We all remember the most famous letter home from camp... Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah by Allan Sherman. Though it is a funny list of all that can go wrong, it's important to remember the end as well!...
"Wait a minute, it stopped hailing,
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing,
Playing baseball, gee that's better,
Muddah Fadduh kindly disregard this letter."
Campers are encouraged to write home to their parents, brothers, and sisters. Be prepared for that letter to come in the first days of camp...but also be ready for the end...the turn around moment!
How do you help them prepare for writing home...and how do you get mail to them?
- Although there are benefits in keeping youngsters informed of what's going on at home, don't go into great detail since the young adventurers might feel they're missing something back home. Avoid mentioning how much you miss them or "that the dog and cat miss them."
- Don't worry. Your natural reaction is to call on the first day just about bedtime to see how your camper is doing. Remember, counselors are trained to recognize and deal with symptoms of homesickness.
- A common truth for summer camp is that we have few homesick children, but we have homesick parents by the dozens! Remember to be encouraging and confident in your correspondence with your camper.
- Give your child pre-addressed, stamped envelopes or postcards so that they can keep you informed of camp activities. Each day there is time to write home during their Siesta time.
- Daily mail can have the opposite effect of helping campers adjust. Consider sending mail or leaving mail for your camper for just every other day. You can email your camper at Camp Perkins. Make it count...say more than "Hi and I miss you." Be encouraging and tell them you are excited to hear all their adventures when you see them again.
- Send a note or postcard in advance to the camp so there will be a personalized touch of home when your child arrives. This lets young campers know that the family has not forgotten them. In your correspondence, assure the camper that you know he or she is having a good time and express enthusiasm for the camp's activities.
- Mail to: Your Camper's Name & Cabin #, HC 64 Box 9384, Ketchum, ID 83340 OR drop it off at check-in on Sunday
Remember that scene from Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. Indiana meets the wizened old Crusader and has to choose the chalice that supposedly Christ took his final drink from. The first guy chose "poorly" (read with a formal British accent)... but Indiana chooses wisely.
The consequences are not the same as for Indiana Jones...we hope! But still, how do you pack wisely for your child's week at summer camp?
1) Check out the packing list provided by Camp Perkins on our website! It is called Summer Camp Information.
2) Review the list and see what you already have or could easily subsitiute. You probably already have many necessary items!
3) What to pack it all into... a duffel bag is easiest to carry across camp...however, it can be more difficult for your camper to easily locate their items in all week. Think about compartments in the suitcase...what will make it easiest for your camper to find what they need each day?
4) Older Clothes...Camp is FUN...and dusty and dirty! Pack clothes they can run around in, paint and do crafts in, and even get wet and muddy!
5) Layers of clothing...Camp Perkins is blessed with refreshingly cool mountain evenings and mornings. Your camper is going to need to layer up in the morning and again in the evening. During the day when they are running and playing, they'll want the freedom to remove those layers. Pack at least 1 sweatshirt or fleece (which is better in wet situations!).
6) Label, label, label!... Use an indelible marker or use sew-in or iron-on labels. Even with labeling, some of your child's clothes may be left behind or go home with someone else. Labels help it come home to you...eventually! Every Friday, after the closing, there will be a tarp on the basketball court with the lost and found from the week spread out for you to peruse! Be sure to take a look there and in their cabin before heading home. Any lost and found still at camp in October is donated to a church which does a huge yard sale to raise funds for Camperships...so even if you leave it, it gets a new life through a great cause!
Click here to order labels through a Mabel's Labels... labels for use on EVERYTHING!
7) Packing Day...Have your child pack WITH you! If possible, have them be the one to put everything into their suitcase. This teaches them how to pack and is useful for them to know where everything is when it is time to find things!
8) Dirty Clothes...Have a plan for the dirty clothes. A sack they put their dirty clothes into each day is very helpful.
9) Wet Clothes...There is a clothes line outside the cabin for campers to dry their clothes on before putting them into their dirty laundry!
10) Bottom Line...Camp is one of those epic experiences for your camper! Try to make the packing...and unpacking...as stress free and fun as possible - for both of you!
