Information For Parents & Guardians
Camp gives your child the opportunity to do things they never dreamed of, go places they never expected, and make friends along the way. It gives them the chance to make goals and see them through, challenge themselves physically and mentally, and grow as a person. Where else could your child have the opportunity to climb a 40' rock tower, zipline to the bottom, spend an hour tie-dying, hop on a sailboat and sail the lake, canoe to the other side and camp out, then come back and enjoy worships, Bible studies, crafts, games, archery, theme events, learning new skills, and more while making new friends and having a load of fun all in one day?! ONLY AT LAKESIDE!
Give your child the chance to grow.
The chance to experience something new.
The chance to make new friends and have fun in a faith-filled and safety-conscious environment.
Let them learn life skills such as confidence and independence
Give them a chance to spread their wings.
Give them the best week ever.
Give them the gift of camp.
Whether it's your first time dropping your camper off at camp or it's your 100th, the process can be a little hectic! We're here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. We hope that this section of our website will help you understand the process more fully and feel comfortable with Lutheran Lakeside Camp. We know that your child is your most prized treasure - our goal is to show you that we will give your treasure the safest, most fun, and best week of their life. Camp will teach them life skills, lead them in new games and activities, assist them in making new friends, and give them a safe place to be themselves. Our goal is that every child leaves knowing that they have been loved, welcomed, and cared for during their week at camp.
Some answers to questions you may have can be found in the sliders below, others can be found using the navigation menu to your left. If you have questions left unanswered, don't hesitate to call, text, email, or stop by! We're always here for you.
Minister of Programming and Faith Formation
Lutheran Lakeside Camp Office
How do I register?
There are MANY ways you can register for camp!
You may also drop in to our office at this address and pick up forms to register your child!
Minister of Programming and Faith Formation
What forms do I need?
In order for any child to participate in programs at Lutheran Lakeside Camp, and ensure the safety of all who attend, we must receive the following forms: Lakeside Day Camp Registration Form, Lakeside Day Camp Health Form, and Lakeside Day Camp Pick-Up Authorization Form.
and mail them to:
Lutheran Lakeside Camp
2491 170th St
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
(You may also drop in to our office at this address and pick up forms to register your child!)
Is my child ready for camp?
Is your child ready for camp? You know your child best, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Ask yourself – Remember, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions.
- Does your child need help making or keeping friends?
- What are their interests?
- What do you want your child to gain from their camp experience?
- Have they spent nights away from home successfully?
- Do they need structure?
- What is their temperament?
Some tips from the experts:
- Make sure your child’s medication is properly titrated. A stay at camp isn’t the time to be adjusting medication or trying new behavioral plans.
- If your child moves easily into different activities – birthday parties, outings to the park, he or she will most likely adapt to camp
- Be honest about how your child manages challenging or frustrating situations. Is aggression a problem?
- Practice! Try staying overnight at grandma’s or a friend’s house. How does this go?
- Remember – age is not always a factor. Sometimes a 7 year old child may be ready while a 12 year old child is not, you know your child best.
- Try taking this quiz created by Parents.com – click here!
- Bring your child to one of Lakeside's many non-summer events. Typically these events are scheduled as 1-2 day events and can be easier on a child than a full week of camp. Click here for the non-summer schedule!
- Ask the Program Director or Executive Director if children like yours have had successful experiences.
- Talk to your child – do they want the camp experience? How do they feel about it?
- Above all, trust your gut!
REMEMBER that not all children are alike and that camp can be taken in different ways for each and every child. A child that doesn’t seem quite ready may handle being away better than a child who seems over-prepared. You know your child best.
How can I help my child succeed at camp and prevent homesickness?
We discourage this because camp is an opportunity for the camper to learn to meet new friends and to “break out of their shell”. We will call if your child is ill or if your child is too homesick. In this case, “no news—really is good news!” Our practice is to try to encourage the camper by keeping them involved in all the fun of camp. If they think you are going to come and get them, they will never give it an honest try. Many times we have heard the story of the camper who was afraid at first and then wasn’t ready to go home at the end of the week because they so enjoyed their camp experience.
