As a parent, you might be asking, "What will my child be doing at the GZ Retreat?!" Whatever your question might be, we hope the tools and links below will help you out.
At both Trout Lake Camp and at Camp Shamineau, the cabins are rustic, warm, and cozy. They consist of a large open room with sets of bunk beds. A few cabins have adjoining bathrooms, but most of them just have bathrooms nearby. Feel free to bring your favorite pillow, a stuffed animal, and some snacks to make your cabin extra comfortable!
On your registration form, you have the opportunity to list a friend or two that you would like to have in your cabin. You can also request a specific adult leader. We do our absolute best to make sure those requests are met. Otherwise, your cabin will have other same-sex students, most likely in your grade. Most cabins have 10-12 students and leaders, but a few have up to 20. These cabin groups are great opportunities to create strong friendships!
Most bathrooms are in separate buildings nearby the cabins. There are individual showers with curtains, bathroom stalls, urinals for the boys, and sinks for everyone to share. We suggest bringing a towel, shower shoes, and maybe even a smaller bag to carry your clothes into the shower room.
We always have a nurse along with us at camp. When you arrive for drop-off on Friday, simply check in with the nurse if you have any medications. She can keep them for you and remind you when to take them throughout the weekend. If you are injured or need medical attention at any point throughout the weekend, our nurse will take care of you!
Our chaperones are our regular Ground Zero volunteers. 95% of them are small group leaders, and a few are Team Leads or Directors (those who oversee the small group leaders). All the volunteers are background checked and go through weekly training throughout the school year, with one special training specifically for the retreat.
At both Trout Lake Camp and Camp Shamineau the food is excellent and middle-school friendly. You’ll see meals like pancakes, French toast and bacon, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, chicken fingers and fries, or a pasta bar. If you have dietary restrictions, both camps are great at accommodating for those. Just let us know on your registration form what your dietary needs are and we’ll communicate that to the camp staff. There will be a separate station for you to pick up your food.
If you feel homesick at some point during the weekend, we will encourage you to share how you are feeling with your cabin leader. Together, you can make a plan to stay busy, talk it through, or even call home just to touch base. We encourage students to stick it out all weekend, though. It always gets easier as the weekend goes on!
If we have an emergency up at camp (which is extremely rare), we will contact the parent or guardian listed on the registration form. If there is an emergency at home, please call the church office and follow the prompts to get to our on-call staff person at camp. The phone number is 651.429.9227.