Camp Frequently Asked Questions

Starting in summer 2020 every registered camper will receive a camp t-shirt when they arrive on the first day of camp. Sizes will be collected during the registration process.

Any camper items that remain in our lost and found at the end of a session will be cleaned, sorted and delivered to our downtown office within 5 days. We will send session families a link to a photo album of all lost and found items from their session. To follow up on a lost and found item contact the registrar by email at ssibold@campfirecolumbia.org. Please include “LOST & FOUND” and the session that your camper attended in the subject line. Any remaining items not retrieved 3 weeks after the session ends will be donated.

We prefer that all campers arrive during our scheduled drop-off time and ride the pre-arranged buses at the end of the session. However, if you require an alternative option due to unexpected circumstances, please reach out to the Camp Director as early as possible to ensure our staff are prepared to support this option.

Gina “Sprout” Sander

Resident Camp Director

Downtown office: 971-340-1598

Camp office (summer only): 503-695-6041

gsander@campfirecolumbia.org

Yes, we require families to complete health forms prior to releasing campers into our care. Health forms provide us with vital information about your camper such as health history, allergies, and emergency contacts. As the summer approaches, registered families will receive an email prompt to complete the forms online. Please contact our registrar if you:

  • have not received a prompt within a week of your camper’s upcoming session,
  • have concerns about completing the form, or
  • need an alternative to the online form

Shane Sibold

Camp Namanu Registrar (Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm)

971-340-1608

ssibold@campfirecolumbia.org

The bus to camp is optional and can be purchased during registration or by contacting our registrar Monday-Friday 8:00 am -4:30 pm. Note the bus fee is non-refundable.

All campers ride the bus from camp at the end of each session. There is no additional charge for this service.

Our registrar is available in the downtown office Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. If you need to connect with us during the evenings or weekends we recommend calling the Camp Namanu office directly or checking in with a staff member during your session check-in. NOTE: All camp staff are off for 24 hours beginning at 12:00 PM on Saturdays, we will review email and voicemail promptly upon return on Sunday afternoons prior to check-in.

Camp Namanu Office

503-695-6041

officemanager@campfirecolumbia.org

Family guides can be found here – note that we update these annually therefor information is subject to change during the off season. We will post the updated version no later than April 1st annually.

Session Type Pocket Guide
Mini Blue Wing Minis Pocket Guide
Half-Week – Main Camp Half Week MC Pocket Guide
Half-Week – Ranch Half Week Ranch Pocket Guide
Classic Camp Full Week Pocket Guide
Classic Camp Extended

(Session 4: 6th-12th grade)

Extended Session Pocket Guide
Ranch Ranch Pocket Guide
Ranch extended

(Session 4)

Extended Ranch Pocket Guide

 

 

We encourage families to use the Camp Bus to send their camper to camp. You may register for the Camp Bus during your initial registration or by calling 971-340-1608 at least 24 business hours before the beginning of your camper’s session.

Families may also bring their camper directly to Camp Namanu. Camp drop off time is scheduled based on camper units (e.g. Blue Wing, Robin Hill, Sherwood, etc), and the bus schedule will be finalized in the spring. We have one road in and out of Camp Namanu. Please do your best to arrive at your designated time.

All summer campers ride the bus home from Camp Namanu.

Driving Directions to Camp Namanu

The cancellation policies for Resident Camp, Namanu Ranch and Day Camp are located here.

A packing list can be found here [coming soon!], it is also included in our family pocket guides which will be emailed to you before your camper’s session at Namanu.

A few important highlights:

  • Limit:1 bag/suitcase (campers attending an extended session may bring an additional bag/ suitcase) 1 small bag/daypack, sleeping bag, pillow. TIP: Luggage is moved between trucks and trailers so please contain all items in bags rather than tying them together.
  • Electronics – we encourage campers to stay engaged with their surroundings and have found that electronics tend to make this more difficult.
  • Cell Phones – aside from other electronics, phones (or any quick way to contact home) can actually make a camper feel more homesick. When campers are having trouble with homesickness or other issues, it is best for them to tell their counselor, who can help them to find solutions at camp. If the issue persists, the Camp Director will contact parents.
  • Food – the cabins at Camp Namanu are rustic by design. This means that any food could invite unwanted pests into living spaces.
  • Namanu is alcohol, tobacco, and drug free – If this is a concern for you, please talk to your camper about our policy prior to camp. 

