The Down Low & Other Info About Kids Camp

Over the years, we’ve answered a lot of parents questions about summer camp and other kids camp programs at Cali Camp. This section is dedicated to the ones we hear most frequently. We also feature a more full A-to-Z on Cali in our Parents’ Handbook which is distributed to all camper families.

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What to Wear to Kids Camp


Is your child wondering how they should dress for summer camp or a day camp? Here’s a brief style guide to keep them cool, warm and activity-appropriate.

  • wear closed-toe shoes. sneakers, kicks, tennis shoes work best. campers play in all types of beautiful terrain, keep it easy by following this rule.
  • pack sandals for beach trips BUT open-toe shoes are not allowed on the property.
  • wear clothes that are fun to play in
  • kids seem to be most comfortable here in shorts
  • bring long pants every day to slip over shorts for equestrian camp, hiking, go-karts, sports and skateboard camp. (we suggest sweat pants)
  • tote a sweatshirt every day for cooler mornings, beach trips and chill-outs in the shade.
  • swimming happens daily, so they’ll need a swimsuit and towel every time they get on a Cali Camp bus.

Mark all clothing with your child’s name.

Aerial Arts

Wondering what your aerial artisan should wear? For boys and girls, a tight-fitting t-shirt with short sleeves is best. Pants should be worn that cover the knees, like Capri-length sweatpants or leggings. Girls can feel free to wear leotards and tights with no feet.

All classes are done barefoot, but sometimes the mats get hot or we may want to warm up by running the lawn, so please wear sneakers and socks. No flip flops allowed during camp, for safety reasons.

Equestrian "Wrangler" Camp Programs

Do you have a equestrian camper in your family? Equestrians across the world follow these simple rules to keep it safe and fun:

  • boots with small heels or hard shoes with small heels. no child will be allowed to ride in sneakers.
  • long pants.
  • don’t forget, pack a swimsuit & towel daily, so your kid can dive into the cool pool.
  • Mark all clothing with your child’s name.

Dress Up Days

Check your calendar for these double asterisk fun days thrown to coincide with theme weeks. Let your camper come up with their own costume or give them the guidance they ask for. Once they arrive they’ll see counselors and staff in costume too.

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Specialized Camps, Specialized Tools


Q: My child will participate in skateboard camp, equestrian camp, rock climbing, go-karts or ropes course activities. Do I need to send specialized helmets?

A: No, Cali Camp has you covered.

If your child does have a helmet that reaches standard safety regulations of horseback riding or skating, they may bring it – just make sure their name is visible on it.

If your child is in the wrangler camp and will ride horses this summer, check our clothing facts above for their needs.

Q: My child will participate in skateboard camp, equestrian camp, rock climbing for kids, ropes course or go-karts activities. Do I need to provide equipment?

A: No, Cali Camp provides all equipment directly related to these activities.

Q: What equipment is used for the popular High Ropes Challenge Course?

A: Campers age seven and above have the opportunity to build confidence on the forty-two foot high ropes challenge course.

In addition to a Cali Camp provided helmet, each camper wears a waist harness and are anchored with automatic hydraulic belay ropes.

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What Personal Property Can My Child Bring to Kids Camp?


Q: My child usually has a cell phone, electronic game device or other technology with him or her? Can they bring them to Cali?

A: No doubt kids can have a fantastic time using new technologies, but Cali Camp provides a child-community made better with fewer distractions. Cali Camp is also about experiencing a beautiful, fun outdoor environment which kids can’t always enjoy on a daily, school-year basis.

Because of this, no personal toy animals, electronic games, phones, toys, radios, laptops, iPads, iPods and CD players are allowed in camp or on the bus.

Q: What about cell phones?

A: The camp is out of range for cell phones and they are not allowed on the property. If you must send your child with a cell phone, please put their name on it. If it comes out of their backpack, we will hold the phone in the director’s office till the end of the day.

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What Happens on The First Day of Summer Camp?


Activities and all the great Cali Camp fun. Also included is more extensive time to meet and greet other campers and counselors. There will be a little less time for activities on these days but we’ve learned, that makes for time spent meeting each other, and knowing each other a little before activities start makes for a lot more fun overall.

