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Summer Camp Handbook

Thank you for volunteering at Camp Daniel.

We hope not only will you impact your camper’s life, but during this fantastic week, your life will be transformed.  We have designed this handbook to help guide you through your week of volunteering. Please use the handbook to reference your questions during your week of volunteering here at Camp Daniel. Along with this handbook, you will receive orientation before your camper’s arrival.  

Orientation is an opportunity for Camp Daniel’s staff to introduce you to Camp Daniel’s routine and inform you on how to best support your camper during the week. Orientation is a long process, with much information, but very important. This handbook is only meant as a supplemental aid to the information given during orientation. You will find our staff, interns, and long-time volunteers willing to help you with your questions. For everyone to get the most out of their week, it is vital to understand the rules, procedures, and expectations of Camp Daniel’s community. Please turn in this handbook during volunteer checkout at the end of the week.  Please do not write in the handbook. If you need to take notes, use your phone or paper. Thank you for investing in our camper’s lives and Camp Daniel’s community.


What We Do: 

Camp Daniel is a missionary organization dedicated to providing opportunities for social and spiritual growth to people with disabilities, their caregivers, their families, and friends. Camp Daniel was founded on the principle that we all have value, gifts, and hopes that need support to grow. Programs offered by Camp Daniel are designed to help people with disabilities meet Jesus, begin a relationship with Him, and then discover and use their talents, gifts, and abilities. The mission of Camp Daniel is centered around a summer camp program and carried on throughout the year with a variety of churches, programs, and family homes by a full-time missionary staff. 


Our History:

Camp Daniel was founded in 1996 with the Piantine family’s commitment to carry on the dreams of their son and brother, Daniel, upon his death. Daniel was born with a rare neuromuscular disease that left him severely physically disabled, using a wheelchair to move and an iron lung to breathe. He grew up in an environment where his disability was celebrated as making him unique. His abilities and inabilities were seen as opportunities given by Jesus to be used for God’s Kingdom. Christian camps were instrumental in Dan’s growth as a young man and a minister. Camp Daniel exists to offer that same opportunity to other people. 


Why Summer Camp:

Camp Daniel uses the format of a summer camp program as a missionary tool to reach into the disability culture. In the U.S., it is accepted in the disability community that summer camps are a good, fundable source of recreation that serves as a respite for people with disabilities and their families. On this basis, Camp Daniel begins relationships with people with disabilities that can continue through our other programs such as The Able Church, Special Olympics, and other events. The ultimate goal of summer camp is to see campers, for the first time, come into a relationship with Jesus. It is also to see campers grow in their relationship with Jesus, each other, and you. The relationships we build at camp are a catalyst for growing spiritually. 


Why Disability:

A basic understanding of the culture we are reaching at camp is essential as we work towards being part of that culture. Most people with intellectual disabilities who attend camp are part of a disability subculture. There are patterns of behavior, socialization, and communication that are familiar to those who belong to this particular group of people. Many of our campers attend workshops daily to do contracted work such as sorting nuts and bolts. Others work in the community with the help of job coaches, typically in retail, janitorial, or food service. There is also an opportunity for social events such as dances and Special Olympics. Our campers live in group homes, and apartments with paid supports, while others live in family homes. 

The social hierarchy within the community is often based on having a job, a boyfriend or girlfriend, and perceived independence. While many people within the culture have fulfilling friendships with other people who have disabilities, most relationships are with paid staff such as social workers, job coaches, paid guardians, advocates, and caregivers. Most of our campers are accustomed to a structured way of life; they do the same things simultaneously, during the same day every week. Change is difficult for many campers, and schedule change can be tough to overcome. 


Showing God’s Love:

People who have intellectual disabilities are concrete thinkers. We can show them the written words in the Bible, and most will not understand. We can explain Jesus’s love to them with words, and there may be little understanding.  So, we must show them Jesus’s love in unique ways: serving them, hugging them, encouraging them, teaching them, forgiving them, not giving up on them, and staying at their level and in their culture with them. We must be The Word to those we serve. Jesus’s love and Jesus’s words of love are meant to be given together. It is a concrete lesson for every camper to feel Jesus’s love through you.


Who Are We:

Camp Daniel’s full-time missionary staff and other summer staff members & interns put on every week of summer camp. Camp Daniel’s missionaries work year-round, sharing Jesus’s love with the disability community. Visit CampDaniel.org/about-us to learn more. 

Tony and Karol Piantine – Tony(Little Tony) and Karol (and Tony’s parents) are the directors and founders of Camp Daniel. They run the Hartley House Group Home, where two guys and one staff member reside. Karol is the Program Director, and Tony is the Camp Director and Director of Ministry. 

Tony and Jo Piantine – Tony (Papa Tony)and Jo(Grandma Jo) co-founded Camp Daniel with their son, Tony, and his wife, Karol, in memory of their son, Daniel. Tony is the President of the Camp Daniel Board of Directors and is in charge of our financials. 

Tim and Janice Mandich –  The Mandich’s have been missionaries with Camp Daniel since 2010. Tim serves on the Camp Daniel Board of Directors. Tim is also the Pastor of the Able Church, our church for people with disabilities in Green Bay. Janice is part of the leadership team at The Able Church. 

Nick and Brian (the Guys) – Nick and Brian live in the Hartley House at Camp Daniel. They are important contributors to the team by doing various things: working in grounds maintenance and construction and leading workgroups. The Guys participate on The Able Attack Special Olympic teams in the off-season and work on the Pit Crew at Camp. 

Evan and Annissa Hartwig – Annissa and Evan met as counselors in 2011 before they were married and joined the staff in January of 2018. Evan is the office administrator and assistant to the Camp Director. He also works on general camp maintenance and construction. Annissa is the experience coordinator, social media & marketing administrator, photographer, and summer intern director. 

Laura Lee Wright –  Laura Lee has been connected with camp since 2004.  Over time, she has volunteered as a counselor,  worker, and camp speaker.   During the summer camping season, she can be found connecting with campers and volunteers on the grounds.  Laura Lee is passionate about spiritual and leadership development in individuals, so during the off-season, she spends time leading zoom communities and developing the spiritual components of camp.  

