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Below you will find answers to many of our frequently asked questions. 

Contact Erin "Yurt" Chambers - select the 'Camp" department

Is YMCA Camp Silver Creek Accredited?

Yes, Camp Silver Creek is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). ACA Accreditation means that Camp Silver Creek undergoes a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of its operation – from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camp Silver Creek and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

How do I register?

Register Online or call 503.581.9622

Registration & Final Payment: Registration to Camp Silver Creek is initiated through payment of a non-refundable deposit that secures your child’s spot at camp. Final payment must be received 2 weeks prior to the start of your camper’s session. If a payment plan has not been arranged with the camp office, registration may be suspended and your camper placed on a waiting list for their chosen session if there is a balance due less than 2 two weeks before the start of your camper’s session. You may pay by check or credit card. If paying by check, please include camper’s name and designate if any portion is for store money.

Change in plans: We understand that circumstances can change and so we have established policies for transfers, cancellations, and refunds.

  1. Transfers: Transfers may be made at no charge and are based upon availability.
  2. Cancellations: If cancellation is more than 30 days before the start of the camp session, you can receive a refund that could take up to 21 business days. If cancellation is less than 30 days before the start of the camp session, you will be eligible for a system credit, less the non-refundable deposit. If a camper must leave camp during the session due to medical reasons/illness, reimbursement may be available (fee, less deposit & pro-rata daily rate).
  3. Refunds will not be made for the following:
    1. Cancellations less than one (1) week prior to session start.
    2. No shows
    3. If parent/guardian chooses to pick camper up for any reason other than illness.
    4. Campers who violate camp policies and are sent home (camper pick up and transportation is the parent/guardian’s responsibility.)
What does camp cost?

For the 2023 Summer Camp Fees are:

  • Traditional Overnight: $575 (members) /$625 (community members)
  • Traditional Overnight Short Sessions: $275 (members)/ $325 (community members)
  • Leader in Training (LITs): $1,200 (members)/ $1,250 (community members)
  • Family Camp: $25 registration fee PLUS
    • Members: $225 per adult, $75 per child (6 and up), under 6 is free.
    • Community Members: $275 per adult, $125 per child (6 and up), under 6 is free
Is financial assistance available?

Yes! Thanks in part to generous donors, we are able to offer financial assistance for camperships. YMCA Camp Silver Creek is committed to ensuring every child has the ability to spend a fun-filled week at camp exploring, learning, laughing, playing, and more.

To begin, please complete the Financial Assistance Application.

Note: A Financial Assistance Application must be resubmitted each year.

Qualifying applicants may receive a discount on camp programs. E-mail your completed form to our Camping Services Director or drop it off at one of our branches.

What are the Camp Check-In & Check-Out Times?

Check-in is from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM on the first day of your camp session.

Please do not arrive early as we are busy preparing for camp to open. We will start check-in process at 2:30 PM.

Check-out is from 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM on the final day of your camp session.

Please arrive promptly, as our staff aim to clean and close camp by 11:30 AM.

All late arrivals and early pick-up must be arranged with the Camp Director.

What should I expect at Check-in & Check-out?


  • Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our welcome staff along the road. Our staff will inform you which unit your camper(s) will be staying in. The welcome staff will also inform you if there are any outstanding balances or forms missing.
  • All campers will be checked for signs of head lice. Any campers found to have signs of lice, will be asked to leave and can return to camp once cleared.
  • The Camp Nurse will review your camper’s Health History Form and collect any medication needed for the week.
  • NEW 2022: All Health History Forms are due at least two weeks prior to the start of your camper’s session. Health History Forms can be found here. They should be e-mailed to
  • After speaking with the Camp Nurse, you will be directed to your camper’s unit where you will be able to unload luggage, help them move into their cabin, and meet your camper’s counselor. This is a great time to ask any questions you may have or provide camp staff with any additional information you feel is necessary to make your camper’s stay a success!
  • Our camp was built in 1938 and has very narrow roads with limited passing ability and parking. Due to the constraints, and with everyone’s safety in mind, you may be asked to wait until it is safe to drive. Safety is our number one priority and we want to avoid any accidents. Please drive slow when in camp and listen to all staff members instructions.


