Youth Camps

Summer 2020 Update

Greetings from Big Sandy Camp! We are experiencing the beauty of God's creation once again as the leaves are filling the trees along with the population of mosquitoes and ticks growing by the day.

COVID-19 has impacted all our lives in one way or another. The biggest impact we have seen is no guests have been on site since March 24. The outlook for getting back to our full capacity is not on the horizon.

Taking into consideration the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, the Big Sandy Camp Board has made the decision to cancel all planned activities for the 2020 summer – through August 31. We did not make this decision quickly or without lots of discussion. We feel that the guidelines and restrictions will not be loosened or allow what would be our expectations for having a fun time at camp during the summer months.

Refund Policy – We are offering the following to individuals that have already made a payment for a summer activity:

  • A full refund
  • A partial refund and a partial donation to the ministry
  • Donating the full amount paid to the ongoing ministry needs
  • Deferring the payment for another event in the next 12-18 months

Please contact us via email at office@bigsandycamp.com or call our office.

Possible Alternative for Families

We are looking into possible options for families to come to Camp and stay in Birch Lodge or a camp site starting in July. Please continue to check our website for more information.

Support for the Ministry

We still have financial needs to keep the ministry operating. Staff salaries, insurance premiums, and utility bills are the most obvious. We have identified several projects that we would like to complete during these "quieter than normal" months. Here are a couple of them – new HVAC system in Lakeview Lodge, remodeling needs for the gym. We believe the completion of these projects will afford us the opportunity to better serve our camp and retreat guests when we resume full operations once again in the future.

Please considering supporting us with a gift of $300; much like our regular cost for a camper to come this summer.

Thank you for your support and prayers for the ministry of Big Sandy Camp!

Sincerely,

Doug Parkinson
Executive Director

Greetings from Big Sandy Camp! We are experiencing the beauty of God's creation once again as the leaves are filling the trees along with the population of mosquitoes and ticks growing by the day.

COVID-19 has impacted all our lives in one way or another. The biggest impact we have seen is no guests have been on site since March 24. The outlook for getting back to our full capacity is not on the horizon.

Taking into consideration the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, the Big Sandy Camp Board has made the decision to cancel all planned activities for the 2020 summer - through August 31. We did not make this decision quickly or without lots of discussion. We feel that the guidelines and restrictions will not be loosened or allow what would be our expectations for having a fun time at camp during the summer months.

Refund Policy – We are offering the following to individuals that have already made a payment for a summer activity:

  • A full refund
  • A partial refund and a partial donation to the ministry
  • Donating the full amount paid to the ongoing ministry needs
  • Deferring the payment for another event in the next 12-18 months

Please contact us via email at office@bigsandycamp.com or call our office.

Possible Alternative for Families

We are looking into possible options for families to come to Camp and stay in Birch Lodge or a camp site starting in July. Please continue to check our website for more information.

Support for the Ministry

We still have financial needs to keep the ministry operating. Staff salaries, insurance premiums, and utility bills are the most obvious. We have identified several projects that we would like to complete during these "quieter than normal" months. Here are a couple of them - new HVAC system in Lakeview Lodge, remodeling needs for the gym. We believe the completion of these projects will afford us the opportunity to better serve our camp and retreat guests when we resume full operations once again in the future.

Please considering supporting us with a gift of $300; much like our regular cost for a camper to come this summer.

Thank you for your support and prayers for the ministry of Big Sandy Camp!

Sincerely,

Doug Parkinson
Executive Director

HIDDEN – This row and EVERYTHING below it was hidden on 6-5-2020 until further notice!

We love having kids and teens at camp! Throughout the year we have various week long camps, as well as weekend retreats for campers to come spend some time here at camp. We also have opportunities for high schoolers to come and work at camp through our SMT and Summer Staff Programs. For more information about our youth camps and opportunities check out the menu to the right.

Big Sandy Camp is so excited to present the summer 2020 program entitled 2020 Vision! We want kids to be able to come and do all the amazing, fun activities at camp, but we also want them to leave camp with a better understanding of God’s vision for their lives. For over 60 years, Big Sandy Camp has been a home away from home for campers and we hope to provide a safe, fun, and meaningful experience to every child who arrives at camp.

Summer Camp registration will open online on January 7, 2020. Please call our office at 218-426-3389 if you need assistance registering.

