Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the summer camp experience can be an exciting, though sometimes confusing, adventure. We're here to help.

Our frequently asked questions section will provide in-depth answers to many of your questions.

The questions are organized in several categories, click as indicated to get more information. If there is something not answered here, please call our main office (262) 248-3600 to be directed to the right person or email us using the button below.

Email the Youth Ministry Team

General Questions

What is the difference between all the camps?

Our summer camps offer four different experiences serving campers entering grades 1-12. Day Camp, Kishwauketoe, Pier 30, and Alpha, and programs run simultaneously. The waterfront, lodge dining area, big field and other activities are shared by each program throughout the week.

Day Camp offers unique weekly programming for campers entering 1st-6th grades. Many camp favorites are packed into a condensed daily schedule of age-appropriate programming. Our Bible program and activity offerings change weekly to allow campers to have a blast whether they come for one week or every week! 

Kishwauketoe (Kish) is an introductory overnight camp program for campers entering 2nd-4th grades. Kish campers grow their independence, learn about God together, and soak up tons of play time.  Two-, three-, and five-night options in an intentionally small community create achievable opportunities for campers to have a successful experience, whether they are ready for a couple of nights away or a full week of fun.

Pier 30 is an action-packed classic camp experience for campers entering 4th-9th grades. Pier 30 campers enjoy lots of activity time and high-energy large-group activities. 7th-9th graders dedicate part of their time at camp to honing a skill of their choosing. Pier 30 is a great place for campers to learn about themselves, try something new, and grow in their faith.  

Alpha is for 10th-12th graders who are ready for a little more than the classic camp experience. Campers get a behind-the-scenes look at Covenant Harbor through Alpha. This longer program, rooted in service and discipleship, gives campers a glimpse into what it’s like to work at Covenant Harbor and creates space for them to develop their leadership, deepen their faith, and foster lifelong friendships. 

Why are summer camps based on the grade a camper is entering?

Summer is a natural time for campers to begin identifying with what is coming up next, and to help with that transition for your camper, summer programs reflect that transition to a new grade while they are at camp! Programs are offered for the same age range as prior years with the same level of and intention in age-appropriate programming and experiences.

How is “religion” incorporated into the program?

Covenant Harbor is a Christian camp, owned by the Evangelical Covenant Church and exists for the purpose of encouraging individuals in their next step of faith in Jesus Christ. Our primary goal with the campers is to care well for them in order to give them a glimpse of God’s unimaginable love for each of us. This happens uniquely at camp because it’s a fun environment where kids build relationships with staff who are living lives committed to Jesus Christ. The Bible program is structured so Biblical truths are presented in a large group, small groups, and one-on-one times. We incorporate dramas, songs, skits, and games into our large group meetings to make the process of learning about Jesus relevant and impactful. Each truth is presented in an age-appropriate manner. Our goal is not to force or coerce campers to making decisions, but to encourage them to dive deeper into the Bible and listen to how it transforms our lives.

How is your summer staff trained?

Our leadership staff arrives before summer camp starts in order to plan the Bible program and to get the activity areas ready and safe for camper use. Counselors spend many days in training. Areas covered include team building, small group leading, evangelism, age characteristics, daily role expectations, discipline, cabin group dynamics, and severe weather, health and safety procedures, and emergency preparedness. Training is also an important time to build our summer staff community and sense of team. We take staff training very seriously and strive to create a team of summer staff that desire to serve campers with excellence.

We know this has been a tough few year for many campers. We will spend increased time during summer staff training to equip them to come alongside campers and provide extra support for kids mental health while at camp. A designated resource team will focus on caring for, supporting, and equipping our counselors to ensure they are able to provide excellent care for the campers. A large and well-rounded nursing team will help respond to any increased challenges. 

Where does your staff come from?

All over! Most of our summer staff find out about Covenant Harbor from past and present campers and summer staff, through their church, or at their college or high school. Many of our staff were once Covenant Harbor campers themselves!

How do you hire staff?

We have a fairly rigorous application and hiring process to ensure that only the most qualified staff will serve at Covenant Harbor. Each staff member goes through at least two interviews and provides four references. References fill out extensive forms and are also contacted via phone. If offered a position, summer staff members must agree to strict expectations and also undergo a background check.

Are you accredited?

