We've Got Answers.
Below you’ll find many of the common questions often asked about Camp Hanover summer camps. If you have a question that is not answered below, if you would like more information about one of the answers provided, or if you would like to talk to us about something that’s on your mind, please contact us. Send us a message, or call us at (804) 779-2811.
How old do I have to be to attend camp?
We offer week long Day Camps at Camp Hanover and at various locations throughout Virginia for children entering grades 1 through 6.
We offer 1-week and 2-week overnight Summer Camps for children entering grades 2 through 12.
We offer a 2-night, 3-day Winter Camp for children entering in grades 5 through 12.
We offer inter-generational Family Camps for all ages.
I'm not Presbyterian. Can I attend Camp Hanover?
YOU SURE CAN! We welcome persons of every race, color, gender, religion, nationality and physical ability. Campers of many faith traditions, as well as campers who have never been to church before, attend and enjoy Camp Hanover’s summer camp program. As a Christian camp, we seek to build a Christ-centered community of trust, openness, sharing and forgiveness, where campers can play, laugh, work, worship and grow together, spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially.
I don't attend church regularly. Will I be comfortable? Will I fit in?
ABSOLUTELY! An atmosphere of acceptance of and caring for others is a key aspect of the community we build at camp. It’s a community where campers learn to appreciate and value one another. We strive to create an environment where campers and staff feel comfortable, loved, and can have fun talking about, exploring and practicing their faith. Specifically, the Camp Hanover experience is designed so campers:
- Explore, grow in and act on their Christian faith
- Build Christ-centered communities
- Live in, live with, learn about and care for God’s Creation
- Develop skills in outdoor living
- Understand and practice servant leadership
- Safely experience fun, fellowship, adventure and challenge
We do ask that all campers participate in Bible study and worship. Jesus Christ, as the Word becomes flesh, is central to our program.
Is space still available in a particular camp?
Why are there three prices?
Realizing that families have different abilities to pay, Camp Hanover offers a flexible, voluntary, choose-your-own-rate pricing structure to make camp affordable for you. You know your family’s financial situation better than we do. You simply choose the option most suitable or comfortable for your family. All campers receive the same Camp Hanover experience, no matter which amount you choose to pay. As you consider your family’s financial situation, please also consider the true cost of camp.
Choice 1 – the lowest amount – is our donor-supported subsidized rate. You may be surprised to learn that this rate does not reflect what it “really costs” to offer camp programs. This reduced rate is made possible through the mission funding dollars we receive from our Presbytery, our local Presbyterian churches, and annual contributions from individuals who value the impact that the summer camp experience at Camp Hanover has on children, youth, individuals and families.
Choice 2 – the middle amount – is a partially subsidized rate. If you can afford to, it’s an opportunity for you to choose to pay just a little more. In doing so, your child gets a great camp experience, and you help support the ongoing outdoor ministry of Camp Hanover.
Choice 3 – the highest amount – is the standard price for camp. It more closely reflects what it actually costs Camp Hanover to provide a camp experience for one camper, including things like utilities, insurance, wear and tear of buildings, vehicle upkeep, maintaining the grounds, and replacing outdated equipment. Choice 3 gives you an opportunity to help us do more with the mission funding we receive. You help us stretch limited campership funds further so more children can experience the power of camp. You help Camp Hanover make needed upgrades and continue to grow in the future.
Our Goals with Flexible Pricing
- To provide high quality, safe, and inclusive activities for all God’s children with opportunities for fun, fellowship and adventure.
- To challenge each camper to explore, grow in, and act on his her Christian faith as a servant-leader.
- To build a Christ-centered community that cares for God’s creation
- To provide an opportunity for partnership with those who value the impact of Camp Hanover’s summer ministry.
- To preserve Camp Hanover for generations to come.
It’s your choice. Pick the price that works for you.
Again, this program is voluntary and in no way influences the experience children receive, yet it offers an opportunity for you to take an active role in supporting the true cost of your child’s camp experience.
Every Child Should Experience Camp
We believe that every child should experience the powerful impact that summer camp at Camp Hanover provides, regardless of income. For this reason we also provide “Camperships” (our word for financial aid), so that no child should be denied that experience because of financial hardship. If camp fees present a challenge for your family, please contact us at (804) 779-2811 or email info@CampHanover.org.
