2021 Frequently Asked Questions

The current situation is fluid and we will continue to be transparent in our delivery of information. We will always follow the guidelines and guidance of the county and state, the Camp site, and our medical team. We will do everything we can to equally plan an amazing summer program for our Campers as well as a safe opportunity for campers and Staff to bond and build relationships through meaningful activities and experiences. Our dedicated staff are here to support and answer your questions throughout the process of bringing amazing experiences to our Camp community!

General Camp Program Questions

  • Q: What is the registration process?

Registration Opens each year in March. Links to the application will be posted on our WEBSITE and social media. Returning campers will get an email from us with a link to register. 

There are three steps to the registration process:  

Step one is completed by you, steps two and three are completed by your child’s cardiology office. Here are the steps in detail:

 

1. Online registration – You will fill out the online registration form and will need:

  • Your child’s cardiac diagnosis, current medications, immunizations and allergy information

  • Insurance information (if you have insurance)

 

2. Camper Cardiologist Form (In-Person Summer Camp Only)  is filled out by a nurse or the pediatric cardiologist at your child’s cardiology clinic. Once you complete the online registration, we notify your child’s cardiology clinic to complete the Camper Cardiologist Form.  Your clinic will submit the completed medical form and any clinic notes from your child’s last appointment, including test results.

 

3. Camp Medical Team/Camp Program Director approval – Once the Camper Cardiologist Form is complete our camp medical team will review the application along with our Camp Program Director and notify you of camp acceptance or denial.

  • Q: Can a family member or aid come to camp with my child?

No. An important piece of the camp experience is gaining independence and leadership through the experiencing of new and challenging things. Additionally, due to limited bed space, providing accommodations for an aid means that we have capacity for one less child to come to camp.

 

  • Q: Can a family member or aid work at camp during the session my child is attending?

No. We would love for you to volunteer however, and you can apply to attend a session your child is not attending.

 

  • Q. Can I visit my child while they are at camp?

No. We do not have accommodations available for family during camp, and do not allow visitors during sessions.

 

  • Q. How many days and nights is camp?

Camp is 5 days and 4 nights.

  • Q: Is transportation provided to Residential Camp?

Yes and No.  You are responsible for getting your child  to the “dock.” Our chartered boat to Catalina leaves from the Catalina Island Express in San Pedro (Berth 95, San Pedro, CA 90731 at Swinford and Harbor Boulevard) 

  • Q. What should my child bring to camp?

You can see our suggested packing list here. Please remember each camper is limited to a maximum of one duffel bag. The only loose item may be a sleeping bag if it does not fit inside the duffel. Please make sure your child’s full name is on everything they bring to camp.

 

  • Q. What should my child NOT bring to camp?

Campers may not bring cell phones, smart watches, iPads, tablets or gaming devices, soda, candy, alcohol, personal sports equipment, animals, weapons, drugs, other valuables and/or illicit items to camp. New and expensive items do not belong at camp.

In the event a child arrives at camp possessing any of these items, they will be collected and remain in administrative control for the duration of the session.

 

  • Q. What is the food like at camp?

Campers receive 3 hot meals a day. There are hot vegetarian options available for every meal. During breakfast there is an extensive fruit and yogurt options and during lunch and dinner there is a full salad option to supplement the main course.

 

  • Q. What are the cabins like? Sleeping arrangements?

We have all open air cabins. Each cabin has 4 walls and a ceiling with canvas doors and windows. Cabins let in plenty of fresh air during the day, are fully insulated and offer plenty of privacy. Each camper has their own bunk bed with a mattress. In addition to the insulation, campers will need a sleeping bag and a sweatshirt to keep warm at night.

 

  • Q. What are the qualifications of the counselors in my child’s cabin? 

Each member of our staff goes through an extensive application and interview process with our Camp Director. All counselors attend a full day of Staff Development training prior to the start of camp. Before being accepted, each volunteer is subjected to a thorough background check including, but not limited to, the national sexual offender database and the national police department databases.

 

  • Q. How does camp handle my child’s medication?

There is a full team of nurses at every session of camp. Each cabin is assigned an RN or med nurse who is responsible for administering all medications. Medications are handed out at meals.

 

  • Q. Can I call and speak with my child during camp?

No. To maximize your child’s experience at camp, we do not allow incoming or outgoing phone calls during the five days your child is at camp. 

 

  • Q. How can I contact my child in case of an emergency?

In case of emergency you may contact the main office at (818) 754-0312. Our office managers will then get in touch with someone on-site and relay any pertinent information.

 

  • Q. What happens if there is an emergency involving my child?

In the case of an emergency while camp is in session, you will be contacted immediately. In the event we cannot get hold of you, we will call the next emergency contact listed on your application. In the case of a medical emergency, our camp physicians will assess the situation, administer treatment if possible, and accompany the child to an advanced facility if deemed necessary.

