Welcome to Nature Camp 2018!
Returning parents, please read again as some things are new.
Thanks for sending your kids to us! We look forward to our time with them and will love them as we do our own.
(Which means they get sun-screened many times a day and nagged about drinking water….)
The following is a LOT of information about camp, often repeating and overlapping itself. We find that if we write it down several way (Label Everything) we get all the important info out there! (Everything should be labeled) :)
Please follow us on Facebook for pictures during the camp session and news about what is going on!
Basic Camp Info
Monday – Friday 9 am – 4:30
Camp Cell #’s
Diana 707.484.7759 (Camp Director)
Kimberly 707.292.9884 (Camp Admin)
Genesis 707.787.7231 (Camp Attendance)
We are in the middle of a field surrounded by hills so reception comes and goes. Leave a message or send a text and we will check them regularly as we get reception. Kimberly is generally offsite and can be reached.
Pick-up and drop-off.
Faith Lutheran Church at 19355 Arnold Drive.
We are greatly appreciative of Faith Lutheran Church allowing us to use their parking lot.
- Walk your campers into the grassy pick-up and drop-off area for both drop off and pick up.
- Please adhere to the "in" and "out" driveways and drive slowly in the parking lot.
- Do not block the driveway where the shuttle vehicles will be driving.
AM DROP OFF:
You can drop your camper off anytime after 8:30 am and before 9:00 am. If you miss this drop-off you will need to contact Diana, or Genesis to make arrangements. Do Not Drive into camp unless it has been prearranged. We have to keep the traffic to a minimum.
PM PICK UP:
We will begin shuttling campers back to the Faith Lutheran at 4:15 for a 4:30 arrival. If you need your child to be in an early pick-up, let the check-in person know (they will be stationed at Faith Lutheran every morning).
Missed or Late Days:
Please call Diana at 484-7759 if you are not bringing your child to camp or will be late on a given day. Many times we leave camp to hike and if a camper arrives late we may be gone unless you tell us in advance.
Directions to camp
Camp is located on a private property we greatly discourage parents from driving in and out of camp. Please make arrangements for doctor appointments and other appointments to be at times other than when camp is in session. If you must come in to camp for any reason, call the camp cell phone and let us know in advance of your arrival. All traffic will enter / exit on Grove St.
What A Camper Needs
You wouldn’t believe our lost and found piles. If you have everything labeled we can easily track down the owners.
Please Check the GIGANTIC LOST and FOUND pile! Because, yes, your child lost something…
Let a camp counselor know if items still need to be labeled. Also please send your campers in play cloths that can get dirty. We recommend that shorts or tights be worn under skirts and short shorts.
Bring to camp each day:
- MORNING SNACK & DAILY LUNCH
- Water Bottle (filled)
- Sun Screen (applied befor camp)
- Back Pack that can be worn
- Swim Suit and Towel
- Spare Change of Clothes
- Tshirt for Art projects (Just once)
- Closed toe shoes or full straped sandals (Keen/Teva type- no flip flops)
We do not allow glass bottles in camp.
All drinks must be in plastic or paper containers.
No Candy or Sodas
We strive to be peanut free (we have campers with severe Peanut allergies)
Some Snack Ideas:
Morning snack is usually around 11:30am
Carrots Sticks Crackers
Fresh Fruit Fruit Juices
Trail Mix Breakfast Bars
Goldfish Sliced Fruit
Celery Sticks W/Cream Cheese
Some Lunch Ideas:
Sandwiches Cold Pizza
Carrots Sticks Bagels W/ Cream Cheese
Chips/Crackers Cold Pasta Or Pasta Salads
Boiled New Potatoes Cream Cheese & Rice Cakes
Celery Sticks Fruit Roll Ups
Water Bottle/Juice Etc.
We provide an afternoon snack around 3:00 pm
Fresh water is available at all times to refill water bottles and we encourage your child to drink water often.
All trash is packed out each day. We ask for your help by sending food for snacks and lunches in resuable containers to help reduce trash created on site. We are working to be as waste-free as possible.
