Frequently Asked Questions

Outpost is a minimum two-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!


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! Our Day Camp and Senior Outpost campers do swim off site, typically every day.

How are campers placed into small groups?

All campers are placed in groups of 12 for the 2-week session with 2-3 consistent counselors. Please see below for program-specific ways in which campers are grouped.

Junior Outpost (entering K to 2nd grade): Campers are grouped by age/grade, e.g., a group of 12 campers entering 1st grade.

Day Camp (entering K to 5th grade): Campers are grouped by gender* and by age/grade, e.g., a group of 12 girls entering 3rd grade OR a group of 12 boys entering 5th grade. *We invite our parents of non-binary and transgender campers to select whichever program would fit them best – Day Camp Girls or Day Camp Boys. Please contact us to discuss if you’d like.  

Senior Outpost (entering 6th to 9th grade): Campers are grouped by age/grade, e.g., a group of 12 campers entering 6th grade.

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. It is a good idea to prepare your car for this – trash bags, blankets, or other barriers to separate your child’s mess from your vehicle is a summer must!

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 their own.

What if my camper is not a good swimmer?

All campers in Day Camp and Senior Outpost are assessed for their swimming ability on their first day of camp. Based on that assessment, they are assigned to an area of the pool 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. For Day Camp groups, Lower Camp (usually grades K-2) is always in the shallow end or on the play area ramp – separate from the deep end. Upper Camp campers (usually grades 3-5) may be in the shallow or deep end with their group, and all campers must pass a second swim test provided by Fit’s lifeguards if they would like to swim in the deep end. All Senior Outpost campers (grades 6-9) must past the deep end test facilitated by lifeguards on the first day in order to participate in Senior Outpost’s off-site water activities.

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) Unique, high-quality outdoor adventure program (100% outdoors at all times with forts and other nature-play). 3) Group-centered philosophy (campers are with their same small group all day every day) 4) Child-centered philosophy and highly trained directors and staff.

Health & Safety

ALL THINGS COVID – how are you handling all of this?

Our camp has worked closely with our Health Department to implement a safe operating plan for Summer 2022 closely following the State of California Day Camps guidelines. To read more about this, click here.

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.


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

For our Day Camp program, children who are the same age, grade, and gender can be grouped together if space is available in the group. For our Junior Outpost and Senior Outpost programs, the groups are co-ed, so children who are the same age/grade 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 two? Do you prorate sessions?

Our program is designed as a two-week experience 5 days per week Monday through Friday. 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 as a group every day. 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.

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

All of our employees undergo a lengthy and thorough interview, formal background check, and multiple reference check process prior to working for Outpost Summer Camps. We call their previous employment and personal references to assess fit and ensure tangible evidence of responsibility taking. In many cases, our staff are directly referred to us from our camp parents!

How does changing for the pool work?

Campers have four options for changing into and out of their swimsuit.

  1. Many campers come to camp in their clothes and bring their swimsuit. In this case, they would change into their swimsuit during their group’s assigned time prior to pool. Then, after pool, they would change back into their clothes.
  2. Many campers come to camp in their swimsuit and bring their clothes. In this case, the camper would only change one time – after pool when they change into their clothes.
  3. Some campers choose to come to camp in their clothes and change into their swimsuit at their group’s assigned time prior to pool. Then, they leave their swimsuit on for the remainder of the day. In this case, the camper would also only change one time.
  4. Some campers choose to avoid changing altogether by arriving at camp in their swimsuit and remaining in their swimsuit after pool.

If your child needs extra support regarding changing procedures, please let us know.

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.

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!

What should I send with my camper?

For all camps: We provide water refills, sunscreen, and an afternoon snack.

For Junior Outpost (grades K-2 only, half day 9:30-1:30): Send your camper with a backpack containing a peanut-free lunch, water bottle, mask, and wearing closed-toe shoes (this program does not swim).

For Day Camp (grades K-5): Send your camper with a backpack with a peanut-free lunch, water bottle, mask, swimsuit (goggles and rash guards are optional), and closed-toe shoes. Towels are also optional to bring (Outpost does not provide towels).

For Senior Outpost (grades 6-9): Send your camper with a backpack with a peanut-free lunch, water bottle, mask, swimsuit and towel on designated days (you will receive a calendar prior to the session), and wearing closed-toe shoes. Senior Outpost campers will also bring different things such as boogie boards depending on the day’s activity.

Cell phones and other electronics of all kinds are strictly prohibited in all programs. Contact us for more information.