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Camp Idlewood blog
A special place for special kids!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who does Camp Idlewild serve?

Camp Idlewild serves children with a variety of special needs and varying abilities age 6-17. Our program model was developed for children who have the following super powers: Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger's Syndrome), Sensory Processing Disorders, ADHD, Down syndrome, and Developmental Delays.

Where is Camp Idlewild located?

Camp Idlewild is located at 7602 Henry Dr, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638 (approximately 20 miles North of the Tampa Bay area)

What is the History of Camp Idlewild? How did it get started?

Please click the following link to visit our Founders & History section on our website:

What activities will campers participate in?

Campers will participate in a variety of theme based activities! Each activity is adapted and designed so that every child is able to participate. Our campers will have the opportunity to enjoy the following activities:

  • Music & dance     
  • Skits & Drama
  • Swimming
  • Talent Shows
  • Archery
  • Campfires & S’mores
  • Nature Walks
  • Yoga
  • Sports & Games
  • Science
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Canoeing
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Fishing
  • Wacky Contests
  • And More!


What are the emergency procedures while at camp?

Camp Idlewild has implemented a thorough Emergency Plan to include the following emergency situations:

1. Fire Safety

2. Medical Emergencies

3. Inclement Weather

4. Active Shooter

5. Stranger on Grounds

6. Lost Camper

7. Program Safety

What kind of schedule do the camper’s follow? Bedtimes/Wake Up Times/ Meal Times?

Please view the following sample schedule for a more detailed look of a typical day of camp.

When does the camp session fill?

Our spots for camp sessions can fill up very quickly! Applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis, so the earlier you get your registration in, the better!

What is the maximum number of Campers per session?

Up to 32 campers per session

Can my child call home when homesick?

CIW is an unplugged camp. We encourage campers to leave cell phones & electronic devices at home and to come and experience the great outdoors first-hand and unfiltered, to create relationships, and to connect with one another face-to-face. However, being that it is 2024 we understand that everyone likes to check in. We do allow campers "electronic" time during rest time and at specified other times. 

In the event a camper is unable to settle down, we will arrange a time for a short phone call home.

While my child is at camp will I be contacted in the event of an emergency?

Yes, we will contact you in the event…              

  1. Camper is not feeling well and their condition becomes a concern, i.e. flu-like symptoms, fever, digestive, etc. We would need you to pick up the camper immediately.
  2. Camper needs medical care beyond what the camp nurse may provide, i.e. needs an OTC medication you have not pre-approved on the health form or if there is a question regarding any routine medical treatment provided by the CIW Camp staff / certified medication technicians.
  3. Camper is unable to settle in or has challenges with Camp Idlewild guidelines for participation.
  4. In the event there is an emergency situation.


How is the food? How do you handle allergies/ accommodate special diets?

Our food service staff works hard to provide a healthy, kid friendly menu for all our campers and staff members to enjoy. We do our best to accommodate special diets, such as vegetarian, diabetic, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options and you also have the option to prepare and bring food for your camper during their stay. Any of these individualized meals are available for an additional charge.

Who are your staff members?

Camp Idlewild staff members are exceptional individuals who possess strong leadership skills, have a desire to help others, team-oriented, creative, compassionate and love to have fun in the outdoors. Camp Idlewild will employ staff and volunteers during our camp sessions to care for our camper's personal needs and to facilitate programs. All staff and volunteers are required to complete an intensive training geared towards medical & emergency procedures, behavior management, risk management, programming, and CPR/First Aid certifications. In addition, all staff and volunteers are required to complete the FBI background checks prior to interacting with campers. By maintaining a low camper-to-staff ratio of 5:1 or better, campers receive quality care and support with their daily needs.

What is staff to camper ratio?

Our staff to camper ratio is 5:1 or better, so for every five campers, there is one counselor directly assigned.

What is the layout of the cabins?

