Cherokee Frequently Asked Questions

Important Dates and Deadlines:


Wednesday, June 24: ALL Cherokee payments due, including canteen and white water rafting
Wednesday, June 24: High School Luggage Drop-Off (3pm-6pm, Tyrone Campus)
Sunday, June 28: High School Camp Drop-Off ( Tyrone Campus)
Sunday, July 5: Middle School Camp Drop-Off ( Tyrone Campus)

Packing, Food, Travel

Where is my student going, and how is he/she getting there?
Along with adult leaders and camp staff, students travel via chartered 57-passenger buses to Cherokee, which is located in the middle of the Cherokee National Forest on Lake Ocoee, Tennessee. A detailed Travel Itinerary will be emailed to parents/guardians with locations and contact info for the bus rides.

How much money does my student need?
In their bus carry-on, your student will need enough money to purchase 4-5 meals (at meal stops on the bus rides to and from camp). The stops will be fast-food style restaurants such as Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.

What should I pack for my student?
We’ve put together a detailed packing list, please make sure your student has everything on this list to ensure they are appropriately prepared for camp. The packing list indicates Luggage Drop-off dates, it is also listed above.

Can my student have their medicine with them?
To ensure the safety of all students and staff, all medications and instructions must be checked in with our medical staff prior to departure. Our medical staff will ensure your student receives the medication at the appropriate time(s) per the instructions you provide.

What is the Canteen, and do I really need to give my student money for it?
The Canteen is a place at Cherokee where students can purchase snacks, drinks, and apparel throughout the week. Snacks and drinks are important because students are engaged in physical activity throughout the day. Unless your student never needs a snack between meals, we recommend banking at least $50 on a Canteen Card for snacks and merchandise. Much of the apparel that's available for purchase is high-demand, exclusive, and will sell out before camp is over.


Will leftover money on the Canteen Card be returned if unused after camp?
Any unused funds are eligible for refund. Please request your refund between the end of Cherokee and December 31st, 2020. Any requests after this date may not be accommodated.

Can my student bring their own food?
Your student may bring their own food on the bus trip only, and must abide by the bus driver's rules regarding food and beverage while on the bus. Once at Cherokee, any leftover food items are not a part of a previously disclosed dietary restriction will be thrown away. There is absolutely no food permitted in the cabins at Cherokee.

What if my student has a dietary restriction or allergy?
Our kitchen staff is equipped to make accommodations for food allergies and sensitivities. Please indicate special dietary needs on your camp registration form. This is for dietary restrictions only, not just a dislike for certain foods. Students will have multiple options to choose from at each meal. There is no need to send food alternatives with your student, other than snacks for the bus trip. 

Can my student take an alternative mode of transportation to or from Cherokee?
We understand some circumstances prevent students from traveling with the group. You must contact our staff at  by June 1st so that we can work together towards the best solution. Please note that we will not make cost adjustments to the camp fee.


Devices & Contact Information

Can my student have their phones/tablets on the bus trips?
Yes! Each seat on the bus has a power outlet to allow students to charge their devices if necessary. Please note that we are not responsible for devices being lost, stolen, or damaged during the bus rides. Upon arrival at camp, leaders will collect all devices and store them in a locked, secure staff cabin for the duration of their time at camp.
 Students will receive their device(s) back on the last day of camp for the bus trip home.

Why do you collect students’ phones/tablets upon arrival at camp?
We do this for several reasons:
1. The absence of devices enables students to focus on getting closer to God and having an amazing camp experience free from distractions and stressors from everyday life.
2. Collecting their electronics and storing them in a locked, secure staff cabin prevents them from being lost, stolen, or damaged.
3. All carriers do not receive a signal in this remote location, so devices will be ineffectual for the duration of camp.

Can I call my student during the week? Can my student call me? What if there’s an emergency?
If you have a true emergency during the week, you may call the camp emergency number provided to parents/guardians prior to departure. Please understand that students are so busy having the best week of their lives that they will not have time to check in back home. We ask that parents only call the camp in emergency situations. 


How do you handle medical emergencies while at camp?
We have several nurses and/or paramedics on our camp staff. They are equipped and available 24/7 to treat injuries or other medical emergencies, are trained on emergency protocol, and are knowledgeable about nearby hospitals and treatment facilities should an emergency occur that is beyond their expertise. In the unlikely occasion that something serious happens to your student, we will immediately contact the parent/guardian via the emergency numbers you provide. 

Leadership, Social


How many staff and students will be in my student's tribe?
Your students will be assigned to a cabin (in our language, cabin and tribe are synonymous) consisting of 2 adult staff members and 8-15 students in close age range. Tribes share the same bunk-style cabins and spend the entire week together building lifelong friendships and making incredible memories.


How are staff members vetted?
We’re very picky about our camp staff. All of our staff members go through an extensive background check, interview, and training to prepare them to lead students through an impactful, fun week. Many staff return year after year because they’ve seen firsthand the impact Cherokee has on a student's life.

Can my student be in the same cabin as their sibling?
We attempt to put students with students of the same grade to allow them to meet new friends and connect with their peers and leaders on a level that may be difficult with a family member around. To ensure that your student has the most room and freedom to grow, we will not put siblings in the same cabin together. However, they will be seeing and competing against their siblings for most of the day.


Can my student be in the same cabin as their older friend?
In some circumstances, yes. If your student and their friend are within one year of each other, they may be put together. Understand that we will not put 8th and 6th graders, or Freshman and Seniors in the same cabin. This is because the age difference puts students on different levels in maturity for spiritual growth, athletic capability for competition, and relational dynamics within the cabin.