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Frequently Asked Questions

Camp Royall

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered on this page, please contact us at camproyall@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-542-1033.

How do I register for camp?

Registration for all programs at Camp Royall is done online through this link. Registration for spring and summer programs begins in November, and registration for fall and winter programs begins in May.

When do I find out about summer camp placements?

Registration for the summer camp lottery is open from November to January. We conduct our lottery in late January and send notification by email to all families who apply for the lottery in early February so they may finalize summer plans.

My camper came last year; is there any way they will get in again this year? 

We have a lottery system because more people apply each year than we have space for. If your camper has never been to Camp Royall before, they will be high priority. If your camper did not attend Camp Royall last summer, they will be medium priority. If they attended last summer they will be low priority. Each priority category is randomly assigned a number (regardless of age of camper); for example, your camper could be high priority number 1 or high priority number 145, or low priority number 4 or low priority number 54. We assign spots at camp by starting with high priority number 1 and going down the list of campers until all the weeks are full.

If your camper attended Camp Royall last summer, it is very likely that they will be placed on the waiting list, though a fair number of low priority campers do get in off the lottery each year. Also, a number of campers cancel for many different reasons leading up to camp as well. Some cancel as early as February, while others may cancel the week before attending. If you are willing to be on the waiting list and get all the necessary forms completed and returned, there is a good chance that your camper could be called to fill a spot. We encourage families to apply every year, there are some campers who have been lucky and attended for three or four summers in a row because they are willing to do the paperwork and wait for an opening.

What is the cost of residential camp?

The actual cost for us to have one camper at camp for a week is $1,850. We offer extended payment plans to help families spread the cost of camp out over several months (up to 6 months). We also have a scholarship form attached to our registration process, We encourage those who need assistance to apply for funding at the time of initial application and we do our best to help all families. We also encourage families to look at resources in their own community to try and find additional funding assistance. First in Families (www.fifnc.org) is a great resource that generally grants $300-500 awards to families in need.  Also look to local churches and civic organizations for assistance.

What is the cost of Day Camp?

Day Camp costs $750 for a 1-week session. Day Camp is a costly endeavor for us because the staff expenses go up when paying hourly versus weekly.  The high costs of providing 1:1 supervision, specialized and structured activities, our wonderful facility, and the intensive training that our staff receive have to be reflected in the cost.

When will I have to complete payments for the program I have been assigned?

We will work with each family to create a payment plan that works for them. Payment plans must be set up by deadlines for each registration cycle. For the spring/summer registration cycle, that is mid-March; for the fall/winter registration cycle that is early September. For families added to camp later on (after initial registration period) the payment plan will be discussed upon placement.

How do I set up a payment plan?

If you received scholarship assistance you need to call the camp office directly (919-542-1033) to set up a payment plan. If you did not receive scholarship assistance you can set up the payment plan online at the registration site or by calling the camp office.

I didn’t apply for a scholarship but now that I am placed in a program I think I need one. Is scholarship assistance still available?

If you did not apply for scholarship assistance when you applied for your program, you can apply at any time using the scholarship application form found online at the registration website. Contact the camp office for assistance.

I am really interested, but I just can’t afford it!

Our goal is that money should never get in the way of anyone attending Camp Royall. Our Development team in our Raleigh office works very hard all year raising funds for camp scholarships. We have a scholarship application that we would be happy for you to fill out. There are also a lot of community resources which have been very generous to our families that we could put you in touch with. We can also offer extended payment plans; even though your camper might attend camp in June, you are welcome to keep making payments until September. We know the price tag for camp is extremely off-putting to many families but we encourage you to consider the experience and speak with us about your options.

Where do campers and staff come from?

Our campers are all residents of the state of NC. They may come from any county in the state.

Most of our year-round staff are from the area near Camp Royall. Our summer camp staff come from all across the state of NC and all across the country as well. We also occasionally employ international staff.  All summer staff arrive to camp early to settle in to camp life and receive important training.

Do you serve campers who are not potty-trained, are non-verbal or have challenging behaviors?

Yes! Your camper will receive 1:1 supervision from a highly trained staff member. We do not turn any campers away.

What happens on typical day of camp?

You can find sample schedules here.

What nighttime supervision is provided during overnight camp?

During Overnight Camps, there are a maximum of 16 campers in each cabin, and there are 3 staff on night duty per cabin. These staff are the same each night and you will have the opportunity to meet them when you move your camper in on Sunday. These night duty staff are Counselors, just like the one working with your camper each day but are assigned to night duty for the week.

The night duty staff supervise the cabins at nighttime and during rest time in the afternoon. They are off the rest of the day, and so are expected to be as awake as they need to be in order to maintain supervision of all campers throughout the night.

If your camper could have bed wetting accidents during the night, the night duty staff will make sure to check their beds regularly and will do laundry as needed to ensure your camper is clean.

What healthcare professionals do you have working at camp?

We employ a Registered Nurse at camp each week to serve as on-call medical support as well as on-site medical support. Our nurse is present for all check-in procedures each Sunday and comes to camp as needed to help manage first aid and health needs. The nurse is on-call 24 hours per day.

