Summer Camp FAQs

FAQs.  Please select a category to find the answers to some of your most pressing questions.  If you don’t see your question, please contact us.

Check-In Information

Directions to camp can be found here.  Calvin Crest is located at the dead-end of County Road 13.  There is a large gravel parking lot to park in when you arrive.  If your camper is staying in cabins, leave your luggage in your vehicle and proceed to the check-in area under the large tree in front of the office.  If your camper is staying in A-Frames, feel free to bring your luggage to check-in.  At check-in, you’ll receive your cabin assignment, t-shirt and name tag and will be escorted to your lodging by a friendly counselor.  Parents can depart after they get their camper settled into the lodging.

Pets are an integral part of many families.  And we want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and at home as they arrive at Calvin Crest.  Pets are allowed to be on the grounds during check-in if they are on a leash.  We also ask that you clean up after your pet.  For a number of reasons, we ask that you refrain from bringing pets into buildings during your time at Calvin Crest.  Pets should not be brought to camp for the week.

Check-Out Information

The parent’s dinner, for most camps is on Friday night at 5:30 pm. We eat in the West Dining Hall.  It is a time to connect with your camper, meet their new friends, see the slideshow, eat and watch the brief program following dinner clean-up.  We are generally done by about 6:30 pm and you are free to check your child out with their counselor and depart.  The parent’s dinner is not mandatory and our counselors remain responsible for your child until you sign them out.

Throughout the week, we attempt to locate the owners of lost items that are left around camp. As we attempt to continue your efforts of instilling responsibility, we understand that in a new environment and routine some items are left behind.  On Friday, we attempt to collect all of those items from lodging, pool area, meeting spaces and around camp and display them in a central location for you to claim before leaving.  Invariably, several items are left behind and not missed until later.  We generally keep lost items for at least two weeks and will be happy to send them back to you or hold them for a reasonable amount of time for you to pick up.  If we mail items to you, we ask that you reimburse Calvin Crest for the shipping costs.

There is no cost for the Parent’s Dinner.  We do ask that you let us know at check-in that you will be planning to attend so we can plan our food preparation accordingly.  This is an opportunity for you to catch a glimpse of the camp experience and to meet some of your child’s new friends.

Food and Snacks

Meals at Calvin Crest are great. We offer a wide variety of food throughout the week.  Many items are “made from scratch”, while others are kid favorites.  In addition to the main entrée, we offer appropriate sides, vegetables, a salad bar with lettuce and toppings as well as prepared salads and always bread for sandwiches.  Breakfast features a hot entrée as well as cold cereal, fruit, yogurt and pastries.  Water is the main beverage for each meal in an effort to maintain hydration, but milk is available at each meal as well.

Category: Food and Snacks

We are happy to discuss your child’s special diet with you in advance of your camper’s week at camp. We are generally able to handle vegetarian and Gluten Free diets with advance notice (indicate it on your health form, which is due at least two weeks before your week of camp).  One thing to note is that we are not able to accommodate severe food allergies at this time.  If your child is not able to be in a facility that uses nuts or gluten, we may not be the location for their camp experience.

Category: Food and Snacks

Calvin Crest’s food is great. And our campers exert more energy during their week of camp than they normally do at home.  We provide well-balanced and plentiful meals.  In addition, we have an afternoon snack.  Occasionally, there is a special treat during the evening campfire as well.  We do not have a “Snack Shack”.

Category: Food and Snacks

Health and Wellness

As you know, the weather in Nebraska ranges from cold and rainy to hot and dry during the summer months. We care about your child’s health and well-being.  If the weather is really hot, we reduce the amount of heavy physical exertion that occurs in the heat of the day.  We also take extra water breaks and monitor campers closely.  One nice aspect of Calvin Crest is that there are several indoor air-conditioned meeting spaces and the dining hall is climate-controlled as well.  This allows campers a chance to cool off before heading off on their next adventure.  Our cabins are air-conditioned so our younger campers do sleep in relative comfort.  The A-Frames and Bunkhouses have plenty of screens to allow breezes to blow through.  Most nights, these facilities cool off quite nicely.

Our Health Care Supervisor will ensure that your child takes their medication on the proper schedule. All medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, must come in original packaging.  Prescription medication must include dosage information.  The Health Care Supervisor is able to administer pills, liquids and sprays.

