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 7, 2023
CCUC Chinatown | 8:00-8:15 AM check-in (Buses depart 8:30a)
2301 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60616
CCFC Wilmette | 9:15-9:30 AM check-in (Buses depart 9:30a)
3636 Illinois Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091
RETURN | Saturday, August 12, 2023
CCUC Chinatown | 4:30 PM (Estimated)
CCFC Wilmette | 3:30 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 age and gender (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 and copies will be kept on file at the CCUC office.
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:
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 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?
2023 Junior Camp Registration Fee includes all lodging, meals, activities, and a camp t-shirt:
$350 if registered before June 1st
$365 if registered after June 1st (until July 15th)
- Full payment of camp fees are due at time of registration. Fees are to be paid by credit or debit card ONLY (paper checks are no longer accepted). Camp fees (minus $50 processing fee) are refundable if cancellation request is received via email by July 15th.
- No refunds will be applied after July 15 as we will be billed by the camp site for the full amount for each camper, whether or not they come to camp. For the same reason, no refunds will be applied for campers who do not stay for the entire duration of camp.
- Overnight camp fees are not considered tuition or childcare for tax return purposes per the IRS. If you require financial assistance, please contact the directors.
What additional paid activities are offered?
A camp "canteen" account can be set up for your camper which can be used for snacks (ice cream, candy, etc), gifts (hats, shirts, water bottles, etc), and select paid activities outlined below during their free time.
To set up a canteen account, 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.
During the afternoon on Tues-Fri, the campers have a free time slot for around 2 hours. 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.
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
What should my
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)
Pants and shorts
Jacket, sweatshirt, or hoodie
Shoes and sandals
Swimming apparel (see dress code for details)
Towels (for bathing & swimming)
Sleeping bag or linens and sheets
Toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
Insect repellent and anti-itch cream
Flashlight (batteries will not be provided by camp staff)
Cash for the snack shop/canteen ($50 maximum)
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:
Walkie talkie radios
Electronic gaming devices
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?
The general 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:
Arts and Crafts
Tetherball / Carpetball / Ping Pong
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?
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.
We will also instruct our campers to attempt to call home after lunch on Monday.
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.