Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, up to one week prior to the start of your child’s session. Log-on to your on-line account and follow the links (a link to your account is highlighted in the confirmation email sent to you upon registration).
Your child may request up to two roommates. Requests must be within one grade level (i.e. we won’t put a 2nd grader with a 4th grader). We do honor the great majority of requests. Occassionally, it is impossible to accommodate all requests (e.g. the 14 middle school girls who all “inter-request” each other. We’re good, but there are only 10 girls per cabin!).
Yes, as long as it is a different type of camp (e.g. Resident Camp and Arts Camp, or Resident Camp and Pioneer Camp). We don’t encourage the same child attending the same type camp (e.g. both Resident Junior High camps) because the program is identical both sessions, and it may mean one child doesn’t get to come because another child came twice (in the case of sold-out camps).
Our experience over many summers have convinced us that it rarely works well for a child to attend camp with those outside his/her grade level (and never for an older child to attend with younger campers). Campers outside of the grade level of the camp are quickly identified by other kids. The campfire talks, group discussions, skits, program activities and games are all intentionally designed for the grade level of the camp. The emotional maturity and issues facing a sixth grader - in some cases, entering middle school - are not the same as a potential cabin mate just out of third grade who wants to attend Junior Camp. Similarly, the emphasis of Senior High Camp is much different than Middle School Camp.

Rather than design camps by age, we register campers by grade, thinking this is the best way possible to ensure a good “fit” for the greatest number of kids. While it is possible that your son or daughter would do fine at the camp in which you were hoping to register him or her, because of our past experience we will not make exceptions to our policy of registering kids only in camps for their grade level. Thanks!
Junior high and high school students hang on to their money (more than one place to spend it). That would seem to make sense (and it does) for elementary campers, but we’re not there yet, technologically. Sorry! So please do have store money ready to deposit separately upon check-in.
There are several keys that combine to make a successful summer camp experience:
  • Connection with a cabin counselor
  • Connection with cabinmates through fun camp experiences, rooming together and cabin discussion.
  • Ability to participate in most camp activities
  • Meal time participation with other campers and staff
  • Comprehension of the speaker’s content, and ability to engage in cabin discussion
  • Overall feeling safe and with a sense of belonging

We have an excellent summer staff of over 40 mature, fun and welcoming college-aged young adults. However, they do not have specialized training in serving special needs campers, and are responsible for cabins with 8-9 other campers (1:9 staff/camper ratio). With that in mind, the following are helpful questions to ask in determine whether a camper will have a successful experience at Camp Spalding:

  • Is he/she in a regular classroom without individual assistance?
  • Is there a recent history of thoughts to harm self or others?
  • Is he/she currently under medical supervision for a mental health condition, including severe depression, an eating disorder, suicidal tendencies, etc.
  • Can he/she sleep in a cabin with other campers safely?
  • Does he/she have a history of wandering off?
  • Can he/she participate in most camp and cabin activities with minimal assistance?
  • Can he/she perform necessary hygiene on his/her own?
  • Can he/she eat without assistance?
  • Can he/she remain reasonably in control of his/her behavior and emotions?
  • Can he/she participate in cabin discussions?
  • Can he/she understand the speaker’s age-appropriate content?

If you have additional questions about your child’s readiness for camp, please contact our camp registrar for a further discussion. Thank you.

Campers coming to Resident (including Leadership, Arts Camp and Family) or Pioneer Camps should arrive at Spalding between 3:00-4:00 p.m. on the first day of the dates listed. Registration for all Resident camps will be in the dining hall beginning at 3:00 p.m., with orientation at 4:00 p.m. Pioneer registration is from 3:00-4:00 pm at Pioneer Camp. Please make every effort to arrive between 2:45 pm – 4:00 p.m. (Tip: Timing your arrival for between 3:30 – 4:00 pm on Sunday will get you a better parking spot and a much shorter line!) Late arrivals should notify the registrar by calling the camp.

All campers should be picked-up at 11:00 a.m. on the last day listed, but parents are welcome to join us for our closing campfire at 10:30 am. Arts Camp campers’ parents should arrive at 11:30 a.m. on the last day listed for an all-camp performance. “Mom / Dad & Me” Overnight concludes at2:00 p.m. Saturday.