Calvin Crest has been accredited by the American Camp Association since 1969. Maintaining our accreditation requires us to meet or exceed standards in a variety of areas including health and wellness.  Because of the type of camp we run and our proximity to emergency personnel and in consideration of the time it takes to get to a major medical facility, we are required to have a dedicated staff member who is certified in First Aid and CPR.  We make every attempt to fill our Health Care Supervisor position with a college student who is working towards a nursing career.

Severe weather does happen during the summer. We are notified in a number of ways for the potential for severe weather.  We receive phone calls from local law enforcement when the potential for a life-threatening storm is imminent.  All onsite permanent staff have weather apps on their smart phone and a weather radio at night.  If severe weather is predicted, our staff monitors it closely.  For tornadoes and high-wind weather events, we can seek shelter in the Lower Area Lodge, which is a large meeting space built into the side of a hill with a cement ceiling and heavy wooden drapes to cover the glass windows.

Lodging

Accidents happen. We’ve all been there.  Our primary concern is to take care of the matter as quickly and unobtrusively as possible.  If your child is prone to accidents, please encourage them to tell their counselor if it happens.  They can whisper it to them in passing, give them a note or whatever way makes them comfortable.  Our counselors are trained to launder the bedding and clothing and while that is happening provide a temporary sleeping bag so that it is not noticeable to other campers.  This is all taken care of while the campers are away from the cabins.  Most times, no one notices anything and the camper is able to carry on.

Category: Lodging

Our Ranch Campers generally stay in our ranch camp area. These are 6-person bunkhouses with solid walls on the lower half and screened upper walls.  This rustic area is about half a mile from main camp and has a central bathhouse.  There is no electricity at ranch camp so make sure you bring a flashlight.  Occasionally due to staffing issues or camper numbers, our ranch campers are put in with other campers their own age on main camp.

Category: Lodging

Our Junior High campers generally move up to our traditional A-Frame cabins. These A-frames surround a lovely campfire ring, located past the dining hall on “A-Frame Hill” and feature canvas cots, a central bathhouse and plenty of history.

Category: Lodging

Our elementary campers generally stay in our cabins. These cabins, located a short walk from our dining hall, feature indoor plumbing, bunk beds, air-conditioning and foam mattresses.  Each cabin sleeps between 14-16.  Some cabins have two sleeping areas and some cabins have an open floor plan.  Each cabin has two showers, two toilets and at least two sinks.

Category: Lodging

We want campers to feel comfortable at camp.  Campers can request up to two cabin mates at least one week prior to camp.  We make every attempt to assign friends together in a cabin.  Cabin mates should be of the same gender and attending the same camp.

Category: Lodging

Miscellaneous Camp Questions

Calvin Crest strives to demonstrate, model and encourage campers to make friends. Many campers find a lifelong friend at camp.  Many of our activities are designed to encourage friendships in a natural and organic way.  Staff are trained to assist those who may be hesitant to reach out to others and are alert to those who withdraw or do not engage.  While there is no guarantee that your child will make friends, our staff tries their best to encourage campers in positive ways to be friendly with everyone and to connect with others in significant ways.

Calvin Crest staff take pictures throughout the week for the slideshow shown during the closing parent’s dinners on Friday nights. These photos are also used for promotional material and the summer camp brochure.  We also provide a link to the parents for the photos of their week of camp.  We occasionally post a short video or photo on social media throughout the week, but our purpose is to let the kids be kids and not worry about the photographer and how they will look online.

Calvin Crest offers two basic types of camp experiences. Traditional camp is what many people think of when they think of camp.  Campers participate in a wide variety of experiences throughout the week and get to choose options from those that are available.  There is a balance of activities, faith formation, fellowship and free time each day.  Our specialty camps (ranch camp, Mt Biking, adventure etc.) are more focused.  By signing up for one of these options, campers are choosing to spend a significant chunk of their day doing that one activity.  And then, the rest of the day is spent with the traditional campers in faith formation, swimming and more.

There is a camp store located across from the dining hall. It is open a few times a week during free time.  We sell Calvin Crest branded items including shirts, water bottles, and other souvenirs.  $10-$20 is usually sufficient.  The camp store is generally open on Friday evenings during camper pick-up.  We do not make a big deal about the camp store as some campers do not come with money to spend.

