Summer Day Camp
Please note: Families are varied and the use of the word Parent(s) refers to the adult(s) who are responsible for the child(ren).
Summer day camp offers campers the opportunity to build social skills, express themselves and form friendships within a choice-based environment. Trained and experienced staff lead campers in hands-on activities and outdoor exploration.
Summer day camp provides campers entering grades K-5 (ages 5-12) the opportunity to explore new weekly theme-based activities and enjoy a wide range of hands-on projects led by counselors in a choice-based environment. Campers are divided into small groups by age group. Each camp attends a weekly theme-based field trip and swim trip. Our day camps are state licensed, American Camp Association accredited and YoungStar rated. Summer day camps are located in Dane and Waukesha Counties.
Licensing, Accreditation and YoungStar
Wisconsin Youth Company day camp programs are licensed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Children & Families (DCF 252). Each day camp will have a copy of the applicable Wisconsin licensing rules available at the sign-in table. The following licensing documents will be posted in a highly visible area at the sign-in table: licensing certification, results of the most recent licensing inspection, any notice of enforcement action, age range of participants, capacities, program hours, and any exceptions that affect the license.
Wisconsin Youth Company wants to ensure the best possible program and experience for your camper(s). With this in mind we have chosen to go through the process of having our summer day camp programs accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). ACA accreditation verifies that a camp complies with 300 individual program quality and health & safety standards. This assures that our programs meet or exceed national standards. For more information about ACA, please visit acacamps.org.
Wisconsin Youth Company day camp programs have a four-star YoungStar rating. YoungStar is Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement system. To find out more information about YoungStar please visit dcf.wisconsin.gov/youngstar.
Supervision and Staffing
In the interest of safety and quality programming, staff are always required to know the whereabouts of each camper. Summer day camps use an organizational-wide system to track campers within the program that includes knowing the location, names and number of campers in attendance. Campers will be provided a “tag” on their first day of program which assists in this tracking. Parents and campers are encouraged to become familiar with this system and to discuss questions or concerns with the camp director.
Day camp staff receive 24+ hours of training prior to camp starting. Training includes Wisconsin Youth Company policies and procedures including orientation requirements that are mandatory by DCF and ACA.
Ratios and Regulations
As a state licensed facility, Wisconsin Youth Company day camps work under the regulations of the State of Wisconsin. We adhere to their required ratios which include:
- During camp hours, staff-to-camper ratios for campers ages 5-6 are 1:12.
- During camp hours, staff-to-camper ratios for campers ages 7-12 is 1:18.
- During swimming trips, staff-to-camper ratio is at most 1:8 for all age levels.
- During field trips, staff-to-camper ratio is at most 1:12 for all age levels.
Every group of campers will be led by a counselor. Two staff members must be present at the camp location whenever there are nine or more campers on-site. Staff are certified in CPR and first aid. Each camp location will have a camp director, assistant camp director or lead counselor on-site at all times when campers are present. Parents will find a written delegation of administrative authority posted at each camp location, at the sign-in table.
What to Bring to Summer Day Camp
More information regarding what to bring to camp will be provided through the welcome website, under This Week at Camp tab.
Please make sure to label all items clearly with your camper’s name. Campers are discouraged from bringing items beyond what is needed for the camp day. Wisconsin Youth Company not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, including clothing and electronics.
Watch the weather forecast and check the weekly welcome letter for daily activities to make sure that your camper has the appropriate clothing. Campers will be running/moving around a lot and may participate in messy activities. It’s recommended that you send an extra set of clothing for your camper. Some camps are based out of school buildings that do not have central air-conditioning. Campers should dress for warm weather while both inside and outside of the building.
Camp t-shirts must be worn on field trips as well as swimming trips. Swimming suits and towels should be brought to camp on swimming trip days as well as days with on-site camp aquatic activities.
Appropriate footwear for camp includes gym shoes with socks or sandals with a heel strap. Please do not send your camper to camp wearing flip flop sandals. Flip flop footwear does not stay on, often breaks and can cause injury.
Lunch and Snacks
Please make sure to pack a nutritious nut-free lunch every day that does not require refrigeration or microwaving. A bagged lunch (completely disposable) is required on field trip days. Field trips are noted in the weekly welcome letters. A morning and afternoon nut-free snack is provided each day. Milk will be provided when snack or lunch is eaten at camp.
Electronics in Program
Cell phones and Personal Electronic Devices: Wisconsin Youth Company does not allow campers to use their personal cell phones or electronic devices when participating in our programs. Campers carrying cell phones will be asked to place them in their backpack during program time.
Summer Camp Enrollment
Summer day camp enrollment is week by week. Daily enrollment or prorated weeks are not available. Weekly enrollment includes all special events, field trips and swimming. Additional weeks can be added, as space allows, through the Parent Portal or by calling your administrative office.
Half-day enrollment for summer school students is available in Verona, Waunakee, Merton, and Kettle Moraine. Half-day enrollment is only available during weeks when summer school is in session. Wisconsin Youth Company does not provide transportation to or from summer school. Parent should contact their school district for information regarding summer school Transportation.
