Policies & Procedures

Group Registrations

Catholic HEART Workcamp does not accept individual registrations. You must register with a group of at least 2 or more people while adhering to the policies below:

  • CHWC requires a 5:1 camper to chaperone ratio. For every 5 campers (under 21 years old), there must be 1 adult chaperone (21 years or older).
  • If you bring even one male camper, there must be at least one male chaperone. Similarly, if you bring one female camper, there must be at least one female chaperone in your group. This is to ensure that someone is responsible for the youth in their sleeping quarters at night.


You must provide transportation for your group throughout the week. The rule of thumb is that you need the same number of seatbelts as participants that you are bringing. Drivers will be transporting individuals from other youth groups on weekdays to their worksites in the vehicles they bring.

If you are renting/driving a bus, make sure the bus driver is aware he/she is required to transport teams to and from worksites everyday. We cannot be responsible for housing drivers but feel free to invite them for meals.

  • 12 and 15 passenger vans are prohibited at all of our locations.
    • Safety and liability issues are forcing churches to abandon 12 & 15 passenger vans. In most dioceses they are no longer permitted.
    • Mini-buses offer a viable replacement option for transportation.
    • There are no exceptions for 15 passenger vans.
    • The only exception for a 12 passenger van is if it is truly your last option and the camp you are attending happens to be in a diocese that allows 12 passenger vans; however, you must stay with the people from your own group and no one outside of your group will be allowed to ride in your 12 passenger van.

Medical Insurance

All participants must have health insurance in order to attend CHWC. If a participant does not have health insurance, you may purchase a temporary policy through https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance (Not associated with CHWC and is merely a suggestion)

Background Checks

Catholic HEART Workcamp is diligent in providing a safe environment for every camper. Teenagers, young adults, adult leaders and their families can be assured that CHWC is concerned with every camper’s well-being and protection. Catholic HEART Workcamp requires all camp summer staff members to provide personal information, references and a recommendation from their Parish Priest/Youth Minister prior to employment. We also require all summer staff to conform to an FBI National background check.

CHWC requires anyone eighteen and older, either as a chaperone or a camp participant (belonging to your parish or not), to successfully complete the requirements of the Parish and be in compliance with their Diocesan policy for interacting with children and teenagers, in accordance with the U.S. Catholic Bishops Charter for the protection of children and young people. CHWC mandates a signed Verification Agreement Form from the Parish Youth Minister and the Pastor stating that each participant 18 years or older has completed the requirement of its Diocese as it relates to their sexual abuse risk prevention policies, training and background checks. If there are no such requirements, all participants 18 years or older must complete the requirements of Catholic HEART Workcamp, by conducting a sexual abuse risk prevention background check.

Anyone 18 and older MUST complete a training course on Protecting God’s Children for Adults or similar program that is offered in their Diocese and be familiar with resources regarding safe environment, abuse of minors, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment. In addition, any young adult between the ages of 18-20 will be placed on their own work team with an adult (21 and over) as their group leader and are not mixed with any teens under the age of 18 at the worksites.

Sexual Abuse

The 2015 document, Charter for the Protection of God’s Children and Young People, developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, outlines the goals, duties and responsibilities of dioceses. CHWC follows the same guidelines in response to any form of child abuse.

Catholic HEART Workcamp believes every person has the right to be respected and treated with dignity as a child of God. Every person has boundaries and the right to expect respect of those boundaries. Every person has the right to challenge any behavior or comment that is offensive and/or inappropriate.

Catholic HEART Workcamp takes responsibility to safeguard and protect all participants, especially minors. A minor is a person under 18 years of age or a vulnerable adult (having a physical or mental handicap) who is under 21 years of age.

In any case that CHWC (Directors, Managers and/or Staff) have reason to believe that a minor is a victim of sexual abuse, the following protocol is in place and will be followed as such:

Reach out to the youth minister who brought the student to camp
Parents will be notified with the youth minister present.
By law, CHWC will immediately call the local authorities and the Department of Child Protective Services and respond accordingly.

Priests and Deacons

All dioceses have in place a policy requesting a letter of suitability for all visiting priests & deacons. All priests and deacons that will be attending Catholic HEART Workcamp must inform the Chancellor of the Diocese in which they will be entering (even if they are only visiting for a few hours). A link will be included on the pre-trip website, which will provide you with all information and procedures for requesting a letter of suitability.


Seminarians will be placed with clergy in sleeping quarters and be charged the amount of a full registration spot.

Sick Campers

In order to be in compliance with the Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, CHWC has implemented a policy for sick campers. If one of your teens is sick and must stay back from their worksite, the policy is as follows:

  • An adult from your parish must stay back to care for them. When needed, CHWC will replace the work team with another adult.
  • If the teen is sick for one full day and does not go to their worksite, that same day they must visit a local walk-in clinic or hospital for evaluation. Depending on the outcome, a decision will be made as to whether the camper should return home.
  • If a camper must return home, it will be at their expense. The adult leader from his/her group will be responsible for getting them to the airport/bus station/train station or whatever travel arrangements are made.
  • On many occasions, campers are sick when they arrive at camp. Please, for your own benefit and for the consideration of others, please do not bring sick teens to camp.


The majority of the showers are communal, so it is MANDATORY that all campers wear a bathing suit.

Children at Camp

While we love children, CHWC is a camp for teenagers.  We cannot accommodate or permit small children or infants at camp or any of the programming activities. For the safety of all, and to follow the guidelines a school or diocese may request pertaining to lodging in the school, as well with liability insurance restrictions, Catholic Heart Workcamp must have this policy in place.