Frequently Asked Questions

Outpost is a 2 or 3 week commitment of time and summer funds. We take our responsibility for your child seriously, and we’ve listed frequently asked questions and their answers below. If you don’t find the answer to something you’re interested in below, it may be located in another section of the website, and you’re always welcome to contact us directly!

Philosophy

Do the kids get hot? Is there an “indoors”?

OSC is located in a wilderness preserve, and we are outdoors all day. We spend much of our day hiking and playing in shaded areas, eating under trees and of course swimming at the pool. We provide sunscreen and plenty of water, and our campers and staff are happy that we don’t have any buildings because it’s hard to make a fort in the wilderness inside a room! We also plan for especially hot days prior to the summer with activities designed to be low-exertion, high fun.

Do you do any field trips?

Our Senior Outpost program for 6th-9th graders is based primarily off-site, at locations throughout the County. We do not take field trips with our younger campers. Our philosophy is that trips to Sea World, Legoland, etc are destinations for parents and children together as families, not for third-party providers like camps. We offer adventures that you can only have at Outpost Summer Camps!

What if my camper doesn’t like getting dirty?

Then maybe it’s time to look for another camp! 🙂 We believe in giving campers opportunities to experience the outdoors fully and that often means wearing a bit of camp home, like shoes that have walked in water or shirts that have been painted with mud! Just about all our campers who may be initially hesitant end up joining in the fun.

What if my camper is not “in to” sports and games?

At OSC, one of our “inside jokes” is that most of our games end in a “confusing tie!” Beginning with the games we play and the staff we hire and train, we place much more emphasis on the fun of playing rather than the win/loss outcome. The reason many children don’t enjoy playing sports and games is because of the lack of fun when the focus of everyone involved is on who will win and who will lose. We also play many cooperative games where the fun level is HIGH and there is no winner or loser. And as a “group-centered” camp, we spend our days together, so that no one is ever on his/her own.

What if my camper is not a good swimmer?

All campers are assessed for their swimming ability on their first day of camp. Based on that assessment, they are assigned to a swim group with an appropriate level of supervision and guidance. Our groups range from “non-swimmer” to “advanced”, and special areas of the pool and dedicated staff are set up for each group.

What makes your camp different than the others in which my child is enrolled?

Outpost Summer Camp is built on four principles that in most cases differentiate us from other summer programs. 1) Low 1:6 staff to camper ratio. 2) Convenient door-to-door transportation service (as well as extended day program). 3) Unique, high-quality outdoor adventure program (“old fashioned” group-centered games and activities). 4) Child-centered philosophy and highly trained directors and staff.

Transportation

The van times don’t work with our schedule. Is there another option?

We offer an Extended Camp Program that provides parents with a longer camp day. AM Extended runs from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM. PM Extended runs from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. There are additional fees for this service – see our general information page for more.

What kind of licenses do you require for your drivers?

All OSC drivers are required by law to have current California Class B Commercial Drivers Licenses along with a medical clearance, obtained by passing a series of tests both behind the wheel and at the DMV, and successful completion of a physical exam. Additionally, all drivers undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing at pre-employment and randomly during the summer.

What kind of vans do you use to transport my child?

OSC uses new model 15-passenger vans, fully inspected both prior to the summer and each morning by the drivers. The vehicles are inspected daily by the camp director upon arrival at camp, and the vehicles are kept in top condition on a daily basis following a thorough fleet maintenance plan.

What time will my child be picked up and dropped off? Can I request a specific pick up and drop off time?

Each van route is carefully planned to run as efficiently as possible. This means that pickup and dropoff times are determined by your home’s location in relation to the other campers on the route and the distance from camp. Campers are picked up between 8AM and 9AM and dropped off between 4PM and 5PM, with a specific window of time assigned to your home just prior to the beginning of your camper’s session (ex: 8:15-8:25AM, 4:40-4:50PM).

Health & Safety

My child sunburns easily. Your camp is outside, so how will my child be protected?

OSC provides high-quality sunscreen for all campers. Our counselors are trained to make sure each of their campers has an active layer of sunscreen on throughout the day. We also spend much of our day in the shade, and make sure that all of our campers and staff are properly hydrated at all times.

What if my child needs medication at camp?

OSC follows strict guidelines with camper medication. Prior to each session, we collect all medication, and then store it in a locked area at all times. During the camp day, medicine is administered by our on-site director following written instructions and consent provided from the parent.

Who is on-site at camp in case of an emergency?

A camp director is on-site at all times. Each of our OSC directors and all of our senior counselors are certified and current in First Aid and CPR, and emergency medical services are minutes away and are fully aware of our program following our ACA-Accredited policies.

General

I’m a hesitant parent – can I talk with one of your current camp parents?

Of course! Each summer we evaluate our programs by requesting that our camp parents complete end-of-summer feedback forms. On this form we ask parents if they’d be willing to serve as a parent reference. From this we have a terrific number of volunteers from all neighborhoods with all ages of kids. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to connect you with a veteran Outpost parent. Also, please watch these video testimonials from two of our camp parents – one 9-year veteran and one in her first summer with camp.

Can I request that my child be grouped with a friend or sibling?

Children who are the same age, grade, and gender (except for our Senior OP program which is co-ed) can be grouped together if space is available in the group. We do not accommodate requests that are not in the best interests of all the children in the group.

Can I send my child for one week instead of all three? Do you prorate sessions?

Our program is designed as a three-week experience with 5 day, 3 day and 2 day per week options. Simply stated, it is easier for campers to truly make friends, learn games and songs, and feel a part of a camp group if they are there for a longer time. For this reason, and to keep our groups together with the same campers for each full session, we do not offer shorter or prorated sessions.

Do you offer sibling discounts?

Yes! We offer a 5% sibling discount to families enrolling more than one child OR families enrolling a child in more than one session. Our dates and fees are here.

How do you screen your staff? Do you do background checks?

All of our senior counselors undergo a lengthy and thorough interview and background check process prior to working for Outpost Summer Camps. They are fingerprinted (from which a background check is completed), and then complete a medical exam and drug and alcohol screen (for driving the camp vans) once they are hired. In addition to these processes, we call their previous employment and personal references. In many cases, our staff are directly referred to us from our camp parents!

What if my camper is nervous to try a new program?

Naturally, children (and adults!) are often hesitant to try something new. A new program is often a wonderful opportunity for children to find answers to questions they have about new opportunities. When a child wonders about if he or she will make friends, be good at an activity, learn to do something new, and be a part of a group, the answers they find at OSC are positive and wonderful!