I’m worried about sending my child to camp for the first time. What should I do?

First, please know that it is completely normal to feel apprehensive about sending your camper to camp for the first time! Most parents/care providers feel this way! However, realize that your camper will be in very well-trained and capable hands. Our staff are well-informed of your camper’s needs and how to best approach those needs. We will take every measure to help your camper adjust to camp. Please contact us if you have concerns about sending your camper to camp for the first time. We welcome these calls because we want you to feel comfortable sending your camper to camp.

What does the check-in process look like?

We began a new process for check-in in 2020 and have been using for all programs since then to help reduce crowding and to reduce wait times for campers and families. We have had good success using this process and families have reported they prefer it as well.

We assign your camper an arrival time to camp. Staff are posted at the entrance to camp to welcome you and to control the flow of people in and out of camp.

Check-in paperwork is completed in your car. Med check-in is also conducted in your vehicle; we will transport meds to our nurse who will call you to complete check-in.

What does the check-out process look like?

We began a new process for check-out in 2020 and have been using for all programs since then to help reduce crowding and to reduce wait times. We have had good success using this process and families have reported they prefer it as well.

We will assign your camper a departure time from camp. Staff are posted at the entrance to camp to welcome you back and conduct pick up paperwork from the car, and to control flow of people in and out of camp

In the past, we have hosted a camper celebration for our week-long programs. We hope to bring that back in 2022 after a two-year hiatus. More details will be provided for each week of camp.

Can you cater to special diets?

Yes. The menu for the week will be emailed to you the week before your camper attends. You are welcome to bring any supplementary foods your camper requires. You will check in food items with our kitchen staff on Sunday. The kitchen staff will be happy to prepare whatever special food items your camper needs. View sample menus.

How are medications dealt with?

You will check in all medications (including vitamins and supplements) with our nurses and camp staff on Sunday during registration. We have two staff members each week whose sole responsibility is to administer medications. Please explain fully to our medical staff how your camper usually takes their medications; for example, if they take it in a specific juice, candy bar, spoon, or cup. Please bring those items with you!

Can we keep in touch with our camper?

Your camper’s counselor (and your camper, if appropriate) can call you every night if you would like. You are also more than welcome to keep in close contact with the Camp Directors as well to check in on your camper’s week. Each night, your camper’s counselor will write a detailed daily report, and at the end of the week you will receive four daily notes to take home with a lot of information about your camper’s week at camp.  Also, you can log in to our website each week to view pictures from camp, so you may be able to catch a glimpse of what your camper has been up to!  Pictures are uploaded at least two times during the week.

What happens at nighttime?

Three staff members are on night duty each night in each cabin (max of 16 campers per cabin). You will have a chance to talk with them when you arrive on Sunday. These staff members do not work during the day and are expected to be as awake and alert at night. They sleep in the cabins with the campers, strategically placed at the cabin exits to ensure safety. They are there to assist with toileting, manage communication and behavior needs, staying awake with and comforting campers who have a hard time settling, among other things! During our independent/low support needs weeks the staffing ratio may be reduced to 2 staff on duty during the night shift.

What if my camper is homesick or really doesn’t like camp?

This doesn’t often happen; no camper has ever been sent home due to homesickness. Our campers are kept very busy all day every day with many favorable activities, and often sleep better at camp than they may at home. Sometimes campers do get emotional after a long day and of course miss being at home; they are welcome to talk to you on the phone if it is beneficial for them. We also use a lot of structure to explain to our campers how long they are at camp for and when they will be going home, and this really helps to reduce anxiety. If a camper is having a hard time with calls home because it increases homesickness, we will ask that families talk to our staff to learn about the camper’s day.

But I’m not ready to send my camper overnight!

Coming to camp can be much harder for the parents than it is for the campers. Camp is a place with no expectations, no routines, no familiar caregivers; our campers are able to step out on their own and try new things and grow in independence and confidence. We serve campers as young as 4 years old that have never slept away from their parents who do amazingly well. Although the initial separation can be hard, the benefit of a week at camp for the camper and the whole family is well worth it.

Coming to Family Fun Days/Family Camping weekends are a great way to get a better feel for camp and to see how your camper would enjoy summer camp. There is also the option to try a Mini Camp weekend which is only 2 nights instead of 5. And of course, there is always the Day Camp option as well.

We will continue to follow NC DHHS and CDC guidelines regarding COVID 19 and we will continue to keep families informed of our process and procedures via email and on our COVID Info Webpage.

What will your protocol be if a camper or staff feels sick or exhibits COVID like symptoms?

  • If a camper has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, the camper will be isolated in our quarantine location and parents will be asked to pick them up from camp ASAP.
  • If a staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, the staff member will be isolated in our quarantine location and excluded from camp until they leave the campgrounds or meet the CDC criteria for release from isolation.

Will campers and counselors wear masks? 

Masks are welcomed but no longer required at camp for campers and staff.

If you do not have a mask and need one, we will provide one.

Will all staff and campers who are of age be vaccinated?

We do not require that campers and staff be vaccinated to attend, but we hope that all who are able will investigate doing so to help keep our campers and staff safe this summer.  Visit this site to learn more about getting vaccinated.