Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Summer Camp rates?
Tiered Rate Program: Recognizing that families have different abilities to pay for camp, Westminster Woods has instituted a voluntary three-tier fee program. It is a 'free will' system; you choose the level that is comfortable and affordable for your family. All campers receive the same amazing experience regardless of the amount paid.
Tier I is our subsidized rate and does not reflect the full cost of operating summer camp programs ~ $475 for a full week/$237.50 for a half week
Tier II is our partially subsidized fee for those who choose to pay a little more to cover camp costs ~ $525 full week/262.50 half week
Tier III more closely reflects the actual cost of camp, including the cost of maintaining our beautiful facility ~ $575 full week/287.50 half week
The Tiered Rate Program does not apply to Bridge, Rock and Row, or Friendship Camp.
What is the payment and cancellation policy?
Payment and Cancellation Policy: There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to register for Summer Camp. If you are only paying the deposit now, be aware that the balance is due in full 30 days prior to arrival at camp. If you pay the deposit by credit card, your card will be charged for the remaining balance 30 days prior to the start of your camp session, unless prior arrangements are made for payment. If your church is contributing to your balance, please be in communication with your church; we have asked churches to pay their portion 45 days prior to camp. For a refund of all except the deposit, cancellation notice must be received in writing 7 days prior to the first day of camp. Late notifications, no-shows, and/or early departures are not eligible for a refund. A service charge of $15 will be added for returned checks.
What to Pack?
Please label EVERY item!
What to bring:
- Two (2) pairs of closed-toed shoes, including an old pair of tennis shoes for water activities. Open-toed shoes/sandals are allowed for pool and shower use only.
- Sleeping bag, extra blanket, and pillow. A sleeping pad for Adventure Camp, Buccaneer Camp, and Rock and Row.
- Toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
- Clothes for camping and hiking: jacket, long-sleeved shirt, and lots of socks.
- Insect repellent -- roll-on, cream, or towelettes. No aerosol sprays, please.
- Reusable water bottle.
- Swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen.
- Bible, pencil, flashlight.
What NOT to bring:
- Alcohol, illegal drugs, cigarettes, knives, weapons, or electronics of any kind (including cell phones, pagers, two-ways, portable A/V equipment, iPods, DVD players, portable gaming devices, or handheld games.
- Do not bring valuables, money, or pets.
Westminster Woods will take no responsibility for lost or stolen valuables and will not replace any items. Campers bring valuables at their own risk.
What are the drop-off and pick-up times?
Arriving at Camp
For all of our week-long camps:
Please arrive between 3 and 5 PM on Sunday to register your camper. Please do not bring your pets.
For Adventure Camp half-week sessions:
Session A registration is Sunday 3 to 5 pm
Session B registration is Wednesday 3 to 5 pm
Please arrive Monday of Friendship Camp week from 10 am to 12 pm.
All-Camp Closure & Pick-up Times and Information
You are invited to All Camp Closure on Saturdays. Catch a glimpse of what the week was all about. Begins at 9:00 AM Saturday at the camp field and ends by 9:30 AM. Please do not arrive before 8:30AM.
Adventure Camp: 1A & 4A – pick up is on Wednesday 9:00-9:30am (no all camp closure on Wednesdays but you can come early to watch the Adventure camp closure). We cannot accommodate campers after 9:30am
Friendship Camp: Pick up time is on FRIDAY July 6th, between 6pm - 7pm. There will be no supervision after 7pm available.
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CAMPER
We hold mail call every day in the afternoon with care packages being handed out on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Many campers enjoy receiving positive notes from home.
Care Package Policy: You can drop off up to two (2) care packages at our office when you check-in your camper or you may choose to mail care packages to the above address. Care packages can be no larger than one (1) square foot. No liquids. Please limit the amount of sweets.
Letter Policy: All letters received in time will be delivered. You can drop off letters at our office when you check-in your camper or you may choose to mail letters to the above address. Faxes will not be delivered.
Campers Sending Mail: Campers can send mail from camp to camp if they have friends or siblings in other camps that week. Please send your camper with stamps if they hope to write home during their time at camp.
Address packages and letters clearly with:
CAMPER NAME, CAMP NAME
6510 Bohemian Hwy.
Occidental, CA 95465-9106
Why should I send my camper to Westminster Woods?
We offer a place where campers are free to grow into their own sense of self and to feel God’s love in their life. A week at The Woods helps young people to develop lasting, meaningful relationships with peers, counselors and mentors. Campers return home prepared to continue practicing faith in their daily lives.
Who is supervising my child?