Yes, we are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). There is a rigorous process in order to be an accredited ACA camp.

In addition to our ACA accreditation and membership, we are also members of 2 other organizations, ACCCCs and CCCA.

ACCCC is the Association of Covenant Camps and Conference Centers. The Evangelical Covenant church has different conferences located throughout the United States, many of which own their own camp like Covenant Harbor. We meet annually, have a governing board, and do a joint mission project each summer. 

CCCA, Christian Camp and Conference Center Association, provides resources for current trends in camping news and an annual conference. This is a great organization that helps us stay connected to others in the same ministry.

What denomination are you affiliated with?

Owned and operated by the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church since 1947, Covenant Harbor serves summer campers and retreat groups from many different denominations throughout the year.

Registration Information

How do I register for summer camp?

Summer camp registration is all done online. You can review all the information and details about summer camp registration through the button below. This page goes over the steps of registration, the deposits, available discounts, cancellation policies, cabin mate requests and more. If you have any further questions you can contact us at 262-248-3600.

How to register for camp

How do I complete medical forms on my registration?

Medical Form Steps

  • Click here to go to the online registration.
  • Log in on the left side as a returning user with your email and password (if you do not remember your password you can click on the “Reset password”).
  • Click on the blue button “View details” (under Summer Camp 2024).
  • On the right side of the summary page you will see “Forms” and your camper’s name with various forms below their name.
  • Click on the blue words “Medical Form Summer 2024” to view and complete.
  • Press “Next Page” at the bottom right of each page to go to the next page of the form. (Hint: If any required information is not completed and you try to move forward, the required field will be marked in red and you will not be able to go to the next page until all required information has been entered.)
  • On any page you can “Save Changes” and then “Close Form” and return to the form to finish it later.
  • On the last page you will sign the form digitally, then click on the blue button at the bottom left that says “Complete this Form.”

How do I select or change skills on my registration?

Skills Steps

  • Click here to get to our online registration.
  • Sign-in on the left side with your email address and password. 
  • Click on “View details” under Summer Camp 2024.
  • Check the box next to your camper. 
  • Scroll to the bottom blue button to add campers/sessions/options.
  • See check mark next to the registered session click “view details” it will open up (all skills, descriptions, availability and cost, if applicable, will be displayed).

Can my child move up to the next camp?

Our camps are carefully planned and programmed for each specific age group. Therefore, younger children are not allowed to participate in camps for older campers. In some situations when siblings or friends, in separate age groups, want to attend the same camp, the older camper may attend the younger program. In this case, it is important for the older camper to be aware that some elements of the program may not suit them.

Can I register my child with special needs?

In order to give your child the most successful week at camp possible, any special accommodations must be requested prior to your child’s arrival at camp. The Covenant Harbor team can, with limits, provide additional staff support to specific campers in order to set them up for success. This is available on a first-come, first-served basis. In all cases involving special accommodation, please contact Covenant Harbor as early as possible (and at least three weeks in advance of your child’s anticipated arrival at camp) so that the Covenant Harbor team may gain a complete understanding of your child’s unique circumstances, and with your input, assess if your child’s needs can be met.

Who can I call to ask questions?

For questions regarding your balance due, what program you are registered for, team or cabin mate requests, or any special dietary needs, please contact the Camp Registrar at 262-248-3600 ext. 327.

For questions regarding our summer camps, please contact our Program Director, Emma Mueller at 262-248-3600 ext. 329.

For questions regarding camper care packages, contact our office for more information and we would be glad to assist you.

Register for Summer Camp

Arrival and Departure Information

Where should we go when we arrive?

Check-in for overnight camp programs will happen the afternoon of the first day of camp. More information about check-in will be given to you as the start of camp approaches. After registration, keep an eye on your email for this information about a month before the first day of camp. Drop-off for Day Camp is a drive-thru process each morning.  You will be directed to Day Camp Drop-off when you arrive.

We can’t make it to check-in on time, is that okay?

In order to have a smooth start to the camp week, we prefer all campers to arrive on time. However, if you are absolutely not able to check-in, please call our office in advance to make plans.  Late arrivals for Day Camp should bring their campers to the office and call in advance when possible. If a camper has not arrived by the end of check-in, they will be contacted by our administrative staff immediately following the conclusion of check-in.

