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HoneyRock exists to build Christ's church by developing whole and effective people through transformational outdoor experiences. At HoneyRock, people often grow at an accelerated pace through our experiential learning model and a high level of personal engagement. Through service and discipleship, participants learn to focus on others and not just themselves. HoneyRock is a special place where relationships with God and others grow deeper in an environment free of distractions. HoneyRock is a community that is authentic and supportive, where programs are focused on the development of the whole person.
- A Powerful Learning Environment – This is articulated and embodied in our core values. HoneyRock specializes in temporary community and outdoor context for challenge and connection.
- An Engaging Learning Process – Deep thinking is pressed into practice throughout our camper and student programs. Learning at HoneyRock is experiential and goes through a cycle of truth, experience and reflection.
- Facilitated Holistic Discipleship – On-going discipleship is characterized by challenge, support, and vision. This is exemplified in our 1:1s, our small groups, and personal development plans.
- Leadership Development Progression – Multi-level experiences that challenge participants to the next level of maturity (spiritually, relationally, etc.) Our programs for campers and students follow a progression of Introduction > Immersion > Leading > Replicating.
- Global Impact and Respect – HoneyRock is known world-wide as a leader in leadership development in and through camp ministry.
We employ solid Christian leaders with years of professional experience and academic training to guide this ministry, who hire incredibly gifted and passionate counselors who have a heart for ministry and deep love for the Lord. After an extensive application process, all counselors go through four weeks of intense training led by HoneyRock’s full-time professional staff and a variety of college professors who are experts in child development and working with young people. During this training period, which is much longer than industry norms, counselors take academic classes related to camp ministry, learn wilderness trip skills, become Red Cross certified in First Aid, CPR and water safety, and learn how to create Bible studies and devotional times applicable to young people. The strength of our camp comes from God being placed first in all that we do, a strong sense of tradition, a mindset focused on safety, and the development of an unbelievably fun environment. Camp is focused on individual attention and building one-on-one relationships. We pull these components together to deliver a camp experience unlike any other.
By hiring such gifted staff, we're able to run a "decentralized" model of camp. We do almost all of our Bible teaching and activity instruction in small groups. We feel campers learn and grow the most in a small group, like a family, where they can receive maximum attention from their counselors, feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts, and be more willing to try new things. Our mission is to reach every camper and connect with him or her in a real way, providing a unique experience away from home. Our true emphasis is placed on the individual camper and his/her growth in a small group setting.
Wheaton College, one of the leading Christian liberal arts colleges in the country, has owned and operated HoneyRock since 1951. College professors who teach at HoneyRock each summer assess programs and guide staff in areas of psychology, Christian education, physical education, and Bible and Theology. The professional staff of Wheaton College also coordinates HoneyRock’s health services, risk management, legal, financial, and human resource departments.
HoneyRock is registered with the state of Wisconsin and passes inspection each year in order to operate. HoneyRock is also a member of the Christian Camp and Conference Association. Although not a member, HoneyRock meets or exceeds most of the guidelines set by the American Camp Association.
HoneyRock is not part of one church denomination. Wheaton College, the organization that owns and operates HoneyRock, is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian organization. For further reading: Wheaton College's Statement of Faith.
Each Sunday, we hold a worship service at HoneyRock for campers, students, and staff. This service is Christian and evangelical, but is non-denominational and ecumenical in the songs, activities, teaching, and prayers.
We know that it is difficult for many families to make a trip to HoneyRock due to finances and time constraints. Therefore, we pay for the trip to HoneyRock for campers who live in or near areas that draw the most campers.
We believe that Family Day is one of the most important parts of your child’s experience at camp, so we strongly encourage parents to come. We charge $75 for the bus trip home to motivate parents to come to Family Day and pick up their child. The fee of $75 is the real cost HoneyRock pays per camper to bus them home.
Family Day is the best way to maximize your investment in HoneyRock. It will allow you to experience firsthand what your child has been experiencing while at camp. It is also a great opportunity to connect with other HoneyRock families and make new friends! Visit our Family Day page for more details.
- For everyone's safety, please do NOT bring your dog/pet to Family Day. Thank you for helping us uphold this policy.
- HoneyRock is "a place apart." We ask people not to use their cell phones in the main areas of camp. While we understand that your work may require you to be accessible by cell phone, please take advantage of this opportunity to unplug a little and fully engage in the HoneyRock experience.
While we understand it can be more comfortable for some campers (especially for younger ones or first-timers) to room with someone they know, we’ve found those who do come without requesting a roommate gain valuable skills that are useful for a lifetime. Your camper will have great opportunities to practice making and nurturing new friendships and learning how to enjoy all of his or her new cabin family.
- Campers wishing to be in the same cabin must already be registered
- Campers must be no more than one grade apart
- We limit the request link to three campers
Before you begin the roommate request process, you will need to know:
- the first and last name of the requested camper
- the parent’s/guardian’s HoneyRock account email address
HoneyRock is unable to provide this information.