Our financial assistance application can be found here. Note: We review and update this document annually and may make changes during the off season. We will post the updated version by January 15th annually.

We will begin reviewing financial aid applications in the spring on a rolling basis until funds run out. We recommend applying early if possible, but we will do our best to provide aid to all families that require it.

Yes, before processing your financial aid application, you must be registered for camp and have paid a deposit. If families are unable to pay the deposit please call our registrar at 971-340-1608 to discuss options. There are no guarantees for Financial Aid awards or amounts, and the cancellation policies apply to all registrations after May 15th. Financial Aid awards consider coupons or other discounts in determining the amount of an award.

Our staff are trained in how to handle wet sleeping bags at camp in a discreet and respectful manner. All soiled clothing and bedding can be washed and we do our best to ensure that this is done in a timely manner, without other campers’ knowledge. We also provide campers with loaner sleeping bags if needed before soiled items are washed and dried.

If you are concerned that your camper may end up with a wet sleeping bag, please indicate on the health history form so that we can be particularly vigilant in our bed checks. You may also want to talk with your camper about what to do in case of an accident. It is best if a camper tells their counselor immediately, and you can reassure your camper that their counselor will keep the information private. Our staff are compassionate and dedicated to keeping campers safe, happy, and healthy while they are at Camp Namanu.

Campers enjoy getting mail at camp! However, the Postal Service can take more time than one would think to transport letters out to Namanu. We do not recommend sending letters or packages to your camper by postal services. If you would like to send your camper an encouraging note or picture, please follow these guidelines:

Turn letters in at check-in. All letters must have:

  • Camper’s Name
  • Unit Name
  • Session Number
  • Day you would like it to be delivered

 

Example:
John Doe
Sherwood
Session 3
Please deliver Tuesday

*Please Note: Mail will not be delivered on Sunday or Saturday*

Campers also enjoy writing letters home while they are at camp. For younger campers, we suggest sending them with stationery that contains a pre-addressed, stamped envelope. We will do our best to ensure that any mail that we do not think will make it through the US Postal system will be available on the last day of the session to be handed over at pickup.

We prefer that all electronics remain at home including e-readers. Campers will have some reading time, typically before bedtime, but most of their days will be full of scheduled activities such as swimming, archery, fire building, and arts & crafts. If you are concerned that your camper will not have enough to read, we encourage them to ask their counselor to borrow a book from our library.

One of the great benefits of Camp Namanu is the chance to unplug from the many screens that compete for the attention of young folks. If your camper is in the habit of using technology to get to sleep, we advise helping them practice other ways to relax, such as mindfulness activities (deep breathing or counting silently) or reading a book. Our counselors are trained in various bedtime routines, and we do our best to accommodate the needs of all campers. If your camper has trouble going to sleep, please let us know in the health history form and share any tips that have worked in the past.

Items at the store range from $1 key chains to nice, sturdy sweatshirts ($20-$40). While shopping at the camp store can be fun, it is not a mandatory part of camp, and we encourage families to send whatever they are comfortable with.

Please deposit money for the camp store during check-in, there will be staff and volunteers on hand to collect money and answer any questions. At pickup at the end of the camp session unspent store account funds will be made available to you so don’t forget to ask at check-out. Any store funds not retrieved by September 1st will be donated to our Camperships fund.

Most of the health concerns at camp consist of scraped knees and simple headaches. For minor health issues such as these, we typically do not contact families. For any serious or persistent health concerns, or those requiring outside medical treatment, you will be notified by phone as soon as possible.

