Frequently Asked Questions

Registration & Attendance

When do I drop off and/or pick-up my camper(s)?


Sign-in/drop-off begins at 8:30 am for all full day and morning half day campers. Camp activities and announcements will begin at 9:00 am. We recommend coming early on Mondays - as this is usually our busiest day! Morning half day sign-out/pick-up and afternoon half day sign-in/drop-off begins at 12:00pm. It will be lunch time for the full day campers, so camp activities will resume at 12:30 pm. Sign-out/pick-up for all of our full day and afternoon half-day Village and Squirrel’s Nest campers begins at 2:45 pm. There is no special traffic procedure during this time. All parents must walk in to pick up their campers during this time - please remember your PIN! For Artisans (and all remaining campers), pick-up begins at 3:15 pm. Please refer to our Getting to Camp page for more information on traffic processes.




What is a "half day" versus a "full day"?


One of the many options we give our families and campers is choosing between half or full day enrollment(s). Willowbrook offers two half day sessions: morning half-day starts at 9:00 am and goes until 12:00 pm. Afternoon half-day starts at 12:30 pm and goes to 2:45 pm (for campers in the Squirrel’s Nest or Village) or 3:15 pm (for campers in the Artisan area). Because the morning session is longer and includes the area announcements for the day's activities, it is the recommended choice for half day enrollment. Please note: 3 year old Squirrel’s Nest campers may only enroll for half-days. Full day sessions are from 9:00 am and go until 2:45 (for campers in the Squirrel’s Nest or Village) or 3:15 pm (for campers in the Artisan area).




What is the cost of camp?


All 6 Weeks (full days): $1,566 - a 10% discount! One week (full days): $290 One week (half days) : $165 One day (full day): $65 One day (half day): $35 Annual Registration Fee: $30 per family Park Use Fee: $5 per camper Please see our Rates & Dates page for all enrollment options, pricing, and discounts.




How do I register and pay?


We offer two different methods to register and pay for camp:

  • ONLINE (preferred): Register online and pay by credit card. Click here to access the Parent Dashboard - you will be able to enroll your camper(s), assign authorized pick-ups, pay online, and more.
  • IN PERSON: Register in person @ Brown’s Ferry Park between 10 am - 2 pm, Mon-Thurs., during the camp season and pay by credit card or check*. Parking in the Brown’s Ferry lot is allowed during this time. *A $30 fee will be charged for returned checks.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration is not allowed during drop-off and pick-up times. Payment Plans: Willowbrook offers two payment plan options (weekly and bi-weekly) to assist families in paying their tuition balances. Payments occur every Friday (or every-other Friday if choosing the bi-weekly plan) from time of enrollment until the last day of camp (Friday, August 7). Deposits are required when signing up for a payment plan. More information about payment plans is available on your Parent Dashboard during the enrollment process. Questions about our payment plans? Please email campinfo@willowbrookartscamp.org or call us at 503-691-6132 and we’d be happy to help.




Can my child visit camp or try it out before registering?


Willowbrook’s structure of free choice and independence may not suit every child. If you are unsure if Willowbrook is right for your child, we encourage you to visit camp during our visiting hours (10am-2pm, Mon.-Fri.) or contact us with any questions you may have. If you are unsure about the fit, we recommend registering your child for a single trial day of camp before registering for a full week. You may always add days later.




If my child wants to be in a performance, how long should they attend camp?


Artisan campers interested in a speaking or other major role in a performance must attend for 2 weeks so they can audition and rehearse. Auditions take place on Monday and Tuesday of the week before the performance. Speaking roles in plays for the Village theater group also require a 2-week camp enrollment. All campers who attend for only 1 week or less may also participate in plays, but usually will not have speaking or other major roles.




Do you offer any discounts or financial assistance?