The camp has a NO PETS POLICY, including times of arrival and departure. Thanks!
In general, no. Some churches do provide transportation for kids coming as a group from that church. But we do not coordinate that, and is not a general option.
Definitely. And it isn’t even taxed!
Yes – a few policies and tips:
  • Do NOT include any nut-based products in your package, as some campers have nut allergies.
  • We have witnessed a bit of an arms race on the care package front. More is not always more. Care packages are Exhibit A for “It’s the thought that counts.” Please limit yourself to TWO shoebox-sized packages (not rain boot box) per week (as some kids are opening their fifth package for the week, others are crying for lack of any at all. Literally). Your child will not go hungry or suffer for lack of delicious, sweet things to eat. Campers have treats twice per day as it is with meals and/or evening snack, PLUS the candy store is open each afternoon (oh, and sugar cereal, too. Sometimes with brown sugar on top). But feel free to deluge your camper with letters!
  • You may drop off a care package at the registration table at check-in. Make sure you have your camper’s name and the day of the week you’d like it delivered.
  • If you mail the package, please allow enough time (send it at least three days prior to the last day of camp) and try and send it UPS or FedEx (U.S. Mail leaves it out at the highway if we’re lucky. Some days there is too much to fit in the carrier’s car and they won’t deliver it at all. Don’t get us started…).
No, we have lots of kids come to camp who don’t attend church. Your child WILL have a total blast, but know that we are a Christian camp and we will talk about important things (like what a life lived with Jesus Christ looks like). But we aren’t “arm-twisters,”either. No altar calls or pressure for a certain response.
Modesty is the key. No belly shirts or spaghetti straps (we like lasagna straps) for girls. One-piece swimsuits for girls, too. And, cool as it looks, no “low rider” pants for guys. Underwear is encouraged, we just don’t want to see it.
The waterfront is much more activity-based than lying around in the sun. Your daughter’s suit should fit so that she can easily get in and out of boats, swim, play water games and not run the risk of making others uncomfortable or embarassing herself. So a modest tankini, okay. But no bikinis, shirt or otherwise. Thanks!
For food allergies, see Food Allergies, below. For non-allergy concerns (e.g. vegetarian diet), we are not staffed to be able to prepare separate entrees for individual campers. However, we typically do have some campers each week with various food preferences that do not line-up with the main entree at a particular meal. But there are always choices at a meal, including various hot and cold cereals, egg dishes, etc. at breakfast, and always an extensive salad bar and various side dishes at lunch and dinner. We typically have several program staff with more restrictive diets who spend the summer at camp with no food issues. If you are concerned, however, feel free to send your camper up with some supplementary food items, if needed.
While Camp Spalding is NOT completely nut free, we are nut-sensitive at all elementary-aged camps (including Mom/Dad & Me and Family Camps). We take the following precautions:
  • Nuts are not included in any meals or desserts served to our campers (though we cannot guarantee that all ingredients are made in nut-free environments). Peanut oil is not used for cooking.
  • We regularly have campers who are allergic to other types of foods (e.g. dairy, eggs, gluten, etc.), for whom nuts are a dependable source of nutrition. As is the practice of most area elementary schools, peanut butter and other nut products are restricted to specific tables in the dining room during meal time, supervised by a staff member.
  • Parents are asked to not include nuts or nut-based products in care packages. For cabins with a nut-allergic camper, counselors will check (as it is opened) any care package received by cabin mates to ensure there are no nut-based products (disposing of same).
  • No nut-based snacks or candy are sold in the camp store
  • The above practices are intended to allow an elementary-aged camper with a nut allergy (allergic to ingesting nuts or coming into contact with nuts) to be able to attend camp without fear of an allergic event. We do not, however, imply that the above will necessarily protect against an airborne allergic reactions to nuts.

If your child has a different type of food allergy, please call the kitchen supervisor directly at least a week prior to the start of your child’s camp: 509-447-4388 x. 42
Yes and no. If your child needs to come late, let us know ahead of time by calling directly to camp: (509) 447-4388 x. 12. It is best if they come not later than the next morning after camp begins. As far as leaving early, circumstances sometimes necessitates that. But the last night is pretty special, so if you can pick up your child later in the evening they will be grateful! And no, we don’t prorate the week. Most of our camps sell out, and we can’t afford to charge less than we do as there really is no savings to us if your child misses the beginning or end of the week.