Info & Policies

Summer Camp at Bethany Village Policies

   Application Policy   v

All people are welcome with love and joy at Camp McDowell regardless of faith tradition.

Camper Attendance Policy   v

To foster independence, nature friendships, and support continuity in programming, campers are expected to be present for their entire session. With the exception of family and academic commitments, campers will not be allowed to come and go from camp.

ACCEPTACE TO BETHANY'S KIDS IS CONTINGENT ON MEETING CAMPER ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES (see pdf below). THESE GUIDELINES APPEAR AT THE BASE OF THIS INFORMATION BLOCK. TO VIEW, PLEASE CLICK ON "2017 Bethany's Kids Overview Guidelines" pdf BELOW.

Questions about our attendance policies? For camps in Clear Creek, please contact Stratt Byars (stratt@campmcdowell.com). For camps in Bethany Village, please contact Susanna Whitsett (susanna@campmcdowell.com)

Arrival and Departure   v

Arrival and Departure times may vary according to the unique schedule of each camp or retreat. Please note the arrival and departure times of your session as listed in communication with the coordinator. Feel free to contact the coordinator, Susanna Whitsett directly with any questions about the schedule for your session (susanna@campmcdowell.com)

Most sessions conclude with Holy Eucharist. Family and friends are invited! If not attending the service, please be prompt with camper pick-up.

Contacting Campers while at Camp   v

  • CAMPERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING CELL PHONES TO CAMP.
  • Campers may make and receive phone calls on Camp’s phone in case of an emergency.
  • Campers are allowed to receive email, regular mail, and packages as noted below.
  • To better ensure prompt delivery, always include camper name, session name, and cabin in the address (regular mail) or subject line (email).
  • Mail and Emails are delivered every day except closing day.
  • Address: 105 DeLong Road Nauvoo, AL 35578
  • Email Address: campermail@campmcdowell.com
  • Phone: (205) 387-1806
  • EMAIL LIMIT: 1 per camper, per session, per sender. No email photos, please! Note: For environmental reasons, camper email delivery will cease in 2017.
  • Families are invited to leave letters/packages at check-in for later delivery. Packages may be purchased in our Camp Store on opening day.
  • Mailed packages should be no larger than a shoe box. Please be mindful of those that do not receive packages at camp and send no more than one package per camper per session. Birthdays are an exception!

Cabin Assignments   v

  • As camp is a time to make new friends, we will limit the number of campers from the same parish or school in one cabin.
  • Campers may request 1 other camper to be in their cabin, with special consideration given to campers of Our Time grief camp.
  • Campers must request one another on the registration to be processed.
  • No assignments will be changed on opening day.
  • Siblings ARE NOT automatically housed together unless requested. This will not count as a cabin mate request.

Life at Camp   v

  • Camp is a place to GET UNPLUGGED: Please do not send your campers with electronic devices. Instead, consider a journal, art supplies, cards, or a camera.
  • Campers are expected to participate and follow all rules.
  • The following actions of will result in immediate dismissal: use or possession of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, illegal drugs, alcohol, weapons of any kind, or inappropriate contact or exposure of one’s own or with another’s body.
  • Girls: one piece bathing suits or tankinis are allowed. Two-piece bathing suits are not allowed.
  • Please help us keep campers happy and healthy: do not send candy or high-sugar foods. Candy in the cabins can be messy and attract insects. Small packs of cookies, crackers, or chips to share are acceptable. Please label and secure all food to protect our campers with allergies.

Financial Information

Is there a deposit?   v

A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due with your registration. Make checks payable to Camp McDowell. Online registration will allow you to pay the deposit while online. The balance is due no later than 10 days before the session begins.

Do you offer scholarships?   v

No person will be denied the opportunity to come to Camp McDowell due to inadequate finances. Financial assistance and/or payment arrangements will be made available to those who are in need. Please contact camp at 205.387.1806 to receive a Scholarship Request Form or send an email to Susanna Whitsett (email link; susanna@campmcdowell.com).

Due to the amount of scholarships requested each year from Camp, it is our policy to request the $50 deposit from each camper as possible and/or a portion of the session fee. It is not our practice to supply canteen money for campers. Families also may choose to contact their priest, pastor, or organization director for assistance. If desired, Camp McDowell will make the contact on a family’s behalf.

What about insurance?   v

Insurance costs are covered in the session fee and protect all campers while traveling to and from camp and throughout the session. The maximum benefits are: $1000 (sickness) and $2500 (accidents and loss of life). Parents or guardians are responsible for expenses in excess of these amounts.

Can I donate?   v

Please consider a contribution to Camp McDowell’s Scholarship Fund when paying your fee.

Do you offer a photo CD?   v

We no longer offer a photo CD. We will post several pictures from each session the website. A group photo is included in the registration fee.

How do I add money for the Canteen?   v

Canteen money may be added to the registration fees for Summer Camp except for Primary I and II (pay as you go).

Health & Medical

Your application is not complete until we have received your Health Form, which is due 10 days prior to your session. Additional forms, such as a Camper Profile Form, Ropes Course Waiver, and Disclaimer may also be required for your session.

All forms are included in the online registration. Hard copies of these forms (for those using paper applications) will be mailed to you as needed.

Campers 5th grade and older may be eligible to participate on our ropes course if offered at their session. A liability waiver (found here; link to waiver) is required to participate.

Routine health care is provided by a registered nurse on staff. If additional care is needed, the camper will be taken to a medical facility. Parents will be contacted as soon as possible.

All medications (prescriptions and over the counter) must be in the original containers and checked in by the medical staff at the time of registration on opening day. These will be kept in the Health Hut and dispensed as needed by the medical staff.

Campers must bring all of their own over the counter and prescription medications. Over the counter medications will be distributed by the nurse as needed if permission is granted on the Health Form.

The physical, emotional, and mental health of campers are of concern to our staff. If things are not fine at home, please talk to the Bethany Village Summer Camps Coordinator in confidence. An informed staff will be better equipped to care for your child.

Bethany Village at Camp McDowell proudly hosts many camps that are designed intentionally for inclusion of campers with physical disabilities and intellectual differences. Among these camps are:

Bethany’s Kids (sponsored by Camp McDowell)

Special Session (sponsored by The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama)

Camp COOL (coordinated through Director, Britney Henson)

Joni & Friends Family Retreat (sponsored by Joni & Friends)

With the exception of campers with special needs that are attending these inclusive programs, campers should be able to meet their personal needs, move independently from place to place, and cooperatively function in a group setting. For specific guidelines to each session, please refer that program’s information.

Through Bethany Village, Camp McDowell strives to make camps accessible and adaptable for those with physical disabilities and/or intellectual differences. Some programs or activities offered by Camp McDowell in Bethany Village may not be yet suitable for all levels of mobility. If you have questions about which programs or activities are appropriate for you or your child, please contact Susanna Whitsett (susanna@campmcdowell.com).

Organizations and individuals seeking to hold an event at Camp McDowell may schedule through our Conference Center.