Ruth Hucek – Ruth has been coming to camp ever since she was a little girl; when she turned 14, she became a counselor and has not missed a week of summer camp since. Ruth joined Camp Daniel’s full-time staff in January of 2020. Ruth works in many areas including the nature center, camp programming, volunteer scheduling, summer internship, hosting groups and more.

Dylan Stonelake – Dylan Stonelake joined the camp family as a year-long intern in 2019 and has since stayed on as a full-time missionary. He lives and works with the residents of the Hartley House. Dylan leads Camp Daniel Kitchen and assists with Special Olympics and The Hub Student Ministry. 

Camper Check-In: 

Camper Check-In is very important to the week of camp.  First impressions make lasting impressions. Our interaction with your camper and their family and caregivers can influence the week you will have. It is important to follow check-in guidelines, as it can be a busy and chaotic time. 

You will be given a pink check-in/check-out worksheet for each of your campers. This form MUST be filled out completely and thoroughly for your camper’s week to be a success. Camp Daniel must be protected from accusations of lost luggage, medications, and the legal transfer of care responsibility upon the person picking up each camper. 

Meeting Your Camper:

Before your camper arrives, wait in the designated area. Someone will call your name or get you when your camper arrives. They will bring you to be introduced to your camper.

We ask that you do not get your camper’s luggage out of the vehicle until after checking in. 

You will get in line at the 1st of 3 check-in stations in front of the office. Use your time to ask parents or caregivers any questions you may have about diet, behaviors, and any other questions you have about the information on the application. The more you learn from those dropping a camper off, the easier your week will go! 

Station #1 Initial Check In 

  • Get in line at station 1 with the camper and whoever is dropping the camper off. 
  • Do not bring luggage to this station. 
  • Do not handle any of your camper’s medication. 
  • Camp staff will guide you through station one and go over details with the person dropping the camper off.
  • You will be given a trash bag for campers’ dirty laundry throughout the week.
  • You will be given tags to put on camper’s bags. Put on immediately after check-in.
  • Your camper will receive a white or red wristband. White band: No Allergies, Red band: Medical allergies, seizures. 
  • You will be given the green sheet with the name tag. Hold onto this until you enter station 2. 
  • From there you will wait until you are called to station 2, the gift shop. 


Station #2 Gift Shop Station

  • Enter the gift shop when called. You will receive your campers tickets and a themed t-shirt. The tickets are what your camper will use in the gift shop and snack stand. You are responsible for keeping track of their tickets. When you are finished with the gift shop, you will be called to station #3, the nurse’s station. 


Station #3 Nurses Station 

  • When called, you will enter the lobby of the office. A nurse will go through medications with the person dropping off the camper. The Nurse will indicate the necessary times for medication dispensing on the back of the camper’s name tag. (breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening)
  • If your camper has a special diet, we will send you, your camper, and the person is dropping off down to the dining hall to meet with the Director of Food Services. 


  • If you have two campers, just set their belongings in the cabin, go back to the Bait Shop, and wait for your second camper to arrive. Repeat the check-in process with your second camper. Then head to the cabin to settle both campers in.
  • After checking in, Now is the time to get luggage. Head to your cabin to go through your camper’s suitcase and see what items they brought with them – you want to be aware of your camper belongs so you can keep track throughout the week. You must fill out the red sheet with the count of certain items your camper has. Upon finishing your red sheet, put it in your folder for safekeeping for the week. 

Camper Check-Out: 

We ask that you stay fully engaged with your camper until they leave our campus.  These final interactions are as important as your first interactions when your camper first arrives. 

  1. Go through the pink sheet to ensure your camper has all its belongings.  This is important.  Losing camper items gives the impression we don’t respect our campers.
  2. Place all of your camper’s dirty clothing in the plastic bags that have been provided. If any camper’s clothing is wet, place them in a separate plastic bag and tag it. 
  3.  Place bedding and pillows in bags and tag them with the camper’s name.
  4. Double-check bathroom, under mattresses, and clothesline.  
  5. Bring camper’s luggage to the check-out table (located between lodges)
    1. Check for labels/stickers
    2. Turn in name tag clips
    3. Pick up craft bag
    4. Review pink sheet & sign off
  6. Once approved at the checkout table, bring luggage to the cabin’s porch. Make sure to keep it separate from other camper’s luggage.

7. Counselors, put all your luggage on the bed (even if it is not packed, make sure it is all off the ground) and remove all personal items from the cabin bathroom & clothesline. Then head to the dining hall. 

8. Head to the dining hall for breakfast WITH a pink sheet. You and your camper will not be able to enter the dining hall without the pink sheet.

9. After breakfast, hang out by the dining hall until the camper caregiver arrives. 

10. Once they arrive, go to the nurses’ station to check out meds. Make sure the caregiver has medications. Once the caregiver has been given medications, the camp is released from liability. Go to the cabin, pick up luggage, and help bring the luggage to the car. 

11. Say goodbye to the camper and the caregivers.

12. Once your camper leaves, report to the check-out table and get your cleaning assignment.

13. Once you are finished with your cleaning assignment, you may pack your things.


Counselors are paired with 1 or 2 campers with disabilities to be their friends and helper for the week. With plenty of direct support and assistance, you will care for your camper while participating in group rec, free time, small groups, meals, evening events, bedtime, and much more.


10 Things to Know About Your Camper: 

  1. Remember that your camper is a person just like you; they have many of the same interests, desires, fears, and insecurities you have coming into a week of camp.
  2. Always be yourself around your camper. Our success as a community is based on all of us being authentic.
  3. Be patient and humble. Let your camper set their own pace, this is your camper’s week, and we are here to support them as they have the best week possible.
  4. Laugh often with your camper. 
  5. Offer encouragement throughout the day,
  6. Our campers need empathy and support, not pity! God created us all equally, and pity does not promote equality.
  7. Work not to make snap judgments regarding your camper and get to know them as you would any other new person in your life. 
  8. Remember, we all have more in common regarding our abilities, inabilities, talents, and problems than we may realize. 
  9. Remember, all people are created in God’s image, so we all have value and fit together like a puzzle. 
  10. Remember that Jesus created us for relationships, and we need each other’s abilities to help our inabilities.
  11. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable! 


