Ask a Camp Director

How Do I Make the Most of Final Saturday?


Final Saturday at camp is an exciting and emotional time for both campers and their families. It’s a chance to see firsthand the world your camper has been living in all summer, meet their friends and counselors, and celebrate their accomplishments. To ensure you make the most of this special day, here’s a guide to navigating Final Saturday.

Preparing for Final Saturday

Communicate Expectations—Before Final Saturday, please communicate with your camper via a letter, one-way email, or their director about your plans for the day. Establish who is coming and when you plan to arrive, discuss which events are a priority, and set realistic goals for what you hope to accomplish. Emphasize the importance of quality time together and focus on creating meaningful memories rather than trying to accommodate everyone’s wishes.

Who Should Attend—Final Saturday is primarily designed for immediate family members to visit and spend quality time with their camper. Immediate family includes parents, siblings, and grandparents or guardians. Limiting the number of visitors helps maintain a more intimate and manageable atmosphere, allowing for meaningful interactions without feeling overwhelmed. While it’s natural to want to include extended family members such as aunts, uncles, and close family friends, it’s essential to consider the potential impact on the overall experience. Ensure everyone is aware of the schedule and expectations for the day. Additionally, it is highly recommended to book accommodations in Estes Park early, as the area experiences high demand during the summer months due to its popularity as a tourist destination.

Pack Wisely—Make sure to bring essentials like water bottles, sunscreen, and rain gear, as well as comfortable walking shoes. While a BBQ lunch is provided, you’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch to share with your camper. However, remember to avoid bringing excessive gifts or food items, as leftover food must be discarded and cannot remain with your camper. Please note that pets are not allowed at camp to ensure the safety and comfort of all campers and visitors.

Familiarize Yourself with the Schedule—Review the schedule for the day to know when and where to be. Arrive promptly for Chapel, followed by Recognition Receptions to meet your camper’s counselors and celebrate their achievements. Please do not arrive before 9:45 am. Don’t forget to pick up all their belongings from their unit before leaving!

Attending Final Saturday

Be Present—The key to making Final Saturday successful is being fully present. Put away distractions like cell phones and work worries and focus on enjoying quality time with your camper. They’ve been eagerly anticipating your visit, so give them your undivided attention and participate in the activities they’re excited about.

Managing Multiple Campers—For families with campers in different units, Final Saturday can present logistical challenges. With events spread across various locations, it may be challenging to attend everything, especially when there are conflicting schedules. Strategically plan your itinerary for Final Saturday to maximize quality time with each of your campers. Prioritize based on your campers’ preferences and consider splitting up to ensure each child receives individualized attention. Remember, focus on quality time with each camper rather than trying to do everything.

Enrollment for Next Summer—One crucial aspect often overlooked on Final Saturday is enrollment for the following summer. With excitement buzzing in the air, it’s easy to get caught up in the present moment and forget about securing your spot for next year. However, enrollment opens on Final Saturday for a reason – to ensure returning campers have priority access to their preferred sessions. Don’t wait until it’s too late; take advantage of this opportunity to secure your camper’s spot and avoid disappointment later on.

Embrace the Experience—Embrace the spirit of community and connection as you celebrate with fellow campers, families, and staff. Cherish the moments spent amidst the beauty of the summer landscape and the joy of the camp experience. Take time to savor moments with your camper and celebrate their growth and achievements. Remember that emotions may run high, but it’s all part of the Cheley Experience. Plan to pick up your camper between the designated times on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

In Closing

As Final Saturday draws to a close, reflect on the memories made and the bonds strengthened throughout the summer. Whether sharing stories around the campfire or saying heartfelt goodbyes, remember the laughter, the friendships, and the growth experienced. Final Saturday is not just the end of a summer; it’s a celebration of the moments that will last a lifetime. Embrace the spirit of camp and carry it with you as you depart, knowing that you’ve been a part of something truly special.