2021 Camp questions
What is the weather like at Camp?
The weather varies considerably at Camp with days being hot (90-100 degrees) and mornings and evenings being chilly. Be sure to provide your camper with warm layers. A packing list will be sent to you before your child’s session begins.
Can I visit the Camp?
Due to the Camp’s remote location and our need to maintain the safety of Camp, visitors are not allowed.
*UPDATED for 2021* How will I have contact with my camper(s)?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of how the COVID-19 virus is transmitted, we will be limiting campers in our Camp office this summer. Our office space at Camp does not allow campers to social distance and could risk the health of both our staff and other campers. Therefore, we will not be scheduling camper phone calls this year.
Make sure you provide Camp with a working email if you haven’t already done so.
The best way to contact your camper is to email email@example.com (with their name as the subject line). These emails will be printed and given to campers. Please note, campers cannot email back.
We have additional plans to connect with you regularly throughout your camper's session and will update this as we have more information.
Can I send my child a care package?
Camp Mendocino discourages care packages for several reasons. Primarily, care package contents do not tend to align with the healthy eating policy of BGCSF. Furthermore, care packages can make other campers feel left out. Lastly, due to Camp’s remote location, mail is slow to reach us and campers are often gone before their packages arrive. Camp Mendocino provides three healthy meals per day. Additionally, campers can purchase snacks at the Canteen. You can add money to your camper’s Canteen account online through your CampInTouch account.
*UPDATED for 2021* What are the sleeping arrangements like?
Camp Mendocino is co-ed; boys are located on one side of Camp and girls are on the other. Age groups are separated into different “villages” and each village has several cabins located together with their own bathrooms and showers. Cabins have six bunk beds and are solid wood structures with canvas flaps covering windows and the door.
In 2021, villages will serve as cohorts or "bubbles" and we will limit cohorts mixing with each other while at Camp. Campers will be assigned cabins with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing while sleeping.
Can I make cabin requests?
Campers are placed into their cabins based on their age. We do not make special arrangements as we find that campers are more social and “team-oriented” when they aren’t around siblings or close friends.
What is the food like at Camp?
Camp Mendocino has a health initiative (like the rest of BGCSF) so all campers receive three well-balanced meals per day that meet the USDA requirements. All meals are served with milk and water. If your child has special dietary requirements, please let us know ahead of time.
Does my child need spending money?
We recommend putting $30 towards your camper’s Canteen account, unless your camper is interested in a larger item like a sweatshirt ($35). You can either hand in cash at the bus departure or add money to your online account. No cash is exchanged at Camp.
What is for sale at the Canteen?
The Canteen offers small snacks like popcorn, goldfish, and popsicles. There are small merchandise items like stickers, sunglasses, and magnets, as well as larger items like sweatshirts, sweat pants, and shirts.
What happens if my child gets homesick?
Many times, first year campers experience a little homesickness in the first two days. During this time we make every effort to help your child adapt to the Camp environment and make new friends. By day three most campers have settled in. On rare occasions however, some children just aren’t ready to make the transition to an overnight camp experience. If your child continues to be homesick on the third day, we will notify you and make a plan that may include you picking up your child.
What is expected of my child while (s)he is at Camp?
All campers are expected to be respectful to all staff and other campers, and be non-violent and follow instructions. Failing to meet these basic expectations may result in dismissal from Camp.
How will my child’s medical needs be handled?
We employ qualified and certified medical staff to dispense medications and treat any minor issues that may arise. If your child needs to visit the infirmary, we will notify you immediately with the details. If your child is on any prescription medication, you need to turn in all medications at the bus departure with full dosing instructions and a ten-day supply. OTC medications must also be turned in at the bus departure, but Camp medical staff will have OTC medications at Camp.
Please be advised – the nearest hospital to Camp is a one-hour drive. Please use your best judgment when sending a child with severe medical needs to Camp. Please call our office if you have additional questions or specific needs.
What kind of programs will my child experience?
Camp Mendocino provides a wide range of activities for youth including hiking, mountain biking, archery, swimming, environmental education, gardening, sports, and dance and drama. Campers participate in evening programs as well including talent shows, campfires, sing-alongs, and dances.
At Camp Mendocino, our Challenge Course consists of:
Eight team building elements located on the ground (potentially available for all ages)
Junior ropes course at a height of 15ft with four connected elements (ages 11-12)
High ropes course at a height of 30 ft with 10 connected elements including a Zip Line (ages 13-17)
Climbing wall (run as optional activity for ages 11-17)
Giants Ladder (Two people assist eachother to climb up a hanging ladder while on belay) (only run occasionally with ages 15-17)
Leap of Faith (Participant climbs to the top of a pole and jumps to hit a target on belay) (only run occasionally with ages 15-17)
The primary goals of the challenge course are:
1. To increase the participants’ sense of personal confidence
2. To increase mutual support within the group
3. To develop an increased level of agility and physical coordination
4. To have fun
Do I have to complete the Summer Foods form even if I think I don’t qualify?
