FAQs

Frequently Asked QuestionsSlackline

Please call us at (510) 540-6025 or email us if you would like more information. We are happy to communicate with you about any questions

 

Please see the regular policies (page by clicking here) for information about our entire program’s guidelines.

REGISTRATION QUESTIONS

Q: I have already attended a camp in the past. Do I need to fill out a new form?
A: Some information is kept in our system, while other items need to be updated yearly. When you register through our online system, you can review your saved information, and will be prompted to fill out any necessary forms.

Q: Can I only register for camp online or can I call in a registration?
A: We do all of our registrations online at this time.  If there is some reason that you are unable to register online, please call us at 510-540-6025 so we can help.

Q: Do you offer single day registration?
A: For our summer camps, no, we do not, with the exception that if your child has attended before and the particular week is not full, we may be able to let them join.  Please inquire with the office about dropping into a day or two.

Q: Can I add weeks after my initial registration?
A: Yes, you can log into our online registration system to add more weeks. Contact the office if you have added enough weeks to qualify you for a discounted rate, and we can apply that retroactively. Registering early guarantees you the early registration incentive rate. Rates rise the closer we get to camp. We do understand sometimes people need care last minute, so if there is room you can add days up to the last minute.

Q: Will I get a confirmation?
A: Yes, you receive an automatic confirmation e-mail upon completion of your registration. We will also e-mail a detailed camp confirmation within one week of registration. It is so important to make sure the confirmation matches with your desired dates and sites, as we cannot refund for errors, unless we find a replacement camper, which can be challenging at the last minute. Please contact our office if you need help. You can log in to your account to see your registration details at any time as well.

Q: Do the morning and afternoon extended care have to be reserved in advance, or can I add that later if I find out that I need it?
A: You may add weekly sign up of am and/or pm extended care through our online system up to 2pm the Friday previous to camp.. After that time, once camp begins, you may do “daily drop-in” to a.m. and/or p.m. extended care, which will be charged to your credit card on file. Daily drop in rates are more expensive, but sometimes a better choice if you only need extended care for part of the week.
Drop In Fees: $13/hour; $7/half hour; $4/15 minutes. We are not taking payments on site, which is a new procedure for us. Office will review sign in sheets for your sign in and out time and charge your credit card on file. Fee will be determined by rounding to nearest quarter hour, e.g. 4:54pm sign out will be charged as though pick up was at 5pm or 8:06am drop off will be charged at 8:00am.  If there is no sign in or out time, office will charge you for drop-off of 8:00 or pick up time of 6:00.

Q: Can I make changes to my registration?
A: Yes, if you are giving two weeks’ notice or more, and there is room, we can transfer registrations for a fee of $25/week (summer camps) or $5/day (school break camps). Extended care can be transferred from one week to another once for no fee; $10 fee for subsequent changes. E-mail or call the office to make changes.

Q: How do I know if there is room available in a particular week of camp?
A: Online registration closes once spaces are full and will show a waitlist option.

Q: If your camp is full, do you have a wait list?
A: We keep a waiting pool that tracks when people joined the pool and some important details like the camper’s age. If a space opens up, we will send a message to families on the wait list and give them 24 hours to respond. Then we will give the space to the respondent who joined the waiting pool first. We may not offer an open space to all families in the waiting pool, as we may need a replacement camper who is a certain age, a returning camper, or someone who wants extended care.

PAYMENT QUESTIONS

Q: Do you accept credit cards?
A: Yes, we accept MasterCard and Visa.

Q: Can I set up a payment plan to pay for camp?
A: Yes, you can set up a payment plan during online registration, although the closer to camp, there might not be a payment plan option or fewer choices.

Q: How do I apply a gift certificate or coupon to my registration?
A: Register online at the regular price to guarantee your spot at camp, and do one of the following within one week of registration.

  • For a gift certificate, call or email us with the code in the lower right corner, and we will credit your account with a refund or update your payment plan.
  • For a physical coupon, write your child’s name on the coupon and mail it to us within one week, and we will credit your account with a refund or update your payment plan.
  • For a mobile coupon, hit “redeem” yourself to be shown a secret phrase, which you can enter online when registering for an instant discount. If you have already registered, email or call us with the code within one week and we will credit your account with a refund or update your payment plan.