Camp Do’s & Dont’s
Please do not:
- drop campers off earlier that 8:30 am without prior arrangement
- drop off campers if there is no instructor present
- leave campers after 5:00 pm without prior arrangements
- send glass containers to camp
- send your camper with a phone, money or valuables.
- no Flip Flops
- call or notify us in case of absence or late arrival. In advance if possible.
- label everything: clothing, back pack, shoes, underwear, water bottle, everything possible.
- notify us if any one other than an immediate family member is dropping off or picking up your camper(s). (Leaving with another camper’s parent is ok with approval.)
- notify us if your child has any particular needs regarding sunscreen or allergies. (i.e. needs extra doses during the day etc.)
- send a spare pair of clothes in a ziplock bag to be left in camper’s cubbie.
- clean lunches out of cubbies daily, all edible items must be removed. Left over lunches will be sent back home with your camper.
- check any medication that your child will need administered during the camp day with Genesis.
- freeze a partially filled water bottle the night befor if we are having a heat wave.
- check in with your camper daily (especially the younger ones) and encourage them to talk to any counselor about their concerns.
Please advise Genesis, Kimberly or Diana if we need to follow up on anything.
General Camp Itinerary
Schedule may change due to weather, whim, and unforeseen circumstances. In general though….
This year we have broken Nature Camp into One Week Sessions. This will create some changes to our past years schedule so we will have the following scheduled all camp activities:
We will swim almost everyday. In the event of a heat wave we may swim every day. Therefore, always send a bathing suit and towel. For those that do not wish to swim we offer alternative activities, games, hikes etc..
The Wednesday is tie-dye day for each session. Please send a 100% cotton shirt, undies, socks, etc. They do not need to be new or even white - as a matter of fact it is a good opportunity to “revive” an old article of clothing. Tie die cloths can be sent any time before that and we will keep them in camp.
***** Please put your camper’s name on the label with a permanent marker*****
We will be spending time at the Carriger Creek Challenge Course and Rock Climb on Suzy Westerbeke's property and get involved in creek studies and lots of new activities in the creek area.
Thursday and Friday will be the Rock Climbing or Ropes Course Day. Sessions 1, 3 & 5 we will rock Climb. Sessions 2, 4 & 6 we will do the Ropes Course.
We take about half the camp each day. This is a “Challenge by Choice” event and if a camper does not choose to climb there will be alternative activities in the creek. If you have any questions or concerns about these events call Diana at 707.484.7759.
General Camp Rules and Guidelines
If you can, please discuss these with your kids before camp. We will be present them again on the first day of camp.
NO Phones, Ipods/pads/mp3 players, handheld videogames or any other electronic device not yet released to the public at the time of this writing. All counselors have phones and access to parent info if a parent needs to be contacted. Conversely, if you need to reach your child during the camp day, you can call the camp leaders and we will connect you.
Please pack a morning snack and a hearty lunch for your child. Please no glass bottles or sodas. We provide an afternoon snack. If your child has food allergies or specific diet, we will make our best effort to accommodate them.
We encourage everyone to try all camp activities. If they choose not to participate they will not be forced or pressured. We practice “Challenge by Choice” with the goal of empowering campers to make a decision about their level of participation. If they are reluctant we will ask them to watch a few others try it and then give them the opportunity to opt in. If they still do not want to participate, we always have other options available.
Please let us know if your child is having any issues at camp. We make every effort to know what is going on with your camper and if they are having issues or concerns, we are concerned as well. Please call or email as soon as you can if your child has an issue so we can work to resolve it as soon as possible. This includes any difficulties with other campers, camp activities or counselors.
We are greatly appreciative of Faith Lutheran Church allowing us to use their parking lot. Please drive slowly and watch for campers. We will keep the campers off to one side of the parking lot. Please park on the left side of the parking lot and walk over to check in/out and pick up campers. Do not block the driveways or the pull through where the shuttle will be dropping the campers off.
CHECK IN/ CHECK OUT:
Each day your camper will check in at the parking lot with Parking Lot Counselor. They will need to check out in the afternoon with the Parking Lot Counselor as well. Do not allow campers to run through the parking lot to your car.