Yes, everyone must complete this form. The Summer Foods program is one of the many ways we are able to make Camp affordable for everyone.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, credit card, and money order. We do not accept personal checks.
Is Camp Mendocino on Social Media?
Yes! You can follow Camp on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/camp.mendocino and on Instagram at @camp_mendocino. Our social media accounts feature pictures of Camp and campers, bulletins about registration promotions, and updates about return buses.
Will you post pictures of my child on Social Media?
We know many parents are anxious to see photos of their child(ren) having fun while at Camp so we do try to post pictures on social media each session. However, Camp Mendocino does not have a staff photographer, so pictures can be few and far between. The staff we do employ are 100% focused on supervising campers and ensuring their safety and enjoyment and don’t always have enough time to post photos.
Unless you tell us otherwise, we may post pictures of your child on Facebook, Instagram, the Camp website, or on other promotional materials. If you wish this not to be the case, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a more specific question - who do I ask?
For more questions, call our hotline at (415) 757-6690 or email email@example.com.
*UPDATED for 2021* Will my camper require a doctor's physical prior to the summer?
We ask that if you have access to a clinic or physican, you submit an updated 2021 doctor's physical or immunization record to us 14 days before your session starts.
However, due to the additional barriers facing families this year in accessing clinics and personal physicians, we are not reuiring new immunization records or a current doctor’s physical records.
If your camper submitted a new physical form & immunization record in 2019, we will not require forms from you. Upon registration, we will ask you to review your camper's previous physical and immunization record and update us on any changes that have occured.
If your camper was not at Camp in 2019 and therefore does not have a physical updated in in our system since, we will require a doctor's physical dated no earlier than August 1, 2019. This can be a physical used for the 2019-2020 school year, or any sports activity in 2019 or 2020.
*UPDATED for 2021*What will transportation look like this summer?
We will continue to provide bus transportation from San Francisco this year. We are unable to also provide transportation from Travis Air Force Base. We have partnered with our bus company to ensure that we take all possible safety procedures. A few main policy changes are below:
*Bus drivers, campers, and Camp staff will tested for COVID-19 prior to Changeover day.
*Buses will be deep cleaned before arrival and departure.
*Safety barriers have been installed in all buses from the top of bus seats to the ceiling of the bus, providing additional barriers between passengers
*Campers will be seated on the bus with the village cohort in which they will stay with for the remainder of their time at camp. This should help to reduce exposure to other campers and groups
*UPDATED for 2021* What is the refund policy?
The "hold-your-spot" fee of $30 is non-refundable for any reason. Refunds of any remaining funds paid will be allowed up to 14 days prior to the beginning of your camper's session. If a camper is not able to attend Camp due to symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the start of the session, families should contact Camp Mendocino immediately. Every effort will be made to accomodate your camper in another session (when appropriate), and refunds will be given on a case-by-case basis.
No refunds are given if: families cancel with less than 14 days notice before the session begins, camper(s) does not show up for Camp, or if he/she is sent home from Camp for any reason.
*UPDATED for 2021* What will Changeover day look like?
On Changeover Day, campers will arrive at the arrival/departure location. Families will stay in the car and campers will go through a drive through process to check-in.
Be prepared to be in your car for 30-60 minutes at the changeover day location.
Upon arrival, Camp staff will:
Check your camper in
Take your camper's temperature & ask screening questions for COVID-19
Give your camper a rapid COVID-19 antigen test (nasal swab)
The rapid test takes approx. 15 minutes for results. Camp staff will direct you where to wait.
If all is clear, Camp staff will remove your camper's luggage from the car & label it with color coded tag.
You'll say your goodbyes and we will take your camper & their luggage to the bus!
Please note that masks & distancing are required while at the departure location.
Buses will be assigned by village cohort to limit risk. This means friends, cousins, siblings, etc. may not be on the same bus.
There will be no eating on the bus and your camper won't have dinner until 5 or 6pm. We suggest eating a large breakfast/lunch and having a snack while they are waiting to get on the bus.
Campers & staff without negative COVID test results, at least 5 days before arriving at camp, will not be allowed to attend Camp. If you didn't already turn them in, have your camper's results with you! No late arrivals to Camp will be allowed this summer.
*NEW for 2021* How will you handle personal hygiene (showering, tooth brushing, hand washing, etc)?
Hand washing will occur before eating food, before entering the dining area, after touching high touch areas, and after using common items & hand washing will be built into the schedule. We will also have hand sanitizer with all staff and in all appropraite Camp locations.
All bathrooms will have a regular cleaning checklist and high expectations for cleanliness. As needed, some sinks and facilities may be closed in order to maintain distancing.
