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Frequently Asked Questions & Camp Policies

It’s common for parents to have lots of questions about what their daughter’s life will be like while she’s with us at camp. It's understandable to be a little worried about sending your girl to camp, especially for the first time. Here are some notes on health, safety, and common concerns we hear. Please reach out to our staff with any additional questions you have—our expert staff are here to support your girl and help her grow!

Girls of all abilities—including those with disabilities, health concerns, or eating restrictions—are welcome and encouraged to register. Prior to registering, we recommend you contact us so we can ensure that we are able to provide accommodations and adequate support for her camp experience. Our staff can also help you choose the sessions that are best fit for your girl.

Bathroom and shower facilities are located throughout the camp. Some housing requires an outdoor walk to the nearest location. We will let your girl know the nearest bathroom and shower locations once she is at camp.

Please talk with your camper before she comes to camp about taking care of her daily personal hygiene needs. Remind her about brushing her teeth, combing her hair and washing her face every day. The staff will also support these hygiene practices as much as possible. Due to the number of people in camp and the practice of water conservation, showers are limited to 1–3 per session depending on the length of time in camp.

If your camper is a bedwetter, it’s not unusual, and you don’t have to worry. Please let us know on the camper information sheet and/or health history form. Your camper should speak with her counselor or another staff person if she has an accident, and staff will discreetly launder the bedding and clothes.

Attendees to all Girl Scouts of Northern California camps and events are expected to follow the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

If, for any reason, an attendee’s behavior is not within our expectations, they will be asked to leave. We will expect a parent/guardian to pick up a girl as soon as possible, and adults will need to provide their own transportation. This is at the expense of the parent/guardian or adult attendee. We will not refund session fees.

The following situations will automatically result in a camper being sent home: Possession and/or use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, weapons, physical harm to themselves or another person, theft or other extreme behavior determined to be unacceptable by the Camp Director. If you have any questions regarding this behavior policy, please contact Mary-Jane Strom, Senior Director of Camps and Adventure, at 1-800-447-4475 ext. 4009.

Please be sure to list her birthday on her registration form and we'll make sure she gets recognized on her special day!

All camp sessions are subject to cancellation or rescheduling by Girl Scouts Northern California. If a session is canceled by GSNorCal, and the camper is unable to attend an alternate session, all fees will be refunded, including any deposit made. If a program is canceled, you will be notified by email or phone.

You may cancel your camp session orders up to 30 days prior to the session for a refund, minus the non-refundable deposit ($150 for all-girl programs and $50/person for family or troop camp programs). Refunds will be issued in the same form as they were paid (i.e. check, cash, credit card, Rewards Cards). Camp orders canceled within the 30 days prior to the session will receive no refund.

If you do need to cancel your camp session order, you must send a written request for cancellation to:

Girl Scouts of Northern California
Attn: Camp Registration
1310 South Bascom Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128


Our camps are proud to be unplugged! Camp offers a great opportunity to learn to navigate social situations while not being constantly connected to a digital/virtual world. It’s a place for children to develop life skills including independence and self-reliance. For these reasons cell phones, laptop computers, portable DVD players, iPad’s, Tablets, MP3 players, E-readers, etc. are not allowed at camp. Please account for your child’s phone before they get on the bus and be sure that your child does not try to “sneak” their phone into camp.

All designated emergency contacts should be available while your camper is at camp. Camp staff may call you for the following:

  • Homesickness of your camper that is getting worse, not better.
  • Inappropriate conduct by your camper while at Girl Scout Camp.
  • Illness or injury to your camper for an extended period of time, requires medical attention outside of camp, or requires her to be picked up by the parent/guardian.

Remember that your camper will not have access to a telephone and that the telephone in camp is for business and emergencies only. If you have an urgent need to talk with your camper, contact the Girl Scout office first: 1-800-447-4475 ext 2091. During business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–5:30 PM), the council staff contact the camp director, who will then respond to your call. If it is after hours or on weekends, and there is an emergency, our After Hours Emergency Number is 1-877-636-1912.

All camp fees must be paid no later than 4 weeks prior to the camp session your camper is attending. You can pay your bill online at DoubleKnot. Instructions are included on your registration receipt.

