Resident Camp - Commonly asked questions
One of the many wonderful experiences campers have at camp is gaining independence. A chance to be away from home, to make new friends and try new things, 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 letters or postcards two to three times per week. We also appreciate parents communicating with their children throughout the session by letters, postcards, or email. 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 at 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 can be thought of as 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 of camp, is in English. The majority of our counselors are native English-speaking, and we also 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 end of the one- and two-week sessions.
There can be positives and negatives to friends from home being in the same cabin at camp. Friends in the same cabin could 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 your 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 camper's day is spent doing the many activities we offer. Your child will have plenty of opportunities 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 three 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 also offer “Free Choice Activities” in the morning, a great opportunity for campers to enjoy some activities and excursions together.
In most cases, the "Camp Mum" will be able to take care of a camper who is not feeling well. Our Camp Mums are either Qualified Nurses in their home countires, and/or trained in basic first aid and CPR. Additionally, all of our staff are trained in basic first aid, as well as many being certified in their home countries. For anything other than the basic bumps and bruises of childhood, we have a medical center and hospital less than 10 minutes from Camp California.
The food at Camp California could be said to be the best food offered at any summer camp. It is fresh, wholesome, and tasty, and there are an incredible amount of options each meal time, so all campers are able to find something they enjoy. Breakfast features both hot and cold menu options, and fresh fruit is always available. For both lunch and dinner, there are multiple options for hot entrees, and there is always a robust salad bar and a daily soup option. A pasta option, as well as a potato option, is always available at both lunch and dinner. The menu does not include an abundance of sweets or junk food, and all meal times have vegetarian options. If a camper has special dietary needs, please make this known on the Camper Application in the Health History Form. In most cases, we are able to meet the needs of the camper.
Teen Adventure is a "tripping program." This means that of the 13-day session, 10 days are spent outside of our Resident Camp facility traveling on trips around central Croatia. With Teen Adventure, campers participate in a variety of activities including: kayaking, rafting, hiking, go-carting, kite surfing, mountain biking, rock-climbing, as well as learning outdoor living skills. Teen Adventure groups are limited to 22 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16, and the program is geared for older and more independent campers.
Necessary equipment is provided for all activities offered Camp California, so there is no need to bring any sports equipment; however, if a camper would like to bring any releveant equipment, they are free to do so.
The camp medical center has a complete range of basic over-the-counter medication for normal minor injuries or sickness. Should a camper need stronger medication or treatment, we take them to the medical center in Biograd or Zadar. If a camper needs to take prescription medication, this should be sent with the camper and indicated on the Medical Form. 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.