We will take extra care to ensure camper personal toiletry items are properly stored. Showers, teethbrushing, etc will occur regularly and within distancing regulations.
*NEW for 2021* What changes will there be to dining/food service?
All meals will be eaten outside to avoid campers interacting indoors. We will take care to have single-serve items when appropriate, and all kitchen staff will utilize appropriate personal protective equiptment including masks and gloves when serving campers.
*NEW for 2021* Will there be changes to programs/activities?
Campers can look forward to many of the Camp activities they know and love this summer. Some changes to activities include:
*Campers will be assigned a village cohort, which will not mix with other villages for activities
*Physical distancing will be required
*Masks will be required most of the day, with some exceptions for sleeping, swimming, and other high-energy activities
*All-camp events will be adjusted to encourage physical distancing and reduce the mixing of camper groups
*Supplies will be cleaned regularly and, when appropriate, not shared between groups
*NEW for 2021* How will Camp be managing camper mental health and well-being this summer?
We recognize that this year has been difficult for so many. From the loss of activities and social isolation to the grieving of family members and friends, our campers, families, and staff have experienced many challenges.
Current research shows that young people especially are at risk of increased feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety due to the pandemic.
As always, Camp Mendocino will maintain a focus on the physical and emotional safety of everyone at Camp by providing extensive training for staff members on mental health, risk factors, safety concerns, and the impact of trauma. In 2021, we will add a new behavioral health position to the staff team. This person will serve as a resource to Camp Counselors and other staff who have questions or concerns about camper behavior and mental health.
*NEW for 2021* What will the expectations be for staff and campers before arriving at Camp?
All campers & staff will be asked to self-quarantine for 10 days prior to their first day at Camp. During this time, campers, staff, and their households will be asked to limit their exposure with the general public when at all possible and screen themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. The recommendation to self-quarantine will be one of many Non-Pharmacological Interventions used to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
Prior to boarding the bus to Camp, all campers & staff must have a negative result on a PCR test for COVID-19. This test must have been taken within the 5 days prior to their first day at Camp.
Within 24 hours of arriving at the departure location and boarding the bus to Camp, all campers & staff will be given a pre-screening assessment and a rapid antigen test for COVID-19.
At Camp, campers and staff will be screened for symptoms daily, given an additional COVID-19 test on day 5 of each session, and will have access to additional tests as determined neccessary by the Camp medical team.
*NEW for 2021* Can teens age 15-17 participate in Camp programs?
Teens who would normally be eligible for the LIT program (age 15-17) will still be welcomed at Camp. Teens will have two options for the summer:
A) Teens age 15-17 will be able to participate in a program more closely mirroring the experience of campers. Teens will be assigned their own village with their peers and participate in regular Camp activities. While teens may still participate in job readiness workshops with their village, they will not be asked to shadow staff members, help support younger campers, or work in the dining hall or dish room (“Clipper” room). There will be no stipend for this program and teens in the owl village will still be subject to paying camper fees.
B) Teens age 16-17 who have previously participated in the LIT program will be able to participate in a NEW CIT (Counselors-in-training) program at Camp. There will be an application for the CIT program, no enrollment fee, and a stipend for CITs at the end of their session. Participants in the CIT program will be assigned a village of younger campers to support. Unlike the LIT program, CITs will not be interacting with CITs from other villages for social time, workshops, job shadowing, etc. Any 17 year old former LIT who does not participate in the CIT program will be eligible to be at Camp as a camper in the Owl villages as outlined above.
More information about the options for teens this summer can be found on the "Teen Leadership" page of the website.
*NEW for 2021* Will my camper be eligible to attend more than one session this summer?
Unfortunately, no. In order to make Camp accessible to as many campers as possible, while limiting spots due to COVID-19 regulations, we are limiting campers to one session each this summer.
*NEW for 2021* What are your procedures for someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 Camp?
Campers and staff will engage in many interventions in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Along with handwashing, masks, cohorts, testing and distancing, everyone at Camp will be screened daily to identify potential symptoms of COVID-19 early. Our Camp medical staff will be well trained to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and respond accordingly.
If symptoms appear at Camp, the camper/staff will be seen by on-site medical staff to determine if symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. If medical staff determine there is a risk, the individual involved will be immediately quarantined and given a rapid antigen test for COVID-19. Camp staff will swiftly engage in contact tracing and notify members of the individual's cohort. The camper/staff’s village cohort and anyone with whom they have had close contact with (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes), will follow quarantine procedures, monitor any symptoms, and get tested for COVID-19.
If the initial test is positive, the individual will be escorted to an isolation area and further arrangements will be made, including asking family members to come pick campers up from Camp.
If the initial rapid test is negative and medical staff have a reason to believe that there is still a risk of COVID-19, an additional PCR test will be given and the individual will quarantine until test results are back from the lab.
For additional questions about our policies, please contact the Camp office.