A few questions you might ask...

AGE: What are the ages of the girls served at Camp Duncan?

Camp Duncan serves girls ages 8-15. Remembering that we are a long-term program that could last two years or more, it is important that we do not admit girls who could become legal adults (18) before they are ready to graduate. The adventure of living the Camp life seems to appeal best to girls 8-15.

PROGRAM: How is Camp Duncan different from other programs?

There is no similar program in the state of North Carolina, and only a handful in the United States. Going beyond the physical environment (our outdoor facility) we differ greatly from most programs. We do not use reward based (prizes or privileges) or punishment based (fear) motivation. We teach that things should be done right because it is the right thing to do and doing so makes us feel 'right' on the inside. We show girls how to take responsibility for their words and actions just as we want to see others who live with us behave that way. We demonstrate that living unselfishly ultimately brings the most fulfillment in life. We are NOT a Boot Camp, although we have plenty of structure and routine. We are NOT an adventure program, although we have a lot of fun and seek to make positive memories with our girls. We are NOT a scouting program, although our girls will learn many outdoor living skills. Natural consequences for our words, actions, and attitudes abound as we live life together as a group. When problems arise, we stop immediately and solve them by being responsible, getting a better plan, and having good attitudes. We move forward when the problem is solved. Learning the skill of solving and preventing problems is a goal of Camp Duncan. As we strive for this, we don't do things "to" girls... we don't do things "for" girls... we do things "with" our girls.

COST: What does it cost to send my daughter to Camp Duncan?

The cost of caring for a child at Camp Duncan is determined on a per case basis depending on the family/custodian's economic situation. If you would like more information on what it might cost to send your daughter to Camp Duncan, please contact us at 910-944-3077.

EDUCATION: Will my daughter get behind in school?

We find that most girls progress an average of two academic years for every one year at Camp Duncan. Camp Duncan is a licensed, non-public school. Education and learning at Camp Duncan (CD) are given high priority. At Camp we use a hands-on educational approach that is very personal to each camper rather than a traditional school room setting. Upon entering Camp, each girl will take a standardized achievement test and will be tested again just before she graduates to track academic progress.

TIME: What is the typical length of time a girl stays at Camp Duncan?

The number of months varies widely, but the average is 18 months. Many of our campers have attended a short-term program or received counseling for help. Some girls have participated in several such programs without success and most of our girls have developed their struggles over many years. Camp is designed to accommodate girls who have different levels of need. A girl's Camp stay is complete when the behavior and attitude goals she has set (with the help of her parents and Camp staff) have been met and when the family is ready for her return, not when a fixed amount of time has lapsed.

PARENTS/CUSTODIAN COMMITMENT: What does Camp Duncan require from parents/custodians?

Beyond the agreed-upon tuition, our program for girls necessitates a good bit of travel back and forth to Camp. Two round trips every five to six weeks for homevisits (if the child is able to return home), monthly parent/custodian groups, a trip to Camp Duncan every three months for an evaluation, and a couple of other trips per year for special events. If the family lives close, this might not be much of a burden, but as distances increase so will the cost in time, fuel and vehicle wear. Parents/custodians need to stay connected with their daughter by weekly letter writing. If possible, parents can help maintain the required outdoor clothing that gets used heavily in our rugged setting. Parents can expect to receive weekly reports, calls and monthly visits from our Family Care Case Managers. At Camp we are looking not only for girls who want to change, but families who want to improve as well.

GRADUATION: What does it take to graduate from Camp Duncan?

A girls and her family or custodian must have satisfactorily and consistently met their goals in order to graduate. Due to the long-term nature of Camp, the decision to commit to the Camp Duncan program is made by a team consisting of the girl, her parents and/or custodian, the Camp staff, and the group in which she would live. The decision to come and the decision to graduate is made collaboratively by everyone involved.

APPLICATION PROCESS: What is the application process for placement at Camp Duncan?

