What is Winona’s mission? What are the qualifications to be a camper?
Our objectives at Winona have remained constant for over a century:
- To preserve a sense of earned accomplishment.
- To encourage curiosity and exploration, and to replace the fragmentation that characterizes many activities of young people with a renewed sense of patience and concentration.
- Winona strives to be a community of boys and staff (male and female) from diverse socioeconomic, geographic and racial backgrounds.
The essential functions necessary to be a camper at Winona include:
- The ability to be independently mobile over uneven, unpaved terrain.
- The ability to clean, dress and feed oneself.
- The ability to verbally communicate (for their age level) differing emotions, such as happiness, distress, nervousness, etc.
We experience occasional power outages and therefore cannot accommodate boys needing full-time medical equipment requiring electricity. Our Health Center is staffed with EMTs and RNs, but we are not able to accommodate campers with daily needs more than the scope of care beyond the RN level.
Winona looks like a camp filled with returning campers and traditions. Will my son fit in as a new camper with no prior family connection to Winona?
Absolutely! There is no such thing here as a new boy or an old boy; once a boy comes through the gate at the Farmhouse, he is a Winona boy, and from the start our campers are all equal in privilege. The Winona culture pays special attention to each camper’s developing needs and abilities, different at every age.
Tell me about Winona’s counselors?
Winona counselors are top notch! We enjoy a 90% return rate with our Unit staff and over 60 staff members have been at Winona 10 years or more. They’re enthusiastic leaders of Winona’s activities and trip programs, with special training and certifications in their areas of expertise. Most are cabin or tent counselors, which also involves special training in how to handle conflict resolution, homesickness and preparation for a variety of other community living issues. Winona staff continue a long Red/Gray line of traditions, camaraderie and role modeling that give every boy many opportunities to achieve success.
How do “Units” work at Winona?
Winona’s unit system assures the closest rapport between a camper and his counselor, a sense of place for each age group, separate athletic fields, tennis courts and swimming docks to fashion programs for all age and experience levels.
There are four units:
Junior (ages 8-11)
Intermediate (ages 11-13)
Senior (ages 13-15)
CIT (ages 16-17)
Each unit overlaps the next by one year to accommodate prior camping experience, grade in school and camper preference. At the time of enrollment each boy is assigned to a unit, however, some boys with ages in the “overlap” years may have their unit assignments delayed. Winona reserves the right to make unit changes to better serve each camper. Final unit assignments are made when we have a very clear indication of the strengths of the age groups in each unit. Parents are encouraged to discuss unit assignments with the directors so that the individual needs of the camper are met. Above all, we want your son to feel comfortable in his surroundings.
Winona is a camp where electronics are not allowed. How do I communicate with my son during the summer?
We encourage you to write letters to your son. It is important that the camper receive weekly (not daily) mail from home.
We ask that you use the phone for BUSINESS only. Campers are not allowed to place or receive calls. The one exception: boys are allowed to receive a phone call from parents on their birthday. This encourages the campers to be self-reliant in their decision-making and gives them a sense of pride in standing on their own. We’ll certainly call you if a problem arises. Please remember that we do have 24-hour on-call coverage.
We ask that your son does not bring a cell phone to camp. If you send a cell phone with him for his travel, we will keep it in the safe in the office for the duration of the session and return it upon departure when he is chaperoned to the airport. Camp will not be able to recharge cell phones, but there is often time at the airport for this.
Use Bunk 1 with Bunk Replies.
What is the process for enrolling my son?
Beginning in late July each year, ADVANCE GUARD reservations are accepted until December 31st. Tuition discounts (if tuition is paid in full) are available during this period and ADVANCE GUARD members receive a special lapel pin, tee shirt and a fun trip during the next camp season. ADVANCE GUARD reservations are very important in determining the extent of our off-season capital projects and we encourage you to take advantage of the discounts, which benefit you and Winona.
REGISTRATION DEPOSIT REFUND POLICY: $100 of the $500 deposit is a service charge and is non-refundable. The balance of $400 is refundable if notified before February 1st. There are no deposit refunds after February 1st. An official enrollment application is needed for each camper. The American Camp Association standards require a signed application and we adhere to this policy. You will also complete a health form and transportation form for your son. Finally, a Parents’ Guide is sent to all enrolled families. You require that you review this with you son, sign the front cover and return it to the Winona office.
We live outside the United States. Are there any special considerations I should know about for my son?
Winona asks that all international campers have a Travel Health Insurance policy covering the dates they will be in the United States at Winona. If you choose not to purchase specific Travel Health Insurance you will be responsible for all medical costs for your son while he is at camp. Winona has been told that most foreign countries Health Insurance is not recognized by our local hospital and doctor offices, which is why, even if you have health insurance where you live, we highly suggest you purchase a Travel Health Insurance policy for your son.
When might the boys leave camp?
Campers have many opportunities to go out of camp, such as for athletic events, mountain trips, canoe trips, kayak trips and rock climbing trips or for special events at our sister camp, Wyonegonic.
Who would be transporting the boys on trips and activities?
The boys normally travel in vans with trained drivers and certified trip leaders. On occasion, charter buses are used.
What safety precautions are employed during riflery and water activities?
All rifle and waterfront staff are certified, having attended pre-camp training clinics. Most are “veteran staff members” who return for many years. Swimming programs have one lifeguard for every 10 campers in the water. Everyone wears a PFD (personal flotation device) in any type of watercraft.
What do I pack for my son?
Campers in Junior and Inty wear a camp outfit of a t-shirt and shorts (soccer, basketball or lacrosse style) five days of the week. On the other days and in Senior, normal summer clothes are worn. Senior campers will need one set of Winona shorts and a t-shirt for Sunday Service and special events.
A full list of required and recommended gear can be found by going to AmeraSport, click on packing list. Other notes about packing from camp are sent to each family in February prior to camp. Also, you can read about How to Pack Your Son’s Trunk here.
What are the visitation policies?
Winona does not have one specific visitor’s day or weekend. You can visit your son on any day of the week, except for the following days listed below when the camp is closed to visitors. Please advise the Camp Office prior to your visit so we can ensure that your son is not out of camp on a trip when you visit.
Parents are encouraged to visit during the summer, but we ask that you limit your visits to once per session (special arrangements will be made for divorced families). You are welcome to join us for our Saturday night cookouts. Also we have a parents’ cookout for full and first half session parents on the evening before first half ends. Those wishing to take their own children out for a meal may make arrangements with the Unit Directors.
The exact dates for no visitation are published yearly in our Parents Guide which is sent to each enrolled family.
- Closed to visitors of full season and first half campers for the first 10 days of camp and closed to visitors of second half campers for the first 10 days of second half (visitors of full season campers are free to visit at this time). This allows campers a reasonable time to adjust to the camp routine.
- Closed to visitors from the final Friday evening of the camp season through the weekend until 6:30 PM on Award’s Night (the final Monday of each season) to allow the boys to fully enjoy end of season activities.