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Kiwanis - FAQ

Why is there Kiwanis Camp?
Kiwanis Camp exists because people with significant disabilities may not be included in main- stream camps. Although the camping field has made important changes to include people with disabilities, many of our campers require adaptations in the camp environment that are not provided at this time by other camps.

What is the role of the counselor at Kiwanis Camp?
One of the most important roles at camp is the counselor. You are responsible for the care, encouragement and support of your camper(s) while they are at camp. Care comes in the form of supporting personal hygiene, positive behavior and supervision at all times. Encouragement is practiced while the campers are in activity areas, receiving awards and accomplishing daily tasks. Support can come in many forms, sometimes physical or emotional. You will need to model camp life by singing camp songs, playing games and participating in activities. The counselor position has many responsibilities. These are outlined throughout the manual and specifically in the job description located in the Counselor Information portion of this manual.

Where do I sleep while I am at camp?
Space is limited at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. You will be sharing space with other counselors. Some counselors will sleep in platform tents, others in dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds and others in tents. We do allow individuals to bring their own tent but space is limited.

What about the food?
Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp provides delicious, well-balanced meals every day! We have our very own chef and kitchen, and we design our menu to be child friendly with a variety of options. That being said adults in camp should be aware that our menus are child focused camp fare and may not be as sophisticated as you are used to at home. We do provide a vegetarian option at every meal. At Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp, we are sensitive and considerate of all allergies and nutritional needs. We are a peanut aware camp, and work hard to handle specific food allergies, if we know about them in advance, in order to guarantee that every camper enjoys their meals at camp. If you have specific dietary needs such as gluten-free or soy products, please be prepared to bring these items with you to camp. A refrigerator is provided for counselor and staff food items, but please be aware that space in this refrigerator fills quickly and is limited. 

What does ACA mean?
You will find the term ACA used throughout this manual and you will hear that acronym often up at Camp. ACA is the American Camp Association, and is the organization through which Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp earns accreditation as a reliable camp providing superior programming to persons with disabilities. The Camp is visited by ACA to update its accreditation every three years. ACA provides the guidelines that the camp must follow in all aspects of its operation; from campsite building and systems, to the kitchen and food prep, from human resources practices to oversight of each of the camp’s programs areas. The camp’s policies and procedures are written to adhere to ACA guidelines and it is your responsibility to be aware of the Camp’s policies and follow them while you are at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp.

Can I have my friend visit me at camp?
Visitors are only allowed on Thursday nights during our barbeque and skit night. The cost for the barbeque is $10 for each guest. You are still responsible for your camper during this time. No overnight guests are allowed. Only service animals are allowed on camp property – please tell your family/friends to leave their pets at home if they visit!

What is the “PC” way of talking about campers?
Campers are human beings just like you and me. Please read the section “People first-Camper first” in your handbook (given out at Counselor Orientation). This section talks about camper care, and gives you more information about persons with disabilities and their experiences. For example, instead of saying “he’s mentally retarded,” say “he has an intellectual disability.”

What happens when it rains?
In the case of rain, we will still hold as many outdoor activities as possible. Please be prepared to participate by bringing a raincoat and athletic shoes that you do not mind getting dirty/wet. Certain activities may be moved indoors to the Lodge.