When is the registration deadline?
TRICK QUESTION! There isn’t one. You should plan to sign up early. We accept registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis, up until the day a camp starts or all available spaces are filled. We maintain a waiting list for camps that reach capacity. Occasionally, additional camps are added to or removed from our schedule as registration levels dictate.
Can I visit Camp Hanover before I register?
YES! Call (804) 779-2811 or email info@CampHanover.org to arrange a tour. We’ll be happy to show you around!
To get a taste of what summer camp is like, plan to attend our Camp Hanover Fun Day. Enjoy a hayride, hike a trail and sample some campfire cooking! Fun Day is a free event open to all, so bring a friend!
Your camper also may enjoy trying one of our mini camps or family camps. These events usually last two nights and are a good introduction to the overnight Camp Hanover experience.
Is Camp Hanover accredited by the American Camp Association?
YES. As an accredited camp, Camp Hanover meets or exceeds the summer camp industry’s accepted standards and best practices for safety and program quality. Nationally, only 1 camp in 5 can say that. And get this… we have maintained our accreditation consistently for over 50 years. To learn more about why accreditation is an important consideration when choosing a summer camp and how accreditation standards exceed state licensing regulations visit the American Camp Association website.
Can my friend and I be together in the same group?
YES! To be in the same group as your friend, provide his or her name when you enroll. While we cannot guarantee that every request will be filled, we will make every effort to do so. You may only request to be placed with one friend, and that friend must also request you when he or she enrolls. Both campers must be in the same age group and be enrolled in the same camp. Unless you request otherwise, we typically place siblings in separate groups.
Who will my counselors be?
Everyone finds out who their counselors are when they arrive at camp and check in. The Christian men and women who comprise our staff are often former campers, while others are recruited from local churches and area colleges. We also employ a handful of talented young people from countries all over the world.
How many campers are in a group? How many counselors?
Groups typically consist of five or six boys, five or six girls, a male counselor and a female counselor. In a typical summer, we plan for 10 to 12 groups (around 120 campers) each week, and employ 30 to 40 paid and volunteer staff. Campers are placed with peers who are in the same range of school grades. Occasionally, a group may be comprised of single gender campers (when necessary based on the number and gender of campers who enroll). Campers in a group stay together throughout their time at camp to build community. At certain times during the week (such as mealtimes, worship and evening events), campers from some or all of the groups at camp interact with each other.
Where will I sleep? What about the bathrooms? Is there air-conditioning?
Depending on grade level and specific camp program, campers live in cabins, longhouses, or platform tents. During the week, campers may have the opportunity to sleep out in a tent, a treehouse or “under the stars.” Accommodations are rustic. Our cabins and longhouses are simple wooden structures with screened windows, 7 or 8 beds, electricity, ceiling fans, and air-conditioning. Pathfinder Village does not have electricity or air-conditioning. Platform tents are more primitive and do not have electricity. Bathrooms and showers for each campsite are located nearby. Wise Lodge (our main dining facility) and our Health Care Center are air conditioned to give campers some respite from the summer heat.
What should I pack for camp? What should I leave at home?
IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY! We just happen to have a handy-dandy checklist of what to bring and what to leave at home for you to use when you are packing for your time at camp. You can even print it out. In general, special items are not needed for a week of summer camp. Campers wear comfortable clothing suitable for summertime outdoor play activities. Rain gear is essential. A separate set of clothes to wear to the Mud Slide is highly recommended (they’ll never come clean!). Please leave cell phones, candy, snacks, electronic devices, spending money and other expensive or sentimental items at home.
Can I bring my pet ferret, my shotgun or a six-pack of beer to camp?
Nope. Not unless you want to go home early. Campers are not permitted to bring pets, alcohol, tobacco, electronic cigarettes, fireworks, illegal drugs, firearms, or other weapons with them to camp. Personal sports equipment, such as a soccer ball, fishing pole, a small pocketknife or frisbee, is permitted. Equipment for specialized activities such rock climbing, canoeing or horseback riding, will be provided by Camp Hanover or the activity provider. Campers may choose to bring their own archery equipment. Archery equipment must be turned over to the Archery Instructor upon arrival at camp. Campers may choose to bring their own backpacks for offsite hiking trips. Campers bringing bicycles to camp must bring a helmet and wear it while riding. Campers who are of driving age and transport themselves to camp in a personal vehicle must lock their vehicle and surrender vehicle keys to the camp director upon arrival.
