frequently Asked Questions
Below you’ll find a list of the most common questions we receive. If your question is not on the list below, please call us at 218.768.2610 or email our Program Director, Natalie Swanson.
How do I register for camp?
When does registration open?
Registration opens Monday January 11, 2021.
What if the camp I signed my camper up for is full?
With COVID-19, this summer we are running camps at a reduced capacity. We anticipate camps will fill up very quickly. If you complete your registration and the camp you signed up for is full, you will be put on the wait list. We hope that in the coming months our capacities will be able to increase and we will be able to make room for more campers while still practicing COVID-19 protocols.
Does CPBC Offer Financial Aid or Scholarships?
Please know that we do everything we can to keep the cost of camp low. We also have a few ways to reduce the cost for you. Please visit our Scholarships Page to learn about all the ways to cut down on the cost of camp.
Do I need to attend a Covenant Church to attend CPBC?
No. We serve people from many denominations as well as non-churched campers. We are a camp where all are welcome!
What is FLEX Week?
FLEX Week is new in 2021, where we will be offering two weeks of camp for students grades entering 4-8. We will actually be running two separate programs that week – one for grades 4-6, and another for grades 7-8. The individual programs will be smaller than a typical week of camp, but following the same schedule and program. This is a great option for parents who want to send household siblings to camp the same week.
Do I mail in my Health Form?
No. Your Camper’s Health Form MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE. This form must be filled out, online, prior to June 1, 2020. The Health Form will NOT be the bus ticket to get on the bus as it has been in previous years.
What is your cancellation policy?
In the event that you should need to cancel a registration, you will receive a refund of fees paid minus a $75 non-refundable registration fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations within 14 days of the camp date. If a cancellation is needed due to an emergency, please contact our office at 218-768-2610. If a camper is exposed to COVID-19 prior to their week of camp causing them to cancel, we will offer a refund.
Can I stay in the same cabin with 6 of my best friends?
In a normal, full capacity summer- probably not. With COVID-19 and limited capacity, definitely not. Our cabins will be running at about 50% capacity, which means we will have 5-6 campers per cabin. You will only be able to list one cabin pal request on your registration.
Getting to Camp
What Should I Pack for Camp?
Click here to see our detailed packing list.
Does CPBC provide transportation?
No, not for summer 2021. Historically, we have offered transportation to camp, but with COVID-19, we have made the decision to not offer transportation as a health and safety measure. We are happy to brainstorm creative ways to get campers to camp, so please reach out to our office to discuss your options.
What time should I drop off and pick up my camper?
Drop off time will be from 2:00-3:00 pm on the first day of camp, and pick up will be at 10:00 am on the last day of camp.
Where do we go to drop off/pick up at camp?
We will have a registration table set up right when you get to camp. When you drop off your camper, check in with the table and they will give you instructions and details on where your camper is staying. You will see the same table when you pick up your camper and will be given instructions.
How is Covenant Pines planning to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 this summer?
There are many ways we plan to run camp in a safe and healthy way this summer. First of all, healthy camp starts at home. Campers will be screened for COVID symptoms upon arrival and will have their temperature taken. If there are any symptoms of COVID, we ask that campers stay home. Camp will operate at a reduced capacity to make sure there is enough space for social distancing.
Will my camper be required to wear a mask while at Covenant Pines?
In all indoor spaces, yes. The only exceptions to this is when campers are eating at their table in the dining hall and sleeping in their cabin.
Will camp look different for my camper this summer?
Most likely, yes. Our program will be different to ensure health and safety of our campers. Cabins will travel in pods and experience activities together. Chapel will likely be outdoors and big games will be creatively socially distant. We promise to still create a fun and exciting experience for your camper, and one thing definitely will not change – your camper will experience the love of Christ.
My camper has dietary allergies. How does your camp handle special diets?
Over the years we have served many campers with food allergies (gluten free, vegetarian, celiac, and various allergies). We pride ourselves on providing delicious, quality meals to campers with special diets. During the registration process, please indicate their dietary needs and we will make sure your campers is taken care of. We serve our meals cafeteria style. As campers make their way down the line, they will see that each food option is clearly labeled with labels such as “dairy free,” “gluten free,” and “vegetarian.” For campers with several dietary needs, we will create their own separate plate ahead of time and hand it to them at every meal.