The Schedule 

Your schedule is your guide for the week to knowing what to be doing and when to do it. The schedule has been carefully crafted to ensure your camper has a full camp experience with spiritual, social, and emotional growth opportunities. The times and order of the schedule are set up to bring your camper into the camp routine quickly; it is a help to your camper, you, and others. When you hear the bell ring during the week, that is your cue to look at your schedule and move to the scheduled event. A full-sized schedule is included in the front pocket of your folder and posted throughout camp. Mini schedules are available for purchase in the gift shop. If you need another schedule, please ask.

Be on time! Being on time is very important to establish order in the dining hall. Our campers are used to a structured daily schedule; we must integrate our campers into the daily structure of the camp. Being on time for meals is an important part of that structure. 


Group Recreation Competition takes place throughout the week. The entire camp is divided equally into two teams (Red/Blue).  Competition promotes unity and friendship and helps us all try things we may not have experienced. Each event you participate in is worth points which are given each day. At the end of the week, the team with the most points will be the grand champions of the week, taking home a medal. One team wins, and one team loses. Campers’ reactions to this can be varied, but it is designed to help your camper grow.

Being on a team is extremely important to your camper. Some campers call months in advance, asking what team they will be on. Again we encourage you to participate to your fullest ability and have as much fun as possible in the process. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Part of the team sports competitions is CSPN (Camp Daniel Sports Network), during this time when points are awarded, counted, and highlights are shown from activities.  


Fun & Games  We have many recreation areas open during our free time, including our Game Room, which holds every classic board game, pinball, pool, air hockey, etc. We also have many different tournaments such as carpet ball, corn hole, bocce, basketball, bowling, and archery. Our lakefront is also open during free time where we have swimming, fishing, and boating. In between activities, campers can refuel & indulge in an endless amount of treats at one of our two snack stands on campus. 


Another way we encourage creativity at camp is in the Factory. The Factory is our craft cabin where each camper makes two different planned crafts during the week and has a chance to come and create their artwork during studio time. Campers can create artwork and submit it to the Thousand Stars Art Show displayed on Friday night for all of  camp to see.

Expedition Outpost Camp’s nature center, the Little Newton Expedition Outpost is home to native wildlife, camp pets, and other natural specimens for our campers to explore and learn about. This is a space for hands-on interactive experiences where campers can feel, see, and discover the natural world. The Outpost is focused on native wildlife so that campers can learn more about the plants and animals that make their home in Northeast Wisconsin.

Free Time: happens every day; see your schedule to see when it happens throughout the week. This time is designed for your camper to choose what they want to do. Please talk with your camper to find out their interests. Be aware of many of the events you must sign up for in the dining hall. Do not sign up for everything, as there aren’t enough spots. Only sign up for things your camper is interested in doing. Please do not fill in the signup sheets during mealtime. 

Ladies Tea High Tea is a fun and relaxing environment for women to gather together to sip tea, eat cookies and enjoy quality time with fellow campers and counselors.

Spa Each Friday, Camp offer a spa day to all of our ladies leading up the Night of A Thousand Stars, a grand finale of sorts to the week of camp. This spa day includes facials, hand massages, manicures, hair and makeup, and a time to pick out a fancy dress for the formal dinner that evening. Our female campers and staff treasure this time of relaxation and pampering.


Carnival The carnival starts when the music begins after lunch. Your camper can play games, win tickets and then go to the prize table and buy prizes with the tickets they won. These tickets are a different color, and can not purchase anything on the grounds.

The Two-Night Show with Georgie This is a variety show starring campers, volunteers, interns & staff! 

The All-Day Sermon At Camp Daniel, we believe that God made you, God loves you, and God has a plan for your life. We work this into all areas of camp is something we like to call ‘The All-Day Sermon.’ With this practice, we work to notice God in every part of camp, from the rec field to the cabin. In addition, everyone meets in groups twice daily to learn more about God. Chapel service, where campers participate in worship and listen to a message. Small group; where campers meet with their cabin and discuss what they have been learning and how to apply it to their lives. By week’s end, each camper understands that God made them, loves them, and has a plan for their lives.

For many of our campers, it is the only church service they will attend throughout the entire year. They must get as much as they can from each service.

Since Camp Daniel is a non-denominational organization, we must understand our home churches comprise many different denominations. Camp Daniel’s main objective is to introduce each camper to Jesus Christ, and from that point, we work on the spiritual growth of a camper. 

We ask you to be careful to be inclusive, understanding and filled with grace when it comes to each other’s beliefs, doctrines and spiritual walk. 

Please be aware that the campers you are serving are easily influenced by the lives of those who serve, support and lead them; this will be the only opportunity to see Jesus for many of our campers! How you conduct yourself should clearly reflect Jesus to your camper. Remember that everybody worships and prays differently. If you or your camper likes to stand or raise your hands during worship, sit in the back or to the side, so you do not distract other campers. Many campers like to mimic what you and others do. Encourage them to worship how they choose but in a genuine way. 

We want to make sure there is much freedom in our worship services. We ask that you remember that with freedom comes a responsibility to each other. Please worship with freedom but with awareness of distracting our campers. 

Small Groups One of the central themes at Camp is relationships. Relationship with Jesus and relationship with each other. Mornings, groups will meet with their cabin in specified locations (ask your cabin leader where to meet). The purpose of small groups is to understand Jesus and the community you are placed in during this week. As counselors, it is your responsibility to assist with your camper’s involvement within the group.  This will include ice breakers and a bible study. If you or your campers have a bible, please bring it along. 

