Preparing for Camp
We respect the privacy of personal information submitted to us. Information is collected only for the purposes of this ministry, and may be disclosed to staff in the performance of their job duties or to others for statistical purposes only. Participants’ name/address/e-mail address may be shared with his/her program group; and still/video pictures may be used for promotional purposes. We are committed to protecting your information to the best of our ability. We assume your submission of a registration represents your consent for us to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes listed above.
Summer Camp Cancellation/Refund Policy
If a registered camper is unable to attend camp, notification must be given to the Camping Office immediately in order to obtain a refund. Full refunds are given up to two weeks before the start of the camp session, minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations within the two weeks prior to the event are only refunded (minus the $50 processing fee) in cases of documented medical concern or death in the family.
To obtain a refund, the Camping Office 717.766.7395 must be notified immediately of any accident or illness, followed within one week by a written request accompanied by a doctor’s excuse. No refunds will be made for any reason after the start of the camp event.
Cell Phone Policy
To closer connect with God, His creation, and those around you we discourage the use of cell phones during summer camp events. Should a cell phone make its way to camp, it will spend the week in the Site Director's office and be returned at the close of the event.
If you have a child who is prone to homesickness while at camp, here are some ideas for writing letters to encourage them to reflect on the fun they are having rather than on what they are missing at home. Even if your camper does not write back (and answer the questions), this will keep their mind on camp and not home.
There is a large volume of mail that comes to Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat in the summer. We encourage families and friends to write letters and send snail mail. We ask that every mailed item be labeled with the camper’s name and Lakeside Cabins, The Lodge, or Penns Creek Lodge depending on where your camper is staying for the week.
Due to the small rural post office in Weikert, we suggest you send your letters or packages at least 3 days before your estimated arrival date. For example, if you want your camper to get a letter on Monday evening, please mail the letter the Thursday before. Any mail received after your camper has left will be returned to the sender.
Snail mail and packages are delivered each day. Mail is picked up by the site director once a day in the afternoon and distributed to the campers at supper time.
All major package delivery companies (UPS – FEDX) service Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat. We ask that packages no contain food items. When shipping UPS or FED X please use the following physical address:
Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat
(Your camper’s name and camp location)
58 Wesley Forest Lane
Weikert, PA 17885
You might give your letters to the counselor at the beginning of camp to hand out with other camper mail throughout the week, or give them to your camper to open at quiet/bed time.
Offer positive thoughts:
- I bet you are going to have a great time at camp!
- I hope you are making some new friends!
- I pray that you are learning more about God/Jesus/God’s love for you/God’s exciting plan for your life!
- I hope you are enjoying great weather, although camp is fun no matter what the weather!
- Don’t forget – BE AWESOME!
- I bet you enjoyed some yummy foods today!
- Remember God made you special and He loves you very much! (Veggie Tales)
Ask them questions in your letter:
- Are you ready for some fun and adventure this week?
- What fun things did you do today?
- What did you eat today?
- Did you try any new foods?
- What is your favorite camp food or treat?
- Did you go swimming/creek stomping today?
- Did you have a campfire?
- What is your favorite camp song?
- What was your favorite activity today?
- Did you do a craft today? I can’t wait to see it!
- Have you seen any friends from last year?
- Have you made some new friends?
- Did you learn any new games today?
- Did you go for a Polar Bear Swim?
- Did you enjoy some S’mores?
- Did you go for a hike today? What interesting things did you see?
- I wonder what they will serve for breakfast tomorrow morning?
- Isn’t it fun to pick what you eat each day?
- Is your (favorite toy taken to camp) having a great time at camp?
End of week letter:
- I can’t wait to hear about all the fun and adventures you had this week!
- You only have one more sleep!
- We can’t wait to see you tomorrow at (pick-up time)!
- We hope you’ve had a great time at camp!
Offer a prayer:
- I pray that the Lord will bless you and protect you and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May the Lord be good to you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-25)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity (1 Timothy 4:12)
- I pray that you will grow in God’s love & mercy and grace this week!
- Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power! (Ephesians 6:10)
- I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
- Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you (Isaiah 41:10)
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! (but no “I miss you”!!)
- I love you child’s full name (we say this every night in our home!)
- Love you forever!
- All my love …
- I <3 YOU
- I am so blessed to be your Mom/Dad/grandma/friend…
- Love you to the moon and back!
- I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. For always and ever my baby/name you’ll be!! (modified from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch)
Thanks to Sandii Peiffer for sharing these ideas for other parents to consider using.
All items brought to camp should be labeled with the camper’s full name. It is a great idea to label small things like toothpaste and washcloths as well. Camp provides all the necessary equipment for all activities.
You can download a printed copy of the Camper Packing Checklist and use it while packing with your camper!
A suggested list of items:
- Bible / Journal
- Paper and pencil/pen
- Bedding for a twin-bed mattress or sleeping bag
- 2 changes of clothes per day
- Shorts / long pants
- Sweatshirt for cool times
- Hat / visor
- Appropriate sleep wear
- Bathing suit
- Rain gear
- 2 pairs of comfortable shoes
- Flip-flops / Sandals
- Creek-wading shoes
- Small Flashlight
- Insect repellant
- Water bottle
- Plastic bags for wet clothes
- Dirty Clothes bag
- All electronic gadgetry:
- Radios, mp3 players, cell phones, video game systems, etc.
- Candy, snacks or soda
We will make sure you have plenty of food at camp!
- All knives and sharp implements.
If any of these items do make it to camp, they will spend the week in the Site Director’s office, to be returned to you as you leave camp at the end of the week.
Please examine your camper’s selection of clothing which might carry offensive slogans or symbols. In the camp community, these items can result in discord between campers. The goal is to create community where all persons feel welcome and acceptance.
Email a Camper
Wesley Forest seeks to:
- Provide a vital experience of Christian community where all people are valued as creations of God.
- Provide experiences that help develop and nurture lifestyles of caring for the common good.
- Help campers grow in their relationship with God, with each other, with creation, and with themselves.
Wesley Forest is affiliated by tradition and faith to the tenets of the United Methodist Church. It is one of four camps which are part of The Susquehanna Conference Camp & Retreat Ministries program.
All camps operated by The Susquehanna Conference United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries are open to everyone without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, religious preference or ability. Our outdoor ministry is committed to serving all persons in order to provide a meaningful camp experience.
Wesley Forest Camp intentionally sets out to help campers build new friendships and to work with different people. This is one of the goals of the camp experience. Campers are assigned to cabins by grade level and age just prior to arrival by the Dean for that week of camp.
We try our best to accommodate bunkmate requests as long as they are made in advance, and are made mutually with one other camper and are the same grade/age/gender.
Specific concerns about cabin assignments can be e-mailed to email@example.com. Parents may also call 570.922.1348 to discuss special situations at least three weeks before the session begins.
Appealing and nutritious meals are prepared under the careful supervision of our trained kitchen staff and satisfy the hearty appetites of campers and staff. A variety of fresh fruit, cereal, hot breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, meat and vegetables are offered every day. At mealtime, as well as all other camper activities, mature and knowledgeable counselors gently guide campers towards healthy and appropriate choices.
Special dietary needs should be indicated on the camper Health Form. We strongly encourage parents with campers of special dietary needs to contact the camp staff prior to your camper’s arrival so we can discuss the meal plan. Please call 570.922.1348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your camper’s special diet.
Wesley Forest Camp maintains a Grade “A” rating from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health and prides itself in its food reputation.
Opening Day for all weeks of Camp
Sunday, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Opening Day is an exciting time for everyone! When you arrive you will be greeted by a staff member of Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat at either Penn’s Creek Lodge or the Lakeside Cabins registration area. Your registration area is dependent upon which camp you’re signed up for. You’ll receive this information from your camp Dean prior to arriving at camp. Counselors will assist you with moving into your assigned cabin. Check-in and registration on opening day is between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m. Arriving between these designated hours will help the Deans, counselors, and staff give you the attention you deserve without disrupting programs. If you need to schedule a late arrival, please contact Wesley Forest Camp, 570.922.1348. Please note, campers will not be allowed to register before 3:00.
