to someone on the waiting list. So it’s a good idea to keep your calendar open for the session(s) you are on the waiting list.
If I decide I don’t want to take my chances that an opening will occur in the week I want and decide to attend another camp, should I let GENEVA know?
Yes, please email us or call 616.399.3150 so we can remove your name from the list and return your check (if you paid by check).
Communicating with your camper
How do I send an email to my camper?
To email a camper, please go to our homepage and click on “Email a Camper”. You need to know their cabin number which was given to the person who checked them into the cabin on the first day. For security reasons, we will only give cabin numbers out to parents/guardians who are listed on the camper’s registration.
Emails received by 3pm will be delivered at suppertime the same day. No mail or email will be delivered on the day the campers go home so the latest time to send emails is 3pm on the day before they go home.
Campers do not have access to a computer and will not be able to email you back.
Can I talk to my camper during the week?
We do not provide campers with access to a phone or a computer. If there is an emergency and you need to contact a camper, you may call the GENEVA office at 616.399.3150. If you call after hours, our voice mail will give you an emergency number to call.
Can I visit my camper during the week?
GENEVA does not have visiting periods for friends and relatives since the sessions are short and we cannot have people wandering the grounds during camp sessions for security reasons.
Are there other way to communicate with my camper?
You mail send snail mail (Letters only!) to:
c/o Camp Geneva, Cabin #__ (if you don’t know it, our mail sorting volunteers will look it up)
3995 Lakeshore Dr N
Holland, MI 49424
You may send a fax to 616.399.5180. Be sure to include the camper’s first and last name and cabin number.
Preparing your child for camp
Create positive expectations
While we all understand the incredible personal and spiritual benefits of a camp experience, we at GENEVA also recognize that sometimes both parents and campers are quite anxious in preparing for their week. Here is our advice for giving your child the best opportunity for a positive week:
- Involve your child in the decision to go to camp. Tell them why you think they will enjoy it and let them tell you what they are looking forward to.
- Share your own experiences and memories of attending camp.
- Have your child talk with other children who have attended camp about their experiences and memories.
- Borrow a camp video and let your child see what camp will be like, or watch the highlight video.
Prepare them for the experience
- Visit the camp before their camp week. GENEVA has a Community Open House each Spring that allows prospective campers to see the facilities, meet some of the staff, and lessen their anxiety. If the open house doesn’t work for you, you may call our office 616.399.3150 to schedule a personal tour.
- Practice staying away from home overnight. Allow your child to stay for a weekend with a grandparent or friend where they can get used to another bed and different environment without you present.
- Encourage and prepare your child to take care of themselves by picking out their clothes, making their bed, putting away their dirty clothes, and using their toiletries at home.
- Buy a journal for your child. Write the names of the days at the top of every few pages and begin statements for them to complete such as: My favorite game today was ______. Today in Bible Study I learned ______. A funny thing that happened today was ______. Tomorrow I want to try ______. Reserve pages for them to later insert pictures they need to take of new friends, their counselor, and their cabin.
- Look at the camp schedule ahead of time so your child knows what to expect each day.
- Talk about homesickness and what to do if they feel it. Let your camper know it is natural to feel anxious when they are separated from you, but that moving past it is an important step in growing up and they can overcome it.
- Discuss “what if” scenarios—losing something, feeling afraid, not feeling well, having a conflict with another camper and what they should do if any of these occur, such as talk with their counselor.
- Include your child in packing for camp. Review the packing list and decide what to bring together, talk about what to wear and why you don’t want to bring your expensive items to camp, and have them help pick out clothes. Often children love the packing process and will want to begin packing far before their camp session.
May we tour camp?
Follow up during and after camp
- Send them mail (letters, faxes, or email) during the week, but keep them positive. Don’t tell them how much you miss them and what they are missing, but focus on their experiences, how much fun they must be having, and whether they’ve tried certain activities. You can even encourage them to try specific activities and let them know that you want to hear all about it when they get home.
- Don’t rush your child away from camp when you pick them up. Take time to hear their stories, let them show you some of the places that were important to them, and have them introduce you to some of their favorite people.
- Ask them questions about the fun times they had, the highlights of their week, their favorite songs or games, their achievements, and life in the cabin. Show enthusiasm for what they experienced and express how grateful you are that they could have such a great time. It’s the first step in preparing them for camp next year!
Summer Camp Photos
Each week we will be posting photos from camp that you can view and purchase. For greater security, we have password protected the camp photos and the password will only be given to camper parents. The password will be on the green sheet that the counselors hand out on Monday morning and it will also be emailed to camper parents at the end of the child’s camp week.
In an attempt to create a positive environment where all children can participate in every camp activity, we require clothing that is functional for the varying activities of camp. The dress code will be enforced by our summer staff, and campers wearing clothing or swimwear deemed inappropriate will be asked to change.
We require one-piece swimsuits (no tankini’s please) for the functionality of camp. Our various water activities such as the splash pad and pool, zip line, blob, tubing, and other activities, make it essential to abide by this requirement. Cut-off shirts or short shorts are not conducive for the activities of the camp environment. Clothing with inappropriate images or slogans are not allowed.
Lost and Found
Due to limited space and the amount of time involved in handling hundreds of lost and found items:
- Parents are encouraged to label everything with the camper’s full name. If the item has the camper’s name on it, we will contact you to pick it up.
- GENEVA is not responsible for items left behind, lost, or stolen.
- We are exclusively using a lost and found form so if your camper left something behind, please complete the form.
- Items will only be held for 14 days. Any items not claimed after 14 days will be given to a charitable organization.
- If you need an item mailed, we require a $10 check to cover postage.