  • When you arrive at camp, and are prompted by Camp Silver Creek staff, please proceed directly to your camper’s unit.
  • Only individuals listed on the camper’s Health History Form may pick up a camper. Valid photo identification is required in order to release your child.
  • Camper medication will be available for pick up within the unit.
  • Please check lost and found before leaving camp for any missing items.
Can I get a tour?

At this time, we are not able to offer individual tours as the camp facilities are cared for by Silver Falls State Park outside of the summer.


What does a typical day at Camp Silver Creek look like?

Camp Silver Creek has four units in camp with six camper cabins in each unit. The Unit ages below are a guideline and may change depending on the campers enrolled in a given week.

  • Bear Creek: Ages 7-9
  • Hillside: Ages 9-10
  • Trickle Falls: Ages 10-12
  • Hemlock: Teen Camp

Your camper will be with a counselor and a cabin group of approximately 6 campers of similar ages. Campers are under the supervision of their cabin counselor or another staff member running activities.

If campers need to leave the group for any reason, they follow the buddy system and travel in groups of two or more for safety.

Daily Schedule

  • 7:00 – Wake Up
  • 7:30 – Polar Bears
  • 8:15 – Morning Announcements
  • 8:30 – Breakfast
  • 9:30 – Values
  • 10:00 – Skill Group 1
  • 11:15 – Skill Group 2
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 1:30 – Rest Period
  • 2:30 – Cabin Group Time
  • 4:00 – Free Choice Time
  • 5:00 – Return to Units
  • 6:15 – Evening Announcements
  • 6:30 – Dinner
  • 7:15 – Twilight Game
  • 8:30 – Campfire
  • 9:45 – Lights Out
What are some activities at camp?

Polar Bears – 3…2…1… JUMP! Wake up early to take a dip in the lake! This activity is optional, but so much fun and creates wonderful memories.

Announcements – Campers learn about the day, receive mail, and any other important information that needs to be shared.

Values – Values is a long-time tradition here at YMCA Camp Silver Creek. We focus on teaching the YMCA’s core values: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, and Caring as well as demonstrate how campers can use those values in their everyday life.

Skill Groups – Each day, campers select two staff-led activities to partake in where they can grow and learn new skills. Typical skill group selections include swimming, archery, music, wilderness survival, sports, hiking, arts and crafts, and more.

Rest Period – Camp is tiring. Flat On Bunk (FOB) is a chance for campers to relax, read a book, or take a nap to get ready for the remainder of the day. Teen Campers have a down time known as Hangout, Be Cool (HOBC)

Cabin Group Time – This is the primary time for quality group bonding! Counselors may take their cabins for hikes, swimming, scavenger hunts, visit arts and crafts, or learn new games. Cabin group time is also a great time to visit the shower house.

Choice Time – All of camp comes together for free choice time! This is a great time for siblings and friends in other units to come together, relax on the grassy field, and participate in the same activities. Program Areas typically open during choice time include archery, swimming, boating, field games, arts and crafts, and the camp store.

Twilight Game – Capture the Flag! Alien Hunt! Flight From Mordor! Get ready for costumes, face paint, and maybe even throwing your counselor in the lake. Twilight games bring the whole camp together for crazy fun!

Campfire – Lights! Camera! Action! Sign-up to sing a song, lead a skit, or share a story with all of camp.

Lights Out – Counselors put their campers to bed using various techniques such as singing, reading a story, or devotions such as Roses and Thorns – where campers reflect on their day by sharing their favorite moment, something that was challenging, and what they are looking forward to tomorrow.

What if my child has a buddy?

Many campers attending camp feel more comfortable attending with a friend.

Each camper may designate ONE “buddy” at the time of registration (both campers must choose each other as their ONE choice). We do our best to honor buddy requests but cannot make any guarantees. If you have already registered and would like to make a buddy request, please e-mail the Camp Director with your camper’s name, session they are attending, and their buddy’s name. Both camper’s families must contact the Camp Director.