Q: Do you have any registration payment incentives?
A: We often have a “register by a certain date” or “register for a certain number or more days” incentive, so check our website’s details for the particular camp to see what is currently being offered. The registration page will also have any details.

Q: Do you offer financial aid? If so, how can I apply?
A: Visit this page http://www.girlsonthegocamp.com/financial-aid-info/ for financial aid our application. We offer partial scholarships, first-come, first serve, usually the maximum being about 50% of the camp fees.  Some weeks might not be open to scholarships. We would love for anyone who wants to come to our camp to be able to join us.

Q: Can I contribute to your scholarship fund?
A: If you would like to donate to the fund, you can do so when registering for a camp, choosing to Round Up your tuition or you can send a check. We are not a non-profit, so donations are not tax deductible. We use the donations from you, as well as those from our camp fund, to help kids attend camp. We give away as much as $4,000 per year.

PROGRAMMING QUESTIONS

Q:  What is the group size?
A:  Minimum is usually about 14 girls with 2 staff members, and maximum group size is 24 with 3 staff members and 1 Youth Leader.

Q: What is the counselor: child ratio?
A: They are usually 1:8, but sometimes go as low as 1:6 or up to 1:10. One youth leader will help support the counseling team.

Q:  What field trips will my daughter take during the week we want to register?
A:  Please see our weekly schedules for details, so that you can choose weeks that fit best with your daughter’s interests.  Each week, we will have a different focus for some of our workshops, for example: the arts- with playshops such as printmaking, painting, sculpting, needle felting; movement-with activities such as dance, self-defense, slackline, aerial arts, yoga; food tasting/herbalism- with playshops such as chocolate tasting, fruit kebab scavenger hunt, smoothies, ice cream tour and tasting. All are led by women (and the occasional man) who have a lot of experience in the subject.  The Wednesday before each week of camp, we will send out the final details, so you know on which day each particular trip will take place and what to bring – socks for ice-skating, for example.

Q:  Can you explain how the day works?
A: Well, that depends on how far we need to travel on a particular day.  On the weekly schedules we send out Wednesdays before each week of camp, we will list the time by which we need you to arrive each day.  Our meet up areas always have a climbing structure, sometimes swings, and counselors bring a variety of items, like drawing supplies, playing cards, board games, and balls.  Sometimes, we have a morning or afternoon playshop at the park in yoga, sport, art, or food tasting for example.  We always take a trip away, unless the weather prevents us from doing so safely. For all trips, our aim is to leave with ample time to get to our destination and back to the park at the end of the day.  The girls get to check out the route we will be taking, and take turns handing out and collecting BART tickets.  Since we need to purchase BART tickets in advance, due to receiving significant discounts for youth fares, girls do not purchase their own tickets each day.  We plan a mixture of trips, some indoors, some outdoors, some thought-provoking, and some more playful.  During the week, we practice simple random acts of kindness and talk to the girls about what that means and ask them for ideas. We talk a lot about gratitude and remind ourselves during the day what is going right, rather than what is going wrong. As we wait for trains or buses, we play games to connect with each other, so we get to know friends better and meet new ones.

LOGISTICS QUESTIONS

Q:  How do you travel?
A: By public transportation.  We love to coach girls on how to safely explore the Bay Area via foot, train, bus and boat.  Many former participants have communicated with us about how this encouraged them to continue to do so after camp.  One girl went to a high school in San Francisco after building confidence from camp, another travels all over the East Bay on her own. We meet at locations close to BART and AC Transit, so that we can travel on many modes easily.

Q:  How do you manage special needs, whether medical, social, or behavioral?
A:  Thanks for checking in advance.  We have a ratio of 1 staff for every 6-10 campers, so kids need to be able to operate within those ratios most of the time. While we would love our staff to be able to manage all situations, it is not possible. Some kids need more behavioral or emotional coaching or physical support than our regular staff can provide.  You are welcome to check in with us about your child’s aide/coach coming to camp to assist your child, so they can have that social experience and get the support they need.  Often kids will grow into more independence with time and support, and often be able to manage without that coach/aide later on. It is important to remember that there are new kids and occasionally staff each week, so there is a lot more change than at school, which contributes to making it more challenging.

