It’s common for parents to have many questions about their daughter’s experience while she’s with us at camp. It's understandable to be a little worried about sending your girl to camp, especially for the first time. Here are some notes on health, safety, and common concerns we hear. Please get in touch with our staff with any additional questions you have—our expert staff is here to support your girl and help her grow!
We seek to provide an inclusive environment. Campers requiring special accommodations, meals, equipment, or staffing should contact the camp director of their chosen camp to ensure we can provide accommodations and adequate support for her camp experience. All information will be kept confidential and shared only with the appropriate staff. Campers should be self-sufficient and able to dress, eat and shower independently.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio camps are open to all girls grades K-12. We do not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender expression, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
Bathroom and shower facilities are located throughout each camp property. Most housing requires an outdoor walk to the nearest location. Most of our camps are rustic and have latrines and oasis in the living units. Latrines are similar to porta-potties, sometimes referred to as pit toilets. Oasis are outdoor sinks with multiple faucets. During the day, campers have access to flush toilets on the main camp but may have access to only latrines at night.
Please talk with your camper about taking care of her daily personal hygiene needs before she comes to camp. Remind her about brushing her teeth, combing her hair, and washing her face daily. The staff will also support these hygiene practices as much as possible. Campers must be able to shower by themselves.
At Camp Whip Poor Will – Campers may take shower items to the pool and shower after pool time. Staff will schedule shower time at the central shower house every other day. Campers may also request to go to the shower house with a buddy during free time in the unit if they would like an additional shower.
At Camp Libbey – Each living unit has its own shower house. Campers may shower anytime they have free time in the unit. This could include the morning before breakfast, during Me-Time, or before bed. Staff will give frequent reminders to campers that they need to shower.
At Camp Stonybrook – Campers living in the tent unit will have access to the pool house showers during any free time. Campers can also bring their shower supplies to their swim time. Campers are encouraged to stop by the pool house to use the flush toilets before heading to their units at night. Campers staying in lodges have access to showers in their lodge as well as flush toilets.
Off-Site Trips – Campers attending overnight off-site trips during camp may not have the opportunity to shower each day. Campers will have shower time immediately upon their return to camp.
Please have a conversation with your camper about personal hygiene at camp. Tell her your expectations, keeping her specific camp program in mind based on the information above.
Bedwetting is not unusual and you don’t have to worry. Please let us know on the camper information or health history form if this is a concern for your camper. Let your camper know if this should happen to talk with her counselor. A staff member will discreetly launder her bedding and clothes and return them before bedtime.
Attendees to all Girl Scouts of Western Ohio camps and events are expected to follow the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
If for any reason, an attendee’s behavior is not within our expectations, they will be asked to leave. We will expect a caregiver to pick up a girl as soon as possible, and adults must provide their transportation. This is at the expense of the caregiver or adult attendee. We will not refund session fees.
The following situations will automatically result in a camper being sent home: possession and/or use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, weapons, physical harm to themselves or another person, theft, or other extreme behavior determined to be unacceptable by the camp director.
Campers and caregivers must sign the Camper Code of Conduct in CampDocs. Please be sure to review this form with your camper prior to camp.
Please list her birthday on her registration form, and we’ll ensure she gets recognized on her special day!
All GSWO camps welcome birthday treats for your camper's unit. Please reach out to the appropriate camp to get a final count of campers for that week. Please include an ingredient list so the camp staff can check for food allergies. We request treats do not include peanuts, nuts, or items manufactured on equipment that processes them.
The cancellation deadline is one month (30 days) prior to the session date. To receive a refund, all requests must be received in writing 30 days prior to the session date. Cancellations made prior to the deadline are subject to the following fees:
Cancellations made after the deadline date (30 days prior to the session date) will not be eligible for a refund except for the reasons listed below. Written refund requests for the balance of the fee must be submitted within two weeks of the end of the camp program and will be considered for the following reasons:
GSWO camps will continue our tradition of having a No Cell Phones policy for campers. We strongly believe that it is important for campers to disconnect and experience camp without any additional distractions. This is a time for your camper to experience a world beyond home, allowing them to develop autonomy, independence, and a stronger sense of self.
We take the safety and well-being of our campers very seriously. We understand the great amount of trust you place in us by sending your camper to camp. We aim to do everything we can to earn and keep your trust. Our staff spends two full weeks training, learning how to help your camper adjust to camp life and overcome the normal fears and uncertainties campers experience. Sending a cell phone to camp prevents us from getting to the problems that may arise and addressing them quickly.