If two campers are within one year of each other’s age, typically the older camper will be placed with the younger camper.

How can I prepare my child for camp?

Make sure your camper knows they are responsible for good self-care:

  • Brushing teeth, changing clothes, washing their hands/body, and performing daily hygiene.
  • Bug spray & sunscreen are camper’s responsibility; practice applying at home.

Pack with your camper so they know what the brought and where it is:

  • Clothes don’t stay clean long at camp. Realize that at Camp Silver Creek, part of the fun is not worrying about how you look. Rolling on the ground or hiking through the stream for fun is not uncommon!

Talk with them about making good choices:

  • There are lots of option at camp. Talk about how to make good decisions.
  • Encourage your camper to ask for help (Counselor, Unit Aides, Camp Director, other summer staff members) if they have a problem.
  • We can’t help them if we don’t know about the concern.
What are Camp Silver Creek's Behavior Expectations?

In order to create a safe and fun camp environment, we ask campers to follow three basic guidelines.

  • Respect Yourself: Speak kindly about oneself, maintain personal hygiene, follow rules and guidelines.
  • Respect Others: Speak kindly to others, hands to yourself, respecting personal property.
  • Respect Camp: Causing no harm to camp (including gear, buildings, and trails), respecting activities at camp.

If your camper has any behavioral or emotional concerns or diagnosis that may impact their experience at camp, please contact the Camp Director so we can create a plan so they can have an excellent experience at camp.

Our staff is trained in providing support to a wide variety of children and we look forward to getting to know your child and helping them enjoy Camp Silver Creek.

How does Camp Silver Creek handle bullying?

Camp Silver Creek has a no-tolerance policy for bullying.

We define bullying as physical (hitting, tripping), verbal (name-calling, belittling, humiliating), and social (exclusion, coercion). We recognize that conflict between children can occur and we work to provide children opportunities where they can be socially successful. We train our staff to recognize bullying behavior which is not necessarily a single event but can escalate into multiple events. The camp will not tolerate these behaviors in person or via electronic devices. Our camp staff has been trained on how to provide clear expectations for campers, guide them to make positive choices, and be consistent while working with all.

If a child is unable to follow camp rules or participates in escalating bullying behavior, they will work with their counselor, program staff, and if necessary, the Camp Director in order to solve the situation that is occurring. We will make every effort to meet the needs of the campers and seek a solution for a positive camp experience. Parents will be notified if a camper is not being successful in following rules at camp. On occasion, campers who choose to continue disregarding camp rules will be dismissed from camp.

Any campers dismissed from camp for bullying behavior will not have their camp fees refunded.

What if my child has a severe allergy or special need?

If your child is a vegetarian, vegan, or has other dietary needs, please indicate this at registration and on their Health History Form.

If your child has extensive dietary needs, please contact the Camp Director prior to camp so that accommodations can be made for a separate meal plan.

We are a NUT FREE CAMP! Please refrain from sending care packages, snacks, or meal supplements that may contain nuts.

What are Camp Silver Creek's Health Care Procedures?

Camp Silver Creek has their Health Care Procedures reviewed by a licensed M.D. to determine we are following best practices. Some of the procedures include:

We take the care of your camper very seriously at camp. At all times we have a licensed RN or Paramedic at camp or in close communication with Camp Silver Creek Health Care staff supporting camper health issues. All members of Camp Silver Creek staff are certified in First Aid and CPR prior to campers arriving.

Minor injuries while at camp will be treated as needed including, but not limited to: washing, applying band aids, or icepacks.

Parent/Guardian Notifications: Parents will be notified of any trips their camper makes to the Camp Infirmary either while the camper is present at the Infirmary, or at check out as warranted by the type of visit.

You will be notified if your campers:

  • Has temperature of 100 degrees
  • Has two (2) loose stools or vomits
  • Has green discharge from nose and/or eyes or any type of eye infection
  • Has chicken pox, scabies, or other contagious disease
  • Has what appears to be head lice
  • Has an allergic reaction
  • Receives an injury more than a minor cut or scrape.

If any of these occur, the Camp Director and Health Care staff will decide about your child returning home or remaining in camp.