We want to ensure you are confident in communicating with staff prior to your campers stay, throughout their week, and once they've returned home. So...how do you communicate with the staff of Camp Perkins? Here's how!
Main Phone: 208-788-0897
Main Email: Info@CampPerkins.org
An easy Contact Us Form and directions can be found here.
Registrar / Year-round Office Calls... Julie, our year-round office director and registrar is in Hailey. Julie is available here Monday-Thursday from 8am-1pm. Julie may need to contact a staff member up at the camp to clarify some things regarding housing and availability.
Julie can answer questions like...
- Can I add a buddy to my registration?
- Is there room in a camp?
- How do I switch the program my camper is attending?
- What is my balance?
- And so much more!
After 1pm, the phone will be forwarded to our on-site office. We will answer and check messages frequently and return calls as soon as possible for the afternoon and check messages in the evening.
When leaving a message, it is helpful if you can address the following contacts according to specific needs.
For Signe White, Executive Director:
Signe@CampPerkins.org or call 208-788-0897
- Signe can help you with questions about how the schedule works, camper care, staff training, etc. You can also scan through the rest of our News feed on this page to get many of your questions answered, or you review our FAQ page can as well.
- Signe is also a great person to contact to share about your child's amazing week at Camp Perkins! We love to hear your feedback! You will also have an opportunity to fill out an Evaluation Form for the week of camp.
Our Summer Program Facilitator Team can also assist you... Dave and Nette each work with a specific area of the program, and all can be reached at SPF@CampPerkins.org or 208-788-0897.
On-site US Mail for campers and staff:
Camper or Staff Name
c/o Camp Perkins
HC 64 Box 9384
Ketchum, ID 83340
On-site UPS or FedEx for campers and staff:
Camper or Staff name
c/o Camp Perkins
Lake Alturas Rd
Stanley, ID 83278
**Remember, Cell Phones do not work at Camp Perkins and between Ketchum and Stanley, reception is non-existent or spotty at best.
"Camp staff challenged me to be a better person, showed me how to love by example, and how to put in a hard day's work. I am blessed to have spend eight years as a camper and five years on staff. And even though I live in Nebraska, i think about how I will hopefully one day bring my kiddos up there to be campers at Perkins!" ~Tara "Childs" Brune Hess
"My favorite thing about camp is the counselors. They help you get closer to God and they're so awesome!" ~2013 Camper
So who are these staff that make such a difference in the lives of campers and families that come to Camp Perkins?
You can "meet the staff" through our individual video posts of the staff throughout May and early June on our Facebook and Instagram (@campperkins) feeds.
Our Counselors, DayCamp Leaders, and Program Facilitators are recruited from colleges all across the country. They apply through NLOMA (National Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Association) through a joint recruitment process with 26 other Lutheran camps across the country. Many of the staff have grown attending a summer camp program somewhere... and many times, they have been campers at Camp Perkins.
The Camp Assistants (kitchen, housekeeping, maintenance) are typically high school students from the Southern Idaho or Northern Utah area. Most have been campers and LITs for many years.
Each staff member brings his and her own unique personality that helps create the Camp Perkins environment.
- Many of our more than 30 staff "grew up" here and want to give back...campers who returned year after year eventually becoming LITs, bringing with them a continuity of Camp spirit, Camp Perkins traditions.
- Many have experienced summer camp in another part of the country and bring creative ideas and infuse new energy into our community.
- Some are experiencing camp for the first time as a staff member, and they bring a unique perspective to help us understand what first time campers and parents see and experience in our camp community.
- ALL staff come with a love for Jesus and being with kids!
Staff members are enthusiastic and responsible, in addition to having professional experience, education, and training. Camp Perkins' staff of high school and college students is committed to helping young people and families experience Christian community in a unique and transformational way!
What's the process to hire a summer staff member at Camp Perkins?
All staff fill out an application, are interviewed (sometimes more than once), have a minimum of three references and a background check is conducted on all staff 18 and over.
