Resident Camp - Commonly asked questions

One of the many wonderful experiences campers will have at camp is independence. A chance to be away from Mom and Dad  for one or two weeks, make new friends and gain a sense of independence, confidence and responsibility.  It is best done by completely participating in the camp program and putting all the camper’s energies into making new friends from other countries, learning new skills in the activities they are participating in, and enjoying their new found independence. Staying in touch with home by phone only discourages this opportunity. 

We do encourage campers to write postcards, letters or faxes two to three times per week.   We also appreciate the parents communicating with their children throughout the session in any of the above written methods.  In special cases, such as birthdays, it is possible to speak with your child if pre-arranged with the camp administration.


Campers traveling alone by plane or on the Camp California bus are encouraged to bring a cell phone to camp. We ask that your child call or send you a text message once they've arrived at camp. However all mobile phones are collected on check in and kept for safe keeping over your child's stay at camp. They will receive the phone, along with any other valuables they check into the office, on closing day check out time.  Please be sure your child’s phone is fully charged before they leave for camp.  We do not have electricity available for recharging phones while at camp.  Camp California’s  primary goals for each camper is to improve their English,  make new friends and gain independence. This would not happen if every camper at camp had their own mobile phone and spent time talking with friends and family at home.  For campers staying for more than one session, we do give every camper the opportunity to check their phone out between sessions and check in with home.


Each camper must have a basic level of English to be able to communicate their personal needs while at camp. They must also have a basic understanding of English so they can participate fully in all of the wonderful opportunities available to them at camp.


Each and every day at camp is an "English lesson". Camp California's "Living Language Program" makes our camp an English language classroom.  All communication in the cabin group and in the various activities are in English. The majority of our counselors are native English speaking.  However we do have a minimum of one counselor each summer from the various major language groups represented at Camp California.   All Camp California staff are trained to communicate to the campers in a way that even the most basic of English levels can understand.  Campers will receive the "Camp California Living Language" Diploma after the one and two week sessions.


Camp is for making new friends and practicing English.  Being in the same cabin with a friend from home often prevents campers from experiencing improvements in English. Friends in the same cabin often isolate themselves from the rest of the group by either speaking their native language or staying in their "comfort zone" and not reaching out and making new friends. However, if you child is attending Camp California for the first time and may need a little support for his/her first summer,  a request may be made in writing by the parents of both campers and the camp administration will consider the request. This is not a guarantee that both campers will be placed in the same cabin.  Camp California organizes cabin placements based on the best interest of all campers and to encourage the core values of our program. 


We always try to have no more than two or three campers from the same country in the same cabin.  In fact, our perfect situation would be to have seven different languages represented in each cabin group.  However, we cannot promise as it really depends on the number of campers that come from any given country.  Please also understand that “cabin time” plays a small part of each day.  The majority of each campers day is spend doing the many activities we offer.  Your child will have plenty of opportunity to be with other children from the same country.  However we do encourage children to speak in English while at Camp California.


The activities are based on learning skills that progress through a five-day program. Opening day we do a tour of camp and introduce all the campers to the different activities offered.  Prior to your child’s arrival at camp your child should select 10 activities  they would like to take for the first week in order of preference.  Each day we offer two activity periods in the morning and four in the afternoon.  Monday is the introduction day in each of the activities.  If after the first day a camper would like to change, then this will be the opportunity to do so. Starting Tuesday, all activities are well underway and it is not possible to change.  Starting week two, campers have an opportunity to sign up for new activities for the full second week of camp. 


There is scheduled free time throughout the session.   Although campers are free to be with who they want during this time, they must stay on the camp property and under the supervision of our staff.  Free time after dinner and before evening program is usually the best time to meet with friends outside the cabin group.  Weekends on the two week sessions also offer “Free Choice Activities” in the morning, a great opportunity for campers to enjoy some activities and excursions together.  


This of course depends on the nature of the injury or illness. All staff are trained in basic first aid and many are certified in their home countries. In most cases the first line is of course the "Camp Mum". She is trained in either basic first aid/CPR or is a Qualified Nurse in her home country. For anything other than the basic bumps and bruises of childhood, we have a hospital less than 10 minutes from camp. In most cases a bandage, disinfectant, a few extra glasses of water or a few hours rest in the "Keep Well Cabin" is all that is needed to have your child back at 100%. 


The food is wholesome, tasty and tailored to a European child's taste. We do not have lots of sweets or junk food. For both lunch and dinner, we have a salad bar available to everyone. For campers with special dietary needs, this should be made known to   Camp California on the Camper Application.  This information is made available on the Health History Form each parent must complete prior to camp.  In most cases we would be able to meet the needs of the camper.  We do have many vegetarian options at each meal. 


Teen Adventure is a "tripping program".  Out of the 13 day session, 10 days are spent outside of our Resident Camp facility at Pine Beach traveling around central Croatia, participating in a variety of activities including: kayaking, rafting, go-carting, kitesurfing, mountain biking,  rock-climbing as well as some outdoor living skills.  Groups are up to 22 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 along with three counselors: one Croatian and two native English-speaking counselor. The activities are geared  for older and more independent campers. 


All fourteen year olds have a choice of either Camp California Resident Camp or the Teen Adventure Programs.  If this is the camper's first time first time away from home, we recommend the Resident Camp program.  Older campers can choose between the Teen Adventure Programs, or they can remain at camp and participate in our CIT (Counselor in Training) program. Both choices will offer the ultimate summer camp experience. 


Campers are free to bring any sports equipment relevant to the activities offered at Camp California. However, for all activities offered at Camp California, the necessary equipment is provided.


No – the medical center has a complete range of basic over-the-counter medication for normal minor injuries or sickness. Should a camper need stronger medication, we would take them to the medical center in Biograd or Zadar.  If campers need to take any prescription medication, this should be indicated on the Medical Form, and detailed instructions for taking the medicine should be sent with the camper, and given to our “Camp Mum” upon check-in on the first day at camp.