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General Camp FAQ’s

Who runs this camp?
Petaluma Day Camp is run by the adult volunteers of the Petaluma Service Unit of Girls Scouts of Northern California. It is staffed by trained registered adult Girl Scout volunteers. Many volunteers are active troop leaders or have previous troop leader/camp experience. Being volunteers, they are all enthusiastic about providing an incredible camp experience. Petaluma Day Camp has been active for over 43 years!

What about Health & Safety?
Petaluma Day Camp is operated according to the Girl Scouts of Northern California’s strict standards for health and safety. A qualified health supervisor is present at the camp at all times. All activities are supervised by trained adults.

Where will Petaluma Day Camp be located?
The location is in the Petaluma area and carpooling is definitely encouraged.  For safety reasons, we do not publish the location.

What does a typical day at Day Camp look like?
At Petaluma Day Camp, there is a general routine that the girl units follow. Units schedule time at various activities and all girl campers stay with their units throughout the day.

9:00am  Campers Arrive / Flags Up Ceremony
9:30am  Dismiss to Units
9:30-12pm   Unit Activities /Daily Craft & Program Activities
12-12:30pm  Lunch
12:30-1pm  All Camp Kapers
1-2pm  Unit Leader Break /Unit Quiet Time (with Leadership Girls)
2-2:30pm  Unit Activities/ Unit Clean-up
3:00-3:30pm  Flags Down Ceremony / Dismissal

Is Transportation to and from camp included in the fee?
No. Transportation to and from Day Camp is the responsibility of each family. We do encourage families to carpool.

What should my camper wear every day?
A dress code has been implemented to ensure the comfort and safety of all campers. A short-sleeve camp t-shirt is included in the registration fee and provided to the camper on the first day of camp. We recommend that the campers wear this shirt to camp each day for identification purposes (expect to wash it frequently). Alterations to the camp shirt is not permitted. Campers may also wear long pants or shorts that hit just above the knee (NO “short-shorts” or bare shoulders). Durable shoes with closed toes and heels with laces (i.e. sneakers or hiking boots) and socks (covering at least ankles) are required. No sandals, clogs or flip-flops.

Please apply sunscreen and insect repellent to your camper before she arrives at camp in the morning. Pack a hat with a brim to wear.

Will my daughter stay on-site the whole time or will there be field trips? 
Currently, we do not have any plans to have the campers leave the site during Day Camp. If any field trip is planned for a specific unit, you would be contacted before camp by your camper’s Unit Leader(s) with all the details and to get your permission.   

Can I tour camp when we drop our camper(s) off?
Yes, AFTER the first day. On the first day (Monday), we will be busy transitioning our campers into camp life and just don’t have the resources to give you a tour at that time. Also, it is best for your camper if your drop-off is a quick process. However, your camper MAY give you a tour of camp after afternoon dismissal on days 2-5 (Tuesday – Friday), if you so choose. By then, she’ll know all the ropes and will happily share her camp memories as you walk around camp.

May we visit our daughter during the Day Camp session?
Many years of camp experience has shown that having parents visit at camp can be very disruptive for campers and staff, so we ask that you only visit during the pick-up time on any day. An emergency contact number will be provided in the event you need to contact your daughter for any reason. All camp visitors are required to sign-in at the Camp Nurse’s Station prior to entering camp and sign-out prior to leaving campus.

Hint* A way to have fun and participate at camp is to volunteer!

What are the bathroom facilities like at  Day Camp?
We are an outdoor camp and have only limited access to the facilities of our location. There will be clean “Port”-O-potty facilities (with hand washing station inclusive) for your camper to use. We are bringing these in especially for our Day Camp and they will be maintained and cleaned throughout the week. Hand wash stations will also be set up around camp and within each unit.

What if your daughter is nervous about attending camp?
We make every effort to keep troops together. Many girls get scared or nervous before attending their first day at camp, whether it is day camp or overnight camp. To help you feel more comfortable, have your daughter look at the camp website to learn more. You might also talk with the Camp Director to learn more about the program. We are happy to answer any of your questions. Many Unit Leaders hold at least one camp preparation meeting prior to Day Camp with the campers assigned to their unit so your camper will be ‘making new friends’ even before Day Camp begins! Finally, see if there is someone you know who is attending camp too – you could have a buddy on the first day!

Are group pictures taken?
We will take pictures of each unit in their camp shirts on the first day of camp. A keepsake camp photo will be given to each girl on the last day of camp and is included in your camper fee.

Can my camper be placed in the same unit as her buddy?
Unit placements will not be made until May. We will do everything we can to make it happen but can’t guarantee that buddies will be able to be placed together. The camp program is designed so that all campers make new friends, a Girl Scout tradition, and participate with all other campers – so even if they are not officially placed in the same unit, they will get to see plenty of one another throughout the week.

My daughter’s friend backed out and she is coming to camp alone – she won’t know anyone else there. She’s nervous about that, and frankly, so am I.
Most of our campers do NOT come to camp with a buddy. Sure, it’s always reassuring to have a buddy coming with you to camp – it does help ease some of the anticipatory nervousness. But frankly, we’ve been told over and over by the campers themselves, that they actually have MORE fun when they come alone and make new friends. There are ALWAYS lots of girls in each unit who do not know anyone else, and they are ALL very anxious to make new friends too! Our own daughters have done it both ways, and they actually prefer the “new-friends” experience!

What are some of the things campers encounter every day?

Activities, Activities and More Activities
See our Camp Program page for more info about how we’ll keep your daughter busy all day long!

BIFFY/“Port”-O-Potty
Girl campers, adult volunteers, and staff use while at camp what we call a BIFFY (Bathroom In Forest For You) – a “Port”-O-Potty in non-camp locations. Staff and campers help clean and sanitize them every day. We have procedures in place to keep them as odor-free as possible.

Flags Up/Flags Down
Every morning at 9:15am and every afternoon at 3:00pm, there is a flag ceremony held at the flag pole area. Every unit will perform the ceremony at least once during the week. During the flag ceremony, everyone in attendance (camp staff, campers, TagAlongs, Unit Leaders and parents) are expected to pay respectful attention (no ‘side bar’ conversation; no chatting; no horse play). Drivers coming to the camp site during morning and afternoon flag ceremonies are asked to turn off their cars during the ceremony as a sign of respect. Please let your carpool drivers know about this tradition.

Kapers
Every unit has a camp-wide kaper (chore) to do every day. From picking up litter to performing the flag ceremony, everyone does their part to keep Day Camp running. Girls are also expected to participate in unit kapers as applicable.

Down Time
Every unit has some down time almost every day, where campers can eat a snack (offered daily in the afternoon), finish a craft, write some camp mail, play cards, and nap if needed.

I have other questions – who can I contact?
Take a look at our other FAQ pages first, but you are always welcome to email your questions to us at Petalumadaycampgirlscouts@gmail.com

Updated March 5, 2017

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