Staff go through a rigorous two week training, as well as in-services. They are trained in all the basics including first aid/CPR, bully-prevention and child abuse prevention, safety on all activities and equipment, as well as how to help kids make friends, live in community and grow in their faith. Camp Perkins maintains a 1:6 staff to camper ratio while participating in the adventures of camp with campers.
Wouldn't you, your family, or your church small group like to "Adopt" a summer staff?
These dedicated young adults - counselors, camp assistants, program staff- come from across the country, and have traveled far from family and friends to be in Idaho. Creating and fostering a vision for ministry here at camp takes many people sharing their hearts and lives.
Our Adopt-a-Summer-Staff Program encourages our summer staff in their ministry and helps them connect with the lives of the families they serve. We'd absolutely love to see all 40 of our summer staff members "adopted!" Duties of an adoptive family, group, or individual could include praying for your staff member, sending them an encouraging card or note sometime during the summer, or sending a care package. The ideas are endless! Contact us for more information!
Remember when you registered your child for summer camp in January and it seemed like an eternity away? Well...now it's coming! How do you pack? What about homesickness? How can you set your camper up for success so they have the most exciting and impactful summer experience?
Here are some tips to help you get there! And you can always call (208-788-0897) or email us at the Camp Office!
Videos to Watch - Dr. Chris Thurber, a 30 year Summer Camp Director Veteran, Child Psychologist and Staff Training Coach has two presentations on YouTube with some excellent tips on getting ready for summer camp.
"Summer camp is more than a vacation for children," says Bruce Muchnick, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist who works extensively with day and resident camps. "As a parent, there are a few things to consider to increase the opportunity for a rewarding camp experience for your child."
Some helpful suggestions provided by Dr. Muchnick include:
Consider camp as a learning experience.
This is an opportunity for your child to explore a world bigger than his/her neighborhood and a chance for you and your child to practice "letting go." Letting go allows children to develop autonomy and a stronger sense of self, make new friends, develop new social skills, learn about teamwork, be creative, and more. This time also allows parents an opportunity to take care of themselves so that they will feel refreshed when their child returns home.
Prepare for camp together.
Decisions about camp - like where to go and what to pack - should be a joint venture, keeping in mind your child's maturity. If your child feels a part of the decision-making process, his/her chances of having a positive experience will improve.
Talk about concerns.
As the first day of camp nears, some children experience uneasiness about going away. Encourage your child to talk about these feelings rather than acting on what you think his/her feelings may be. Communicate confidence in your child's ability to handle being away from home.
Have realistic expectations.
Camp, like the rest of life, has high and low points. Not every moment will be filled with wonder and excitement. Encourage your child to have a reasonable and realistic view of camp. Discuss both the ups and downs your child may experience. Your child should not feel pressured to succeed at camp, either. The main purposes of camp are to relax and have fun.
I read this article written by a 12-year old Blogger named Hannah Alper who 10 Tips for Nervous Kids Going to Summer Camp. She shares her experience and advice with other kids getting ready for camp. She's got come GREAT ideas! Here are a few of her ideas...
Here is some advice for people who are going to overnight camp for the first (second or third) time:
1. Make friends with the people in your cabin. Introduce yourself to everyone. I always had friends outside of my cabin. It is always good to have a lot of friends to get you through the lonely or homesick times.
2. If it's your first time at overnight camp, it's probably also the first time for most of the kids in your cabin. You are not the only one. It will make you feel better to know that.
3. I was mostly nervous about the nighttime. My mom's advice to me was "all you have to do is make it through the night and then you will have so much fun in the day." The days are so much fun at camp. Remember this at night.
4. Try talking to your counselors if you're feeling homesick. It feels good and they can make you feel better. They were also first-time campers even though it was a really, really long time ago!
5. When you're packing for camp, collect some pictures of your family and bring some tape so that you can have them on the wall at your bunk.
Read the rest of her article here. Lots of great tips for parents and campers! We are looking forward to having your kiddos here as campers!
