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 Description

Wander Wisconsin offers daily field trips and adventure-themed activities for campers entering grades 3-5.  Adventure trips provide an opportunity for children to challenge themselves and build self-confidence.  Wander Wisconsin trips are based out of Madison and Waunakee.  Wander Wisconsin also offers winter break programs based out of Madison.

Supervision and Staffing

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

What to Bring to Wander Wisconsin

More information regarding what to bring (or not bring) for the trip 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 (Wisconsin Youth) is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, including clothing and electronics.

Appropriate Clothing
Watch the weather forecast and plan for the activities of the day to make sure that your camper is dressed appropriately whether it be for rain or heat.  Please send your camper in appropriate clothing for the activities.

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 in the weekly letter.  Please, do not send your student wearing flip flop sandals.  Flip flop footwear does not stay on, often breaks and can cause injury.

Lunches and Snacks
It is very important that students start each day with a good breakfast prior to arriving at Wander Wisconsin and bring with them a nutritious and satisfying nut-free bag lunch that does not require refrigeration or microwaving.  A morning and afternoon snack is provided daily.  Wisconsin Youth snacks are nut-free.

Field Trips
Campers should wear their Wander Wisconsin t-shirt on aquatic field trip days.  Swimming suits and towels should be brought on these days as well.

Electronics in Program

  • Cell phones & Personal Electronic Devices:  Wander Wisconsin does allow campers to use personal cell phones and electronic devices during transportation. Campers carrying these devices will be asked to place them in their backpack during the remainder of the day. Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged cell phones or electronic devices.
  • Digital Photographs:  campers and Parents may wish to take photos of Wander Wisconsin activities and events.  Wisconsin Youth Company 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.

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 persons at least 18 years of age or older.

At the end of the day, or whenever it’s time for campers to leave, Parents will sign campers 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 camper 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 Wander Wisconsin without an authorized 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 an aquatic course with 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 is 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.

General 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 twenty feet 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.

Pool Swimming Procedures
All pool rules will be enforced by the lifeguard on duty and by Wander Wisconsin staff.  The capacity of the pool may not be exceeded.  Pool safety equipment (extension poles, buoys, etc.) must be present and in working condition when campers are swimming.  A divider between the deep and shallow ends must present.

Beach Swimming Procedures
Campers will only swim in those areas designated as safe by the municipality and county health departments.  Campers will only use beaches where lifeguards are on-duty or when a lifeguard certified staff member is present.  All campers shall stay within the roped off limits of the beach.  Wander Wisconsin staff may either supervise from shore or from in the water.

Boating Procedures
Campers will only participate in canoe or kayak activities when a lifeguard certified staff member is present.  PFD’s (Personal Flotation Devices) must be worn by everyone when on all boats.

Wander Wisconsin Fee Structure

During registration, a $50 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 child’s removal from Wander Wisconsin.