Sign-Out Day for most weeks of Camp *
Friday 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
How Sign-Out Day will work:
Parents are required to sign-out their campers with the Cabin Counselor on closing day.
Parents must give written permission if anyone else besides a parent or legal guardian is to pick up their child.
*Please review the information you received from the camp Dean as not all camps end at 4:00 pm. If you have a question about the time of your camper’s closing, please call the Wesley Forest office at 570.922.1348 or email us at email@example.com
In order to complete the registration process you will need to bring the following items with you to the registration line on Check-In Day:
- If you have an owing balance, please bring check or money with you to registration. Checks can be made to SUSUMC. If your camper received a scholarship from your home church, it is you responsibility to know who is responsible for the remaining balance, you or your church. Please note that it is common practice for the Camping Office to invoice your church after you child’s week of camp has begun.
- Your camper’s completed health form (unless you have already mailed it in) and medications: All prescriptions should be in the original container with proper pharmacy labels for each camper attending and accompanied by the signed form.
- Personal money to be deposited into your camper’s store account. $20 a week is usually ample for Snack Shack purchases. If your camper would like to purchase one of our larger cost items (hats, t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts) from our Camp Store, we encourage you to do so when you drop off or pick up your camper. The Camp Store will be opening during those times. The Store is located in the Lakeside Registration pavilion. We encourage you to put money in the camper store accounts as opposed to letting campers carry around cash at camp. Wesley Forest is not responsible for lost cash.
First time campers of all ages are common at Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat.
Parents Can Help:
Parents can help the adjustment of their campers by leaving them on a positive note. Make sure to set your camper up for success by letting them know you expect them to have fun. Help them set some goals for camp (meeting people, learning something new, etc.) before you leave, and be enthusiastic about their time at camp.
Child-sick parents often lead to homesick campers. We encourage parents to not promise your camper they can come home if they don’t like camp.
The Staff are Trained to Support Homesick Campers:
The counselors and staff are trained to help campers adjust to camp by immediately involving them in goal setting, team building, and fun activities.
We Want to Partner with Parents:
Parental support and encouragement are crucial to the happiness of the child. Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat has a high success rate of working with homesick campers when parents work with us. Parents will be contacted by camp staff if their child becomes extremely homesick. We will keep the parent up to date on how we are working through the issues. Encouraging comments in letters (“We know you are working hard to have fun”, “It is ok to miss home, but we want you to have fun” , “We look forward to hearing about your achievements”, “Have fun at camp because you are not missing out on anything here”) are also helpful in this process. Though homesickness is common in first-time campers, it is usually short-lived due to all the fun people and dynamic activities at Wesley Forest!
Open daily for campers, the Snack Shack offers bottled water, soft drinks, healthy snack choices, chips, pretzels, and candy options for campers. Choices are limited.
We recommend parents put $20 onto their campers Camp Credit Card during the on-site camper registration. Please be advised: There are no store refunds. However, parents will have the opportunity to visit the Camp Store on pick-up day to spend the remainder of their Camp Credit Card balance on Camp Store items. You may not use your remaining balance to buy a bulk of the snacks from the Snack Shack. Please limit your remaining balance to buying Camp Store items. Any remaining balances are donated to the campership fund.
The camp store is open on opening day during check-in and on closing day during check-out. Some of the items we generally have available include t-shirts, hats, hoodies, jackets, water bottles, and post cards. Campers and their families are encouraged to stop by the store and check out the latest Greene Hills at the beginning or end of the week!
Campers check-in all medicines with the Camp Nurse upon arrival into camp. Medications are dispensed at times noted on the camper’s medical form by the Camp Nurse.
No medications are allowed in cabins (with the exceptions of inhalers for some campers with asthma as well as Epi-Pens).
