For Caregivers

We know that trusting others with your young people is a huge ask and we take that responsibility very seriously. What we ask of caregivers is that you allow us to earn your trust.  We want to be as open as possible about the details of your camper’s experience. Below you will find a list of commonly asked questions. We know this list will not be exhaustive and if you have any additional questions our team is excited to connect with you and get your questions answered!

Day Camp Life

What time is pick-up and drop-off?

The daily camp schedule runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Drop off is from 8:30 – 9:00, and pickup is from 4:00 – 4:30.

This summer we’re offering an extended care option. Extended care hours will run from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM and from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM. Extended care is available at no extra cost. While your child will be supervised by camp staff during this time, no specific programming will be taking place.

What activities will my child participate in?

Day Camp is about campers’ freedom and choice. Each day campers will have the option to choose from several activities, including both traditional camp activities and creative activities that our camp staff will help your camper create out of their own imaginations! Traditional choices may include swimming, boating, archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, fishing, team sports, field games, theater, high ropes, arts and crafts, gardening, fossil hunting, water activities, fort building, or tie dye. Some creative choices may include a Down Under Safari, catapult building, otter slides, spidey sense, the Moon Shot, and others!

Oh! There’s swimming? Tell me about that...

Swimming is an optional activity each day. After lunch, campers will move to our waterfront area and choose from several options – swimming, a chill activity, a skill activity, or an active one. Our waterfront is always guarded by certified lifeguards who will assess each camper’s ability and assign them to the appropriate swim area based on their skill. Non-swimming activities may include hanging out in our hammock area, playing a game of gaga, or coming up with a new active game together.

What if my child doesn’t want to participate in an activity?

That’s ok! Campers have the choice to participate or not participate in all activities. We will always have activity options for campers to choose from including the option to not do anything at all. Kids rarely have the opportunity to choose their own schedule, and at Day Camp we want them to get that chance!

In certain circumstances, campers will be required to move with the camp to a different area such as the dining hall for lunch, or the waterfront area when swimming is an option. Once in that area however, campers are free to choose what they’d like to do, including nothing at all. 

How does transportation to camp work?

Campers can be dropped off by car in our camp drop-off circle. As you come into camp there will be a sign directing you to our day camp drop off. Once in the circle, you will stay in the car while a counselor opens the door to greet your camper and help them with their belongings. The Camp Director will check in with you to get any updated information about your camper for the day, and then you’ll be on your way!

During pick up, the person picking up your camper will be asked for their PIN number to verify that that person is approved to pick up your child. Once verification is complete, your camper will be called over the PA system to come to the pick up area. We will walk your camper to your car and help get them buckled in. No need to get out!

How are lunch and snacks handled at Day Camp?

Lunch is included in the cost of camp. We provide a variety of delicious and nutritious food options every day. We will have a kid-friendly entree along with a salad, soup, and sandwich station. If your child has any dietary restrictions, our amazing kitchen staff will make a special effort to accommodate them with advance notice. Snacks are also provided and will be delivered at set times during the day. Campers will also have access to “grab and go” baskets of snacks like granola bars or fresh fruit if they need a little extra until snack or lunch time.

We are a nut-aware facility. We do not serve any nut products but cannot guarantee that all our ingredients were made in nut-free facilities.

Will my child have access to a climate controlled space?

All campers will have access to our sensory room/calm down space located in the main camp area. This space is designed for campers to be able to take a break from the loud, chaotic fun of camp to refresh themselves and reset for more fun. The space is air conditioned and will have a variety of calming activities including books, an indoor tent, fidget toys, and art supplies among others.

Will there be a rest period at Day Camp?

There will be many opportunities for campers to “take a break” each day on their own time, but there will be no designated rest period at Day Camp. Because campers are always free to choose their schedule and activities, they can take breaks as needed. Our staff are trained to recognize when kids may be overtired, overheated, or overstimulated and will suggest a break or low-energy option, but it is never mandatory and is up to each child’s discretion.

With all the choice that happens, how are you going to keep track of everyone?

Remember recess, when one or two teachers were responsible for supervising the playground? Day Camp is a lot like that, only with more staff and cooler options for play! In our Central Park area, campers can freely roam among our open activities, and camp staff will be strategically placed to be able to observe and interact with campers in their designated “zone.” As kids move from one zone to another, supervision of that camper moves to the staff person in that new zone.

At strategic points during our day (drop off, prep for lunch, pick up), campers will check in with a designated staff person who is responsible for their physical, social, and emotional safety while at camp. Each camper will have that trusted staff member to check in with as they need, and will be free to build peer relationships the rest of their day.

I’m intrigued! Can you tell me more?

At Day Camp, we believe relationships with trusted adults are paramount to a child’s ability to learn and grow in a safe environment. For summer 2023, we’re moving forward with no more than 60 kids per week and a staff that consists of the Camp Director and 10 camp counselors who will provide the majority of activities and supervision for your kids. At certain areas that require certifications (swimming, archery, etc.), other staff will provide additional instruction and supervision.

