Camper FAQs About Camp Kupugani
Have questions about camp life? You’re going to have a blast!
Either you’ve registered for camp and have questions (yay, can’t wait to see you!) or you’re really inquisitive (great job doing your research!). Either way, we know you will have fun changing your world. Whether you are a first-time camper or have been to camp before, the following list of questions will help you get ready for Camp Kupugani.
For FAQs geared toward parents, please check out our parent FAQs.
Click on a question below to see its answer.
Electronics & Activities
Because the whole point of our camp is to enjoy nature, facilitate communication, and empower children by developing those skills, we don’t allow cell phones, iPads, or iPods, which take away from interpersonal interaction. Camp’s a great time to unplug; at first, it might seem weird, but soon you start to feel newfound freedom from not being electronically connected all the time. Studies also show that you get smarter, healthier, and more creative by being exposed more to nature.
We have a full packing list in our welcome packet to use as a guideline. Camp Kupugani is about fun, so leave those fancy clothes at home and come prepared to get a little messy. River walks, mud volleyball, and rock climbing can get clothes dirty!
Many of us rely heavily on technology during the year. It can enhance and simplify our lives in the city. At camp, we focus on different things–building a community, making friends, being outdoors, playing, singing, dancing, and just having a great time all around! Therefore, you can’t bring your tech toys like a laptop, cell phone, video camera, pocket TV, walkie talkie, Gameboy, etc.–you just won’t need them! Really!
Campers are generally not allowed to call home. Our experience with calls home is that they take away campers’ moves towards independence and growth, and do not help if there are issues of homesickness. There are always great counselors to talk to, plus fellow campers to help out if you ever need to talk. Most of the time, you’ll be so busy having fun and making new friends that there isn’t much time to think about home!
Our daily schedule combines scheduled group activities and choice periods. You choose at least two individual activities daily, and we re-evaluate our group schedules continually to ensure that all of our campers are focusing on the activities they enjoy most. The camp as a community does an evening activity together.
Yup, with texting, Facebook, e-mail, etc., not too many people write letters with a pen and paper anymore. Camp time is a great chance to practice your creative writing skills in your letters to friends and family. You’ll have a lot to write about–new friends, awesome activities, great counselors, and more! At camp you will also be able to receive, but not send e-mails.
You sure can if you’d like; we have an “Untalent Show” where you can demonstrate your skills to the whole camp (and those of us without talent are also welcome to perform in other ways). However, you are responsible for anything to bring to camp; if you’re worried about damage or loss, DON’T BRING IT. We will not be held responsible if it is lost, missing, or broken.
Medical (Physical & Mental)
Camp Kupugani has a complete health center, with a nurse who handles the day-to-day services and needs. Our nurse keeps all medication and distributes it as prescribed by your doctor. Every day there is one regular sick call for campers who don’t feel well. If you don’t feel well during the night or outside of sick call, talk to your counselor first.
No, camp regulations do not allow any medicine to be kept in your cabin, including Tylenol or any other over-the-counter drug. Campers who take medicine go to the Health Center to take their medicine or have their medications brought to them at meals. An important exception is that if you have an inhaler for asthma or an Epi-pen for severe allergic reactions, you should carry it with you at all times so you have it when you need it, and bring an extra one for the nurse to keep (just in case)!
Missing home is normal. Most kids spending a good amount of time at overnight camp feel some amount of homesickness, which is typically mild. Nearly everyone misses something about home when they’re away–their parents, home cooking, a sibling, or the family pet. Homesickness has a silver lining; if there’s something that you miss about home, that means there’s something about home that you love and that’s a wonderful thing.
Whatever you miss, most children have a great time at camp and are not bothered by mild homesickness. Overcoming homesickness, and enjoying time away from home, nurtures your independence and prepares you for the future; you get the growth and independence you need as you grow and make your way into the world. Our caring staff members are trained to help you deal with homesickness should it arise.
Location & Housing
At Camp Kupugani, campers live in wood-framed cabins within the woods of Camp White Eagle. Each cabin has been renovated with insulation, interior wood siding, and solid, built-in wood bunks and drawers. Up to ten campers live in a cabin with two to three staff members who provide the care and attention for each cabin group.
The cabins have nearby bathhouses with bathrooms and private shower stalls.
Around the middle of each session, your laundry will be washed and folded by an outside laundry service and brought back the next day. It’s important to bring a laundry bag and label all your clothes.
Food & Beverage
Meals at camp not only taste great, but are nutritious too! All meals are served family-style in the dining hall where you sit with your table group, enabling you to meet other members of the camp community by mixing it up with children who are different from those in your cabin and team groups.
Along with lots of food variety, we offer salad for lunch and dinner, and a limited vegetarian option if requested. Here’s what campers have to say about the food!
- “[The food] was soooooo good! Thank you Cook Natasha!!!! 🙂 – N.C.
- “I absolutely loved the food. It was always so delicious.” M.S.
- “It was Delish! Yum! :)” – A.P.
- “[The food] was so so so so good.” – T.T.
- “[The food] was AMAZING! Oh my gosh, I will miss the food so much.” – J.L.
- “To be honest, the food was some of the best food I’d ever had.” Z.S.
- “Amazing.” – A.E.
- “I love it and I want all of the recipes!” – A.M.
- “It was AMAZING!” – K.L.
- “Best food ever.” B.D.
Campers with allergies are offered alternatives. A parent or guardian will put this information on your health form before camp so that we’ll be prepared beforehand.
We serve three healthful, balanced meals each day and there’s always fruit available if you’re feeling “snacky” during the day. In addition, there’s “La Tienda” time most days when you can enjoy a treat from the camp store. Any other food brought or sent to camp will be donated to our administrative staff snack collection.
