Alpha (Grades 9-12 and Age 15 & Older)
Alpha is a two-week high school camp focused on daily service. Alphas learn the value of hard work first hand, and they get to enjoy many of camp’s favorite activities along with relevant and focused Bible teaching and many special privileges that come with serving Covenant Harbor. Each Alpha camper receives a letter certifying that they have served 60 community service hours upon completion of their session. Alpha members work behind the scenes in logistics, maintenance, food service, and program facilitation.
Alpha Team sessions will be filled with campers who are at least 15 years old (as of the first day of their Alpha session) and have finished 9th-12th grades (2015-2016 school year). Due to the unique nature of this program we are unable to make any exceptions to this policy.
Three collegiate staff oversees the Alpha program on a daily basis and work with the campers as a group and individually to encourage spiritual growth. This program incorporates significant blocks of time each day devoted to serving camp while allowing for down time, bible study/teaching, relationship building, and fun events/activities. All the while the Alpha staff and often other summer staff will be building relationships and mentoring the Alpha campers.
There is only so much you can grasp from pictures and our website. A tour is a great way to see camp for yourself while you hear from our staff details of what camp is like. Please visit our FAQ section to find out more details about tours.
We are sorry, but there are no discounts available for the Alpha program.
What to Bring
Campers should have a range of clothes for any weather. Alpha Team campers should pack both work clothes and clothes that allow campers to be active. Include closed-toe shoes for activities and water shoes for swimming. Modest swimsuits are required. The Alpha program is a two-week long and campers should pack accordingly. See the list below for what to bring, or look at the Overnight Camp Packing List.
Alpha campers will want to bring money with them to camp for use at the camp store and for special events. There will be several opportunities for campers to go into town and on special off site “excursions.” The camp store sells candy, snacks (whole grain and fruit), soda, water and Gatorade ranging from $.25 to $2.00. They can also purchase camp merchandise ranging from $0.25 to $45.00 from the store.
What NOT to Bring
While Alpha Team campers may bring cell phones to camp, please do not bring any pets, game systems (or other valuable electronics), firearms, weapons of any kind, fireworks, tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Campers found in possession of such items will be disciplined and may result in immediate dismissal from the camp program.
The Alpha Team’s cell phone use will be limited to “break” time and phones will need to be left in the cabin at all times. Having cell phone access is a privilege and if it is abused then it will be revoked.
All boys will be housed in the same building and all girls will be housed together in the same building.
Alpha campers will be living in the Maple Commons housing facility along with the summer staff. Alpha boys are housed in one building and girls will live in separate a cabin from the boys. Each cabin will have one of our Alpha Team Assistant Directors of the same gender.
Volunteer Hours Information
Many high school students need volunteer hours for graduation. Given the service element of the Alpha Team program we’d like to partner with our campers and verify a certain amount of volunteer hours. All Alpha Team campers who complete the two week program will receive up to 60 volunteer hours, not to exceed half of the students’ total required hours.
The Alpha Team program is not designed as a community service outlet but rather an opportunity to grow in our faith by learning to serve God through serving those around us. Alpha Team is not a way to fulfill a student’s entire volunteer requirement as students should come away from this program with an appreciation and desire for future service opportunities.
Check-in occurs on the first Sunday of the program and specific arrival times will be given after registration. Upon arrival, our staff will greet your family and guide you through the check-in and move-in process. Please do not leave until our staff has assumed responsibility for campers.
Late drop-off/early pick-up
Late arrival or early pick-up is not recommended and should be considered only in extreme circumstances. If you must arrive late for any reason please call our office in advance so we may prepare for your arrival. Early pick up can be arranged at check-in. We will not allow a camper to be picked up and dropped off more than once during the camp week because of the negative impact it has on your camper and other campers.
A variety of routes make Covenant Harbor accessible from any surrounding area. Our address is 1724 W Main St., Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. See our Map and Directions page for detailed arrival instructions.
The safety and security of your camper is our top priority at Covenant Harbor. For more information about our accreditation, please visit the American Camp Association website.
Counselor to Camper Ratio
Our counselor to camper ratios exceeds state required mandates. Most cabins of overnight campers have a counselor to camper ratio of 1:8. Some cabins have 1 counselor with 9 campers and some cabins have 2 counselors with 10-12 campers. Please visit our FAQ section for more inforation about our ratios.
A significant number of campers have unique dietary needs that can be easily accommodated. Our main dining facility is completely nut-free, as is our primary camp store. Please notify our registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any specific camper needs at least 3 weeks in advance so that we may fully accommodate your camper. Please visit our FAQ section to learn more about our kitchen’s accommodations.
We strive to make our waterfront a safe place for campers. We have specially trained lifeguard that are all certified. The waterfront staff supervises all waterfront activities including swimming and boating. Please visit our FAQ section for more information about our waterfront guidelines.
Onsite Health Care
We provide an onsite RN while campers are here during the summer. The RN works with our student nurses and is on duty 24 hours per day. Please visit our FAQ section to learn more about our onsite health care.
Covenant Harbor is private property, and all members of full time and summer staff are required to wear nametags at all times. Our staff is trained to question any adults without a name tag. Please visit our FAQ section for more information about our summer staff and training process.
This two week program starts on Sunday afternoons and ends Saturday morning.
Due to the changing nature of this program, each session offers a different mix of work projects, activities, Bible study, relationship building, discussion, free time, and special events.
Work Projects – Alpha campers will be serving in a variety of areas including (but no limited to) the kitchen, maintenance, administrative and logistics departments. Each of these areas provides a significant support to the camp programs going on at Harbor as well as helping the Alpha Team an understand what goes on behind the scenes to help camp operate.
Bible Teaching/Discussion – Each summer the Alpha Team uses different techniques and methods but it is always based on the same focus and Ideas. The goal of these times is to present ideas and Biblical texts that will help teens grow and further develop an existing relationship with God. Through structured teaching times, organized discussion, prayer partners, and personal quiet times we hope that God can challenge campers to take the next step in their faith walk.
Special Events – Several times throughout the two week the Alpha Team will have special events/activities just for them. Whether it is private evening of tubing or a trip into town to a coffee shop each is designed to be both fun and help build relationships.
Free Time – The nature of the Alpha program leads to less structure than our other, more traditional, camp programs. This down time allows for Alpha Team members to do what they feel is best for them. If campers need to take it easy and re-charge that’s great, but they may also utilize their free time to take part in activities available at the time. Available activities often include swimming, arts and crafts, skatepark, archery/pellet guns, etc.
Alpha campers have the opportunity to experience most of Covenant Harbor’s greatest activities during the session but usually in a different way than they may have in the past as a part of Pier 30 camps. More information and photos of our activities can be found on our Activities page.
During Alpha campers will stay in the Maple Commons housing facility, comprised of several separate cabins and shared bathroom facilities. Our staff are also housed in the Maple Commons and will be interacting with Alpha campers on a regular basis. More information and photos of our facilities can be found in the Lodging section.