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2021 Parent Planner Ready for your best summer ever?

Hey there!

We are SO EXCITED to have your child at Camp Widji this summer! Summer camp offers the opportunity for kiddos to learn and grow in a safe, outdoor environment while under the supervision of our trained staff. Use this guide to help plan your summer and make 2021 your best summer ever.

OUR CAMP PHILOSOPHY

To provide a safe, fun, magical and educational experience for our guests and children through the demonstration of our four core values (Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility) and practicing a “Kids and Guests first” philosophy.

From I-40: Exit at Stewart’s Ferry and head south towards Cracker Barrel. Stewart’s Ferry will turn into Bell Road. Continue 4.4 miles and turn left onto Smith Springs Road. Go 1.5 miles; the Camp entrance is on the left.

From I-24: Exit at Bell Road. Go north towards Murfreesboro Road and continue on Bell Road to Smith Springs Road. Turn right on Smith Springs Road and go 1.5 miles. Camp entrance is on the left.

From I-65: Exit at Old Hickory (exit 74, head east toward Target). Go east on Old Hickory Blvd. Old Hickory will turn into Bell Road at Nolensville Road. Continue on Bell Road, under I-24, past Hickory Hollow Mall to Smith Springs Road (four-way stoplight) and turn right. Camp is located on Smith Springs Road, 1.5 miles on your left.

OUR STAFF

Executive Director: Jeff Merhige

Email Jeff: jmerhige@ymcamidtn.org

Day Camp Director: Reuben Smith

Email Reuben at rsmith@ymcamidtn.org

Assistant Day Camp Director: Danielle Kasper

Email Danielle: dkasper@ymcamidtn.org

Overnight Camp: AJ Jordan

Email AJ at ajordan@ymcamidtn.org

Assistant Overnight Camp Director: Kaylyn York

Email Kaylyn: kyork@ymcamidtn.org

Ranch Camp: Sydney Anthony

Email Sydney at santhony@ymcamidtn.org

Registration: Sheila Ridings

Email Sheila at sridings@ymcamidtn.org

Food Service Director: Trent Cooks

Email Trent at tcook@ymcamidtn.org

COVID Policies & Procedures

Contactless check-in and check-out

Temperature checks and health screenings at check-in and check-out

Campers or staff with COVID-19 sympotns sent home

Hand sanitizers installed in all buildings and cabins and at all activity areas

Frequent, facilitated hand washing

Campers kept in groups of 10 or less with limited contact with other groups

Masks worn when indoors or when social distancing is not possible

Staggered meal times to keep dinning hall at half capacity

Activity areas and equipment sanitized before and after each use

All buildings, buses, etc. sanitized at least once per day

Bunk bed dividers added in all cabins and yurts

Medical grade air filters installed in all cabins and yurts

Ceiling fans added in all cabins and yurts to promote air flow

For more details about our COVID-19 policies and procedures, please visit campwidji.org

DAY CAMP

Car Rider Check-In and Check-Out

CAR RIDER Check-in is from 7:30 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. Look for friendly counselors to direct you around the loop to the Airnasium. Remember to drive slowly on your way in and out of camp for the safety of our campers.

CAR RIDER Check-out is from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Please be ready to show your photo ID to a Widji Staff member before the Day Camp Loop. Arrivals before 4:30 p.m. will be directed to a specific waiting area behind the camp office. Once all buses have left camp, the cars will be directed clockwise around the loop to the Airnasium check-out point. Occasionally we may encounter delays in the check-out process which lead to longer wait times.

Bus Rider Check-In and Check-Out

Bus Rider CHECK-IN will begin at 7:30 a.m. at all bus sites. Look for our friendly staff and a Widji Bus to let you know you are in the right place. Call the office at 615-360-2267 if anyone other than yourself will be picking your child up. You may stay and see the bus off, or you may leave your child in the care of our capable counselors.

Bus Rider CHECK-OUT As the bus arrives, please form a line to sign out your child. The counselors will exit the bus and begin check-out. You will need to have a photo ID in order to sign out your camper. Check-out ends at 6 p.m.

Sign-up for our Widji Bus alerts to get up receive daily texts when buses leave camp and if they encounter any delays on the way to their destinations. Just text "Widjibus" to 833-904-3143!

LATE CAR RIDER Any car rider campers arriving to camp after 8:30 a.m. must be signed in at the Camp Office.

EARLY PICK-UP The earlier you notify camp about your early pick up the better! To schedule an early pick up, please call the camp office at 615-360-2267. Early Check-Out ends at 3 p.m. For day of early pick ups, please fill out an Early Pick-up Form with your bus or car rider counselor, or call the camp office. Your camper must be signed out at the camp office before leaving camp property.

Transportation Changes

Click here to make a transportation request. For the safety of our campers, transportation changes must be requested before noon the day of the change. Bus to bus changes must be approved. We will notify you of the approval. If an emergency arises please call the camp office to make arrangements.