Below is a list of other tips to help you and your camper in the chapel services: 

  • Your camper may want to participate in the service. You can talk to the pastor/speaker about your camper, saying a prayer, reading a verse, or giving their testimony. Make sure you do this ahead of time. There may be an opportunity for campers to participate. 
  • We use the NIRV Bible. We use this Bible because it was written for people who use English as their second language. It is one of the simplest versions for our campers to understand. First-time campers will receive a Bible. Returning campers were instructed to bring their Bibles along. Additional NIRV Bibles are available for purchase in the gift shop. 
  • Don’t underestimate what your camper understands. We encourage you to help them get involved in small groups and help them process chapel services. Always feel welcome to bring other staff and volunteers into this process. 


Below is a list of other tips to help you and your camper in the outslide chapel services and small groups: 

  • Devotion – Do a devotional with your camper. 
  • Pray with your camper, and let your camper pray for you. 
  • Conversation – Initiate conversations about what was taught throughout each day. 
  • Gifts and talents – Work to find your camper’s gifts and talents to be used for Jesus.

The Fourth Meal After campers go to bed is a time designed to help counselors unwind after a day of caregiving and counseling. Each night there are snacks for the counselors in the dining hall at 9:30 pm. On several nights there are mandatory meetings and snacks (see the schedule). 

  • Each night, a different counselor from each cabin must stay back in their cabin with the campers after hours. The decision to stay back is to be made by the cabin leader of each cabin.
  • Curfew for the entire camp is at 1 am (Friday is 2 am). If you are caught out after the curfew, your team will lose 500 points, and after two infractions, you will be dismissed from camp, along with your camper(s). 
  • Volunteers are welcome to hang out in the dining hall and game room during this time. The lakefront and all other buildings are off-limits after dark.
  • If you are found by the lake after dark, you will be dismissed from camp and your camper(s). 
  • Cell phones are allowed after 9:30 pm. 
  • Be quiet if you are outside after hours. Security will deduct 100 points from your team if you are loud while outside.


 Tickets are money at Camp Daniel. Here are some of the ways tickets can be used: 

Trading Post- The gift shop will be open every day. Here your campers can buy practical things like souvenirs, shirts, hats, etc. We will accept credit cards and cash as well. 

Snack Shops- Chet’s Bait Shop and Al’s Diner. These snack shops provide snacks for you and your camper. You must be with your camper when they are purchasing snacks. Be aware of their allergies. We will accept credit cards in Al’s diner but NOT Chet’s Bait Shop. As a volunteer, you can pay for tickets at The Trading Post with a credit card. 

Offering- During the last chapel service, there will be an offering. This is a time for you and your camper to give to Camp Daniel. Make sure your camper saves at least one ticket for this; it is a teaching opportunity. 

Your camper must use up all of their tickets before leaving camp at the end of the week. Have your camper put all of their leftover tickets in the offering that they will not be using for Friday night’s snack stand or the gift shop on the last day.

These tickets are worth $1. These tickets are worth $5


Table Talk: Many campers live in environments where table talk has not been encouraged. Mealtime is a time for you and your camper to connect with others at your table. At breakfast, there will be questions on the table; please talk through these questions with your entire table. These questions will set the tone for your morning small groups and chapel. 


Themed Meals: We take pride in offering fun activities that everyone can participate in, no matter their ability, and our theme meals are a perfect embodiment of that! Through our theme meals, we celebrate different cultures and invite our campers into immersive experiences of creativity, imagination, and entertainment. Each unique theme is celebrated with food, music, costumes, contests, sing-alongs, and characters.

Before the meal, visit Nancy’s Fancies & Costume’s, and someone will assist your camper with finding a costume for the meal.  Your camper will follow your lead, so it is important you dress up and participate in all meals. Follow your schedule to see when the costume shop will be open. Return your costumes to Nancy’s Fancies & Costumes right after the meal. Please fold your costumes when returning and place them in a dirty bin if soiled. Your camper is not able to take the costume home.  

Order of Events:

  1. Tables are assigned at the beginning of the week. Return to that table for each meal. 
  2. Find your table, and be ready to be quiet to listen to announcements and prayer. 
  3. Special Diets & Wheelchairs – Campers who have special diets or use wheelchairs will be called up first to move through the serving line at the beginning of each meal. If your camper has a special diet or is in a wheelchair, you may go up to get their food and your food. 
  4. Each table is numbered. You can get in line for your food when your table number is called. 
  5. Before you get in line, talk with your camper about the choices, so they know what they want before they get up to the counter. (We want to keep the line moving as quickly as possible) The daily menu is posted in the dining hall. 
  6. After everyone has been served, seconds will be called out, and you may go to the serving counter for more. Bring your plate up. Some individuals are not allowed seconds, and you will find this information on their application.
  7. At the end of meals, neatly stack all trays, dishes, and garbage on your table.  Trophies are given for the cleanest and dirtiest tables. During most meals, the table with the clean trophy gets their food first the next meal. 

Hand Sanitizer– is found at all entrances of the dining hall.  Use it before and after each meal. Using hand sanitizer will stop the spread of germs and stop illness from running through the camp. 

Stay out of the Kitchen – We ask that you and your camper stay out of the kitchen. Communicate with the kitchen staff through the window.

Big salads – Big salads are offered for some of our meals. The salad is a substitute for the main meal being served.  You must sign up for big salads by the prior meal, and sign-ups will be located in the dining hall. Big salads can not be customized unless a food allergy is listed on your application. 

Condiments and extras– Peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit, milk, water, and juice are available at the condiment station to the left of the serving line at every meal. A bowl of whole fruit is available in the dining hall all day long.

Shirt Savers and straws – Shirt savers are available for every meal in the cabinet in the condiment counter. 

Complaints– Please thank the kitchen staff for their hard work. Please bring complaints or suggestions to Little Tony and not the kitchen staff.

Before breakfast– Coffee and drinks are available. Do not eat cereal, bread, or fruit before breakfast. 

Counselor Special Diets– Counselors who have diabetes can use the diabetic menu. Please coordinate with the kitchen director—nutritional information on all meals is available at request. 