Your camper’s registration will be cancelled if payment has not been received by the due date. If, for any reason, you cannot meet this financial obligation, you must contact GSNorCal immediately at 1-800-447-4475 ext 2091. Girl Scouts of Northern California has a strict policy on payment of camp fees that no girl will be allowed to go to camp unless her camp fee is paid in full.

We strive to provide well-balanced, nutritious and child-pleasing menus at camp. Most meals are prepared by experienced food service personnel* and are served in the dining hall, family style, to a table of 8-12 campers and staff. If your daughter has a special dietary need, be sure to list it on the health form and camper information sheet via CampDoc. We can usually accommodate most special diets; however, reaching out before camp will help you, your camper, and the camp prepare appropriately—especially if your camper’s needs are significant.

Every meal at camp will have a vegetarian option! And if a girl has dietary needs beyond vegetarian, our cooks can provide gluten-free and lactose-free meals and accommodate other allergies. Those who follow a vegan diet should bring supplementary pre-prepared food, as our kitchens are not equipped to accommodate for this special diet. Please note that, while we do minimize peanut and tree nut use at camp, we are not completely nut-free and our kitchens are not cross-contamination free for gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, or soy.

*At Hidden Falls, the majority of meals are cooked by the campers themselves using a wide variety of outdoor cooking techniques. Examples include, using propane stoves, cooking over a campfire, using charcoal in a barbecue, Dutch oven cooking, pie iron cooking, box oven cooking, and no-cook meals. Cooking techniques will be appropriate to the age and skill level of campers and facilitated/supervised for safety by trained and experienced camp staff members.

Please identify if your camper has an allergy or intolerance on their health from. We ask that you identify the type of allergy your camper has and provide information on managing an allergic reaction. During meal time, our staff will instruct campers with special diets as to the menu items safe and available at each meal.

Some families have found it helpful to utilize the Food Allergy Action Plan resource from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), to help camp staff handle their camper’s food allergies and anaphylaxis emergency care. You can upload this document to CampDoc, alongside your camper’s heath form, if you choose to complete it.

Depending on the severity of allergies in camp, we’ll make adjustments on a session-by-session basis to avoid offering allergy-provoking foods and cross-contamination.

Our staff and campers work together to take a preventative approach to health care in camp. A Health Care Supervisor is on staff and is responsible for monitoring and administering first aid and routine health care, per Treatment Protocols. Should a camper become ill while at camp, they will be admitted to the camp Health Center or taken to the nearest doctor if needed, and the camp director will contact the emergency contact listed on the camper’s health form.

This summer, hundreds of girls will experience their first taste of independence at summer camp. For many, it will also be their first encounter with homesickness—but families don’t have to feel helpless! Homesickness is normal, and you can help your camper prepare to deal with it well by:

  • Encouraging independence throughout the year
  • Discussing what camp will be like before your camper leaves, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom
  • Reminding your camper ahead of time that you will not be able to contact each other via phone during your camper’s stay
  • Contacting your camper by sending letters, care packages, and even e-mails while she’s at camp
  • Packing a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal
  • Believing in her ability to handle her own emotions and have fun at camp
  • Being visibly excited for her, even though you might miss her as much or more

Our camp staff has extensive experience with homesickness and they’ll be there for your camper 24/7. If you have a concern, voice it to our camp directors before camp, so the staff can provide the
best experience for your camper. Other resources for
preparing for camp can be found at

Do not send your camper to camp if she has been exposed to a communicable disease or if she is ill.

Girl Scouts of Northern California does require an immunization history as part of the health form required for camp. To read more about our protocols related to communicable diseases, please read Communicable Disease Protocols for Girl Scouts of Northern California.

Camp has a no-nit policy. Please check your camper for lice before coming to camp, as all girls will be screened upon arrival and any child with lice or a communicable disease will need to leave camp. We will make every effort to reschedule your girl in a different session, but no refunds will be issued if a camper goes home due to nits or lice. You can learn more about lice at

The following applies to all medications, including vitamins, inhalers, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications:

  • All medications must be listed on the health form.
  • Please bring all medications to the bus loading in a labeled ziplock bag - do not pack them in her suitcase.
  • Medications must be in the original container with the camper’s name, address, and complete directions on the container. California law states that medications not in the original container cannot be dispensed by the Health Care Manager.
  • Print the medication confirmation form from your CampDoc account and include it in the ziplock bag.
  • If campers require an epi-pen, we require that you
    send 2 with her (1 for the health center and 1 for the unit).

