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!).
In general, No (e.g. attending both sessions of Junior Camp). Not only are those camp programs identical, but more importantly, they typically sell-out. Allowing one child to attend the same camp twice likely means another child can’t attend at all. However, you may email the registrar two weeks prior to what would be your child's second camp session to inquire if any space is still available. If there is, then great, we’d welcome your camper into that second session.
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!
Yes. During online registration you will be asked if you’d like to add store money to your child’s account, and what amount. You may also turn-in money in the check-in process on the first day of camp.
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!
Dietary Concerns
There are always choices at a meal, including various hot and cold cereals, egg dishes, breakfast meat, etc. at breakfast, and always an extensive salad bar and various side dishes at lunch and dinner. Keep in mind, however, that our cooks are typically preparing meals for up to 250+ people throughout the day (plus cleaning, ordering food, etc.). We are not staffed to be able to prepare separate entrees for individual campers. Therefore...
Non-Allergy Issues - (e.g. vegetarian diet):  We typically have some campers each week with various food preferences that do not line-up with the main entree at a particular meal, and 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 some supplementary food items up with your camper, if needed.
Food Allergies / Dietary Restrictions - (see Nut Allergies, below, if applicable): We serve gluten-free alternatives for those needing them, as well as almond milk for those unable to drink milk. If your child has food allergies requiring further restrictions, please do send supplementary food items with your camper. We can store both refrigerated and pantry items in the kitchen where your child’s counselor will have access. Just check-in with the kitchen staff during registration on the first day of camp. Finally, if it would be helpful to know in advance what items we serve will be safe for your child to eat, please email our kitchen supervisor on the Friday before the Sunday your child’s camp begins and she will send you a menu for the coming week. Please only email Ruth if there is a concern related to your camper's food allergies at: We are NOT able to take time to track down specific ingredients of the various menu items, however (if in doubt, please pack a substitute food item). And again, 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. Thanks for your understanding!
Nut Allergies - 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.
  • Parents are asked to not include nuts or nut-based products in care packages.
  • 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.
ALL medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, must be turned-in to our nurses at check-in. Please have your child’s medications ready to turn-in, in the original label container. Our nurses will dispense your child’s medication(s) as prescribed/instructed by you, and returned to you at the end of the week.
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.