Prune Juice – Prune juice is available at the Health Center, not in the kitchen.

Special Diets: 

There are colored stars on the name tag that indicate a special diet. All of these (except for the gold & silver star) will be considered special diets and will go through the line when wheelchairs and special diets are called. 

Red: Diabetic 

Blue: Lactose-Free 

Green: Gluten Free 

Gold: Food Allergy The gold star will alert the staff at the snack stand and the kitchen staff of any specific food allergies. 

Silver Star:  No Seconds

You do NOT go through the line when special diets are called unless you also have a red, blue, or green sticker.


  • Diabetic– someone who needs insulin or medication because their body can’t process sugars properly. They usually need a low-fat/sugar-free diet.
  • Gluten-free– A person who cannot eat bread, noodles, cake, or anything with gluten. 
  • Dairy-free- a person who cannot have milk, cheese, ice cream, or diary products.
  • Carb counting- This is a special diet for a severe diabetic. They have a strict low-carb diet which includes small amounts of bread or snacks.

Special Diets Tips:

  • Follow diet instructions noted on your camper’s application.
  • Do not give food or drinks to campers not assigned to you. Diets, allergies, and overeating must be considered. 
  • If your camper can’t have certain foods, be careful not to give these items.
  • If on a low sugar diet: Don’t give extra foods such as candy, regular pop, and desserts.
  • Low salt: Don’t give chips, pretzels, or add extra salt to the meal. Limit to one pop per day. 
  • No sugar diet: Don’t give dessert unless sugarless. No candy or regular pop should be given. The kitchen staff provides alternate desserts when a dessert is part of the meal.  
  • People with diabetes: Ask the kitchen staff or nurse what extra food the camper can have. 
  • If a camper is constipated, give prune juice, which you can get from the nurse. If the problem persists, advise the nurse. 


Feeding Your Camper Who Needs Assistance Feeding Themselves: 

  1. Wash your hands. 
  2. Communicate to your camper what you are going to do. 
  3. Place your camper in a comfortable, normal eating position with the head tilted slightly forward. 
  4. Place your chair to face your camper with both hands free when you sit down.
  5. Remember to ask your camper what they would like to eat first.  
  6. Place a small amount of food on the end of the utensil and present the food horizontally to the center of the lips. 
  7. If the camper does not open their mouth when the food touches their lips, manually open it by pressing lightly with the fingertip on the chin just under the lower lip. 
  8. Observe for an overt act of swallowing before offering more food. 
  9. Do not clean food particles off the chin until your camper swallows, as this may cause them to open their mouth and interfere with chewing and swallowing. 
  10. Begin the procedure again. With each mouthful, remember to offer a variety of food, not just one food. 
  11. Make sure your camper’s face and hands are wiped clean before leaving the dining hall. 
  12. Wipe off the wheelchair tray if one is used. Clean and remove food remnants from the wheelchair. 
  13. Pay special attention to the dietary instructions noted on your camper’s application. This includes setting limits for your camper who may want to overeat. 
  14. Report to the nurse any problems you may have had with feeding your camper.


Camper Care


Everything you do for yourself each day should be done for/by your camper. When your camper leaves the cabin in the morning, they should present a clean, neat appearance.

  • Be sure your camper changes their clothes every day.
  • If your camper came to camp with a beard, they should leave camp with a beard. If they come clean- shaven and had a razor they should shave daily. 
  • Ensure they use deodorant, brush their teeth, and comb their hair. We have extra supplies if needed; ask your cabin leader. 
  • Do not cut the fingernails or toenails of campers. If you feel they need to be cut, contact a nurse. 
  • Poison ivy is present on the grounds. Keep your camper out of uncut grass. Report any rash to the nurse. 


Personal Care: Bathroom 

  • No one should ever go to the bathroom alone with a camper! Always double team with another counselor or volunteer. 
  • Wear gloves when assisting with any personal care. Gloves, wipes, and small plastic bags can be found in all bathrooms. If you notice supplies running low, let staff know immediately. 
  • Laundry soap and a washer are located in each lodge – talk to your cabin leader before using the washer. 
  • If you are out of supplies, ask your cabin leader for refills.
  • When assisting a camper who wears incontinence products, take wipes and a small plastic bag into the stall. Remove soiled product and place in a plastic bag with used wipes, tie a knot, and throw the bag into the garbage. 
  • Wet clothing should never be put into a dirty clothes bag or suitcase
  • Make sure your camper changes into clean clothes daily. Be sure to put their dirty clothes in a plastic garbage bag labeled with their name. 
  • When a camper has soiled their clothing, assist them in removing clothing if assistance is needed. Shower or wipe down with wipes if needed. Place used wipes in a small plastic bag. Clothing will need to be pre-washed in a basin with soap, rinsed, and hung on the line. 
  • When providing care, follow the golden rule. Care for campers the way you would like to be cared for. 
  • Have your camper take a shower daily or at least every other day. Ask your camper when they usually take a shower and just go with their usual schedule. They can also shower during free time if they haven’t signed up for any activities, but you cannot be alone with them. Make sure to find a buddy. 

Wheelchair Transfers Tips 

  • When family or caregivers drop your camper off at camp, it may be helpful to have them demonstrate how they are used to being transferred to are not their home environment. 
  • DO NOT transfer your camper alone! 
  • Get one or two more people to help. 
  • Place the wheelchair right next to the commode or toilet. Get as close as possible to where you are transferring your camper: the less lifting you have to do, the better. 
  • Lock the wheels on the wheelchair so the chair won’t move during the transfer. You may find that counting together with your lifting buddy helps to lift together.
  • Have your camper help as much as possible. 
  • Communicate your plan to your buddy and your camper.  

