Here is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions for parents that have campers already signed up for camp. If you are new to Foley, you may also want to check out the New Parent FAQs. As always if you can not find the answer you need or would like additional information please contact us.
We love birthdays at camp! We recognize the birthday camper with songs, festivities, parties and a cake! A birthday package and cards may be sent to your camper. Mark as such and we will hold cards and the package until that day. You may send a surprise package containing balloons, crepe paper, and party favors for the counselor to decorate the cabin and to add to the cabin birthday party, if you would like to. Mark the outside as such. Please do not send anything edible. Flowers and balloons can be delivered by G&S Plants at 1-800-325-2802. Parents can also call to wish their camper a Happy Birthday. Please arrange this call with the camp office in advance so that we can help ensure your child is in the middle of an activity at the time and might miss your call!
Can I request a cabinmate for my camper?
As stated in our Enrollment Agreement
We strive to create cabins of campers that set the stage in forming the “cabin family.” Cabin placements are made based on age and/or school grade, diversity in geographic homes, similar interests, and camping experiences. Mutual requests for cabin mates can be arranged if two campers both request only each other. It is impossible to guarantee placement with several campers or a group of campers. If a younger camper requests to be with an older camper, there is a strong possibility that the older camper would have to drop down and be in a cabin with the younger grade. If a request is not mutual, Foley will assign campers to their cabins without considering their requests. Mutual requests need to be into our office two weeks prior to the start of the session.
Camp Store (Canteen)
The Canteen carries limited items for campers to purchase. If your child loses their water bottle or runs out of shampoo - don't worry! We have basic toiletries stocked in the Canteen along with Camp Foley apparel and "trinkets." The “Canteen Authorization Form” allows you to set up a deposit for the camp store in order for your child to purchase items. In order to be able to make purchases at the camp store, a camper must have a Canteen deposit. Here is a list and an approximate cost of some items carried in the Canteen:
Foley Logo Items
Other Non-Logo Items
Baseball Hats/Beanies: $10-14
Floss Kits & White T-Shirt for Crafts
Water Bottles: $8-10
Sweat Pants: $25
Postage, Stationary, Postcards
Camp Chairs: $35
Trap Shells (approx $8)
What if my camper runs out of money in their camp store account?
If you receive a letter saying that your camper has run out of money in their camp store account and would like more, please log on to your Camp Foley account and submit a payment along with a follow-up email to Mary to let her know what the funds are for. (If there isn't enough time to send a letter, we will contact you via email or by phone to let you know your camper is out of money.) We do our best to not allow campers to exceed the amount that has been authorized by you, unless we have your permission.
Dress Code & Packing
What should I pack for my camper?
It is important that campers will dress appropriately for the active, outdoor, multi-age, coed camp environment. Dress for camp! Foley attempts to minimize peer pressure and feels a “natural look” compliments a camp setting. Safety is also a concern that has shaped our dress code policy.
What if my camper forgets something at camp when they come home?
We do our best to identify and return lost and found items daily throughout the summer. Writing your camper’s name on all items prior to your camper’s arrival will help in this process! If you discover something is missing upon your camper’s return home, please call camp as soon as possible. In September, we donate all unclaimed items to local charities. Camp Foley assumes no responsibility for funds or valuables not deposited at the office.
Should I mark all my campers belongings?
YES! All articles of clothing and personal items must be marked! Sewn on name tapes or marking clothing with a permanent marker is suggested.
What do you do about homesickness?
Every child adjusts to being away from home for an extended period of time differently and experiences some degree of homesickness or missing family, friends, and familiar routines. This separation process is important to one’s growth and can be a challenge for some campers. Just like the effects of being away from home are different for every kid, so to are the methods that we use to help the camper. Many campers just need a day or two to adjust and be kept busy. Others need a reassuring letter from a parent or loved one (sometimes even the family pet does the trick). Most kids find the down time (rest period, in the evenings before bed, during free times and in the mornings) the hardest time so we try our best to work with the campers to stay busy (even if it means just writing a letter or reading a book).
What can we do as parents to help prevent homesickness?