There are four step in the application/intake process. The time required for this process will vary and is dependant on availability at Camp Duncan (CD). Since coming to CD is typically a long-term commitment and the application process is very deliberate. STEP ONE: RESEARCH CAMP The parents/custodians need to learn all they can about Camp Duncan from this website, Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina and through conversations by phone or email with CD's Family Care Case Managers. If it would seem that CD might fit the girl's/family's needs, an inquiry phone interview will need to be scheduled. STEP TWO: INQUIRY PHONE INTERVIEW Camp Duncan's Family Care Case Manager and the legal custodian of the girl will complete an inquiry phone interview to review the needs, concerns and other important information so an accurate assessment can be made by CD staff. The Family Care Case Manager and the Planning Committee at camp will then determine if the girl/family can indeed be helped through our program. If it is determined that CD could help, an application will be sent to the family for completion. STEP THREE: FAMILY ASSESSMENT CONFERENCE AND APPLICATION REVIEW Once it is determined that a girl and her family could be a good candidate for the CD program, a family assessment conference will be scheduled at Camp Duncan to review the application and supportive documents as well as discuss in further detail the challenges the girl and family are currently facing. This conference will take place with the Family Care Case Manager, the girl and all family members or custodians living in the home. If after this conference, both the family and the CD Planning Committee still feel that Camp Duncan could be helpful, then we will set up a Pre-Admission Conference at CD. STEP FOUR: PRE-ADMISSION CONFERENCE A visit to Camp Duncan would be set up where the girl and her family and/or custodian can tour the campus, meet the staff, and visit the Campsite with the group of girl that their daughter would be living with. The purpose of this tour is to answer any remaining questions that any member of the decision team might have: parents, custodian, daughter, Camp Duncan staff/group. A tour will take place with the girl, family, Family Care Case Manager and Group Work Supervisor. At the end of this tour the team (girl, family and/or custodian, Family Care Case Manager and Group Work Supervisor) meets in the conference room with the Director of Camp Duncan and decides to make the commitment to one another or to not make the commitment at that time. This CD visit is scheduled roughly one to two weeks before a known opening in the appropriate age group, however, this time can vary based upon need and availability. If the decision to come to Camp Duncan is made, an arrival date and time are determined.

AFTER-CAMP: What happens after my daughter is done with Camp Duncan?

Ensuring a good transition back home and success back in the community for our graduates is very important. Baptist Children's Homes and Camp Duncan provide an after care program that lasts anywhere from three months to a year depending on the needs of the girl and family. After care services are designed to help provide a smooth transition for the girl back into her family and community. Girls and their families will continue to set and work on goals in partnership with their CD Family Care Case Manager. In-home visits and family sessions will continue to ensure progress and a successful transition. The first month after graduation families are contacted once a week to discuss progress. The second and third month families are contacted bi-weekly. The need for after-care is evaluated quarterly. If a family decides to continue after-care beyond the first three months, they are contacted once a month for follow-up and support. Camp staff remain available to parents for consultation after graduation.

STAFF TRAINING: What training do Camp Duncan counselors receive?

Staff traning at Camp Duncan exceeds the requirements of the state of North Carolina for residential care. Our staff are certified by Cornall University in the C.A.R.E model as well as Safe Crisis Management (SCM). In addition to receiving C.A.R.E and SCM training, all Camp Duncan personnel are also trained in the Wilderness Road Therapuetic Camping Association model of helping girls and their families make progress on their behavior and attitude goals. This system has been used for over 70 years in dozens of Camps to help thousands of girls and families. Senior CD staff are responsible to train and oversee counselors as they help girls acheive success. All direct-care staff are trained in First-Aid, CPR, Water Safety, Fire Safety and many other areas needed to keep our campers feel safe and secure in our outdoor environment. We believe it is critical that our staff is continually learning and improving, so every five to six weeks additional training and education is held.

UNWILLING GIRL: What if my daughter doesn't want to come?

Each girl needs to have a desire to come to Camp Duncan in order to improve herself. Camp is not for everyone. We are looking to change hearts in girls...their motive for how they live life and how they relate to others. Camp Duncan is a supportive place of mentoring and encouragement through love, fun and care that is hard to resist, if a girl has a desire to improve. There does need to be some desire for improvement within a girl if she is to be successful at Camp Duncan. We cannot force change on an unwilling heart, therefore every girl MUST CHOOSE to come.

CHRISTIAN SERVICES: Does my son have to be Christian to attend Camp Duncan?

All girls are welcome regardless of their faith. Camp Duncan's ethic or moral code... how we determine what is right and wrong... comes from the Christian Bible. All staff are committed Christians. We have many activities that are Biblically based: morning devotions, prayer, singing, two services each week which girls are expected to attend. If, as parents, this is not an environment you would choose for yourself or daughter, then Camp Duncan might not be the best choice. Camp Duncan is a ministry of Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina. Because we are a non-profit, Christ-centered organization, Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, their friends and supporters furnish Camp Duncan and supply both staff and the scholarships we can offer families unable to pay the full tuition. Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina serves all 100 counties of North Carolina and has locations in twenty-one statewide communities. If the outdoor setting of Camp Duncan is not the right fit, there are a variety of other caring cottage homes across the state. You can visit to learn more or call 336-474-1200.

OTHER "CAMP" LOCATIONS: Are there other camps like Camp Duncan?

Camp Duncan is part of the Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association. We have partners in other states and countries.

  • South Carolina- Wilderness Way Girls Camp
  • Maryland- Allegany Boys Camp