Children and Youth

Children and Youth

Eliot Institute is a true multi-generational community, with attendees ranging from birth to 90+ years old. Children may attend with a parent, grandparent or a sponsor. Each camp typically includes some newcomers, and other children who have been attending with their extended families for many years. At July and August, of the 240 campers, 40 – 50 may be kids under 18. At Winter, out of 120 campers, there may be up to 20 kids.


Morning Program 

At July, August, and Winter Eliot, adults attend a morning program consisting of a speaker and small group discussions. Children are divided by age groups (typically: preschool, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle schoolers – MAGS, and high schoolers – youth). Each age group is led by two or more staff members – volunteers from the Eliot community, who have been chosen for their rapport with children and who have successfully completed a background check. They enjoy time together doing age appropriate activities, which might include: games, stories or topic discussions, music, crafts, time on the playground or playing sports, hikes in the woods or other nature activities.

For children under age 3, we will create a child-friendly space with fun toys and two or more staff members who will care for and play with the children. If a child becomes distressed and is difficult to console, parents or caregivers will be asked to come to care for their child.

Note: At Creative Arts Eliot, children age 11+ can join a morning arts workshop with adults. For younger children, a multi-age play-based program may be available, depending on attendance numbers.

Afternoon Options 

There’s lots of activities to choose from, depending on the camp: swimming in the lagoon (when lifeguards are on duty), trying out rowboats and paddle boats, participating in sports, playing board games or foosball, tie-dye or other crafts, hanging out on the playground, playing make believe in the forest, sitting and talking with friends, playing in a rock band, singing in choir, sitting under a tree and reading, and so much more! One thing that children love about Eliot is that they can have a lot of independence in this setting, and tend to spend more time venturing out with friends than hanging out with family.

Evening All-camp Activities 

Evenings may include: concert or coffeehouse, a talent show, games like To Tell the Truth or Charades, singalongs, or a dance. People of all ages are encouraged to participate.


All meals are served in the dining hall. Children often eat with their friends, though families often ask their children to eat one meal a day with them, as a chance to re-connect. There are a wide range of food options, and many dietary restrictions can be managed. Parents may also choose to bring some of their own foods to keep in the refrigerator in the dining hall or in their car. (No food in rooms, please! It draws in mice and squirrels.)

Night Time

Youth and children's curfew is 11 p.m., unless set earlier by parents or program staff. Youth may stay out for youth activities until 1 a.m. provided they are in a designated youth area and have two adults, age 25 or over, present. After curfew, children and youth should be in their sleeping quarters or with a parent or sponsor.


After the morning session, children are the responsibility of parents, guardians or sponsors. In practical terms this means that children under age 7 should always be with a responsible caretaker. You can hire a baby sitter (check with youth), or swap childcare. But, since this is a family camp, we encourage you to take advantage of all the things you can do with your children.

While many older children are able to function independently at camp, they are still the responsibility of parents, guardians or sponsors; it is up to these individuals to set limits and/or grant freedoms to the minors in their care in accordance with their level of maturity.

Children must obtain permission from a parent or sponsor whenever leaving the Conference Center grounds, including trips to the espresso stand or pizza parlor across the street.

For children of all ages, it is the responsibility of parents, guardians and sponsors to mediate any issues that arise with the children in their care. It is not the responsibility of camp staff to resolve behavior issues that occur outside of the morning program, with the exception of serious violations of camp rules, which will be addressed by the Board Representative, as needed.

Children and youth under age 18 who have demonstrated a need for supervision, according to the sole discretion of the Board Representative, should always be with a responsible adult or guardian 18 years of age or older.

Health & Safety Guidelines

Eliot Institute is concerned with your child’s health and safety as well as your child’s overall positive experience at Eliot. All of the staff working with children and youth have agreed to ethical standards in their work here at camp. We have also set up health and safety guidelines for your children’s time here.

1. Snack. Food allergies and special dietary needs should be explained on your child's medical information form, as well as information about specific medications or medical conditions that staff should be aware of. The Children's Program Director will share information as needed with teachers and take dietary needs into account when planning the morning snack. We serve age appropriate snacks during the morning program. If you are the parent of an infant or toddler, please let the under 3’s staff know what type of snack your child may be ready for. Please label all containers brought into the baby room. Please do not bring toys with small (chokeable) parts into the under-3’s classroom.

2. Playground. Children of all ages enjoy the playground equipment and several classes may be using playground areas with staff in the morning.  Parents are responsible for supervising their young child on the playground after the morning program.

3. First Aid. A first-aid kit is available at the Inn and in each classroom area. First aid volunteers are available – for emergencies, call 911.

4. Wasps and Yellow Jackets inevitably establish nests in the wooded areas around Seabeck. Parents of children with known reactions to stings from such insects should take precautions.

5. Waterfront. To swim, campers under 18 must have a swimming check and wear a swimming bracelet. Campers under 18 wishing to use the boats must be accompanied by an adult (unless they have passed the boating test) and must wear a lifejacket. (Please see waterfront rules for more details.)

Eliot’s Policy for the Safety of Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Adults

Eliot News

==> Eliot is magical. Caring people, love, music, intimacy, children and adults together. What more could anybody want?
Longtime Elioteer from Oregon