We offer flexible programs to meet your child’s needs. We have a 2-week rookie program for first time campers only, 5th grade and younger. We also have two, 4-week sessions. See our Dates and Rates page for specifics.
Around 350 boys and girls, roughly equal in numbers, at any one time. By today’s standards, this is a relatively small size for a major summer camp. It is, however, large enough to promote a diverse camper body. At the same time, the number is small enough so that everyone can pretty much know everyone by first name. That is very important to us. There are roughly 120 summer staff members in all to support this number of campers. A majority of our staff lives with our campers. Typically, you will find three to four counselors in each cabin along with anywhere from eight to fourteen campers, depending on the age of the campers and size of the cabin.
We are a residential co-educational camp for children ages 7-17, with an approximate 50/50 gender balance.
About 50% of our campers come from the Chicago area. The other 50% come from 24 other states. Cleveland, Louisville, Denver, and New York represent our next largest communities.
Yes! Learn all about Beber’s tuition assistance program in the Financial Aid page.
We believe we have the best staff! One can have the facility and the offering. Without caring, experienced staff members with a high degree of love for children, a keen sense of urgency and accountability and pied piper qualities – there is no true summer camp experience. At Beber we have a strong core leadership group of educators and childcare specialists, many of whom are parents as well, who care greatly about children and who are deeply committed to the principles upon which we stand. This group meets several times during the off-season to plan for the next summer and forms the nucleus of our staff training course that all of our staff must attend each year before Camp begins. Almost 70% our our staff return each summer. Typically, these are young adults, college and graduate students or else recent graduates. Often they may be Beber alumni who have been through our 2 year teen leadership program. Some of our applicants apply from abroad — from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. Selection criteria are high in all instances. Apart from the normal background checks and referencing, a staff applicant to Beber needs to have a thorough interview aimed at understanding much more about that applicant than his or her fencing or water-ski teaching skills. The emphasis is on common sense, quick thinking, role modeling, mentoring and motivational capabilities, maturity and selflessness, hard work ethic (it is 24/7 at Beber) and, of course, above all — love for children. The range and number of applicants grows each year. We are immensely proud of our men and women, who make this choice — above all the other choices they have – to make a lasting difference in a child’s life.
We provide a 7-day, intensive pre-camp orientation program that includes training in safety, communication, emergency procedures, behavior management techniques, child abuse prevention, leadership skills, camp expectations and supervision procedures. Special trainings and certifications are also required for many of our activity specialists (i.e. waterfront, archery, outdoor adventure). Throughout the summer, staff are continuously evaluated and provided with feedback to enhance their performance.
ACA standards require different ratios for varying ages and special needs. Generally, the ratios for resident camps are 1:6 for campers ages 7-8; 1:8 for campers ages 9-14; and 1:10 for campers ages 15-17. Beber Camp meets and exceeds ACA standards at all age levels. Typically, our cabins have 3-4 counselors.
We are very proud of our facilities. Beber is located on the shores of the magnificent Lake Beulah which is home to one of the best camp waterfront programs in the country. All of our cabins have electricity and bathrooms and sinks. Many of our cabins have showers and there is a showerhouse that is centrally located for use by all campers. Our program areas are amazing and include swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts, soccer and all-purpose fields, and volleyball courts. There is a fine arts facility, indoor and outdoor stage, indoor gym We have a beautiful Dining Hall that serves the entire camp.
Health & Safety
Yes, we are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). Accreditation is simply the best evidence for parents that a camp is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for their children. It demonstrates our commitment to meeting government-recognized best practices and assures parents that we have had a regular, independent safety audit that goes beyond regulations in most states. Accreditation is different than licensing in that it is voluntary. To earn our ACA Accreditation status, we have to first comply with 26 mandatory prerequisite health and safety standards. Then, we have to demonstrate substantial compliance with up to forty additional standards in ten operational areas. Every three years, we are visited by ACA evaluators who confirm that we are continuing to meet all of their standards. Accreditation visitors ask over 300 questions regarding essential health, safety and program quality issues important to our camp’s overall operation. Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp by visiting http://www.acacamps.org or calling 1-800-428-CAMP.