We offer several camp tuition discounts:

  • All 6-weeks of Camp are automatically 10% off
  • New Camper Discount - 25% off of your second week of camp when a first week is purchased at full price
  • Tualatin Resident Discount - 5% off of all tuition for Tualatin residents
Willowbrook’s philosophy is to offer affordable, competitive rates while providing financial assistance for those in need so every child has an opportunity to experience camp. In addition to discounts noted above, we also offer financial assistance for families in need - available upon request. Subsidized Rates For families who need a little help and can pay 88% of the standard tuition rate. Financial Aid - Applications open February 3rd! For families whose children are enrolled in a free or reduced lunch program, or another financial assistance program. Our financial aid fund is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, or status. If approved, we offer one full week of camp (full days) for your camper - you will only need to pay the $30 annual fee per family. For more information about our rates and dates, please click here.




Does registration ever fill up?


We highly recommend registering as early as possible to guarantee your spot in advance. Our Squirrel’s Nest and Village areas are in high demand, and spots can fill up quickly.




What is your cancellation and refund policy?


Update - April 27, 2020: Due to COVID-19’s unimaginable impact, Willowbrook has made the difficult decision to cancel camp this summer. If you have already paid for camp, we are ready to refund your full tuition payment. However, we hope that you will consider donating all or a portion of the tuition to Willowbrook if you are able to so, to help ensure that our nonprofit can continue to offer imaginative and creative programs in the future. Please email staff at campinfo@willowbrookartscamp.org by May 4, 2020 with a message about the amount of your payment that you would like to have refunded or donated. Know that we appreciate and respect whatever decision you make.




What enrollment schedule would you recommend for my child?


Willowbrook is known for its flexible scheduling, from a half-day up to six full weeks. We find that the more a child attends, the more opportunities they have to explore a variety of artistic endeavors, become more comfortable with their environment, hone their skills, and make new friendships. Many projects and activities at camp can be completed in a day, while more complex projects require more attendance. For a more well-rounded, meaningful camp experience, we highly recommend attending for at least one full week. If your child wishes to participate in a summer performance and would like an opportunity for a major speaking role, then two weeks of attendance leading up to the performance is required for auditions and rehearsals.





General

Is a child-centered camp environment right for my child?


Willowbrook is child-centered and an open-structured environment. While kids are grouped according to age ranges and related activities, our setting is more open and allows more free-choice in comparison to traditional classroom-like settings that are structured around daily routines and curricula. We find the children who thrive at Willowbrook are those who adjust easily to the freedom of self-direction in a free flowing environment. Our staff are always on the lookout for children who seem uncertain of what choices to make or need help finding an area. Please encourage your camper to ask for assistance – we’re here to help!




How many campers attend per day and how is camp divided?


We have an average of 450-575 campers in attendance each day. Our camp is divided into 3 main areas: Squirrel’s Nest (3-4 year olds), Village (K - 2nd grade), and Artisan (3rd - 12th grade). Visit our Ages & Activities page to learn more.




What are your staff to camper ratios?


We have approximately 180 staff present at camp each day. Our average ratios are 1 staff member to 5-10 campers, with variability between age groups and activities




Who are your staff? How qualified are they?


Each artistic area is led by a team of trained staff consisting of Specialists, College Assistants and High School Apprentices.

  • Specialists: Specialists lead our camp areas and range from school and community educators to professional artists with a teaching background. Many of our Specialists have been at Willowbrook for more than 5 years, and some have been with us over 20 years!
  • College Assistants: College Assistants help teach in all centers. Many attended Willowbrook as campers and previously worked as High School Apprentices. They have a demonstrated skill in their field of art and experience working with children.
  • High School Apprentices: Apprentices are 14-18 year old students who work for Willowbrook half of the day and attend as campers for the other half. They serve as role models and mentors for younger children and provide vital support to our Specialists and College Assistants.




Where is camp located and what’s the best route to get there?


Willowbrook Arts Camp is held outdoors at Brown’s Ferry Park, 5585 SW Nyberg Lane, Tualatin, OR, 97062. For directions and information for dropping off and picking up your camper, please click here.




What if I have more questions about camp that aren’t answered here?


We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about camp. Please feel free to contact us anytime!




How can I apply to work at Willowbrook?


Visit our Employment page to learn more about open positions and read job descriptions for each of our roles. To apply: Click the green "Click here to apply today" button on the Employment page, then select either "New Applicant" or "Returning Applicant" to be directed to our online application.




Can we join a carpool to camp?


