Two kids attending summer camp in Iowa playing with a blue ball.

Summer Camp FAQs

We get it! There’s a lot to think about when deciding where to send your child to camp.

At Camp Bear Creek, we want you to feel informed and prepared the whole way through the process. Below, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions about summer camp. If you don’t see your question on the list, please reach out! Give us a call at the Camp Office at (563) 488-3893 or email us at

You can register online through our website. At check-out, you’ll have a few options. You can pay the $100 deposit and then log back into your account at any time to pay the remaining balance or mail a check for the remaining amount. (Camp fees are due in full two weeks before the program’s start date.) You can also set up a payment plan, or pay the balance in full. If your church is paying part of your camp fees, that amount will be applied at a later time. Please pay the deposit only and then pay the remainder after your church discount has been added.

Camp Bear Creek offers scholarships to help make camp financially possible for every child who wishes to have a camp experience. In order to receive a scholarship, you must choose the Tier I price and use the promo code NEED when registering online. $100 scholarships are available for full-week camps and $50 scholarships are available for partial-week camps. Scholarships are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Camp Bear Creek will send you a confirmation email (please include a valid email address and add to your address book) that includes a “to bring list” and more information about check-in times and camp policies. All campers will receive a free t-shirt when they arrive for camp.

Camp Bear Creek campers stay in cabins! Our cabins have eight bunk beds per cabin, are air-conditioned, and have private changing rooms. Bathrooms are a short walk away at a nearby lodge. Camp counselors stay in the cabins with the kids. If you want more information, check out this video where our Program Director, Jake, sets up his own bed in a cabin!

You do not need a physical, but each camper will be asked to complete a health form sharing any dietary restrictions, allergies, and health concerns. We also ask that all immunizations required for school are up to date, including your child’s tetanus. 

Of course! Camp is always better with friends! When you sign up for camp, you’ll notice a spot on your registration form that asks if you would like to be placed in the same group with a friend. Make sure you write their name down, and tell them to write yours!

We can absolutely provide alternatives for most dietary restrictions and allergies. When you sign up for camp, please make sure to indicate on your health form any dietary needs you might have so that our kitchen can plan and prepare before you arrive.

Camp Bear Creek operates with a ratio of 1 counselor for every 6 kids. Unfortunately, if your child needs more individual or one on one care, whether it be for health or behavior reasons, we do not have the staffing to properly care for your child. 

We do have a nurse on-site each week and all counselors are trained in CPR/First Aid. Campers whose health needs can be managed by regular (such as before meals and at bedtime) check-ins with a nurse (such as campers managing asthma, ADHD, allergies, etc.) should feel comfortable at camp. Campers must be able to care for their own basic hygiene needs (showering, dressing, and using the bathroom) without assistance. If there is the potential that your camper may engage in the harm of themselves or others while at camp, Camp Bear Creek does not have the health staff to meet their needs.

If you are concerned about whether we can meet your camper’s health needs, please call the Camp Office at (563) 488-3893.

It’s total normal for kids to miss home a bit while they are at camp, but don’t worry! Our staff are specially trained to help kids through all the feelings and emotions that come with being away from home. Our counselors are compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. Usually, it just takes a little bit of time, some friends, and some comfort, and kids are well on their way to a great week of camp. Generally, campers are not allowed to call home due to homesickness unless a director deems it necessary for the emotional well-being of the child. While it might seem like calling home would help, we find that most often, it just makes the problem worse. Instead of focusing on camp and all the possibilities for fun, it pulls their minds away to home and what is happening there. We have some tips for how to prevent and overcome homesickness in this video.

The best part of the camp experience is living in the moment. Our technological devices tend to pull our attention away from the space and people around us and focus them solidly on the glowing screen in front of us. We want to be immersed in the beauty of our world, in conversations with friends, and in all of the fun happening every day at camp. For this reason, we ask you to leave all phones and devices at home. If campers come with these items, they will be collected and returned to them once the camp week has ended.

At Camp Bear Creek, we want the same camp experience to be available to everyone, so there is nothing that your child will need to spend money on while they are here. We provide meals and snacks each day, so there is no need for a trip to the trading post or snack bar. In fact, we ask that you please don’t send any money with your camper so that it does not risk getting lost. During check-in and check-out, you will find a camp store open with apparel and items for sale, and you are more than welcome to buy all of your camp swag at that time!

Refunds, minus $25 for administrative costs, will be made if the cancellation is received four (4) weeks prior to the start of the camp/activity. Request for refunds due to illness or accident must be accompanied by a doctor’s note. Cancellations received within four (4) weeks of the program start date will forfeit the deposit. No refund will be issued for early departure due to camper violation of policy (i.e. tobacco use, inappropriate behavior, etc.), for reasons of personal choice (i.e. homesickness), or for illness that arises while at camp.