After you've registered and paid the deposit for your camper, follow the steps below:
- Sign in to your Account
- View Registration Itineraries
- Click on your camper's current program registration (this will take you to your Registration Details page)
- Click on the Roommate Request Link
- Follow the prompts!
Following you will find an example of how the process works for two or three campers:
- Camper A requests Camper B in the registration using the steps above
- Camper B receives an email from HoneyRock with a request code to be copied and pasted into his/her own registration following the instructions in the email
- Camper A receives an email confirming Camper B has accepted the request – they are now successfully linked as roommates!
- If a third camper (Camper C) would like to room with either Camper A or B, there are two ways to do so:
- Camper C could request Camper A and follow steps 1-3
- Camper B could request Camper C and follow steps 1-3
You can direct your questions to Nancy, our Camper Registration Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities are a significant part of the HoneyRock experience! We have 14 activity areas -
- Wilderness Skills
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Challenge Course**
*These activities require an additional sign-up and fee during registration.
**Challenge Course elements are not associated with our activity area progression, but is an area 8th -12th-grade campers enjoy during their time at HoneyRock.
For our 12-Day Residential and Advance Campers: Horsemanship, ceramics, and waterskiing* are available during the registration process for an extra fee. When you sign up for one of these three activities during registration, your camper is guaranteed at least five two-hour sessions. Horsemanship participants are guaranteed five two-hour sessions with at least five of those hours on a horse.
For 2:22 and Venture Campers: If your 2:22 or Venture camper wants to continue working on a skill progression all activities are available on a limited basis at no extra charge. If your camper wishes to continue work on their skill progression, coach them to inform their counselor on the first day of their camp session.
Once at HoneyRock overnight campers sign up for the following activities: archery, riflery, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, wilderness skills, crafts, mountain biking, drama, fishing (12 Day Residential Camp only), and climbing. Generally, this happens during lunch the day before the selected activities will take place.
All campers will take a swimming test in the HoneyRock swim area upon arrival. To participate in deep swim activities (ex: waterskiing, water trampoline) campers must swim non-stop approximately thirty yards of a forward stroke variation and thirty yards of a backstroke variation. *
Yes. Campers do not have to take the swim test. If this could be the case for your camper, coach your child to let their cabin leader know they don’t want to take the test.
If a camper doesn’t take and pass the swim test they:
- Are limited to the inner swimming area unless they have a life vest
- Are not permitted to do “deep-water” activities – water trampoline, waterskiing*
* All who have registered to waterski must first pass the swim test. If they do not, registration will be notified to cancel the ski reservation and issue a refund.
At HoneyRock campers spend 3-4+ hours in activity areas every day they’re at camp. In addition to being fun and developing life-long skills, we see activity areas as a key formational element.
All activity areas offer an award progression system. At each level campers work towards, with the help of activity leaders and their fellow campers, checking off skills. As they work towards mastery, campers are setting goals, building discipline, developing their identity, gaining confidence and learning how to fail well.
This helps campers set goals and develop the discipline of working toward reaching them. It also helps campers develop specific hard skills that will hopefully last a lifetime. Below is general information about each award level – Basic, Intermediate, and Master.
This really depends on your camper! With hard work and diligence, campers can generally achieve their Basic in one camp session. The Intermediate level takes 1-2 camp sessions and earning a Master’s usually takes an additional session or two after the Intermediate level is achieved.
Please keep in mind these are estimates. The difficulty of the levels vary slightly from activity to activity and the time to complete each level will differ from camper to camper.
- Foundational elements of the activity
- Safety principles and procedures
- Basic knowledge and nomenclature
To receive their Basic award campers will be tested by an activity leader.
- Show strong proficiency in the activity
- Intermediate knowledge and nomenclature
- Test for a solid understanding of the mechanics, techniques, and general maintenance of any associated equipment of the activity
To receive their Intermediate award campers will be tested by the instructor of that activity area.
- Shows expertise in the required skills
- Able to repair common problems with any equipment related to the area
- Assists teaching a fellow camper in basic level skills
- In tripping-related areas (ex: wilderness skills, canoeing) – camper displays mastery of the related skills
To receive their Masters award campers will be tested by a professional staff member who has expertise in that activity area.
Health and Wellness
Each summer we hire a full-time Wisconsin licensed nurse (RN) and a nurse assistant. There is also a doctor on-site at camp all summer long to care for campers. The closest hospital is only 20 minutes away. Additionally, we routinely have certified Wilderness First Responders on staff.
If your child has a minor injury or comes down with a minor illness, we will not notify you. If your child is sick or hurt and needs to see a doctor, go to the hospital, or begin taking a prescription, we will notify you immediately.
If your child is homesick, we generally do not call home unless our typical strategies have not worked for a few days. Often, calling home makes it worse for the camper.
Your child should plan to stay on his/her prescription medication while at camp. Campers should bring their medications with them when they come to bus check-in or when they are dropped off here at HoneyRock. Medications will be taken and stored by our nursing staff. State laws do not allow campers to have medications or to medicate themselves while at camp. Your child will receive their medication from our nurses, typically at meal times. The nursing staff will follow the specific guidelines on the prescription. We assure you that all medications are kept confidential and campers are never singled out or embarrassed about taking medications. During a wilderness trip counselors or trip leaders will dispense the medications.
