Click on a category to expand the FAQs. Click again to collapse the category.
Also - If you have not had a chance to do so yet, please take a look at the Parent Packet under the Documents Tab. Here you’ll find an introduction to your camp director, check in and check out details, a packing list, photo information, and more!
I’ve heard that your camps are Accredited by the ACA. What does that mean?
ACA Accreditation means that our camps have undergone a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of our operations - from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.
What’s the difference between state licensing of camps and accreditation?
Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that camps have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children. In addition to the ACA Accreditation, our camps are licensed through the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state licensing is mandatory - ACA Accreditation is not. Of course, all of our camps also follow the Girl Scout guidelines in Safety-Wise - some of which even exceed the rigorous ACA standards.
Do the staff have criminal background checks?
All staff and volunteers at camp must have an annual criminal background and sex offender check. This is not limited to just the counselors, but includes the rangers, kitchen staff, and maintenance staff mowing the lawn!
How can I help prepare my daughter for Girl Scout camp?
Before camp begins, have your daughter spend the night away from home. If she’s used to visiting Grandma or Grandpa, let her stay with an aunt or uncle, friend of the family, or attend a slumber party. These positive overnight experiences will help prepare her for a longer stay at camp.Before camp, and in letters that you mail or send to camp, always share consistent and positive messages about camp. Your confidence in a positive experience will be contagious. If your daughter feels like you are excited about her going to camp, she’ll become excited. Likewise, if you tell her that you’re worried, or that she might get homesick, you may be planting seeds of doubt. (Please do not make “pick up deals” – let her know that you expect her to stay at camp!)If your daughter is not used to showering herself, shampooing her own hair, etc, please start practicing now. Please have her practice taking a shower (and getting clean!) in about 5 minutes.
What about luggage?
Depending on which unit she's in, your daughter keep her luggage either under her bed or at the foot of her bed. There are also shelves in the tents, cabins and dorms for some of her toiletries, etc.Some people bring trunks, but most girls bring duffel bags or suitcases, since the trunks can be hard for the girls to maneuver. Of course, if a girl cannot carry her own luggage, the counselors will help her. It is very helpful to pack clothes in ziplock bags, grouped by outfit. That way, when your daughter is trying to get dressed in the morning, she doesn’t have to rummage through her bag – all she has to do is grab one ziplock, and she’ll have her socks, underwear, and a matching outfit for the day. Then, she can re-use the ziplocks to pack wet clothes or swimsuits on the trip home.Make sure she brings something to carry her toiletries in to and from the showers. This can be anything from a specially made shower tote to another ziplock bag.
Can we pack snacks or food for her to keep in her bag?
Please don’t pack any food or drinks in your daughter’s bags. Ants, raccoons, and other critters will find even the tiniest cookie in a ziplock bag, and your daughter will soon be sharing her bunk with some unwelcome company!Girls eat three meals a day, all of which include a fruit and salad bar. We almost always offer “Seconds,” and a snack is provided in the afternoon.My daughter has food allergies. She knows about it, but she may forget to ask at mealtimes.If your daughter has any food allergies or special needs, please let us know ahead of time. Also, please verify the information at check-in, to make sure all of her information is on her registration form.Most dietary needs can be met by our kitchen, as long as we know about them ahead of time.
Will there be some way for the girls to do laundry? If not how many sets of clothes should I pack for the week?
We do not have laundry facilities available for the campers to use, so please pack enough clothes for the entire week. We suggest sending one outfit per day, plus 1-2 extra. That way, if (and when) a few get wet, muddy, or have punch spilled on them, she’ll still have clean clothes. Extra pairs of socks and underwear, and an extra towel are also a great idea. Discuss with your daughter how she might deal with having both dirty and clean clothes. A big drawstring bag for dirty laundry is a great option, and helps keep her dirty clothes contained. (The packing list in the Parent Guide can help with this.)
Do we need to pack a set of sheets and blanket if she is going to take her sleeping bag and backpack?
We have found that most girls like to have at least a sheet, even if they also have a sleeping bag. Sometimes a sleeping bag is too hot, but a sheet is just enough. (Although it can also get surprisingly chilly in the units at night, so don’t forget a blanket or sleeping bag, too.)
