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Our Camp

Camp Colley is a one-of-its-kind asset in our local community by providing impactful environmental education and social skill development in nature for underserved Phoenix children.

 

In 2019 we began measuring the key impacts resulting from Camp Colley participation. These benchmarks have helped shape goals for program growth in 2020 and beyond – both in terms of program content and depth of services. Here is what we achieved:

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Percentage Increase in Environmental Learning

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Percentage Increase in Confidence and Self Esteem

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Percentage Increase in campers' Willingness to Try New Things

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Percentage Increase in Relationship Skills

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Percentage Increase in Affinity for Nature

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Percentage Increase in Leadership Skills

Camp FAQs

 

ABOUT CAMP

What is the program like at Camp Colley?

It’s an immersive 5-day outdoor residential camp that provides nature-based outdoor education, leadership and recreational adventure programs, and is geared toward developing key social skills necessary for success.

Who is Camp Colley for?

Camp Colley is co-ed and serves all children ages 8-14. We also offer junior-staff volunteer roles at camp free of charge for adolescent workforce and leadership skill development for those ages 15-17.

Does my child need to meet the age requirements?

Your child must be between the ages of 8 and 14 starting on the first day of their camp session.

Are you gender-specific?

No, we are an inclusive residential camp with gender-specific sleeping quarters for males and females. We proudly serve all youth regardless of their gender identification and will make any accommodations possible to ensure all youth can participate.

Why Summer Camp?

Camp immerses youth in nature while engaging them in leadership and recreational experiences to help them learn and grow. It takes them out of their everyday environments where air, noise, light and automation pollution hinder opportunities for them to experience their full range of capabilities. Camp Colley gives young people the chance to fall in love with nature.

We are unapologetic and purposeful in that we have no central air, no swimming pool, no TV and no cell phone reception, no vending machine and no paved road! Our remote setting allows children to slow down, unplug from electronics and into the wonder of the world. Unique because of this, Camp Colley positively impacts how youth cooperate and problem-solve together, it provides them with opportunities to practice authentic and confident versions of themselves, and helps them develop social skillsets necessary for success.

 

LOCATION

Where is camp? Do we sleep in tents?

Camp Colley is nestled in the beautiful Coconino National Forest approximately 50 miles north of Payson. Campers sleep in comfortable, modern platform tents that keep a rustic feel to get a true experience of being fully immersed in nature.

Is transportation provided?

Yes, we provide transportation to camp. The transportation pick-up and drop-off location will be provided upon completion of registration.

 

CAMPER EXPERIENCE

How do I prepare my child for Summer Camp?

Each youth should bring clothing comfortable to play and exercise in while also keeping in mind temperatures at Camp Colley are roughly 20-30 degrees lower than in Phoenix.

Toiletries (including sunscreen!), a sleeping bag and pillow, a water bottle, and any personal items they’ll need/want (i.e. medications). We provide everything else—housing, meals, drinks, snacks, materials, and some great gifts.

We have a strict no-electronics policy at Camp Colley. No phones, tablets or other electronics are permitted and must be turned in to staff for safe keeping if brought to camp. Please leave all electronics at home.

No personal food items can be brought to Camp Colley. Wildlife surrounds the property and food and drinks attract animals to unwanted areas that can cause safety challenges. All food and drinks must be turned in to staff for safe keeping if brought to camp. Please leave all food and drinks home.

What happens upon arrival at Summer Camp?

Campers are made to feel welcome by our Camp Colley staff and followed with a quick introduction to their assigned cabin groups. Campers immediately learn the ground rules of camp and establish group boundaries to ensure all children are safe and comfortable throughout their stay with us.

Will my child be fed well at Camp Colley?

Yes, we’ve got all your meals and snacks covered. We provide campers with three delicious, well-balanced meals every day. Additionally, we provide healthy snacks between meals to keep them energized and moving.

What if my child has food allergies or a special diet?

We happily accommodate all diets and allergies to ensure all campers are fully nourished to their needs. Please indicate any special diet or food allergy on your registration paperwork.

What if my child takes medication?