In the event of a major injury or illness, the Camp Director and Health Care staff will assess the situation. If necessary, staff will seek appropriate medical attention and contact parent/guardians. This could include calling an ambulance to transport the camper to Stayton Hospital or taking them to Stayton Urgent Care.

Health History Forms: Camper Health History Forms must be filled out and returned to camp at least two weeks prior to your camper’s first session of the summer. If your camper is attending multiple sessions, please indicate that on the Health History Form and we will ensure one is included in each week’s files. Any information on the Health History form is shared only with the Health Care staff and other staff who need to be aware to provide the best care for your campers.

Please be as detailed as possible while completing the form. The information you provide does not prevent your camper from attending Camp Silver Creek, it allows our Health Care staff to make informed decisions regarding your child’s care while at Camp Silver Creek. Campers with Asthma, Heart Defect/Disease, Seizures, Diabetes, or Bleeding/Clotting Disorders may require a physician’s authorization to attend camp. Please contact the Camp Director if you have any questions.

All campers are asked to be current with their school vaccinations. If your family does not immunize, please complete a waiver by contacting the Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties.

Medications: Medications your child needs will be turned over to the Camp Silver Creek Health Care staff at check-in and dispensed as directed. This includes all prescription and non-prescription medications such as vitamins, creams, and pain killers. Please review your camper’s Health History Form for a list of over-the-counter medications we have on hand to dispense as needed.

Please note, we are required to dispense medications from their original container and follow directions as provided on the label. We recommend you send only enough medication needed for the duration of your camper’s stay, plus one dosage.

Campers should continue to follow their regularly scheduled medications, even while attending camp. Routines may be different and continuing their regular medication allows campers to have the most successful experience.

Campers who carry an epi-pen or an inhaler should bring two (2), one for the Health Care staff and one to carry with the camper.

Health Screenings: At check-in all campers and staff will complete a brief health screening. The health screening may include a temperature and symptom check.

What if my child gets homesick?

Silver Creek Staff members are equipped to help participants who may experience homesickness.

With a few easy steps you can help prepare your child for camp.

  1. Set them up for success by telling them about camp and sharing some activities they’ll get to participate in. Contact camp if you need more information, we’re happy to talk through weeks at camp.
  2. Pack their bag with them so they know where to find their belongings. This helps empower them during their time at camp.
  3. Have honest conversations that feeling homesick is normal. Share your own stories of when you’ve felt homesick or afraid. Empathizing and normalizing the feelings can do wonders.
  4. Have your child bring a comfort item that reminds them of home. This may be a favorite stuffed animal, treasured book, or a small photo album.
  5. Provide your child with materials to send letters and/or pictures home about their time at camp. Let them know that you are excited to hear about their experiences. Don’t dwell on what they are missing out on at home. Please don’t tell you child they can call home if they are homesick or that you will come pick them up early. Encourage them to try new opportunities.


If homesickness becomes severe enough to impact a camper’s ability to enjoy camp, parent/guardians are contacted, and a plan is set in place to help the camper succeed at camp. We do not offer campers the choice to call home. In the cast that a child isn’t able to stay at camp due to homesickness, the parent/guardian and the Camp Director will make the decision together before communicating with the camper.

How will I be informed if there is an emergency?

In the event of an emergency, or power outage, we will keep families updated utilizing our social media pages:

You can also expect an e-mail from In some instances, a phone call from the Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties may be needed.

How does the Camp Silver Creek store work?

We have merchandise and snack available for purchase at the camp store. Campers are able to visit the store once daily and the store is open during check-in and check-out. You may deposit money in the store, located at the Administration Building, when you arrive at camp for check-in.

Money deposited in store accounts which is not used is non-refundable. All proceeds from the camp store go toward the Camp Scholarship Fund.

What if I want to send mail?

Receiving mail at camp is a fun way to stay connected during the week!

Each day, camp has a scheduled mail call where campers receive letters and packages. You are welcome to send mail to our camp address or leave letters/packages at the camp office during check-in. (Please label which day you’d like your camper to receive their mail and place it in the correct bin). As mail is typically dispersed around dinner, there is no mail on the night of our overnight adventure.

