Parent Information



We understand the difficulty many parents have leaving their kids with us for a whole week, especially parents of first-time campers. It is hard to let go, and you may not even know anyone on our staff ahead of check-in. However, a week at camp is designed to help children gain self-confidence and practice independence, all in a safe environment with the appropriate support of our staff.

Please help prepare your child in advance for this time away from you. We recommend three things:

  1. Be honest with your camper. Tell your child how much you will miss him or her, but also make sure your child knows you want him or her to come to camp, and explain why. Presumably, you want your child to have fun, learn independence, and experience the healthy challenges summer camp offers. It is amazing how many homesick campers don't realize this!
  2. Don't promise your camper a "way out." Telling campers they can call home or that you will pick them up early if they don't like summer camp primes them to have a bad experience, plain and simple. In many cases, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Campers who have been promised a "way out" often refuse to participate in activities or step outside their comfort zone, which is what camp is all about. If your child is really having a miserable time, we will call you and ask for help.*
  3. Tell your camper homesickness is normal. There is nothing wrong with being homesick. We all get homesick from time to time, even some of our staff! Tell your child it is normal to feel sad or nervous being away from home (it means your child loves you!), but that you don't want these feelings to ruin their experience.

Homesickness is a normal part of summer camp. Our staff prepare for this and are skilled at working with children who struggle being away from home. If you have specific concerns, please call us ahead of time. We're happy to do whatever we can to meet your child's individual needs.

*It is our policy at Camp Shalom NOT to let campers call home. This strikes some parents as counterintuitive or extreme, but in reality, it is to help prevent and combat homesickness. We have found that homesick campers who have direct contact with their parents often spiral and are unable to overcome it. Separation causes homesickness, but it also builds independence and resiliency, which is one of the major benefits of a week at summer camp. Please know that if your camper is really having a miserable time, we will call you and ask for help.


Cell Phones

Cell phones are the single most disruptive force at camp. Camp Shalom is meant to be "a time and place apart" where children and teens can come to disconnect from their devices and reconnect with each other. We ask that all summer campers leave their phones at home. Please be respectful of our rule. We will confiscate devices that are brought to camp and return them at checkout.


Cabin Buddies

If two children both request to be in the same cabin, we will do our best to honor this request. We also ask that parents please consider ALL the children at camp when requesting cabin buddies. We prefer to break up groups of 6 or 7 friends into two different cabins because it is unfair to the 1-2 campers not connected to this group.

Mistakes in cabin assignments are occasionally made, but solutions are always found. Be patient and talk with someone on the leadership staff at check-in. Ben and Natalie, our full-time staff, will work with you to fix any problems.

Please keep in mind that many of the youth who attend summer camp find it much more rewarding to make new friends and immerse themselves in building a new community in their cabin. Every summer lifelong friendships are formed between campers who meet at Camp Shalom.


Email & Letters

Email sent to campers is more expensive, labor intensive, time-demanding, and unreliable than parents realize. We are not able to deliver email messages to campers, but we are happy to deliver regular mail. You can leave cards and letters with us at check-in when you arrive, drop them off at our Davenport office, or send them to 6262 Caves Road in Maquoketa, Iowa. Just make sure to mail them on Monday so they arrive in time!


Care Packages

Care Packages are highly discouraged. They create a divide between the campers who receive packages and those who don’t. While most campers share care packages with their cabinmates, there have also been times when this does not happen. Life for everyone, both campers and staff, is easier without the drama care packages often create.


Lost and Found

Many items are left behind by campers at the end of each week. Some tips to prevent losing items and what to do if your camper leaves something behind:


Label ALL your camper’s belongings, including their pillow and sleeping bag.
Leave all electronics, valuables, or anything you or your camper would be upset to see lost or damaged at home.


Check the lost-and-found table located in the Program Center. Nobody ever thinks they've lost something, but many do! Once you grab your camper's gear, double check that you have everything you brought to camp (many sleeping bags and shower caddies are left behind during Friday check-out).


Check for any items that were accidentally brought home by your camper that do not belong to your family. Make note of anything lost while at camp and call or email the camp office with a description of the item. You can reach us at or 563-323-2790.


Check-in Procedures

Payment for a summer camp session is due prior to your child’s arrival at camp. Payment can be dropped off, mailed, or processed online. If mailed, it must be sent to our Davenport office.

Check-in time is between 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Please do not show up early as our staff are preparing for the week until the scheduled check-in time. If your child is going to be late, please be sure to make arrangements with the camp office prior to your check-in date.

What to do when you arrive:

  1. You may use either of our gates. If you use gate 2, please drive slow as traffic will be entering and exiting simultaneously. Drive until you see our staff; they will direct you.
  2. Park your vehicle and drop off gear at the soccer field. Our staff will be there to assist you.
  3. All campers must check in at the registrar’s table in the soccer field pavilion (also known as the Slavilion). At this time you will also pick up a summer camp t-shirt, give all medications to our healthcare staff, and your camper will undergo a brief lice check.

Important: All medications, prescription and non-prescription (including vitamins and supplements), must be checked in with our Healthcare Coordinator(s). Medications must be in their original containers. Please be sure to update any medications your child will be bringing to camp in his or her online account.


Check-out Procedures

Time: 11:00 am on Friday

  • Park your vehicle and pick up camper gear at the soccer field (same location as check-in).
  • Closing Worship is at 11:00 am. Parents are encouraged to attend and participate.
  • Please remember to pick up your child’s medications!
  • Check the lost-and-found before leaving camp.
  • All parents must sign out with their child's counselor prior to departure.
Refund Policies

Overpayment: Refunds for overpayment can be given as a check/credit card refund or applied to a camp store purchase. Overpayment refunds expire at the start of the new calendar year. Notification of overpayment will be given via email.

Cancellation Refunds: A total refund (less the $75 non-refundable deposit) will be granted if there is another camper to take your child’s spot. If there is no camper to take your child’s place, a refund cannot be given after June 1st. The $75 deposit is non-refundable regardless of whether there is someone to take your child’s place in a session.

Expiration: At the end of the calendar year, refunds become donations to camp. Registration fees cannot be transferred to a summer camp session in the next calendar year.

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