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.
the whole world should be more like camp.
Camp is where you can try new things without fear of failure. Camp is where all are accepted and loved and diveristy is celebrated. Camp is where the only thing that matters is heart and character.
We believe kids experiencing this firsthand at summer camp makes the world a better place as campers grow up to be confident, loving adults with strong values and character.
is to ensure every child at Camp Widji has a safe, fun and magical experience at summer camp. More than that, we want every camper to leave camp as the best version of themselves. Our intensively trained staff help campers build confidence by learning new skills and experience new activities, make friends with fellow campers and strengthen character using the Four Core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
CAMP BUILDS STRONG KIDS
Camp provides children with a community of caring adults who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for others. Campers return home more caring and more equipped to stand up for what they know is right and more responsible. Camp is an experience that shapes ones character and life by providing a controlled, safe environment where children are able to make their own decisions. Camp grows children into happy, healthy, independent, confident and capable people.
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.
Getting to Camp
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.
Executive Director: Jeff Merhige
Email Jeff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day Camp Director: Reuben Smith
Email Reuben at email@example.com
Assistant Day Camp Director: Danielle Kasper
Email Danielle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Overnight Camp: AJ Jordan
Email AJ at email@example.com
Assistant Overnight Camp Director: Kaylyn York
Email Kaylyn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ranch Camp: Sydney Anthony
Email Sydney at email@example.com
Registration: Sheila Ridings
Email Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Service Director: Trent Cooks
Email Trent at email@example.com
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
What To Bring To Day Camp
- Water Bottle labeled with name
- Swimsuit (should provide complete coverage, fasten securely and be designed for active wear)
- T-Shirt (T-shirts provide better sun protection than tank tops)
- Rain gear
- Closed Toe Shoes or
- Sandals with a back strap
- 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
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 for twin size mattress
- Sleeping bag (for campout)
ONE WEEK OF CLOTHING
- 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)
- White T-Shirt
- Bath towel and a wash cloth
- Beach towel
- Shower caddy
- Laundry bag
- Water bottle
- Sun screen
- Insect Repellent
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include camper’s full name and cabin number in the subject line.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
- Verbal warning
- A behavior agreement with their counselor
- 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.
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.