Staff Dates & FAQs

Start Dates for Summer 2024


Support Staff Arrives
Friday, June 7th

Head Staff  and Leads Arrive
Monday, June 10th

Division Heads Arrive
Tuesday, June 11th

General Counselors and Specialists Arrive
Saturday, June 15th

Campers Arrive
Thursday, June 27th

Last Day of Camp
Thursday, August 15th


Where is the Camp Located?

Camp Chen-A-Wanda is located in the Endless Mountains Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. We are nestled on Fiddle Lake with over 180 acres of sports fields, activity areas, living quarters, our lake and wooded areas. We are approximately 2 & ½ hours drive from Manhattan and Philadelphia, respectfully and our counselors enjoy the amenities of Scranton and Dickson City on their days off.

How do I get to Camp?

Our GPS address is 355 Camp Rd. Thompson, Pennsylvania 18465. All of our staff members are given thorough instructions of when and where to travel coinciding with their respective report dates to camp. Most international staff members fly into the New York area (JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark airports) and travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania via bus from Port Authority in Manhattan, New York. Staff members with valid driver’s licenses and vehicles are welcomed to drive themselves to camp and to use their vehicles during their time off. Please see our DRIVING DIRECTIONS section on our website for thorough directions.

What is the weather like?

We get to enjoy some of the most comfortable summer weather you could possibly hope for! The average high temperature for Thompson, Pennsylvania for the months of June, July and August is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with the average lows in the 50s. We do get rain from time-to-time, so while you will get to rock your shorts and a t-shirt on the majority of your days with us, it’s recommended to bring your raincoat and a hoodie for those wet or cool days too.

Where do I live?

All of our Counselors, Specialists and Group Leaders live with an assigned bunk of campers in a self-contained bunk. Each bunk has ample space for beds for around a dozen campers and 5 counselors, and each bunk will house somewhere close to that number of kids and staff. Our bunks have modern bathrooms with showers, sinks and toilets along with spacious cubby rooms, which are our version of a walk-in closet for all of the bunk’s tenants to store their entire summer’s wardrobe.

What is a Typical Day Like?

See our Daily Schedule for a full run-down of our days.

What should I pack for camp?

Packing for camp is all about balance and versatility! Upon being hired, all of our staff members will receive our Staff Handbook which provides a thorough description of our exact recommendations for packing, but every staff member packs differently according to his/her needs. Generally speaking, the warm weather will definitely dictate that shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes (trainers) be worn on a typical day, but our evenings are cool, so hoodies and sweatpants or jeans will definitely come in handy. The basic essentials should definitely come with you (Toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, soap, ample clothing and undergarments, along with versatile shoes for day-to-day use and a select amount of “regular” clothing to wear during your time off. All staff members are provided with 7 Chen-A-Wanda staff shirts to wear during our activity day, which really helps in your packing plan!

Will Linens be provided?

All staff members are assigned a bed with a frame and mattress provided by camp. Linens can be provided for staff members upon request, with priority given to our international staff members due to limited packing space for the plane ride over. Let us know if you’ll be needing linens prior to your arrival so that we can plan accordingly.

How does Laundry Work?

One of the greatest perks of the summer is that if you so choose, you’ll never have to do a load of laundry while living at our camp! We send out laundry to an outsourced company once a week, and these amazing professionals not only clean it for you and your campers, but they also send it back to us folded! Laundry comes back the day after it goes out, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. If it goes out on Monday, it’ll come back on Wednesday. All staff members assist in the process of getting laundry put away on the day it returns during an extended Rest Hour to ensure that the bunks stay organized. Counselors who opt not to send their laundry with the laundry company will have to be responsible for their own laundry off-site during days or nights off.

Will I have Access to the Internet?

Camp Chen-A-Wanda is the perfect place to disconnect for the summer and the more time you spend with us, the less you’ll miss the constant influx of social media! With that said, we understand that our staff members need to be able to stay in touch with their families and friends, so we provide internet access on our computers in the Counselor’s Lounge where you can catch up with the outside world during your time off. Campers do not get access to this area, and there is not wifi access at Camp Chen-A-Wanda for campers or staff.

Do we have Time off?

We want our staff members to be fully charged for their days working with our campers, so we truly put an emphasis on your time off. We provide six days off during the summer for staff members, as well as overnight request opportunities in which you can plan time with your Head Counselors for you to leave camp the night before your day off to fully take advantage of your time off. This can include trips with your camp friends to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, local state parks, and dozens of other amazing places that the East Coast has to offer to our staff. In addition to days off, our staff members receive time off at night 2 out of every 3 nights based on an “On Duty” rotating schedule to ensure that our campers are fully supervised while still allowing our staff members a chance to recharge. Staff members enjoying their time off on camp can utilize our Counselor’s Lounge, Chen-A-Plex Movie Theater, Fitness Center, Sports Facilities, Cookhouse and Staff Sports Leagues during nights off! All staff members must sign in with our Head Staff by our 12:45am curfew to ensure your safety and rest necessary to fulfill your responsibilities the next day.

Can I get Mail?

Absolutely! Tell your family and friends the camp address so you can receive letters and packages just like our campers.

What is meal time like?

Meal times are one of our favorite times at camp! We’re firm believers of the true communal living setting, meaning that all of our campers and staff eat meals together in our state-of-the-art, 14,000 square foot Dining Hall known as “The Lodge”. You’ll enjoy the best food in the camping industry with a diverse menu of kid-friendly and healthy items for a well-rounded eating experience at every meal. For those focusing on a healthy lifestyle, every breakfast has the option of fresh fruits, yogurts, cereals, and granola, while also having the option of enjoying toast and bagels. Lunches and dinners have optional salad and deli platter bars for those looking for fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses. Along with eating, get ready to see our camp energy on display as campers and counselors will spontaneously jump up onto their seats to dance it out to today’s and yesterday’s greatest hits! It has become a tradition for it to be a straight up party in The Lodge!