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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to many of your questions can be found here. For any additional questions, please contact the camp directors

What is Junior Camp?

Junior Camp is a week-long faith-based overnight camp for children entering 3rd through 9th grade and is sponsored by the Chinese Christian Union Church in the heart of Chinatown in Chicago. We welcome campers from all faiths and backgrounds to attend.

Campers will spend time at Phantom Ranch in Mukwonago, Wisconsin with their leaders and peers exploring different indoor and outdoor activities such as swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, archery, basketball, field sports, volleyball, campfires, and other indoor/outdoor games. They will also have a chance to explore their faith via Bible studies and individual and group discussions with other campers and camp staff.

How will my child get to and from Junior Camp?

Transportation by school bus will be provided to and from Phantom Ranch from two different pickup and dropoff sites in the Chicago area. All campers are required to ride the provided bus to ensure a timely and organized start and end to camp:

 

DEPARTURE   |   Monday, August 5, 2024

     

      CCUC Chinatown  |  7:30-7:45 AM check-in (Buses depart 8:00a)

                   2301 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60616

      CCFC Wilmette  |  8:45-9:00 AM check-in (Buses depart 9:00a)

                   3636 Illinois Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

 

RETURN   |   Saturday, August 10, 2024

     

      CCFC Wilmette  |  3:30 PM (Estimated) 
      CCUC Chinatown  |  4:30 PM (Estimated)

Who will be taking
care of the campers?

Each camper will be placed in a "cabin" group with several other children of his/her own gender and age group (usually between 5-10 campers). The counselor assigned to lead each cabin will be responsible for guiding, teaching and setting a good example for your child during the entire week.

Cabin Counselors are young adult volunteers ranging from college students to career professionals from CCUC and other partner churches.

Camp directors, support staff, and First Aid counselors (certified R.N.) will also be present during the week, along with staff from the Phantom Ranch campsite. All of the counselors and camp staff are required to pass DCFS background checks prior to attending camp. 

How do I register my child?

Online registration is available on our website from May 1st to July 15.

Space is limited and registration availability will be noted next to each grade on the registration home page, so please be timely in registering your campers to ensure a spot. A wait list is available and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The link can be found on the registration page.

How are the campers
assigned to cabins?

Campers will be assigned a "cabin" group with a counselor in which they will participate in activities, have meals, and have Bible Study of the same gender and similar age group. Each cabin group and cabin is chosen at random in order to give all campers an opportunity to have a full camp experience and to meet new friends. For this reason, we do not encourage special requests for campers to be placed into specific cabins. Any special needs should be emailed to the directors prior to camp.

Campers will sleep in a physical "cabin" which may be shared with other campers of the same gender of usually between 12-20 campers but may be of different age groups. All cabins are air conditioned and have bunk beds and shower/restroom facilities. Groups are generally split as follows:

Boys

 

4-6 grade

 

7-8 grade

9th grade

 

 

Junior Cabins:

 

 

Senior Cabins:

Girls

 

4-6 grade


 

7-8 grade

9 grade

 

 

How do I know my child has been registered?

Once you have completed the online registration form, a confirmation email will be sent to you which serves as confirmation that we have received your registration form. Registration is a first-come, first-serve basis and will be based upon availability.

What are the camp costs?

1. Camp fees include all lodging, meals, transportation via bus to/from camp, and a camp t-shirt. Some optional activities are available for an additional fee (see the section on paid activities):

Junior Camp Fees 2024

Register before June 1: $370*
Register June 1 to July 15: $390*
*Includes a $50 nonrefundable processing fee*

 

2. Refund Policy: Full refunds (minus $50 processing fee) will be issued for any cancellations if received via email by July 15th.

No refunds will be issued after July 15 as we are billed by the campsite for the full amount for each camper regardless of their attendance at camp. Campers are not required to stay the full duration of the week, however no partial refunds will be issued for the same reason above. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.


3. Per the IRS, overnight camp fees are NOT considered tuition or childcare and may NOT be submitted for reimbursement by FSA or for tax return purposes.

 

4. If you require financial assistance, please contact the directors.

What additional paid activities are offered?

During the afternoon on Tues-Fri, the campers have a free time slot for around 2 hours (4 slots total). Phantom Ranch offers a few optional activities for an additional fee. For all paid activities, safety gear and basic training will be provided by the PRBC staff. Campers are welcome to sign up for one or more sessions per day.