A parent can help by reassuring their child that they are loved, talking positively about independence and separation, and not promising them that they can call or come home if they are lonesome. Discuss camp in a positive way by discussing living in a cabin with peers or the activities that they may want to participate in while at camp. Parents should prepare themselves for separation. Each summer we visit with more “child-sick” parents than we do homesick campers!
Where can I get more resources on how to help prevent homesickness in the first place?
One of the best resources we have found is Dr. Chris Thurber, who has done extensive research on homesickness as well as written books on the subject. The Summer Camp Handbook as lots of information on this topic among others! This website was written by Dr. Thurber and is a free resource for camp families.
Mission & Community Living
What is the Mission of Camp Foley?
The mission of Camp Foley is to partner with parents to develop confident, responsible and respectful youth who gain skills and have fun through a quality camp experience in a youth centered community.
Skill development, supportive relationships, meaningful involvement, character growth, and a natural and safe environment are elements of a quality camp experience. Our mission drives us in decisions of programming, policy, and expectations of campers and staff members.
What is Foley's Code of Living?
*All campers & counselors are called to be persons of strong character & to uphold this code.
1. Each person generates caring by reaching out to campers and staff in a compassionate and considerate way. Caring 2. Each person willingly fulfills the tasks he or she has chosen, accepted or been assigned. Responsibility 3. Each person accepts responsibility for his or her behavior and personal property. Responsibility 4. Each person plays by the rules and treats others fairly. Fairness 5. Each person is honest, reliable, loyal, and performs with integrity. Trustworthiness 6. Each person becomes a “good neighbor” to others and our environment beyond the boundaries of camp community through actions. Citizenship 7. Each person respects authority and law. Citizenship 8. Each person resolves disagreements and responds to insults peacefully. Respect 9. Each person follows the Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated. Respect 10. Each person treats property respectfully. Respect
Do you set goals at Foley?
Campers set activity and character goals while they are at camp. Take a few minutes to discuss some of the activity skills that you would like your camper to learn and some character traits that he/she could work on while at camp.
Are there certain behavior standards that are enforced?
As Stated in our Enrollment Agreement
Camp Foley has the right to dismiss any camper whose behavior, attitude or action, is in our judgment, contrary to the best interests of our camp community. This includes but is not limited to: raids or pranks causing bodily harm, embarrassment, or destruction of property, excessive fighting, harassment, bullying, cults, or for other conduct that is ruining another camper’s experience or is harmful to camp. It is understood and agreed, by camp and parents, that possession or use of tobacco, alcohol, or controlled substances while enrolled in camp will bring immediate dismissal. Possession of a weapon may bring immediate dismissal. Camp Foley will, if necessary, search for, confiscate, and dispose of any items that violate camp policy or are used in inappropriate ways.
Other Behavior Policies 1. Camp encourages campers to take respectful pictures while at camp. Video cameras will have limitations if brought to camp to protect the privacy of others. 2. Foul language and improper conversations are discouraged and considered disrespectful. 3. Campers are expected to comply with requests and directions that ensure the health, safety, and welfare of everyone at Camp Foley. 4. Camp Foley does not tolerate emotional or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse of one person by another and may be grounds for dismissal. 5. Mental, emotional, social, and/or physical behavior that affects a camper’s ability to participate in the program or that significantly disrupts the program experience for others may constitute grounds for dismissal. Parents are required to give us this information.
What about personal property?
(As Stated in our Enrollment Agreement) Camp Foley assumes no liability for loss or damage to camper’s personal property or for injury incurred as a result of use of personal property. Foley discourages all borrowing and lending among anyone living or working in camp. Campers may never use “special personal equipment” owned by other campers or staff such as: watercraft, skis, musical instruments, aquatic equipment, or other items that are associated with specific risks (health, financial, accidents, etc.). Any money or valuables in the camper’s possession upon arrival at camp may be deposited at the office for safe keeping. The camp assumes no responsibility for funds or valuables not so deposited.
And camp property?
(As Stated in our Enrollment Agreement) Campers will be held responsible for damage of property/equipment caused by their negligence and may be charged accordingly for repairs or replacements.
What is the Photo/Personal Information policy?
