Summer Camp Information Guide

Important information

Check-In and Return Process

Included on this page:

  • Transportation
  • Check-in Procedures
  • Return Procedures
  • Late Arrivals / Early Departures
  • Campers will check-in on their first day and return on their last day at the North Campus of First Community Church (3777 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43221).


    • All summer camp and L.I.F.E. Guard campers will be transported to and from Camp Akita on school buses with adult supervision, by professional licensed bus drivers. Backcountry campers will be transported in a camp-owned vehicle, driven by camp staff. Campers are NOT permitted to drive their own vehicle to camp, nor leave a parked car at camp.
    • As a part of our safety procedures, campers are assigned to a specific bus with the all of their cabin mates so that we may better track how all campers are being transported to and from Camp Akita.
    • The bus driver will provide safety instructions to all campers and staff on the bus prior to departure.  Summer camp counselors will ride the buses to and from Camp Akita with the campers.
    • In situations where inclement weather may impact the check-in or return times, parent/guardians will be emailed and texted (for those that have opted in to this option) prior to the check-in or return times with specific instructions.


    Check-In Procedures

    Detailed instructions with specific times will be emailed to families prior to the first day of their camper's session. If your child is NOT attending the camp check-in, either because of illness or late arrival, you must contact our offices prior to check-in time.  Below are the basic steps for each camp check-in:

    • Step 1:  Begin the check-in process at the large white tent in the parking lot. Each camper will receive a nametag, their health form, and their luggage will be tagged with their cabin number. High school L.I.F.E. Guard campers and adult volunteers will help families with this first step. 
      • Note: Please ensure all medications are not packed in the camper's luggage. All medications will be turned in to medical staff inside the church (refer to "How to Bring Medication to Akita" on the Medical Information page.)
    • Step 2:  Each camper (accompanied by at least one parent/guardian or adult dropping camper off) will go through a health review check inside the church. Adult volunteers and medical staff will review key pieces of the camper's medical information to confirm all details are accurate, and if applicable, the camper will turn in all medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter, vitamins, supplements) to the medical staff.  (refer to "How to Bring Medication to Akita" on the Medical Information page.)
    • Step 3:  (Optional) Visit the Akita Store,to purchase some Akita gear!. 
    • Step 4 (final step!):  Campers will be dropped off at their cabin numbers inside Grace Hall, a camp Counselor will check them in. The Counselor will remain with that cabin until check-in is complete and ride the bus with them down to Akita. Adults accompanying their camper(s) will be asked to exit the church after checking their camper in with the Counselor and completing Check-In. 
      • Adults are welcome to wait in the parking lot to wave good-bye but may not linger indoors, or on the patio, after dropping off camper(s). 
      • We saw a dramatic decrease in tears at Check-In in 2021 due to these quicker goodbyes. Cabin time spent in Grace Hall also gives the campers time to get to know each other a little before boarding the bus.
      • Counselors and staff will ensure all campers have the opportunity to use the restrooms before boarding the buses.
    Staff and Counselors will lead the process to board the the buses, complete safety talks, and take head counts before the buses leave for Camp Akita.


    Return Procedures

    Detailed instructions will be emailed to all families prior to the camper's return. All summer camp sessions, unless notified differently, return at approximately 12 pm (noon) on the last day of the camp session to North Campus, First CommunityBackcountry campers have separate return procedures, arriving at North Campus at approximately 10:30 am on their last day (detailed instructions are emailed to Backcountry families).

    Retrieving Luggage

    • The luggage truck returns prior to the buses with the campers. Our high school L.I.F.E. Guard campers and assigned adult volunteers will unload the luggage truck, sorting luggage by cabin number under the large white tent or in the area immediately surrounding the tent. 
    • Please remain outside of the coned/taped area outside of the tent until an adult volunteer indicates that luggage can be retrieved. It is difficult for the L.I.F.E. Guard to safely and quickly unload the truck with additional people in the unloading area, your understanding and cooperation is much appreciated.

    Bus Return

    • Please wait until all of the buses have entered their designated parking area and come to a complete stop. Campers will return on the same bus number that they were assigned to during check-in.
    • Once luggage is retrieved, you are free to take your camper home!

    Safety/Release of Campers

    • Important! If your camper should NOT be released to a particular person, we must have a release form signed by the custodial parent/guardian indicating the name of the specific person who is NOT allowed to pick up your child. In this situation, your child will only be released to the custodial parent/guardian or to another designated adult, as indicated on the form. A photo ID will be requested in this case before your child is released.

    Please contact our Columbus Akita administrative office to request a form, if needed. Forward the camper release form to the Camp Akita administrative offices no later than 24 hours prior to the camper’s return from camp.

    • If the camper's parent/guardian is unable to pick-up, we encourage you to indicate any additional Authorized pick-up individuals through your Parent Dashboard on the Authorized pick-up link on the left-side menu.
    • If you are running late for pick-up, please call our Columbus office at (614) 488-0681. Please provide the Receptionist with your camper's name, your name, your expected arrival time, and a cell phone number in case we need to contact you.


    Late Arrivals/Early Departures

    We strongly discourage partial camp experiences due to late arrivals or early departures. The experience at Akita is designed with the assumption that all campers will be there for the entire camp. Any change to the camp community affects not only the absent camper, but all of those in camp.

    • DO NOT travel to Camp Akita prior to speaking with camp staff; this applies to both late arrivals and early departures. Unexpected visitors, even parents/guardians of current campers, are a full-camp security risk. Without prior conversation with Camp Akita staff, you will NOT be permitted onto camp grounds. Please refer to the next bullet for instructions.
    • You MUST speak to a Columbus Akita staff member in advance of picking up your camper from Camp Akita for any reason. Please call the Columbus Akita Offices during business hours (M-F, 9 am - 5 pm) at (614) 488-0681 ext 113 or email the Columbus Akita Staff.  If this is an Emergency, please click here for Emergency Line procedures. You will receive confirmation, additional instructions, and a gate code to enter the Camp Akita grounds. Appropriate identification will be required before a child is permitted to leave the property with anyone.

      • Campers are not permitted to drive themselves to camp. Any camper who is not riding the bus must be driven by an adult who has been specifically authorized by the parent/guardian. This information must be communicated to the Columbus Akita administrative office prior to the transport and pick up of the camper.