What To Bring To Day Camp

  • Water Bottle labeled with name
  • Swimsuit (should provide complete coverage, fasten securely and be designed for active wear)
  • Towel
  • T-Shirt (T-shirts provide better sun protection than tank tops)
  • Shorts
  • Backpack
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Closed Toe Shoes or
  • Sandals with a back strap
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Mask (if your child does not have a mask, one will be provided)

What NOT To Bring

DO NOT BRING NUTS OR FOOD CONTAINING NUTS TO CAMP. Lunch and a snack will be provided to all campers.

Please do not bring cell phones, cash, gum, pets, fireworks/explosives, weapons, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, electronic devices, digital cameras (unless disposable), expensive and/or irreplaceable jewelry, clothing, accessories etc.

***First Campers, refer to the Overnight Camp packing list for Wednesday-Friday

Day Camp Schedule

7:30 a.m. Check- In begins

8:30 a.m. Morning Assembly

9:00 a.m. Morning Activities

11:20 a.m. Lunch A or Activities

12:00 p.m. Lunch B or Activities

12:30 p.m. Afternoon Activities

3:30 p.m. Snack & Afternoon Assembly

4:30 p.m. Check-Out Begins

OVERNIGHT CAMP

Check-In and Check-Out

CHECK-IN is between 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on SUNDAY afternoon.** Check-in procedures will not begin before the scheduled time of 3 p.m. Please plan on the check-in process to take approximately 30 minutes. Please see the Camp Widjiwagan driveway greeter for directions to your Check In Location. ALL PROGRAMS WILL CHECK IN AT THE TURNER DINING LODGE.

CHECK-OUT is at 10 a.m. sharp on SATURDAY afternoon. All programs will check-out at the Turner Dining Lodge, the same location as Check-In

Check-out for the VOYAGER VILLAGE will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon in the Turner Dining Lodge.

In order to pick-up your child, you must either be the parent/guardian or listed as allowed to pick-up. Photo identification and sign-out signature is also required.

Campers attending consecutive weeks at Overnight Camp may stay over the joining weekend at no additional charge. Please confirm this at check-in. Any late check-ins or check-outs not confirmed at check-in will be subject to an additional $100 late fee.

CARE PACKAGES Parents are welcome to bring letters or care packages that contain food (without nuts), etc during check in. We will have boxes labeled with the day of week in the Turner Dining Lodge, and you can place your care package or letters accordingly to the date you wish you child to receive it. Parents can also mail care packages to our camp office throughout the week.

Overnight Camp Schedule

7:00 a.m. Rise and Shine

7:30.a.m. Flag Raising

7:45 a.m. Breakfast

8:15 a.m. Morning Assembly

9 a.m. Activity Hour 1

10:30 a.m. Activity Hour 2

12 p.m. Widji Wonders

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:10 p.m. Rest Hour

2:15 p.m. Activity Hour 3

3:15 p.m. Swim Time

3:45 p.m. Snack

4:30 p.m. Cabin Activities

5:45 p.m. Flag Lowering

6 p.m. Dinner

7 p.m. Village Time

8:45 p.m. Nightly Reflection

9 p.m. Snack, Cabin Time

10 p.m. Lights Out

What To Bring For Overnight Camp And First Camp

* Clothes may get torn/muddy/lost. We recommend placing your name on all items and sending clothing that are camp appropriate.

BEDDING

  • Bedding for twin size mattress
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag (for campout)

ONE WEEK OF CLOTHING

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • One pair of long pants
  • Two pairs of shoes
  • One sweatshirt/jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Two swimsuits (Should provide complete coverage, fasten securely and be designed for active wear)
  • Pajamas
  • White T-Shirt

BATHROOM

  • Bath towel and a wash cloth
  • Beach towel
  • Flip-flops
  • Toiletries
  • Shower caddy
  • Laundry bag

OTHER ESSENTIALS

  • Water bottle
  • Sun screen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Hat/Sunglasses
  • Flashlight
  • Small day backpack

ITEMS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Board game/card games
  • Paper/pen/envelopes to write home
  • Disposable camera

What NOT To Bring

DO NOT BRING NUTS OR FOOD CONTAINING NUTS TO CAMP.

Please do not bring cash, perishable food (snacks in sealable bags are okay), electronics (cell phones, apple watches, tablets, etc.), pets, fireworks, explosives, knives, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and e-cigs, electronic games, good jewelry, or any other irreplaceable items.

ranch camp

FAQ

Does my child need to have horse experience to participate? Nope! All skill levels are welcome!

What's the difference between farm camp and riding camps? Day farm camp takes two trail rides a week and focuses on learning about plants in our garden and greenhouse along with animal care. Riding camps focus on horse care and horsemanship fundamentals.

My child takes lessons at another barn, will they be too advanced? Riders are assigned to horses and counselors based on skill level and all counselors are taught to teach lessons comprised of different skill levels in a way that all riders are engaged and learning the entire time.

What To Bring For Ranch Camp

  • Long Pants
  • Close-toe Shoes

Riders are assigned their own horse for the week!