Things to Know about Summer Camp Registration 2020

Hello Big Sandy Camp Family!

We wanted you to be aware of some details regarding summer camp registration this year.

  1. Bring a photo ID during drop-off and pick up.
  2. Registration will be from 2:30-4:30 PM on Sunday afternoon.
  3. Please review your student’s registration forms and make any necessary updates to the information listed (e.g. any new allergies, updated medications, health insurance changes, approved pick-up persons, etc...).
  4. Please be aware that spaces will not be reserved for campers until a $100 non-refundable deposit is received by Big Sandy Camp. Deposit payments can be made online, with a check, or by a credit card over the phone.

Thank you for your patience as we help everyone through the registration process. For questions or concerns, call our office at 218-426-3389, or email us at office@bigsandycamp.com.

In Christ,
The Big Sandy Camp Staff

This summer’s theme is 2020 Vision. Come and experience what God has in store for you!  All of our weeks of camp will be starting on Sunday afternoons. Registration time is from 2:30-4:30 PM on Sunday afternoon, and camp ends with a closing rally at 10:20 AM on Friday. All campers still get a free camp photo and the highlight videos from each week are posted to Facebook and YouTube.

Age Groups for 2020 Camps:

2nd – 4th Graders qualify for our Sprouts Camp
4th – 6th Graders qualify for our Pine Cone Jr. Camp
6th – 8th Graders qualify for our Jr. High Camp
9th – 12th Graders qualify for our Sr. High Camp

All of these age groups apply to students entering these grades in the fall.

Camper Safety

Campers that are in need of individualized, acute and serious medical care and are unable to participate in most corporate camp activities should consider a specialized camp that is designed, staffed and equipped to provide those campers with a safe and enjoyable camp experience. If you have questions, contact our Guest Services Coordinator, Maggie Painting, at maggie@bigsandycamp.com.

General Information

Camps start on Sunday afternoon (with the exception of Sprouts Camp, Senior High Camp, and Senior High Wakeboard Camp) and wrap up Sunday morning. Registration for each camp session, with the exception of Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp, will run from 2:00-5:00 PM on the first day of each camp session, and dinner will be served at 5:30 PM. Registration for Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp will run from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM on the first day of camp, and lunch will be served at 12:30 PM. Camp will end with a closing rally at 10:20 AM on the last day of each session, which parents are welcomed to attend! Campers will be ready for pick up at 10:45 AM. Please note that Sprouts Camp begins on a Friday and Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp both begin on a Tuesday.

Campers are each assigned to a “cabin,” which is actually a lodge room in one of our three main buildings, Oak, Birch, and Lakeview. Our counselors are carefully chosen young adults, many of whom are launching into ministry. Several of our campers return to Big Sandy Camp as counselors, program staff, and volunteers in an effort to give something back and ensure that campers have the same awesome opportunities that they did.

Our summer activities are well supervised, fun-filled times with friends, both new and old. Most importantly, Big Sandy Camp continues to be a place where God is near. Big Sandy Camp often serves as a mile post for faith decisions and ministry commitments. Big Sandy Camp continues to be a place where hearts are touched and lives are changed. Make the investment in your child’s life by sending them to camp. It will be the experience of a lifetime!

Registration Day

Our registration day, the first day of each camp session, has been specifically designed with families in mind. When you get to camp, our staff will check if the campers in your vehicle have paid in full. If they are, you’ll be directed to their rooms to meet their counselors. No lines, no waiting! If your camper still owes money or needs to complete forms, we’ll send you into the office first to finish payment and any last minute details. Then you will be directed to your child’s cabin.

If your camper has medications, they’ll need to meet with the nurse after they get settled into their cabin and meet their counselor. All medications brought to camp must be in the original container and in a plastic bag with the child’s name on it. If you have any questions or concerns regarding medications, please call our office at 218-426-3389.

