Camper Information


What should I bring to a Weekend Retreat?

Download our suggested list.

What should I bring to Camp?

Download our suggested list.

Camp Rules

The following rules, regulations and behavior guidelines have been developed to provide all participants, staff, families and the facility, the safest environment possible.  As a condition of acceptance, participants must agree to follow The Woodlands program rules and behavior guidelines, and submit a signed copy with application.  All parties understand that failure to abide by the program rules may result in dismissal from programs and suspension to attend Woodlands programs for any specified period of time.

There is NO supervision before the camp or program opens. Participants may not be dropped off before check-in or the start of a program.  All participants must be picked up during the designated check-out time, or at the end of a program.  The local police department will be called, and abandonment will be reported, for any participant not picked-up within 30 minutes of the end of the program or check-out time.

Treat others in a respectful manner. This includes respect for another’s personal space, feelings and belongings. Participants are expected to speak and act in a non-threatening and non-vulgar manner with staff and other participants.  Acts of violence or aggressive behavior will not be tolerated at any time. Any incident that jeopardizes the health, safety or welfare of another participant or staff member will not be tolerated. Such incidents should be reported immediately to the program coordinator.

A parent/caregiver who is called for a safety concern or behavior problem resulting in dismissal must make sure their participant is picked up within one hour of being called, or the alternate contacts on the application will be called.

All emergency contacts must be notified of the participant’s attendance while at camp or programming, and be available, in the event they need to pick up the participant. Parents must ensure all current work numbers and emergency contacts are updated.

Parents/caregivers are not allowed to visit during any programming.  We welcome you to meet your child/participant’s counselor and other program healthcare staff upon check-in/drop off, and to receive an introduction to camp schedule and activities.  Parents are also welcome to ask the staff any questions they have before or after the program, or to call or email with any questions. However, parents are not allowed to observe, visit or participate in any activities during the camp/program—those are for participants only.

Take administered medications as prescribed. The programs healthcare staff must dispense all medication to be taken by a participant.  Medications may NOT be kept in the participant’s possession at any time.

Listen to and follow the requests and directions of staff. Compliance to direction should not exceed four verbal cues or physical prompts from Woodlands staff.

Abide by facility safety guidelines as defined by The Woodlands Foundation, Inc. Equipment must be used in a safe manner. Willful destruction of equipment will result in a damage fee. Report any broken or unsafe items/equipment to appropriate staff.

Do not bring personal items or property of significant value (laptops, video cameras, digital cameras, iPods, video games, cell phones, money, etc.).  If participants bring any of these items, they must be checked in with their counselor and must be kept in the unit at all times. Please do not bring these items if they are not necessary. The Woodlands and its staff will not be responsible for loss or damage to such property.

Boys’ units are off limits to girls and girls’ units are off limits to boys.  The hallway is supervised by program staff for co-ed socializing in the Lodge.

All participants are required to sleep through the night and to not disturb other participants.

Follow self-care routines as prescribed and ensure personal hygiene is attended to daily with assistance of staff when necessary.

Maintain a neat and clean personal area during your stay.  Perform assigned duties as requested and scheduled (ex. ADLs)

Fasten wheelchair seatbelts at all times, with the exception of the Aquatic Center.

The kitchen, prep areas, cleaning areas, cooking areas, serving areas, storage areas and refrigerators are off limits except to paid programs staff and designated volunteers.

No visitors will be allowed on Woodlands property without prior permission.  We maintain a “closed campus” policy. While we welcome and encourage parents to meet our staff and view the facility, we monitor guests carefully. This is for the protection and safety of our participants. Please check in with the program coordinator on duty when dropping off or picking up your participant. If you would like a tour of the facility, please make an appointment with management through the Retreat Office.

We are only able to hold lost and found items for 14 days. If you notice an item missing after attending a Woodlands weekend retreat, summer camp or club program, please contact the Retreat Office immediately. Unless claimed, all lost and found items will be discarded after 14 days.

The following actions are strictly prohibited at all times:

  • Possession of illegal drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco
  • Possession of firearms or any recognized weapon
  • Possession of fireworks or explosives
  • Behaviors or comments suggesting discrimination
  • Fighting or bullying
  • Making threats or instigating conflict
  • Stealing
  • Inappropriate behavior, language or comments of a sexual nature
  • Attempting to leave or leaving the program without the supervision of Woodlands staff member, assigned 1:1 staff, or parent/guardian

Criteria Requiring Additional (1:1) Support (determined by program management):

  • Prescribed the drug Nitro (Nitroglycerin) to combat heart problems
  • Requires more than four verbal cues or physical prompts to comply with directions from Woodlands staff
  • Utilizes a trachea or ventilator for breathing support
  • Receives tube feedings
  • Participant is not able to follow the Program Rules, Regulations and Behavior Guidelines
  • Has a seizure disorder wherein the participants life is in danger while seizing (e.g., seizures at night with vomiting, choking)
  • Requires medical supports or interventions outside the scope of Woodlands staff training. Wherein the participant meets a certain level of medical fragility, as determined by The Woodlands program management

Woodlands Medication Policy

You must bring all medication bottles with you to check-in to verify with the healthcare staff that the correct drug type, name and dosage are in the small medication bag.  All medication must be accompanied by its original container. We will only accept and check-in the amount of medication needed for the duration of their participation in each retreat, camp or club program.

