YMCA Camp Kitaki

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This page details some of the more frequently asked questions about Summer Camp at Camp Kitaki.  Click the subject heading for questions about a topic.

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Where is Camp Kitaki and How do I get there?
Where is Camp Kitaki and How do I get there?

Camp Kitaki is located between Omaha and Lincoln, with over 200 acres nestled along the Platte River. The fastest and easiest way to get to camp is to get on I-80 and take the Mahoney State Park exit 426. Go south on Hwy 66 approx. 4 miles until you pass through the town of South Bend. Camp is just past South Bend and the entrance is on the left hand side of the road.

When is Check In and Do you Provide Transportation?
When is Check In and Do you Provide Transportation?

Transporting your child to and from camp is your responsibility. Check in is between 3:30 and 4:30 on Sundays, you can pick them up between 10:00 to 10:45 the following Saturday. If your camper is in Adventure Mini Camp Sunday - Wednesday check in is during the normal weekly check in time and check out time is Wednesday morning from 10:00-10:45. For Adventure Mini Camp Wednesday - Saturday check in is from 5:00-6:00PM and check out is during the regular weekly check out time.

Our Child is new to camp, can we visit before or during the camp session?
Our Child is new to camp, can we visit before or during the camp session?

Due to safety reasons we are very conscientious of anyone on our campgrounds. We ask that you call to set up an appointment for a guided tour or consider participating in our "Family Days" so you and your child can become familiar with camp. Camp Kitaki does not have a "visitor day" during the camper's week due to the short sessions and a full schedule of activities. Parents can look forward to hearing all about camp on Saturday morning!

Weather

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What do you do for severe weather and tornados?
What do you do for severe weather and tornados?

We monitor the weather throughout the day, and night via internet, radio, and weather alert radios.  Should weather be predicted in our area we ensure our campers stay close to shelter.  We have lower floors set into the ground on our dining hall, and main camp cabins which serve as our shelters.  If we need to seek shelter it doesn't mean the fun stops, skits, songs, and games continue as we ride out the storms!

How do you handle severe heat?
How do you handle severe heat?

During extreme heat we modify activities and schedules by adding more water activities, moving other activities into shade or air conditioned spaces, and by taking things easier with frequent water breaks. Our staff will watch closely to make sure campers are handling the heat. All our camper cabins and our Dining Hall and Health Lodge are air conditioned to provide rest areas from the heat.

What if it rains?
What if it rains?

Weather doesn't dictate fun at YMCA Camp Kitaki.  If we experience rain there are certainly some modifications that we may need to make in order to keep everyone safe.  However we have a whole host of activities and fun that can be had when it rains, both indoors and out, that will keep the campers smiling! 

Medication and Special Needs

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How are medications handled?
How are medications handled?

We have a health care specialist, certified in first aid and CPR on staff and available 24 hours a day. During check in we will verify the information you provided on the health history form, and check in any medications they need to take, and the times they need to be administered. These medications are then provided to your child at the appropriate time.

If my child has special physical or emotional needs, can they attend Kitaki?
If my child has special physical or emotional needs, can they attend Kitaki?

We strive to make Camp Kitaki available for all.  We will make every reasonable effort to meet the needs of those who participate.  If your child has a disability, behavior disorder, or special needs, please contact us to discuss if Camp Kitaki is the right fit. 

My child has severe allergies, how is that handled at your camp?
My child has severe allergies, how is that handled at your camp?

Allergies can be many and many things at Kitaki are known allergens (Dust, Horses, Leaves, Grass, Etc.).  For food allergies we are a peanut and treenut safe facility, meaning we do not serve items from our kitchen with those ingredients.  It is however possible that other guests may bring items with those ingredients, or prepackaged items in our store may be processed in an facility that also prepares nut products (Like M&Ms).  All allergies should be communicated prior to the camper's arrival so we can make adjustments as necessary.  Please contact us to discuss your camper's individual needs.

I filled out a health form last year, do I have to do it again?
I filled out a health form last year, do I have to do it again?

Yes.  The accreditation we follow through the American Camp Association requires us to collect a new updated form every year. 

Preparing for Camp

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What to Pack
What to Pack

Laundry bag Tennis shoes * Shampoo Western boots ** Soap Jeans *** Comb/Brush Sleeping bag or blankets & sheets Toothbrush & paste Pillow & case Towels (pool & bath) Raincoat or poncho Washcloths Pen or pencil Shorts Swimsuit Shirts Sunscreen Socks/Underwear (daily change) Insect repellent Sweatshirt or Jacket Hat Sleepwear * Some activities require closed toe shoes (such as horse back riding) ** Required for Ranch Campers (recommended for Silver Spurs) *** All campers are required to wear ankle-length pants (jeans) for horseback riding. Silver Spurs or Ranch Campers should have enough pants for the week.