Busing Option

Roseville Location

Rose Hill Alliance Church
2105 Roselawn Avenue West
Roseville, MN 55113

For the trip to Big Sandy Camp, please arrive at 1:15 PM

*For Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp, please arrive by 8:45 AM

The bus will return between 12:30-1:00 PM

Coon Rapids Location

Word of Life Church
10730 University Avenue NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448

For the trip to Big Sandy Camp, please arrive at 1:45 PM

*For Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp, please arrive by 9:30 AM

The bus will return between 11:15-11:45 AM

Waconia Location

Parkside Church
9560 Paradise Lane
Waconia, MN 55387

For the trip to Big Sandy Camp, please arrive at 12:00 PM

*For Senior High Camp and Senior High Wakeboard Camp, please arrive by 7:30 AM

The bus will return between 2:15-2:45 PM

Sprouts Camp

Sprouts Camp is a shorter session that helps get kids acclimated to camp life and being away from home. Members of our staff are with your campers 24 hours a day. Age appropriate activities and programs keep our young campers busy at every turn. Chapel sessions are tailored to short attention spans and are seasoned with traditional camp songs, entertaining theatrics, and relevant Bible stories that can be applied to today’s kids. Sending your children to Sprouts Camp is a wonderful way to establish a week at camp as a priority for every summer. The results are significant and often eternal!

Sprouts Camp is available for campers entering 2nd-4th grade.

Youth Camps

Summers are a busy time at Big Sandy Camp. We provide numerous summer camps for youth entering 4th-12th grade. With a maximum capacity of nearly 250 campers per week, there is never a dull moment, and plenty of awesome activities to do and friends to be made. Big Sandy Camp can become your child’s home away from home, just like it has for hundreds of other campers for the last 60 years!

Counselors at Big Sandy Camp spend many days in intense training to keep your children safe. They must all earn certificates in First Aid and CPR, as well as go through our intensive Ministry Safe abuse prevention training program. They are energetic and already getting excited for what God will do during your camper’s week at Big Sandy Camp.

Fun is an essential part of Big Sandy Camp! It doesn’t matter if we’re jamming at the beach, sliding into Big Sandy Lake, or playing favorite games like Capture the flag - fun is a key ingredient to camp! All junior high and senior high campers can ride our 750 foot zip line, everyone can enjoy paddle boarding on Big Sandy Lake, and try out our new low ropes activities.

Pinecone Camps 1, 2, and 3 are available for campers entering 4th-6th grade.

Junior High Camps 1, 2, and 3 are open to campers entering 6th-8th grade.

Senior High Camp is open to campers entering 9th-12th grade.

Wakeboard Camp

Wakeboard Camp is the perfect opportunity to mix your camper’s love of wakeboarding and faith together. Wakeboard campers attend chapels and meals with the rest of the camp and still have devotional time and small groups with their counselor. During free time and group games, the wakeboard campers spend their time out on the water of Big Sandy Lake. This year we will have two separate weeks of wakeboard camp, one for Junior High and one for Senior High. Campers’ skill level can range from beginner to advanced... but register soon as spots fill up quickly.

Dorm Life

In most cases, campers are able to room with those they’ve requested on their registration forms, although this is not guaranteed. Your camper’s room will never be locked, so we’ll encourage campers to give any valuable belongings to their counselor for the week, or better yet, leave valuables at home. Please feel free to accompany your camper to their lodge room and meet their counselor during registration. Pinecone Junior and Junior High campers will be housed in separate cabins. Please keep this in mind when requesting roommates for your camper.

Camper Safety

Fun is a huge part of the Big Sandy Camp experience, but the safety and well-being of your camper is our first priority. We have a camp nurse on staff in the event of an accident or illness. If your camper will be bringing any medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, they need to be noted on the medial form during the online registration process. The camp nurse will collect and distribute all medications. Big Sandy Camp carries secondary accident insurance on all our campers. Campers that are in need of individualized, acute and serious medical care and are unable to participate in most corporate camp activities should consider a specialized camp that is designed, staffed and equipped to provide those campers with a safe and enjoyable camp experience. If you have questions, contact Jared Jensen at jared@bigsandycamp.com.

Meal Time

If you have any questions or concerns regarding food allergies or dietary issues for your camper, please contact our Food Service Director Trent Larsen by email (trent@bigsandycamp.com) at least two weeks prior to your child’s week of camp. You may also call camp directly with any questions regarding activities, physical restrictions, food or other allergies, etc... at 218-426-3389.

Home Sickness

For many of our campers, this will be their first experience completely away from home! We’ll do our best to keep campers having fun at camp! To ensure your camper has the best experience at Big Sandy Camp, we ask that family members and friends do not visit during the week. We do not recommend campers calling home during the week, but in rare cases, may be permitted by our camp director. Please do not send a cell phone with your child. Campers who bring a cell phone will be asked to surrender them at registration to their counselor for the remainder of the week.