Campers will continue taking all medication prescribed by a doctor and throughout their session at Camp Colley. All medication must be listed on the camper’s registration paperwork and must be turned into staff in its original pharmacy container upon arrival at camp drop-off for safe keeping. Our Camp Nurse will discretely pull campers aside at the necessary time to allow each camper to self-administer their own medication.

If you child has an inhaler or EpiPen, it will be kept with their Camp Counselors and provided to your child as soon as they need to use it. Your child will always be within feet of their counselor at all times for quick administration of these items. For safety of all campers, no child can carry their own inhaler or EpiPen.

Is there a dress code?

Yes and it’s very basic; comfortable and casual. We’ll give you a suggested list of what to pack upon completion of registration. We do ask that clothing be age and activity appropriate. Campers must bring closed-toed shoes (best for hiking) and at least one warm sweatshirt or jacket, with enough clothing and undergarments to last five days.

 

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

In case of emergency, how are parents notified?

In the event of an emergency we notify parents as soon as possible by telephone. When registering for camp you will also be asked to provide two alternative emergency contacts in the event you are not able to answer your phone.

How do I get in touch with my child/children if an emergency comes up?

After registering you will receive communication from us several times and we will share a 24-hour access number to reach Camp Colley staff at any time. Because of the remote nature of our property, it may be difficult to reach our staff between the hours of 10p and 6a as that is when the entire camp, including staff, are asleep. Voicemail will be check daily by 6a to ensure a fast response to any messages received.

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

Where does your staff come from?

Camp Colley staff are recruited from all over the country and have two core characteristics in common- they love children and nature. Our staff are energetic, well-trained, experienced young adults who maintain our spirit, traditions and level of excellence at all time. Most camp staff are college-educated in, or currently in college for, youth-focused careers like teaching, outdoor recreation, or social work-related professions; most are young adults looking for a rewarding opportunity to get experience practicing their profession or passion They come from all over the state and country and are vetted through an intensive and highly selective hiring process that includes qualification screening, interviews, personal and professional references and nationwide background screenings. For context, our staff each complete the same level of screening as a public-school teacher must in the state of Arizona.

How do you protect the health and safety of campers?

We have a Camp Nurse and other medically trained staff on our property 24 hours a day. Additionally, each staff person is certified in first aid and CPR.

What if my child gets homesick?

Homesickness is normal. Being away from home can feel overwhelming, especially for new-to-camp campers, but it will also be one of the most important, extraordinary and rewarding experiences of your child’s growth! Our highly trained staff encourage campers to push through their homesickness and use calling home as a last resort. We will not transport a child home during the camp session due to homesickness.

What is your policy regarding bullying?

We work hard to encourage bonding across each cabin group and intentionally mix-up participants to allow them to connect with all children at Camp Colley. Cabin groups are based upon age.

It’s our goal to create a culture of inclusion and respect. Counselors assist campers as they engage their cabin mates and supervise campers at all times. We have zero tolerance for any kind bullying or exclusionary behavior.

 

REGISTRATION & CANCELLATION POLICY

How do I register for Summer Camp?

For registration information, please contact your local Phoenix Parks and Recreation Center who manages enrollment for all Camp Colley sessions. Camp sessions are first-come-first serve and may fill quickly.

Please note, a $10 deposit must be submitted with all necessary paperwork in order to confirm registration. In lieu of their deposit, all campers will receive a t-shirt to commemorate their experience at the end of their Camp Colley session.

What if I want my son/daughter to be housed with their sibling/friend?

We group children up based on age and discourage siblings and friends from being in the same cabin group. We encourage children to make new friends which often lead to life-long bonds.

What happens after I register for camp?

You will receive an automated email confirming your enrollment at camp. Then you will receive a complete camp package and gear list, additional camp information and you will be asked to complete a Medication Authorization Form, as well as a Nonprescription Medication Authorization form as well as any other necessary forms.

I registered my child but now he/she can’t go. What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations 10 days or more before the first day of camp begins will receive their full $10 deposit refund. Cancellations within 10 days of camp will lose the $10 deposit.

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