State regulations cover the storage and dispensing of medications. All medications must come to camp in original containers and be stored by the Health Supervisor in locked compartments in the camp health center. The Health Supervisor will dispense medications as indicated by the physician’s instructions for prescriptions and/or by label instructions for over-the-counter medications. If over the-counter medications should be given different than the label, a note must be provided from an MD or NP.

If a camper refuses to take prescribed medications, this refusal is documented in the health log and the parent/guardian is notified.

If attending a Family Camp session, the camper’s parent/guardian will be responsible for their camper’s health forms and medications.

At the time of registration, individuals attending resident camp sessions may either pay the full amount or a $150 deposit (or $50/person for Troop and Family Camp programs). If only paying the deposit, your receipt will indicate the date that your final balance is due. Your final payment will be due four weeks before your camp session starts.

Paying by Check

If you would like to pay for the balance of your camp fee by check, please mail your payment and a copy of your receipt or registration number to:

Girl Scouts of Northern California 1310 South Bascom Avenue San Jose, CA 95128 Attn: Camp Registration

Using Cookie Reward Cards

Girls can also pay for all or part of their camp registration with the rewards they earn through the GSNorCal product programs. Girls who sell 3,000 packages of cookies can earn a free camp session at any of our council-run camps! If you are not able to afford the camp deposit before your camper completes her 2019/2020 product program, please contact us at We want to make sure that your hard-working camper is able to use her reward cards towards the camp of her choice!

Financial Aid

Any girl who lives within Girl Scouts of Northern California’s jurisdiction is eligible to apply for financial help to attend one of our Girl Scout camps! Learn more about our financial aid options and get your application started early!

Participants are responsible for all items brought to events or camps. Neither Girl Scouts Northern California nor the camp can be held responsible for the loss or damage to a participant’s personal belongings. It is best to have your name on all items. Any items left in the camp lost and found will be held at council for 2 weeks and then donated to a local charity.

For the safety and well-being of our camp community, please do not send these items to camp with your girl:

  • Open-toe shoes (except for sandal use in shower)
  • Crop tops/halter tops
  • Aerosols
  • Candy, gum, or snacks
  • Electronic devices
  • Digital cameras
  • Drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, knives, or weapons
  • Money

Transportation to and from camp is included in the fee for Skylark Ranch and Sugar Pine. We currently offer bus stops from Alameda, Pleasanton, and Red Bluff (A sessions only) for Sugar Pine, and there are bus stops in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Jose for all Skylark Ranch sessions.

Campers attending Bothin or Hidden Falls will need to be driven to and from camp.

Exact bus stop locations, dates, times, and procedures can be found in each camp's Preparing for Camp guide.

For camper safety and security, visitors are not permitted during camp sessions. Our Open House is designed to give families the opportunity to see camp.

Campers at Sugar Pine and Bothin participate in a swimming skills assessment as one of the first activities at camp. This ensures your camper is safe and ready for swim time. If campers are not comfortable in the water at all or in taking the swim skill assessment, please alert the staff when dropping off your camper.

Everyone is required to wear a life jacket in all boats, regardless of swimming ability. All aquatic activities are supervised by certified lifeguards.

A Girl Scout is always prepared, and that includes at camp. During training, staff learn and practice emergency weather procedures and action plans. Each opening day, campers also learn the information and will have practice drills during their time at camp. If the weather is unusually hot or cold, activities are changed to keep campers safe. Weather alert radios are monitored, and there are designated storm shelters for each camp.

Please remember, during weather alerts, phone lines need to remain open to contact different parts of camp or emergency services; please do not call during severe weather. If it is after hours or on weekends, and there is an emergency, our After Hours Emergency Number is 1-877-636-1912. The council answering service will contact the appropriate council staff. A representative from the Girl Scout Council will then contact you. In case of a natural disaster, information will be posted directly to the camp website.