Q: My child doesn’t have strong English skills, as we are from another country.  We would like to come to your camp this summer, to hear and speak English a bit more and have fun experiences. Do you think this will work out?
A: Yes, we have had many experiences with this in the past.  Usually some of the kids have a little English, but at quite a variety of levels. It is very possible to do most of camp with low skill level.  It can be really interesting to watch how kids figure out other ways to communicate with each other. Sometimes we even have other campers or staff who speak the child’s native language. If you are planning to come with more than one friend, please check in with our office, as, in this case, it sometimes is challenging, for our staff and program, if a group of 3 or more comes with very minimal English skills.

Q: Do you provide lunch or snacks? If so, what do they consist of?
A: Parents send snacks and lunch for the basic day (8:30-4:00).  We provide an afternoon snack for those staying into PM extended care (4:00 onward).  It consists of fruit or vegetable, crackers, cheese or hummus, e.g. for the extended care campers. Our commitment is to use organically grown items. We are a nut free camp, but do serve food items for PM snack that are processed in facilities that may have nuts or made on shared equipment.  We occasionally stop for treats like ice cream, hot chocolate or bread during our days, but really try not to make that too regular.  Food sensitivities and allergies should be communicated when you register, and you can send along a couple alternative treats in your child’s bag, so they can participate when something will not work for them.

Q: I would like to carpool to camp.  Would it be possible to get a list of families interested?
A: We love to help support carpooling and will compile a list of families who have opted in on the online registration system. The list will include parent, street address, and email addresses, and will be sent 2-3 weeks before each camp session. Please be sure to add carpoolers to your list of adults authorized to pick up your child by 2pm the Friday before camp.

Q: Do you offer transportation to and from camp?
A: At the current time, we do not offer transportation.  We have researched and found the cost is prohibitive. If things change, we would post information on our website and in our group e-mails. Please consider joining our carpool list as an alternate option, so you can share the driving with another family or two.

Q: What are your rainy day plans?
A: We will try to keep doing most field trips, and just ask that you send rainy gear.  That said, we usually alter plans slightly if the entire day was supposed to be outside.  Extended care would also be relocated to an indoor site, either a staff person’s house or a local cafe.  If there are any changes to the drop-off location, we will contact parents as soon as possible, usually e-mailing to all folks, but also leaving an update on our outgoing voice message.

Q:  Are there any extra costs?  Can I send some extra money?
A: All field trip costs and entrance fees are paid for by camp.  Please do not send any extra money.  Occasionally someone has given money and said they want to treat the entire camp to something or someone has baked a treat for the camp, but otherwise, please count on us to provide for any costs of camp.

Q:  Who will be working at the Girls on the Go! Camp?
A: We will announce staff once they are hired HERE. Heather Mitchell, one of the Founding Directors, plans the field trips and playshops, often with another GOTG experienced staffer, so we get more diversity in terms of field trip ideas.  Heather has traveled extensively, including a couple year-long backpacking trips in Southeast Asia and grew up in Brooklyn, NY, riding the public transit system every day to get to her high school.

Q:  Is it possible to pick up my daughter before 4:00pm or while they are out and about?
A:  It is VERY challenging for the staff to coordinate different pick up times than our 4pm pick up. Please plan on only being able to pick up at the 4:00 time period. We try to get back to the park by 3:30, but cannot guarantee that.

Q:  Can staff be reached during the day at a cell phone number?
A: Yes, we will send you the number in the Wednesday session letters sent each week before camp.

Q:  Will my child be able to have her cell phone?
A: We require that campers turn off/put on airplane mode their cell phones and leave in the bottom of their backpacks, as we are making this a cell phone free time!  Occasionally, we will do memory moments, when girls can take out and take photos.

Q:  Can I drop off my camper at one of the locations and pick up at another?  I see that during the summer, you have Berkeley and Oakland sites?
A: This will not be possible, as the 2 groups will be separate for the entire camp.