Every camper:

  • is welcomed by a Cali Camp staff member as they arrive.
  • gets a special “First Day Name Tag.”
  • is encouraged to ask questions to satisfy their curiosity about camp and to comfort concerns.

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The Lunch Bunch and Cali-Cafe


Yes, we have hot lunches.

Yes, you can pack a bag lunch for your child.

Packing a bag lunch?
Make it non-perishable. And put your child’s first and last name on it. We’ll stash it in a shady spot till it’s lunch time.

How much are hot lunches?
$12  a day.  And is it worth every penny!

How can I pay for a hot lunch?
Pre-pay, which is the suggested route. But your child can also purchase a lunch with cash on a per-day basis as he or she arrives.

What’s the Cali-Cafe and when is it open?
Cali-Cafe offers such snacks as homemade muffins, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, cereals and juice. It’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. every morning and again at lunch.

Looking for whole grain? Gluten-free? Fresh fruit?
Yes, Cali-Cafe stocks these foods and more. Click here for 2013 Cali Camp Menu (PDF).

What about drinks, juices and sodas?
Children have access to camp supplied water and/or milk throughout the day. The Cali-Cafe stocks juices and bottled water. We suggest you don’t pack sweet sodas.

No, gum is not allowed at camp or on the bus.

My child has a food allergy. How do I inform the camp?
Complete all questions about allergies in our Health History form online.

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A Summer Camp of Inclusion and Community


We always try to fulfill great summers for all kids, which includes kids who have challenges physically, different learning rates and more complex emotional needs. While we can’t guarantee enrollment, our Inclusion Coordinator is here to discuss if there are specific questions and to help coordinate.

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Keeping it Cool at the Pool


Yes, certified pool staffers ability-test each Cali Camper to determine skill levels during every camper’s first pool visit.

Yes, once campers pass the skills test, they join in recreational swimming.

What’s in our swim skills test?:

  • swim two widths of the pool without resting or assistance
  • a back float
  • tread water for twenty seconds
  • hold breath fully submerged for a count of five

Kids who need help with basic skills split each session between instruction and recreation.

Four- and five-year-olds get swimming lessons every day at summer camp.

Kids who don’t swim must have a note from home making that request. They’ll be supervised at table games held adjacent to the pool area during each session.

Don’t forget: Send your kid to camp with a swimsuit and towel daily.

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A Brief A to Z on the Bus to Summer Camp


How many stops will there be on my child’s bus route?

One. We’ve found that having one pick-up/drop off station per route reduces the tedium for campers, keeps them together as one egalitarian community for each drive and helps them arrive at camp fresh and ready for an adventurous day.

What’s the station and route closest to my home?

2014 Transportation Station List (PDF)

Will there be adequate supervision for my child on the bus?

California law mandates special training for each bus driver. But we think, that person should be focused on one thing alone – driving. We have hired professional bus drivers to do just that for us in 2013 and also that’s why we staff each bus with a counselor or equivalent Cali Camp staffer. The fun, Bus Cup Challenge and Cali community starts the moment your child steps on the bus.

How does my child know which bus is their’s?

On the first day of camp each camper receives a bus bracelet with their bus number. Every bus displays a bus number at the end of the day, as well as the morning, so campers know which bus is their’s.

Counselors ride on each bus. And every counselor has a list of the campers assigned on that bus.

Who assists my child get on the right bus to come home?

The transportation director, camp director, team leaders and transportation staff are in the parking lot at the end of each day to assist any child that needs assistance.

Tell your child: No one leaves until every camper is on the right bus, we’ve taking roll and a final and correct count from each driver is confirmed.

Every child is encouraged to seek help if they need it.

I have more questions on the camp’s transportation system.

A detailed Transportation section appears in the Cali Camp parent handbook including information on how to drive your child to camp and pick them up.

Cali Camp Calendar 2015 - coming soon

Check out what’s up at Cali Camp this year.


Learn the Ropes

Try a new route at summer camp. Grades 3-9 learn from a trained Ropes Course Specialist.


Wild Bamboo You

Explore an overgrown bamboo forest with friends or use bamboo to build cool stuff.


ACA Accreditation

The American Camp Association enriches the lives of children and adults through the kids camp experience.


WAIC Membership

The Western Association of Independent Camps promotes excellence in independent kids camps by advancing professional standards.