All Campers must be with a counselor or Junior leader at all times. When we go for a hike, to the ropes course/ rock climb or creek, a counselor will lead the group and another counselor will follow at the end of the group. We do have several environmental “hazards” which we will teach the kids how to be safe around:
- Ticks: we live in tick country. Each night you should check for ticks- under arms, in hair etc. If a tick is found gently remove the entire tick and place it into a plastic bag with a cotton ball with a small bit of water. Watch the site for several days and if a “red bulls eye” develops, take the tick and camper to the doctor.
- Snakes: we do have snakes at Nature Camp. Mostly they stay far away but this is one reason the counselors are always first in the group. If a snake is spotted, campers should freeze in place and yell “Snake!” a Counselor will be right over to determine if the snake is a Rattle Snake and to help the camper back safely way.
- Yellow Jackets: we do our best to stay away from these demons but they are around. Staying on the established trails helps tremendously!
- Poison Oak: We teach the kids how to identify this potentially frustrating plant and we try to keep them out of areas that it is occupying. The best defense is to take a SOAPY shower every night and put the day’s cloths straight into the washing machine. They may complain about the bath but they will complain about the poison oak more.
Swimming, Goggles and Sun Screen
We pride ourselves on our swim safety program and are happy to report that many kids each year learn to swim at Nature Camp. All campers are asked to do a Swim Challenge to determine their swim boundaries. This allows us to more effectively watch the swimmers and get to know their swimming style. Many campers have their own pool and are fine swimming at all areas of the pool. However, the Camp Pool is a different swimming situation with many more bodies swimming at once. Our swim safety program has allowed us to safety supervise the camp swimmers for over 30 years. If you would like to discuss the pool safety program further please call Kimberly Rhoten.
The Swim Challenge consists of swimming across the short side of the pool in the style of their choice. If they do not want to participate in the Swim Challenge, they are limited to the 3’ deep area of the pool.
Campers may challenge for a different swim boundary throughout the session at specific times set by the Life Guard. Many campers move up through the swim boundaries throughout a single session.
Swim Boundaries are as follows:
- 3 foot: limited to the first boundary rope in the pool, set at the 3-foot depth of the pool. (Non-swimmers, just learning swimmers and those who do not want to do the challenge)
- Half-Pool: limited to the second boundary rope, set at the 5-foot depth of the pool. (“Bobbers” or those swimmer who have some swim ability but tend to use the bottom of the pool to bounce off of to make it across the pool)
- Full Pool- No Alcatraz. Allows full pool access except when the “Escape From Alcatraz” game is in play. (Intermediate swimmers who can swim across the pool efficiently but might struggle if another swimmer jumped in right next to them or interrupts their progress)
- Full Pool: full access and ability to play Alcatraz. (Advanced swimmers confident with other swimmers nearby, people jumping in the pool next to them and able to tread water in the middle of the pool for longer than one minute,)
Escape from Alcatraz is a game only for the advanced swimmers. It is played during specific and limited times during the swim days to allow for the “No Alcatraz” swimmers to use the deep end as well. During this game many kids are jumping in at once and swimmer must be ok with the chaos and multiple swimmers near by.
Please do not send goggle to camp unless your child has a specific eye issue that requires them. Goggles often become a source of huge distress to young swimmers because:
- They have been misplaced
- They leak
- They pull their hair
- They look just like another pair of goggles that another child has put on.
We appreciate your help and understanding with this.
We ask that you apply sunscreen to your campers before they arrive at camp. We will reapply Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), water resistant, SPF30 sunscreen approved by the American Academy of Dermatology to the campers after lunch and before swimming. They will have to wait 10 minutes before going in to swim to allow the sunscreen to completely absorb into their skin. If your child has a particular allergy or issue with sunscreen please give a bottle of approved sunscreen to the parking lot counselor and we will use that brand for your child. ALL CAMPERS are sun screened regardless of their objections or skin color, even if they say that their sunscreen lasts all day.
We take a break from the pool to allow for swimmers and Swim Staff to get a rest. Sun Screen is also reapplied to the Campers. If the sun is particularly brutal we may ask the die-hard swimmers or very fair skinned campers to put on a t-shirt even if we have reapplied sunscreen. Please let your Campers know that swimming in their shirt is OK and that they will not get in trouble.