If you are bringing prescription medication please bring them in their original containers.
Campers who are not feeling well have the opportunity to visit the Camp Nurse after talking to their counselor. The Camp Nurse is available 24 hours a day for minor to urgent medical situations.
In the event that a camper spends the night in the Nurses Cabin or there is a serious situation, parents will be called.
Cabin counselors are trained to appropriately inspect campers daily for cleanliness, cuts, sunburn, insect bites, etc. Help the counselors by teaching your child the importance of camp hygiene and methods of environmental health safety (bug spray, sunscreen, use of hats, proper shoes, etc.)
At the end of camp, leftover prescription medications need to be picked up. Please find the Camp Nurse during camp closing to claim your child’s medication. All unclaimed medications will be thrown away.
At Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat we take our responsibilities to children and youth very seriously.
We seek to build and maintain an environment of adventure and calculated risk in order to provide for our campers the greatest opportunities for personal growth and self confidence possible. We desire to build a community of trust that operates in a framework of Christian practices. We seek to lift up virtues such as truth, honesty, dependability, cooperation, and care for others and the environment. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for campers to experience the presence of a creator God, to experience relationship with a wide range of other campers, a variety of ideas, and a cross section of activities designed for enjoyment and skill development. We strive to help nurture campers, motivated by love, into lifestyles of care for the common good.
Wesley Forest seeks to provide an environment for children and youth where there is a sense of security, love, encouragement, and genuine concern for others. Wesley Forest has embraced the philosophy of recommended practices of the Safe Sanctuaries program for children and youth.
Along these lines, as a parent you can expect:
- The paid staff are hired after careful recruitment, an interview, and complete reference and criminal background checks. We make every possible effort to thoroughly screen those persons who will work directly with your child.
- The volunteer counselors are recruited, screened, and complete reference and criminal background checks.
- We have established and trained all staff in practices of appropriate interpersonal boundaries. We want the staff to be clear about appropriate behaviors. The staff must be attentive to appropriate dress codes, appropriate use of language, and appropriate demonstrations of affection and encouragement. Staff and volunteer counselors are trained to remember they are the adult and it is their responsibility to behave professionally.
- We have reviewed and re-affirmed our policy that there will be at least two adult staff present at all times during any program event or activity. The only exception to this is in sleeping areas where some “Floating Counselors” monitor more than one sleeping area. Floating Counselors are only used for older campers.
- Staff and many of the Deans are trained and certified in basic first aid and CPR .
- All staff and volunteers have attended an orientation in which they were informed of policies for the prevention of the abuse of children and youth; appropriate steps to follow for the reporting an incident of abuse of any child (at camp or back home); and details of state law regarding the definitions of child/youth abuse and the requirements of reporting abuse when it is discovered.
- Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat has a policy that all paid staff and volunteers who work with youth are at least five years older than the children and youth they are responsible to lead or care for. And we have a policy that we have no workers responsible in leading or caring for children/youth who are under the age of eighteen.
- We know that often times campers want to talk personally with one counselor that they trust. Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat has established a policy that all counseling sessions and any one-on-one talks with children or youth should be conducted with the “open door” policy. That means at camp an adult can go off to talk with a youth but they are to stay in sight of others the entire time.
Every camper comes to camp with a different set of background experiences.
Every camper comes with a set of unique expectations.
Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat operates programs centered on small group experiences. These small groups often consist of no more than 20 campers and their counselors. This small group becomes the primary place of trust and opportunity to demonstrate positive Christian community attributes. The camper group does not start out at a place of trust, or even a place function. Through study time, day-time activities, team building and high quality fun hang out time, the group must grow and move toward the goal of establishing a Christian community.
Therefore Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat hopes to expect that campers will participate in the group process.
- Campers should be willing to follow the lead and direction of the counseling team and Wesley Forest staff.
- Campers will be patient as they build something of true value.
