Quick Facts & FAQS · Camp Loma Mar
This page contains information specifically for Campers registered for this summer's program and their Parents. We are very excited that you will be joining us for a fun-filled YMCA Camp Loma Mar experience. We are already hard at work planning and preparing so you will have a great time!
Here are a few answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about YMCA Camp Loma Mar:
Q. How do I contact my parent/child while at camp?
A. Campers and parents are invited to write letters while at camp. Campers love to get mail while at camp and parents love to hear about their child's experience.
Please send mail to your camper at:
YMCA Camp Loma Mar
Attn: (campers name, session)
9900 Pescadero Creek Rd.
Loma Mar, CA 94021
All mail must be sent through the U.S. Post Office, we do not receive FedEx or UPS.
Note, even mail designated as overnight will take 2-3 days to get to camp.
Hot Tip - Because mail can take a few days to reach us, write a letter to your camper and get it in the mail by the Friday before they leave - it should be there for them on by the first mail day at camp. Just make sure to write the session number on the envelope and, if it arrives early, we'll hold it until your camper arrives.
Q. Can I call my child at camp?
In the event of emergency, you may call the camp office at 650 879 2100. Please leave a message and we will get back to you when we can. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a message and be sure to include your child's first and last name, session, and which camp they are attending. Please be assured that if there is ever any emergency or problem with your camper, camp staff will notify you directly, so no news is good news!
Q. Can I send a care package?
A. The YMCA is committed to the health and wellness of our members. We know you may want to send love from home, we strongly discourage it in the form of sugar or snacks. Campers are not allowed to keep food in their cabins, so access to care packages with food is limited to only 1 times each day. We provide healthy meals, fruit is available at all times, and snacks are available from the camp store. You are welcome to send fun items like comic books, cards, games, toys, photos, stuffed animals, etc. An option for care packages is www.camppacs.com. Partial proceeds from these packages benefit Camp Loma Mar.
Q. Is there a Camp Store? Should I send money?
We sell items such as batteries, toothpaste and toothbrushes for a minimal cost. We also feature souvenir items like water bottles, stuffed animals, bandanas, etc. A limited number of relatively healthy snack and juice items will be sold, but no soda or candy. We suggest $15-$20/week as a good amount of store money. Call 650 879 2100 to deposit store money before camp or mail a check to the camp at least 3 weeks prior to the session start. Note, unused camp store money is not refunded and is donated to the camp scholarship fund.
Q. How do I/my child request to be in a cabin with someone?
A. Parents are able to write the name of 1 other camper that their child would like to be in the same cabin with during their week at camp, and these requests must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the start of camp. All cabin mate requests must be the same gender identity and within 1 year in age of each other. Because we have a limit of 10 campers per cabin, we typically cannot place groups larger than 2-3 friends in the same cabin. We typically do not house siblings together so they can have an individual experience, but will make an exception if necessary.
Q. What if my camper is transgender?
A. We welcome all children to camp and want each child to feel safe and comfortable. We respect each child’s identity and will assign them to cabins based on their gender identity. Please make sure to indicate your child’s appropriate gender identity and name they prefer to be called where indicated on forms. It is important, in the event of emergency, that we have your child’s name and gender information that corresponds to their health insurance. We also cannot give campers medication if it is not prescribed to them. If information for health insurance or medication is different than any part of their preferred name or gender identity, please make sure to include this information on the camper health form. This information will be kept confidential and only used in the event of emergency or by our medic as necessary. As we tell all camp families, if you or your child would like to speak with our camp director in advance to discuss any concerns or questions to help you or us best help your camper have a great week at camp, please feel free to contact Daniel “Shibby” Alpers at 925-455-7975.***
Q. What if my camper is gender nonconforming/gender expansive?
A. We welcome all children to camp and want each child to feel safe and comfortable. We do currently make cabin assignments designated by boy cabins and girl cabins and we do not currently have the ability to have gender neutral restrooms. Your camper should consider whether they will feel more comfortable being put in a boys cabin or a girls cabin and then please register for that cabin. If your child changes their mind closer to camp, just please give us a call and let us know and we can easily make that change. For the sake of cabin dynamics, we do not allow campers to change cabin groups once they have joined their assigned cabin. If your camper is staying for multiple weeks and decides they would prefer to be in the opposite gender cabin the subsequent weeks, they can notify the camp director, Daniel "Shibby" Alpers, before the end of their current session and he can make sure that is arranged. While we do currently need to set cabin groups up distinguished by gender, one of the first things cabin groups do is introduce themselves to their cabin group. At this time, campers are invited to share their preferred gender pronoun and this preference will be respected, affirmed and supported by their cabin leader. As we tell all camp families, if you or your child would like to speak with our camp director in advance to discuss any concerns or questions to help you or us best help your camper have a great week at camp, please feel free to contact Daniel “Shibby” Alpers at 925-455-7975.***
Q. What if my child becomes homesick?
A. Going away to camp for a week can be a challenging experience at any age. It is perfectly normal for some children to experience difficulty coping with the many changes associated with being away from home. In anticipation of this, we recommend that you prepare your child by talking with him/her about the experience prior to camp. Let them know that you have confidence in their ability to cope with the new lifestyle they are about to experience, and try to focus on the positive aspects of going to camp, such as the new friends they will make or the activities they will enjoy. Once your child is at camp, our caring, well-trained staff will keep campers busy and engaged, leaving little time for homesickness. Positive supportive letters from home are reassuring for campers. Campers are not allowed to use the phone while at camp. Our experience indicates that, once a child talks to a parent, their homesickness increases and may become difficult to manage. If homesickness persists we will contact the parent to work together in resolving the situation. There are countless resources online to prepare yourself and your child for the feeling of being homesick while are camp, visit www.campparents.org/homesickness to get started on how to prepare. We also strongly recommend the book, Homesick and Happy by Michael Thompson.
Hot Tip - You can help reduce homesickness in a number of ways: Speak to your camper about camp in a positive way. Many campers don't even think about being nervous, scared or sad until and adult says to them "There's no need to be nervous, scared or sad."' If you went to camp, share fun stories from when you were a camper with your child. Send a letter early, by the Friday before their session, so they get mail on their first day. Remember that often its harder for you to say goodbye to them than it is for them to say goodbye to you, so keep it all positive. We'll also be sending all of our first-time camp parents digital access to the Secrets to Summer Camp Success video that has been shown to cut homesickness intensity by an average of 50% in first-time campers.
***Please Note: Our registration system hasn't quite caught up with our philosophies. Due to size limitations and staffing at camp, we have to set our sessions up with capacities for boys and girls. As such, campers need to register as either male or female to be able to process the registration when signing up online. We apologize that this is how it is set up and are working with our registration software provider to increase the flexibility here. In the meantime, please select session/gender your camper identifies with and/or will feel the most comfortable with at the time of registration; if that should change prior to camp, please call us at 925-455-7975 and we can easily make that change.