(As Stated in our Enrollment Aggreement) A list of names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of campers and staff may be distributed for camper’s use. Parent permission is assumed for use of any pictures or videos of campers used in camp memories and in camp promotion, including our mailings, website, company social media pages. Upon request, your child can be excluded.
Do the Foley staff accept gratuities?
Camp personnel are not to accept any gratuities. Parents wishing to thank or honor a staff member can make a tax-deductible contribution to our scholarship fund. See the Scholarship Donation page for more information.
For information about cost, billing, due dates, etc, please refer to Money Matters.
Social Networking & Contact Outside of Camp
What is the camp policy with regards to social networking sites?
Email, IM, and social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, can be positive ways for campers and counselors to keep in touch. To keep the Foley connection flowing, counselors and campers do exchange emails or IMs, addresses, phone numbers, and invite each other onto their social networking sites.
Counselors are told that all exchanges should be PG and/or one that the Directors would approve of. They are also aware that inappropriate exchanges can be means for dismissal if still employed at camp or may close doors for future employment. Counselors are also instructed that when allowing underage Foley campers and alumni onto their networking sites that it should be as a limited profile – PG information only. However, parents need to take full responsibility of this exchange outside of camp.
1. Regarding e-mails, IMs and comments anyone might make to other campers or counselors on their social networking site, we ask campers and counselors:
to keep what they say positive and respectful of staff and campers alike, refrain from mean and threatening comments
not to use obscenities, vulgar or sexual language
not to post pictures online that would embarrass or violate anyone’s privacy
not to pose as another camper or counselor online or spread false information about anyone
not to use a website, blog, or e-mail to talk about things that are against camp policy, like using drugs, alcohol, bullying, or sexual things.
2. In the rare case where there might be any inappropriateness, our policy is to ask that it be removed and/or we call the parents of minors to express our concern. If you become aware of an issue involving our campers or staff members, please contact us and share your concerns.
3. Any camper who violates any of our policies regarding out of camp communication may not be able to come back to camp.
Camp is meant to be a fun, safe, and happy place for all of us. We need your help to keep the communication with people from camp positive and in the spirit of camp. We all need to recognize that relationships between campers and counselors are important. We recommend that you as the parent supervise your child’s communication interchanges and oversee any off-season contact with our staff members and your child. Once they leave camp, we can’t take responsibility for what happens between staff and campers - only you can.
In keeping with Christian traditions and values, spirituality continues to be part of our camp program. Our campers come from many faith backgrounds and we respect individual beliefs. During camp, readings and devotionals are shared in cabin groups that reflect ideas on topics such as community, friendship, trust, and respect for others and the environment. Fun graces are sung before each meal. Due to the shortage of ordained Catholic priests, a priest from Immaculate Heart Church will no longer be available for the weekly 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening Mass. We are exploring other solutions and will keep you posted. We will continue to partner with parents to have campers attend a Catholic Mass and/or service or a Nondenominational service.
Swim Check & First Day of Camp
What is the Foley Safety and Endurance Swim Check?
Swimming lessons are strongly encouraged for campers until they can pass the “Foley Safety and Endurance Swim Check”. This includes:
Learning how to properly put on a vest
jumping into deep water with vest
swimming comfortably while wearing a vest
Endurance (without lifejacket):
Treading water for 5 minutes
Confidentally swimming 50 yards using either the front crawl or breaststroke.
Endurance and confidence are key factors. We encourage parents of new campers to send copies of certifications to the camp office before arrival. This information will be taken into consideration when evaluating the individual camper.
What happens if my child does not pass the swim check on arrival day?
We understand first day jitters, waves, or colder than swimming pool water can all affect how a camper might perform during the first day swim check. If your child does not do well on arrival day, we will visit with him/her and/or recheck their skills the following day. If your child does not have the skills or endurance to pass, we will email the parent with the results of this swim check. In the email exchanges or by telephone, the parent and camp can together make the decision if swimming lessons should be taken at Foley. Factors that will be considered is the individual camper, the weather, and the length of the camping session.
Can a camper still do water activities if they do not pass their swim check?