How are staff selected for employment at Camp Hanover?
All counselors have to be at least 18 years old. Potential employees complete a written application and undergo an interview with the Program Director. Criminal background checks and character reference checks are performed prior to arrival at camp. All staff participate in an orientation program prior to campers arriving at camp. Approximately 80 hours are spent during Staff Orientation preparing staff for any number of situations they might encounter at camp.
Do you have medical staff on duty?
YES. We have medical personnel on duty 24 hours a day in our Health Center. During Check-in you will have the opportunity to discuss any health concerns with the camp nurse. Additionally, our summer camp staff are trained in First Aid and CPR. In preparation for summer camp, we invite local Emergency Medical Services personnel to the site so they may become familiar with our layout and review our emergency plan.
Can you accommodate campers with special dietary needs?
Yes, in most cases. We can usually accommodate most common dietary restrictions. Our summer camp menu is peanut and tree-nut free. At each meal, we offer an alternative entree and sides for those with gluten allergies or vegetarian diets. Please let us know about dietary needs in advance by calling before your child comes to camp. In addition, indicate dietary needs when completing Camper Health History and Information form (either online or included with your “Welcome To Camp” materials we send you when your registration is confirmed. Our Food Service Manager is happy to talk with you prior to your child’s camp arrival about our menus and any special concerns you may have about your child’s dietary needs. Please call our office at (804) 779-2811.
Should I send my child who has an intellectual disability or other special needs to summer camp?
Please call us before registering your child for camp so we can discuss your child’s individual needs. By discussing your child and the outcomes you desire for him or her while he or she is at camp with us ahead of time, together we can determine whether camp would be a good fit. We can assess whether our counselors would have the specific skills needed to care for and provide the specialized attention that a child with intellectual disabilities or other special needs may require while at camp. This conversation will be an important first step toward achieving our shared goal: creating a successful camp experience for your child.
What day do camps begin and end?
Most one-week and two-week camps begin on Sundays with check-in from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. These camps end on Saturdays with pick-up at 9:00am. The starting and ending days for shorter-term camps, camps offered during the week of July 4th, Pathfinder camps and other specialty camps can vary. We will notify you of check-in and pick-up times specific to your camp when we confirm your enrollment. Generally speaking, for…
- Shorter-term camps that start or end in the middle of a week, check-in and pick-up is at 9:00am.
- Pathfinders, check-in is Sunday at 2:00pm and pickup is two-weeks later on Saturday at noon.
What time is check-in?
For camps that begin on Sunday, Check-in is from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. For camps that begin in the middle of the week, Check-in is from 9:00am – 9:30am. For Pathfinders, Check-in is on Sunday at 2:00pm. We will notify you of check-in and pick-up times specific to your camp when we confirm your enrollment.
What time do I pick up my camper?
Most camps end with pick-up at 9:00am. For Pathfinders, pick up is on Saturday at noon. The starting and ending days and times for shorter-term camps, camps offered during the week of July 4th, Pathfinder camps and other specialty camps can vary. We will notify you of check-in and pick-up times specific to your camp when we confirm your enrollment.
Can I check-in early? Can I check-in late?
Prior to check-in time, our staff are busy preparing for your child’s time at camp, so we ask that all campers arrive during the scheduled check-in times. We can accommodate late arrivals when necessary, just keep in mind that the first several hours at camp are a very critical time where campers begin to get to know each other, build their small group and transition into camp life. The later your child arrives at camp, the harder it becomes to integrate into the group and adjust to a new environment. We encourage you to choose a camp that your child will be able to participate in from the start.
Can I pick my child up earlier or later than the scheduled pick up times?
Early departures can be disruptive to your child and others in his or her group. We can accommodate alternative pick-up times only in unusual situations. Please register your child for a camp that he or she will be able to complete. Regarding late pick-ups, please understand that our staff have other responsibilities and duties related to the operation of camp which commence after campers depart. As such, we cannot provide care for campers after the scheduled pick-up time.
Can I attend more than one camp?
YES! You can sign up for multiple camps when you first register online, or you can register for additional camps later. Please note: Campers attending consecutive camps may not stay at Camp Hanover over the weekend.