Because our camp model encourages camper choice and free movement between activities, sometimes in some areas there will be more kids, sometimes there will be less. Camp staff will work to observe where kids are choosing to spend their time and move to support larger groups of campers, or open or close areas of the main camp playground as kids’ interests and focus change.

Safety, Belonging, and Justice

How are staff selected?

All camp staff go through an application and interview process with our Camp Director. If selected for camp, every staff member must pass a background check and will go through our week-long pre-camp staff training.

How are staff trained for Day Camp?

Staff are trained in a collaborative, hands-on manner on site over a week-long period at our Day Camp. Staff will be trained on the specifics of Day Camp by our Camp Director in concert with industry consultants and professionals in their own areas of expertise. Staff will have the opportunity to practice their skills before the first day of camp arrives and will be part of our ongoing supervision and evaluation process to ensure the highest quality of service for your camper.

What if my child doesn’t have all of the things on the packing list?

We have loaner towels and water bottles that are washed after each use available for campers! If there is anything additional that your family might need assistance with please let us know!

What happens if my child is having a hard time making friends?

We totally understand that fostering friendships can be tough, even for the most adventurous and outgoing of kiddos! We can’t wait to support your camper in making connections with others. We make it our mission to authentically know each camper and their unique interests and joys, and we will encourage them to share their spark with those around them.

One special aspect of Day Camp is our Camper Empowerment Plan. Before the summer, staff will be in touch with each family to learn about your camper, their individual abilities and strengths, and any additional needs we may need to take into consideration in order for them to get the most out of their camp experience. We also hope to respond to moments in real time during the summer and find ways to support campers to achieve their own goals each and every day.

Will campers be asked to share their pronouns?

Summer camp should be a place where every child feels safety and belonging. Just like we ask what name campers would like to be known by, we also will ask what pronouns they prefer. If they choose not to answer, that’s fine! If they prefer something different, that’s ok too.

What if my camper goes by a name that differs from what is on their registration form?

Day Camp is all about giving campers the power to choose their own adventure. Sometimes that means trying out new ideas, new games, new opportunities, or a different name. Sometimes that means that we call a camper or staff person by the name they ask to be known by that day. For example, did you know our Camp Director Mike goes by Gonzo at camp? Like the old saying goes, “you can call me whatever you’d like, just don’t call me late for swim time!”

Are there all-gender restrooms available?

Yes! There are all-gender restrooms available in the main area where campers hang out. Campers will always know where the all-gender restrooms are so they can use them accordingly! While at this time we do not have all-gender restrooms available in all areas of camp, this is a space we are working on improving.

How do you handle “sensitive conversations” like politics?

Oh, those kids, asking the tough questions! One of our incredible camp consultants, Simone Gamble, talks about how camp is a microcosm of the world for kids. As such, when sensitive conversations arise, staff are trained to ask questions, listen, and allow kids to steer the conversation. We believe if we give kids a chance to live in a community where people treat each other with respect that space for sensitive conversations can be created in ways that amplify empathy, curiosity, and validation. As long as the conversation doesn’t threaten the safety of another camper or go against our camp agreements, we feel it’s important to engage with campers in that difficult space.

Camper Readiness

How do I know that my camper is ready for Day Camp?

There is something extra special and magical about the first time at summer camp, and we are so excited to support your camper in making this an unforgettable experience! Our program is designed to empower campers to choose the activities that will bring them joy in a supportive environment, making us a great space for first time campers. Whether your kiddo is a first timer or seasoned veteran, we support all campers in following safety expectations, playing fairly with others, and communicating their needs.

Okay – but our kiddo is pretty wild.  Are you ready for them?

Our hope is to welcome campers from a wide range of dispositions! Camp is a great place for tons of kids and sometimes it isn’t right for everyone. Here’s the thing: we desperately want every child who comes to camp to have an amazing time. If you have concerns about your kiddo at Camp, give our Day Camp Director a call and let’s make a plan to work together! If your child can do their best to take care of themselves and the people around them, it is highly likely they will be successful at camp. We are never seeking perfection or perfect behavior, but rather a willingness to learn, grow, play, and explore, together!

What happens if my camper breaks one of the camp agreements?

Listen, everyone makes mistakes, adults included! At Day Camp we aim to build a camp community based on connection, partnership, empathy, and support. When a harm occurs at camp, we want to help make the harmed person whole, but we also want to make the person who caused the harm whole as well. Every member of our camp community is valued for the things that make them unique. In an instance like this, it is our responsibility to help kids work through the hurt to find a place of understanding and healing that everyone can feel good about. As long as the camper can commit to doing their best to abide by our camp agreements going forward, we’re committed to helping them learn and grow together.

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