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Overnight Camp FAQ

Smiley (Jacqueline Walsh Yue, Co-Founder & Executive Director)

September 2, 2022

We love to speak with parents and caregivers to answer questions about camp and learn more about their campers. We hope that our answer to your questions help you to decide if Camp Under the Stars is a great fit for your child. The information you provide about your camper helps us to ensure they have the best possible camp experience!

Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about camp.

More Overnight FAQ can be found here:

What is the food like at camp? What if my camper has a limited diet or doesn’t like the food? What if my camper has a food allergy or dietary restriction?

Camp food is nutritious, delicious, and kid-friendly. Most of our meals and snacks are made from scratch at camp.

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!

Most meals are eaten in the dining hall at camp. Meals at camp are a nice time to meet campers and staff from other camp units. At meals, campers learn about composting, recycling, and the importance of eating various colors of nutritious food. We talk about camp values like equity, empathy, and inclusion, and some campers choose to share something about their day with the whole camp!

At each meal and snack, food alternatives are available. If a camper doesn’t like the meal or snack, they will always have other food options.

Food alternatives for allergies and dietary restrictions are also available. Alternatives for food allergies are prepared in a separate area of the camp kitchen by kitchen staff with food allergy training. We are happy to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut allergies, and other food allergies. Please contact us to discuss your camper's food allergies and/or dietary restrictions before registering for camp.

Campers LOVE the food at camp!

How are cabin assignments made?

Cabin assignments are one of our favorite things to do at Camp Under the Stars! We make cabin assignments as campers register for camp, taking into consideration everything we know about each camper. Intentional cabin assignments are one of the many things we do differently as a micro-camp. Campers are placed in living units with camp staff and other campers who will be the best fit for a great time at camp!

Most living units at camp have two camper cabins. Each cabin has two sleeping rooms and one room available for changing. Each sleeping room has 2-4 campers. Each living unit has a maximum of 12 campers.

When registering for camp, parents/caregivers provide detailed information about their camper that we use when making cabin assignments. Parents/caregivers may indicate their preference regarding the age and gender of the other camp in their camper’s cabin room. Cabins are not necessarily separated by gender.

Most campers register for camp by themselves (without a friend). As soon as campers arrive at camp, camp staff are intentional about helping them make new friends. By the time they fall asleep on the first night of camp, campers will have started to make connections and form friendships.

If your camper would like to attend camp 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.

What about the wildlife!?

Being in the National Forest means we encounter more wildlife and bugs, but it also means that we have the support of the Park Rangers. The Rangers stop by camp regularly and are only a phone call away. Last summer they removed a wasp nest and provided guidance when baby birds were born under a cabin. Many of the rangers live in the park and are experts on the wildlife there.

During staff training, camp staff learn about wildlife safety. We follow wildlife safety guidance from the National Forest.

Campers love to search for turtles and frogs at the lake and look for interesting bugs under the rotted logs! There is endless space for exploration at camp and so much to learn from the animals and plants in the area.

We do have spiders at camp. Camp staff thoroughly sweep out cabins and buildings before campers arrive. We usually see harmless spiders like Daddy Long Legs and Wolf Spiders. In the unlikely instance of a spider bite, we always have a camp nurse nearby.

There are ticks at camp. Campers are encouraged to do tick checks in the shower daily. We hang posters in the shower house that explain how to check for ticks, and camp health staff talk with campers about tick checks before showers. In the case of an attached tick, camp health staff will remove the tick safely.

There are black bears in the park, but the Park Rangers haven’t seen them near camp. Black bears typically do not approach or interact with people. The park provides wildlife-proof garbage and recycling dumpsters and we never leave food anywhere around camp. Without food around, we are less likely to attract wildlife.

At Camp Under the Stars, our mission is to provide a supportive, inclusive camp community that values each child's uniqueness, celebrates our differences, and respects nature and the planet. Learn more about what makes Camp Under the Stars unique.

If you have any questions or would like to find out if Camp Under the Stars might be a great fit for your camper, please email us! We are happy answer questions via email or set up a time to speak on the phone.


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