If medication is not accompanied with the original bottle and label, we cannot accept or administer them.

*** On the day of check-in (e.g., Friday nights or Sunday nights), only bed time medications are accepted. Please be sure to label your medication bags accordingly. If you/your child require a medication be given before bed time please be sure to administer this medication before checking in with healthcare.

All participant medications checked in to The Woodlands for programming must be pre-dosed, using the guidelines indicated below. Several of our participants take medications. This policy is in place to increase safety, protect participants and prevent medication errors.

 When preparing for camp, please remember:

  • You must bring all medication bottles with you each time to check-in.
  • Be sure the bottles brought for verification also have pills inside. This allows the healthcare staff to verify the drug type, name, dosage, shape, color and markings on the each pill.
  • All medication (even over-the-counter) must be accompanied by its original container.
  • We will only accept and check-in the amount of medication needed for the duration of their participation in each retreat, camp or club program.
  • Medications prescribed as needed for behavior or spasticity are not accepted during check-in. Exceptions may be made if approved in advance by The Woodlands medical director.

 *** If medication is not accompanied with the original bottle and label, we cannot accept or administer them.

 On the day of check-in (e.g., Friday nights or Sunday nights),

  • Only bed time medications are accepted. Please be sure to label your medication bags accordingly.
  • If you/your child require a medication be given before bed time please be sure to administer this medication before checking in with healthcare.
  • If medication is not packaged properly you will be asked to step out of line to correct the issue before we can check you in.

 Dosing requirements

When dosing medications, be sure to use a permanent marker or a printed label to mark the medication bags. We try to give meds at common times (e.g., breakfast, lunch and dinner), so if you require a specific time, please indicate on the bag what time the medication needs to be taken

  • Pill form/tablet medications: We require all medications be put into small medication bags that are available at Walgreen’s Drug Store, Walmart or Jo-Ann Fabrics. On each small medication bag you must write the participant’s name, date, day and time of day that the medication is to be distributed.  If the participant is to take more than one medication at the same time of day, put all medications into the same small labeled medication bag.  Put all small labeled medication bags into one large clear Zip-loc bag with the participant’s first and last name written clearly on the front.

Example: Pills

example pills
  • Liquid Medications: We require all liquid medication (prescription or over-the-counter) be pre-dosed into catheter tip syringes with a cap. We will not accept bottles of liquid medication. You can obtain these from the pharmacy free of charge.  The pharmacy will pre-dose the syringe for you for free. You must have the pharmacy put a label on the syringe identifying drug type, name and dosage, as well as the participants first and last name, day, date and time the liquid medication is to be given. Put all syringes in their own Zip-loc bag, separate from other medications (with the participants first and last name written on the bag).

Example: Liquid medication in a catheter tip syringe
liquid medication 

  • Powder Medications: We require powder medications (prescription or over-the-counter) be pre-dosed into a small medication bag. The bag must be labeled with the participants first and last name, day, date and time the medication is needed. In addition the small Zip-loc bag must be labeled to identify the drug type, name and dosage.

Example: Powder medication (pre-dosed)
powdered medication

Safety Needles: To ensure the safety of all staff and participants, we require that all needles checked in for the use of insulin injection be approved safety needles. Just ask your pharmacist for the safety needles when picking up your prescription of insulin.

Tube Feedings: If your child receives tube feedings you may be required to provide your own nurse or qualified professional to administer the feedings.

Repositioning at night: If your child requires scheduled repositioning throughout the night, you are required to provide your own nurse or qualified professional to perform this duty.  The Woodlands does not provide overnight staff.

Safety is our priority and we appreciate your ongoing cooperation and support!


Sample Camp/Weekend Retreat Schedule

Sample Camp - Retreat Schedule_Page_1 Sample Camp - Retreat Schedule_Page_2


Menus & Dining Services

The Woodlands provides year-round dining and food services for our various programs and partner agencies. All meals are provided under the direction of our food service manager who has an AS in Culinary Arts and is certified in food safety management through the Allegheny County Health Department. Our dining hall seats up to 100 individuals and has a commercial kitchen that can support a variety of special events and functions.   

Download our current menus in the sidebar at top left.

Special Diets

Do you or your family member have a special diet? No worries! Our food service staff will be glad to discuss accommodations for any special diets you or your loved one may need while here at The Woodlands. Provisions for those with food-related allergies (nut, wheat, dairy, seafood) can be made, as well as accommodations for those requiring gluten-free, casein-free or diabetic restrictions. We will be glad to work with you to make the dining experience for our participants at The Woodlands safe and enjoyable. Food portions are also monitored by our staff to ensure participants receive food portion sizes within recommended limits.

It is extremely important that you make our director of programs aware of any special dietary needs before participation in programs. Your diligence in providing us this important information is greatly appreciated.

Please contact Director of Programs, Jesse Solomon at 724-935-5470 or jsolomon@woodlandsfoundation.org, if you would like to review a detailed list of alternative menu options, provide dietary information or to inquire about additional food-related questions.