Ask a Camp Director

Why Are We Adopting a No Package Policy?


Change can sometimes be met with uncertainty, especially when it involves cherished traditions like receiving packages at camp. However, our decision to implement a No Package Policy is not about taking away, but about enhancing the camp experience. It’s about creating an environment that fosters growth, community, and adventure, where the focus is on shared experiences rather than material possessions. By removing packages from the equation, we aim to refocus attention on what truly matters: the camp experience itself.

Unnecessary Stress, Environmental Concerns, and Exceptions

Packages often lead to unnecessary stress for both our camp parents and campers. While they can bring joy, they also unintentionally create feelings of envy, competition, and distraction among campers. Some parents have felt pressured to send their child one or more packages to ensure they don’t feel left out, while others have sent large packages with items for every child in the cabin or wagon. This has resulted in unused items and difficulties for campers when packing to return home. Additionally, the excessive waste generated by packages is a significant environmental concern. By reducing this waste, we’re taking a step towards protecting our environment and teaching campers the importance of sustainability.

However, we understand that certain essentials might be forgotten. That’s why our policy allows exceptions in these cases. Campers can still receive necessary items or savor a special birthday treat (minus the food and candy, of course!). For any package containing essential items, please contact our office for pre-approval before sending.

Promoting a Focus on Shared Experiences

Embracing the No Package Policy allows us to create a more inclusive and supportive environment where campers can connect, grow, and thrive together. Because, let’s face it, camp is about so much more than just stuff—it’s about forging lifelong friendships, exploring the great outdoors, and discovering new passions.

We’re incredibly excited about the positive impact this policy will have on our camp community and on the Cheley Experience. It’s an additional step toward ensuring every camper feels valued, included, and free to embrace their summer fully. Thank you for your support and understanding as we embark on this journey together!

No Package Policy

Effective this summer, Cheley is adopting a No Package Policy. This policy aims to enhance the camp experience by promoting equality among campers and further creating a supportive and inclusive environment.

Policy Overview

Campers are not permitted to receive any packages while at camp, including large envelopes, padded envelopes, and anything containing more than a letter. Please inform your relatives and friends not to send your camper packages while at camp. Instead, encourage them to send letters and postcards to stay connected.

In the event that your camper forgets essential items at home, such as toiletries, clothing, or equipment unavailable in the camp store, you may send a package containing these necessities. Please contact our office first to pre-approve the package. If your package contains medication or something health-related, please contact our office so we can connect you with our healthcare staff.

Any items sent will be handled with care. They will be unpacked in the office and delivered directly to your camper, rather than at Mail Call. It’s important to note that if you do not call and get the package pre-approved, it will not be distributed and will be returned to the sender unopened and/or given back at the end of camp. 

Birthday Packages

An exception to the policy is made for birthdays celebrated at camp. You may send a birthday package, which we will deliver on the camper’s birthday. For safety reasons, we prohibit food (including mints, gum, and small candies) from being sent. Additionally, please do not send cash, as campers cannot use cash during the summer, and handling it creates logistical challenges. Please contact our office first to coordinate delivery.

Supporting our Camp Community

Remember, sending your camper to camp is a wonderful gift in itself! While care packages may seem fun, they aren’t necessary for your camper to have a great time. Additionally, the amount of trash and work involved in handling care packages is overwhelming for our staff. We’d much rather dedicate our time and energy to enhancing your camper’s experience at Cheley.

We understand that change can be challenging, but this policy aligns with our core values of fostering growth, community, and adventure. We encourage all campers, parents, and guardians to review this policy and to inform friends and relatives accordingly. Thank you for your understanding and support as we embark on this journey together.