Safety is a priority at Beber
Camp and our staff practices fire, aquatic and other emergency skills and drills on a routine basis. We have a separate health center with Registered Nurses on staff 24 hours a day. All of our senior staff are certified in American Red Cross first aid and CPR. We have a doctor at the camp every day during our clinic call.
Most campers live in cabins with 12-16 campers and 3-4 counselors. We require that campers are supervised by staff at all times (even during informal and free time activities). Our staff selection process is very competitive and we value many of the same qualities sought by other employers – – trustworthiness, enthusiasm, creativity and dependability. The ability to adapt to a variety of situations, function under pressure, work well with others and care for children are important characteristics for all of our camp staff. We also look for individuals with a strong self-image, outgoing personality and demonstrated leadership capabilities.
Every member of our waterfront staff has been certified for American Red Cross Lifesaving with the waterfront module and Water Safety Instructor in addition to the general first aid and CPR certifications. Campers in the youngest division receive personalized swim instruction. There are also a handful of commonsense rules that govern — such as, life jackets on at all times when at the waterfront.
On every trip, there is one member of the trip team who is charged with carrying on his person a complete medical kit and a copy of each camper’s medical history and emergency contact information. On all trips that may include water exposure a certified lifeguard is also in attendance.
Yes. We are also on the local 911 Emergency Medical System with a hospital 5 miles away in Mukawongo.
As soon as possible by telephone.
Our food is nutritious and well prepared by our year round kitchen director. We have a daily salad bar and fruit is available at every meal.
We do our best to accommodate special needs. Please contact Camp to discuss your child’s dietary needs.
Our Camp Office is open from 9:00am until 8:00pm for incoming calls and we are happy to arrange a phone conversation between you and one of our Leadership Team members when necessary. When leaving a message, please be sure to state your name, your child’s name, your phone number and the reason for your call. We ask you to be aware that things are busy at camp and we cannot always return your call immediately. Staff members spend most of their day outside with campers and are often unable to check their messages until late in the day. It may take time to gather the information necessary for the return phone call and while it is our policy to return all calls within 24 hours, we ask that you be patient with us as we try to give each situation our complete attention.
Most of our cabins accommodate 12-16 campers. There are bunk-style beds and cubbies where the campers put their clothes and personal belongings.
Your child will be welcomed and introduced all around and taken on a tour by the counselor with the entire cabin. We pride ourselves on the community we build and we ensure that cabin bonding occurs and new friends are made by the end of the very first day.
Our counselors are sensitive to the emotions experienced by campers who miss home. It is not unusual, at any age and even for returning campers to miss home, sometimes tremendously for the first few days. They are kept as busy as possible with extra “TLC” to help them through this potentially difficult time and counselors along with the Division Leader will also work with parents (behind the scenes) to help with the camper’s positive adjustment. Often, the best helpers are cabin mates. Everyone is different and we adapt the “cure” to the child. Our success rate is, fortunately, practically 100%.
It is our goal to make sure that each and every child has a positive experience at camp. We know that every child reacts differently to being away from home and our staff is prepared to give each child the individual attention they require. Our social workers are available to help with the adjustment process and talk through appropriate issues. If homesickness becomes so intense that it interferes with the child’s overall camp experience, parents will be notified by a member of our Leadership Team.
Counselors live in cabins with campers and are always there for campers who make wake up in the middle of the night.
Mail is picked up and delivered on a daily basis and if your child forgets something, you will be contacted and arrangements can be made to have it delivered.
While Beber Camp has a screen-free policy, some electronic devices are allowed. Learn more here.
Parents are encouraged to write letters and emails. Parents may also fax letters. Communication, via the telephone, is not permitted. Please call our office to speak to one of our leadership staff anytime about your child.
We have an “Open House” before camp. Please see the Events section for more information.