Thank you for considering Camp Sagitawa this summer.
We hope the information in this section is helpful and answers many of your
Please take note
of our Camp Policies
They contain need to know information for campers and parents.
What do I need to know about Homesickness?
Information about registering is for any of our camps may be found here
Other information about who we are may be found here
FAQs for Parents..
About Camper Care
1. How do I know my kids will be cared for?
2. How do you select the cabin leaders and other staff?
3. Do cabin leaders stay in cabins with campers?
4. How do you handle discipline?
About Camper Life
1. Are cabins co-ed?
2. Can I request cabin sharing with a friend?
3. What is the average day at camp like?
4. What is Tuck?
1. How do I register for a camp program?
2. When is the registration deadline?
3. What if I have to cancel after registering?
4. What financial programs are available for assisting campers to attend?
1. What if my question was not answered?
Gary, here with Audrey, has been
directing at Sagitawa since 1997.
Over the years our caring staff have worked hard to bring us to the leading edge of Christian camping. We continue to strive
for excellence in programs that are exciting and safe. We provide our carefully chosen staff with intensive training in
leadership and safety.
We are committed to excellence and integrity in every part of our program. We are accredited with the BC Camping Association
and Christian Camping
Leadership Staff train and prepare for 5 weeks, followed by a 3 week Leadership Training Camp. Seeds work through a shorter
Being on camp staff is demanding and we expect a high level of commitment from our staff. We have a strong team training dynamic
based on relationship which provides the basis for much of our work with campers and cabin groups.
We desire success for each camper, and provide training in many areas including:
- caring for camper needs
- behaviour management
- appropriate discipline
- dealing with homesickness
- anger management
- dealing with bullying
- risk management
- communication techniques
- challenge by choice in skills
- free choice in spiritual learning
Trail Ride Training
Trail Rides normally uses shorter term staff, and therefore they have seen a need to provide a training program that is
specific to each week of camp. Some of the training will be done by mail/email, and some the day prior to starting each
camp, while the remainder is accomplished during the camping week. Areas of training are similar to those offered at the
main camp, with the exception of not needing to learn about skills or water activities more specific to Moberly Lake.
Staff Selelction Process
Applicants must follow the following selection process prior to becoming staff at either Trail Rides or Moberly Lake or in our
Wilderness Adventure Trips.
Cabin Leaders must have graduated from grade 12 (or age equivalent). Leadership staff are generally 20 or older. Staff are
required to relate well to children and youth and should show a desire to be involved in a self-giving ministry. They must
demonstrate a high level of responsibility and integrity.
Required Steps within the Application Process:
- Submission of a completed Camp Sagitawa Application.
- Submission of at least 2 adult references (prefer 3).
- Personal interview with the applicant.
- Prayerful consideration of each application.
- Proof of having no prior criminal convictions or arrests with respect to children.
- Acceptance to our Leadership Training Camp.
- Successful completion of this training.
Criminal Record Clearance
All applicants (Staff, Seed, Colt) are required to apply to the RCMP for a Criminal Record Clearance. We are most concerned
about convictions or arrests that relate to child abuse. We recognize that these screens do not prove innocence or guilt, and
entirely miss individuals who have not yet been arrested. For this reason we also rely on
personal references for information in this area.
How does a criminal record check work?
Record searches return either of two results.
- "No record exists!" - conclusive and requires no further search.
- "A record may or may not exist!" - a record has been found for someone of a similar name and birthdate. Proof of
identity requires a comparison of fingerprints.
Matching prints would produce a copy of the criminal record. In the case of a young offfender, the copy is mailed only to the
individual. This applicant may choose to forward it to us. Sagitawa will not accept a staff member who would choose not to
forward it. Our concern is that maximum care be provided, and that we give no opportunity for campers to be abused in any way.
A cabin leader stays in each cabin group with the campers. The SEED assistant normally does not, except where directed to do
so by the Wellness Director.
Cabin Leaders teach, lead, supervise and play with campers. Open activities are also under supervision. We desire a competent
level of supervision, which at a practical level means that there should never be a stretch longer that 10 minutes. Daily events
are scheduled so that a complete attendance of campers is taken 9 or 10 times a day. Campers may not be aware that staff take
attendance during during meals, skills, chapel, discovery, etc. If a camper is missing, the procedure is to inform one of the
Our goal is a maximum cabin leader to camper ratio of 1:8. Lower ratios occur on overnight out-trips, during daily activities,
on SWAT trips, and in our Trail Ride camps.
Managing behaviour is a positive approach to discipline with a preventative objective. The idea is to provide good activities
and teach positive responses so that campers learn to avoid inappropriate behaviour. Example: learn how talk about what we
feel rather than just strike back to get even. Staff are taught to recognize potential problem situations early and to help
campers learn how to redirect.
