What Parents Need to Know About Summer Camp

Safety is every parent’s number one concern. St. Olaf Summer Camps are a great place for campers to learn and have fun, and we always put safety first. We understand parents’ concerns, and we have prepared the following drop down links to address some of the most common questions regarding these concerns.

Northfield Area 

Northfield is a historic river town of 20,000 in the southeast part of Minnesota, just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities and the Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) international airport. Downtown Northfield, within walking distance of campus, has been restored to recall the 19th century and features coffeehouses, sandwich shops, restaurants, gift stores and local art galleries.

St. Olaf Campus

Known as “The Hill,” St. Olaf College’s picturesque 300-acre campus is home to 16 academic and administrative buildings, 30 student residences, and 10 athletic facilities. Adjacent to campus are 325 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands, and native tall-grass prairie owned and maintained by St. Olaf, and a utility-grade wind turbine that supplies one third of the college’s daily electrical needs.


St. Olaf College is accredited as a degree-granting institution by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college’s academic programs are also accredited by the American Chemical Society, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Dance, National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Theatre, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Minors on campus 

St. Olaf College has established operating procedures for programs involving minors. Please read the full Camper Behavioral Agreement here.

St. Olaf is committed to promoting the safety and well-being of students, youth and others who are entrusted to our care. The purpose of this policy is to describe requirements placed on administrators, faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and others working with minors—to promote their protection, to fulfill our obligations as mandated by law, and to provide the best possible experience for any minor visiting our campus or in college-related programs. You can view the entirety of the St. Olaf policy for minors on campus here.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of St. Olaf College that the behavior of all faculty, staff and students is expected to align, at all times, with the college’s mission and appropriate documents that guide our community life. Any St. Olaf events with minors involved must be pre-approved. One-on-one contact with minors is highly discouraged and will only be approved in special circumstances. Any employees or students participating in events with minors must complete Sexual Abuse Awareness Training. Any individuals with potential to have one-on-one contact with minors must successfully pass a background check performed by Human Resources prior to the event occurring. This policy does not apply to minors attending an event open to the public with their own parent or guardian that are not being left in the care of St. Olaf employees or students. You can view the entire St. Olaf Policy for the Protection of Minors here.


A Healthy Camp Begins and Ends at Home!” – article by the American Camp Association.

All registered campers will need to fill out a medical authorization form upon registration.

Dietary Needs
We can accommodate most dietary needs, please contact us with any camper allergies at summer@stolaf.edu.

Our staff cannot administer medications to campers. All campers must administer their own medications. However, camp staff will hold medications in a secure area.

Emergency Notification
In the event of a medical emergency, every effort will be made to immediately contact parent(s)/guardian(s).

Automated External Defibrillators
AEDs are located all around campus and are available for use in the event of a medical emergency.

In the event of a medical emergency that requires professional medical attention, Northfield Hospital–located just over two miles from campus–is listed as our primary care facility.


“A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can make the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells. Most children and teens who have a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks. However, for some, symptoms may last for months or longer and can lead to short- and long-term problems affecting how they think, act, learn, and feel.” You can read the full article from the CDC website here.

HEADS UP Youth Sports Concussion Training can be completed here. This course will help you:

  • Understand a concussion and the potential consequences of this injury,
  • Recognize concussion signs and symptoms and how to respond,
  • Learn about steps for returning to activity (play and school) after a concussion, and
  • Focus on prevention and preparedness to help keep athletes safe season-to-season.

Contacting Your Camper 

Coaches/directors and camp counselors, through many years of experience, have found that campers generally have a better experience if they do not receive phone calls from or make calls to family or friends while they are at camp. Please limit your communication with your camper.

Messages to campers: If you need to leave a message for a camper, please call the camp message service at 507-786-3031. You may leave a detailed message at this number at any time of day or night; messages will be checked frequently from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and will be delivered in a timely manner. If the message is urgent, please indicate this when you call.

Emergency After Hours Messages: Campus security will deliver emergency messages between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Dial 507-786-3666 to leave a message. Please use this service only for emergencies.

Email: All academic buildings have public computers so campers will be able to check email. Campers will be required to obtain a free log-in password for the week from their counselor.

Mail: Mail to campers should be addressed as follows:

Camper Name
Name of Camp
St. Olaf College 1520 St. Olaf Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057 – 1098

Mail will be delivered to camp counselors daily. Mail received after the camper has left will be returned to sender – so please include your return address.

Campus Safety & Camper Behavior 

St. Olaf is located in a safe, rural community outside of the metro area. Uniformed campus public safety officers patrol campus 24 hours per day and blue light emergency telephones are scattered all over campus. Campers are under 24 hour supervision, but may attend lunch on their own.


  • Although campers are not prohibited from bringing electronic and cellular devices to campus, we would prefer that campers refrain from the use of electronics and or cellular devices.
  • Attendance and participation is required at all activities, whether they be instructional or recreational. Any participant needing to be excused due to illness must first report to the program staff.
  • Damages to program/campus property must be paid for by the participant or the participant’s parent or guardian.
  • Participants will adhere to additional rules of conduct specifically designed for your event, classroom, and/or studio set forth by program instructor or campus personnel.
  • Participant will remain in the designated event areas only and remain on the St. Olaf campus unless they present a signed permission note from a parent/guardian to the program director.
  • Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the immediate cancellation of participation in the event. No program refunds will be given.

You can read the full Camper Behavioral Agreement here.