Every camper who has a birthday during the camp session gets a special birthday cake. The entire camp will sing to you (many, many fun birthday songs) and you can have cake and celebration time with your cabin group. Birthdays can be a pretty special event to have at camp! Additional snacks are not provided for birthdays.
Overall Camp Questions
There’s no better way to have fun, make real connections with lifelong friends, and become more in touch with the environment, all while becoming a better all-around person. Studies show that campers get better at responsibility, decision-making, social skills, and appreciation of natural surroundings. You make new friends, get to know other campers who are different from yourself, feel good about yourself, and do things that you might have been at first afraid to do!
Camp Kupugani / Camp White Eagle is less than a two-hour drive from Chicago, Illinois, and nestled within 126 acres of lush forests. We’re located in Leaf River, Illinois, alongside the Leaf River in the northwestern part of the state near Wisconsin and Iowa. The Leaf River is a tributary of the Rock River; via the Rock, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Click here for a map!
Throughout the summer, northwest Illinois enjoys moderate temperatures with average highs ranging from the mid-70s to the low 80s. Occasional rain showers ensure lush green forests and fields while the regular warm sun-filled skies provide the perfect setting for playing in the waterfall or dipping in the pool. There are plenty of bright sunny days for activities of all sorts to take place around camp.
At our girls-only program, we’re able to address issues specific to girls and women. You can interact with women in positions of authority and have more opportunities to “be yourself” without having to impress the boys. Without those kinds of distractions, you can be more comfortable, focused, and establish more meaningful relationships. You’ll feel supported and safe, without the pressure and competition that might exist in a co-ed camp.
Plus, you get to try new things like dam jumping and rock climbing, develop positive relationships with other girls in your cabin groups and teams, and overall just have a space where “girls can be girls.” Free of any self-consciousness that might happen at school, other social settings, or at a co-ed camp, you get to concentrate on skill-building, personal growth, and having fun changing your world!
If you’d rather have girls and boys at camp at the same time, we do offer a separate blended camp session. Even though there’s much research to show the benefits of single-sex environments on a child’s confidence, self-esteem, social, and personal development, sometimes you want to have a camp environment that helps apply a full range of social skills to real-life situations. Kupugani’s blended session offers the best of both worlds. We aim to provide the same safe and supportive environment in a setting with girls and boys both present.
At Camp Kupugani, we focus on you as an individual, so we can give you the most rewarding, fun, and memorable summer experience possible. There are a ton of cool activities and great staff members. We strive to have fun and empower our campers, so if that’s what you want, please join us! You get to have a great time making fantastic new friends while reconnecting with old ones. You’ll enjoy activities like rock climbing, canoeing, playing under waterfalls, and night hikes under the stars, plus carefully designed group activities and games so that fun and personal growth coincide. At Camp Kupugani, you get to have fun changing your world!
There’s something here for every type of kid. All campers join our family environment in a community of big (and little) sisters and brothers, with available mentoring, traditions, and the opportunity to become a mentor in the future. At Kupugani, you’ll become part of an accepting and loving family of friends; there are activities that promote understanding and bonding, and the opportunity to form lifelong friendships.
If you’re seeking a leadership experience, here, you can branch out and become friends with a nice variety of people; you can learn more about yourself and others, all while having a great outdoor experience and expanding your horizons. There are activities that promote understanding of self and others, lifelong friendships, leadership skills inherent in building meaningful cross-cultural friendships.
If you’re someone looking for adventure, you can have a camp experience that keeps you on your toes; you can jam-pack your schedule full of outdoor adventures, with physical activities, ropes courses, other physical challenges—all done in a safe and supportive environment. If you’re somebody who’s sick of feeling like you have to be a certain way at school, here, you can explore exactly who you are and who you want to be—especially with activities that promote understanding of self and others and group bonding, and a nonjudgmental atmosphere.
If you’re somebody who just wants to relax and chill, you can have that too—126 acres of beautiful nature, a nice pool, the river and lake, sun, and fun!
Our staff members are carefully selected from hundreds of applicants from throughout the United States and all over the world. We offer positions to only those truly committed to being a teacher, counselor, mentor, protector, and friend to our campers. Our counselors love to play and have tons of fun and are great people to go to if you ever have something you want to talk about.
Our campers come from all over the country and the world! Campers have come from as far as Japan, China, Liberia, Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Germany, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Anguilla, the Bahamas, and Mexico, with others joining them from the Virgin Islands, California, Washington State, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Utah, New York, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Wisconsin, in addition to kids from right here in Illinois. Our campers’ ethnic backgrounds are a nice mix too–including Caucasian, African-American, Bi-racial, Hispanic/Latina, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American; our young people embrace identities from everywhere!
What Our Campers Have to Say
“The most important thing I learned at camp was to empower who you are.“
“I love Camp Kupugani because I met people who were kind and accepting.“
“This place is a palace of adventure and will cripple every form of doubt when you set foot out of the car.”
“The most important thing I learned at camp was to be kind to each other and to make a difference in the world.”
“Camp Kupugani has helped improve my communication and leadership skills, while having lots of fun at the same time!”
“Camp Kupugani was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The camp allowed me to meet new friends, learned new things, and experience independence. I’m looking forward to coming back!”
“I love Camp Kupugani because I was able to gain more confidence and be more independent.”
“I have gone to the camp for 5 years and I have always had an amazing experience going there. When you go you not only become friends with each other you become family with each other.”
“It is the most positive environment I have ever found. The people are amazing, and, even after eight years, I’m still learning.”
“There’s lots of activities and you can make new friends and everyone there is loving, caring and joyful.”
“I love Camp Kupugani because it embraces everyone like no other place in the world.”
“I love camp because it is a safe place to be myself without being criticized for it.“