Camp FAQ

Camp Via West

Summer Camp Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Camp Via West…it’s not just about filling the summer with fun activities. It’s a place of true belonging, where campers can share their authentic selves and make lasting connections with others in a community that embraces them. Campers can try new things in a supportive environment. Every experience is a chance to grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially while building confidence and trust in themselves and others.

Does Camp Via West hold any weekend respite sessions?
Currently Camp Via West is not holding weekend or holiday camp sessions; our camp sessions this year are during the summer.

We hold fun family events throughout the year! Learn more about our family events here.

What Summer sessions are available?
  • See our Summer schedule here.
  • Adult Sessions (age 18+)
  • Youth Sessions (ages 5-17, 7+ for overnight)
  • Altitude Session (6th – 12th grade, 3:1 and 5:1 ratio only)
  • Overnight and day camp options available for each session
What activities will campers do?
  • Swimming in one of 2 pools
  • Athletic activities on our new sports field
  • Arts and crafts like painting, paper crafts, and making kiln-fired ceramics
  • Dancing and yoga
  • Cooperative games
  • Culinary arts
  • Hiking on the accessible nature trail
  • Outdoor education
  • Performing arts
  • Talent show
  • Safe Archery
  • Campfire songs and s’mores
  • Special guests
  • And more!
Are the activities adaptable to suit a variety of abilities?
Yes! All of our activities are adaptable allowing each camper to participate as much as possible. This looks like:

  • Lifts and swim tests for the pool
  • Enough staff to provide support for each camper during activities
  • Wheelchair accessible trails
  • Safe and adaptive archery
  • Individual and creative adaptations for each activity
  • Breaks, time away from groups
  • Sensory materials
  • Material adaptations for sensory input
What adaptive equipment does Camp Via West support?
Camp Via West is able to support campers who use motorized and manual wheelchairs, canes, walkers, Hoyer lifts (available at camp), Adaptive and Augmentative Communication devices, and other types of equipment.
Will Camp Via West be able to meet my (the camper’s) health needs?
  • Camp Via West’s fully equipped Health Center is staffed by 1-2 RNs 24 hours a day.
  • Nurse Interns are available to support campers and counselors with activities of daily living, including full motor and mobility support, and using Hoyer lifts.
  • Medications are stored in a locked room per ACA standards and dispensed by RNs and supervised interns throughout the day.
  • The nursing team can support campers:
    • Who have insulin dependent diabetes
    • Who receive nebulized breathing treatments
    • Who have seizures and a seizure action plan
    • Who eat, drink, or take meds by G-tube
    • Who use straight catheters
  • * We are currently unable to support campers with tracheostomies or any kind of vascular access.

Please see more information about Camp Via West’s Health Center here.

Is Camp Via West able to support my dietary needs?
Counselors and kitchen staff are able to support a variety of dietary needs including:

  • Dietary restrictions and allergies
  • Support with safe eating and swallowing
  • Providing soft, pureed or thickened food and drinks
  • G-tube feedings
  • Help with hunger cues and not eating non-food items
  • Nut free campus
How does Camp Via West support Mental, Emotional, and Social health?
  • Our recreation therapy and camper experience teams help with emotional, behavioral and social support.
  • All staff receive training in a variety of communication styles and are curious to learn more from campers themselves.
  • Staff are trained to help campers practice self care, learn how to set boundaries, and self-advocate for their own wants and needs.
  • Community living and activities give campers the chance to make new friends, share their strengths and interests, and care for others in the camp community.
  • Camp Via West gives campers space to be themselves, explore, create, and take on new challenges in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Camp Via West staff are trained in helping campers cope with new or frustrating situations, providing a sensory-safe environment where campers can take a break, allowing for alternative activities when needed. Staff are also trained in supporting campers experiencing sensory overload, meltdowns, and stress.
What are Ratios and how are they decided?
At Camp Via West, we have a few different staff support options. A camper may be assigned their own counselor to spend time with or they may be a part of a group of 2 or 3 campers with one counselor. We call these options “ratios.”

Where do campers sleep and how are sleeping arrangements made?
  • There are several lodges at camp where campers and staff sleep. Lodges are typically split into groups based on age, male and female gender groups, and on the camper’s gender identity and comfort. For campers who identify as non-binary, we will work with the family to decide the best option for lodging.
  • Each lodge has an awake overnight staff member, as well as a lodge coordinator/ head counselor who sleeps in the lodge overnight. Additional staff are there to provide supervision and support to campers overnight.
  • An RN and a member of Camp Via West’s management team are also available throughout the night to support any situations that may arise.
  • Each lodge has several private bathroom stalls, multiple sinks, and accessible showers separated by curtains.
Do you accept Regional Center Funding?
Yes, we do accept regional center funding under both Respite and Social Recreation codes.
Will everyone who applies be accepted into a session?
  • We do our absolute best to accept as many applications as possible.
  • We will take your preferred sessions into consideration as we work to place campers in groups that safely align with everyone’s needs.
Eligibility
  • We work with campers, families and helpers to determine eligibility for camp based on individual strengths and support needs rather than diagnosis, although there are some medical diagnoses and treatments which we do not have the resources to support at camp.
  • Camper’s whose consistent actions make camp unsafe for themselves or others may not be able to come to camp, however we do our best to work with campers and families to find solutions before determining ineligibility.
  • Please see our ratio guidelines here.
Pricing
  • Pricing depends on session length, day or overnight camp, and staffing ratio.
  • Please see our rates here.
  • Costs may be covered by your Regional Center as Respite and/or Social Recreation programming.
I submitted my application for enrollment. Now what?
  • Everyone who submits an application is automatically put on a waitlist for the desired session(s). We do this to ensure that every applicant has an opportunity to have their application reviewed.
  • For first-time campers, a member of our team will reach out for a phone call to follow up on your application. You will need to have two reference forms completed. Please click here for more information on the application process.
  • Please remember to fill out the entire application.
  • Our current wait time to process applications is 3-6 weeks.
Where do I find help on filling out the application?
What’s your cancellation policy?
  • If your cancellation is made before May 1st, we will send a full refund. Anything After May 1st will be partially refunded. Families will be refunded up to 75% of tuition amount based on time of refund. Last date to request a refund is 2 weeks prior to the start of the enrolled camp session.
  • Exceptions will be made if cancellation is due to an illness verified by a licensed physician and a full refund will be made.
  • Must contact Brie Moran via email at bmoran@campviawest.org for cancellations.