Homesick Prevention Ideas
Twelve million kids go away to camp each summer. For most summer camp is an opportunity to be independent, learn self-reliance and experience adventure. However, with so many children going to camp, some will become homesick. While homesickness is usually mild and temporary, it’s not fun for your child – or for you. Fortunately, you can help prevent homesickness with these steps:
What to do before Camp even begins:
- Help your child learn about Lakeside before they get here: Watch our online promotional videos, look at pictures on our website and Facebook pages, read the information we have provided, find out names of other kids who have gone to camp and have your child talk to them about what happens when they are here. Discuss with your child what their time at camp might include.
- Do a practice run at a family or friend’s house: Let your child stay at Grandma’s house or attend a friend’s sleepover to practice being away from home.
- Tour Camp beforehand: Come to our FREE Practice Day Camp at the end of May, come for a week of Day Camp, or call ahead and make arrangements to tour the camp when you are available.
- Save the date: Mark a calendar with the camp dates so that your child can visualize the beginning and end of the trip
- Pack together: Encourage your child to pack a picture, stuffed animal, or other comforting memories. Send a picture of you with your camper. This helps the camper be less homesick because they can still ‘see’ you.
- Help them connect: Send along paper and stamped, addressed envelopes so that your child can write home.
- Have a heart-to-heart: Explain that everyone gets homesick sometimes. Be positive and enthusiastic about your child’s independence. If you have your own separation anxiety, keep it a secret!
- Don’t promise an early pickup if your child is homesick: This puts your child’s focus on getting home – and it sends the message that the experience won’t be a success.
- Discuss ahead of time what to do if our child starts feeling homesick: Write down your ideas and pack it in their suitcase. Some ideas might be: Talk to a friend or counselor, do something fun or new, look at a picture from home, think about something good that happened that day, or write a letter home to share your camp experience.
Lutheran Lakeside Camp
2491 170th Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
Homesick Camper Policy
If a camper does become homesick, Lutheran Lakeside Staff will follow these steps:
- Before homesickness even begins: Counselor encourages the camper to become actively involved in activities and to have fun. Team building activities are planned with the cabin to bring the group closer together.
- At the first sighting of homesickness: Counselor will talk individually with the child about their experience. Campers are given stuffed animals to sleep with or cuddle if desired, books to read, and are connected with other staff members to form bonds. If homesickness results in stomachaches, the nurse’s cabin is always open.
- If homesickness persists, the Program Director and APDs are informed. Camper is connected with LLC’s on-site social worker and given the task of walking our camp dog, Sofi. This gives the camper time apart to talk and relax. The company of Sofi helps them to feel loved and at home. We have found that almost all cases of homesickness are cured by this step.
- In the rare occurrence that the homesickness continues after step 3, the Program Director will contact the parents or guardians and consult as to how they would like their child’s homesickness to be handled. The parent’s or guardian’s instructions will be followed, but we encourage parents or guardians to find ways to help their child without removing the child from camp.
What to bring?
What to bring – Health Form & Remaining Balance, Pen, Paper, Bible, Sleeping Bag (Or twin sized sheets and blankets), Pillow, Bath/Beach towels, Sunscreen, Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, Personal Toiletries, MODEST Swimwear (no bikinis, one-piece ONLY), Modest shorts and shirts, Jeans, Underwear, Socks, Closed-toed Shoes (NO Flip-Flops at camp other than as shower shoes), Sandals with Straps across the Heel (NO Flip-Flops), Jacket, Rain poncho, Laundry Bag, Flashlight, Insect Repellent, Water Bottle, Spending Money for Canteen & Crafts (Optional), Disposable Camera (optional), Any Sporting Equipment (ball glove, fishing gear, etc), Guitar (Optional) Sunglasses/Goggles (Optional)
What not to bring – CELL PHONES, TV, Flip-Flops or Sandals without Straps across the Heel (unless being used as shower shoes only), Pets, CD Player, E-Readers (Kindles, Nooks, Ipads, etc), Curling Iron, Hair Dryer, Ipod, MP3 Player, Electronic Toys, Beepers, Weapons, Knives, Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireworks, EXPENSIVE or FRAGILE items (clothing, jewelry, or otherwise), like-items.
If brought to camp these items will be kept in the vault for security and safety issues. Lakeside is not responsible for lost, stolen, or broken items. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at any time at 712-336-2109
Please mark all belongings with names or initials. Lost & Found will be donated to Good Will after 30 days if not claimed.
What will my Camper get to do?
For a list of activities by age - click HERE!