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 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 in a choice-based environment. 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 day camp programs are licensed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Children & Families (DCF). Each day camp will have a copy of the applicable Wisconsin licensing rules available at the sign-in table. Our license includes results of the most recent licensing inspection, any notice of enforcement action, and any stipulations, conditions or exceptions that affect the license will be posted in a high-visibility area by the sign-in table at each camp.
Wisconsin Youth 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 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 program supervisor.
Day camp staff receive 24+ hours of training prior to camp starting. Training includes Wisconsin Youth policies & procedures including orientation requirements that are mandatory by the DCF and American Camp Association.
Ratios and Regulations
As a state licensed facility, Wisconsin Youth 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 7-11 is 1:18
- During swimming trips, staff-to-camper ratio is 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 (or not bring) to camp will be provided through the introductory letter; however, a few important items are below:
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 is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, including clothing and electronics.
Watch the weather forecast and check the weekly welcome letter for the activities of the day to make sure that your camper is dressed appropriately whether it be for rain or heat. Campers will be running/moving around a lot and making more than a few messes. Please send your camper in appropriate clothing for messy activities. It’s recommended that you send an extra set of clothing for your camper.
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.
Please make sure to pack a nutritious nut-free lunch every day that does not require refrigeration or microwaving. A sack lunch (completely disposable) is required on field trip days. Field trips are noted in the weekly welcome letters.
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.
Electronics in Program
- Cell phones and Personal Electronic Devices: Wisconsin Youth 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.
- Digital Photographs: campers and Parents may wish to take photos of camp activities and events. Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for the use of photos taken by participants or Parents. Wisconsin Youth’s photo release is stated under “Required Information for Enrollment” section.
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.
At the end of the day, or whenever it’s time for campers to leave camp and the supervision of the camp staff, please make sure to 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. Parents and other authorized persons at least 18 years of age or older may pick up the camper and sign them out.
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.
Field Trip and Aquatic Policies
Every week we will go on an aquatic trip to a local pool, beach or splash pad, and we 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 spontaneous 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. We do 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 or beach that is best suited to their skills.
In order to keep our campers safe, we break them up into small groups by their swim level of no more than eight. Each group will have a staff member who will supervise and play with the group while they are at the pool or beach. The groups will enjoy level-appropriate activities while at the pool or beach and will play together, as well as with other groups of the same swim level.
Here is a quick list of the 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 his/her 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. 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 Diving Board & Deep Water Slides Permission: camper has advanced swimming skills, as listed for “Green Level.” If available, they may jump off low diving boards (feet first only and no flips). They may also use water slides dropping into water deeper than six feet.
From time to time camps will visit one of our local beaches for the swimming trip. When we do, we will always visit beaches that are actively life-guarded. We will stay within the swim markers and play on the beach. Beginner swimmers will remain in water no deeper than waist level. Intermediate and advanced swimmers will go no deeper than chest level.
General Swimming Procedures
Wisconsin Youth will only swim at facilities and beaches with certified lifeguards on duty, whenever our campers are in the water. Pool safety equipment must be present and in working condition when campers are present.
Summer Day Camp Fee Structure
During registration, a $25 deposit per week is required to reserve space in the program. The deposit will be applied to the camper’s weekly fee and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
General Fee Policies
The remaining amount of fees are due by the end of business day Monday (5 p.m.), five business days prior to the start of program. 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 summer camp.