Updated October, 2013
Parents have asked, "My child is 7-1/2 years old. Can they come to Camp Quest?" The age limit of 8 years we have
set is good for this camp because at that age they are more self-sufficient and responsible. At younger ages there
are separation anxieties, both on the part of the child and the parent, leading to home sickness. Younger children
need more supervision and personal attention. But with rising cost of facilities rental, camp budgets can't support
additional staff. Yet a younger child can still profit from the activities and companionship of other children. Is there a solution?
Some of the Camp Quests have held short family camps that involve children and parents, families getting together
for a day or weekend, sharing the camping experience. Some of these family camps have been held by new camps
just starting and in preparation for a full week of camping.
Camp Quest of the Smoky Mountains has considered offering a few days of family-type camp in conjunction with our
regular camp. This would be offered for six and seven year olds accompanied by a parent. The parent (or other adult
family member) would be responsible for special needs of the child. The child would participate in age-appropriate
activities with other campers, and the parent would assist the residential counselors as a learning process.
The parent would pay a reduced rate for two, and might be subject to the same background check required for
counselors. This concept is still in the development stage. If there are interested parents, please contact the Camp Quest
We have also been asked about camping for children with special needs. Understand that our facilities at Tremont are rustic
and cannot accommodate some needs. We could investigate further at the Alabama 4-H Center to see if this is feasible from the
physical facilities standpoint, and if we could extend our contract to accommodate this. Further, our volunteers are not trained
to deal with some behavioral problems. Recognizing these limitations and that this is a new program, we might consider
including some special-needs children accompanied by parent into the Family Camp on a case-by-case basis.