If you have meal related concerns, feel free to contact us and ask to speak to our Food Service Director, Pam, at 218.768.2610 or send her an email.
How can I contact my camper while they are at camp?
Email email@example.com and write your camper’s full name in the subject line. Or address a letter to:
Covenant Pines Bible Camp
43696 245th Pl
McGregor, MN 55760
Emails sent to campers after 12:00pm noon on their last full day of camp will not be delivered to campers. For more details on contacting your camper, please click here.
What's up with the mosquitoes?
That’s a great question. Some years they are bad and other years they are terrible! We do limited spraying, but campers should still bring mosquito spray/lotion and have instruction from you on how to use it. Light weight long sleeve shirts and pants for evening work great.
Can I call my child when they are at camp?
In cases of emergency, yes. Otherwise, we discourage calls. If your child is homesick, a camp staff member will call you if we feel it necessary. In our experience, most of the time campers are fine after the first day or two. We work with hundreds of homesick campers and are very sensitive to their needs.
Can my child bring a cell phone to camp and call me?
No. In our connected world, there are fewer and fewer places for us to unplug, be present, and listen for God. At camp we try to create a space for campers to experience all that the community has to offer. This is helped when campers disconnect from their devices – allowing them to just hear Christ around them. We hold on to all devices in a safe place here at camp, and return them to campers before the buses leave. There is a phone in the office campers can use in cases of emergency.
Is your waterfront safe?
We have four lifeguards and a waterfront director. All are certified by American Red Cross as lifeguard trained and the waterfront director has at least one year of experience on a waterfront. All our staff are CPR certified and provided a refresher course during staff training.
How much money should I bring to camp?
This summer, we are introducing a new cashless system at Covenant Pines! Campers are encouraged to load money into their account prior to their arrival to use at the canteen, craft hall, camp store and offering. If campers bring cash to camp, it will be deposited into their account at check in. Canteen items range from $.50-$2, Craft Hall Items from $.10-$5 and Camp Store items range from about $2.50-$50. Other activities might cost a dollar or so. Parents can talk with their camper ahead of time about how to spend the money that will be in their account.
What are sleeping arrangements like?
Campers stay in cabins with their counselor. Bedding is needed for bunk beds. Sleeping bags work fine but be sure they are not meant for winter sleeping. Some cabins have bathrooms in the cabin, or in the building. For those cabins that do not, there will be a central bathhouse located nearby. Below are some photos of the cabins.
Sleeping bags also are needed if they go to “outcamp” for the night, where they stay in tents. Not every camper gets this opportunity, but sleeping bags are needed for this activity. Each cabin has a lead counselor and then one other member of our summer staff that will spend the night in the cabin.
What happens during a severe storm?
We have connections to national weather service and internet radar maps. In the case of severe weather, our siren sounds and campers are brought to the gymnasium or Fireside Lodge for protection from storms.
Staff, Training, and Affiliations
How old are your counselors and what type of training do they have?
Most of our counselors are in their second year of college. We have a two-week training session for our summer staff. Staff members are chosen on the basis of their maturity, character, ability to connect with campers, and their personal commitment to Jesus. Each potential staff member must complete an extensive application process that includes three references, a thorough interview, and, if over 18, a criminal background check.
All camp staff members also take part in an intensive training program that prepares them for the summer. The training focuses on keeping campers safe, making sure our campers have a blast, and learning to properly and effectively share their the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This training process requires all staff go through the MinistrySafe program. This program includes videos and testing on how to recognize patterns in those that would want to harm kids. We also dedicate a significant portion of our onsite staff training on the subject of keeping campers safe throughout our summer.
All volunteers are required to attend a counselor training session in the Twin Cities area before they come to camp.
Do you check on the background of summer staff before you hire them?
We do a National Criminal Background check on all volunteers and summer staff.
Is your camp accredited?