Often cell phones are sent to help combat homesickness. Homesickness is normal. Our experience is that using a cell phone to call home does not cure homesickness; it often makes it worse, and the camper ends up going home. Campers who talk with camp staff can usually overcome their homesickness and have an enjoyable camp experience. If your camper's homesickness is to become extreme, the director or assistant director will call you and work with you to make a plan that best meets your camper's needs.
We find that allowing your camper to disconnect from the digital world while at camp has a positive benefit to their development:
We agree to tell you if your camper experiences a challenge in their adjustment to camp. You can help by talking with your camper and letting them know there is always someone they can reach out to on the camp staff.
Allowing your camper to sneak a cell phone to camp tells her it’s OK to break rules you disagree with — this goes against Girl Scout values.
If your camper is found with a cell phone, it will be confiscated and returned to you at check-out.
We have made significant updates and improvements to the sanitation and overall hygiene of the camp to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases.
We encourage all campers and staff to wash/sanitize their hands:
Additional hand washing / sanitizing stations are located in activity areas, in front of buildings, and in cabins to facilitate good hand hygiene.
We are committed to being honest and transparent with our families. Despite our best efforts and precautions to ensure a safe experience for campers and staff, we can not 100% guarantee that communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, will not affect someone at camp.
We ask that families prepare their girls by discussing communicable disease protection measures that will be taken at camp, following the pre-camp processes, including completion of the three check-ins the week before camp, documented in Camp Docs, and sending your camper with a mask for each day at camp. Please do not send your camper if she exhibits any symptoms of communicable illnesses or has recently been exposed to someone who is ill.
Camp staff will be prepared to ensure that all communicable disease protection measures are taken, including grouping girls in each session into their own "pod," supporting regular handwashing and/or sanitizing, and carefully monitoring campers for signs of illness. (and making sure girls are having fun at camp!)
Based on CDC guidance, we recommend that all eligible staff, volunteers, campers, and family members get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Ideally, please schedule your vaccinations, so your second dose (or your first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) is 2 weeks or more before your camp session begins.
Here are the steps we will take if there is a confirmed or suspected case of a communicable disease at camp.
A case communicable disease affecting camp could take many different forms:
Each case will be unique, but below is a general guide to the steps we will take to ensure everyone is as safe and informed as possible.
For the camper with symptoms:
Based on the situation, we may also:
All designated emergency contacts should be available while your camper is at camp. Camp staff may call you for the following:
Remember that your camper will not have access to a telephone and that the telephone in camp is for business and emergencies only. If you have an urgent need to talk with your camper, contact the Girl Scout office first: 888.350.5090. During business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–5:30 PM), the council staff will contact the camp director, who will then respond to your call.
If you need to reach us before or after hours please call the Customer Care line and input the extension for the appropriate camp when prompted to talk to one of our leadership team members.
Overnight Camp & Camp Libbey: Troop Adventure Camp – 621
Camp Butterworth & Camp Whip Poor Will - 622
Camp Stonybrook & Camp Rolling Hills Day Camp – 623
A non-refundable $75 deposit per session is required at the time of registration for overnight and day camp. The deposit is applied to the cost of the session. Sessions with fees under $75 must be paid in full at the time of registration.
Troop Adventure Camp requires a $10/person deposit that is applied to the cost of the session. Adults required for the ratio do not need to pay the deposit.
Deposits are nonrefundable unless the desired program opportunity is full or has been canceled. The cancellation deadline is one month (30 days) prior to session date. In order to receive a refund all requests must be received in writing 30 days prior to the session date. Cancellations made prior to the deadline are subject to the following fees:
Cancellations made after the deadline date (30 days prior to the session date) will not be eligible for a refund except for reasons listed below. Written refund requests for the balance of the fee must be submitted within two weeks of the end of the camp program and will be considered for the following reasons:
To view and pay the balance due, log into MyGS. The balance due can be paid by credit card and also by cash, check or Digital Dough by mail, or delivered in person to a regional service center. The balance of all camps must be paid IN FULL by May 15.
To ensure fair and timely registration of all campers, registrations submitted without the appropriate forms completed and/or proper fee included will not be accepted and will be returned. If the balance is not paid by May 15, your reservation will be canceled and your deposit forfeited. Each camp registration form submitted on or after May 15, must include payment in full for each camp program.