Summer Day Camp Arrival and Departure
Please make sure to sign-in your camper(s) as soon as you arrive to camp. Campers must be signed into camp by Parents or other authorized persons at least 18 years of age or older.
Campers may be picked up by Parents or other authorized persons at least 18 years or older. The authorized pick-up person should sign-out of program with a signature and time of departure. Only authorized persons specified on the registration form and who present photo identification upon request, may pick up a camper, as we will not release a child to any other persons without written permission.
Independent Arrival and Departure
If the Parent chooses to have the camper arrive to camp without an authorized person to sign them in, or if the Parent chooses to have the camper to be able to leave camp without an authorized pick-up person, Parents must authorize an independent arrival and/or an independent departure at the time of registration. Campers who are authorized in writing to depart independently from camp will be signed out by a staff member at the time designated by the parent.
An extracurricular permission form is required for all children who participate in extracurricular activities that occur during their scheduled program time in day camp. The extracurricular permission form provides Wisconsin Youth Company with written Parent permission for children to leave the day camp program (e.g., scouts, sports practice, music lessons, etc.). The extracurricular permission form is available here, through the administrative offices, and at all program locations.
Wisconsin Youth Company is responsible for children only during the time they are checked into the program.
Field Trip and Aquatic Policies
Every week campers will go on an aquatic trip to a local pool or splash pad, and will go on a field trip that coincides with the weekly theme. Field trip information such as dates, arrival and departure times, and destination will be included in the weekly welcome letter.
If a field trip needs to be changed due to weather concerns, construction, facility closure, etc., an email will be sent to Parents as soon as the trip is confirmed to change. If walking trips are taken, staff will post information telling where the group is going and when they will return. On all field trips, staff will carry first aid supplies, attendance, registration information, emergency medications, and a program cell phone.
Please do not send your camper with life jackets, water wings or any other personal flotation device. Wisconsin Youth Company does not permit campers to wear them on our swim trips. Instead we use swim levels to keep the campers in the areas of the pool that is best suited to their skills. On weeks when the camp does not attend a pool they will visit a local splash pad. While at splash pads, camps follow field trip protocol for ratios and supervision.
Campers are divided by swim level, into small groups of no more than eight campers per one staff. The groups will enjoy level-appropriate activities while at the pool while remaining in close proximity to their counselor.
Wisconsin Youth Company swim levels:
- White Level – Non-Swimmer: Camper is not allowed to go in the water, but may play in a designated area away from the water.
- Red Level – Beginner Swimmer: Camper has little or no swimming experience. They can enter and exit the water unassisted and put their face into water. They must stay in water no deeper than waist level at pool or beach.
- Yellow Level – Intermediate Swimmer: Camper has intermediate swimming skills. They can tread water for at least 20 seconds; swim with arm action and some side breathing; and have been introduced to deep water. They may swim anywhere within the designated swim area of the swimming pool with water levels up to six feet deep. In a beach setting, they will be expected to remain in water no deeper than chest level. They may use water slides dropping into water up to six feet deep.
- Green Level – Advanced Swimmer: Camper has advanced swimming skills. They can tread water for at least one minute; swim for an extended period of time with arm action and side breathing; and are comfortable in deep water. They may swim in water deeper than six feet. In a beach setting, they will be expected to remain in water no deeper than chest level. They may use water slides dropping into water up to six feet deep.
- Double Green Level – Advanced Swimmer with Springboard & Deep-Water Slides Permission: Camper has advanced swimming skills, as listed for “Green Level.” If available, they may jump off low springboards and diving platforms no greater than 1m (3.5 feet) from surface of the pool (feet first only and no flips). They may also use water slides dropping into water deeper than six feet.
General Swimming Procedures
Wisconsin Youth Company will only swim at facilities and beaches with certified lifeguards on duty, whenever our campers are in the water. All facilities offer zero-depth entry. Pool safety equipment must be present and in working condition when campers are present.
School Cancellations and Closings
If school or community center buildings are closed due to excessive heat, inclement weather, physical facility problems or other emergencies, summer day camp will not operate. School closing announcements will be made on email, incoming message and/or our website, wisconsinyouthcompany.org. In the event of excessive heat, if schools are open but the heat is considered a safety concern, we may ask that Parents pick up their camper(s) as early as possible.
Summer Day Camp Fee Structure
During registration, a $15 deposit per week is required to reserve space in program. The deposit will be applied to the camper’s weekly fee and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
General Fee Policies
Wisconsin Youth Company Summer Day Camp fees are based on operation costs for the entire summer. Our weekly fees are calculated based on the hours of program, number of days, facility fees charged by each district and support expenses. Current fees for specific camps are available on our website. Weekly fees vary depending on the week’s activities and off-site field trips. Fees are slightly higher during Best of the Best week and Encore week due to an increased number of field trips. Fees will not be pro-rated for missed days, holidays, school closures (due to weather or other reasons) or schedule changes that don’t coincide with billing period start dates. Billing periods are bi-weekly. Payment is due on the Monday prior to the start of each bi-weekly billing period. A $20 fee will be assessed if payment is late. Fees repeatedly unpaid by the due date may result in the camper’s removal from program.