Residential Camps FAQ


When does my child check-in as a residential camper?

Residential campers check into camp on the Sunday prior to the start of camp, typically mid-afternoon.  Campers/Parent/Guardian(s) should park in the “residence hall lot” located off of Tulpehocken Road at Clary Drive and walk with their child to the residence hall check in desk.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to help their camper unpack and set up their room.  Two weeks prior to camp, campers should expect an confirmation email with a specific check-in time and campus map.   Sorry, animals/pets are not allowed in the residence halls on move in or move out day!

What if I have to check in late?

If you must arrive after 5PM on Sunday, please contact the Continuing Education Office at 610-396-6225 to establish a check-in plan.

Can my camper drive themselves to camp?

If your child is registered as a residential camper, and is licensed to drive yes, they can come to camp on their own but they will surrender their keys to the camp director until departure time Friday.  In addition, a parent/guardian must submit a PSU Youth Program Permission to Walk/Bike/Drive Home Self Check-Out Authorization Form to the office of Continuing Education prior to or at the time of check in.

How can I authorize another parent/guardian/sibling to sign in/out my child?

If your child is registered as a residential camper and will be dropped off or picked up by someone other than their own parents/guardians, the parent should complete and submit a PSU Youth Program Drop-off / Pick-up Authorization Form to the office of Continuing Education prior to or at the time of check in.

What type of residential housing will my child be offered during camp?

If your child is registered as a residential camper they can expect to stay in a traditional style dormitory room set up for two students.  Private toilet and shower facilities are located in each hallway.  To view a typical floor plan, click here

What items will my residential camper need to set up their dorm room?

In addition to all personal items such as toiletries, hand soap/towel, and hair dryer, you will need to bring twin sheets (mattress is 35” x 80”, x-long), pillow, blanket, and bath towels.  The rooms are furnished with a mini refrigerator and microwave so you may bring soft drinks and snacks.  You cannot bring pets, motor vehicles, televisions, illegal drugs, or alcohol. 

Can I request a roommate for my camper?

Yes, you can.  All requests must be mutual with a letter or email request from the parent/guardian of both campers. 

What will the campers eat?

Residential students will have all meals, beginning with dinner Sunday evening up to lunch on Friday, at our campus dining hall; all campers will travel to the dining hall as a group.   Each seating will offer multiple meal selections to meet a variety of dietary needs, with vegetarian and gluten free items always available.   A name tag will be issued to you and serves as your meal ticket.  If you have any questions, you may also contact the Food Services office at 610-396-6354.

What do residential campers do in the evening after the camp day ends?

Sunday evening is reserved for a Welcome Reception event where campers get to know camp faculty, residential staff and other campers.  Camp staff typically plan two to three off campus events to entertain and introduce residential campers to Berks County area attractions.  Please note that all residential campers travel to the venue(s) as a group, but the individual camper always has the option to decline participation in that evenings activity.  Any fees involved in participating in the evening activities is included in your registration fee.

Is there a cancellation fee?

You may be subject to a cancellation fee.  Please review the cancellation policy as individually outlined for each camp offering prior to registering.  To view the cancellation policy, click on the online registration link and review the public remarks.

Who supervises the campers?

All University faculty, staff, and volunteers who are responsible for "the care supervision, guidance or control" of or have "routine interaction" with anyone under the age of 18 must obtain the following clearances prior to working with children, and renew them every five years:

1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (SP-164)

2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY-113)

3. Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report)

All Penn State youth programs have policies in place to ensure the safety of youth participating in our programs is not compromised. All program staff are trained in emergency protocols and all relevant internal, external, and parental reporting requirements.

Parents are encouraged to notify Elaine Berish, Camp Director, immediately if they, or their child, are experiencing problems, difficulties, or concerns with the program, other youth in the program, and/or  staff.

When and where do we pick up our camper at the end of the week?

The camp day ends at 4PM on Friday.  Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should park in the “residence hall lot” located off of Tulpehocken Road at Clary Drive and walk to their child’s residence hall to help them pack up and check-out.  If you need to pick up your camper earlier, please call the continuing education office to make advance arrangements, 610-396-6225.  Sorry, no late check-out service is available.

Note:  Some camps offer parents a showcase of camper activities from the week.  Please take note to any special instructions provided on your camper confirmation details provided two weeks prior to the camp start date.  

How do I check out my residential camper?  What if I don’t return the dorm room key?

To check out your camper, simply return your room key to the Camp Director’s table.

A $250 lock replacement fee will be charged to any camper who fails to check in their room key.

Can I send medicine with my camper?

Yes; the following guidelines with be enforced:

Step 1 – Registering for Program/Camp:

a) Parent/ legal guardian must disclose if medications will be needed during the program/ camp by filling out the new Youth Program Health Services Medical Treatment Authorization form (“form”).

b) The form is to be included in the registration process and may be accessed through the link located in Policy AD39. The form must be submitted by parent/ legal guardian prior to, or at the time of, registration.

Step 2: On-Site Camp Sign-In

a) A program/ camp staffer meets with the parent/ legal guardian to review all medication issues and needs addressed on the aforementioned form. If a parent or guardian is not present and there are questions, the Camp Staff should make arrangements to communicate with them via phone.

b) Medication is to be provided in its original pharmacy container labeled with the participant’s name, medicine name, dosage and timing of consumption. Over-the counter medications must be provided in their manufacturers’ container.

c) All medications must be placed in a zip-lock bag provided by the program/ camp. The bag should clearly identify the participant by name (see below).

d) The Daily Medication Log (“Log”), which will be provided prior to or at sign-in, must be completed and stored as follows:

d1) Parent/ legal guardian must provide pertinent information and sign (see red on Log example).

d2) If a parent is not present to sign the log, attach the Medical Treatment Authorization form.

d3) Attach a current photo of the participant provided by either the parent/ legal guardian or program/ camp. If a photo is not available, a second identifier must be used (DOB, etc.)

d4) The Log must be placed in the zip-lock bag.

Step 3: Procedure

a) Zip-lock bags shall be stored at a designated secure location in a lock-box.

b) At the appropriate time for in-take, two program/ camp staffers shall meet with the participant.

c) A program/ camp staffer shall assist the participant with retrieving his/her zip-lock bag from the lock-box.

d) Once the participant receives his/her zip-lock bag, a program/ camp staffer will confirm that the participant has the correct bag by looking at the photo or other secondary identifier attached to the Log.

e) The participant will then self-administer the medication.

f) Once the medication has been taken, the participant will hand the Log to a program/ camp staffer, who will initial (see green on Log example) that the medication was taken and indicate the time of consumption.

g) The program/ camp staffer will then hand the Log back to the participant and all items shall be placed back into the zip-lock bag.

h) Lastly, the participant shall return the zip-lock into the lock-box, which will remain in the designated secure location.

Step 4: Conclusion of Camp

a) Parent/ legal guardian and/or participant must see program director/camp staff to pick-up the stored zip-lock bag and retrieve all medication.

b) Medication that has been abandoned will be destroyed and will not be sent back to parent/ legal guardian via mail.

How can I contact my child/Penn State Berks in an emergency?

In the event of an emergency, you can contact the Continuing Education office at 610-396-6230 or 610-396-6225 during business hours.  These lines will be forward to the camp director’s cell after normal business hours.  In addition, you may contact the Penn State Berks Police Office at 610-396-6111.