Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Summer Camp 2020 Q and A

Here's what you can expect at HoneyRock this summer due to COVID-19:

Pre-Camp Screening & In-Camp Screening

All campers and summer staff are required to complete a two-week self-isolation* and 7-day temperature check before they arrive at HoneyRock.

During your camper’s session we will conduct daily infrared (no touch) temperature readings as well as verbal well-checks. The results of these tests will not be communicated to parents unless there is a cause for concern.

Increased Sanitization

We have established areas that are “high-touch”. We have increased our sanitization protocols and will make hand washing stations and hand sanitizer readily available.

Cabins and Units

Campers will, as always, be in cabin groups of 9-10 total (8 campers, 1-2 cabin leaders). New this year, they will also be a part of a larger unit of 50 (5 cabin groups). Campers will be with their cabin or unit and will eat, sleep, play, worship, etc… alongside one another with minimal modifications. When we play large group outdoor games/activities or are required to be inside (coach bus travel to and from camp; dining hall) with more than your cabin group, campers will join up with their unit(s).

Modified Programming

While returning campers will definitely feel a difference at HoneyRock, we’ve enjoyed getting creative and adapting our programming (schedules, activities, games, etc…) in a way that makes following the guidelines easier while maintaining the distinctives of a HoneyRock experience.

How should I address mail?
Please use the following address:

Camper Name
Cabin Number or Name
8660 Honey Rock Road, Three Lakes, WI 54562


When will I know what cabin my camper is in?
We'll share this information at check-in!

Can I call my camper at HoneyRock?
Our standard contact policy is no phone calls between campers and parents. Exceptions are made in the event of medical situations/emergencies either at home or at HoneyRock.

How can I see photos of my camper?
No purchases are required to view photos of your camper. Check out the instructions!

This summer, the overall volume of photos will be less. We are focusing on capturing photos of each cabin, together, and posting at least one cabin photo every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Why fewer photos?
With the complexity of this summer's schedule and some of the program adaptations/modifications we have made, we needed to adjust the way we take photos during camper sessions. This led to the decision of focusing on the cabin group, instead of the more candid shots we've captured in the past. This also ensures that all parents are able to see photos of their campers at a regular interval. 

How long is check-in going to take at Wheaton?
We anticipate it taking around 90 minutes for the entire check-in process. We have doubled the number of our staff who will be present and have worked to create a streamlined and safe system.

Do I need to be there the whole time?
No! In fact, we hope that after you complete Station Two (unless you need to check medication at Station Three) you can leave the area so that we can keep traffic flowing through check-in. If you want to stay, we ask that you park away from our main check-in area and remain in your car.

What address should I put in my navigation to get me to Howard and University Place?
If you enter the address 421 N Chase St, Wheaton, IL 60187 it will take you to the intersection of Howard and University. Instead of turning left into Coray Alumni Gymnasium, you’ll see station one and turn right.

How will campers be split into busses?
Campers will be in their unit’s bus. Unfortunately, if siblings are in a different unit, we cannot allow them to sit with one another bus. Units are determined by a camper's age and gender. 

My camper is nervous about going to camp and I anticipate drop-off being difficult for them, especially since I can’t help them get settled on the bus or give them a hug right before they leave. How are you going to help with that?
We’re preparing our staff to be aware and ready to respond. Your camper will be walked to the bus by one of our staff members where they will meet one of their bus monitors. Their monitor will stay in the bus for the duration of check-in and will help your camper get settled—find a seat, put a pillow or backpack in the overhead storage area, introduce them to their seat buddy, etc…

What will my camper do on the bus while they’re waiting for everyone to be checked in?
Once 20 or so campers are on each bus, we will start a movie. We can’t guarantee what will be playing, but past examples are Frozen, Incredibles, Ice Age, and other animated Disney/Pixar movies.

Why can’t I get out of the car?
Restore Illinois Phase 4 mandates that in-person gatherings should be less than 50 people.

For Residential Camp, we are checking in about 200 campers (split into busses of less than 50). For EPIC, around 100 campers. Our campers, plus the staff team who is facilitating check-in, will need to move freely. Thus, we must ask parents, guardians, and siblings to stay in the car for the duration of check-in.

