Camp Survivor FAQs

Questions about Camp Survivor? From how we select who gets a placement, to accommodation, to volunteer vetting, this list should cover all the questions you may have about Camp Survivor plus a whole lot more!

The Registration Process

When are places for Camp Survivor confirmed?

When you register for Camp Survivor you will be sent an email detailing the exact date by which you will hear back from us as to whether we can offer you a place or not. It is generally 3-4 weeks before Camp Survivor begins. 

How are places given out?

Places at Camp Survivor are always very sought after and always result in more people registering for places than there are places available. Therefore we use the following criteria when giving out the places:
  1. We give a certain number of places to a few local low decile schools who identify kids in their school who might not ever get a chance to attend something like Camp Survivor.
  2. As we see Camp Survivor as not simply a camp, but rather a part of a much bigger leadership pipeline, we give places to those kids who are actively involved in our other programmes that support the wider pipeline process.
  3. We then offer places to people who have never been to Camp Survivor before. The highest on the list are those who have registered interest before but weren’t offered a place.

Camp Itself

Where is Camp Survivor held?

Camp Survivor is based at Silverstream Retreat, 3 Reynolds Bach Drive (between Stokes Valley and Silverstream). 

Do you take the campers off site?

Yes, we do. We do work closely with a number of local entertainment and activity venues.  As these options are often weather dependent we cannot generally say with certainty where we will be going before camp. We usually go to between one and three off-site venues each camp. 

What do the campers need to bring? 

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow and pillow case
  • Blankets
  • Personal toiletries including soap.
  • Torch
  • Togs
  • Towels
  • Plenty of changes of warm clothes including a beanie.
  • Water proof clothes (Jacket)
  • Sand shoes or good walking shoes
  • Medications – clearly marked with your name and medication requirements (amounts, frequency, purpose etc…).  These will need to be handed in at registration and administered by our staff.

Can I visit during camp? 

You are welcome to visit during Camp Survivor, however, we do work with a strict sign in, sign out policy so you will be required to sign in on arrival and wear a Visitor tag.  For the safety of the campers and for your own peace of mind we have policies in place that prevent us from allowing visitors to simply walk around unsupervised.
If you’re concerned about your child being homesick, it may not always be helpful for them if you visit, so a phone call may be a better option.  (See contact details below).

What behavioural expectations does Camp Survivor have of the campers? 

Rules at Camp Survivor are kept to a minimum and campers are expected to co-operate with these.  Most relate to standards of behaviour and respect for other persons and property.  For the sake of harmony and safety in camp, discipline is firm but kind.  Camp Survivor reserves the right to send home any child who refuses to cooperate. 

Health & Safety

What Health and Safety processes are in place?

Camp Survivor is OSCAR approved (Certification is done via the Ministry of Social Development) meaning there are very stringent health and safety policies and procedures in place.

As part of the certification process, Camp Survivor is required to document all the policies and procedures, and the risk assessments and mitigation plan for every activity we have and circumstances that could arise.

Who cooks are prepares the food?

All the food is professionally supplied by Silverstream Retreat.  Our team serves the food, but everything is prepared and cooked by the Silverstream Retreat commercial kitchen.  This ensures that the food is not only delicious but it is prepared and cooked according to best practice industry standards.

The kitchen is advised of all food allergies before camp (based on the information we receive on the registration forms). They then ensure that appropriate meals are available.

Are volunteers vetted?

Yes, all volunteers and people involved with Camp Survivor are both vetted internally (by LifeSwitch staff) and externally via a formal police check (if over 16 years old).

My child needs medication, how does this work? 

At Camp Survivor we have trained first aid workers onsite at all times. They are responsible for the administration of all medicine. We ask for all medicine to be handed in when you arrive at Camp, where it will be given to the first aid team, kept in a locked cabinet and distributed as per your instructions. 

How Camp Happens

Who runs Camp Survivor?

Camp Survivor is run by staff and over 90 volunteers at LifeSwitch.  We are very proactive in terms of vetting all leaders. Everyone involved with Camp Survivor is known to the LifeSwitch team. Most come through our youth programme, so we are not calling on strangers or people we don’t know to help with Camp Survivor. We also police check everyone involved aged 17 and older. 

Who is LifeSwitch?

LifeSwitch is a church based at Silverstream Retreat. We are creative, relevant and fun and very different from what most people perceive a church to be.  We have programmes for adults, youth and children on Sundays and during the week. Further details are available at www.lifeswitch.org.nz. 

Who pays for Camp Survivor?

Camp Survivor is essentially being paid for by the people of LifeSwitch together with other partners and sponsors.  All LifeSwitch income comes from the donations of our people who believe in what we are doing and want to make a financial investment into it. As a church, we are committed to making a difference in our community and we know that with children there is no shortage of costs on top of the normal day to day bills that keep on coming.  We, therefore, saw this as being a great way that we could do something for our community which would have a significant benefit for both the children who come to Camp Survivor and the parents who can enjoy a few quieter days.