Can I sign up for a camp that is for campers in a certain grade, if I’m not in that grade?
Experience has shown that most campers are happier with others at their own peer level. In a great majority of cases, placing campers out of grade level has proven unsuccessful. Additionally, some of the organizations we partner with to provide specialized camp activities (offsite mission projects, horseback riding, and rock climbing, just to name a few) only allow participants of a certain age to engage in the activity.
When are camp fees due?
We believe signing up for summer camp should be easy and worry-free. During our pre-registration and early-registration periods, you can save your spot without having to pay anything when you sign up. That’s right, no deposit, no strings, no hoops, no hassles. Get signed up, and you’ll make your first payment in April. You’ll have the option to pay your camp fees in full all at once, over time in equal monthly installments, or on a schedule of your choosing.
When you register after April 1st, a minimum initial payment of $100 is needed to secure your camper’s spot at summer camp. Remaining camp fee balances are due 10 days prior to the start date of your camp session. To provide you some flexibility for paying your camp fee, the online registration system allows several different payment schedule options. For most camp programs, you can choose to:
- Pay the entire fee when you submit your registration.
- Pay $100 initially and pay the balance of fees at a time of your choosing.
- Pay $100 initially and pay the balance of fees in equal amounts over time. The system automatically calculates and collects your payments each month. Your balance will be paid in full by the start of your camp session.
To make a payment at anytime, login to your account by visiting www.camphanover.org/me
Any remaining balance of your camp fee will be automatically collected 10 days prior to the start date of your camp session.
Am I eligible for a special discount?
Camp Hanover provides $30 in support to campers who are active members of Presbytery of the James, Presbytery of Eastern Virginia, or National Capital Presbytery congregations. When your family registers multiple siblings in summer camp, we provide $40 in support for each child in overnight camp and $15 of support for each child in on-site day camp. This is possible thanks to the mission funding we receive from the Presbytery of the James and annual financial gifts from individuals and congregations who value the impact of ministry taking place at Camp Hanover.
I have to cancel my camp registration. Do I get a refund?
YES! Camp Hanover offers a no-hassle, 100% full refund of summer camp fees. Scheduling your summer activities can be stressful enough without having to worry about how unforeseen circumstances could impact your finances and your carefully planned calendar. If summer camp is not able to happen as planned, if you need to switch to another camp session or cancel your registration before a session begins, or if you decide you need to keep your child at home this summer, we’ve got your back.
If you need to switch to another camp session or cancel your registration, call our office at (804) 779-2811 and we’ll help you find another session that your camper might be able to attend. If we can’t find another session that works for you, you’ll get a full refund.
If you need to cancel your registration, it’s important that you contact us before the start date of your camp session. When your child fails to show up for a camp session he or she is scheduled for without letting us know ahead of time, the other campers in your child’s group and the activities that may have been planned for them can be affected as well. Please help us out by contacting us ahead of time if your child isn’t going to show up for camp. And thanks for being considerate of the other campers!
Refunds for campers who fail to show up on the start date of a camp session without letting us know ahead of time are considered only on a case-by-case basis.
Similarly, refunds for early departure from a camp session due to illness, a camper violation of a policy (for example, possession of tobacco while at camp) or for reasons of personal choice (for example, homesickness) are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Is financial assistance available?
YES. We believe every child should have the opportunity to experience summer camp, regardless of income level or family situation. Many churches and local community organizations offer “Camperships” — financial aid — to assist campers with the camp fee. If you require assistance beyond what your local church can provide, please let us know. Camp Hanover has limited campership funds available to help make camp financially possible for every child who wishes to attend.
Can I volunteer at camp?
YES! Volunteers play an integral role at camp. There are many opportunities for you to use your skills and talents all year to support Camp Hanover’s mission. During Summer Camp especially, volunteers can serve in various ways:
- On Sundays, assisting with camper arrivals and check-in
- In the kitchen, preparing meals or washing dishes
- In the office, assisting with mailings and other tasks
- Staffing the Health Care Center or
- Groundskeeping, carpentry and other maintenance tasks
- As a counselor or activity leader, working alongside other summer staff
In many cases, as a way of saying “Thanks!” we are able to offer volunteers a Campership that they may give to the child of their choice. If you are interested in volunteering call us at (804) 779-2811 or send us an email.