Wheel Transfer How To: 

  1. One person stands behind the camper in the wheelchair and holds the camper under their arms. 
  2. The other person holds the camper by the legs/lower body under the knees. 
  3. Transfer the camper onto the toilet/commode. It may help to pull the pants down before you transfer them. 
  4. Get them situated, then give them as much privacy as possible. 
  5. Cover their lower half with a towel and turn around, or leave them in the stall and check on them after a minute. 
  6. Use gloves and wipes to clean them and give them a fresh incontinence product if needed. 
  7. Pull up their pants and transfer them the same way to the wheelchair. 
  8. Make sure they are comfortable. 
  9. Pull down their shirt in the back because it can get easily twisted. 
  10. Fix their pant legs as well. 
  11. Remember, when providing care, follow the golden rule. Care for campers the way you would like to be cared for.

Vomit – Stay with the camper in the cabin or bathroom until they are settled. Give them a garbage can or basin to keep in the cabin. Have the counselor take gloves and towels back to the cabin just in case. Call nurse or see nurse after to record incident and evaluate. If vomit occurs at night, wake the cabin leader. 


  1. Wearing gloves, wipe with paper towels. 
  2. Place toweling and gloves in a plastic bag. 
  3. Sanitize the area with bleach solution.
  4. Wash the area with detergent. 
  5. Follow proper glove removal and place in a plastic bag. 
  6. Tie and dispose of bags in the proper trash receptacle. 
  7. Wash hands with anti-bacterial soap. 

Upset Stomach- Encourage them to use the bathroom. If they need something to settle their stomach, get some crackers or a Sprite/7-up from the kitchen. Have them take small amounts to see if that helps. If a camper has diarrhea, give the camper bananas. If the problem persists, talk to the nurse. 

Menstruation- If your camper has her period and didn’t bring supplies, extra supplies can be obtained in the Health Center.  When she goes to the bathroom, check to ensure she doesn’t need to change her feminine products. Make sure your camper throws the feminine products away and doesn’t flush them down the toilet. 

Universal Precaution Procedures 

Universal precautions should be followed to reduce the possibility of spreading infections from one person to another. 

  • All blood and other potentially infectious materials will be considered infectious regardless of the perceived status of the source individual. 
  • Gloves should be worn at all times when touching any body fluids. Body fluids include blood, vaginal secretions, and semen. The following fluids are also considered potentially infectious if contaminated with blood: feces, urine, vomit, and saliva.
  • Wash hands before and after contact with any body fluid, even if gloves were worn.
  • If the skin was directly touched with a body fluid, wash immediately with anti-bacterial soap and water. 
  • Bodily wastes should be discarded directly into the toilet. 

Gloves– Gloves are the most widely used form of personal protective equipment. They act as a primary barrier between your hands and blood-borne pathogens. Gloves are available at the healthcare center and in bathrooms. 

  • You MUST wear gloves when you anticipate hand contact with blood, potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin.
  • Since gloves can be torn or punctured, bandage any cuts before being gloved.
  • Replace disposable single-use gloves, such as surgical or examination gloves, as soon as possible if contaminated, torn, punctured, or damaged. Never wash or decontaminate for reuse.

Glove Removal 

You must follow a safe procedure for glove removal, being careful that no substances from the soiled gloves contact your hands. 

    1. Remove gloves when they become contaminated, damaged, or before leaving the area. 
    2. With both hands gloved, peel one glove off from top to bottom and hold it in the gloved hand. With the exposed hand, peel the second glove from the inside, tucking the first glove inside the second. 
    3. Dispose of the entire bundle promptly. Wash hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and water. 
  • Never wash or reuse gloves.

Hand Washing Procedure 

The single most effective way to prevent and control the spread of infections is by following proper handwashing procedures. 

  1. Wet hands under warm running water, apply anti-bacterial soap and work up a lather. Apply friction to palms, back of hands, between fingers, thumbs, and wrist. 
  2. Remove dirt and debris from under the nails, and rinse thoroughly with fingers pointed up. 
  3. Remember that faucets are contaminated, so turn them off with paper towels.


Awareness of Abuse

Check your camper for marks, rashes, or bruises. This is done casually during your camper’s first night preparing for bed. If your camper tells you anything unusual about circumstances occurring at their place of residence, report it to the nurse immediately. 


Medical Care

There is a nurse on duty at all times during camp. The nurse(s) are here to help you. Never feel that any question is too dumb, funny, or embarrassing to ask. The nurse(s) are here to help with medical issues, dispense medications, and oversee the Health Center located in the Dining Hall.


  • All meds for campers and counselors are secured under lock in the Health Center. We also stock over-the-counter meds, which are available upon request from a nursing staff member for you and your camper.
  • ALL persons at camp must turn in their meds, including prescription and over-the-counter items (vitamins, aspirin, etc.), to the nurse. This policy is for the safety of your camper. It is too easy for someone to get into your suitcase, purse, or dresser. Camp Daniel would be held liable for any incidents of campers taking improper meds. You will have 24-hour access to your meds in the Healthcare Center mailboxes. 
  • Check the suitcases, purses, etc., of the campers for any meds that may not have been turned over to the nurse at check-in. 
  • Medications are given at specific times, as noted on the camper name tag. Each counselor must familiarize themselves with their camper’s med schedule. Your camper medication schedule is marked on the back of their name tags.  To help you remember, you can also use your phone to set the alarm. 


 Medications are passed: 

(a) Before each meal -8 am, breakfast, noon lunch, 5 pm dinner. 

(b) After evening chapel – counselors must bring campers directly to the nursing station immediately after the chapel service and before they get their evening snack.

(c) other times as noted on the name tag of the camper. 

(d) all meds are distributed at the Health Center.



  • Each camper is given an armband at check-in.
  • If the camper has a red armband, this means alert. Either the camper is subject to seizures, is a diabetic, or has allergies. 
  • If your camper loses the medical armband, go to the nurse and they will make you a new one. 


Sunscreen/ Insect Repellent- All campers have received instructions to bring sunscreen and insect repellent. If they do not bring these items, they are available at the nursing office. If the weather is unusually hot, push liquids. Water and lemonade are always available in the Dining Hall.


Middle Of The Night Situations

 Assess the situation. Go to your cabin leader first. Only get the nurse if it is an urgent situation or an emergency. Most things can wait until the morning.

