Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the pick up and drop off times?
- What does it mean to be a Quaker camp?
- What are your rates?
- What activities do you offer?
- What age children can come to camp?
- What if my son/daughter is almost old enough, but is still eight?
- How many children are at your camp?
- What is your camper to staff ratio?
- Can children come for less (or more) than one session?
- What are your facilities?
- Who are your staff and how are they trained?
- What's the food like?
- Are the wilderness trips challenging?
- What if my child gets homesick?
- What if my camper has social or behavioral issues?
- What equipment does my camper need?
- Can you provide references?
What are the pick up and drop off times?
Summer Camp DROP OFF time is 2pm on SUNDAYS
Summer Camp PICK UP time is 11am on SATURDAYS
What does it mean to be a Quaker camp?
We are proud to be affiliated with Friends (Quakers), who uphold values of equality, integrity, peace, and unity with nature, and have a long history of excellence in education. We are not, however, a religious education camp; we welcome people of all backgrounds, and encourage open discussion of all beliefs (spiritual, political, etc) without upholding one ideology over any other. Our Quaker values are expressed in the way we treat all people with respect, foster healthy community, and teach children about peace and environmental sustainability. Quaker spirituality at camp is manifested in the moments of silent thanks we share before each meal, and in how we start each day with a few minutes of quiet reflection. To read a bit more about our mentality at camp, please read this essay we share with prospective new hires:
What are your rates?
Our rates are lower than those of other summer camps because we believe in making this incredible experience available to all, regardless of financial means. If your family needs further financial assistance, please contact us -- we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Or, if you would like to help, please consider making a donation to our campership fund to give the gift of camp to more families.
Click Here for Current Dates and Rates
What activities do you offer?
Camp includes lots of choices and at least 101 fun things to do every week.
What age children can come to camp?
Summer Camp is for children 9-14.
Teen Leadership Camp is for ages 15-16.
Counselors-In-Training can be 17+
What if my son/daughter is almost old enough, but is still eight?
Please contact us to talk about it. Some kids are ready for sleep-away camp by age 8, and some aren't. You know your child better than we do, and if you feel confident that they are ready to be away from home for a week, then we may be able to make them an honorary nine-year-old.
How many children are at your camp?
Our maximum number of campers at Sierra Friends Camp is 40 per session. This is a great size for kids to have lots of friends, but still get lots of personal attention from staff and allow each child to shine as an individual.
What is your camper to staff ratio?
We have a camper to staff ratio of 3:1.
Can children come for less (or more) than one session?
Sierra Friends Campers are welcome to come for more than one session. Sorry, we do not allow registration for partial sessions (the two week sessions are for campers staying a full two weeks).
If you're looking for a 3 or 4 week experience for your child, you are more than welcome to register them for as many sessions as you like.
What are your facilities?
- Beautiful rustic cabins set in tall pine and oak forest
- Spacious dining hall with outdoor dining area
- Clean, accessible bathhouses close to cabins
- Several campfire and campout areas
- Miles of wooded trails
- Arts and Crafts Studio
- Swimming lake with beach and diving raft
- Huge garden (where we work, play, and get our food!)
- Working farm with cows, chickens, sheep, goats and other animals
- Soccer field
- Badminton/Volleyball area
- Rope Swing, playground, and lots of outdoor space to explore
Who are your staff and how are they trained?
Our staff is made up of incredibly talented people who have skill, experience and training in outdoor leadership, first-aid, lifeguarding, group building, and conflict resolution, as well as many talents to share: art, music, nature skills, drama, athletics, and more. Every person on staff is committed to giving campers the most positive, safe, fun, and growthful experience they can have this summer. Most of our counselors are in their 20s and have been working here for several years. Our minimum age for hiring new counselors is 18, and all new staff go through a rigorous application and training process. Counselors are Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguarding or Wilderness First Responder training and certifications, and sometimes more.
>>Learn more about camp staff
What's the food like?
We love serving healthy, local, delicious kid-friendly vegetarian meals. We cook from scratch with organic ingredients; we bake fresh bread, make pizza the old-fashioned way, and serve delicious veggies grown in our community garden. We have a vegetarian kitchen, and we also include options for vegans, wheat and dairy-free options, and can accommodate other special diets as well. Our menu includes such favorites as lasagna, pizza, stir-frys, sandwiches, soups, salads, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, and don't forget the chocolate cake!
Are the wilderness trips challenging?
We plan trips that are age-appropriate, fun and gently challenging group experiences. No special training or abilities are needed, and we work with plenty of kids for whom this is their first time in the woods. Kids consistently come back from trips saying things like "it was the best time of my life!" and, "I never knew I could have so much fun." The counselors who lead these trips have experience and training in backpacking skills and trail safety, and know how to help both first-timers and seasoned hikers to have a great experience.
What if my child gets homesick?
It's perfectly normal to miss one's family when away from them for the first time (or any time!). Campers get a lot of love, affection, affirmation, and support while at camp, and for most campers this is enough to help them through any sadness they may feel about being away from their families. But every once in a while a camper will get homesick. Our staff are trained and experienced in spotting the signs of homesickness and quickly responding to help the camper feel better -- often it is quickly resolved by getting them involved in a fun game or exciting activity. If not, we'll call you to discuss the situation and work together to create a homesickness care strategy. Having the camper go home is of course an option, but we may be able to help come up with ways to help your child feel good about staying at camp -- we've had good success with this in the past, and with the support of family, counselors, and their friends at camp, nearly all campers who experienced homesickness have chosen to stay.
What if my camper has social or behavioral issues?
Camp Woolman is a welcoming, community-oriented camp where everyone belongs. Children at camp get to take a break from the social pressures of school cliques and experience the freedom to be themselves. We often observe kids who are awkward at school turn into rock stars at camp because of their quirky humor or obscure talents. This atmosphere of acceptance is precious and our staff work hard to model and encourage cooperative, inclusive behavior, while making it clear that the following behaviors are not acceptable at camp:
- Name calling, insults or derogatory language
- Violence or the threat of violence
- Excluding or alienating others
- Prejudiced comments or intolerance of differences
Camp staff will intervene immediately in all cases of such negative behaviors and will lovingly and firmly make our community expectations clear. We will work with the child to help them find ways of behaving that work for them and everyone else at camp. Children who repeatedly engage in hurtful behavior will be sent home. If your child is unable to control any of these behaviors, our camp may not be the right place for them. Please contact our staff if you have any questions or concerns. We also have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs and alcohol, which have no place at camp. Please note, if your child is asked to leave camp because of the any of these difficulties, there will be no refund of camp tuition.
What equipment does my camper need?
Click here for a complete packing list. If you cannot acquire any of these items, please let us know as soon as possible so we can help.
Can you provide references?
Yes, if you'd like to hear firsthand from other parents what summers at Woolman have meant for their kids, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide references.
Got more questions? Ask away, and we'll add them to this list.