On the first day, two activities work towards managing behaviour. The first is a clear understanding of camp expectations and
behaviour. The second is a Team Development Activity ending in a cabin debriefing that models talking about how our interactions
with cabinmates in the activity made us feel.
Our goal is to help campers modify their own behaviour. This means that we may we may need to alter our response to campers in
similar situation. Note these examples of two campers who were trying to hurt another camper.
The one camper understood that his behaviour was not helping his situation. He apologized and wished he could erase what
he had done. I explained the difference between forgiveness and trust. Since he wanted to earn that trust again, I gave
forgiveness, and offered a practical assignment with measureable goals and accountability. I allowed this camper to complete
his week of camp.
In the other situation the camper assured me that he would continue to be aggressive. Since He was unyielding, discipline was
pointless. It also meant he was a constant danger to the other camper. I put him under 24 hr surveillance until the next morning
when he was sent home.
Discipline may include discussions with the one wronged in the presence of appropriate camp staff. It may mean a call home or a
trip home. It may involve appropriate apologies or compensations. Our first goals are to help campers succeed at camp and to
provide safety for others. We believe that discipline is only effective if consistent in its goal, fair to the individual and
Though our camps are co-ed, the living units are not. Male leaders stay with the guy cabins and female leaders with the girls.
They provide care and supervision for about 8 male and female campers respectively. These leaders work hard to help campers have
a positive experience away from home. We value the trust relationship that Sagitawa has with parents, since it helps us provide
a quality camp experience while keeping lines of communication open.
If you have other questions related to what its like to live in a cabin at camp, please contact the camp office.
Cabin Sharing Policies
We allow up to 3 friends to ask to be together in the same cabin. We value good friendships and believe that campers coming
with friends often have a great week. Note the following...
- We often discourage large groups of friends asking to bunk together so that we don't end up with a situation where
the large group tends to ignore 1 or 2 two others campers. In such cases we may contact the parents and ask how to best
split the larger group into two.
- Campers in a special Track cannot bunk with campers in the Classic Track. The schedules are different. Friends
who take different tracks can request to be in the same table group.
- Please help us put your camper with the friends you request by ensuring the name(s) are on the registration form.
Cabins groups are usually formed 2-3 days before the first day of camp. Changes made after campers begin settling in are
usually not fair to other campers.
Encouraging New Friendships
Camp is an excellent place to build new friendships. Some of our activities are done as cabin groups, while others are done
as teams or by camper choice. Campers who do not end up in the same cabin, may end up eating together or taking skills,
swimming and playing together. This type of schedule also fosters the development of new friendships.
Average Day at Moberly
During the summer we take advantage of the daylight by adjusting the schedule so that campers stay up an hour later and sleep in
an hour longer each morning. So after camp, you may find them a bit off the normal schedule. But camp tends to do this to a person
anyway... there are just too many fun things to do.
Generally speaking, activities are 60-90 minutes in length. Regular change helps maintain interest for a healthy experience. The
Track schedules will be similar but will switch Discovery time with one of the skill blocks.
Discovery (in cabin groups)
Extra Skill (special tracks)
Camp Game (other campers)
-- continued next column --
(Waterfront, Activities, Crafts, Tuck)
Prepare for bed
Average Day at Trail Rides
We are outdoors 24-7, even sleeping in teepees and cooking meals over the fire. Our days begin fairly early and end at a
reasonable hour. The first few nights tend to be late due to all the excitement of being back at camp, but by days 4/5, everyone
seems to be glad to go to sleep.
Riding groups are switched around as much as possible to provide interaction on the ride with each of the other
Group 1 or 2
Supper & Chores
Chapel & Mug up
Wash up & bed
Lunch on Trail
Back at Camp
Swim & Tuck
Back at Camp
Average Day on SWAT
SWAT camp schedules are more relaxed than those at Moberly. Some camps have to pack up and move to another site each day,
while others will return to their base camp each day. Schedules therefore vary from camp to camp. An average day will include:
Rise and Shine
Breakfast and clean up around the campfire
Break camp if on hike or canoe camp
General activity: hiking / canoeing / biking / skills
Break for Lunch
Continue with activities
Break for Discovery
Continue with activities
Set up camp if on hike or canoe camp
Supper and clean up around the campfire
Our Tuck Shop
We have Tuck Shops at Trail Rides and at Moberly Lake. Campers may purchase confectionary items, t-shirts, Bibles, crafts and a
few souvenirs. At times we may also carry postage stamps, toothbrushes and a few other items. All items sold in our Tuck Shop
are optional. We set a limit on how much junk food may be purchased in one day.
Crafts at Sagitawa
Camp and crafts have gone hand in hand for many years. At Sagitawa, we try to provide a variety of options. Which of the
following would interest you? Paint a plaque or a picture, make something in leatherwork, make a beeswax candle, design a hemp
bracelet or necklace, card embossing, or making a special window hanging. We vary our crafts from time to time and craft prices
reflect the cost only.
