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Overnight Camp FAQ

  1. Where is Camp Under the Stars Located?
    Camp Under the Stars is located in the Prince William Forest National Park in Triangle/Dumfries, Virginia.  Camp is in an area of the park that is separate from the public area of the park.  Specific location details will be provided after registration.


  2. What are the facilities at camp?
    We have a large dining hall, program cabins, a health center cabin, fields for playing, a lake, a creek with waterfalls, lots of wooded space, and living units.  Each living unit has sleeping cabins with cots and electric lights, and a building with toilets, sinks, and showers.


  3. Who are the camp staff?
    Camp Under the Stars staff are adults from the DC metro area and all over the world.  Camp staff go through a rigorous application process, extensive training, and background checks.  Some of our camp staff are teachers, and many have years of experience working with children in a camp setting.  Waterfront Staff are certified lifeguards and receive kayak safety training.  Our health cabin is staffed by a Nurse and/or Nurse Practitioner.  All camp staff receive training in the areas of overnight camp safety, anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, neurodiversity inclusion, restorative justice, first aid, CPR, AED, EpiPens, and more.


  4. Who are the campers at Camp Under the Stars?
    We welcome all children ages 5-17.  Ages 5-14 are campers and ages 14-17 participate in the Culinary Leadership Programs at camp.  Most campers are from the DC metro area.  For many campers, this will be their first time at overnight camp. We are happy to provide accommodations and support to ensure each camper has a fun, positive camp experience.


  5. What is the staff to camper ratio?
    Each camp unit has a maximum of 12 campers with at least 2 staff.  Additional staff prepare meals in the dining hall, lead program activities, and manage health needs.


  6. What do campers do at camp?
    Campers and the staff in their camp unit are together for most of the day.

    Sample daily schedule

    7:00 AM: Good morning: time to wake up and get ready for the day
    8:00 AM: Breakfast: nutritious breakfast served in the dining hall
    9:00 AM: Circles: including mindfulness activities & yoga
    9:30 AM: Unit chores: for example, organizing cabins and collecting firewood
    10:00 AM: Morning: activities may include art, outdoor play, hiking, book time, and culinary
    Nutritious snack: a nutritious snack is served each morning

    12:30 PM: Lunch: campers help to prepare and cook a nutritious lunch in the dining hall or over a campfire
    2:00 PM: Rest time: quiet time for campers with books and quiet activities available
    3:00 PM: Afternoon: activities may include kayaking, paddleboarding, waterfall walks, and STEM
    Nutritious snack: a nutritious snack is served each afternoon
    6:00 PM: Dinner: nutritious dinner served in the dining hall
    7:00 PM: Campfire: come together around a campfire
    8:00 PM: Bedtime: time to get ready for bed


  7. What is the food like at camp?
    Camp food is nutritious, delicious, and kid-friendly.  Alternatives are available if campers don’t like the meal served.  Campers and staff eat family style with serving dishes on each table.  Nutritious snacks are served in the morning and afternoon.  And of course, we have fun campfire desserts like s’mores!

    We are happy to provide alternatives for food allergies and dietary restrictions.  Alternatives for food allergies are prepared in a separate area of the camp kitchen.  Please contact us to discuss your camper's food allergies and/or dietary restrictions before registering for camp.


  8. How are cabin assignments made?
    Campers are placed in living units with camp staff and other campers who will be the best fit for a great time at camp.  Parents/guardians will provide detailed information that will be used to make living unit placements.

    Most living units have two camper cabins.  Campers are placed in cabins with other campers of a similar age.  Cabins are not necessarily separated by gender.  Parents/guardians may indicate their preference regarding the age and gender of the other campers in their child's cabin room.  (Cabin rooms are separate, and most cabin rooms do not have doors.  Changing areas are provided in each cabin.)

    If your camper is registering for camp along with a friend or family member of a similar age, please contact us if you would like them to be placed in the same camp unit.  We are not able to guarantee that campers will be placed in the same cabin.  However, it is likely that they can be placed in the same living unit, which means they can spend nearly the entire day together.


  9. How do parents and campers communicate while at camp?
    Campers are encouraged to write letters home to tell their family and friends all about camp.  And families and friends are encouraged to write letters to campers.  Mail for campers is dropped off at camp when you drop off your camper and will be delivered to your camper throughout the week.  As a screen-free and electronics-free camp, campers do not communicate using phones while at camp.  However, parents/guardians are welcome to call camp and speak with a camp staff member anytime!


  10. How are medications handled at camp?
    All camper medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, are kept safely locked in the camp health center.  Medications are administered by our camp health center staff, usually a nurse.  Camp does not provide any medications.  Medications brought to camp must be in their original container.


  11. Can I visit camp?
    Once COVID is behind us, we look forward to having camp visit days for families to visit camp.  In lieu of a camp visit day, please view the virtual camp tour!


  12. How do I sign up for camp?
    You may register by completing a brief registration form on our website.


  13. What if I have more questions?
    We are very happy to answer any additional questions you may have and provide more information about Camp Under the Stars.  Please email us

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