Does Camp Quest NorthWest Accept Parents on Staff?

We get asked this question a lot. The answer is – of course we accept parents on staff! But the real question we need to answer is, “Do we accept parents on staff who also have children at camp?”.

The answer to that one is – yes, but it’s complicated…

It should not be a surprise to any parent that children have distinct personalities and develop at different rates. This is what makes the job of parenting difficult – there is simply no “one size fits all” approach to being a good parent. Despite that, it is the job of a parent to guide their children through the process of growing up to become compassionate, productive, and independent adults.

Part of the process of guiding a child is allowing them to be in situations where they can safely “test the waters” and make their own mistakes. This is where Summer Camp becomes an excellent tool.

A week of Summer Camp is a great opportunity for parents to take a break and enjoy their own vacation. While at the same time, they can be assured that their child is in excellent hands, having a great time, enjoying new friendships, and learning to navigate many important life situations independently.

From a parenting perspective, we recognize that our child emerges from this carefully structured experience with tools and perspectives that we could never teach them on our own. From the campers’s perspective, a successful camp experience is something that stays with them for the rest of their life. It informs many of their future decisions and colors their future relationships in ways that only they can explain many years later.

Where it gets complicated is when parents are on staff when their child is at camp. For the camp experience to be successful, the camper must have the opportunity to be independent, and free of parental judgement and critique. At the same time, the camper has to be willing to navigate the camp experience without seeking out their parent for comfort and reassurance.

Not all campers and parents are capable of making this a successful experience. So as a parent of a camper who is considering applying for a staff position, you need to consider the following:

  • Will you take your role as a staff member seriously? Your role at camp is to fill an integral position on a team that is responsible for the lives and well being of 50-100 campers.
  • This will be an enriching experience for you, and it will be an enriching experience for your child, but it will not be an enriching shared experience. You will be busy with your own duties, and your child will be part of the camp program. Ideally, you will rarely, if ever, intersect.
  • If you revert to the role of parent, you are not fulfilling your own duties, and are potentially undermining their cabin counselors. You may also be making it harder for them to form bonds with their cabin mates.
  • If your child seeks you out at camp, are you able to gently but firmly, redirect them back to their counselor without addressing their needs, regardless of the size of their request?
  • Are you able to remain detached and let their counselor handle things when your child encounters a difficult situation at camp?
  • If you are completely honest with yourself, do you feel like you are going to have difficulty focusing on your own job duties while your camper has their own independent camp experience?

This is not a comprehensive set things to consider, but they should help get the conversation started and convey a general idea of what is expected of you as a staff member. We take the role of staff very seriously and expect you to as well.

To sum up, yes, we would absolutely love to have you on staff. But only if you honestly believe that you and your camper are ready to make this a great independent experience for both of you!

If you are still interested in joining us on staff, you can find our application instructions here.

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Looking Forward to 2017 – Announcing Camp Dates, Tuition, and Registration Information

[The following is a post from Camp Quest NorthWest volunteer Libbie Grant. – Mike]

Hello, Camp Quest NorthWest families! We recently held our monthly board meeting for November. The meeting had several important items on the agenda, including our board elections and a lengthy discussion about the best ways to facilitate the continued development of Camp Quest NorthWest. It is our priority to continue bringing the very best summer camp experience to our campers.

As we are all aware, demand for Camp Quest NorthWest has increased rapidly. The rapid booking-up of our camp session last January was a big wake-up call for all of us at CQNW. Demand for more camp sessions, combined with the $10,000 budget deficit we incurred for the 2016 session, has necessitated a careful evaluation of our goals, both near-term and in the longer term. We were able to make up our deficit thanks to corporate fundraising, but that is not a tactic we can count on year after year. In order to keep CQNW viable for many years to come we must make the camp itself self-sustaining.

The board held a lengthy brainstorming session searching for the best way to meet this important goal. That discussion culminated at our November board meeting where we agreed on a plan for CQNW’s near future.

We will raise camp tuition prices in 2017 and 2018, stepping up the cost by $100 each year. Tuition in 2017 will be set at $650 per camper. CQNW has not raised tuition prices in five years, so this may come as a surprise. We wanted to announce this change as early as possible to aid your budgeting. Please note that we will not be able to offer early registration or sibling discounts. We will continue to offer our need-based “campership” tuition assistance program; details on camperships are available during registration. We don’t want any camper to miss out on attending camp due to the cost, and we encourage families to consider applying for a campership.

We are very happy to announce that we will offer two camp sessions at Camp Kirby in 2017. The first session is scheduled for June 18-24, 2017, and the second is scheduled for August 13-19, 2017. Camp Kirby is a more affordable site than any other campground that we’ve found in Washington, which has allowed us to keep our costs low over the past five years. Although we all love Camp Kirby, and have an excellent rapport with their owners and staff, our board agrees that it is wisest for CQNW to establish relationships with other campgrounds. Expanding our camp relationships will allow us to continue CQNW even in the face of circumstances beyond our control, such as inclement weather damaging Kirby’s low-lying grounds, and will also give more families around the region better accessibility to our camp. Our gradual increase in tuition will allow us to look towards establishing a relationship with an additional camp location for 2018 and beyond.

Please keep in mind that although we will raise tuition prices by $200 over the next two years, attendance at CQNW will still cost less than average tuition prices for summer camps in Washington State. In large part, we are able to deliver that value to our families because our entire staff consists of volunteers.

