Frequently Asked Questions

How can I sign my child up for the Bruce Irons Camp Fund (BICF) program?

In general, students are referred to BICF by Communities In Schools (CIS) personnel.  Exceptions are made for siblings of current campers and in some other circumstances.  To inquire about program openings, please contact Mollie James at mjames@bruceironscampfund.org.

How old must my child be to become a BICF camper?

BICF selects new students in the spring of 4th grade.

What are the qualifications to become a BICF camper?

BICF campers must come from a low-income family, attend a CMS school, and demonstrate strong academic effort, leadership potential, and good citizenship.

Is there a fee to join the BICF program?

No. The program is free for selected students.  It costs approximately $2,500 per year to send a BICF student to summer camp, so we are making an investment of over $12,500 in each camper over the five year program.

What will my child need to have for overnight summer camp?

Our camps provide camp packing lists, and BICF and its mentors help campers and their families gather the necessary items.  BICF provides each first-year camper with a camp trunk and a sleeping bag.  Each year, BICF provides all campers with a reusable water bottle, stationary and stamps, a book to read at camp, and other helpful items.  Mentors help parents get the other clothing and bedding items they need.  New clothes are NOT needed for camp!  Old clothes are perfect, and so thrift stores are a great place to gather anything campers don’t already have.  We also have a free shopping day each June at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store where campers can “shop” for free for clothing and bedding needed for camp.

What if I can’t drive my child to and from summer camp or BICF enrichment events?

No problem.  Our mentors will provide transportation to and from camp and enrichment events if parents/guardians are not able to do so.

What is the role of the BICF Mentor in my child’s life?

BICF mentors serve as a buddy and support person for the BICF camper and the camper’s family.  BICF mentors prepare the camper for camp by helping gather necessary clothing and bedding items, provide transportation to and from camp if needed, write their camper at camp, do post-camp surveys with campers and parents, meet in person with their camper at least once every other month for an activity of their choosing, and stay in touch with their camper every month via phone, text, or email.  The goal is a long-term, supportive, and transformative relationship.

Is attendance at the BICF enrichment events mandatory?

No, but we encourage participation in as many events as possible.  All events are free and provided so that your child will have exposure to a wide variety of educational and enriching experiences.  We do keep track of camper participation.

What will you do with the information you receive from CMS regarding my child’s grades, attendance, and school behavior?

We use the CMS data we receive to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of our programs and to determine the continued eligibility of campers.  Student-identified data is not shared with anyone other than BICF staff and leadership.

What will happen if my child’s grades or behavior decline or if they get in trouble at camp?

We expect our campers to continue their good grades and behavior after entering our program.  If grades and behavior decline, depending on the seriousness of the matter, campers may be given a warning to make improvements, the opportunity to attend camp may be taken away, or students may be removed from the BICF program.