The Questions We Most Frequently Answer
We know that sending your camper to Live Oak is a big decision. We work directly with families to ensure that they have all the information you need in order to feel good about the decision to join the Live Oak community.
Summer in the City FAQs
Why did you build Summer in the City?
What safety policies are in place?
Where do events take place?
What do campers need each day?
What do campers do on a given day?
How are cabin groups structured?
Live Oak is located at Camp Tiak in Wiggins, Mississippi. The camp was first developed by the Scouts of America in the 1950s and is maintained by their team year-round. During the summer months you will see Deke and Nanette, the full-time rangers for camp, all over camp keeping the grounds beautiful and safe.
Live Oak pays for Hotard motorcoaches to provide transportation to and from camp. All campers ride to camp together with a team of coaches on a motorcoach. For the return trip to New Orleans, families are invited to pick their campers up and travel home together or travel home on the bus along with other campers and families.
Live Oak offers two 2-week camp sessions for young people ages 9-17. Live Oak also expanded offerings in 2020 to include a Wilderness Adventure camp for returing campers. Veteran campers ages 12-17 were invited to apply to the 2-week adventure camp in which 12 campers and 3 staff members participate in backcountry camping, canoe trips, and other wilderness-based activities.
In 2020 Live Oak launched its first 1-week Junior Camp session for first time campers ages 7-11. During the 1-week session, campers participate in camp activities on a slower daily schedule. Changes include: earlier bedtime, later wake time, longer meals, more varied activity periods, and a longer daily rest time.
Life at Camp
Live Oak cabins have up to eight campers and two coaches. There are instances in which cabins will have three coaches, though this is not common.
Yes, campers are assigned intentionally to cabins based on age. They are grouped in cabins that aim to reflect the diversity of camp and of New Orleans more broadly.
Campers participate in activities daily activities indoors and outdoors. Most indoor activities, including our meals, all-camp meetings, and indoor evening activities, are held in our 3,000 square foot air-conditioned dining hall. We host our daily rest-time in our cabins, each of which is equipped with ceiling fans, box fans, and an exhaust fan. We work hard to encourage and remind campers many times a day that whether campers are indoors or outdoors, they must have their water bottle with them.
Parent requests regarding cabin assignments will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and no guarantee can be made of a camper being grouped with another camper.
That’s because our first priority in creating cabin assignments is to ensure that our cabins are diverse and full of campers of a similar age. There are occasionally situations in which campers may be grouped with other campers in a cabin, but our first priority is to ensure that each cabin mirrors the diversity of the city of New Orleans to the extent possible
Each side of camp has a bathroom that was built in 2018 and includes six individual units that lock from the inside. Each unit has a toilet, shower, and sink, and the units meet all current youth protection requirements from the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, each campsite has a very simple bathroom located close by the cabins. There are handy for trips during the night to the restroom.
We are proud of the meals at Live Oak! Our end of summer camper feedback suggests that campers and staff alike enjoy the quality and quantity of food. We work hard to achieve a balance of what campers prefer (chicken fingers! French fries!) with what families want to see on a balanced meal plate (greens, vegetables, new recipes that push campers to try something they otherwise might not).
We review all medical forms prior to camp to ensure that we have a meal plan and strategy for every camper or staff member who has documented dietary restrictions. If your camper has special needs, be sure to note it in your medical form prior to camp.
ALL medical requirements and medications must be noted in your camper medical form prior to camp. Without this clearance Live Oak cannot administer medicine to a camper.
At check-in a team of Live Oak physician volunteers will check in all medications, document them, and hand them off to our camp nurse. They will also provide each camper with a general wellness check-up and check campers’ hair for signs of lice.
Our onsite laundry does not have the capacity to handle all campers’ laundry, so beginning in 2020 we will contract with a local laundromat to wash, dry, and fold camper laundry. Please bring 10 days of laundry and pay $20, and your laundry will be washed and returned between after day 7 of camp.
We work very hard to minimize the gear requirements for Live Oak. As noted in our Family and Camper Manual, we encourage you NOT to bring any new, fancy clothes. Instead, bring clothing that can get dirty and messy. Consult the Family and Camper Manual for the packing list.
Yes, Live Oak employs a full-time certified nurse on site to provide proactive and reactive medical care. We also have a partnership with a New Orleans physician who is on call throughout the summer for consultative needs that arise at camp.
Live Oak employs a professional chef to ensure we always have a well-run, safe kitchen. This individual works along with our Junior CIT and CIT team leaders to build and execute a training program for our young adults as they take on staff duties alongside their camper responsibilities.
During camp, families and campers communicate only through written letters! This throwback to how camp has operated for a century allows young people to gain independence while still allowing the to share news and experiences from camp. Families can send letters and emails to campers, too, which our Live Oak team delivers daily.
Camp is a rare place in which young people can be present with one another, undistracted by phones, e-games, and electronics. Campers can bring musical instruments, books, cards, board games — but not handheld electronics like phones, music players, game systems, or tablets.
Live Oak has invested in a database and camp management software solution called Camp Minder. As a Live Oak family, you will be able to read blog updates about what’s happening at Live Oak and see photos of camp in action. You will do this through Camp In Touch, a desktop computer based interface for families to log into, as well as Campanion, a new app-based tool through which we will share content from camp.