We need to pick up our camper early, is that okay?

Early pickups are strongly discouraged and should be considered only in the most extreme circumstances. If it is necessary and you are looking to pick up your camper early, arrangements must be made in advance with our staff at the time of check-in at camp. Please do not contact us on the last day of camp and ask to pick your camper up early. We will not be able to accommodate a request with that late notice.*

*We will work with families should there be a reasonable emergency that requires a last minute call for an early pick up.

Is there a Closing Ceremony or Family Night?

Overnight Camp:

You are free to depart with your camper once their counselor has the release card. However, after you have picked up your camper(s), your family has the opportunity to stay at camp for a closing ceremony. We highly recommend and encourage your family to stay for the closing ceremony to celebrate the week! Experience first hand what your campers did and learned during the week. Many of our staff members will be there for you to talk with as well. 

Day Camp:

Families are invited to join us after check-out on the Thursday of your *week of camp! Come meet your child’s counselor and learn about their week at Day Camp. Enjoy a potluck style dinner with us. Let us know by check-out on Tuesday of your week of camp if you will be joining us! If you plan to join, please bring a side to share or a dessert (no nuts, please!). 

*Family Night is only scheduled for our 5-day Day Camps. 

What should we pack?

For a detailed list of what to bring to camp, you can take a look at a detailed packing list for Overnight Camp or for Day Camp. Please make note of what NOT to bring.

We recommend labeling your camper’s clothing with iron-on labels.

Camp Life Information

How structured is the day?

Each program balances the daily schedule so that there is play time, down time, games and sessions, cabin fun and individual rest time. Each age group is considered in planning the day and we allow time for campers to make decisions on how they’ll spend their time which helps build their decision-making skills.

Our outdoor environment will be heavily utilized for as much programming as possible. 

We will continue a 6 day, 5 night structure for most overnight camps this year, with the except of shortened  weeks with only 2-3 night options. Day Camps will continue to be 5 days long with the exception of the shortened 3 day weeks. 

What activities will my camper do?

Covenant Harbor has three main activity areas, the waterfront, the big field, and the adventure center.

The waterfront is a highlight for many campers and includes swimming, the water playground (aqua jumps, slidewalk, aqua launch, and a water mat), rope swing, banana boating, tubing and boat rides.

The big field is another camper favorite and includes the skate park, archery pit, mountain boarding hill, and arts and crafts.

Our adventure center offers the climbing tower, high ropes course, indoor wall and the giant swing.

We make sure that there are age-appropriate options for each program. Our goal is to have programming that grows with your child, so some activities might be saved until they are older. It’s also important to note that some activities do have limits based on age, but there will always be plenty to do!

Campers throughout the week will have the option to participate in these three activity areas. Pier 30 campers will have the opportunity to play on the water playground (or rope swing if they are in 7th-9th grade) once and choose one additional waterfront activity, either banana boating or tubing. Pier 30 campers will also have the opportunity to experience adventure activities. Pier 30 7th-9th grade campers will also have the option to choose from one adventure center activity during their week. Pier 30 campers may have the opportunity to purchase additional boat rides or adventure activities if the schedule allows. Kish campers will have the opportunity to enjoy the water playground, banana boat ride, giant swing and climbing tower once during a 5-night week of camp. Shortened Kish weeks will have fewer but similar option but could fluctuate depending on the weather. 

Other activities include carpetball, gymnasium, bounce castle, playgrounds, sand volleyball, 9 square, and gaga ball.

How is the waterfront run?

All waterfront staff are specially trained and certified  lifeguards. The waterfront staff supervises all waterfront activities including swimming and boating.

At the beginning of the week, campers have the opportunity to take a swim challenge to determine which waterfront activities they can safely participate in. For the swim challenge, campers jump into the water, swim 25 yards without using dog-paddle or backstroke, tread water for 30 seconds and swim another 25 yards. Campers who swim proficiently throughout the challenge are called ‘deep end swimmers’. They are allowed to participate in all boating activities, the water playground and swim in the deep end. Campers can also choose to take the swim challenge with a lifejacket on. If they complete the challenge with a lifejacket, they can participate in all water activities, except for swimming in the deep end. If a camper cannot or chooses not to do the swim challenge, they will be able to play at the beach and in the shallow end.