How to Avoid Homesickness
How to Avoid Homesickness

PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR CAMP:
Going away to camp for a week can be a challenging experience for a child of any
age. Short-term separation from parents and learning to be independent are
important parts of growing up. Some children have a normal anxiety that comes
with going away to camp. What a parent says prior to camp can either increase
or decrease this anxiety.

Let your child know that you have confidence in his/her ability to cope with the
new life style at camp. Focus on the positive aspects of camp; making new
friends, exciting activities, and how proud you will be when they succeed, rather
than how much you will miss them.

TIPS FOR PREVENTING HOMESICKNESS:
Have your child help pack his/her bags for camp. Knowing where he/she has all of
his/her belongings is comforting to the camper and prevents anxiety.
To help prepare your child for camp or to share in your child’s camp experience,
you might consider participating in our family events and camps held in the
Spring and the Fall.

Help your child anticipate a good week at camp!
• Being familiar with camp helps: talk with experienced campers, discuss the
daily routine, visit the camp, and call us with questions.
• Overnight visits with friends or relatives may help your camper adjust to
being comfortable away from parents and family.
• Set your child up for success: don’t promise to rescue your child if he or she
is homesick. Focus on providing positive support and how proud you will be
when he/she succeeds. Campers who make up their minds to enjoy the week
avert homesickness by seeking new friends and getting involved in camp
activities.
• Some campers feel guilty about leaving the family or a pet behind. Assure
your camper that you love him/her that you will be happy thinking about the
good experiences he/she is having, and that you’ll look forward to hearing
about them after camp.
• Please don’t suggest phone calls - these are extremely difficult to manage,
and campers should focus on having fun and participating, not on a phone
call. Our staff carefully monitor the campers. If your child is experiencing a
significant difficulty a director will contact you to work out an action plan.
• Write to your camper or send magic mail - you may even want to mail a
letter ahead of time so it arrives early in the week, or drop one off with staff
at check-in. Don’t tell them how much you miss them; do ask specific
questions about what they’re doing, and encourage them to write back.

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Tiered Pricing
Tiered Pricing

Camp Kitaki has a voluntary tiered pricing system for our summer camp programs allowing families to choose the price that works best for them. Naming your price requires no paperwork and in no way influences the experience your child will receive at camp.

If your need is greater please do not hesitate to apply for our Financial Assistance program which provides more significant scholarships.
•Why three prices? Realizing that families have differing abilities to pay, we've instituted a voluntary 3-tier pricing program.
•What are the prices? Price A is the true cost of camp accountying for wear and tear, depreciation, and facility/program improvements. Price B is a partially subsidized rate for families that need a little help and Price C is a more heavily subsidized rate which does not reflect the true cost of camp.
•How do I select my price? This program is voluntary, requires no paper work and in no way influences the experience children receive. Simply choose the rate that is appropriate for your family.
•How are the rates subsidized? We are able to offer subsidized rates by generous contributions of many donors, alumni, staff and friends, and by the support of the YMCA of Lincoln, the association to which Camp Kitaki belongs.

Deposit and Payments
Deposit and Payments

Deposit:

All registrations must be made with a $100, non refundable deposit which secures the camper's spot.

The Balance of Camp Fees are due:
•May 1st for sessions begining before July 3rd (Sessions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
•June 1st for sessions begining after July 3rd (Sessions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Registrations for sessions after the due date may be made, however full fee is asked for at time of registration.

Forms of Payment

Payments can be made by check, cash, or Visa/MasterCard/Discover

Cabin Mates
Cabin Mates

The majority of our campers do not come to camp knowing someone ahead of time, however we know sometimes campers have a good friend they would like to share camp with.  Campers are able to request one friend as a cabin mate to be assigned to the same cabin.   In order to be placed as cabin mates, campers must be the same gender, and be close in age.

Scheduled Payments
Scheduled Payments

Payments for camp programs can be split and made throughout the year via an automatic draft.  A smaller amount each month allows camp to be easier on the family budget.  In order to schedule payments a camper must be fully registered with the deposit paid.  Scheduled payments can be arranged via the summer registration form, on the phone, or using the form below.

Transfers and Cancelations
Transfers and Cancelations

Transfers

Requests to change sessions must be made in writing (email/fax is fine!).  Transfers can only be made if space is available in the requested session.  After April 15th there is a $20 service charge for each change made.

Cancellations

Fees paid (minus the deposit) are refundable only if canceled in writing 30 days prior to session start, or for a doctor approved medical reason.  Deposit is non refundable.

Participation
Participation

Rules for acceptance and participation are the same for everyone regardless of age, sex, color, race, handicap, religion or national origin.  We will make every reasonable effort to meet the needs of all those who participate.  If your child has a disability, behavior disorder, or other special needs please contact us to discuss if Camp Kitaki is the right fit for your child.