Mail tends to take 2-3 days to reach camp so please plan accordingly. Please do not send any food items such as candy and gum. If items are sent, they will be held for your camper and return at check-out.

Camper’s Name

YMCA Camp Silver Creek

19984 Silver Falls Highway SE

Sublimity, OR 97385

Can I see my camper at camp?

Visitors to camp during the week are not permitted during the summer season. Experience has shown us that family visits tend to be disruptive to the camper as well as the staff who have to take time away from their program duties. If an emergency arises, a visit must be arranged and approved in advance through the Camp Director. Please rest assured, that if a situation comes to our attention during the week that requires your input, we will contact you and keep you updated.

Any visitors arriving on camp must check in at the Administration Building and must be pre-approved by the Camp Director. We require all persons in camp to have met our employment and/or volunteer requirements including a background check.

What if my camper lost their item(s) at camp?

It is very important that you label all items with your camper’s name. Including your camper in the packing process helps them be able to recognize their items and creates a sense of responsibility over what they bring to camp.

On Saturday morning, all lost items from the week are placed next to the Administration Building for all cabins to review before returning to their Unit for pick-up. After that, lost and found items are held at Camp Silver Creek for two weeks. If you believe your camper is missing an item or clothing, please contact the Camp Director and we will look through the lost and found from the week your camper attended. If we find your item, we will make arrangements to have it transported to one of our association’s branches (Salem, Silverton, Monmouth-Independence) where you may pick it up. After two weeks, all salvageable items are donated to a local charity.

Can my camper bring their phone or other electronic devices to Camp Silver Creek?

All electronic devices including phones, tablets, laptops, and music devices are not allowed at Camp Silver Creek. 

These devices will take away from the camp experience of building new relationships and exploring our surroundings.

If a camper is found to have brought an electronic device, we will safely secure the device in our Administration Building until pick-up.

Camp Silver Creek is not responsible for any lost or stolen items campers choose to bring to camp.

What is your suggested packing list?

PLEASE LABEL ALL ITEMS! Include your camper in the packing process so they can recognize their items. We make every effort to reduce lost and found. Please prepare your child to manage their personal belongings.

Camp Silver Creek Packing List

Things that should be left at home include:

  • Personal sports equipment
  • Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, music devices
  • Candy/gum
  • Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, vaping pens
  • Weapons or explosives (such as knives, fireworks, lighters)
  • Animals and/or pets
  • Personal Vehicles
How do I get to camp?

Camp Silver Creek’s is located at within Silver Falls State Park outside of Sublimity, OR. We are in the private ‘Youth Camp’ section of the state park.

Our address is: 19984 Silver Falls Highway SE, Sublimity, OR 97385. Some GPS may take you to the outskirts of the State Park. Please follow our WELCOME signs and any signs in the park directing you to the Youth Camp/Conference Center/Campground

From Portland:

  1. I-5 South, take Exit #253: STAYTON/DETROIT LAKE
  2. Turn left on N SANTIAM HWY (OR 22)
  3. Continue to follow OR 22; take ramp toward STAYTON/SUBLIMITY
  4. Turn left on CASCADE HWY SE
  5. Turn right on SILVER FALLS HWY SE (OR 214)
  6. Turn right following the signs to Conference Center/Youth Camp/Campground
  7. STOP at Park Service booth and let them know you are going to YMCA Camp Silver Creek
  8. Turn left after the booth
  9. Turn left at the first road and follow it about 2 miles to camp.

From Salem:

  1. Take HWY 22 toward STAYTON/DETROIT LAKE
  2. Take ramp toward STAYTON/SUBLIMITY
  3. Turn left on CASCADE HWY SE
  4. Turn right on SILVER FALLS HWY SE (OR 214)
  5. Turn right following the signs to Conference Center/Youth Camp/Campground
  6. STOP at Park Service booth and let them know you are going to YMCA Camp Silver Creek
  7. Turn left after the booth
  8. Turn left at the first road and follow it about 2 miles to camp.