For your convenience, we have created two carpool groups on Facebook for families and staff members to connect and coordinate transportation to and from camp. If you're a parent looking for a carpool, please click here to join the Family carpool group. If you are a Willowbrook employee looking for a carpool, please click here to join the Staff carpool group. NOTE: You must be a hired employee or registered family in order to be added to these carpool groups.




** COVID-19 Update **


Due to COVID-19’s unimaginable impact, it is with a heavy heart that Willowbrook has made the decision to cancel camp this summer. Given recommended timelines for continued mitigation, social distancing, and group size limitations, as well as the size and free-flowing nature of our camp, the Willowbrook leadership team believes this is the wisest and most responsible decision we can make to ensure the safety of our Willowbrook community. We understand how disappointing it will be for our campers, families and staff to be unable to return to a place they love and call home and we share in their sense of loss. Together we will get through this very hard thing and envision our beloved Willowbrook rise up out of the landscape of Brown’s Ferry Park again next summer. Thank you all for your support and patience as we adapt and work together to find new ways to keep the magic and spirit of Willowbrook alive! For more information including details on camp tuition refunds, please click here.





Camp Life

What should my child bring to camp? What about lunches and snacks?


Please be sure that all of your child’s clothing and belongings are labeled with their full name and age.

  • Lunch - If your camper is attending a full day, please send them to camp with a lunch, and please be sure they have eaten before arriving to camp. Food will not be provided.
  • Snack - Please send your child to camp with a small snack, regardless of half-day or full-day. Morning snack time is scheduled for campers in the Village or Squirrel's Nest. Artisan campers may eat their snack whenever they prefer.
  • Water bottle - Please ensure your camper brings their labeled water bottle to camp every day. It is important that our campers stay hydrated. We have a few drinking fountains on site, but when each camper has their own water bottle, they are more likely to use them. It’s also eco-friendly!
  • Camp-appropriate clothing - Living in Oregon, we know that the weather can be unpredictable. With that in mind, please be sure your child wears/brings clothing options that keep them warm, cool, and dry.




What should my child NOT bring to camp?


Please DO NOT allow children to bring the following items to camp:

  • knives, guns or any weapons
  • toys, games, trading cards
  • electronics
  • Other valuable items
If brought to camp, Willowbrook reserves the right to confiscate these items and return them to parents at pick-up time. Cell phones may be brought, but they must remain in camper’s backpacks and silenced at all times. Cell phones may be used during camp hours in case of emergency only. Willowbrook staff will not be responsible for lost, stolen or broken items.




Are campers of different ages able to spend time together?


Campers within the same program area (Squirrels Nest, Village, or Artisan) Campers of different ages, within the same program area, can easily connect with friends during their free choice activity time and during lunch - as long as they remain in their assigned area. Campers in different program areas: Campers in one program area (Squirrels Nest, Village or Artisan) are typically not allowed to visit campers in another program area. In some cases, exceptions may be granted by staff members to allow an older sibling, for example, to visit their younger sibling to eat lunch with them and/or help ease any anxiety the younger camper may be experiencing being away from home.




Do you offer extended care?


We provide extended care in order to make our camp more accessible for working families. Simple activities, games, and art projects are provided in our assembly area supervised by Willowbrook staff. Click here for more information.




Can my child move to the Village or Artisan Area early?


Willowbrook’s Area programs are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the age group and may be challenging for younger campers, especially if they are new to Willowbrook or not used to a more self-directed environment. Campers must be enrolled and attending camp before families may request a move. The decision to move a camper is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Squirrel’s Nest Specialist and/or the Village Coordinator and the Program Director. If the Camp Staff determines a camper may be better suited in a different age group, they will arrange a trial period to evaluate their success. For more information about the trial period and process of moving a camper, please connect with the Squirrel’s Nest Specialist, the Village Coordinator, and/or the Program Director. If a camper has been approved to move to a different area, they will be given a new name tag by registration. At any time, the staff may make the decision to move the camper back to their original area due to reasons such as behavior problems, lack of ability to integrate with the new age group, or any other issue or concern.




What are some of Willowbrook’s camp traditions?


Willowbrook has several wonderful camp traditions that have evolved over the years and are quite popular among our campers and their families. To learn more about these traditions please click here.




