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D. Camp Preparation

First day of camp

Arrive between 5:45-6:15pm.  Parents/campers will report to their assigned dorm on "East Campus" to get checked into their room.  Your dorm information will be communicated to you prior to camp via "Final Details" email.  Campers must be at the camp meeting at the Harris Center by 7pm, dressed and ready to play soccer, wearing flip flops or other shoes -- but NOT your cleats!  Put your cleats in your gear bag -- no cleats in the buildings!  Parents do not attend this meeting.

Last day of camp

Your child is expected to stay through the entire final day of camp.  Campers will not be given permission to leave early.
Parents may arrive no earlier than 2:00 to watch the final World Cup 9v9 matches.  Weather permitting, camp concludes at approximately 3:00, which is about when your child's last match should be ending.  From there, you may walk back to your child's dorm lobby to grab their overnight bags.


I've run this camp enough years now to know there will be homesick kids and the chaperones will take care of them!  Camp chaperones are parents who have volunteered to serve as surrogate parents for the campers.  They have always been responsible and caring individuals who truly keep an eye out on every child.  With this in mind, I'm asking for your commitment to helping our surrogate parents do their "job."
If your child calls you and is homesick:
  • DO NOT tell your child you will come and get him/her; under no circumstances is it acceptable to show up unannounced and walk into camp to take your child.
  • Encourage your child to talk to his/her dorm floor chaperone for help getting through those feelings.
  • Encourage your child to call home only once/day, and never in the middle of the night.  When this happens, generally the child wakes up the roommate and typically the floor chaperone, who is then up the rest of the night trying to console the child.
In 2010, we had a parent show up on campus after 10:30pm.  The parent had been in cell contact with the child, but neither the child nor the parent notified a chaperone.  Fortunately the chaperone was making her pre-lights out rounds and noticed a truck drive up to the dorms where three campers were standing.  The chaperone handled it well and the kids confirmed the identity of the parent, but think about this situation from the chaperone's standpoint...
The chaperones have volunteered to manage the risk your child faces at an overnight camp.  They do bed checks, are constantly taking attendance and are charged with essentially keeping the outside world away from your child.  There are no circumstances under which it is acceptable to "just show up" and take your child.  If your child is having so much difficulty with homesickness that he/she truly needs to leave camp, you need to call me first so that I can make a final determination and then communicate and coordinate with the Camp Coaching Director and Head Chaperone.  I can be reached at the office, 515-252-6363 ext. 104 or on my cell, 515-240-8636.
Regarding phone calls home, the chaperones state every year that the homesick kids are actually worse after calling home than if they (or you) didn't call and instead they tried to work through it.  Sometimes the kids are so upset after hanging up they can't play soccer during the next session, so they miss out on the reason they are at camp.  Chaperones and coaches have asked me to ban cell phones altogether, but in this day and age, I simply cannot.  Therefore, I ask that you minimize phone/text communication with your child and instruct them to do the same.  If homesickness is the issue, encourage your child to lean on their dorm floor chaperone.
Another situation that came up in 2010 was that a player called home and complained about the position he/she was playing in 8v8 games.  He/she then handed the phone over to a chaperone because the parent wanted an explanation.  First, this is a coaching issue, not a chaperone one.  Second, it is simply unacceptable to question the developmental training the coaches are doing at camp.  Camp is not the regular season and it is a time for players to play different positions and try things with and without the ball they may never get the chance to in their club setting.  If you are truly uncomfortable with this developmental philosophy, this is not the camp for your child.
On behalf of the chaperones, I appreciate your consideration of these issues and ask for your support should they arise for you.

Certified Athletic Trainer

We have a certified athletic trainer at camp who can handle a wide range of injuries or illness. But, they cannot read minds!  We tell the campers at orientation to seek out the trainer if they have any nagging injuries, developing blisters, tummy ache, need to ice something, etc....but a little encouragement from you reminding them to go to the trainer if they need to would be super!  Thanks!