How should I pack her sleeping bag? Do I need to purchase a carrier, or can I just use a garbage bag?
Garbage bags do not make good carriers for sleeping bags. Help your daughter practice rolling up and trying her sleeping bag. This will help her when she packs to come home. A stuff sack or duffel bag is probably the best carrier, but a sleeping bag will also fit nicely into a pillowcase. (If you’re handy with a needle, you can even add a drawstring!)
Do you have any other tips on Packing and Gear
Review the Packing List in the Parent Guide. Use that as a checklist when you are packing.
Don’t wait until the last minute - start packing about a week before camp. (Some people start even earlier.)
Label Everything — use laundry pens, markers, or iron-on/sew-on labels in your daughter’s belongings. (Then, be sure to check the Lost & Found table at check-out!)
Pack her swimsuit and towel in a daypack or tote bag. The girls will be swimming before unpacking most of their items. (Please do not have her wear her swimsuit under her clothes; that can get uncomfortable.)
Break in shoes and boots before camp begins. If your daughter has new shoes or boots, make sure she breaks them in before camp begins. It’s no fun to get a blister at camp!
Is it too late for my daughter's friend to register?
No! You can still register for camp as long as there is room available in the session. Some people even register their daughters for a second session, after they pick them up from the first one! If it is within 4 weeks of a session start date, you will need to contact Customer Service to see if space is still available.
My daughter has not had her physical yet, and the insurance won't cover another one until after camp is over. What should I do?
As long as she's had a physical within one year of her camp dates, you're all right. Just have her physician complete the health card based on her last physical. If it has been more than a year, though, she will need another one. There are many clinics throughout the council that are offering specials now on camp physicals.
I think I may have marked the wrong size T-Shirt on my daughter's registration form. What should I do?
Please let the staff at check-in know, so we can make sure to pull the right size for her.
Where do I get the GSSJC Swim Card? And does my camper need one?
Please complete the GSSJC Swimming Card here
. This can be done anywhere in the US, and signed off by your local lifeguard. This form is required for sailing at Casa Mare. It is not needed for any other sessions this summer.
We've moved since I registered, and I need to update my emergency contact information.
Please update her information in UltraCamp. If you need help with this, contact our Customer Service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your daughter takes any medications, don't forget to ask your doctor for a prescription in time for camp.
Remember, all medication - prescription and over the counter - must be in the original container, with her name on it. Prescription medication must be prescribed to her. If you have two daughters attending camp who take the same medication, they each need their own prescription. If possible, please send only enough for her stay at camp.
I will be out of town, and someone else will be picking up my daughter. What should I do?
Please make sure that person is designated as an emergency contact on your UltraCamp account, or complete an authorization to release form at check in.
There is someone I absolutely do NOT want to pick up my daughter from camp. What should I do?
If there are any custody disputes, please bring photocopies of any applicable custody papers to check in, and ask to speak with the camp director. She will verify the information on your registration, to be sure the correct people are listed as emergency contacts. We will check everyone's driver's license or photo ID at check-out, and we will not release girls to somebody who is not on the emergency contact list or release form.
I need to request a late check in time - how do I do that?
Overnight Camp - Our check in times for overnight camp are between 2 - 4 PM. If you need to arrive after 4 pm, please email the camp director and let her know what time to expect you. We ask that you arrive by 8 PM at the latest, so she'll have time to settle in before bedtime. If she can arrive before dinner (at 6 pm), that's even better.
Day Camp - Check in is at 8 AM, and most campers arrive by 9 AM. If you will be very late (after 10 AM), please email the camp director and let her know.
My daughter will be celebrating her birthday at camp this summer. Will the counselors do anything special?
We love birthdays at camp! We even have a special birthday song that all the counselors will sing to her in the lodge! If you would like to leave a present to be delivered on her birthday, that's fine - just talk to the staff at check-in.
I don't see any photos online - where are they!
Be sure to log onto the photo site - campphotos.sjgs.org - with your myGS username and password. Click on your camp name and week, and scroll to the bottom to view the photos. We post more each day, so keep checking back!