- Campers need to be willing to work through problems with the guidance of the counseling team and Wesley Forest staff
- Campers who disengage, band together in cliques that separate/divide the group, and campers who want to “bail out” contribute to the lack of success for the group. These individuals will be strongly encouraged to participate in activities with the group throughout the week.
- Groups will be different at the end of the week than they are on the first night. Groups who work through the process build powerful lifelong friendships and valuable skills in community living.
Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat desires that every camper have a successful camp experience. Campers need to be able to follow group living guidelines and respond appropriately to counselors and staff for their safety and the well being of the entire camp community.
Camp guidelines are designed to enhance the happiness and safety of all campers. Camp Dean or Program Coordinator and Site Director will contact parents to let them know if there is any ongoing behavior problem. Campers who do not demonstrate appropriate behavior, in the judgment of the Dean, Program Coordinator or Site Director, will be sent home from camp. Early dismissal from camp will not warrant the refund of fees.
Camp & Retreat Ministry wants every child to have the opportunity to experience camp! We do have some financial aid available to make that possible. We generally request a three-way split between the camper family, the local church or faith community and the Camping Program.
You can apply for camperships (form) and find out more information here.
No parent wants their child to be the victim of a bully. We hope that no parent wants their child to be the one doing the bullying. Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat has established practices to help identify, correct, and heal the practice of bullying when it exists in a cabin group, a camp group, or from one group to another. We have affirmed what the experts have said in that bullying is not limited to one socio-economic group or even to one family situation. We understand that bullying behavior is exhibited in a variety of children/youth for an extreme range of reasons or no reason at all.
We are committed to creating a safe environment at camp where no child should have to fear another child. We continually build practices to heal attitudes that produce peer on peer abuse. We have established practices of greater attention to campers during “down time”, after lights out, and between activities. This problem is not limited to camp and does not begin at camp. We will work with campers, parents, and staff to build practices that eliminate this negative behavior. We need parental partners. We encourage you, as parents, to please let us know about any particular bullying concerns you may have for your child or any off-season, camp-related emails, instant messages, or text-messages that may have led to exclusion or meanness towards your child by somebody else attending camp. We want to ensure that this problem can be managed by a strong partnership between our camps and your family.
7:00 a.m. Wake-up
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 a.m. Camp Clean Up
9:15 a.m. Family Group Activities & Bible Study
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Flat on Back Time
2:00 p.m. Family Group Activities / Camp-wide Activities
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:00 p.m. Camp-wide Activities
8:00 p.m. Vespers
9:00 p.m. Cabin Devotions
10:00 p.m. Lights Out (Elementary)
11:00 p.m. Lights Out (Jr. and Sr. High)
Please note that depending on the nature of the specific camp, the schedule may be very different. Note that this is just a general guideline.
Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat has long established a policy of partnering with parents for a successful camp experience for their child/youth.
We Partner with You
We want to work with you to provide the most positive experience possible. We want to be able to call you to inform you about your camper. We want to ask you if you have any suggestions of how we can best work with any situation or need. Together with you, we want to establish a plan of action that will lead to success for the camper and the camping program.
We want You to Partner with Us
We want you, as the parent, to call us and tell us if you believe your child is having trouble. We want you to allow us to investigate, correct, and solve problems wherever possible. We want to stay in touch with you.
Parental Help and Support at the Beginning Goes a Long Way
Many times, campers write letters the first night of camp, and because they haven’t fully settled in at that point, they may not be having the best time that they can have. Their letter will reflect that. If parents indicate to staff that their child may need help adjusting, and staff can help by doing anything specific, then the anxiety that camper feels the first night can be lessened immediately, rather than in a few days once staff have learned how the camper functions.
Open communication about campers’ needs from the beginning will help staff facilitate transition for struggling campers to a better camp experience early in the week.
Sharing Information with Us
Many times we find the problems that surface at camp did not begin at camp. They were brought from home in some fashion. In order to help us best understand your camper, please share information on your Health Form, with your camper’s counselor, on the Get Acquainted Sheet (Can we link this form?), call the Dean for that week of camp, or call the Site Director to discuss your camper’s information. Good information leads to a successful partnership on both sides.
