Camp Fire River Bend | Camp Tannadoonah

2021 Staff Packet

Welcome to the 2021 Camp Tannadoonah staff!

We are very excited to have you join our team at Camp this summer. Below you will find all of the paperwork, documents, and information you need to complete as camp approaches. We know it's a lot to do - please get working on it as soon as possible.

Please be sure to read through ALL of this information carefully. Some of the items have important deadlines and instructions! At the very end is a link to a google form that will ask you to verify that you have completed each item on the list. Please don't fill that out until you're confident you have completed everything.

If you have any questions, please contact Adam.

Part 1

When is staff training?

Staff training will begin on Sunday, May 30 at 7pm eastern time. You may arrive at camp between 5pm and 7pm to get set up in your cabin. Please note that we are 1 hour ahead of Chicago time (so we start at 11am Chicago time)! If you need to arrive earlier, please contact Adam to discuss options.

We will start training activities promptly at 7pm EASTERN TIME on Sunday, May 30. We do not plan to serve dinner on Sunday evening, so please eat before you arrive. 

We will wrap up on Saturday, June 12 by noon.

Staff will need to return to camp by NOON on Sunday, June 13 to make final preparations for the first week of camp.

Where can my friends and family send mail?

You may receive mail at camp at the following address:

Name Staff Member
Camp Tannadoonah
14751 Harvey St.
Vandalia, MI 49095

You can also ask family and friends to send you email through our Bunk 1 system. Just have them go to to learn how!

What will we be doing at staff training?

Staff training will be a mix of setting up camp, learning policies and procedures, and bonding with the rest of the staff. We will spend time on team-building, training on how to handle certain camp situations, going over traditions, planning programs, etc.

This year, we will also emphasize special policies and procedures related to our COVID-19 response, including cleaning and sanitation, monitoring of campers and staff, social distancing guidelines, etc.

It is really critical for everyone to attend ALL of staff training. 

Staff Uniform and Dress Code

The staff uniform is a Camp Tannadoonah staff shirt and khaki shorts/pants/skirt. This uniform must be worn during check in, check out, dinner each evening, and Council Fire on Friday evening. Please make sure that you have nice, neat khakis (no holes, tears, or stains). We want to make a good impression on parents when they arrive to drop off their campers! Each staff member is provided with one or two staff t-shirts, depending on how many sessions you are working.

At all other times staff may wear athletic-wear, shorts, jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, etc. Staff clothing should be tasteful and appropriate for work with youth. Please make sure your shorts are not extremely short, have no inappropriate language or graphics, and all undergarments are covered. We ask that you avoid clothing and accessories with political messages or statements.

Closed toed shoes are required at all times, unless you are at (or on your way to or from) the waterfront or shower house. Please bring comfortable tennis shoes!

All staff are asked to wear athletically-cut swim wear. Two-piece bathing suits are acceptable, but only if they are athletically-cut. If you have questions about what constitutes athletically-cut swim wear please feel free to contact Adam.

Please let us know what size staff shirt you wish to order by no later than Friday, May 14.

Special Circumstances due to COVID-19

We will be very limited in the ability to leave camp property once you arrive. Please make sure you bring everything you will need with you to staff training. We do not yet know what the exact guidelines will be regarding time off outside of camp, but it will be limited. Please be sure to bring several cloth masks. There will be times when they are required to be worn. We strongly recommend that all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and complete that process at least two weeks before you arrive at camp.

Important Policy Highlights

Please note: all of the staff policies are detailed in the staff handbook, which you will need to review in full, and which we will discuss at length during staff training. The items below are particularly important and we wish to highlight them here.

Cell Phones and Other Electronics

Counselors may not use their phones except during their one long night off during the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 6pm to midnight) and on the time off between sessions (approximately noon Saturday – noon Sunday). All cell phones must be turned in to the Camp Directors at the Welcome Center and may be retrieved when you are scheduled for your time off. You should plan to bring a wristwatch in order to tell time while on duty! Please leave all other electronic devices at home. Please give your family members the camp phone number (574-387-6095) to use in an emergency.

Time Off

During the week, counselors will receive one long night off per week-long camp session. This time off begins at 6pm and ends at MIDNIGHT. You must be back in your cabin by midnight, no exceptions! Counselors also receive shorter time off daily, either during rest time in the afternoon or after the campers go to bed. No phones will be checked out on the shorter time off during the week.

Staff have time off on the weekends from approximately noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. We do not know yet if staff will be able to leave camp between sessions. Because of increased cleaning needs this year, we may work later on Saturdays to sanitize camp before the next group arrives. Staff will be released as soon as cleaning is completed. Each counselor is on duty ONE weekend during the summer to supervise campers who stay multiple sessions.

Alcohol, Smoking, Medication, and Drugs

Alcohol, tobacco, and all drugs are strictly prohibited on Camp Tannadoonah property. Consuming or possessing alcohol or drugs of any kind on camp property, or returning to camp property while intoxicated, will result in immediate dismissal. Consumption of alcohol on nights off during a session is also prohibited – remember, you have to return to your cabin by midnight. If you are a smoker, you have very limited time (if any!) out of camp, so we suggest you begin the process of quitting now! If you have medications (prescription or over the counter) they MUST be turned into the nurse. The only medications that may be kept in the cabin are rescue inhalers or epi-pens.

End of Camp

All staff members are required to stay at the end of camp to help clean up and close up camp for the end of the summer. Please do not plan to leave camp before the conclusion of your contract at noon on Sunday, August 15, unless your contract specifically states a different end date.

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Our Promise

Young people want to shape the world.

Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.

In Camp Fire, it begins now.

Light the fire within