If there is a problem with your camper during the night, seek out the cabin leader in your cabin. If help is needed from the nurse or other staff person, the cabin leader will contact the nurse. Please wait if the problem is not an emergency and can be handled in the morning. For example, vomiting once is not an emergency, but repeated vomiting is. However, if the problem is indeed an emergency, seek help immediately. 



 Many campers and counselors have seizures. It is important to understand what to do during these events. 

  1. Help the person to the floor or ground. If necessary, cushion the head. 
  2. Do not restrain the person. 
  3. Do not place anything in their mouth.
  4.  Sometimes, the person will just sit and stare during the seizure (this must also be reported to medical staff). 
  5. Most of our seizure-prone campers are regulated with medication. o Many people who have a seizure will want to rest or use the bathroom afterward.
  6.  Some will not remember the seizure or will be disoriented. 
  7. Counselors will be told if their camper is subject to seizures in addition to being noted on the armband.
  8. Contact medical staff immediately. 


Stay Hydrated

Make sure your camper is drinking enough water. Drinking water is essential when the temperature is hot. Water is always available in the dining hall. 


Medical Supplies

Below is a list of medical supplies kept in the health center. Please get the nurse or staff if you need any of the items listed below: 

  • Sling • Insect Repellent • Thermometer • Plastic Spoons • Small Plastic cups • Straws • Sudafed Pills • Tylenol (baby & adult) • Aspirin (baby & adult) • Benadryl • Tums • Motrin (baby & adult) • Bleach • Hand Sanitizer • Paper Towel • Hand Soap • Gloves • Wastebasket Bags• Tongue Blades • Room Spray • Flashlights • Clothes • anti-diarrhea pills • Milk of Magnesia • Cough drops • Vaseline • Band-Aids • 4×4 sponges • 2×2 sponges • Ace Bandages • Dressings • Butterfly Band-Aids • Tape • Cotton Balls • Hydrocortisone Cream • Triple Antibiotic Cream • Aloe Vera Gel • Benadryl Cream • Benadryl itch stick • Nasal Spray • Medicated powder • Calamine Lotion • Shampoo • Deodorant • Soap • Sun Screen • Toothbrushes • Toothpaste • Denture Cleaner • Saline Solution • Alcohol Wipes • Alcohol • Cold Compress • Peroxide • Wipes • Eye Drops • Q-Tips • Razors • Ear Plugs • Sling


Policies / Procedures

Visitor Check-In 

*2022 Policy – For the 2022 camping season, All visitors/day volunteers must be preapproved by the Camp Director before arriving at camp. 


Camp Daniel welcomes visitors at camp. It’s a great way to introduce others to Camp Daniel and to people with disabilities. For the safety of our campers, we are required to have a register everyone on the campus. Therefore, all visitors must check-in at the office, fill out a visitors registry form, and receive a name tag. Each person visiting must fill out a separate form. Please direct your visitors to the camp office, where the forms and name tags are located. The form also allows each visitor to help Camp Daniel pay for the additional expense of a visit. We want to encourage visitors to camp; therefore, the amounts listed for meals are a suggested donations. 


All visitors MUST: 

  1. Fill out a visitors registry form.
  2. Wear a name tag


Name Tags

Both you and your camper must wear your name tag at all times. If you lose your name tag, look really well in your cabin and wait a day to see if your name tag shows up. If it is still lost the next day, ask your cabin leader, and they will get a new one for you. On the back of your camper’s name tag, there are four (4) med lines: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening. There will be a mark for each camper taking meds throughout the day. 


The Lakefront 

The Lakefront is an enjoyable place for recreation at camp. The opportunity to swim, fish, and sit on the beach is a new experience for many of our campers. While it is a place that provides a lot of fun, it also is potentially dangerous; therefore, following the rules and being on alert for your camper is important. 


Swimming Rules:

  • Swimming is only permitted during the designated swim times
  • You must be with your camper at the lakefront/ while they are swimming
  • All swim tests are subject to the lifeguard’s decision on whether or not the swimmer can safely meet the requirements of the test.
  • Swimmers are only permitted within the designated swim areas
  • No diving from the docks
  • No running on docks
  • No wrestling on the raft 
  • No jumping off the back end of the raft
  • Any two-piece swimsuit must cover the stomach, or be worn with a dark shirt. No speedos allowed.


Boating Rules:

  • Boating is only permitted during the designated boating times 
  • Boating is only allowed in designated areas
  • Everyone must wear life jackets while on boats 
  • Do not leave your boat while on the lake
  • Remain seated in the boats
  • Stay away from the fishing and swimming areas while in the boats
  • No bumper boats


Fishing Rules: 

  • Fishing is only permitted from the fishing dock area during designated fishing times.
  • All fishing is catch and release.
  • Any volunteers over the age of 16 must purchase a fishing license through the state of Wisconsin to fish, and this can be done online. If you do not have a fishing license and do not know where to purchase one, ask staff for assistance.
  • All campers may fish without a fishing license.



It can be challenging to navigate through the labels and the dos and don’ts of interacting with people with disabilities. At Camp Daniel, we base much of what we do on recognizing the value in all people, so we use language that does the same. The general rule of thumb is to speak value to people and speak to honor Jesus. If you follow these guidelines, you will find you will be ok. 


  • People First Language – We use  “people first” language when referring to someone’s disability. An example of People First Language is “He is a person with a disability” instead of “He’s disabled.” 
  • Disability – At Camp Daniel, we say intellectual, developmental or physical disability when referring to someone’s disability. 



There are many ways to express our love for each other. Hugs and physical touch are concrete ways to express our love and also Jesus’s love to others. But we must be careful in how we touch and what touch can lead to. So we find that hugging is good, but it should be done modestly, friendly, and with the recognition that some of our friends need help in understanding boundaries.



It is important that we not let distractions interfere with our campers. Therefore Camp Daniel’s rule is that no phones and electronics are to be used during the day, except for taking photos and videos. You can use cell phones and laptops after 9:30 pm. If there are circumstances where a cell phone is needed, please speak to Camp Daniel staff about it. 


Social Media

Camp Daniel uses social media to promote the ministry and relationships throughout the year, so feel free to post pictures and videos, but remember whatever you post reflects on the Camp Daniel ministry. Everyone who has filled out an application has signed a release for pictures/videos so that you may take pictures and videos. Only use the first names of the campers.

Camp Dictionary 

Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)- a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, adversely affecting educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. 


Asperger’s Syndrome- is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. 


Asthma- a breathing disorder characterized by difficulty breathing, especially following exercise or emotional stress. 


Attention Deficit Disorder- a person has difficulty concentrating; easily distracted, unorganized, and forgetful. 


Brain Injury- occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. 

Catheter is a small device inserted into the bladder to help a person who has difficulty urinating.


Cerebral Palsy- a non-progressive condition resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain or trauma at birth. The upper part of the brain is damaged, which governs muscular control, speech, hearing, vision, and sometimes intellectual disabilities. One or more of these abilities may be affected.


Chucks- an absorbent pad that goes under a person while lying in bed.


Congenital- present at birth


Depends- special absorbent disposable underwear for adults who are incontinent.


Diabetes- A metabolic disorder maintained through a specific diet and sometimes medications. It affects the body’s ability to process sugar.


Disability- means you need help.


Down Syndrome- a congenital condition characterized by varying degrees of cognitive disabilities. Down syndrome often has characteristic physical features such as slanted eyes; little or no nasal bridge; low set ears; a large, protruding tongue, short, broad hands, and feet; and a stocky build.


Developmental Disability – commonly affects those with it in their language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living.

Epilepsy- seizures that disturb brain function. It is characterized by combinations of the following: motor, sensory, or psychic issues, with or without convulsions, and altered or complete loss of consciousness. Most seizures are of short duration. A grand mal seizure causes a person to fall unconscious and is not fatal. 


Feeding Tube/G-Tube/J-Tube is a device that attaches to the abdomen (stomach) to give a person food and nutrients they cannot orally ingest. 


Fragile Xy- is a genetic syndrome that is the most commonly known single-gene cause of autism and the most common inherited cause of intellectual disabilities among boys. It ranges from mild to severe and physical characteristics such as an elongated face, large or protruding ears, behavioral characteristics such as hand-flapping, and social anxiety. 


Hay Fever- an allergic reaction to a specific tree, grass, or weed pollens characterized by cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and congestion. 


Hearing Impairment- partial or total loss of hearing that affects an individual’s communication ability. 


Hearing Aid- an electronic device that amplifies the sound worn on a person’s ear. 

Hemiplegia- total or partial paralysis of one side of the body. 


Intellectual Disability- an impairment of the mind that affects typical intellectual functioning and may result in difficulty in perception, thinking, reasoning, remembering, learning, and appropriate social behavior. 


Metabolism- chemical processes in the body, resulting in growth, energy production, waste elimination, and other body functions.


Monoplegia- total or partial paralysis of one extremity. 


Multiple Sclerosis- a chronic, slowly progressive condition of the central nervous system. Symptoms and signs are numerous, including weakness, sensory issues, plasticity, blurred vision, numbness, and instability in limbs. Usually, it affects young adults. 


Muscular Dystrophy- due to a lack of nutrition to the muscles, gradual degeneration of muscles occurs, causing weakness of trunk, pelvic girdle, and arms and legs and occurring more in males than females. However, there are many forms of muscular dystrophy in which most live long lives. Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy is the most fatal, causing death approximately 10-15 years after diagnosis. 


Neurological- dealing with the nervous system. 


Paralysis- is the loss of muscle function and/or loss of sensation. 


Paraplegia- paralysis of the legs and lower trunk of the body. 


Physical Disability-an impairment of the body that affects, limits, or alters a person’s ability to perform activities typically expected of their chronological age group. 


Polio- caused by a virus that affects the parts of the spinal cord, which sends out messages to the muscles. It does not affect the sensory parts. The amount of damage depends on which part of the spinal cord is affected, ranging from one-half to the extremities and trunk. 


Prosthesis- a device that replaces a missing body part. 


Quadriplegia- paralysis of the arms, legs, and trunk of the body. 


Shirt Saver- a towel used for adults to catch food while eating.


Shower Chair- a special chair that a person sits on while they are in the shower. 


Sign Language is a form of communication often used with hearing impairments consisting of various hand and body movements. There are sign language books available in the nurse’s trailer. 


Spina Bifida- a congenital disability involving the spine and brain. It is caused by a lack of union between the vertebrae. Paralysis below the waist is based on the severity of the spinal defect. 


Spinal Cord Injury- trauma to the spinal cord that results in varying degrees of paralysis. 

Splint/Brace/Orthotic- a device that attaches to the leg/ foot to help a person walk. 


Stroke- (also called CVA) is a blood clot in the brain that damages brain tissue and may cause symptoms such as paralysis, weakness, speech defect, or problems in communication. 


Urinal-a special toilet used for urination.

Visual Impairment- partial or total loss of vision that affects an individual’s ability to see.


Leadership Team Dictionary 

CIT (Counselor-In-Training)- A counselor between the ages of 14 and 17. 


Counselor- an adult (18 or older) paired with one or two campers. 


Pit Crew Worker- People eighteen or older who work in the Pit Crew. (Doing set-up and clean-up, before and after camp events) 

PCIT (Pit Crew In Training)- For people under the age of eighteen who work alongside 

the Pit Crew.

Guest Speaker: A person that speaks during the chapel services at camp. 


Nurse: This is the person who takes care of all the camper and volunteer medication and injuries. 


Worker: This is a volunteer over eighteen who is doing something other than counseling. They may be working in the kitchen, helping with activities, or cleaning. 


Summer Intern: Usually a group of six to ten people, summer interns are a group of people working the entire summer at camp. Learning new leadership skills, build- ing friendships, and coming closer in their relationship with Jesus.