Camp Dudley-FAQ

Where do you hire your staff?  

We work extremely hard to find young adults that exemplify the four core values of the YMCA; caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.  While we advertise on a variety of college campuses and utilize the National YMCA Camp Vacancy listings, the majority of our camp staff come to us via referrals from former or current camp staff.  We figured, who better to know what kind of people we are looking for than people who have worked at camp?  All camp staff and nurse volunteers must complete a Washington State Patrol background check prior to their employment or volunteer service.What kind of training do camp staff receive?  Prior to campers arriving on site, Dudley staff receive over one week of in depth staff training on topics including: camp rules and regulations, First Aid and CPR, homesickness, conflict resolution, child abuse and neglect, developmental stages of particular age groups, and much more.  We leave no stone unturned to help ensure that they are ready for the arrival of campers!How old are camp staff?  Of our approximately 30 camp staff, the majority have completed one or more year of college. We do hire 16 to18 year old staff as assistant counselors, and occasionally to fill other non-head counselor positions. All children will have an older head counselor and a younger assistant counselor. 

What does ACA accredited mean?  Accreditation by the American Camping Association means that Camp Dudley meets the high standards for a camp as set forth by the ACA. Every three years, an inspection team comes and goes through every aspect of our program from hiring to food service to ensure we meet or exceed the stringent standards of the ACA.

Do you provide transportation?  At this time Camp Dudley does provide an option of riding a bus from the Yakima YMCA to camp and back. This service is provided at an additional charge.

What activities will I do at camp?  At Camp Dudley, campers get to choose their own activities! Your cabin group will sit down and plan out your day, picking from a huge variety of options including: swimming, canoeing, archery, arts and crafts, environmental education, rock climbing, low and high ropes challenge course, hiking, outdoor cooking, field games, the list goes on and on!

What is the food like?  Camp works hard to provide a well-balanced, kid friendly menu.  All meals are served family style and well stocked salad bar accompanies most lunch and dinners. Being well fed is important because we are busy, so we make sure there is good food to eat, and lots of it!

What if I get homesick?  It is completely natural and can happen to anyone. Even staff and seasoned campers face bouts with homesickness. The best thing parents can do before sending their child to camp is to help them prepare. Share with them what to expect when they arrive at camp and what the week will look like. Help them to pack so they know where their belongings are and what they have with them. Once you arrive on site, spend some time acclimating them to the camp setting, discuss the week with the counselor and walk around camp. When parents leave, our camp staff will take over and give the cabin group a tour of camp. We strive to make our schedule predictable which eliminates fear of the unknown. While activities change on a daily basis, the activity times themselves, meals, and rest hour, happen on a fairly predictable schedule. If our staff suspects homesickness, they will provide your camper some personal attention as they are able and is necessary to comfort them. Most instances are passing, however if it is pervasive, the Camp Director or Program Director will be notified and contact will be made with parents to consult on the issue. Our goal is ensure campers have a safe and fun experience, and if their homesickness is preventing us reaching that goal, our preference is that the camper return home or make contact with their parents. We'd rather have a camper to go home mid-week and consider returning than be forced to stay all week and ruin the experience forever.

Can I call my camper? In cases of homesickness, the Camp Director or Program Director will call the parents to create a plan of action, and that plan can include having the camper call home if the parents wish.  Should you need to talk with your camper during the week for any reason, call the camp line and we will do our best to get them on the phone with you as soon as possible.

Can we get mail?  Yes! Mail comes daily throughout the summer, and lunch time is MAIL TIME!  Parents are encouraged to contact their campers with letters and/or packages from home.  Campers mail is also sent home daily, and stamps and envelopes are available for purchase in the camp store. Also we have an email address and you can email your camper. These emails will be printed each day and given to campers at the next lunch.

What is the weather like?  Summer weather is generally beautiful on the lake. Days usually sunny with temperatures in the mid 80's with nights in the 60's. However, mountain weather can be unpredictable. Please pack your camper with adequate layers and a rain poncho or light jacket.  Backpacking programs will receive a separate packing list as the high country can be even more unpredictable.

Are there bugs?  We are outside a majority of the time, and for two to three weeks during the summer mosquitoes can be severe. We encourage campers to come with bug spray. Bee stings are also a possibility, if your camper is allergic or you suspect a bee allergy, an Epi-pen should be provided with your campers medical form.

What do I need to bring?  As part of your registration, you will be provided a packet of information that includes a packing list. Items include clothes, swimming suit, sleeping bag, toiletries, bug spray and sunscreen. Camp is dirty, and we are outside playing, so please send clothes that can get wet/muddy/dirty/paint/tree sap, etc. on them!

Can I be in a friends cabin?  We encourage campers to come with a friend, but encourage campers to be prepared to meet lots of new friends. Camp tries to keep campers within a calendar year of each other in a cabin. If you are 9 years old, you will generally be in a cabin with 8 and 9 year olds, or 9 and 10 year olds.  Due to registrations, there are times that we'll go outside of this range, but we strive to minimize those occurrences.

How many kids are at camp? A normal week of camp is usually 60 to 80 campers and 30 staff members. 

Where are you located? Camp Dudley is located on Clear Lake 10 miles to the east of White Pass Ski area, 1 mile off of Hwy 12.

What if my child wets the bed?  Not a problem. We see campers at all developmental stages at camp, and staff are trained to deal with issues like bed wetting discreetly. Some parents will provide pull ups for night time, and campers can take care of it themselves.  A washer and dryer are on site, and camp staff are prepared to take care of washing sleeping bags and pajamas from night time accidents. We encourage parents to be open and honest with counselors when dropping off their campers, it helps us keep an eye out and make sure that your camper is protected emotionally.

Do you have a nurse on site?  Camp Dudley asks for volunteer Doctors and Nurses with current certification to help us staff weeks during the summer. These medical staff are responsible for dispensing medication as well as being on call for first aid. Occasionally we will have a week that isn't covered, and in that instance, we have staff with higher level first aid training including Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder that are ready to respond.

There aren't any bathrooms in the cabins, but what if I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Each cabin has a head counselor and assistant counselor, campers need to wake up a buddy and one of the counseling staff and then the group will head to the shower house!

I have money, time, equipment I'd like to donate to Camp Dudley, what do I do?  Contact the Camp Director!  Camp Dudley is owned and operated by the Yakima Family YMCA and is a non-profit organization.  Much of what we do for the community is based on the generous donations of time and money from supporters.  If you are interested in donating time, we have an annual book sale to support scholarships to camp as well as a spring work weekend to get camp prepared for summer.  Monetary donations both small and large can be put towards a variety of uses.  Our scholarship fund goes towards campers that are interested in camp, but can't quite afford the expense.  Building funds can be designated towards facility improvements both small and large.  We always have a list of items that need work, so please contact us today if you would like to support Camp Dudley in this manner.

My son or daughter has autism, etc, can they come to camp?  While Camp Dudley does not hire staff specifically trained to work with campers of differing behavioral, physical, or mental abilities, we do look at each case individually and are more than willing to work with families.  Over the last several years we have had several campers on the Autism Spectrum integrate into cabins and have very successful weeks at camp.  In certain situations we might ask for a parent or care-giver to accompany the camper to ensure the proper level of care.  If we are not able to suitably accommodate your camper, we will try to suggest alternate programs that would be better suited for your particular camper.

We understand that parents have lots of questions, and we are here to answer them. If there is something on your mind that isn't answered on this list, please be sure to call or e-mail us. No question is too silly and no detail is to minute when your child is involved!  We want both parents and campers to be comfortable with the Camp Dudley experience.