Welcome to Camp Westwind

Summer camp is right around the corner! It’s going to be another incredible summer at Westwind. From camping under the stars and making new discoveries at the tidepools to making new friends and singing camp songs until you’re out of breath, a week at Westwind is an experience to remember.

But just because it will be an incredible summer at Westwind, doesn’t mean there aren’t pre-camp jitters. Whether it’s your camper’s first nights away from home, their first time attending camp without friends, or their first time at Westwind, there are plenty of reasons your campers may be nervous. And there are plenty of reasons you might be nervous too.

Continue reading to learn what we do to help campers and what you can do to best prepare your camper for their week at camp.

What does Westwind do?

Over half of our campers come without a friend. This means that from the minute campers arrive, our staff work to build bonds and help campers meet one another.

Making friends

When campers step off the boats they are encouraged to join in games with other campers. Once everyone arrives, they meet their cabin and counselors play name games to break the ice. Throughout the week, campers spend hours bonding with their cabins and making new friends. Counselors are trained to guide cabins through any possible conflicts and tailor the camp experience to the needs and interests of their cabin.


Homesickness is something that we see and handle everyweek. It tends to be most prevalent the first night away from home and in almost every case, homesick campers are able to push through and have an incredible week at camp. Our counselors and staff are specifically trained to help mitigate homesickness by setting consistent routines and making sure the day is filled with fun and excitement.

Although half of our campers arrive without a friend, most of them leave with new ones. In fact 93% of campers say they made a new friend and 90% of them say they want to return to Westwind.

What can you do?

The biggest thing you can do to help your camper succeeded this summer is setting expectations.

Remind your camper that they are coming for the whole week. While saying things like they can come home when ever they want or that you will pick them up if they aren’t having fun can seem comforting, they tend to have adverse effects. Making sure campers know how long they are going for helps them prepare for the week and sets a definitive deadline in their mind.

Phone Policy

Please set clear expectations regarding phone use and contact while they are at camp. Campers are not allowed to have personal cell phones and the camp phone is used only for emergencies. Campers will not be able to call home if they are homesick because in almost all cases this only makes homesickness worse.

You are welcome to send mail and one-way emails to your camper. However, we ask that you avoid saying things like how much you miss your camper. Instead focus on wishing them well, hoping they are having fun, and reminding them you can’t wait to hear about all the exciting things they are experiencing.

For questions regarding our contact policy please contact info@westwind.org


Lastly we ask that you help pack with your campers. Going through their bag with them lets them know where all of their belongings are. Too often campers believe they have forgotten socks, a towel, or their toothbrush because they don’t know where it was packed. This also helps to ensure campers return with their belongings.

Please make sure to read over the packing list and double check that you aren’t sending your camper with contraband. The most common items campers have that they shouldn’t are food and electronics. Your camper can have electronics on the bus, but we will collect those electronics when they arrive so they aren’t lost or damaged. We can’t have food in the cabins because it attracts animals. You can remind your camper that if they are hungry at any point during the week, they can ask their counselor for a snack.

Camper Handbooks

Final Thoughts

We know that it is hard watching your camper leave on the bus or the boat and cross to our shores. Often parent’s anxiety is greater than the axienty of their campers. Remember that this is an exciting time for your kids. They are experiencing their first chances to develop independence, take on adventures, and meet new people. Be kind to yourself while they are away and be ready to welcome back a camper who is probably a little sleepy, but full of stories and new memories.