Our first 4 cabins have been custom-built and have the capacity to house 12 people. When you walk onto the front porch and enter, the cabins open-up into a large room with bunk beds and dressers. Each cabin has a living area with couches and/or loveseats and a mounted television, for campers to watch movies and hang out. There are two full bathrooms off of the main room and an extra room for a sensory space, supplies, and cabin activities.

Are cabins Heated/AC?

Yes! All of our cabins are fully equipped with air conditioning and heating systems.

How are campers grouped in cabins?

Campers are grouped in cabins based on gender as well as age.

What are the cabin sleeping arrangements?

All cabins will house campers and their assigned counselors and CIT’s. Campers will sleep on bottom bunks (unless permitted to sleep on top bunk) and staff members will sleep on the top bunks.

Is financial assistance available?

Financial assistance (Campership) is available for summer sessions only for those who qualify.

Can I set up a tour to see camp before I sign up for a Session?

We are able to schedule individual tours as needed. Please contact our office in advance to ensure that a staff person will be available for a tour. 

Will I receive confirmation after I submit my registration?

Once you submit your registration, our administrative team will review your application and will contact you to let you know if your camper has been approved or denied for attending Camp Idlewild.

Can I add additional camps?

Yes! Our sessions are first come first serve so feel free to sign up for as many as you would like!

What is the cancellation/ refund policy?

We understand that plans may change, and we try to be fair when it comes to refunds & cancellations. Please understand that when you cancel a registration, we have already done administrative work, hired staff, purchased supplies, paid for insurance, updated facilities and more based on the number of campers registered for each session. With that in mind, the following policy will apply:

1. All cancellation requests must be written and submitted to the camp office to be considered for a refund. No refunds will be provided if the camper is dismissed from the program for behavior or discipline reasons.

2. If the cancellation notice is received at least 30 days prior to the scheduled camp date, a full refund (minus the non-refundable deposit) will be granted.

3. If the cancellation notice is received less than 30 days from the scheduled camp date, the prorated refund will be considered and determined by CIW Camp Management on a case-by-case basis.

4. In some cases, the camp fee balance (minus non-refundable deposit) can be used towards another camp session at a later date.

5. If a camp session is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as inclement weather, an illness outbreak, and/or lack of participation, Camp Idlewild will refund all payments made, including the registration deposit. 

Can I change Weekend Sessions?

Please note that we will need a 14-day notice in order to change your Weekend Session. Your payments made (including registration deposit) will roll over to the new desired weekend session.

What are the check in & check out times?

Summer Camp and/or any weeklong sessions have a check-in time of 2:00pm on Sunday and a check-out time of 2:00pm on Friday.

Our weekend sessions have a check in time of 6:00pm on Fridays, and a check out time of 2:00pm the following Sunday.

How long does the check in process typically take?

We do our best to get our campers and their families through our check in process as quickly as we are able. We do ask that you please allow at least one full hour to complete our check in process.

How long does the check out process typically take?

We do our best to get our campers and their families through our check out process as quickly as we are able. We do ask that you please allow at least half an hour (30 minutes) to complete our check out process.

How do you handle medications?

Camp Idlewild’s concern for the camper’s health and well-being is a priority during the camper’s stay. Registered Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurses or Certified Medication Technicians are on site 24 hours a day during scheduled camp sessions to assist with the administration of medications, to perform routine medication treatments and to ensure the camper’s medical needs are being met. In addition, the camp has an on-call physician who approves the CIW Health Care Plan and Standing Orders annually and serves as an advisor to staff. In the event of medication questions OR if the camper has an accident and needs medical treatment, the Camp Staff will contact the parents/caregiver immediately to consult.

Do I need to complete any health forms for my child to participate?

Camp Idlewild of Florida requires a Camp Physical Examination to be completed by the Camper's physician. Physicals must be completed within the 12 MONTHS prior to your selected camp date. Expired (beyond the year) physicals will not be accepted. The camp physical must be signed by a licensed physician on CIW’s Camp Physical Examination Form. Physicals MUST ARRIVE NO LATER THAN TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the beginning of the scheduled camp session.

In addition, there will be several other medical related forms that will be completed as part of the registration process.