Here are some quick facts to keep in mind about this change, as we approach the New Year and registration time:

  • Registration will open on January 2, 2017 at 12:01 AM. We don’t want to make you get up early on New Year’s Day again.
  • Based on our experience with last year’s registration, we will activate the waiting list before we reach our actual limit on enrollments. The wait list is combined with campership applications, and all are processed on a “first in, first out” basis, so it is important to register and/or apply for a campership as early as possible.
  • However, in the case of L.T. campers (teens who have completed 9th grade and will be at least 15 at the start of camp), we may process registrations out of order to ensure that we maintain a robust L.T. program. Our L.T.s are critical in ensuring the continued success of our organization; we don’t want them to get lost in another potentially frantic registration!
  • As we will have two sessions at Camp Kirby this year, we encourage you to keep the following in mind: you may register your camper for both sessions if you want to, but we will not offer discounts on the second session. Programming will also be exactly the same at both sessions. Please keep in mind that demand is high for CQNW, and register your camper accordingly.
  • If your camper has particular friends they want to see at camp, we encourage you to get in touch with those campers’ parents early and plan which session you’ll register your kids for.

Thanks, families! We’re all looking forward to 2017, and are excited to bring your campers another great summer camp experience.

Libbie Grant, board member at large

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“October in November” Board Meeting Update – Elections 2016!

After “Stormpocalypse 2016” forced our regularly scheduled October board meeting to be delayed, we held our October meeting in November instead. We had an incredibly productive meeting, including holding board elections, finalizing and approving the 2017 budget, and finalizing 2017 camp session details. Stay tuned for an important announcement regarding 2017 camp dates and details, and see the bottom of this post for our upcoming “November in December” and “Actual December” Board meeting dates.

2016 Board Elections

The CQNW Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of three new board members: Kathy Amadio, Libbie Grant and Meg Colburn. Libbie and Meg will serve in the role of Members at Large, while Kathy will hold the position of Treasurer. They join President Chuck Wolber, Vice President Mike Warbington, Secretary Jami Gramore and Members at Large Bridget Lombardo, Paul Mopps and Phil Cole.

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From left to right: Kathy Amadio, Libbie Grant and Meg Colburn.

Incumbent members Chuck, Jami, Mike and Bridget, along with new members Libbie, Meg and Kathy, were elected to two year terms that expire in September 2018. Current members Paul and Phil are currently serving terms set to expire in September 2017.

Next Meeting(s)

The next two board meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th and Tuesday, December 20th, both at the Round Table Pizza in Burien at 6:30 PM.

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September 2016 Board Meeting Update

Meeting Minutes

The September 16th CQNW Board meeting minutes have been posted. You can find them here.

Board Elections

The CQNW Board will be holding elections at the meeting on October 15th, 2016. The CQNW board is comprised of nine board seats, seven of which are up for election this year. Current board members Natalie, Bridget, Jami, Mike and Chuck are up for re-election, and three other volunteers have been nominated to fill vacant positions. The board is also considering expanding from nine to eleven seats, which would open up two additional vacant positions. If you are interested in running for a seat on the board, please contact a current board member or email board@campquestnorthwest.org no later than September 30th.

Quilt Auction

Our CQNW 2016 Quilt Auction has concluded and we are happy to announce that we raised $1,150 for camp! We’d like to send a big thank you to all of our winning bidders, and a special thank you to Sharon whose hard work on designing and creating these quilts made this possible.

Next Meeting

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at 5:00 PM at the Round Table Pizza in Burien (15730 1st Ave S, Burien, WA).

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CQNW 2016 Quilt Auction – UPDATE!

There are just a few days left to put in your bids on these awesome quilts to support Camp Quest NorthWest. Send an email to auction@campquestnorthwest.org with your bid amount, and be sure to include the quilt number!

The fair market value of these quilts is estimated to be $200 for quilt #1 and $150 for quilts #2-6. Any amount that you bid above that value will be tax deductible.

As of today, the current top bids for these quilts are as follows:

  • Quilt #1 – $200
  • Quilt #2 – $250
  • Quilt #3 – $250
  • Quilt #4 – $250
  • Quilt #5 – no bids yet!
  • Quilt #6 – no bids yet!

All proceeds from these quilts will go towards Camp Quest NorthWest programming, camperships, and other camp expenses. Bidding starts at $200 for quilts 5 & 6, and we are still accepting bids on all quilts until midnight, August 31st.

See below for detailed pictures of all six quilts. Remember to bid, and don’t miss this chance to own a unique piece of Camp Quest history!

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Quilt #1 features a unique pattern, including the CQ logo from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 camp t-shirts as well as individual segments painted by campers at our 2015 camp sessions. This quilt measures 38″ square and is valued at $200.

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Quilt #2 features outer-space themed squares painted by CQNW campers set against a purple border. This quilt measures 43.5 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #3 features abstract designs painted by Camp Quest campers set against a black and yellow “dragonflies” pattern. This quilt measures 42.5 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #4 includes a mix of space themed and abstract designs painted by CQNW campers and features the 2015 camp t-shirt design as a centerpiece, with a patterned border of black, red and gold swirls. This quilt measures 40 inches tall by 31 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #5 features space and planetary themed artwork by Camp Quest Campers with a black and yellow patterned border. Can you spot the time machine hidden in this pattern? This quilt measures 39.5 inches tall by 30.5 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #6 includes an assortment of starry night sky and space themed segments set against a white marshmallow border. Can you spot the time machine hidden in this pattern? This quilt measures 44 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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