Foster Kids Camp
Ponderosa's Vision is to provide foster children in Alabama and surrounding areas with the life-changing experience of camp in a Christian environment.
A time filled with love and laughter, hope and inspiration! A week where foster kids can forget their worries for a little while. A week where they can just be kids!
July 16-21, 2023
Questions & Answers for Foster Parents
We trust the info on this page will help you in your decision in sending your foster child to Ponderosa!
Ponderosa offers children fun, safe, and professional outdoor youth camping experiences that grow them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially. Our Leadership Training Program, rigid hiring procedures, and low staff turnover rates allow us to employ staff that are leaders in their schools, churches, and communities.
Kids have a blast with friends their age while participating in numerous camp activities. Kids also love the spiritual emphasis at Ponderosa!
Please read ALL the info below before calling or emailing with questions. Most of our frequently asked questions are answered in this section.
Remember, we are in the "Central Time Zone." All times referred to are Central Time.
Note: your cell phone will likely change to EST when you arrive on our property because we are closer to GA cell towers.
1. Can my biological children attend with my foster children? No. At this time, we only have space for children currently in foster care.
2. Can my adopted children (formerly in foster care) attend? No. At this time, our program is geared specifically toward children currently in foster care. We are so happy you have given your former foster children a forever home! (Please note there are other camps in Alabama and other states that offer sessions for biological and adopted children to attend camp with their foster siblings.)
3. Is transportation provided? No. Transportation is not provided. You will need to make arrangements on your own. We are located 2-hours from Birmingham, Atlanta, and Huntsville; and only 1-hour from Chattanooga.
4. Packing List (Link at the bottom of this page)
Check-In on Sunday between 3:30-4:00 pm. (If you arrive early, please understand that the staff will be in a meeting and unavailable to assist you until 3:30 pm. Feel free to walk around.)
PS - All cell phones pick up GA/Eastern Time when you are on our property, but we operate on Central Time.
Check-Out on Friday begins with a 10 am Chapel Service for the parents! Join your camper! Camp ends each Friday morning! Parents and friends, you are invited to join us for our final Chapel Service at 9:45 am. A slideshow of pictures from the week will be shown, and awards will be given! You don't want to miss this!
Campers are dismissed after this. No lunch is served on Friday.
Head Lice Policy
Please note: Each child will be inspected for Head Lice before they are allowed to check in or go to their cabin. We have a "ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY" regarding lice and nits. The camper must be 100% lice and nit-free - dead or alive! Please check before you come! If we find lice or nits (dead or alive), your child must be treated by our staff before they are allowed to enter a cabin. (We can treat or you can take them back home for treatment.)
If your child is battling head lice, we recommend this product: www.licekiller.com
We believe that rules and guidelines for behavior can help ensure that every camper has an equal opportunity to grow, learn, and enjoy their stay. For this reason, the directors reserve the right to terminate any camper’s stay if the camper chooses to repeatedly break the rules of conduct and hinder the purpose of the camp.
The possession of weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, or tobacco in any form is strictly prohibited while at camp. We feel that by violating this policy, the camper has chosen to be sent home.
Campers will be sent home if they bring any of the following: tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, or foul mouth.
No Cell Phones for Campers
"Unplug from screen time and get plugged into God and the great outdoors!"
Campers will not be allowed to have their cell phones or "tablets" during their stay at camp.
If there is an emergency, we will contact you.
Campers can leave their phones with our office staff. Please place the phone in zip-lock bags and use a Sharpie marker to write the camper’s name on the outside of the bag.
If there is an emergency that requires you to come and take your child home early, we will give the camper their phone at that time. Otherwise, cell phones will be returned just before check-out time.
Must be in the original prescription container with the child's name, drug name, and the dosage clearly indicated.
Medications must be checked in with our First Aid Provider upon arrival.
Medications will be kept in the First Aid Station.
Ponderosa will provide a small selection of non-prescription medications such as Tylenol, Advil, and cold medication.
If your child prefers a certain brand or flavor of non-prescription medication, please send it with your child and leave it with our first-aid provider.
Lost & Found
Please mark all clothing and belongings.
Items not requested within 30 days will be given away.
Campers must pay postage on all returned items.
PLEASE use a permanent marker and write your name on disposable cameras, towels, toiletries, etc., before you arrive!
In Case of Emergency
In case of emergency, please contact our office at (256) 634-4397
Or after-hours contact
Executive Director Jeff Nelson (256) 996-5141 (cell)
Chris Dorough (205) 835-7056
Benefits and Outcomes for the Kids
It provides life-changing moments where kids can just be kids.
It shows a picture of family life for those who haven't experienced it.
Replaces missing elements in a foster child's life such as attention, affirmation, happiness, and emotional connectedness.
Experience memorable (possibly once in a lifetime) activities like horseback riding, zip-lining, sky swing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, swimming lessons, woodworking, ceramics, and even a birthday party!
It offers Biblical hope for a brighter future during their darkest days.
Benefits our Community
Brings the community together for a noble cause.
Gives foster parents a respite break.
Learn how you can help our ministry to foster kids