If you ever have a concern, please contact us! Email is the fastest way to get in touch with us.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we check this email multiple times a day. If you’d rather speak with someone at Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat, please call 570.922.1348 and leave a detailed message. We will call you back. Please know we are usually running camp programs and may not be in the office at the time you call, but we will call you back when you leave a message.
Lost and found items are returned to the camper if possible. Please make sure that all of your camper’s items are clearly marked with first and last names.
Lost and found is available for parents to look through on closing day. Any lost and found items that are unclaimed will be held for two weeks and then donated to charity or sold in a Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat fundraising yard sale. If items are left, please request their return. If they can be located they will be mailed back to the camper.
It is estimated that there are over 100 lost and found items by the end of the summer camping season. Don’t let your items be part of this avoidable number.
Another way to avoid lost and found items is to send your camper with a small bag to carry their personal items in around camp. A draw string bag or small book bag are popular choices. We also suggest you talk with your camper about making sure they keep track of their items.
Our staff will help campers gather their items when leaving any location and are trained to help campers make sure they have everything that was theirs. Please make sure that your camper’s items are ALL clearly marked with their first and last names.
The camp takes photographs and videos of our programs in action. These are used for promotional purposes. If you object to having your child’s picture used in promotional materials, email us at email@example.com indicating your preference. You will also have an option to indicate this preference on your camper’s registration form.
It is strongly suggested that a GPS or Map Quest is not used for directions to Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat as the directions given are not accurate. The directions below are the most direct route to travel.
FROM HARRISBURG: Travel north on Rt. 15 turning left onto Rt. 104 just beyond Liverpool. Follow Rt. 104 to Mifflinburg (Amy’s Frosty Freeze will be located across from you when you arrive in Mifflinburg) Turn left onto Rt. 45 West. Follow Rt 45 to 235 South toward Laurelton. At the intersection at Lincoln Park Fairgrounds turn right onto Hassenplug Road for 1.5 miles. At the first stop sign turn right onto Weikert Road and continue for six miles. In Weikert, turn left (across from Post Office). Cross Penns Creek bridge where you will see the sign welcoming you to Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat. Follow the signs to either Penns Creek Lodge (on the right) or continue up the hill one fourth mile and to the left to the Lakeside Cabins and Lodges.
FROM LEWISBURG: Travel west on Rt. 45 for 18 miles to Rt. 235. Turn left onto 235 South toward Laurelton. At the intersection at Lincoln Park Fairgrounds turn right onto Hassenplug Road for 1.5 miles. At the first stop sign turn right onto Weikert Road and continue for six miles. In Weikert, turn left (across from Post Office). Cross Penns Creek bridge where you will see the sign welcoming you to Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat. Follow the signs to either Penns Creek Lodge (on the right) or continue up the hill one fourth mile and to the left to the Lakeside Cabins and Lodges.
FROM STATE COLLEGE: Travel east to Boalsburg and pick up Rt. 45 east. Travel approximately 35 miles and turn right onto Rt. 235 south. At the intersection at Lincoln Park Fairgrounds turn right onto Hassenplug Road for 1.5 miles. At the first stop sign turn right onto Weikert Road and continue for six miles. In Weikert, turn left, (across from Post Office). Cross Penns Creek where you will see the sign welcoming you to Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat. Follow the signs to either Penns Creek Lodge (on the right) or continue up the hill one fourth mile and to the left to the Lakeside Cabins and Lodges.
Mailing Address for Campers & Staff
Wesley Forest Camp and Retreat
P.O. Box 35
58 Wesley Forest Lane
Weikert, PA 17885
Phone Number: 570.922.1348
Fax Number: 570.922.1334
Please leave a message with your name, number, and question. We are committed to calling all back the same business day. Please know we are usually running camp programs and may not be in the office at the time you call, but we will call you back when you leave a message.
This E-mail is checked multiple times a day and is the fastest and easiest way for us to respond to inquiries and questions.