Life jackets are required on all boats and on the water playground, even for campers who have passed the swim challenge.

When swimming, campers must check in at the buddy board. Each camper has a tag, and must swim with either one or two buddies. Buddy checks are called every 20 minutes, and waterfront staff counts the campers and checks that against the number of campers checked into the buddy board. At the conclusion of a successful buddy check, waterfront staff members rotate posts to stay fresh and alert.

An unsuccessful buddy check, when the number of campers swimming doesn’t match with the number of campers checked in, results in a lost swimmer procedure. Our staff members are well trained in operating this emergency procedure, campers are instructed at the beginning of the week what they should do. Most unsuccessful buddy checks are either tests or the result of a camper not checking out at the buddy board.

Does my camper have to take the swim challenge?

We will not force any camper to take the swim challenge. Our staff will encourage campers to try and will give them the option to take it with a life jacket but will not force them to do something they are not comfortable with. If a camper chooses not take a swim challenge they will only be able to go to the shallow end and will not be allowed to go on any boating activities, swim in the deep end, or use the water playground. A camper may try again later in the week if they choose to.

How is the waterfront supervised?

We have specially trained lifeguards that are all certified to ensure the safest experience possible for your camper. The waterfront staff supervises all waterfront activities including swimming and boating.

Why does my camper need spending money?

Campers have the opportunity to visit the camp store each day.  Depositing spending money allows your camper to make choices without having to keep track of any cash.  The store carries candy (.25-1.50), snacks (.25-2.00), drinks (.50-2.00), souvenirs (.25-25.00) and clothing (5.00-45.00).  Campers are only allowed to go to the store once each day and are limited to $2.00 per day on candy items ($1.50 for Kishwauketoe & Day Camp) and $2.00 per day on whole grain snacks or fruit.  We do not limit water or Gatorade.  

Campers also have an opportunity to donate a portion of their spending money to our mission project.  Campers choose how much they’d like to donate, anywhere between $0 and $5.

How much money should I deposit?

We recommend a deposit of $10 to $60, depending on your program (smaller amounts for shorter sessions).  We suggest discussing with your camper and working together to determine what the best amount is for your camper.  Unused funds can be donated to Covenant Harbor or refunded on the last day of camp.

What are the accommodations (cabins) like?

Each cabin varies in design. Kishwauketoe campers will be in the Kishwauketoe Village. Pier 30 and Senior High campers stay in a variety of cabins, each with indoor restrooms. Alpha campers stay with many of our summer staff in the Lodge. Campers are housed according to how they fit with their cabin mate requests and by age. We cannot honor specific cabin requests.

What kind of food is served?


Food is a central part to the camp experience. Our talented kitchen staff lovingly prepares each meal to provide a menu that is delicious and provides balanced nutrition. In addition to an entree and at least two side dishes, cold cereal is available at breakfast, sun butter and jelly sandwiches are available at lunch and dinner and a salad bar is available at dinner to provide campers with different options at each meal.

Meals for those with dietary restrictions are carefully prepared separately to ensure the safety of each camper. Additionally, Covenant Harbor is a nut free facility, serving campers with severe allergies to nut products safely. 

Meals are a self-serve buffet line. Handwashing stations are available and washing is required before meals.

Special Nutritional Needs

Food is an integral part of a camper’s experience. As you complete the health form, please identify nutrition needs based on documented health concerns, such as anaphylactic reactions and diagnosed food allergies. Although we are unable to accommodate every food preference, we try our best to make sure that every camper has enough food at every meal. If you are concerned about your child’s nutrition, for reasons like picky eaters, food sensory issues, and/or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorders, vegetarians or special diets like ketogenics, ‘low-carb’ or similar programs, please contact our Food Service Director for general inquiries and we will work with you to determine our ability and the support required to meet the camper’s medical needs.  

Sending Snacks From Home

Snacks are welcomed at camp. In order to keep all our campers safe, Covenant Harbor summer camp kitchen, camp store and all camper environments are nut free. If packing or mailing snacks, please refrain from candy or food items with nuts or peanut butter. Nut product snacks will be taken, stored for the week and returned to campers on day of check-out. We encourage you to not only send your camper with snacks, but snacks that can be shared by the whole cabin.  

Can I contact my camper?