MinistrySafe provides child sexual abuse awareness training, suggestions for policies and procedures, application forms, reference check forms, interview forms and an ever-growing list of instructional documents.
Does your staff go through sexual abuse awareness training?
Safety is our #1 priority. It is our belief that if campers do not feel safe, no ministry can occur. Parents and caretakers entrust us with their kids, and we have a sacred duty to prevent abuse and protect children. Mandatory sexual abuse awareness training is an important part of our efforts.
Why Training Is Necessary
We strive to be a ministry that is educated, trained, and attentive to abuse issues. It’s important to make sure every leader at CPBC is trained to recognize and prevent sexual abuse. Ultimately, this required training ensures that we can do ministry.
It’s part of our thorough hiring process that includes face-to-face interviews, background checks, and reference calls before any of our employees interact with children.
What Training Covers
In-depth sexual abuse awareness training is available through Ministry Safe. This organization has trained thousands of church and ministry professionals. Their online training program presents the information and uses quizzes to ensure it’s retained.
Some of the benefits of this program include:
-Helps leaders identify predatory behaviors and “grooming” techniques.
-Offers leaders common language for potentially uncomfortable situations.
-Creates a clear process for reporting and addressing any issues.
-Ministry Safe certification is good for three years and meets many training standards—including what many churches require.
Is there more than one adult in the cabin with the campers?
Each cabin has a lead counselor that is either on our summer staff or a volunteer, and then another member of our staff, like a lifeguard or ropes director that sleeps in the cabin with campers.
Is CPBC affiliated with a specific denomination?
Covenant Pines Ministries is a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). We are owned and operated by about 45 ECC churches throughout the Twin Cities. For more information about our denominational beliefs and affirmations, visit the ECC website.
CPBC and COVID-19.
We believe we are able to provide a safe and healthy camp experience this summer at Covenant Pines. We will be complying with the guidelines of the CDC, MDH and ACA and have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place. For more information on this, please contact Camp Director, Matt Braun. .
Does CPBC have medical professionals on site?
Our medical staff consists of volunteer adults currently employed as Nurses or Doctors. These are health-professionals who volunteer a week of their time at camp. Typically two or more medical staff are on duty 24 hours throughout the summer. Our nursing staff follows standing orders that are established by a Physician.
My child is on medications. How do I send them?
Our nurse collects all medications when campers arrive, except for asthma inhalers. A record is made of when medications are distributed to each camper. Medications are handed out at all meal times and before bed at night, as needed. Medications MUST be in the original containers with dosage legible. Our infirmary has basic medical supplies, but campers are encouraged to bring along cough drops, suntan lotion, mosquito lotion and other basic items. Please instruct your child in proper application of lotions. If you have concerns about medical issues, please call camp and we can connect you to a nurse that will assist you.
Are over-the-counter medications available for campers?
Yes, over the counter (OTC) medications are available at our Health Center. Campers are only allowed OTC medications within the supervision of CPBC Medical Staff (see above). If questions or concerns arise our Medical Staff will contact parents as needed.
When will CPBC medical staff contact parents?
Any number of health issues can occur during a week at camp. From scratches that need a band-aid, to poison ivy, to any number of headaches, fevers, or bruises, twists, and in rare cases breaks. Our medical staff is trained to call home to report anything beyond the most common issues.
If a camper needs to go to the clinic, hospital, or we are considering an ambulance call, parents or camper emergency contacts will always be contacted ASAP. An emergency 911 call would always be made just prior to calling parents.
How do we handle medical emergencies?
There is a RN on site each week who works under standing orders provided by our local doctor in McGregor. A clinic in McGregor (7 miles) and a hospital in Aitkin (25 miles) provide medical care. Ambulance service comes from McGregor. All our staff are trained in CPR and have basic first aid and medical emergency training.
What if my camper has special medical needs?
We welcome and embrace all kids. If your child has special medical concerns, we ask that you make us aware of these needs, and help us to understand how we are to respond. You will have an opportunity to explain your child’s medical needs during the online registration process. In addition to filling out the medical form, please feel free to email our medical staff or call us at 218.768.2610.
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