HomeCampsVirtual Camp FairCamp Butternut Springs-Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Camp Butternut Springs-Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Camp Butternut Springs is a resident camp where energetic and passionate staff come together to provide a safe and positive learning environment for girls ages 6-17. Campers and staff alike spend the summer living outdoors, trying new activities, gaining independence, and building long-lasting relationships. Camper can choose to attend a camp session for 3 days to 2 weeks long at camp.

Address: 650 N 175 W Valparaiso, IN 46385
Phone: (219) 216-7271
Website: https://www.girlscoutsgcnwi.org/en/members/for-girl-scouts/camp-and-outdoors.html
Email: [email protected]
Gender of Campers: Female
Dates: June 23- August 4
Ages: 6-17

Q&A with Camp Butternut Springs: 

What activities are offered at Camp Butternut Springs?

Our camp program is balanced with traditional camp activities, theme-based activities, and camper-planned activities; all are facilitated with progression and intentional skill-building. Campers participate in most activities with their program group, but there are also multiple all-camp activities that bring the whole camp together to have fun. Activities may include swimming, archery, creek walking, boating, outdoor skills, cookouts, arts and crafts, high adventure activities, off-site trips and more.

What is the camper-to-counselor ratio?


How much time do the campers spend outside?

Camper spend the whole day outside, weather permitting. Meals are eaten indoors.

Does Camp Butternut Springs provide lunch/snacks or do parents need to provide them?

All meals and snacks are provided.


What is the typical daily schedule for campers?

7:00 a.m.
Time to wake up and get your day started!
7:45 a.m.
Flag Ceremony; this is a Girl Scout tradition that takes place every morning and evening. Program groups take turns working together to raise and lower the flag.
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Breakfast. Most meals are eaten in the dining hall unless you are off-site on a trip or cooking out in your unit over the campfire.
9:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Activity time! On Sunday, counselors help campers plan their week. Activities range from 15 minutes to 2 hours and can include games, art projects, archery, swimming, canoeing, nature exploration, and more!
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Kapers & Turtle Time; Kapers are small tasks assigned to program groups to help keep camp and living units clean. Turtle time is a mid-day siesta to give everyone a chance to take a small break.
Activity Time
Dinner Cookout
See page 11 for more information about cookouts.
Flag Ceremony
All Camp Activity; a time for the whole camp to gather for one huge and thrilling activity, such as a counselor hunt, camp carnival, and more!
Nighttime Activities & Bedtime; lights out is 9:00 for younger campers and 10:00 for older campers.

How old are the counselors and how are they trained?

Counselors range from 18-25. All staff attending two weeks of hands on training covering a variety of topics including lifeguarding, adventure course training, CPR/FA, homesickness,
What accommodations are made for campers with special needs?
If your camper has physical restrictions and/or uses a wheelchair, crutches, braces, or similar assistive technology, please contact us so we can plan the best possible experience for them. While many programs can be modified to meet the specific needs of our campers, we are not equipped or staffed to provide care for campers who need one-on-one assistance. Activities such as high challenge, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, and similar activities can be difficult to access for those with mobility challenges and have limited adaptations depending on the challenges faced.

Is this an overnight camp?


What does the camper’s living situation look like?

Campers of the same age group live together in “units.” Most program groups at Butternut Springs sleep in platform tents, lodges or small cabins; the anticipated sleeping accommodation for each program is listed next to the session dates in the Summer Camp Guide.

Platform tents sleep up to 4 people on cots; mosquito netting is provided. Staff will sleep in their own platform tent, centrally located within the unit.

Lodges sleep up to 36 people on cots or bunk beds. Staff will sleep in their own adjoining room or nearby in the same room.

Small cabins sleep up to 6 people on cots or bunk beds. Staff will sleep in their own small cabin, centrally located within the unit.

All living units have their own nearby restroom, with flush toilets and running water.


How do parents and campers communicate?

Parents are able to drop off mail and indicate what day of the week they would like it delivered. Families may also use traditional mail services. Campers can also send mail home.

We have a designated cell phone time that happens once per week. Families MUST provide the cell phone for their child to use. Service is not guaranteed at camp.

How does your camp handle homesickness?

It is not uncommon for campers to experience some homesickness while away at camp. Homesickness typically resolves within the first two days at camp as campers adjust to the new people, environment, and routine. Camp staff are trained to work through this with your camper. When sending mail or speaking with your camper, we recommend keeping things as upbeat as possible and avoiding phrases such as “the dog refuses to eat since you left.”

We encourage families to reassure their camper that they will be successful during their camp experience and that you look forward to seeing them on closing day. If your camper struggles to adjust to camp life, the camp director will contact you.

What are the meals like at Camp Butternut Springs?

Each full day at camp includes three meals and two snacks. Ample, well-balanced meals with vegetables, fruit, and protein are served at camp; exact menus vary every day of a session. Campers will eat in the dining hall for most meals during their session except for cookouts and off-site trips.

Can parents visit Camp Butternut Springs?

Not while camp is in session. Those who wish to see the camp may attend an open house in the spring.

Is the schedule highly structured, or do kids have a lot of free choices?

For the most part, camp runs on a schedule. Campers do get to assist in planning the groups schedule. Keep in mind that some activities such as trips and swim time are pre-planned to ensure that we are providing the experience that we promise in the camp brochure.

Is transportation available to and from camp?

Our camp does not offer transportation. Families are solely responsible for dropping off and picking up their camper.

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