Welcome Back, Camp Families! Whether this is your camper’s first, fourth, or ninth summer with us, we look forward to sharing a FunPlus summer together!
In a world filled with extraordinary opportunities for youth, the Cheley Experience is unique. Our campers often say they feel more alive, more connected, and like the best version of themselves while at camp. Whether they are standing on the summit of Longs Peak, cantering around the Western Riding Ring, or cheering a fellow mountain biker up the Cheley Challenge, they feel as if they learn skills and values to help them succeed in our ever-changing world. Cheley offers youth the opportunity for unstructured play, to meet people from all over the world and country, to form strong relationships within a supportive community, to unplug from technology, to gain independence, and to have fun. So, thank you for your partnership!
Everything in the Current Families section of our website is for you – to feel prepared and to further fuel an incredible camp experience. As parents ourselves, we know how many details there are to keep track of, so we want you to find everything you need for camp in one place. Of course, feel free to contact us – or anyone at our office – should a question or comment arise. We are happy to help and look forward to speaking with you!
Jeff Cheley and Brooke Cheley-Klebe
Preparing for Camp Online
Remember, the earlier you start preparing for camp, the easier it will be for you and your family. In early March, your camp forms will be live and ready for you to complete. These are due by April 1st. Submitting your forms in a timely manner is a critical first step in our partnership with you to provide a positive camp experience. These forms always take longer than anticipated so we suggest getting started as soon as they are available. There is also required paperwork (two Letters of Introduction for new campers, the Healthcare Provider Form, and the Colorado Immunization Form) to submit. We look forward to seeing you in the summer! We will not activate Cheley Connection accounts until June 12th, 2023.
Letters of Introduction
If your camper is new to Cheley, we ask that you submit two Letters of Introduction. These letters are required and are due within two weeks of receiving your enrollment confirmation documents. These must come from people who are not related to your camper (e.g., teachers, coaches, neighbors, babysitters, etc.).
The Cheley Connection
Before your camper arrives at camp (typically on June 1st), you will receive a Welcome Email with instructions to activate your password-protected Cheley Connection account. Other users – grandparents and other relatives – will need to use the password provided in the Welcome Email to create their account.
Photos are posted each morning by 11:00 am MT. You are able to download all photos available on the Cheley Connection. Every camper will not be included in each day’s upload. We do our best to get pictures of a variety of campers every day; however, campers will be out of camp, on overnight activities, and often times away from our photographers. It is also harder for us to get photos at the TEs.
We hope you send your camper to Cheley for an amazing outdoor experience full of growth and lifelong memories; not so you can see a picture of them online. Our goal is to get as many pictures up as possible each day, but our main goal is to provide an amazing experience for your campers while they are here.
Emails are printed every day except Sunday around noon, and include all emails to your camper from the previous 24 hours. We ask that you limit emailing your camper and continue to send handwritten cards and letters as well. DO NOT give this option to your camper’s friends; instead, please ask them to hand write letters. Our goal is to provide a wonderful experience for your camper and handwritten letters complement this.
Weekly Reports are posted Tuesday mornings at 10:00am MT. They come directly from your camper’s Go-To counselor and contain their activities for the week, goals, highlights and challenges, citizenship, general well-being, health updates, and more. Weekly Reports are only posted after the first three weeks of camp; there is no fourth week report.
Remember, we are a summer camp and not a technology company.
The Camp Store
The store is open for 45 minutes each morning for campers to purchase needed supplies and equipment, as well as gift items and clothing items. Each afternoon the store is open for one hour for ‘treats.’ Treats is a chance for campers to buy a snack and hang out with their friends in a relaxed setting. Campers in Lower Chipeta and Lower Ski Hi can purchase one treat per day ($1.50 or less) while campers in other units may purchase two treats. Campers also have the opportunity to rent a sleeping bag and pad ($30) from the Camp Store. The average camper spends $125 to $175 at the Camp Store during a term.
The camp store does not accept cash. During the enrollment process in the Store Form, you will have the option to add a Camp Store “Deposit.” Put simply, this lets us know how much your camper can spend at the Camp Store. This deposit is not paid up front – you will only be charged for your camper’s purchases at the end of the summer (i.e., what they actually spend).
When campers visit the Camp Store, they can ask the Camp Store Manager what their remaining balance is – we call this their “Camp Store Wallet.” If at anytime during the summer your camper’s Camp Store Wallet reaches $25, we will contact you to see if you would like to raise their spending limit. You can also “add money” or request access to your camper’s Camp Store Wallet, including their balance and purchases, at any time by contacting us.
Again, you will only be charged for your camper’s purchases, not their entire deposit. At the end of each term during Final Weekend, families may visit the camp store at Land O’Peaks and the TEs or browse online – credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cash App, and Afterpay are accepted at both.
The Camp Store provides a great opportunity for campers to learn responsibility and work on decision-making skills. We highly recommend you sit down with your camper(s) to discuss the Camp Store and using credit – so that they know their spending limit and what they should be spending their credit on. A conversation about budgeting and only getting what is needed can provide a valuable lesson.
Almost 90% of families visit during Final Saturday and depart with their camper from camp on final Sunday. We do not allow families to visit at other times during the summer as it is disruptive to the Cheley Experience.
If you’re in search of the perfect hotel to stay at when you visit Estes Park to drop off or pick up your camper, look no further! Download our Hotel List. During the summer, Estes Park is very popular and hotels tend to fill up fast so we recommend booking early.
It is our firm policy to prohibit the offering of gratuities to our counselors and staff, which our staff has been apprised, and instead compensate our staff fairly. Cheley staff members understand that if they accept a gratuity, they will be forfeiting their position at camp. The American Camp Association has made this policy one of its standards.