 

  • Q. Can I send packages to my camper?

No. Mail takes longer than average to make it out to the island, so the arrival date cannot be guaranteed. If your child is lacking an essential item, we have extra toothbrushes, water bottles, sunscreen, etc. which will be made available to those children.

 

  • Q. What is drop off and pick up like?

 

Drop Off: Parents will bring their children to the Catalina Express San Pedro docks at the designated time the morning of the first day of camp. Upon arriving they will be signed in by a staff member and introduced to one of their cabin counselors. They will then board the ferry as a cabin and cross over to the island.

 

Pick Up: Parents will arrive at the dock for pick up at 1:30pm on the last day of the session. Once the ferry reaches the dock, campers will wait with their cabins until their authorized guardian signs them out with a staff member.

 

  • Q. What does it mean to be an ACA-accredited camp?

ACA-Accredited camps meet up to 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality set forth by the American Camp Association. To learn more about the ACA, visit http://www.acacamps.org/

 

  • Q. How many kids are in a cabin?

We have a maximum of 8 campers in one cabin.

  • Q: How will my child be placed in a cabin?

Campers are placed in cabins with other campers of the same gender identity and age range. We also consider your child’s health needs, in order to create a well-balanced cabin group. Camp counselors sleep in cabins with campers.

  • Q. How many counselors are in a cabin?

We have a minimum of 3 counselors in a cabin: 2 cabin counselors and 1 activity counselor. Each cabin is also assigned a med nurse.

 

  • Q. What is the counselor and camper ratio during camp?

To ensure adequate levels of supervision at all times, we maintain a ratio of 1 counselor to 5 campers.

 

  • Q. What kinds of activities will my child be participating in?

We offer a wide variety of activities run by qualified staff including kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, high-ropes course, climbing wall, archery, riflery, 

 

  • Q. Are cabins mixed-gender?

No. Cabins are single gender only, and members of the opposite sex are never allowed in the cabins. The ONLY exception to this is a female med nurse assigned to a boys’ cabin may enter daily to administer medication, with advanced notice.

 

  • Q. Are kids in a cabin all the same age?

Yes. Your child will be in a cabin with other campers approximately his/her age.

 

  • Q. How many staff members are on site?

We have a total of 70-90 staff members on site at all times.

 

  • Q. What medical supervision is available during camp?

A team of no less than 12 nurses is present on the island at all times. 2 pediatric cardiologists will be on site to provide further medical supervision.

 

  • Q. Can my child be placed in the same cabin as his/her friend?

On your child’s application there is a space to request cabin mates. We do our best to accommodate these requests, but we cannot promise there will be space in each cabin and session. 

 

  • Q. How will my child’s dietary restrictions be accommodated?

There are complete vegetarian options available at every meal. Gluten allergies can also be accommodated by our kitchen. In all cases your child must be able to make appropriate meal decisions along with the support of our staff.
 

  • Q. Is my child guaranteed a space at camp? In my first choice session?

We strive to allow as many children as possible to experience camp. That being said, there are limits to what our facilities can accommodate, and we can only accept campers for whom we can offer the appropriate level of care.

 

  • Q. Can I find all this information in hard copy for my reference?

Yes. Once your child has been accepted to camp, you will receive a confirmation packet outlining all camp rules, camper expectations, procedures, and drop off/pick up day instructions.

2021 Camp Program Questions

  • Q. When will we know “for sure” if there will be an in-person option for Summer Camp?

    • Our plan is to make a definitive decision for any in-person Camp programs no later than the end of June. This is because we have to make plans for facilities, staff, training, and safety above everything else with the most current information and guidelines that are available at that time.

  • Q. How is the decision for in-person Camp being decided?

    • We are making all decisions for in-person programs in compliance with county and state guidelines as well as advising from our medical team of CHD professionals. Our Camper’s and Staff’s safety is our TOP priority. Please visit the LA County Department of Public Health’s website for more information about the current guidelines governing in-person gatherings during the COVID 19 Pandemic in Los Angeles County and/or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for additional support and guidelines.

  • Q. Will vaccines be required for Campers? 

    • No, the vaccine is not required for Campers to attend camp, but it is recommended if their physician approves and they become eligible for receiving the vaccine.

  • Q. Will vaccines be required for Staff? 

    • Yes, all in-person staff are required to be fully vaccinated. 

  • Q. Are masks required at Camp? 

    • Yes. At this time masks will be required at all indoor activities and during travel, as well as when outdoor social distancing is not possible, except while swimming, eating/drinking, and sleeping according to current county guidelines.

  • Q. Will we be required to socially distance at Camp? 

    • Yes. According to the current county guidelines, social distancing is recommended.