For first-time campers we recommend the following:

  • Schedule a sleepover at a friends’ (staying at another family members home doesn’t always have the same feel).
  • Talk about what your camper is excited about and what they can do if they start to miss home (write a letter, look at a picture, or talk to a counselor).
  • Reassure your camper that everyone at home will be well taken care of and excited to hear all about their time at camp

Other helpful tips:

  • Reading encouraging letters with pictures of family or pets can be helpful for a homesick camper. You may drop these off with camp staff on Sunday.
  • Evenings and bedtime can be especially difficult for a camper experiencing homesickness. Be sure to send a favorite book or stuffed animal along with your camper to ensure they are able to sleep!
  • If a camper or family is in a time of transition or uncertainty, being away from home can be particularly difficult. If there are any major transitions happening in the family,please let us know ahead of time so that we can give your camper the support they need.

Our counselors are experienced with coaching youth through these feelings, and are given training and support in this topic. There may be situations in which advice from a parent or guardian will help us in guiding a child through a challenge. In these situations, either the Resident Camp Director or a staff member who has been working closely with the camper will get in touch using the contacts listed on the health history form.

When registering for a session of camp, there will be an option to request a cabin buddy.  In order to honor these requests they must be mutual, and in the same unit and session. A half session and a full session that have some corresponding dates are not the same session and will not be in the same cabin.  We recommend providing one name for a cabin mate request.  Our goal for bunking is to give all campers the best opportunity for success at camp with old and new friends.

During the check-in on the first day of the session you can confirm cabin buddies with the on-site camp staff.

Bring camper medications with you to your check-in on the first day of camp. Medications (other than rescue medications*) are stored, locked, and dispensed under the direct supervision of the Nurse or Health Care Team.

NOTE: All medications must be in original packaging (Rx or OTC) with specific written instructions for use. We are unable to distribute unmarked medications to the camper.

  • All medications including rescue medications* must be turned in and will be carried and administered by our staff.
  • All medications must be listed with dosage and time of day given on the Health History form.
  • All prescribed medications must have the camper’s name and dosages on the label.

Rescue Medications*
Bee Sting/Allergic Reactions: If your camper has a known allergy to bee stings, or other severe allergic reactions, the camper must bring an appropriate treatment kit to camp.

History of asthma: If your camper has a history of asthma, you must provide medication for treatment. Even if your camper has not used this medication recently, camp activity (heat, cold water, or dust) can aggravate symptoms and we want to have every tool at our disposal to keep your camper safe.

Our nurse will bring medication to every meal and call in campers to retrieve their meal time medications. If a camper needs a medication at non-meals or as needed they will be accompanied by a buddy or their cabin to the health center. The nurse and healthcare team will administer the medication at that time.

We strive to make Camp Namanu an inclusive and caring community for all. However, our rugged site can pose challenges for those with physical disabilities. Similarly, we do our best to make accommodations for campers with behavioral/emotional needs. If you have concerns about your camper’s ability to be successful within the constraints of our rustic accommodations, please contact the Resident Camp Director, Steven Joinson.

Camp Namanu strives to provide meals that are healthy and well-balanced. Our kitchen staff are proud of their ability to provide a balanced meal for every camper at camp. Before each session we provide the kitchen staff a list of known food allergens and dietary needs for each camper to ensure they prepare an option for every camper. Please make sure indicate your camper’s needs on the health forms provided. Families of campers with highly restrictive dietary needs should contact the Resident Camp Director, Gina Sander, to discuss their camper’s needs and Namanu’s ability to accommodate those needs.

Gina “Sprout” Sander
Resident Camp Director
Downtown office: 971-340-1598
Camp office (summer only): 503-695-6041
gsander@campfirecolumbia.org

Every camper is an individual, and every camper has the right and opportunity to be authentically themselves while at Camp Namanu. We want to honor all identities and therefore we provide all-gender and gender binary cabin options at camp. Our current registration system* has limitations so if you do not see the option your camper needs when registering, please reach out to us as soon as possible. If you have questions, concerns, or you’d like to discuss your campers’ cabin assignment, please call contact the resident camp director:

Gina “Sprout” Sander

Resident Camp Director

Downtown office: 971-340-1598

Camp office (summer only): 503-695-6041

gsander@campfirecolumbia.org

 

*We are researching more inclusive registration systems and hope to have a new system within the next year.