Optional Paid Activities:

Horseback riding: $20 per person per session

Indoor Rock Climbing: $20 per person per day

Water tubing: $20 per person for single person ride

Water tubing: $10 per person for banana boat ride

A camp "canteen" account can be set up for your camper which can be used for the above activities AND snacks (ice cream, candy, etc), gifts (hats, shirts, water bottles, etc).

To set up a canteen account, please place cash in an envelope or zip-loc bag with your camper's name written on it. This will be handed to their counselor upon arrival to camp. Any unused funds will be returned to the camper on the last day.

What should my
camper bring?

All the sleeping cabins and meeting spaces are air conditioned. There are many activities that will take place outdoors. We ask that you check the weather before camp and dress your campers appropriately.

Basic Necessities for 6 days/5 nights:

Bible (We will mostly use NIV but other versions are welcome)

Pen/pencil

Shirts

Pants and shorts

Jacket, sweatshirt, or hoodie

Extra socks

Extra underwear

Shoes and sandals

Swimming apparel (see dress code for details)

Towels (for bathing & swimming)

Sleeping bag or linens and sheets

Pillow

Toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste

Insect repellent and anti-itch cream

Deodorant

Flashlight (batteries will not be provided by camp staff)

Optional items

Cash for the snack shop/canteen

Camera

Poncho or umbrella

Please DO NOT bring!

All of these items should NOT be brought to camp and will be confiscated by the counselors and returned to the camper on the last day of camp:

 

MP3 players

Walkie talkie radios

Electronic gaming devices

Magazines

Water balloons

Water guns

Weapons (such as knives of any sort, batons, etc.)

Shaving cream (unless used for intended purpose)

 

Cell phones are permitted only for phone calls to parents in the evening, Monday - Friday, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Is there a Dress Code?

In order to promote an environment where campers and counselors can focus on growing in faith and not on appearances, we ask that all campers, counselors, and staff adhere to the following dress guidelines:

1. Clothing which display profanity, products, or slogans which promote tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sex or are in any other way distracting, are prohibited.


3. Excessively baggy or tight clothing, and clothing which advertises gang symbols or affiliation is prohibited.


4. Items of clothing which expose bare midriffs, bare chests, undergarments, or that are transparent (seethrough) are prohibited. Tank tops with straps wider then one inch are permitted. Please be advised that spaghetti straps, shirts which expose a bare back, halter tops, and tube tops are probibited.


5. Swimming (For all water recreation):
- Swimsuits for men: swim trunks only (No shorts, cut-off pants, or Speedos).
- Swimsuits for women: One-piece suits recommended, however, two-piece suits are allowed as long as they are modestly cut and covered with a shirt. No string, thong or crochet suits will be allowed.
Swimsuits may only be worn during swimming activities. 

What will my child be doing at camp?

A typical daily schedule is as follows:

AM: breakfast, musical worship, quiet times, bible study, cabin time

PM: lunch, afternoon group activities, free time, dinner, large group activities

Campers will also participate in skits, campfire, and other activities.

Some of the staff-led activities available to campers led by our staff include:

Archery

Arts and Crafts

Basketball

Board Games

Canoeing

Field Sports

Dodgeball

Beach Swimming

Tetherball / Carpetball / Ping Pong

Volleyball

Horseback riding (optional - additional fee)

Water Tubing (optional - additional fee)

Indoor Rock Climbing (optional - additional fee)

Can I visit my child during camp?

An optional skit night will take place at the Hill Chapel at Phantom Ranch where visitors may come visit their child on Thursday night of camp from 7:00pm to 9:30pm with a time of refreshments from 9:30-10:30pm. Doors to the Hill Chapel will open at 6:45pm. Please aim to arrive to Phantom Ranch between 6:45-7:00pm. Skits will begin at 7:15pm.

Due to limited space and minimizing of distractions to campers and staff, we welcome parents and immediate family members, siblings accompanied by parents, pastors, and youth workers, to visit during this designated visiting time only. All other visitors should contact the directors for special permission to attend. Please contact us with any questions.

Phantom Ranch is about 90 minutes from CCUC (without traffic).
Directions can be found on our website home page.

How will I stay in touch with my child during camp?

Upon arrival on Monday after lunch, we will make announcements for campers to call home during the first cabin time.

During camp, our schedule accommodates time for campers to call their parents from 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm every night. We ask that conversations be kept short and sweet to allow time for all campers to call home and to prepare for a good nights rest.

Since cell phone use is not permitted during the day, if you need to reach your camper in an emergency, please email/text/call the directors. We will post a cell phone number you may call on the "Contact Us" page during the week of camp.

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