How do I know whether my camper will be a Squirrel, Villager, or Artisan?


The Squirrel’s Nest: Campers must be age three or four by their first day of camp. Willowbrook requires all campers to be fully toilet trained and able to handle all their personal toileting needs without assistance from staff. Squirrel’s Nest campers must turn four, before or during camp, to be eligible for full day camp enrollment. Three year olds are not eligible for full day enrollment. If this is your four-year-old child’s first time away from home, we suggest trying half day enrollment to help them adjust to this new experience. The Village Area: Campers must be entering K - 2nd grade, in the fall of the camp year, to participate in the Village Area. To ensure optimal staff to camper ratios, campers will be assigned a home tent based on half age groups. All campers have the opportunity to spend time together during assemblies, group and free time activities. Families wishing to move their camper to a different home tent must get permission from both home tent Specialists and the Village Coordinator. The Artisan Area: Artisan campers must be entering 3rd – 12th grade, in the fall of the camper year, to participate in the Artisan Area. If your camper is entering 3rd grade and feeling nervous about the self-directed environment of the Artisan Area, please ask to speak with the Program Director or Community Support Specialist. We can make arrangements for them to have an Artisan staff buddy or participate in our Village Area if the family/staff agree it’s in the best interest of the child. Advanced Artisan Areas & Activities Artisan campers must be entering 6th – 12th grade, in the fall of the camp year, to participate in Advanced Artisan areas and activities. These areas and activities typically require a knowledge of safe practices and higher level of skill. Area Specialists may ask campers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to ensure their safety and well-being.





Performances

What performances are you doing this year?


Please see our Performance Schedule for a full list of performances we are hosting this summer.




If my child wants to be in a performance, how long should they attend camp?


Artisan campers who want a speaking or other major role in a performance must attend for two weeks so they can audition and rehearse. Artisan auditions take place on Monday and Tuesday of the week before the performance. Artisan campers attending for only 1 week may also participate in plays, but usually do not have major roles. Artisans in Thursday night shows will rehearse in the mornings, while camper’s in Friday night shows will rehearse in the afternoons. When not rehearsing, camper’s have Free Choice time. The Village theater group also prefers a 2-week camp enrollment, but Villagers attending for only 1 week may also participate in shows.




Where do I park for evening performances?


Because parking is limited at Brown’s Ferry Park, free parking for Willowbrook’s Arts Camp's evening theater performances will be available at Rolling Hills Church (3550 SW Borland Rd, Tualatin, OR 97062). The designated parking lot is at the north end of the church campus right along Borland Road. Please click here for Evening Performance Parking details.




What should my child do if they want to be in a performance?


Squirrels Nest Campers: Simply inform the Squirrel’s Nest Area Specialists that your child would like to participate. Village Campers: The Village makes performance announcements at morning assemblies. Campers should come to the Village Drama tent (or Dance tent for the week 4 dance show) if they are interested in being in one of our shows. The staff will give your child a permission slip to take home. Please sign and return to the Drama or Dance staff. These help the staff determine which nights your child is available to participate. Villagers are welcome to be in one or both nights of our shows. Artisan Campers: Important information regarding shows will be announced at Artisan assemblies (both morning and afternoon). Your child should tell the Artisan Drama Specialists they are interested in being in a show. If your child wants to be in the dance show week 4, they should speak with the Artisan Dance Specialists.




What time should my child arrive and where should they go on performance night?


Squirrels Nest Campers: Squirrel’s Nest performers will meet staff in the Squirrel’s Nest at 6:30pm. They will be given costumes that will go over their regular clothes. The Squirrel’s will perform at the beginning of the show (pre-show) and will sit with you when their part is finished. Village Campers: Villager performers will meet at the Fairy Tree between Village Drama and Dance between 6:00-6:15 pm. You may leave your child with the Willowbrook staff while you park your car and take the shuttle back to camp. Once their part is finished, your camper can sit with you to watch the rest of the show. Artisan Campers: Artisan performers should be at the costuming garage by 6pm for dress and make-up.




What should my child wear if they are in a performance?