Covenant Harbor encourages letter writing, packages and emailing your camper to remind them of your love and support during their week at camp. However, telephone contact is discouraged, unless deemed necessary by the Program Director. This is in order to allow campers to be more fully immersed in their relationships built with staff members and fellow campers. 

  • Email
      • Emails can be sent to with subject: Counselor Name, Camper Name. Remember, campers can not respond via email. Emails must be text-only (emojis, symbols and other characters will not translate through the system) and are limited to no more than three per week.
  • E-Scans
    • E-Scans are letters that your camper writes to you. Covenant Harbor scans and sends their letter to you via email. E-Scans can be purchased through your camper’s registration account, but are limited based on the length of camp session. Campers can also purchase E-Scans at the camp store. After check-in parents cannot purchase additional scans through their portal. If you would like to purchase an E-Scan while your camper is here, please contact camp by phone to arrange that. Please note that while we do provide time for campers to write home, campers are not always inclined to fill the E-Scans out. 

Can I send my camper a care package?

Mail, including letters, envelopes and emails, may be dropped off at check-in to be delivered to your camper throughout the week or can be mailed to Covenant Harbor. All paper mail (including email) is delivered before or at lunch each day. Anything that arrives after 11:00 a.m. will be delivered the next day. Emails or letters received after 11:00 a.m. on the last full day of camp may not be delivered so be sure to send before 11:00 a.m. on Fridays. 

Care packages are a special touch point for your camper throughout the week. New this year, care packages will only be delivered on Tuesday and Thursday each week. Kish partial weeks will deliver packages on Monday for the first half of the week and Thursday for the second half of the week. We encourage sending only one or two care packages to your camper for their time at camp. If you would like to provide your camper with more care packages, we suggest sending them with one on Sunday night. As a reminder, Covenant Harbor is nut free – Please be sure that no nut products are included in your camper’s packages.

Covenant Harbor Care Packages are available for purchase. These specific packages will be delivered on Wednesday for full week programs. For Kish partial weeks they will be delivered either Monday or Thursday. 

Is there a lost and found?

Covenant Harbor is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings. At check-out, lost and found items are brought to a designated area. If one of your items is missing, please fill out the Summer Lost and Found form. Once that is submitted, Covenant Harbor staff will get in contact with you. 

If the items are found, they can be returned via mail (shipping reimbursement is required). At the end of the summer season, unclaimed items are donated to charity. For health reasons, socks, underwear, toothbrushes, used soap, etc., will be thrown out.

Health and Safety

How is Covenant Harbor managing the health and safety of my camper?

Covenant Harbor takes health and safety standards very seriously. They are some of the most important parts of the summer camp experience. Additionally, our health and safety procedures permeate at all levels of camper operations, from staff training to housing and grounds preparations and upkeep, to medical staff and camper protection policies.

How will my camper be supervised?

Overnight campers sleep in the cabins with their assigned counselors. Most cabins have a counselor to camper ratio of 1:7-9. Day campers are assigned to teams, most teams are counselor to camper ratio of 1:7-8.

Throughout the day, all campers will be with their counselor or a summer staff member. Safety is a primary concern and we take that responsibility seriously. Most programs have some free time options throughout the day where campers can choose from several activities. Counselors do have a short break each day. During that time, non-counseling staff supervises each cabin either at a whole group activity or stepping in with an individual cabin.

Is there health staff on duty?

Each week of camp, we have an on-site volunteer RN on duty 24 hours per day. The volunteer RN works with our student nurses, who are hired for the entire summer, and is responsible for dispensing all medications.

The Heath Center Staff will contact you if your camper: a) has a fever of over 100.3; b) experiences any vomiting; c) has any injury that requires treatment or evaluation offsite; d) repeatedly contacts us about any injury, illness, or complaint.

Will there be increased sanitization?

Hand-washing and sanitizer stations are included at key parts of camp for campers to use.

How are dietary needs handled?

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 by email of any specific camper needs at least 3 weeks in advance so that we may fully accommodate your camper.

Please note that peanuts/tree-nuts or peanuts/tree-nut products are not allowed.

What is Covenant Harbor’s security policy?

Covenant Harbor is a private property, and all members of full time and summer staff are required to wear name tags at all times. Our staff is trained to question any adults without a name tag.

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 (ACA).