Frequently Asked Questions

We've assembled a list of some of our more frequently asked questions below. If you find that you have a question that's not answered, feel free to contact us

What is Camp Chicago?

Camp Chicago is a summer camp ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, now in its 21st season!

Where is Camp Chicago?

Camp Chicago is held at Stronghold Camp and Conference Center in Oregon, IL located on the beautiful Rock River on 360 acres of forest land. You can access directions to Camp Stronghold here.

Who is the staff at Camp Chicago?

Camp Chicago employs an outstanding staff of over 25 members. Our staff are faithful, fun-loving, and adventurous Christian leaders who are passionate about camp ministry and helping young people grow in their faith. They are young adults ages 18 and up who come from all over our diocese and beyond.

All Camp Chicago staff members participate in a week of training and orientation prior to the campers' arrival. This includes instruction in CPR, First Aid, Emergency preparedness, Multi-cultural awareness, Child Development, Safeguarding God’s Children (abuse prevention), What it means to be Episcopalian, and Team Building. Our waterfront staff are also American Red Cross certified in Lifesaving and in Water Safety Instruction.

What will my child be doing each day?

Each day, campers will have an opportunity for 2 daily classes (Adventure, Archery, Arts and Crafts, Big Games, Dance, Swimming), have daily reflections, an afternoon optional class, eucharist, free swim, and evening all-camp activities.

What about worship services?

The Camp Chicago Staff and Campers gather for Eucharist or Communion daily during each camp session. These worship services are planned for the campers, and campers actively participate in worship. Each session will have it's own Chaplain. There are also other opportunities throughout the week for prayer and reflection, including morning prayer, and evening prayer with cabins.

Where do campers stay?

Most of our campers stay in a historic castle housed on the Stronghold property! There are full bathrooms with showers and sinks. Campers stay in a room with other campers next door to their counselors.

Is there transportation to/from Camp Chicago for campers who need it?

Yes. Camp Chicago offers a bus that will pick up campers at St. James Commons on the day of the session and return them on the last day of the session. Learn more about the Camp Chicago bus, and Register Online!

Is Scholarship Assistance available?

Yes. We don't want anyone to miss Camp Chicago. Please refer to our main Camp Chicago web page for details on scholarships and how to apply.

Does my child have to be an Episcopalian to attend Camp Chicago?

No! Camp Chicago welcomes you! The Christian community at camp is designed to be open and welcoming to campers from all walks of life, while inviting them to grow spiritually.

What happens if a camper gets sick or hurt?

Camp Chicago’s Health Clerk works in conjunction with Camp Stronghold’s Registered Nurse as well as our CPR, First Aid, and AED certified staff. There will be an infirmary where campers can go for assistance. If further care is called for, upon consultation with the camper's parents, he or she will be taken to the local hospital or the doctor.

What if a camper has never been away from home?

We often have campers who are away from home for the first time. Our staff is trained to be highly sensitive to the needs of these campers. We do our best to make camp a safe and loving environment where kids can have fun and grow.

What should campers bring to camp?

  • Sleeping bag and pillow (we will be camping out in tents one night each week), sheets and blankets may be brought for the cabins.
  • Towels 2 or 3
  • Insect/Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen (even if your camper is dark skinned) Campers will be out in the sun.
  • A pair of sunglasses with UV protection
  • Closed toe shoes (MUST HAVE)
  • Sandals/flipflops shower or pool
  • Extra shoes (in case of rain)
  • Swimsuit (we ask the girls to wear one piece suits) (tankinis are acceptable)
  • Rain gear (yes, it does rain!)
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, comb etc.
  • Pajamas, socks, underwear
  • Jeans, shorts, shirts (send extra clothes, they do get wet or muddy!)
  • Sweatshirt, or jacket
  • Flashlight (needed for camp out)
  • A smaller overnight bag for the camp out (they need to be able to carry their own gear to the camp out)
  • A blank T-shirt for tie-dye
  • OPTIONAL ITEMS: inexpensive camera, diary/journal, stationary & stamps, musical instruments

(Please note: The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is not responsible for items lost or stolen. Please mark camper’s personal items with their name.)

Can campers request cabin assignments?

Yes, we will try to honor cabin requests as best we can. Cabins are typically assigned by age. Please submit cabin requests with registration.

What if the weather gets bad?

Our staff monitor the weather daily, and we make sure that all campers and staff take shelter in case of inclement weather.

Can parents visit or call campers during the week?

We find that this is disruptive to the camp environment and most often makes homesickness worse. We ask that parents only call or visit in the case of a family emergency. To reach Camp Chicago staff call (224) 254-5103. The Camp Stronghold office phone # is (815) 732-6111.

Can campers receive mail/packages?

Yes. Address mail with Camper's Name / Camp Chicago / c/o Stronghold Center / PO Box 199 / Oregon, IL 61061. We recommend if care packages are sent with food, that there is enough of the treat to share with the entire cabin group.

Can I send email messages to my child at camp?

Yes. E-mail messages may be sent to your camper at the following address: CampChicago@episcopalchicago.org. However, your camper will NOT be able to answer you back via e-mail, but we will deliver your message to them during mail call. Please make sure and include the camper’s full name. We ask parents to please keep email messages to a minimum.

Can campers bring cell phones to camp?

We ask campers to leave cell phones at home or turn them in at registration.

When do campers arrive & depart?

We ask that campers arrive on time, at 3:00pm on the first day of their camp session for registration. We will have camp tours for parents and family that begin promptly at 3:30 the day of registration.

There is a closing Eucharist on the Friday the last day of the session, which begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 3 pm. We invite parents, family, and friends to attend the closing Eucharist . It’s a great way for you to hear about your camper’s week at camp!

We ask that your camper is picked up promptly at the end of camp. There will be a late fee for late camper pick ups at the rate of $25.00 an hour. If you need help in arranging transportation, carpooling etc, please contact our office. (Please note that NO accommodations can be made for campers to stay at camp in between sessions.)

Does Camp Chicago sell merchandise?

Yes, we have Camp Chicago hats and t-shirts for sale each year. Contact Chad Senuta for more details or ask at registration.

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