Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Cherokee been in business?
Camp Cherokee has been operating continuously as a summer camp since 1945.
Are you accredited by the American Camp Association?
Yes, Cherokee meets or exceeds the standards set by the ACA. These standards cover all aspects of the camp including: staffing, health, waterfront safety and more.
Where do you get your staff?
Many of our staff have ‘come up through the ranks’ from camper through Leader-In-Training to counselors and Upper Staff. As well, we generally have a staff return rate in excess of 85 percent. When we do hire a staff member who has not been to Cherokee before, we ensure that they have the necessary qualifications to instruct the activities they will be teaching and most importantly, a desire to work and care for our campers. All of our counselors must submit to a SLED background check and drug test before they are hired.
Where are your campers from?
Cherokee is very fortunate to have a wide diversity of campers and staff from all over the USA and beyond! While approximately 80 percent of our children are from Rock Hill, SC, we have had campers come from over 9 states and numerous cities from across the Southeast! Over the past 3 years, 14 states and 5 countries have been represented!
Can I Register Online?
Yes! If you would like to register online with secure payment, please use our convenient registration page. If not, simply print out the Camper Application and mail it to the address on the form with your deposit.
Does YMCA Camp Cherokee offer financial assistance?
Yes. Financial assistance is available through the Upper Palmetto YMCA on a first-come first-serve basis. A copy of your current tax return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) is required to process the financial assistance application. Those who wish to contribute to our financial assistance program may do so by donating online.
My children are different ages. Can they be in the same cabin?
If two campers are within one year of each other’s age and are of the same gender, they can request to be placed in the same cabin. Typically, if the campers are not the same age, the older camper will be placed in the younger cabin. To encourage campers to meet new friends, we encourage only one to two “Cabinmate Preferences” per camper. Therefore, both campers must have the other listed as their “Cabinmate Preference” on their application to ensure the pairing is made.
When Camp is Near
When are my child’s camp fees due?
All camp payments are due on or before May 15th. Your credit card information is not kept on file and will not be automatically charged. If you need to make arrangements to pay at a later date or be placed on a payment plan, please contact the camp director.
My child was a camper last year. Do I still need to submit all of the forms?
Yes. We need new versions of every form!
What if I need to cancel or change a session?
All changes and cancellations must be made in writing either though the mail, fax (Attn. John Gordon), or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A session may be cancelled at any time, but the deposit is non-refundable after May 1st, without a note from a doctor.
Where is Camp Cherokee?
Camp Cherokee is located in Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg, SC right off SC Hwy 161. 30 minutes from Charlotte, 1 hour from Greenville, 1 ½ hours from Columbia. View detailed directions on our Directions page.
It’s Time for Camp!
Can my child bring their Cell Phone?
No! No! No! Absolutely not! Please do not encourage or allow your child to bring their cell phone to camp. If a situation were to arise in which you would need to speak with your child, you will be contacted by Camp Cherokee Staff. If you need to speak with your child or need information relayed to them about any topic such as pick-up time, ride home, etc., please contact the Camp Director!
What time is Check-in/Check-out?
Check-in for all sessions is from 1:30pm-3:00pm on the opening day of each session. If you cannot get to camp during those times, please let the camp director know so that arrangements can be made to make your arrival as easy as possible. Check-out for all sessions except First-Timers is from 10:00am to 11:00am on the last day of the session. First –Timers check-out will begin at 7:00pm on Wednesday followed by a Closing Ceremony in which all parents and campers are encouraged to attend that will begin around 8:15pm.
At Camp Cherokee there is no need for campers to bring money to camp. However there are occasional opportunities or outings a camper may wish some of their own spending money. All meals & beverages are provided while at camp and on trips, but campers may choose to buy additional items. Please do not send more than $20 with your child.
How is the food at Camp?
We know from 64 years of camp experiences what food campers enjoy. Our menus balance children’s likes with nutritious foods, which include lots of salads and fresh fruits. We believe that delicious, nutritious food is the cornerstone of a happy camp. Our camp Chefs, Bonnie & Homes Roberts have handled the meal service for the last 25 years! There are three main meals at camp along with a visit to the Canteen. All meals are served buffet style with the exception of our Banquet Dinner on Fridays. Campers still may have as much food as they would like, but the staff will be there servers! Breakfast is served beginning at 8:30 am. Breakfasts include assorted cereals, toast, fruit, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, juices, eggs, sausage, hash browns, etc. Lunch is served daily at 12:30 pm. Our lunch menus include hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, BBQ, cheese burgers, tacos, deli sandwiches, pastas, French fries, soups, assorted salads etc.. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm. Our dinner is themed regularly including Mexican, American, & Italian and camp favorites include macaroni & cheese, pot roast, pizza, lasagna, and Bonnie’s awesome Peach Cobbler. Water, sweet tea, lemonade, and kool-aid are always available. At every lunch we offer an extensive salad bar. We can accommodate the needs of anyone on a special or particular diet and even those children who may be “picky” eaters. Fresh fruits, salads and cut vegetables are readily available.
How does the camp handle food allergies?
Information regarding food allergies should be included on the health form. Our Food Services Director will monitor and make adjustments for these diets at each meal. Campers should also accept responsibility for adhering to their specific diets.
What happens if my child gets sick or injured?
The health and well being of our campers and staff have the highest priorities at Cherokee. To ensure a high standard of medical attention, we have a registered nurse on site every day. Our four-bed infirmary is the center of our health care. The infirmary is open 24 hours a day for campers to receive treatment. In the event of an emergency, further medical attention is available 15 minutes away at Kings Mountain Hospital, or at Piedmont West Urgent Care Facility in York. The health and safety of your child, receive our greatest focus of attention. We will notify and work closely with you on any matters of significant concern or special needs. Please thoroughly complete the Health Forms, which must be completed and brought to camp on opening day. There are copies of the medical forms online (link).
In the event that your child is injured or runs a fever of 101 of higher, you will be immediately notified. If you have any other questions/concerns, contact us directly by phone or email and we’ll be happy to help!
What if my child gets homesick at camp?
A few campers experience some homesickness as they adjust to living in a new environment. This is normal and our counselors are trained how to support campers as they make this transition. Most homesickness is generally brief and occurs during quiet times the first few days of a session. If your child is experiencing an extreme case of homesickness, the camp director will call the parent to discuss a plan to help them adjust to camp.
What is your mail and parcel policy?
Parents are encouraged to write their children as much as possible. There is nothing more exciting for a camper than to receive letters from their parents, friends and relatives. You may take advantage of our one-way email system by clicking here. The volume of parcels we are receiving daily has drastically increased the past few years, resulting in an increase of different delivery company trucks to our main camp road. Please consider sending letters, rather than packages. Please do not send food or candy!
What happens when it rains?
Camp Cherokee is blessed to be set in a magnificent natural setting where which we implement our programs. When Mother Nature replenishes our camp with rain, our day proceeds as usual. Campers do get wet and sometimes muddy on rainy days. If the rain is accompanied by thunder, usual programming ends, and all campers and staff are brought to covered areas.
What are your Visitor policies?
Camp Cherokee does not allow visitors. Parents do request to pick their child’s laundry up between weeks of the 2 week session, which is allowed, but arrangements must be made with the Camp Director, so that the laundry can be picked from the infirmary. All other visits must be approved by the Camp Director in advance of your arrival!
Camp Cherokee is open to all regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin.