To encourage the learning and growth possible in a time at camp, we want to ensure that your camper and your family is fully prepared. With any additional clarifications or questions not answered below, please contact the office by calling 570.472.3741 or email [email protected].
We believe that camp is an invaluable experience for all people, and we strive to be an inclusive and affirming community to welcome as many campers as possible. Summer youth campers have completed grades 1 through 12. Family camps are open to all ages.
While affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and grounded in teachings of the Protestant Christian faith, we welcome campers of all denominations and faith backgrounds to join us as we learn together and from one another. Nearly half of our campers come from other denominations or have no church background.
We want the program of BCC to meet the developmental readiness of all our campers. Youth campers in our overnight programs must be able to meet the essential functions of campers as age-appropriate.
Campers must be able to:
Our programs are typically not designed to accommodate campers requiring reduced ratio care. We are happy to discuss reasonable accommodations or recommend other programs that may provide a more successful experience for your camper.
Bear Creek Camp staff consists of a team of year-round and seasonal camp professionals. Our summer staff are college-aged young adults that undergo extensive pre-camp training to prepare to serve as youth leaders and role models throughout the summer. Many of our staff are former campers that attended BCC and now look to pass along the positive impacts of their experiences. Our summer staff share a diverse range of backgrounds as they pursue careers in teaching, engineering, medical fields, environmental sciences, among many others.
All staff are required to complete clearances for working with youth under Pennsylvania State Law. All staff are required to attend staff training prior to camper arrival that includes training on child development, camp safety and emergency preparedness (including First Aid/CPR/AED certification), behavior management, homesickness, in addition to all of the program elements of camp including archery, low ropes, high ropes, waterfront, outdoor living skills, games, and more. Lifeguards and high ropes facilitators receive additional training to be certified in those program areas.
All campers are assigned to a cabin with other campers in their age group and an adult summer staff. Bunk beds have twin-size mattresses. Bathrooms and showers are located in the cabins for Try Camp and Juniors. Middler, Junior High, and Senior campers have a program building nearby that house bathroom and shower facilities EXCEPT when you’re on your overnight trip — then you’ll sleep outside in your sleeping bag.
While campers come to camp and quickly make new friends, some campers like to attend camp with a friend. For campers that bring a friend new to camp, there’s a refer-a-friend discount that can be applied.
When registering for camp, there is an opportunity to list a “cabinmate request.” We will do our best to accommodate all cabinmate requests, however these requests are not guaranteed and depend on cabin capacities. Should we not be able to accommodate a request, we will contact you and your camper prior to your arrival at camp.
To describe a single day at Bear Creek Camp would be incredibly difficult as so many amazing ways to connect with nature, peers, and faith are happening all at the same time and no two days are alike.
Camp is organized as quest groups which are two (sometimes three) cabins from the same age group working together throughout the week. The campers and counselors of the quest group have the opportunity to work together to craft the week of camp that they want to have. The group can decide on typical camp activities like swimming, arts & crafts, playing sports, experiencing the high and low ropes course, learning archery, or going on a hike. The group can also come up with amazing out-of-the-box activities that haven’t even been dreamt up yet!
Every day all quest groups will eat meals – sometimes in the dining hall, occasionally on a pack-out. Each quest group will also have a time of bible study and daily devotions.
All of camp gets together every day for morning worship and throughout the week for opening and closing bonfires, the camp dance, and all-camp games.
Every quest group has the opportunity to go on an overnight which includes hiking out into the woods and camping together, cooking your own food, and enjoying the experience of living more closely to nature. The overnight experience progresses as campers get older, and staff is extensively trained to ensure that everyone is equipped to have a meaningful experience. Many campers point to the overnight as their highlight of the week and the time when they formed lasting bonds with their quest group that leads to lifelong friendships.
Our food is prepared fresh each day by our food service team comprised of food service professionals and seasonal staff. Most meals are served cafeteria style and campers dine with their quest group as an essential part of the community-building experience. Each quest group has the opportunity for pack-out picnic meals throughout the week as well as cooking their own food during the overnight. We conclude our week with the all-camp cookout.
We can accommodate many of the most common types of food allergies and strive to provide comparable substitutes for our campers. It is essential that food allergies are accurately described during registration on each camper’s health form. We are a peanut and nut-free facility during the summer and have cooking substitutes for gluten and dairy allergies. We can accommodate requests for vegetarians. Other allergies should be described on the health form and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to request that families provide additional food alternatives for needs outside of those described above.
All campers are required to complete a health history form prior to arrival at camp. It is crucial that that form is completed accurately to allow our team of healthcare staff to best care for your camper during the week. We employ a seasonal healthcare coordinator and have a nurse or other certified medical professional in consultation each session.
Over-the-counter medications must be authorized by the parent on the health form in order to be administered to campers. Prescription medications should be indicated on the health form and must be brought to camp in their original bottle with a label that shows the prescription specific to the camper. All medications will be collected during check-in and stored with the healthcare team. Typical times for administration of medications are at meal times and bedtime; other accommodations can be made as needed.