Dining Hall Food, Peanuts & Tree Nuts, Dairy, Etc...information/labeling

The dining hall is modern and is set up with different "food stations" rather than a single file service line.  Each food station will have a posted menu for the meal.  The diner must look at the posted menu sheet and each station attendant can provide information or contact the supervisor to answer any specific questions.
Grinnell College labels any food prepared with peanuts or tree nuts with an orange marker.  Instruct your child to be aware of this and if they are not sure, to ask a dining hall employee about the food BEFORE eating it.

The College's food labeling system does not include a specific sign that alerts customers foods contain dairy, etc... so campers must look at the posted menu at each station.

  • On the menu sign above each venue foods may contain a “GF”, “V”, “H”, or “OL”.   These labels mean (in respective order) Gluten Free, Vegan, Halal, Ovo Lacto.
  • Ovo Lacto or OL means the food has some form of dairy in the food but no meat.
  • Gluten Free or GF means the food item does not contain wheat, barley, or rye products.
  • Vegan or V means the food does not contain any animal products whatsoever thus the food does not contain dairy, any type of meat, or honey.  For those with OL restriction, they CAN eat anything labeled V.
  • Halal or H means the meats served with this label has been processed properly so that those of Islamic faith can eat the foods.


During the registration process there was a form available to fill out with information such as food allergies.  If you haven't completed, or can't remember if you have, log in, click on your camper's name and then review the status of the forms.


Camp preparations

REQUIRED FORMS:  When you set up your D. Camp account in the UltraCamp system, there were a series of forms you were able to skip and come back later to complete (insurance, health, etc...).  Make sure you log in and complete or make updates to those forms no later than ONE WEEK before camp begins.
CLEATS:  Parents, do not send your child to camp with new cleats that have yet to be properly broken in.  The result is guaranteed to be painful blisters, with your child likely sitting out training and matches.  If your child is in line to get a new pair, get them well in advance of camp and break them in.  If they do come to camp with a new/newer pair, have them also bring their old pair so if they start to feel a hotspot, they can change back to the old pair.
SHOES FOR INDOOR PLAY:  We will conduct the afternoon training sessions inside the new Grinnell College Fieldhouse.  Send appropriate court or indoor soccer shoes to camp with your child, and follow the same guidelines as given for "new" cleats given above.
CHAFING:  Chafing between the legs (especially the boys) and also in the sportsbra area is an  issue that can be prevented/minimized.  Chafing can get so uncomfortable that a camper may have to sit out.  There are several things you/they can do to help prevent this from happening.
  • Have them take/instruct them on the use of anti-chafe cream in potential "hotspot" areas each time before going to the fields.  You should be able to find this at any fitness store (think bicyclists, runners).
  • If you can't find the cream, have them take/instruct them on the use of anti-chafe powder each time before going to the fields.  I've seen the "Anti-Monkey Butt" brand at Wal-Mart and outdoor stores; Gold Bond powder is also an option.
  • Encourage them to take a quick shower each time after returning from the fields.  We will also remind/encourage them.  A quick rinse will help keep the "hotspot" areas clean and dry between sessions.
  • Send enough underware, bras and socks that for each soccer session, they can put on dry ones.  Instruct them when they get back to the dorm to change out of their sweaty underware/bras right away, then rinse off in the shower and put on the dry ones.  Same idea with socks...remind them to put on dry socks for every soccer session.
SOCKS/UNDERWEAR:  You can't bring enough extra socks to camp!  Please send enough soccer socks for at least three dry pairs per day.  Dry socks will go a long way toward keeping the blisters away!  It is also advisable, especially for the boys, to have and use at least three dry pair of underwear per day.
OTHER FOOTWEAR:  Flip flops or sandals are encouraged as post-playing footwear, but our athletic trainer pointed out that you should also include a regular pair of tennis shoes.  Post-playing, we want them to have flip flops or sandals on so their feet to air out/dry.  But walking too much in flip flops/sandals after they dry may also cause blisters if the kids aren't used to wearing those as everyday shoes.

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6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 607E
Urbandale, IA 50322
Tel: 515.252.6363

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