Easy Ways to Register
Space is reserved by registering in advance, and a minimum deposit must accompany the registration form. Please choose from one
of the options below.
We accept cheques, Visa, MC, and cash. Cheques must be mailed or hand delivered. Credit card information may be phoned, faxed
or mailed. Do not mail cash. We also have a secure web form for registering now.
You may pay the minimum deposit or the full amount up-front. For some camps, $10 is discounted for those making a full payment
prior to May 1.
The registration form is available online, by mail, by fax and at various locations within your community. The on-line form may
be accessed by looking for the camp of your choice in the Program section of this web-site.
Registration Deadline: Moberly Lake or SWAT Trips
We accept 96 campers per session at Moberly, and about 12-16 on SWAT Trips. Registering early can guarantee a reserved space.
We have no actual deadline, but some camps fill up by May 1 while others do not fill up until the week prior to camp.
Our office policy is to respond to each registration as it comes in. Acceptance is shown by receipt, and if a camp is full, we
will phone immediately. If you are still concerned about a camp being full, please call.
Registration Deadline: Trail Rides
Trail Ride camps tend to fill up quickly since we accept only 25 campers per camp. Generally you should register
before May 1 to assure acceptance. But do not assume that camps are full until after the session starts.
Registration Deadline: Off Season
Off-season camps do not usually fill up completely. But we encourage you not to delay too long as we prefer to have a general
count on who is coming about 7 days prior to the camp start date. This helps us finalize staffing, set up cabins and purchase food.
This policy may only be waived in extenuating circumstances.
- Cancellation 2 weeks or more prior to the start of camp - 50% of the deposit and all other fees are returned.
- Cancellation within 2 weeks of the camp - the whole deposit is kept.
- Cancellation after first day of camp - deposit and the remainder of fees is kept.
- An additional fee will be charged when transferring fees to other campers.
Our Sponsorship Program is designed to assist those who would otherwise be unable to attend, with payment of registration fees or
a portion of them. To apply for sponsorship, please follow these steps.
- Request a sponsorship form from the camp office.
- Fill it out and return it to the camp office.
- The form is kept confidential, and is processed case by case.
- Once processed, the applicant will be notified of the amount of sponsorship available.
Sponsorships have helped many families and individuals to enjoy and benefit from attending weekend retreats, special programs
and summer camps. This is made possible only through the generous gifts from individuals and groups who wish to make a difference
in someone's life.
Camp Sagitawa provides excellent programs in a beautiful recreative setting. Our programs are designed for sharing the gospel message and the
development of Christian character. We are interdenominational, and we highly respect the values of individual understanding and choice. Thanks
to the parents for giving your children an opportunity to be informed for their own choices.
The following PDF documents have been prepared to help answer the more common questions.
Can Parents Help?
There are times when a parent asks if it is possible to help at camp during the week that they drop off one or more of their children.
Reasons may be vaired, but the good news is that we do accept applications for volunteer support staff when we are able. We ask
that you assist your child in their success by keeping distractions to a minimum, and allowing cabin leaders and program staff to
do their jobs.
Support positions may include kitchen, crafts or maintenance help. Please contact the office about this at the time you register.
We send a brochure to every camper who attended one of our programs within the last 2 years, and to each individual on our support list. We also
leave our brochures in many places. Here is a list of the places where we generally drop them off...
Homesickness is a feeling of distress caused separation from family and parents. While mild cases are characterized by a longing for home, severe
homesickness often includes an inability to focus on anything else. Homesickness can occur to anyone, but it is more acute for children when they
are apart from family.
- Let your children make some of the 'away' decisions with you (involvement in the decision).
- Educate your children about the normalcy of "missing home".
- Do not tell your children that you will miss them terribly. If they think you cannot cope, then neither will they.
- Do not plan for failure by telling your children that if they cannot make it at camp, that you will come get them.
- Do not express your own anxieties about camp in front of your children. Do positive research with your children!
- Encourage your children to make new friends and to seek the support of trusted adults.
- Consider attending as a volunteer staff the first year, or attend as a family at our Family Retreat.
- Provide shorter practice times away from home. Give positive feedback.
- Encourage letter writing as a means of communication. It is tougher on the phone.
- If encouraging phone calls, provide a pre-paid calling card, and a request to call after supper instead of before bed.
- Use a calendar to cross out the days, and provide perspective as to how a week is compared to a year.
- Provide other coping instructions. (good ideas here)
Treatment - Coping Strategies
- Have fun playing with friends to distract yourself from the feelings.
- Write a letter or look at a family picture to maintain connections with home.
- Talk with someone who knows how to help you feel better.
- Think about all the good things that you would miss if you went home.
- Remember that your time away is actually pretty short compared to the time you are at home.
- Try to forget about homesickness.
- What might your family say to help if they were here.
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org. See site for longer list)