Absolutely! Campers who do not pass their swim check are still able to participate in Sailing, Canoeing, Fishing and can go to the water for fun using the inner tubes, paddleboards, etc . However, they must wear lifejackets anytime they are participating in such activities. Campers who do not pass their swim check are unable to participate in Windsurfing, Waterskiing/Wakeboarding, Snorkeling, and Diving.
What happens on the first day of camp (arrival day)?
First, they receive a warm Foley welcome and will meet their cabin counselors and cabin mates. Then it is off to their cabins where they will find their assigned bunk and start unpacking. Throughout the afternoon, they will move around camp with their cabin group touring camp, meeting the camp nurse, taking the Foley Safety and Endurance Swim Check, playing games, and signing up for activities and trips, all before dinner at 6:00 PM!
What happens after the campers eat?
Everyone is off with their cabin groups to learn more about each other, play games, and finish settling in. After that, it’s the Opening Campfire! It is a fun time as our counselors entertain campers with funny skits and tricks and goofy songs. Next, it is back to their cabins where our younger cabins will have lights out at 9:30 PM and the older cabins are soon to follow at 10:00 PM.
You may want to review the First Day of Camp Page with your child before they head off to camp! This page gives details about the day for your camper.
We strongly encourage first year campers to ride the bus to camp if it is an option. It aids in the camper's adjustment to camp by meeting other campers, singing camp songs, and visiting with staff about camp. It is also easier for a parent to say goodbye as the bus pulls away from the parking lot rather than walking away at camp. Hopefully your child will feel the excitement of the entire camp community as they gather outside the bus when it arrives into camp.
We recommend that parents visit camp on the closing day of the session only to allow for a camper to gain the most out of his/her camping experience. Visits can be disruptive to the adjustment that is taking place at camp for their child and to the other campers and staff in the camp community. We thank those parents who are adhering to this policy already.
If you feel strongly about visiting your child, plan on only one visit during their stay. The following guidelines will need to be followed for a visit other than the opening or closing day of the session.
Call the camp office to schedule your visit
Plan your visit between 12:30 PM and 1:15 PM (Campers go to activities at 1:30 PM)
Park your car in the parking lot and follow the signs to the office
All visitors must check in and out of camp at the office
Due to safety concerns and as to not disturb the camp program, visiting will be limited to the area in front of the dining room. Visitors will not be allowed to go into the cabins or to the activities unless accompanied by Foley personnel
If you are new to Foley and would like to tour camp, we will arrange for a staff person to walk around with you
It is camp policy that campers are not to be taken out of camp. We have found that removing the child from camp for a brief period of time tends to disrupt the flow of their camping experience and of those in their cabin. Please discuss this in advance with Marie if you have some specific reason for doing this
Please do not bring food or care packages into camp for the campers or staff, or permit the use of cell phones at the time of your visit
Parental permission of the camper is needed for any visitor not accompanied by the legal parent/guardian of the camper to visit camp and all visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their legal parent/guardian.
We have friends that want to see Foley, can we set up a tour for them?
Yes! If you are recommending a new family to tour camp, please have them contact the camp office in advance so that we can arrange for a guide.
Where can we stay near Foley?
Camp Foley is located about 35 miles north of Brainerd, MN. Resorts on the Whitefish Chain (Foley is on Whitefish Lake) or with mailing addresses of Pine River, Crosslake, Breezy Point, Nisswa, or Brainerd are close.
The following is a listing of accommodations that are relatively close to Camp Foley. If you would like to know of more places in the area, please contact the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-450-2838 or go to www.explorebrainerdlakes.com. From this site, follow links into Lodging and then into visit lodging web pages.
Are there opportunities for my camper to get out of camp on a wilderness trip?
Campers, age 11 and older, can sign up for biking, canoeing, or base camp trips of three days when they arrive at camp. Camping trips are taken to local state parks, rivers, state land, or offsite property that camp owns and campers may be transported via van for these trips. Campers age 13 and older can pre-register for the Lake Superior Trail Backpack Trip. Preregistration is required by June 1 as we need eight pre-registered campers for this trip to depart. Please contact camp if you would like more information about these trips. Check out the Wilderness Trips page for more information on what trips we have done and will be doing.