All Ranch Camp programs include daily ride time and ground lessons. Campers will also participate in some traditional camp activities such as swim time and the Big Game. All programs will take at least one trail during the week.

important information

REFUND POLICY

In 2021, Widji will once again be offering FULL refunds in a cancellation is made at least 7 days prior to the start of the session. Cancellations made with 7 days will not be eligible for a refund. Campers who leave early and cannot return for the remainder of the session due to a medical condition will receive a pro-rated refund. Dismissal due to unsatisfactory conduct is not refundable. The Executive Director has the final decision in a dismissal.

PAYMENT

The payment dates for the balance of your camp sessions are: May 1st for First Blast and sessions 1-3, June 1st for sessions 4-6, and July 1st for sessions 7-10. If you elect to have your child stay another session, then full payment is due immediately. There is a $20 charge for all returned checks. Please call the camp office or log into your online account to make final payment via credit card.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

For the safety of our campers, the following precautions are made when inclement weather is present. When rain is light to moderate, activities continue. If torrential rain or lightning storms are present, staff and campers take cover under a covered pavilion or in an indoor space. Campers are not allowed on high ropes or in water when lightning is within an 8 mile radius or closer to camp. Staff are trained to keep campers safe and entertained through inclement weather. Once dangerous conditions have passed, camp activities continue as normal.

LOST & FOUND

Please label all items with your camper’s first and last names. If your child has lost an item during the week, please contact your Camp Director below. All unclaimed items will be donated.

BUDDY REQUESTS

Mutual buddy requests are honored whenever possible and are requested through online registration. The campers must be in the same village, nation or program and be age appropriate. Buddy request preferences are limited to one requests per camper and each child MUST request each other in order to placed in cabins together.

CAMP PHOTOS

Photos will be available to view, download and purchase at http://campwidji.smugmug.com. The password you will need to enter is campwidji21. We cannot guarantee photos of every camper. Photos will be uploaded daily.

MAIL CALL FOR OVERNIGHT CAMP

There are several ways to contact campers while they are away at camp. Mail and care packages should be labeled with:

  • The Camper’s Full Name
  • The Camper’s Cabin Number
  • Camp’s Address: 3088 Smith Springs Rd. Antioch, TN 37013

Emails can be send to campwidjimail@gmail.com. Please include camper’s full name and cabin number in the subject line.

CAMP STORE

Our camp store is located by the front office and is open every Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday! Stop by to grab some of our brand NEW Widji apparel!

Store Hours are:

Monday- 7:30-9 a.m.

Friday- 3:30-5 p.m.

Saturday- 10 a.m.- noon

Sunday- 3-5 p.m.

MEDICAL CARE

Camp’s Health Lodge is staffed with registered nurses 24 hours a day. Medications, prescriptions, and non-prescription drugs must be in the original container, clearly marked with the child’s name. All medications must be given to the camp nurse, bus counselor, or car rider counselor at check-in. Aspirin, Tylenol, and other over the counter medicines are available from the nurse if needed, at no charge. Medical expenses incurred during a camper’s stay are the responsibility of the camper’s guardians. Please let us know about any emergency medications (Epi-pen, inhaler, etc.) for life-threatening conditions

HOMESICKNESS

Homesickness is a natural feeling experienced by many campers, counselors, and parents too! For most people it passes in a day or so. It is the policy of the camp to keep our campers involved in constant activities so as to reduce the feeling of homesickness. In the case of severe homesickness, a counselor will contact you for your advice in helping with your camper. If the homesickness continues we will arrange a call between you and your camper. No refund will be granted for campers leaving early.

FOOD SERVICE

We are a nut-free facility and ask that no food or other products containing nuts be sent with a camper or in a care package. Balanced meals are prepared and served by the food service staff. Overnight campers eat family style meals in cabin groups in the dining lodge. In addition, vegetarian meals are prepared for our vegetarian campers and staff. For day campers, lunch is different every day. However, you can always pack your child lunch if they have certain preferences. You can find what’s being served with our online menus. Note: If your child is vegetarian or has special dietary needs please include this on the online health form.

DISCIPLINE

Campers are expected to treat fellow campers and staff with respect and to abide by camp rules. It is our policy to use a three-step procedure when disciplining campers:

  1. Verbal warning
  2. A behavior agreement with their counselor
  3. A conference with the Summer Camp Director

Severe behavioral incidents require a phone call home and may necessitate bypassing the three steps and moving directly to a conference with the Executive Director. Any child verbally or physically abusing or “bullying” another camper may be sent home. Bullying is absolutely not tolerated. Parents of campers who are being sent home must make arrangements for the child to be picked up within three hours of being contacted. Campers sent home due to behavioral problems will not be entitled to any refund of fees.

DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES

We reserve the right to seize any illegal materials. Possession of any drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or e-cigarettes will result in immediate contact with the camper’s guardians and dismissal with no refund.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee that no behavior that would be classified as sexual harassment will be tolerated by staff or campers. Such behavior will result in dismissal or termination.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give our office a call at 615-360-2267

We can't wait to see you at Widji!