Each cabin or tent has a counselor who sleeps, eats, plays with and supervises the campers in their group. All our cabin counselors trained on how to keep campers safe, how to meet the needs of children of various ages, and how to discipline when necessary. Our counselors are mentored and supervised by experienced Summer Staff. We conduct background checks for all Summer Staff, all nurses, all speakers, and all volunteers over 18. We are committed to providing safe, high-quality, Christian staff and volunteers to supervise our campers and lead our programs.
How do I know if my child is ready for overnight camp?
We trust your judgment as a parent. We want your child to enjoy their time here. If your child is excited about overnight camp and has successfully spent one or more nights at the homes of relatives or friends, they will most likely be ready for overnight camp. However, if your child is fearful and reluctant, you may choose to have them wait another year to come. If you would like to arrange a visit to the camp to meet our staff and walk around, please call the Ministries Department.
What happens in a typical day at camp?
- Quiet time, worship, speaker time, cabin groups
- All camp games and activities: relays, story time, large group games
- Rest time
- Free time – supervised by counselors - choice of challenge course, craft shack, games on big green field, pool, hike with other campers and counselor, shower
- Evening events: capture the flag, relays, night swim
- Cabin talks
- Lights out
What if my camper gets homesick?
Our counselors are trained to respond to homesick campers with extra love and attention. We try to keep campers engaged in the activities of the day. In extreme cases, we will call the parent for additional guidance and arrange for the camper to call home. You can help prevent homesickness by communicating with your child about what to expect at camp, building their confidence in being away from home, and telling them that camp will be a fun and positive experience. Please instruct your child to communicate with his or her counselor if they feel sad, upset or uncomfortable while at camp. We recommend that you do not tell your camper that you will pick them up if they are struggling. In our experience, campers who think they have the option to go home mid-session often show more signs of homesickness.
May I keep in touch with my camper at camp? Should I send them with a cell phone?
Yes, we hold mail call each day in the afternoon. Many campers enjoy receiving positive notes from home. You can drop off or send mail or care packages. Campers can also write you letters and mail them home. We understand that you are concerned about your child while they are away from home. However, we do not encourage phone calls to camp. Do not have your camper bring his/her cell phone; we do not have cell phone coverage and we do not want something so valuable to get lost or damaged.
What if my camper has special needs?
There is space in our registration for you to inform us about any special needs your camper has. Additionally, we would like to communicate with the family ahead of time, over the phone to determine the best ways to address these needs.
What happens if there are discipline issues?
We rarely experience serious disciplinary issues because we keep campers constantly moving and engaged in various activities. However, in the event a camper acts out, we handle discipline on a case-by-case basis. Talking to campers in a fair, firm and friendly way is our first response. We communicate with you as needed and work in partnership with you to develop effective solutions. We have a no-bullying policy in effect. Campers who bully, demonstrate aggressive behavior or who are involved in fighting will be sent home.
What if my camper gets sick or injured?
We have a Registered Nurse on grounds and several First Aid-trained Summer Staff who can respond to basic health needs 24 hours a day. We communicate with you for any serious sickness or injury. There are paramedics on call just a few minutes from us, and we’re located only 12 miles from a hospital emergency room.
How are the rates for camp determined?
As you already have noticed, the cost of everything is going up these days. The camp’s base costs for food, energy, and maintenance have risen sharply over the past two years. For the third year in a row, we will be offering tiered pricing for our summer camps in 2012.
Our camp fees include supervision, lodging, three nutritious meals per day, all snacks, special activities, access to camp photos and a camp t-shirt. The cost for a 6-night camp is about $75 per day. We believe this is an appropriate cost for the quality of overnight camping experience that we provide.
Do you have any financial aid for families who cannot afford camp?
Yes, we offer camperships. Please complete the campership request form.
My camper is in a grade where he/she is eligible for two programs. How should I pick between a younger and older camp?
As a parent, you know your camper’s temperament and maturity best. If you think they will have a better camp experience with a younger group, then you have the option to have them attend camp with younger campers. If you think they will grow through experiences with an older group, then consider sending them to camp with the older campers. Your decision may also depend on which camp your child’s friends will attend or if they are transitioning from elementary school to middle school. If you have more questions, please contact the Ministries Department.
What are the main differences between Buccaneer Camp and Elevation?
Both of these camps are designed for middle school campers and both camps spend time on the challenge course. Overall, Buccaneer Camp is more outdoor-focused than Elevation. In Elevation, campers sleep in cabins on bunk beds and eat most of their meals in our dining hall. They spend one night on a trip to the Ridge and sleep under the stars. At Buccaneer camp, every night is spent under the stars on tarps. Portable toilets and sinks are located nearby. Buccaneer eats outdoors on picnic tables. In general, Buccaneer Camps tend to be smaller (approximately 50 campers) and Elevation can hold 100 campers.