AGE QUESTIONS

Q:  Do you split the group into ages?
A:  No, we find that it is very nice to have a mixed age.  Of course, kids naturally break down by age at times.

Q:  I have a very mature 8-year-old.  Can she participate?
A:  We usually are fairly strict about the age limit, as we already have a large age range. That said, there are some girls with late birthdays for the grade they are in (with other 9 year olds), so we are happy to consider accommodating in this case. This works best for girls who are almost 9, are used to being around older kids, and attend camp with a friend. Please contact our office before registering to check in.

Q:  How many 13 year olds do you have at camp?
A:  There are usually a few less, so it would be best if they enjoy being a role model and playing with younger kids and/or organize a few friends to come together. It will be a great time with the GOTG staff and campers of a variety of ages.

Q:  Can my 14 year old participate?
A:  Sure, as long as she knows she will be with kids in the 9-13 year old age range and be positive about it. Often, we have had former campers who have turned 14, but still wanted to come, and it has worked out fine. If your daughter enjoys being a role model for younger kids, you may want to look into our Junior Counselor program for girls ages 14-16.

SAFETY QUESTIONS

Q: My child has a food allergy and gets a severe reaction to nuts.  She will be bringing an epipen. What are your policies and experience with this?
A: We understand there are many kids with minor or severe food allergies, and in your child’s online heath history, include special instructions for staff.  We ask for a lot of detail, so that we can keep your child safe.  On the first day of camp, give staff items and food alternatives necessary for taking care of your child. We have many campers with severe nut allergies, so we have a no-nut or nut butter policy, although items made on shared equipment are fine to bring. Staff gets practice with a tester epipen in the first aid training.

Q:  My girl is rather shy and she will not be coming with any friends.  How will I know she will get help meeting new kids?
A: We do have campers who come with friends, so this can be an issue for those who do not.  On the first day, we talk about this at our first circle on Monday before heading out.  We do “get to know” games and sometimes ask girls to buddy up with someone they do not know.  That said, we also want those kids who do come to camp to spend time with their friends, as that is often why they signed up together, so it is a balancing act.

Q:  How do you deal with cliques?
A: This is an issue with kids of this age, at times.  We do all we can to create an inclusive community. Most parents and girls have shared with us, after attending, that this is one of the things they appreciate most about Girls on the Go! That said, we are not miracle workers, so staff will also talk about how to navigate the emotions that can arise in friendships and feeling excluded or excluding.  They also brainstorm with girls about how they manage, as there is often a lot of wisdom within the girls themselves waiting to be shared.

Q: What do you do to insure my child’s safety?
A: Safety is number one for all of us at camp. Of course, playing entails a certain amount of bumps and bruises.  When the kids are gathered and given clear, organized instructions, we can really enjoy ourselves and minimize dangers. We are proud to say that since 1999, when we first began, our safety record is stellar. Staff receives in house training, get First Aid and CPR certification from outside accredited organizations, and keep things structured and clear on site. For any medical information provided by parents, staff review before camp, so they are aware of details.

Q: Do you have any parent feedback I can read?
A: Please read our reviews on YELP, Berkeley Parent’s Network and Activity Hero.  We also have a page on our website in the “About” section with reviews sent in by parents.  We have been operating camps in the Bay Area since 1999 and won many top Parent’s Press Awards, so you can be sure that we operate a high quality camp.  Most children who come to our camp enjoy their time with us, and for any challenges during camp, with support from parents communicating to on site and support staff, we help address and usually resolve issues.

Q: Who will staff the camp? How do you screen and train your staff?
A: We have a main Site Director who has extended experience with recreation programs, as well as a Group Leader and Counselors, who are newer to the field, but still very experienced at camp.  Our search for a qualified, fun, diverse, caring, safety-conscious team is very rigorous. It includes a phone interview, individual interview, a multiple employer reference check, and detailed training.  Teams meet weekly summer to keep things organized and creative. You can always see the staff bios and photos on our staff page of our website. Many staff speak another language besides English, which we find a support when international families enroll, which is a wonderful addition to our camp.

Thank you for checking in about camp!  We hope to see you soon!