What if I forgot the new pre-screening form at home?
You will need to have the pre-screening form with you at check-in. If you do not, your camper will not be able to attend camp.

Can I show a photo of the new pre-screening form instead of turning in a hard copy?
No. We must have a hard copy of your camper’s pre-screening form. Every camper, even siblings, must have their own form.


How long is check-in going to take at HoneyRock?
When you get to Station One, we anticipate drop-off taking about 15-20 minutes from that point.

What address should I put in my navigation to get me to HoneyRock?
8660 Honey Rock Road, Three Lakes, WI 54562...unlike last year, there are no major construction projects underway that will require detours!

Will I get to meet my camper’s counselor?
We’re going to try our best to have your camper’s counselor be the one who greets and helps your camper with their luggage!

My camper is nervous about going to camp and I anticipate drop-off being difficult for them, especially since I can’t help them get settled in their cabin or give them a hug right before I leave. How are you going to help with that?

We’re preparing our staff to be aware and ready to respond. Your camper will be greeted by their counselor and/or a luggage helper who will help reassure them, get them settled into their cabin, and introduce them to their cabinmates.

What will my camper do while they’re waiting for everyone to be checked in?
Campers will spend time with their cabin leader getting settled in their cabin and playing games.

Will the Beehive be open?
No—the Beehive will not be open to parents.

Why can’t I get out of the car?
This is one of our primary methods of reducing the risk of COVID-19 entering or spreading at HoneyRock. By reducing the number of people on site, we’re helping mitigate the risk of COVID-19 at HoneyRock. Thank you for your partnership in this!


Do I need to wear a mask?
While not required, we prefer that you wear a mask or cloth face covering. Anyone who is interacting with you during check-in will be wearing a cloth face covering.


What if I forgot the new pre-screening form at home?
You will need to have the pre-screening form with you at check-in. If you do not, your camper will not be able to attend camp.

Can I show a photo of the new pre-screening form instead of turning in a hard copy?
No. We must have a hard copy of your camper’s pre-screening form. Every camper, even siblings, must have their own form.

Will my camper have to wear a mask on the coach bus from Wheaton?

Yes. While campers are on the bus they will have to wear a cloth face covering.

Will HoneyRock still offer coach bus transportation?

Yes. However, we are only offering a Wheaton, IL pickup site. On the way back from HoneyRock, we will offer Madison, Rockford, and Wheaton stops for an additional $75 fee.

Will I still be able to drop my camper off at HoneyRock?

Yes, though we are changing to a drive-through drop-off this year. We’ll send parents more information about drop off procedures in early July.

Will everyone be required to take our busses?

No. We will allow in-person drop-offs at HoneyRock, though this will look very different than past years. We’ll email parents who select coach bus transportation from Wheaton with more info in early July.

Are airport pickups still happening?

No. We will not be able to facilitate airport pickups, but we will be able to drop campers off at RHI and CWA.

Are airport drop-offs still happening?

Yes. We can drop off campers at RHI and CWA airports.

By combining all programs into a four-week window, will it mean there will be more campers on-site at once?

We have monitored guidelines and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Wisconsin State, the American Camp Association (ACA), and our local health department. We have managed our capacity numbers accordingly. Cabin groups will be no bigger than 9-10—8 campers and 1-2 cabin leaders.

What will living arrangements look like?

As always, most campers will sleep in open-air cabins. This is how many of our cabins our built (screens for windows instead of glass). For cabins that have glass in addition to screens, the glass will be kept open as often as possible.

Will there be wilderness trips?

EPIC will be going on a 3-night wilderness trip on HoneyRock property. Residential campers will have a campout where they’ll spend one night in a tent on HoneyRock property.

Will all of the activities still be offered?

Yes! For Residential Camp all activities will be offered.

For EPIC, waterskiing, ceramics, and horsemanship will only be made available to Intermediates and Masters. As it is for 2:22, Venture, Service Team, and Assistant Counselors, these activities for high schoolers do not have a fee.

Will there be singing?
Yes, we will be singing, but this will be done outside and in units. 

Will camp close if there’s a suspected or confirmed case at HoneyRock?

One case will not close camp for everyone.