*Note for your child’s security, only the person authorized on your registration card will be allowed to pick up your child at the end of the camp session. This person MUST bring a photo ID with them to pick up your child from camp.

Do Not Forget to Write!

Campers love to get mail during the week! Feel free to send packages or letters by using our mailing address with your child’s name (first and last) printed at the top of the address. If you do know your child’s cabin number, you can include it on the letter or package, but it is not required. Feel free to share your camper’s address with friends and relatives that your camper may also enjoy hearing from.

Big Sandy Camp
52511 185th Place
McGregor, MN 55760

If letter writing just isn’t your forte, you may also email your child by using the domain camper@bigsandycamp.com. Emails are printed off and handed to campers at lunch each day.

You may drop off mail during registration for our staff to hand out to your camper during the week. Please note that any mail that arrives after your camper has left will be returned to the sender.

Pick-up & Drop-off

We are asking parents and approved pick up persons to show identification before leaving camp with children. This is designed to be an added safety measure for children while they are in the care of Big Sandy Camp and its staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 218-426-3389.

In order for your camper to be officially registered, you must put down a $100 deposit. Enrolling your camper alone does not hold their spot. No refunds will be issued less than 30 days from the event. Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the event will be refunded minus a $100 non-refundable deposit.

Paperless Registration

Big Sandy Camp has moved to paperless registration for Youth and Family Camps. Registration is now available online only. For questions about how to register, please call our office at 218-426-3389.

We have switched to a new registration software. Please create a new account for your family before registering.

2020 Summer Camp Calendar

DatesCamp TypeGradesDaysPrice
July 3-5Sprouts2nd-4thFriday-Sunday$265
July 7-10Senior High9th-12thTuesday-Friday$365
July 7-10Senior High Wakeboard9th-12thTuesday-Friday$395
July 12-17Pinecone 1 (limited beds available for this session)4th-6thSunday-Friday$365
July 12-17Junior High 16th-8thSunday-Friday$365
July 12-17Junior High Wakeboard Camp6th-8thSunday-Friday$395
July 19-24Pinecone 24th-6thSunday-Friday$365
July 19-24Junior High 26th-8thSunday-Friday$365
July 26-31Pinecone 34th-6thSunday-Friday$365
July 26-31Junior High 36th-8thSunday-Friday$365
Payments and Discounts

Payment:

  • IN ORDER FOR YOUR CAMPER TO BE OFFICIALLY REGISTERED YOU MUST PUT DOWN A $100 DEPOSIT. ENROLLING YOUR CAMPER ALONE DOES NOT HOLD THEIR SPOT.
  • All balances must be payed either before the camper arrives at camp, or during registration on Sunday afternoon.
  • When paying for your child’s camp week we give the option to give a $5 or more donation to our Camper Scholarship Fund. Your generous donations help fund the scholarship program for campers in need!

Discount:

  • The only discount available in 2020 is the early bird discount of $15, valid through May 1, 2020.
  • For financial assistance, please complete the scholarship application and return it to the camp office.

Cancellation Policy:

  • No refunds will be issued less than 30 days from the event. Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the event will be refunded minus a $100 non-refundable deposit.

Please Note: Due to camper privacy, record keeping and software considerations, we will no longer be billing churches for camper registrations and outstanding bills. All inquiries regarding any outstanding balances will be directed to parents or guardians. Please deal directly with your local church if they are providing full or partial scholarship funds for camper registrations.

A Camp Week

We love summer at Big Sandy Camp! Camp provides eight different summer camps throughout the month of July and beginning of August for campers entering grades 3-12, maxing out at about 250 campers per week. Big Sandy Camp has been a week-long home to kids for 60 years!

Every camper will be assigned to a cabin with a counselor who was hand selected by our program staff. Our counselors are carefully chosen young adults, many of who are headed into various ministry fields. They will spend tons of time with their campers, pouring into each of them and sharing the love of Christ with them throughout their week at camp. Many of our campers return to Big Sandy Camp as counselors in an effort to give something back and ensure that campers today have the same opportunities they did.