Financial assistance is available to registered Girl Scouts wanting to attend camp, based on financial need. All campers must pay the $75 deposit and some portion of the program fee. Financial assistance exists to ensure girls have access to camp. Don’t let cost be a barrier to your daughter attending camp. There is support available.
Campers can request financial assistance when registering for camp. However, if you didn't request financial assistance when registering and need to do so now, submit a paper financial assistance form to a regional service center.
Wholesome, nutritious meals are served in ample quantities.
If the camper has medical, religious, or personal food preferences (vegetarian/vegan), make sure this is noted on the camper’s CampDoc.com profile, Camper Information/All About Me form, and notify the appropriate camp office at least two weeks prior to arrival.
Some families have found it helpful to utilize the Food Allergy Action Plan resource from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), to help camp staff handle their camper’s food allergies and anaphylaxis emergency care. You can upload this document to CampDoc, alongside your camper’s heath form, if you choose to complete it.
Please note we are unable to ensure a dye-free diet or avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen for those with very severe food allergies.
This is for medical needs such as wheat allergy and/or celiac disease.
What We Do at Camp: We provide a gluten-free option for each meal if there is a camper with this need during a session. Campers will be instructed by their table counselor about what is wheat or gluten-free. Campers will have an opportunity to access additional food for all campers and staff with special diet needs.
What Parents Can Do: Identify if your camper has an allergy or intolerance. Sometimes campers have foods they trust most or are comfort foods to them. (Example: cereal, snack treats, breads, etc.) Although we will have gluten-free options available, we suggest you pack a small bag of food available to them in the dining hall. Nothing larger than a regular grocery sack is necessary. You can turn this in at check-in on the first day. Food will not stay with camper in their area.
This is for milk allergy and lactose intolerance.
What We Do at Camp: We provide a lactose-free option for each meal if there is a camper with this need during a session. Campers will be instructed by their table counselor about what is milk or lactose-free. Campers will have an opportunity to access additional food for all campers and staff with special diet needs. We provide soy milk as an alternative to milk lactose. Lactose intolerance can be managed completely by camp, no additional food needs to be sent.
What Parents Can Do: Identify if your camper has a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. If your camper has a milk allergy, and there are specific brands they are most comfortable using for milk substitutes, we suggest that you pack a small bag of food that will be available to them in the dining hall. Nothing larger than a regular grocery sack is necessary. You can turn this in at check-in on the first day. Food will not stay with camper in their area.
What We Do at Camp: We minimize the amount of peanuts or tree nuts used at camp; however, we are not completely nut free. We only serve Wow Butter at camp, which is a peanut/nut free peanut butter substitute. Some of our snacks and items are labeled that they may be processed in with items containing nuts. These items are restricted from campers with allergies, and we make adjustments depending on the severity of the allergies in camp on a session-by-session basis. We practice methods to avoid cross-contact any time items with nuts are used in camp.
What Parents Can Do: Identify the type of allergy your camper has and provide information on managing an allergic reaction.
What We Do at Camp: In most cases, we can make accommodations for other food allergies.
What Parents Can Do: Identify the type of allergy your camper has and provide information on managing an allergic reaction.
Imagine a place where girls take safe risks, make new friends and learn new things. Girls who attend Girl Scout camp are in an all-girl environment—an environment where they can be themselves. Girls who come to camp are free from the roles they play every day. No one needs to know that Susie gets straight A’s, Mary’s parents are getting divorced or that Alice is scared of bugs. At camp, girls get to be themselves and have fun exploring new activities and experiences. By the end of the week, these girls have formed an unforgettable bond—memories that last them a lifetime.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio's Summer Camp goal is for campers to develop a positive sense of self, healthy challenge seeking and healthy relationships through a variety of carefully planned activities. We also target GSUSA's outdoor goals of outdoor interest, outdoor confidence, outdoor competence and develop a love of nature that encourages environmental stewardship.
All GSWO camp staff members are first aid and CPR certified. Additionally, our resident camp programs have a camp nurse on-site daily. For day camp and troop adventure camp, we have a nurse available for phone consultations.
In a conscious effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for all campers, we require campers to provide the following:
Should a camper become ill while at camp, they will be admitted to the camp Health Center or taken to the nearest doctor if needed, and the camp director will contact the emergency contact listed on the camper’s health form.
This summer, hundreds of girls will experience their first taste of independence at summer camp. For many, it will also be their first encounter with homesickness—but families don’t have to feel helpless! Homesickness is normal, and you can help your camper prepare to deal with it well by:
Our camp staff has extensive experience with homesickness and they’ll be there for your camper 24/7. If you have a concern, voice it to our camp directors before camp, so the staff can provide the best experience for your camper. Below are some book recommendations to help discuss homesickness with your camper. Other resources for preparing for camp can be found at acacamps.org.
