FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


It is the name of the old infirmary and later the name of the Director’s cabin.  The password is listed in every issue of The Alumnae Circle and you can also get the password by contacting the office.

The small size of Onaway not only means a close community of campers and counselors, but also guarantees each girl will get the maximum amount of individual attention. There are approximately 90 girls each summer, ranging in age from 9 to 15 years, 6 - 9 Aides (assistant counselors) and 24 or more counselors. Each summer at least two thirds of the campers and counselors return to carry on the Camp traditions and values with loyalty and commitment.

The tuition for 2018 is $7,250.  Other costs include an incidentals fee of $150 to cover expenses including but not limmited to optional chapel donations, the Onaway and HEbron Fairs, camp store, doctors office visits, and shuttles to and from camp from the airport.  The tuition fee covers approximately three quarters of the cost of each girl’s summer. Donations by alumnae, parents, and friends cover the balance. Scholarships are available. Please contact the Camp office for more information.  The 2018 tuition for the OWLE program is $4000.  There is no tuition for Aides, but there is a $500 activity fee.

We believe that campers need the full seven weeks to develop strong friendships, learn outdoor skills and gain a sense of their own inherent spiritual qualities. Read more.

No. Onaway welcomes children of all faiths. We are not affiliated with any religious organization.

However, the Camp was founded in the Judeo-Christian tradition and each Sunday our Director leads a service in our outdoor chapel.  The service includes much of the original Episcopal service used by the founders of Onaway as well as prayers and songs from many religions, poetry and inspirational readings.

Below are links to two talks given at the final chapel in August 2012. Each is a PDF document that will open in a new browser window.

Yes, wearing a uniform eliminates competition over clothing and belongings and allows the  girls to focus on character and inner qualities. The uniforms are quite sturdy and parents appreciate not needing to purchase expensive clothes. We dress up in costumes a lot at Onaway so the girls get their fill of colors and frills!

The uniform may be purchased or second-hand uniforms may be rented from the Camp’s voluminous closet. New uniforms are available through The Camp Spot, password onaway.

We are always looking for old uniforms in good condition as donations.  Our supplier can no longer provide the seersucker shirts and so all girls are renting until we can find a new manufacturer.

While we expect every girl to try all Camp activities, there is no pressure for her to pass levels or requirements for her to compete.  If a camper prefers arts over athletics, there are many opportunities for her to excel and learn.  If she wishes to improve her skills, individualized instruction allows her to grow at her own pace.

Each girl, regardless of swimming ability, has six days of instructional swim each week. The beginning swimmer completes the different levels of the Red Cross program. Our gradual slope into the lake allows girls to grow confident in shallow water until they demonstrate the  endurance and competence to move to deeper water.  

Safety is our first priority.  More advanced swimmers have the opportunity to train to swim the length of the lake or to take a life guarding course.

Proceeds from the annual Camp Fair and the weekly chapel collections are deposited into a special account called the Girls of Onaway. The girls also choose to forego one meal a week and eat only rice, adding the money saved on those meals to the Girls of Onaway fund.  

At the end of the summer, the campers vote on how the money is to be distributed. The money often goes towards Onaway scholarships, the Circle Program, local environmental agencies and other local charities. They also support the Wamba Hospital in Kenya and specifically one of its patients, Lucy.

The girls’ role in allocating the money teaches them a great deal about the need for philanthropy and their ability to make a difference.

The Director is Barrie Pendergast. Read about Barrie by clicking here.

Camp Onaway is a non-profit organization with the name Onaway Camp Trust.  The Onaway Camp Trust was set up in 1960 by alumnae, parents, and friends with the responsibility of maintaining the traditions and values of Onaway.  The volunteers on the Board of Trustees employ a Director with the leadership qualities and values necessary for the growth of the campers and development of the council.  The Board is responsible for providing for the financial security of the Camp, supporting the Director, and maintaining the property.

Campers are accepted only for the entire seven week season, as we believe they need that time to develop strong friendships, learn outdoor skills and gain a sense of their own role in the community.

Each family will receive a Family Handbook which can also be viewed by clicking here. Mailings come from the office throughout the winter and the staff is always available to answer questions.  Don't hesitate to call our new number, 610-525-0676, if we can help.

Let Her Strong and Ageless Be, the Onaway history by Helen Stokes Greven, is available through the camp office.  In over 450 pages, Helen gives an historical account of Onaway including pictures, songs, memories, and anecdotes of 100 years of camp.  

Books can be ordered for $25.00 plus $6.00 shipping.  Please mail checks to the Onaway Office, 26 Summit Grove Avenue, Suite 130, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Yes, each gift to Onaway is tax-deductible. So are portions of a trust and annuity gifts.

Camp Onaway Trust is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, therefore your gift is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Camp Onaway Trust is a nonprofit charity operating since 1965. Our federal tax identification number is 02-0261393.

You should consult your financial planner or tax advisor to determine the exact tax advantages of any gift you are considering. We provide a receipt for all gifts that can be used to claim a tax deduction.