If we have a suspected case of COVID-19 we will contact the parent to notify them and get their consent to test. One of our trained staff will take the camper to be tested locally and the camper will be quarantined (and cabin isolated with a fun activity) until we receive the test results. If the case is confirmed, we will proceed accordingly.

Will parents be notified if there’s a suspected COVID-19 case at HoneyRock?

If there is a suspected COVID-19 case, the individual camper’s family will be contacted. If the case is confirmed? Read the answer to the next question!

Will parents be notified if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case at HoneyRock?

Yes. Once we have communicated with 1) the individual camper’s family and 2) the other families in that cabin we will then notify all camper families via email.

What if I want to pick up my camper because of a confirmed COVID-19 case in their cabin, unit, or at camp?

You can make arrangements with us to pick up your camper at any time. However, once you have picked up your camper, they will not be able to resume their session. That will end their time at HoneyRock for the summer. 

What happens if there’s an outbreak at HoneyRock?

We have a trained response team ready to assemble and follow our contagious disease outbreak plan.

How have you been working with the local health authorities?

Yes! The Oneida County Health Department has seen and approved what we’re doing this summer in light of COVID-19. 

Does HoneyRock have the capacity to quarantine?

Yes. As a part of our contagious disease outbreak plan, we had to have adequate quarantine space and support services/staff should an outbreak occur. 

I live far away—what happens if my camper has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19?

We have the accommodations and the staff to quarantine your camper should they have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. If the case is suspected, with parental consent, we will have them tested at a local health provider.

If, after testing, the case is confirmed, we will make transportation plans with your family. You will need to be able to pick them up within 72 hours of diagnosis or make alternative plans with our health staff within that time frame. We cannot release a camper to fly home alone if they are suspected of or have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If there’s a confirmed case of COVID-19 at HoneyRock, will I be able to talk with my camper on the phone?

If your camper is not directly involved in the situation, our standard contact policy will still apply—letters and BunkNotes are highly encouraged while communication via phone is not ordinarily allowed.

It’s best to help your child understand that you probably will not talk over the phone with them while they’re at camp.

Was/will staff training be cut short?

Our staff training is for three weeks this summer. This is longer than industry standards but shorter than our norm. Since all wilderness trips are both shorter and onsite, most of the cut time was from their multiple-day training wilderness trip. Staff will still receive the required training to run their trips safely.

What will be added to training in light of COVID-19?

We will add training that covers new policies and procedures that have been put into place due to COVID-19. We’re broadening this training from what “to do” and “not to do” to include how to enforce the rules firmly and consistently in love and grace.

Can I get my deposit back?
If you cancel by July 1st, you will receive your payment and deposit back in full. Beginning on July 2nd, we will return to our standard deposit refund policy:

The $150 deposit required to secure your camper’s spot is non-refundable. However, we will issue a full refund if there is a personal medical or family emergency. We will also refund your deposit if, after receiving financial assistance and discussing a payment plan, our assistance is inadequate to meet your needs.


Why haven’t I received my refund yet?
For those who cancelled before June 7th, your refunds have been initiated. Due to COVID-19, our payment processor has experienced atypical and unforeseen delays.

If you have cancelled after June 7th, you will be grouped into our July refund. 

If you're anticipating a refund and haven’t/don't see it in a timely manner, reach out and let us know!


If HoneyRock cancels due to COVID-19, will my deposit be returned?
Yes. Your deposit, payment, and activity fees will be automatically returned.

My financial situation has changed—can I edit my financial assistance application?
Yes! The email confirmation you received immediately after you submitted the JotForm has an edit feature—click the link to edit! If you need additional assistance, please contact Nancy Robins at nancy.robins@wheaton.edu. Forms submitted or edited by June 15th will be considered in the award process.

Forms submitted after June 15th are still able to be considered, but they will fall into the second wave of awards.


Are their new financial aid deadlines?
Yes—we have extended our deadlines. If you have not yet applied for financial assistance, we will accept your application through June 15th.

We will share the financial aid awards in early July and the final payment deadline is July 10th.

What health/safety precautions should I take before camp?
Prepare for a 14-day self-isolation for your camper and a 7-day temperature check. When we say self-isolation, we mean limiting exposure to non-family members, maintaining social/physical distancing, wearing a face mask around non-family members, avoiding large gatherings, and limiting nonessential travel.