Like Bug Juice on a Burger
by Julie Sternberg
Like Bug Juice on a Burger is an easy chapter book for girls in grades 2-4. Talk about Eleanor’s feeling. What helped her? What tips and tricks might your camper learn from Eleanor?
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah
by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah is the illustrated lyrics of the classic song about Camp Granada. Talk about his camp experience. Do you think he was telling the truth or a tall tale? Could he have done anything differently to have a better time?
Homesick and Happy
by Michael Thompson
Homesick and happy is an excellent book for parents about how time away from parents can help kids grow.
Do not send your camper to camp if she has been exposed to a communicable disease or if she is ill.
These measures are general guidelines that will help keep everyone at camp safe and healthy.
This is a strange time for all of us, children especially. Depending on your camper, it may be useful to discuss what camp will look like so they are prepared. Specifically, consider covering the following:
Camp will be fun, even with these safety measures in place!
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio recommends that camp program participants are appropriately immunized for, at minimum, all immunizations required for school, including the date (month/year) of last tetanus shot .
This being said, we recognize that some individuals may not be fully immunized for reasons that are biophysical (e.g., the individual is allergic to a serum component) or of personal choice (e.g., faith belief). If a participant is not immunized, it is required to complete the Immunization Exemption Form and submit with the health form via CampDoc.
Camp has a no-nit policy. Please check your camper for lice before coming to camp, as all girls will be screened upon arrival and any child with lice or a communicable disease will need to leave camp. We will make every effort to reschedule your girl in a different session, but no refunds will be issued if a camper goes home due to nits or lice. You can learn more about lice at headlice.org.
Lodges, tents, and all other living units will be capped at a reduced capacity with only one group or troop residing in each unit.
Only one person will be allowed per bunk, alternating top and bottom in each bunk.
The following applies to all medications, including vitamins, inhalers, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications:
All medications must come to camp in original containers and kept in a locked location. Medications are dispensed as indicated by the physician’s instructions for prescriptions and/or by label instructions for over-the-counter medications. If over-the-counter medications should be given differently than the label, a note must be provided by an MD or NP.
If a camper refuses to take prescribed medications, this refusal is documented in the health log, and the parent/guardian is notified.
If attending Troop Adventure Camp, adults will receive a lock box to store medications and be responsible for administration.
Please write your camper’s full name on everything of importance!
Campers lose things at camp. Having your camper’s name on their gear will help us return it to you. Please help us by checking the lost and found clothesline at check-out before you leave.
Camp staff will contact you by phone or email the following week if an item with a name is found after check-out. You may also call Customer Care at 888.350.5090 to check if your camper’s item is there. If your item is found, your item will be sent to the Girl Scout of Western Ohio Service Center of your choice for pick-up.
If you would like your items shipped, caregivers must arrange for a FedEx or UPS mailing label to cover the shipping cost.
All unclaimed lost and found will be donated to local charities by September 1.
Programs will be held outdoors as much as possible while maintaining physical distancing.
Large group activities are currently prohibited, so traditional items such as pool parties, large campfires, and all-camps will either be canceled or conducted as small cabin groups in a large, open space.
Cabin groups will generally rotate around activities without mingling with other camper groups. Some activities will be limited based on total camper population and our normal age restrictions.
For the safety and well-being of our camp community, please do not send these items to camp with your girl:
For camper safety and security, visitors are not permitted during camp sessions. Our open house is designed to allow families to see the camps.
Campers participate in a swimming skills assessment as one of the first activities at camp. This ensures your camper is safe and ready for swim time. If campers are not comfortable in the water at all or in taking the swim skill assessment, please provide this information on your Camper Information form in CampDocs.
Everyone is required to wear a life jacket in all boats, regardless of swimming ability. Certified lifeguards supervise all aquatic activities.
A Girl Scout is always prepared, and that includes at camp. During training, staff learn and practice emergency weather procedures and action plans. Each opening day, campers also learn the information and will have practice drills during their time at camp. Activities are changed to keep campers safe if the weather is unusually hot or cold. Weather alert radios are monitored, and each camp has designated storm shelters.
Please remember, during weather alerts, phone lines need to remain open to contact different parts of camp or emergency services; please do not call during severe weather.