What to expect when dropping off your child at summer camp

By: Mollie Shauger | Thursday, July 25, 2019 | Summer Camp

Fairview Lake YMCA staff check in campers. In front, Nya Noziere (left), Sarah Whittaker. In back, Pat Boll (left) and Daniel Trader.

Will you be checking in your child this summer for their first overnight experience at Fairview Lake YMCA Camps? Here’s a guide to help you prepare for the day and know what to expect when you arrive.

Before you arrive

  1. Health History form
  2. Camper Medication Form.
  3. Allergies or asthma
  4. Parent Confidential Form

Before camp starts, parents should complete a Health History form and submit it online.

If your child will be taking medications while at camp, a physician must also sign off on a Camper Medication Form. This must be completed for all medications, including prescriptions, vitamins, probiotics and other over-the-counter meds. Note: Campers do not need to pack pain medications like Advil and Tylenol, as they are available at the camp Health Center. However, you must give the OK ahead of time for your child to take these medications, if needed, on their forms. The Health Center is also stocked with other first aid essentials, and a health professional is available at all times of the day.

The only medications a camper is allowed to have on them are those to treat severe allergies or asthma; however a camper must also be responsible enough to handle these medications in order to keep them in their cabin. 

It’s also important for parents to fill out a Parent Confidential Form, which will allow you to provide more detailed information about your camper, such as likes and dislikes, fears, goals for camp, and other health concerns. 

Checking in

(allow 30-45 minutes)

  1. Check-in, photo ID
  2. Cabin check-in and cabin assignment
  3. Nurses station for medication
  4. Health Screen
  5. Trading Post
  6. Unload luggage at cabin

Check-in is on Sunday of the first week your camper will attend, between 1 and 3 p.m. Do not arrive earlier than 1 p.m., and for everyone’s safety, do not bring pets to camp. Counselor-in-Training (CIT) check in is from 8-9 a.m. Families should plan at least 30 minutes to complete the check-in process.

When you arrive, you will be directed to park on the Athletic Field. From there, walk to the main office where staff will verify campers’ names, and anyone over 18 will be required to show a photo ID. 

Next, campers will be directed to check in with their unit leader for the camp they’re attending, and receive their cabin assignment and a camp shirt. 

You can then head to the Dining Hall to check in with the nurse and drop off any medications your camper will require during camp. State law requires that all medication, prescriptions and non-prescriptions, be given to a camp nurse. Medications should be in their original containers. Place all medications in a clear plastic bag with your camper’s name on it and bring to camp on check-in day.

During check-in, registered campers must have a health screening in order to be cleared to stay at camp. During this time, a nurse will check their body temperature, their throat, and their hair for lice, and ask general questions about how they are feeling. 

You can visit the Trading Post to make purchases, check your camper’s account or put money in an account. You can also sign up your campers for trips during their stay. For more information about the Trading Post accounts, visit the parent resources page

Unpacking and saying goodbye

(allow 20-45 minutes)

After you’ve completed the initial check-in process, you can drive to the cabin to unload your camper’s luggage. Camp staff will be on hand to assist with this. This will also be an opportunity to talk to your child’s counselor about any concerns and ask questions. 

While campers aren’t required to unpack everything, it’s important that they know where things are, that they have a separate laundry bag, and that their items are labeled. Items can easily get lost if not identified. 

After unpacking, you can head home or walk around the grounds to help familiarize yourself and your camper with their new “home away from home.” However, campers will have a busy afternoon and evening ahead that includes an orientation, swim test and dinner, and a chance to sign up for the week’s activities. 

Note: Per American Camp Association policy, YMCA employees cannot accept tips; if you wish to express your appreciation in a material way, you can donate to Fairview Lake YMCA Camps by contributing to the Campership Fund in the name of the counselor or staff member.

Visit the camp website for links to important forms, frequently asked questions and other parent resources, including packing lists.


Fairview Lake YMCA Camps offers summer day and sleep-away camp experiences that are made possible through the generous support of donors. To register for camps or help send another child to camp, visit fairviewlakeymca.org. Because the Y is for all, financial assistance is available to qualifying families and individuals who wish to participate in camp.


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