You will have a form mailed to you to help you log the self-isolation and temperature check. Anticipate it arriving at the end of June. We will also make it available to download online.


How do I prepare my camper for the changes?
We recommend reading through the following sections of this Q&A with your camper:

  • Food Service
  • Activities
  • Programming
  • Transportation/Wheaton Check-In FAQ (if riding the bus from Wheaton) 

This will help them know what to expect once they’re at HoneyRock. The other sections (staff training, suspected/confirmed case, registration, etc…) is more behind the scenes and written for your benefit!


What additional things do I need to pack?
Every camper will need a labeled water bottle since we will not be using cups in the dining hall. We recommend a Nalgene as they’re large and durable. If you don’t already have one, they are sold in the Beehive and available for pre-order on your online HoneyRock account using the Pre-Orders section link. 

Make sure to label the water bottle with your camper’s first and last name written in a prominent place.

While not required, we recommend your camper brings extra cloth face coverings. As for recommended styles, we will point you to the CDC website. At check-in (HoneyRock and Wheaton) your camper will be provided with one cloth face covering and we’ll have extras for sale in the Beehive.

What will change about the kind of food served?
HoneyRock usually operates with a two-week rotation of food once campers arrive in the summer. This has been reduced to a one-week rotation to streamline services and ensure excellent service and delivery.


Will all of the campers be eating at the same time?
No. HoneyRock has increased the number of meal shifts to limit the number of campers in the dining hall according to country guidelines.

Will campers still eat “Family Style”?
No. Campers will be served by our food service staff who will be wearing cloth face coverings and gloves.


Will my camper be able to wash their hands before they eat?
Yes! New handwashing stations will be centrally located and accessible at any time. When we can’t have hand washing stations, we’ll provide hand sanitizer.


Will the salad bar be open?

While the salad bar will be closed, our food service team will be preparing individual salads to serve at mealtimes.


I want to cancel my camper’s registration. How do I do this?
Simply email Nancy Robins at nancy.robins@wheaton.edu requesting to cancel your registration.


Did my roommate request transfer in the switch?
Not all roommate requests transferred. Please log in and confirm your request, if you wish to make one.

Did my transportation request transfer?
We have changed our transportation offerings to HoneyRock. Campers can choose between a coach bus from Wheaton, IL (cloth face coverings required, we will provide) or a parent drop-off at HoneyRock. Please read more about transportation and arrival on our getting to and from HoneyRock page.


Will I still get my pre-orders if I cancel?
No—your preorders will be cancelled and refunds issued. Unfortunately, we do not have an online store.


Will I still get my pre-orders if my registration is shifted to another session/program?
Yes! Your pre-orders will be waiting for your camper in their cabin upon their arrival.


Will there be Family Days?
All Family Days are cancelled this summer.


Will I have to pay the additional $75 return charge for a bus ride home?
Yes. However, you don’t need to do anything now. If this changes the amount you need to request for financial assistance, please complete or update a financial assistance application.


 In our survey in April, we asked parents whether or not they would feel comfortable sending their campers to HoneyRock based on a variety of factors. Here is the list with the accommodations we have made as of our June 15 update.


Has HoneyRock implemented?


Lifting of Wisconsin State Guidelines or Recommendations of Group Gathering Size


Link for more information.

Ability to pick up my child if there was an outbreak at HoneyRock


Link for more information.

Increased cleaning protocols for all camp housing and equipment


Link for more information.

Temperature and symptom check at the beginning of the camp session


Link for more information.

Certified COVID-19 testing of all camp staff


All seasonal staff have completed a two-week self-isolation period and a 7-day temp check. If a staff person shows symptoms of COVID-19, they will be tested by a local health provider.

An official all-clear from the national government or CDC


Few, if any places, will be coronavirus free until there is a vaccine.

Guidelines limiting the number of people in any one place at camp


We will be following the guidelines of our local health department.

Guidelines limiting the number of people on camp property at once


We've canceled Family Days and are following our local health department's guidelines on indoor/outdoor gathering sizes.

canoeing under the bridge at HoneyRock

Have a question?

Complete the linked form, below, to ask HoneyRock any questions you have about summer camp.

Submit Your Question
Give to the COVID-19 Matching Response Fund