A base layer of black or dark brown is preferred. Willowbrook will provide additional costumes for all performances. These costumes are to be returned at the end of the performance. Dance Show: Performers should have a black leotard or a top and bottoms such as dance or volleyball shorts and thin socks to wear with dance shoes. Willowbrook will provide additional costumes (and shoes as needed). If your dancer wishes to bring their own dance shoes (labeled with their name), they may do so. Please have them wear comfortable and safe shoes to dance in - no flip flops please!





Health & Safety

What security measures do you take?


Willowbrook takes the utmost precautions in ensuring the safety of our campers, their families and our staff. Below are some of the many proactive steps we enact every year and every day of camp.

  • Willowbrook operates in an exclusive-use area of Brown's Ferry Park surrounded by a chain link fence.
  • All on-site staff members must successfully pass a background check on a national, federal, state, and county-wide level, conducted by third-party professional screening service.
  • Trained security staff are present throughout the day, and several staff members are posted at the front gate during arrival and departure times.
  • Visitors must check in and out at the Front Desk. Visitors are required to show photo ID and wear a badge while inside camp.
  • Children who are not enrolled in Willowbrook should not visit unless accompanied by a visiting adult/guardian.
  • At the end of the day, campers are escorted to designated areas within camp according to their ages and will be guided through our pick up procedures.
  • Only authorized persons, using a PIN system, are allowed to pick up campers.




Can you store/administer medicine to my child?


Yes. Willowbrook has a registered nurse present throughout the camp day who can administer prescription and over-the-counter medicines, first-aid, and other medical support to our campers. Does your child take medication? If your child requires medication during the camp day, please bring it to the Nurse’s tent in a labeled container when you drop your child off. Medications will be kept locked and administered only by the Nurse as approved by the child’s parent/guardian. Note: Due to our free-choice structure, it is difficult for us to call individual campers to the Nurse’s station during the camp day. If your child will need medication during the day, please be sure they know what time to visit the Nurse each day and can do so without a reminder. If at any time they need assistance however, we encourage them to let any staff member know right away.




Do you accommodate campers with special medical or behavioral needs?


Willowbrook welcomes children with special needs and disabilities. In some cases, we may ask that an adult attendant accompany their child to help ensure a successful camp experience as not all staff are trained to accommodate all needs. For more information or questions, please contact us so we may know how best to assist you.




What is your protocol for unfavorable weather?


Camp is held outdoors at Browns Ferry Park in Tualatin, rain or shine. Naturally this can pose challenges, especially with the heat during mid-summer months. Our activities are held under covered tents, so shade is plentiful and there’s protection from rain. On extremely hot days, sprinklers are available for campers to run through and cool down. Staff members regularly remind children to stay hydrated and take breaks. During a weather emergency or other unforeseen circumstances such as smoke from Oregon wildfires, Willowbrook enacts its weather policy and procedures. For more information feel free to contact us.




Are visitors permitted at Willowbrook?


Parents and guardians are welcome to visit and observe camp between 10 am and 2 pm, Monday through Friday. All visitors must sign in at the Registration Desk upon arrival, show photo ID, and must wear a Visitor badge. Children who are not enrolled are welcome to visit with an adult, but please note that visiting children may not engage in camp activities.




What are your bathroom and hand-washing facilities like?


Because our camp is held outdoors without access to a public restroom, we have multiple porta potties on site that are cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Porta potties are located in each separate area: Artisan, Village and Squirrels Nest, with special toilet fittings for our younger campers. Hand-washing stations are installed throughout camp for campers to use.




What is your camper behavior policy?


Willowbrook focuses on positive and acceptable behavior, redirection, and gentle guidance for every camper. If a child engages in seriously disruptive behavior, Willowbrook staff will call the parent/guardian listed on the camper’s enrollment and if unreachable, the designated emergency contact. Any child who is physically or verbally abusive will be removed from camp activities and may be sent home. Return to camp will be contingent upon a conference with parents and child. For more information about our Code of Behavior please contact us at campinfo@willowbrookartscamp.org or 503-691-6132.




May I volunteer at camp?


Thanks for asking! We’re well staffed and covered at camp, but please check out other volunteer opportunities available at Willowbrook. We’d love to hear from you!





© 2020 by Willowbrook Arts Camp   |   503-691-6132      

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