Wisconsin Youth Company

Wander Wisconsin

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).

Program Philosophy

Wander Wisconsin offers campers the opportunity to build self-confidence, explore in nature, and step out of their comfort zone. A small group setting and low staff-to-camper ratios provide the perfect environment for building meaningful relationships.

Program Description

Wander Wisconsin offers daily field trips and adventure-themed activities for campers entering grades 3-5, who are at least 8 years old. Adventure trips provide an opportunity for children to challenge themselves and build self-confidence. Wander Wisconsin summer trips are based out of Madison, Verona and Waunakee. Wander Wisconsin also offers spring break and winter break programs based out of Madison.

Supervision and Staffing

In the interest of safety and quality programming, adventure trip leaders are always required to know the whereabouts of each camper. All adventure trips are led by at least two adventure trip leaders. Adventure trips are small groups allowing for a typical staff-to-camper ratio of 1 to 7. Staff receive training prior to the start of summer. All trip leaders hold current first aid, CPR and AED certifications. During the summer months, designated trip leaders also hold current lifeguard certification.

What to Bring to Wander Wisconsin

More information regarding what to bring to Wander Wisconsin will be provided through the introductory letter; however, a few important items are below:

Personal Property

Please make sure to label all items clearly with your camper’s name. Campers are discouraged from bringing items beyond what is needed for their trip. Wisconsin Youth Company is not responsible for lost, stolen or dam- aged personal property, including clothing and electronics.

Appropriate Clothing

Watch the weather forecast and check the This Week at Wander tab of the welcome website 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.

Wander Wisconsin t-shirts must be worn on swimming trips. Swimming suits and towels should also be brought on these days. Campers do not need to wear Wander Wisconsin t-shirts for non-aquatic adventure trips. Campers will receive a Wander Wisconsin t-shirt on their first day of program.


Appropriate footwear for Wander Wisconsin includes gym shoes with socks or sandals with a heel strap. Some activities will require gym shoes (not sandals). This will be noted on the This Week at Camp tab of the welcome website. Please do not send your camper wearing flip flop sandals. Flip flop footwear does not stay on, often breaks and can cause injury. During Winter Wander, campers should come prepared with boots, snowpants, hats, gloves, and a winter jacket.

Lunch and Snacks

Please make sure to pack a nutritious, nut-free lunch every day that does not require refrigeration or microwaving. A morning and afternoon snack are provided daily. Wisconsin Youth Company snacks are nut-free. Lunch may be provided once during a week of Wander Wisconsin. This will be noted on the This Week at Camp tab of the welcome website.

Electronics in Program

Cell phones & Personal Electronic Devices: Wander Wisconsin does allow campers to use personal cell phones and electronic devices during transportation to and from daily trips. Campers carrying these devices will be asked to place them in their backpack during the remainder of the day. If campers are using their devices inappropriately, they will be asked to keep them in their backpack during transportation time as well. If there are repeated concerns with electronic devices while at Wander, a parent conversation may be arranged to discuss appropriate device usage and next steps Wisconsin Youth Company is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged cell phones or electronic devices.

Wander Wisconsin Enrollment

Summer and Spring Break Wander Wisconsin enrollment is weekly. 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.

Winter Wander enrollment is daily and includes all special events, field trips, and swimming.

Wander Wisconsin Arrival and Departure


Please make sure to sign-in your camper as soon as you arrive to Wander Wisconsin. Campers must be signed in by Parents or other authorized drop-off persons at least 18 years of age or older.


Campers may be picked up by Parents or other authorized pick-up 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 Wander Wisconsin without an authorized drop-off person to sign them in, or if the Parent chooses to have the camper to be able to leave Wander Wisconsin 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 Wander Wisconsin will be signed out by a staff member at the time designated by the parent.

Field Trip and Aquatic Policies

Wander Wisconsin programs consist of daily field trips. Parents will be provided dates, times and destinations of trips in advance. Staff carry first aid supplies, attendance and registration information, as well as a cell phone on all trips. Field trips are made in accordance with Wander Wisconsin policies.

Aquatic Policy

Many Wander Wisconsin courses include swimming in natural bodies of water or in swimming pools as well as other aquatic activities such as canoeing, kayaking and water park attractions in a variety of settings. Specific activities, as well as the swim level required for those activities, are outlined in the trip descriptions.

Swim Permission

Campers will be allowed to participate in water activities based on their swimming ability. All campers participating in Wander Wisconsin must have intermediate (yellow) or advanced (green) swimming skills.

  • 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 has 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. They can participate in canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard activities, if applicable. 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. They can participate in canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard activities, if applicable. 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.

Swimming Procedures

A certified lifeguard must be present at all times while campers are swimming. Campers will be checked in and out of the water with a buddy and under the supervision of a designated staff member. There will be at least one staff member for every eight swimmers. Campers will remain within close proximity of their buddy while in the water, and pairs will inform staff when they enter or leave the water. Buddy checks will be called regularly throughout the swim trip.

All pool and beach rules will be enforced by on-duty lifeguard(s) and Wander Wisconsin staff. Wander Wisconsin staff may either be swimming with students or supervising from the deck/sand. While at a beach, campers may only swim in designated swim area and must stay in water no deeper than chest level.

Boating Procedures

Wander Wisconsin participates in boating activities through various vendors. All rules will be enforced by vendor, lifeguard(s) and Wander Wisconsin staff. Campers will only participate in canoe or kayak activities when a lifeguard certified staff member is present. PFDs (Personal Flotation Device) must be worn by everyone when on all boats.

School Cancellations and Closings

If school buildings are closed due to excessive heat, inclement weather, physical facility problems or other emergencies, Wander Wisconsin 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.

Wander Wisconsin Fee Structure


During registration, a $50 deposit (amount varies by program) 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

Wander Wisconsin fees are based on operation costs for each trip. Our weekly or daily fees are calculated based on the expenses of hours of program, number of days, facility fees, vendor fees, and support expenses. Current fees for specific trips are available on our website. Weekly fees vary depending on the week’s activities and field trips. Fees vary by trip. 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.