Summer Camp FAQ
The camp is located on the 314 acre campus of St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on beautiful Seabrook Island, approximately 25 miles from Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to the camp facilities (dining hall, activity buildings, cabins, chapels, etc.), the center is blessed with a diverse natural environment that includes maritime forest, salt marsh, ball fields, hiking trails, ponds, and beach. This peaceful setting away from TV, phones, video games and the distractions of daily life provides time for talking, listening, growing together and having fun. The center is owned and operated by the Diocese of South Carolina (www.DioceseOfSC.org). For directions to St. Christopher, a camp map and more information about our facilities, follow the About St. Christopher link at the top of this page.
Campers are divided into activity groups, each guided by staff members. These groups spend a portion of each day together taking part in activities such as crafts, nature hikes, kayaking, archery, and our “need a friend course.” The remainder of the day is spent enjoying well-balanced meals, large group programs, a swim/sail period, and Christian Education. Daily worship is an important part of the St. Christopher summer camp experience.
During these sessions, campers will spend their week kayaking, sleeping in tents, cooking over fires, and participating in activities at St. Christopher. The OAC2 Session (grades 8-12) will leave St. Christopher property to explore the creeks and rivers of the Lowcountry. Campers will spend 3 days camping and kayaking on the Stono River. The OAC 5 & OAC8 Sessions (grades 6-8) will spend the majority of their week using St. Christopher as their base camp and will participate in various activities in/around campus. These campers will also kayak and camp on Botany Island (an undeveloped island directly across the estuary from St. Christopher’s property) one night during the session. While these may be more rugged sessions than our traditional camp, the idea of the Outdoor Encounters Adventure Camp is to help campers escape their comfort zone, feel more vulnerable, and recognize their need for a Savior. Leaders will focus on helping the campers to identify their gifts for leadership as they have been given, and by encouraging campers to grow into those gifts.
The health and safety of campers and staff is a prime concern. We place special emphasis on the prevention of accidents and illnesses through our resident Nurse. Our medical staff dispenses all medications and is available to deal with illnesses and emergencies. In the rare event additional treatment is required, a local physician, EMS, and hospital emergency room facilities are easily accessible. If you have preferred medications to use for your child for transient illnesses, please label and bring them, in addition to noting such on their medication and authorization forms. The nurse will be at registration to meet and talk with parents. All campers are required to visit the nurse’s table on check in day of their session.
Administrative, operational, and program staff are carefully screened, trained and supervised with the goal of providing the best possible experience for everyone. Those working directly with campers complete a program in the prevention of sexual abuse/ sexual harassment as developed by the Diocese of South Carolina. We carefully select our college age and older high school aged staff members from applications, personal interviews, reference and background checks. Summer camp staff are trained and certified in American Red Cross Life Guarding and CPR. In addition, summer camp staff undergo an extensive orientation and residential training program prior to summer, emphasizing health and safety, Christian education, child development, music, archery instruction, sailing, acceptable methods of discipline, group dynamics, worship, emergency procedures, and much more. We invite supervised volunteers to assist with our Christian education program. Campers are supervised at all times during activities, meals, worship, free time, and in the evening. A counselor is with campers throughout the day and staff members are present for activities. Counselors are also present at all meals which are run by members of the staff. A counselor and a staff member also sleep in each of the cabins so campers receive supervision and have someone available to them for any pressing needs throughout the evening. Many staff members and volunteers grew up coming to camp and returned to serve because they remember, value, and appreciate their experiences and faith development and want to pass them on to future generations.
The first thing you need to know is that this is a very common thing, so your child won’t be the only one new to Summer Camp. Our staff is trained to help quickly get your child connected both to his or her peers and to the camp counselors. St. Christopher is a place where your child will be loved and accepted as Jesus taught. Almost all activities at camp are done in groups ranging in size from 8 (cabin), 12 (dining), 16 (activity) and/or the whole camp so if your child is introverted or extroverted there will be times where he or she feels comfortable and a few that will be a stretch. But, the environment of acceptance and encouragement has resulted in many campers leaving with friends they continue to keep in touch with for many years.
Since it is true that we generally fill all sessions, we encourage you to apply for Summer Camp as early as possible. All applications are dated when received, and processed in that order. We seek, want, and accept new campers every year. We also maintain an active “wait list” for sessions that are filled, and have often been able to accept campers from the list.
No, your child does not need any money during camp sessions. Room, board, and canteen items are included in the cost of the camp session. Limited gift shop items are available for sale during opening day registration; and the gift shop is open (located in the Welcome Center) for business on session opening and closing days (weekdays).
No. It is the policy of Camp St. Christopher that no members of the camp community (campers, counselors, staff, etc.) smoke anywhere at any time on the campus. Campers in violation may be asked to call you to come and remove them from camp. The same policies hold for the use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, or e-cigarettes.
Yes, we do have verifiable need-based financial aid available. If assistance is requested, typically we provide 1/3 of the cost, ask the home church to cover 1/3, and the camper’s family to cover the remaining 1/3. If you need financial assistance, apply to camp; once you are registered, the application process for financial help can be completed. If aid is not available, we will provide a full refund of your application fee.
Yes, with your permission your child may drive to camp. Once they arrive they will be instructed to park their car in a designated area and turn the keys into a member of our staff. Keys will only be returned at the end of camp. We would suggest you establish a clear policy with your child about who may ride with or return home from camp with them.
We suggest the U.S. Mail, which is delivered daily to campers after lunch. Other alternatives are UPS and FedEx. We do not deliver fax, phone or e-mail messages to campers. The only exception is in the case of extreme emergency, in which case you should contact the summer camp office at (843) 768-1337 or the conference center office at (843) 768-0429.
An important element of camp life is belonging to cooperative groups. One such group is their cabin community. Here new friendships are forged, new ways of cooperating are learned, and campers have time set aside for each other as well as for themselves—to make new friends, gain new independence and help each other in the sometimes difficult process of growing up. Each camper has his or her own bunk (bring your own sleeping bag or sheets and blankets and a pillow), along with space to store their gear in a same-sex cabin community. Most campers bring trunks, duffle bags or rolling suitcases. Cabins are air conditioned and have bathrooms and showers inside.
Campers, staff, and volunteers need to dress in good taste and modest styles. Clothes that might be offensive to others, advertise or promote drinking or drug usage are not allowed. Bathing suits should be those that can be worn for active fun in the water (one pieces for girls). We suggest that you label all clothing with the campers name. A complete list of informal clothes is available on the Accepted Campers page and will be sent with your reminder letter.