~Signe White, Executive Director
The best at-home prevention strategies include:
- working together as a family to select a camp, plan, and pack
- spending practice time away from home, such as a long weekend at a friend's house
- experimenting with the best coping strategies during this practice separation
- preparing pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes to bring to camp
What do we commit to do for your camper while they are at Camp Perkins?
- We will stay busy! Boredom is the enemy of camp!
- We will be available for them to talk with with! Assure them we are there to help.
- Help them know that they're not at camp for their whole life-just a week.
- Provide time for them to write home.
The most common mistake parents make is the Pick-Up Deal. It's normal for children to ask, "What if I feel homesick?" Tell your child that some feelings of homesickness are normal and help him practice coping before camp starts. But never ever say, "If you feel homesick, I'll come and get you." This conveys a message of doubt and pity that undermines children's confidence and independence. Pick-Up Deals become mental crutches and self-fulfilling prophecies for children as soon as they arrive at camp. If, after spending practice time away from home, a child is still very anxious about overnight camp, consider waiting a until next summer.
The Good News
When children arrive at camp with a repertoire of coping strategies and some practice time away from home under their belts, they are ready for those normal feelings of homesickness. Sure, they'll miss home, but they'll know exactly what to think and do when it bothers them. Best of all, the staff at Camp Perkins will be here to help. Nothing boosts children's self-esteem quite like overcoming a bout of homesickness and learning how good they are at controlling the amount of fun they have. Camp truly is a classroom for life lessons.
- Consider arranging for a first-time camper to attend with a close friend. One method to combat potential homesickness is to come to camp with a buddy. If the buddy is close in age and signed up for the same program, they can room together in the same cabin. We have a great "Bring a Friend to Camp" offer for you as well!
- It is FINE, and sometimes more fun, to have a "fresh start" by coming on your own. If your child is coming alone, assure them that the camp counselors will make every effort to help them adjust and make new friends! The first activities the counselors lead are get-acquainted activities. Through these activities, the counselors and campers get to know each other.
- Don't buy a brand-new wardrobe. While one or two new items are fine, camp life can be a bit rough on clothing. Children, especially first-timers, will also find "old favorites" reassuring when away from home. Consider writing the name of your child in important clothes, especially for young campers. Review the Summer Camp Info with the packing list and what to bring.
- Spend time talking to your child about what camp will be like and listen to any fears and concerns. Remind your child that apprehension and homesickness are perfectly normal feelings. Scroll through our Virtual Tour on Facebook. Watch the videos of Camp Perkins on YouTube to help them see some of the videos on our YouTube Channel... - Camp Perkins: A Mountain Adventure. Or Camp Perkins Summer Adventure.
We have good news to share that should make your life easier when it comes to registering for camps and retreats!
Beginning January 1, 2016, we will have an updated registration system.
What are the upgrades?
- Create an account and save your household information to register for future camps and retreats
- Register more than one child in the same family within the same account
- View and pay balances
- Update household information (change contact information, add household members)
- Oh, and did we mention you won’t have to re-enter all the information on yourself or your child the next time you register for a camp or retreat?
We hope this will make the registration process faster and more convenient for you!
How will it work?
When you register for a camp or retreat, you will be asked to create a login to access or create your account.
(Hint: If you have registered for an event in the past, use the same email for your login that you used when you registered before, and your household information will already be pre-entered!)
Hey, what about the CampDoc system we used last year for Health Care and other camper forms?
Great news! If you used it last year, you will log into your account and update or verify the information, but you will not have to re-enter all the information. (The link to your account will be sent to you again from CampDoc for your convenience.)
If you are registering for the first time, you will receive a link from CampDoc to create an account and fill out the Health Care and other online camper forms. Next year, you will simply update or verify the record.
We hope these improvements will make it easier for you to register for events at camp! Gee, what will you do with all the extra time?
Since 2011, we have been blessed by generous donations to the For the Children Fund in order to bring children to Camp Perkins from the City Light Mission. We appreciate the support from our community and now the story is spreading! Check it out on the LC-MS Northwest District Campfire page for the story of Jayden and Francisco.
If you'd like to be a part of helping more kids get to camp, you can donate on-line or contact the camp office for more information.