  • Q. Will in-person Camp look the same? 

    • We know that Camp is a feeling and we hope to bring the feeling of Camp to whatever changes need to be made in order to keep us all safe. In general, we are following the current guidelines for LA County and the implementations made by Catalina Island Camps that may mean that we will cohort our participants in order to minimize exposure and insure accurate contact tracing. There will always be Sunshine, moonlight, good times, and boogie!

  • Q. What activities can we do at Camp? 

    • While some traditional camp activities may be modified for extra safety precautions this year, we hope to still offer many activities that bring opportunities for campers to challenge themselves and grow in the great outdoors like swimming, hiking, and learning new skills.

  • Q. Will I get to see my friends at Camp? 

    • The best part of Camp is that there is always opportunity to make new friends. Your counselor friends will be there and we hope to accommodate the friends you’ve made through Camp so that we can all enjoy the experience together, while staying safe and following the current guidelines.

  • Q. What will the screening protocol for Campers and Staff be prior to Camp? 

    • Deemed necessary by the current guidelines and the guidance of our medical team, we will utilize a COVID-19 Prescreening Tool in correlation with the CampDoc registration portal, which will require campers and staff to complete daily pre-screening evaluations every day for 10 days prior to the Camp start dates for in-person, residential camp. Deemed necessary by the current guidelines and the guidance of our medical team, we will require a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to Camp departure, and a rapid test at the boat dock on the day of departure for all unvaccinated individuals and potentially all vaccinated individuals. 

  • Q. Why should I sign-up for virtual Camp? 

    • Why not? Camp 2.0 (virtual camp in 2020) was a huge success and we hope to bring the same fun Camp feeling to Camp 2.1. ALl of the same Camp vibes, from the safety of your home!

  • Q. I’m only interested in in-person Camp. Change my mind? 

    • By registering for both in-person and virtual Camp, Campers will have the opportunity to maximize their summer camp experience and make even more friends in the CHD community.

  • Q. How do I talk to my child about the possibility of in-person being postponed or cancelled again? 

    • We know this past year may have held some disappointments, but our top priority is the health and safety of our heart community. It’s important to have conversations about safety with our community and the potential that Camp may not be safe for us. We have to be brave, trust that things will get better, and promise to meet each other at Camp 2.1 virtual Camp to have that same Camp feeling.

  • Q. Are Campers from outside of the U.S. eligible for in-person Camp? 

    • Unfortunately, at this time we cannot predict the travel restrictions that may be in place due to the pandemic that would prevent Campers from out of state or country to attend Camp. We will keep you informed as we have more information, but encourage you to register for Camp (in-person and virtual) regardless and we will be in contact as more information becomes available.

  • Q. Are there any other in-person options? (Hybrid, 1-Day Camp, Events, etc)  

    • We’re not taking anything off the table yet. As of now, only our virtual and in-person residential options are available (in late June and Late August/September respectively), but we will be sure to keep the lines open for options that may allow for safe alternatives this summer.

  • Q. Will there be less campers/staff in a cabin? 

    • We plan to follow all current safety guidelines recommended by the county, Catalina Island Camps, and our medical team in order to provide the safest opportunity to be together. As of now, this does mean we would likely minimize the contact that Campers have with each other by “podding” groups into smaller cohorts and staggering activities and mealtimes. We will be sure to keep you up to speed as more information and plans develop.

 

Medical Questions

  • Q. Will vaccines be required for Campers?

    • No, the vaccine is not required for Campers to attend camp, but it is recommended if their physician approves and they become eligible for receiving the vaccine.

  • Q. Will vaccines be required for Staff?

    • At this time, it is our hope to have all in-person staff be vaccinated. This will depend on the most current vaccine eligibility.

  • Q. What is being done to assure Camper and Staff safety?

    • We will be following all local, county and state guidelines for safety and plan stay transparent through the preparation process in order to ease concerns and help everyone to feel informed.

  • Q. Are masks required at Camp?

    • Yes. At this time masks to be required at all times except while swimming, eating/drinking, and sleeping according to current county guidelines.

  • Q. Will we be required to socially distance at Camp?

    • Yes. According to the current county guidelines, social distancing is recommended.

  • Q. What will the screening protocol for Campers and Staff be prior to Camp?

    • Deemed necessary by the current guidelines and the guidance of our medical team, we will utilize a COVID-19 Prescreening Tool in correlation with the CampDoc registration portal, which will require campers and staff to complete daily pre-screening evaluations every day for 10 days prior to the Camp start dates for in-person, residential camp. Deemed necessary by the current guidelines and the guidance of our medical team, we will require a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to Camp departure, and a rapid test at the boat dock on the day of departure for all unvaccinated individuals and potentially all vaccinated individuals.