At Big Sandy Camp your child's safety is a top priority. To assure his or her wellness during their stay, we take the following steps:

  • We use a thorough hiring process including: a complete criminal background check, three reference letters, interviews, and a comprehensive application.
  • All staff members are informed of Big Sandy Camp’s operational policies. Summer staff members are specifically trained with Ministry Safe curriculum and guidelines in an effort to have all of our campers experience a safe and enjoyable stay at Big Sandy Camp.
  • Every summer each staff member is certified by the American Heart Association in both First Aid and CPR.
  • All lifeguards are American Red Cross or equivalent certified.
  • We have a registered nurse on the camp grounds each week.

Throughout the camp week our campers will be participating in numerous activities and events that are all run by our well trained staff. Campers will attend chapel every day where they will be poured into spiritually by our speaker for the week. The speakers that come to camp are very intentionally selected and prayed over.

We hope to see your kids here this summer!

Packing List

WHAT TO BRING

  • Bedding – sleeping bag or single size bedding and pillow
  • Towel, shampoo, toothbrush, soap, etc...
  • Clothes for both warm and cool weather
  • One piece swimsuit or a modest two piece tankini that covers the entire midriff
  • Camp offering
  • Bible, notebook, pens or pencils
  • Medications (Rx or OTC) in their original container
  • Inexpensive camera
  • Extra spending money for: Big Sandy Camp sweatshirts and t-shirts, gift shop, snack shop, and craft shop
  • Extra pair of shoes, including running shoes

WHAT NOT TO BRING

  • Personal electronic devices, including cell phones and gaming systems
  • Inappropriate clothing (t-shirts with inappropriate printing, low cut and midriff-baring tops, short shorts and skirts, shirts with sleeves cut to reveal the torso, and clothing defaming Jesus Christ)
  • Expensive, small items
  • Alcohol, tobacco or any non-prescription drugs, including vapes
  • Pocket knives and other weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Expensive sporting equipment including fishing gear

Please note that any lost and found items will be kept in our camp office until our Labor Day Family Camp sessions, and will then be donated. Please call our office if you discover a missing item and we will mail it back to you. If possible, please send a check made out to Big Sandy Camp to reimburse the shipping cost.

Pets Policy

To best accomplish our mission and to comply with Aitkin County’s Youth Camp ordinance, no pets of any kind are allowed on the main campus area of Big Sandy Camp. To comply with state and federal law, service animals that have been trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability are permitted on the property. The tasks or work the animal does must be directly related to the persons disability. Animals sometimes referred to as emotional support animals that may provide a sense of safety, companionship or comfort are by law, not considered service animals as they are not individually trained to perform a specific task and are therefore not permitted on campus.

Things to Know about Summer Camp Registration 2019

Hello Big Sandy Camp Family!

We wanted you to be aware of some details regarding summer camp registration this year.

  1. Our registration and drop-off days are changing from last year. Registration will be from 2:30-4:30 PM on Sunday afternoon.
  2. Summer camp and family camp registration opens at 9:00 AM on January 7, 2019. Your account may not allow you to login prior to 9:00 AM, but you should have access to it after 9:00 AM. This is designed to limit people from logging in to the server early, ideally keeping registration running smoothly for everyone.
  3. Please review your student’s registration forms and make any necessary updates to the information listed (e.g. any new allergies, updated medications, health insurance changes, approved pick-up persons, etc...).
  4. Please be aware that spaces will not be reserved for campers until a $100 non-refundable deposit is received by Big Sandy Camp. Deposit payments can be made online, with a check, or by a credit card over the phone.

Thank you for your patience as we help everyone through the registration process. For questions or concerns, call our office at 218-426-3389, or email us at office@bigsandycamp.com.

In Christ,
The Big Sandy Camp Staff

2019 Summer Registration is NOW OPEN!

Summer is just around the corner and we are excited for you to join the experience here at Big Sandy Camp. Hang out at the waterfront with your friends, climb the highest wall in the gym, and enjoy a time of worship in chapel. All this and more during our summer camps. Register today so you don’t miss any of the action. Click here to start your registration or call 218-426-3389.

We love having kids and teens at camp! Throughout the year we have various week long camps, as well as weekend retreats for campers to come spend some time here at camp. We also have opportunities for high schoolers to come and work at camp through our LIT and Summer Staff Programs. For more information about our youth camps and opportunities check out the menu to the right.

Pick-up & Drop-off

A Beginning in summer of 2019, we are asking parents and approved pick up persons to show identification before leaving camp with children. This is designed to be an added safety measure for children while they are in the care of Big Sandy Camp and its staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 218-426-3389.