FAQs About Summer Camp

Question: Are lunches served for Day Campers?

Day Campers in the programs at Joy El are provided lunch each day during their camp week. The cost for lunch is included in your camp registration fee.

Campers attending Community Day Camps must bring their own lunches with them each day.


Question: What is the difference  between a Day Camp experience and an overnight experience?

Because overnight campers live on the campground 24/7 for six days, they experience a deeper impact from living within a genuine Christian community where God’s principles are taught and lived out each day. Overnight campers participate in a greater variety of activities. Some overnight campers are also able to choose “electives” which are additional small group activities that allow campers to meet others who are part of different cabin groups. (Leadership Experience and Adventure Camps do not select electives.)christian camps in pa

Day Campers participate in plenty of fun camp activities along with chapel time, small group devotions time, and scripture memory time.  Day campers do not experience as many activities as overnight campers

Day Camp is available to students completing kindergarten through 5th grade while overnight camp begins at 1st grade (Energizer 1) and goes through high school.

Day Camp is a great option for children who don’t feel quite ready to spend the night (but realize that oftentimes they’re more ready than they think they are).

Day Camp is a more affordable option. Many parents choose to use Day Camp as an alternative to daycare. For tax purposes, a letter of expenses paid for camp can be obtained from our business office upon request.

Day Camp can be convenient for children with evening commitments.

Day Camp is an introduction to a camp experience. We find that many children are ready to come to overnight after only a couple days at Day Camp. The environment increases their comfort level and familiarity with Joy El.


Question: Can dietary needs be accommodated?

Yes. Please include a note about your child’s dietary needs with his/her registration form.christian camps in pa


Question: What kinds of meals are served for summer campers?

We serve kid-friendly meals during summer camp. Examples of typical lunches include: chicken nuggets and french fries, pasta, sub sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs. A salad is available at each meal.


Question: Which campers receive a free t-shirt?

Overnight campers who register with at least a deposit by March 31st and Day Campers who register and pay in full by March 31st receive a free summer theme t-shirt. Other campers may purchase the theme t-shirt from the campstore while supplies last.


What is Adventure Camp?

Adventure camps are a more rustic camp experience. These campers live in our Adventure Village where they are separated from the main body of campers to do their own style of camp. Campers stay in christian camps in paplatform tents (large enough to accomodate bunk beds) in the woods. The tents offer campers a real taste of nature and some old fashioned “roughing it.” Adventure campers experience High Adventure activities, such as the Giant Swing or Flying Squirrel, Climbing Tower, the Zipline,  backpacking overnight hike, and a tubing or canoeing trip on Back Creek. 

Our teaching, Bible study times and worship for Adventurers take place outdoors in God's natural setting. Because the numbers of campers in Adventure Village are smaller and the setting more secuded, campers develop deeper relationships with counselors and other campers faster than the regular overnight camps. Since Adventure Camps are more secluded, we do not take daily photos of campers in the Adventure Camps. Photos are taken by counselors throughout the week and posted online at the end of the week. No weekly closing program is offered and no video will be available.


What are the electives and what campers get to choose them?

Electives are additional activities available in the evenings for Energizer and Jumpstart campers only. They are not available to Day Campers, Adventure campers or Leadership Experience campers. A list of available electives can be found here.


Can my child stay with a friend in the same cabin or Day Camp group?

A cabinmate request space can be found on your registration form and the name of one friend can be submitted.  This same space is used for a Day Camp group friend request.  Girls can request to be with christian camps in paanother girl and boys can request to be with another boy. Opposite genders cannot be kept together.  We will do our best to accommodate cabinmate and group mate requests.


What is the Day Camp bus schedule?

Day Camp bus schedules can be found here.  There is no additional cost for your child to ride a Day Camp bus.  Bus transportation is not available for overnight campers.


What is my child’s Released Time discount for camp?

Released Time discounts are earned over the school year prior to camp. Final discounts earned for the 2015-2016 school year will be tabulated by the end of April 2016. Please contact our office to find out the unused discount amount your child has available from earned Released Time points.


What about 4.12 student discounts?

Discounts for 4.12 students will be entered and applied before camp begins in June as well. The maximum available discount is $80 for students who have turned in all of their Spiritual Growth Updates on time from September through April.

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What is the gift certificate I heard about for the campstore?

For overnight campers, there is a $20 campstore gift certificate available for bringing a friend who has NEVER been to summer camp at Joy El before. (Members of the same household do not qualify as a “friend.”) Four friends = FREE week of camp. For Day Campers, there is a $10 campstore coupon for bringing a friend who has NEVER been to summer camp at Joy El before. Any camper who brings four new friends qualifies for a Free Week of Camp. For additional information on earning gift certificates, visit our Registration Information page here.


What should my child pack for camp?

A list of items your child should pack for Day Camp or overnight camp is available here on the website or you can print a downloadable packing list here.


Is Financial Aid available?
Yes, Financial Aid is available. The regular camp registration needs filled out, a campership application form needs to be completed and a parent contribution needs to be received. This amount needs to be at least $100. Any amount less than that needs to be approved by the Director of Camping Ministries. You can find the financial aid (campership) application here.christian camps in pa

Who will administer my child’s medications? Is there a camp nurse?

Yes. There is a nurse onsite for every week of camp and he or she is responsible to dispense your child’s medications. Please keep all medications in the original bottles from the drug store when sending them along with your child to camp. All other health issues should be communicated to us on the Camper Health Form, which you can find here.


When will I receive confirmation of my registration?

Confirmations are sent by email after your registration is entered into our database and your deposit is received. More information is sent to you four weeks prior to your child’s week of camp, including information about check-in times, bus schedules, what to pack, camper mail or email, etc. Confirmations are not sent by snail mail. If you have opted off of our emailing list and want back on in order to receive your camp confirmations, please contact our office for instructions on how to opt back into the list.


How do you select your counselors? Do they have background checks?christian camps in pa

We look for qualified, college-age people who have a love for the Lord and children. We perform interviews, require reference checks and background checks with the safety of our campers foremost. Staff members attend a week of onsite training in preparation for what to expect at camp and how to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our campers.


Can I communicate with my child during his/her camp week?

Parents, family and friends may communicate with their camper by email messages during their camp week. Information on setting up your email messaging account will be included in the email you receive 4 weeks prior to your child's camp session. Email messages are downloaded and distributed to campers once a day. Campers are not able to email you back.

You may also send regular first class mail to your child while he/she is at camp. Campers love getting mail! Mail is distributed once a day to each cabin group, Adventure camp group, or Day Camp group.

We ask that parents and family members do not phone or come to the campground to visit during their camper's camp session. These types of contacts can be a distraction to your child and could cause homesickness.christian camps in pa


What if my child has an appointment scheduled with the doctor or dentist during the camp week?

We ask that you would communicate doctor and dentist appointments to us in advance of your child coming to camp. Arrangements will be made for your child to be released to you for the trip to the doctor/dentist and the child can be checked back into camp following the appointment.


Additional questions are welcome. Please call our offices with questions at 717-369-4539.