If your camper has other medical needs, we ask that you refer to the essential camper functions to see if their abilities will match the requirements of camp. If yes, then we encourage clear descriptions of needs on the health form and ask that you speak with the healthcare staff upon arrival at camp to ensure that they are prepared to care for your child in partnership with the camper’s cabin counselor.
In the case of an emergency involving a camper, parents/guardians will be informed as quickly as possible following our emergency processes and procedures. Contact methods may include phone calls or emails to the contact information listed at the time of camper registration.
Our medical team will also connect with guardians on an as-needed basis when medical care exceeds basic first aid (minor scrapes, bumps, short-term ill feelings).
Anyone is welcome to email campers throughout the week at [email protected]. Please put the camper’s name and cabin number in the subject line. Emails are printed daily and distributed at lunch.
Those dropping off campers are also invited to leave camper mail to be distributed throughout the week at the program site during check-in. Mail should be labeled with the camper name and the day of the week you’d like it delivered.
We believe in the value of the unplugged experience and therefore cell phones are not allowed at camp. Should a situation arise where a camper needs to make or receive a call during the week, we can make arrangements for that communication.
Camp employs a summer staff member to serve as our media specialist and their role each week is to capture the story of the session to share. This includes taking quest group photos and creating a weekly highlight video that are available for purchase as part of the registration process. We will also curate a weekly gallery of photos that will be made available here on this site as soon as feasible following the end of each session.
The general drop-off window will be between 3:00pm-4:30pm on Sunday. Check-in will occur in a staggered fashion at each of the program sites where your camper will be staying. Each family will receive a preferred drop-off time via email prior to the start of their session.
The general pick-up window will be between 4:30pm-5:30pm on Friday. Try Campers will be picked up at 11:00am on Wednesday. An optional family program will be held at 4:00pm on Friday under our Pavilion which will include an opportunity for families to experience highlights from the week with their campers prior to departure.
Please send sturdy and comfortable clothing with your camper. Campers will be very active during the week and clothing will get dirty, wet, and muddy as they tromp through woods, splash in mud puddles, and play in the creek. Please send only items that you and your camper won’t be upset about if they are ruined. No laundry opportunities are available for campers; please pack enough clothes for the entire duration of the camp session. All clothes should also have appropriate language and imagery.
Aside from comfortable clothes, shoes should also be comfortable as well as effective. Activity shoes that will be worn during games, walks, and daily camp should be close-toed. Flip flops will only be allowed in cabins and at the lake. Hiking boots are strongly encouraged for hiking, however, sturdy sneakers are allowed in the absence of boots.
PACKING LIST – Campers should bring the following items for their use at camp.
ITEMS NOT TO BRING TO CAMP
Summer camp is a positive, life-changing experience for so many, and we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to come to camp. We are proud of our extensive campership program and that all our programs are priced well below the regional average. This summer’s pricing can be found on the summer camp page.
Recognizing that families have differing abilities to pay, we are introducing a voluntary tiered pricing structure. Rather than raise prices on all families, tiered pricing essentially asks families with greater financial means to consider selecting a rate that more closely reflects the true cost of camp. Tier selection does not influence the quality of the camp experience, but it does help us to continue to provide excellent programs, staffing, and facilities to everyone that attends BCC.
Tier A- Subsidized– In order to keep camp as affordable as possible, this tier is a rate that is supported by our greater camp community through donations to camperships and other fundraising efforts.
Tier B- Direct Cost– This tier more closely reflects the direct costs of the specific expenses incurred during a camper’s week including food, housing, summer staff, and program materials.
Tier C- True Cost– For families who are financially able to pay Tier C pricing, this more accurately reflects the true cost of camp including all aspects of maintaining facilities in good condition, insurance, utilities, and other expenses necessary in operating camp throughout the year. By choosing this tier, you provide for the long-term sustainability and growth of Bear Creek Camp.
Sibling Discount– First camper is full price, each additional camper from the same household will receive a $50 discount.
Bring-a-Friend Discount– For each new friend that signs up, you will get a $50 credit on your summer camp registration.
Credits will be applied when you and your referred friends have completed registration. Credit is void if referred friend cancels registration. Credit is good towards registration fee only. You may not earn more credit than your cost of camp. Credit is not valid for siblings of the referring camper.
Bear Creek Ambassador Coupons– We will continue to provide an additional incentive to Bear Creek Ambassadors to distribute to their connections within their congregations and communities
Early Bird Incentive– Those who finalize their registration by March 31st will receive a free, limited edition camp t-shirt that will be distributed upon arrival at Summer Camp.
The American Camp Association (ACA) is an organization of camps that work together to set industry standards and best practices for the health and safety of campers and staff. Being an accredited camp means that Bear Creek Camp has voluntarily participated in a process of ongoing peer review to ensure that our facilities, programs, and policies meet a rigorous set of over 200 standards — something that only 25% of camps nation-wide obtain. In short, sending your camper to an ACA-Accredited camp is further assurance that your camper will be cared for and nurtured to the highest standard that youth camping can provide.