Each summer there are campers who have not been away from home very much and they become homesick. This is totally normal and our staff is trained to identify homesickness and deal with it in a positive way.
We find that the best way to prevent homesickness is to help prepare your child for camp. Begin by praying with and for your child about his/her camp experience, being sure to include his/her counselors or trip leaders. Set goals for camp with your child such as: make a new friend, achieve a certain activity award, become a Solid Rock Club member, etc. Let your child know how excited you are that s/he is going to have this experience at camp. It is okay for your child to know that you will miss him or her, but be sure to communicate your excitement for your child. Explain what they will be doing, where they will sleep, how the bathrooms work, what is different, what is fun, etc. Also, we encourage campers to spend a night or two (or more) at a friend’s house, or Grandma and Grandpa’s house (without mom or dad) before coming to camp. If a child’s first night away from mom and dad happens at camp, then homesickness is more likely to occur.
Read more about camp preparation on our Preparing for Camp page.
That being said, if a child becomes homesick, our staff is highly trained to deal with it effectively. We make sure that homesick campers fully engage in activities. We encourage other campers to befriend them more. Our counselors spend extra time with them.
In our 60+ years of experience we have found that letting a child call home when they are homesick does not alleviate homesickness, and in fact it really makes things worse. Calling home is a last resort and it typically results in a child requesting to come home and mom or dad picking them up from camp the next morning.
As you may know, HoneyRock is owned and operated by Wheaton College. Our Health Center and Risk Management procedures are all guided by Wheaton College. Visit the College's Student Health Services.
The day before the end of each camp session we have a Family Day when families can come and visit their child at camp. Parents of campers in Service Team and Assistant Counselors can visit their child during any of the Family Days.
We do not allow visits during normal camp time. This is disruptive to our staff, other campers, and the camp program in general. This includes parents who are renting cabins at HoneyRock while their child is in camp.
It is important for your child to fully engage in his/her HoneyRock experience, which means allowing him/her to put some distance between you. Campers that are dependent on calling their parents while at camp are unable to participate in the full HoneyRock experience because they are more focused on what is going on at home than on what they are actually experiencing while at camp. For this reason we do not allow campers to have cell phones.
Campers in all programs (except Service Team and Assistant Counselors) are not allowed time on the phone to make or receive calls. If you wish to communicate with your child, the best way to do so is by writing letters or by sending one-way emails that are available for purchase on the registration portal. We encourage campers to write letters home, and we give them time to write letters.
If there is an emergency and you need to get in touch with your child, please call 715.479.7474 and the receptionist can help you. If you call after business hours a detailed message will instruct you on how to reach someone.
Our typical ratio is 1:4. Occasionally, it is slightly more or slightly less.
If your child is part of an in-camp program they will stay in a rustic-style log cabin that has electricity. Cabins do not have running water or their own bathrooms; instead, we use a centralized bathhouse or, as they are called here at camp, a BIF (Bathroom in the Forest). Each BIF has 10-12 private showers and 10-12 private toilets, sinks, and mirrors. The water is heated as well. Both the girls' and boys' BIFs were renovated in the summer of 2012.
HoneyRock is a co-ed camp, but the majority of our programming is separated by gender. Obviously, boys and girls are housed separately and have separate bathrooms. Boys and girls will be together at meals and at some activity times. Bible teaching, campouts, and small group activities are all done separately. We don’t have any boy-girl dance nights or formal banquets at HoneyRock.
At HoneyRock, we believe that it is important to represent ourselves in a way that honors Christ. Our staff adheres to a modest dress code in order to set an example for our campers. We do not permit female staff or campers to wear spaghetti-strap tank tops, mini-skirts, or short shorts. (Shorts should not have less than a 3-inch inseam, and should be around fingertip level when a camper is standing. Skin-tight yoga pants or leggings need to be covered with another article of clothing (long top, shorts, etc.) Girls may wear modest one-piece swimsuits or full-cover tankinis; boys may wear board shorts. At no time should undergarments of male or female staff or campers be showing, and we ask that staff and campers not wear t-shirts with inappropriate slogans or innuendo.
Camp Store - "The Beehive"
The Beehive is our camp store that offers a variety of items such as snacks, clothes, basic personal supplies, cards and stamps, souvenirs and more on a pre-paid account basis.
We recommend $30 per week of camp to be deposited into your camper’s account. Wilderness program participants may want to consider less. This money is also used for crafts your child may make in the craft shop, and for any fines that may accrue.
You may add money to or review your Beehive account by accessing your account and clicking "View Registration Itineraries". Please indicate your Beehive deposit amount on your registration form, and it will be added to your bill.
Unused balances will be refunded to parents in September. At the end of the session, balances under $10 will not be refunded but will be deposited into our camper scholarship fund.