You are in for a great week of horses. We partner with the nearby Boy Scout Camp for the horse portion of camp.  It is extremely helpful to have shoes with a heel to help with riding in the stirrups, like any kind of hiking or work boots.  Cowboy boots are not necessary though.  And, all campers wear riding helmets when with the horses, so a cowboy hat is only for your comfort and style when not riding.

Mountain Biking Camp is a great chance to learn more about this sport and how to safely ride single track, care for your bike, build and maintain trails and more. Calvin Crest has a fleet of bikes that will be used during the week.  We also have helmets and gloves and will provide a water bottle for the bike.  If you have padded bike shorts, your own bike gloves or kit, feel free to bring them, but they are not necessary.  We’ll all be saddle-sore together.

Family Camp begins at 10:00 AM on Saturday and ends after lunch on Sunday. During those 27 hours, your family will have the opportunity to connect with each other, fellowship with other families, worship together, grow together and have a blast.  If you don’t feel you’ve had enough time, feel free to stick around for a couple more hours and hike and explore the grounds.

Explorers Camp begins at 7:00 PM on Friday and ends after lunch on Sunday. Please eat before you arrive on Friday night.  You’ll have a delicious campfire snack on Friday evening, three meals on Saturday and two meals on Sunday.  Please plan to stay for the entire experience to maximize your child’s learning opportunities.

There are a few ways for you to write your child. You can purchase a block of 5 emails (1/day) for $5.  The office staff prints those emails once per day and distributes them with the other mail at a meal.  This is a quick and efficient way to send your love and share news from home.  You may also mail letters and cards to the camp to be distributed to your child.  If there is an emergency, please feel free to call the camp office at (402) 628-6455.  The office hours generally are 8:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday through Friday.  Please leave a message after hours.  We generally do not allow campers to call home.  This is due to the fact that the camp experience is often a busy place and children and youth are involved in activities, Bible study, recreation and friend-making.  If your child would like to send a letter home, they are able to do so.  They can purchase stamps and envelopes in the camp store or you can send them with addressed and stamped envelopes.  To send it out, they can place the letter in the green mailbox outside the office door.

Registration and Pre-Camp Information

Tiered pricing is a way to provide the camp experience for more folks.  Basically, each family can choose the tier that fits their budget.

Tier I reflects the actual cost of camp, including food, supplies, insurance, utilities, facility maintenance, staff salaries and other expenses.

Tier II is our historically subsidized rate and does not reflect the full cost of running camp.

Tier III is a more heavily subsidized rate for those who need more assistance to attend a camp.

Please create a package that works for you and your family.  We know for some families this will include multiple campers and/or campers attending multiple sessions.  We also know some families need additional support for a camper to attend.

No matter what tier you choose, your child will get the same great camp experience. 

There is a great list of needed items in our parent’s guide that can be downloaded here: Parent’s Guide PDF

There is a Parent’s Guide that gives you helpful information about the camp experience. You should receive it as an attachment to your confirmation email.  You can also download it here:  Parent’s Guide PDF

Camp is a great experience for many children. It is an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment.  Calvin Crest works hard to provide a camp experience for every child that wants one.  And there are ongoing costs associated with camp.  In general, we subsidize every camper by not charging the total actual cost of camp.  For some camper families, that automatic reduction is not sufficient.  We work with individual families to design a plan that works for their situation and budget.  Payment plans, a further reduction in fees or other options are all possibilities.  There is some paperwork involved in receiving financial aid.  Please also talk with someone at your local church.  Many churches assist youth with part of the camp expense.

Register online by going here www.calvincrest.org/summer-camp/register-for-summer/

Many families utilize our great online registration system. First time users can create an account for your family, register online, complete your required forms, store your health information, make payments and send camper emails.  To use this system, simply go to calvincrest.org/summer-camp/register-for-summer/ and create an account and follow the step-by-step instructions.  Returning users can simply login to the system and begin the registration process.  You can also request a paper registration form by contacting our office.

In an effort to improve our ability to serve all campers, we have changed our pricing structure.  Instead of early bird discounts or a bring-a-friend discount, we have introduced Tiered Pricing, which allows our camper families to choose the level of pricing that matches their family budget.

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