Frequently Asked Questions
In an effort to proactively answer some questions you might have ahead of time, we have put together this list of FAQs. If you have questions or concerns that are not answered here, do not hesitate to ask!
If you have questions about the application process, please refer to this flowchart:
Please look over these important pieces of information before you apply to ensure Camp SOAR is a good fit for your child:
Not all campers that complete the pre-screening interest form will receive an application, and not all campers that apply will be accepted.
o We have a limited number of camper spots that depend on the number of counselors that apply. All campers have a 1:1 dedicated counselor, so the number of accepted campers varies by year with the number of available counselors.
o Families receive information in spring if they are on the wait list or accepted for one of the weeks of SOAR.
Camp SOAR can support a variety of mild-moderate behaviors and medical needs for our campers.
o It is vital for parents to know we are not equipped for frequent and/or severe aggression, self-injury, or property destruction behaviors. The majority of our campers do not display aggressive, self-injurious, or destructive behaviors. We do have a team of staff that are trained in crisis intervention in the event that some more serious behaviors occur.
o If campers present behaviors throughout the week that are more significant than we are equipped to handle, parents will be called to pick up their camper immediately.
o There are no defined spaces outside at camp, we are on a lake with no fences or physical boundaries. Potential campers that are frequent runners, especially if running away is for attention, have struggled significantly in our setting.
Our counselors are high school & college-aged volunteers and provide 24/7 care, companionship, and support to our campers.
o They are provided with a full day of training prior to the campers arriving including medical, behavior, communication, inclusion, and emergency procedures.
Is there a swimming pool?
No, there is a private beach. Lifeguards are present in addition to one-on-one counselors and supervisory staff. The ground is rocky and closed-toed swim shoes are required for entering the water.
Can my child’s sibling be his/her counselor?
We have found that even siblings who get along great could use a break from each other. Your camper's sibling will be able to visit with him/her during the day, but we generally do not assign siblings as one-on-one counselors. If you feel that this 1:1 pairing would be beneficial please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Can my camper’s sibling be a counselor?
Yes! Current counselor applications are posted on this website each January. For the most part, the only thing that changes from year to year are the camp dates.
My child is on a special diet. Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
Yes, space is provided on the application to inform us of any dietary restrictions of your child. Also be sure to let your one-on-one counselor and the nurses know of any food allergies. You can also email Sari prior to the start of camp to discuss your child’s meals.
Can I send my child with their favorite snacks?
Yes! Each cabin has a kitchen with a fridge to storage. You may send any meal to snack items your child enjoys; please make sure to write your child's name on the outside of packages.
How will my child’s counselor know how to support my child?
We provide a mandatory staff training for all counselors, both new and experienced the day before campers arrive. Please make sure that all important and relevant information about your child is in the application, or in the "All About Me" document. During check in you have ample time to discuss, model, and review all aspects of your child's care including but not limited to; mobility devices, routines (i.e., bedtime routine), hygiene needs, meal time and feeding, and behavior prevention & de-escalation strategies. All of the one-on-one counselors have cabin leaders for support as well as leadership staff on site. At least one of your child's cabin leaders is a professional working in Special Education.
Will you accept children who have routine medical needs?
Yes, but children who need one-on-one nursing care will have to provide their own nurse, as we do not have the nursing staff to care for children one-on-one. Your camper's counselor is a volunteer and capable of doing everyday tasks that does not require specialization. This could include children on a respirator, have diabetes, have a trach, etc.
Can I have the address/directions to the camp?
Of course! We will include directions and a map to the camp with the acceptance letter. Camp SOAR is currently located at Wesley Woods Conference Center located at 250 Stam St., Williams Bay, WI. 53191
How are the campers separated into cabins?
There are several cabins which are divided by gender and age. The child’s one-on-one counselor sleeps in the same bunk room as their camper; counselors sleep on the top bunk and campers sleep on the bottom bunk. All cabins have their own bathroom and showers.
Can my camper share a room with a friend?
While we will do everything we can to ensure that the campers are with their friends and have a great time, the request depends on the room configuration of the cabin your child is assigned. Some rooms have more bunks than others. We do make every effort to honor friend requests, be certain to have both campers put each other’s names on the application.
Can my child bring their cell phone?
This is up to your discretion as a family to send their personal cell phone to camp. Camp is not responsible for lost, broken, or stolen items. If you do choose to send your child with their personal cell phone, campers are subject to the same rules as the counselors when it comes to technology. These rules include; being present and engaged during camp activities and not on your cell phone and limit phone use to rest time and before bed free time. Your child may text or call you during their week at camp; but we have found that homesickness sometimes seems to get worse with frequent phone calls to home. Please do not call your camper. If you have concerns about your camper, you can always email or call Sari during the week. We do not give out 1:1 counselor cell phone numbers for contact during the week. Besides, your camper is busy having lots of fun!!
Can my child be assigned to a specific counselor?
We do attempt to honor requests to the best of our ability, please note any special requests on your child's application. Please understand that the 1:1 pairing process is complex and we can't guarantee pairings.
Can my camper attend both weeks of camp?
Unfortunately, no, in order to accept the most amount of campers our space is limited. We are able to accommodate a larger number of campers by allowing each child to attend one session per summer.