FAQ

Where is Camp Onyahsa located?

Camp Onyahsa is located on Chautauqua Lake in Southwestern New York State, approximately 20 minutes from Jamestown, New York; 50 minutes from Erie, Pennsylvania; 80 minutes from Buffalo, New York and 2 hours from Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, please visit our Location and Site page.

Do campers need to complete a health form to attend Camp?

Yes, our top priority is the safety and health of your camper, and our Health Director resides on-site and will be available for consultation during check-in hours. According to New York State Health Codes, all campers must have received a physical examination within the last 12 months, be in good health, and have all immunizations required for school attendance. Health & Confidential Disclosure Forms are available upon registration via CampDoc.com. All campers must complete their online health profile before arriving at Camp.

Can my camper bring a cell phone to Camp?

As a program that foremost stresses camper health and positive development, we ask that smartphones and tablets not be brought to Camp. Recognizing that complete prohibition might be untenable for some families, it must be turned in at registration during check-in if an electronic device is brought. Cell phones can only be used during supervised and central locations, which will not include restrooms or cabins. 

Is there a packing list?

Yes, we have a what to bring and a what not to bring to camp list. Some items are optional, but please make sure all campers have a twin fitted sheet, bedding, clothing, toiletries, reusable water bottle, and water shoes. We have some items at Camp if your camper forgets any items. 

How many campers are in each cabin or tent? 

Cabin assignments are gender specific and by general age. Usually, there are 8 campers per cabin with two staff members. *Due to COVID protocols, only 4 campers per cabin.

Can a camper be bunked with one of their friends?

Yes, as long as they are the same age and gender,  we will do our best to honor placement requests. In fairness to campers who are not attending with friends, we ask that campers request only one mutual cabin mate.

What are the check-in and check-out times?

Check-in is scheduled between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm on Sundays. Each family will receive a confirmation email 1-2 business days before Sunday check-in with a specific check-in time assigned. Camp sessions end on Saturday at approximately 11:30 am. Parents are invited to attend the awards presentation that runs from 10:30-11:15 am. Mini-Camp ends on Wednesday at approximately 7:30 pm. Parents are invited to the awards ceremony from 6:45 pm- 7:00 pm.

How many campers are at Camp each week?

The average camper enrollment is fewer than 100 overnight campers and 16-day campers per session, allowing our Camp to foster a sense of belonging.

Can I send extra food with my camper?

No, the presence of food or beverages in the living areas presents safety concerns for food allergies, spoilage, and rodents. It also poses equity issues. Central to our wellness aims, Onyahsa offers nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. Special dietary foods will be accepted and stored in the kitchen area to serve under the Health Director's supervision.

May I call my camper to check on them?

From years of experience, along with other respected resident camps, we recommend that parents do not call children during their camp session unless it is an emergency. If your child is experiencing significant challenges, is injured, or becomes ill, the Camp Administration will contact you. Many campers adjust well to Camp until a phone call from a well-meaning parent.

May I send mail?

Absolutely! Although we think it best not to make frequent phone calls or visits, we strongly encourage you to send letters to your children. It is also a good idea to send your camper with pre-stamped and addressed postcards or envelopes to Camp. These paper letters and cards tend to be those that are saved and cherished later. Our mailing address is 5411 East Lake Road, Dewittville, NY 14728. 

What if my camper becomes homesick?

Campers are encouraged to speak with counselors and Camp directors whenever they have difficulties. Our staff is always on duty and will do all they can to provide a positive experience for each camper. However, if a camper experiences significant challenges, they may telephone home. If this happens, you may wish to encourage the camper to stay by instructing them to "call back tomorrow if you still feel the same." As parents, we also encourage you to trust your instincts. No camper will be forced to endure a camp experience they perceive as negative. Please see our Parent Handbook for ways to prepare your children for a successful away-from-home experience before they arrive at Camp.

May I pick up my camper early?

For your child's safety, please avoid any mid-week check-outs. Due to the structure of our program, once the camper has checked out of Camp, they cannot return. If an early check-out is unavoidable, please get in touch with the office before the start of their session to make arrangements.

My camper is staying for 2 weeks or more. Is there a weekend program?

Campers staying more than one consecutive week may spend the interim weekend at Camp for an additional fee. This fee includes all weekend meals, laundry money, a recreational activity, weekend programming at Camp, a Saturday night snack, and Sunday meals. Weekend Campers should bring mesh bags for laundry, which staff will wash. 

What activities should my camper expect at the overnighter?

Campers can expect similar activities as our traditional camp. We try to be outside as much as possible, depending on the weather. We will offer two separate activities for each camper to choose from during each period.

What is the "Bring A Friend for Free" discount?

If your camper has never been to Onyahsa, they can attend with a friend for no cost. This way, your camper can try Onyahsa for the first time.

Do you have any other discounts?

Yes, each sibling after the first receives a $10 discount. Also, if you sign your child up for all 8 months, receive the last one for free ($35-$40 savings).

Is there a health form needed for the one-night overnights?

Yes, all campers must complete a health profile for all programs. CampDoc.com will send a notification once the camper is registered to ask the parent to complete the form. If your camper has a special condition, please let the camp office before registering your camper. 

My child takes medication. Is there a nurse on site?

We generally do not have a health director on-site during the monthly camps, but we have qualified staff who can give any medications as needed. Please get in touch with the camp office for more information if your camper has a medical condition requiring medical staff.