(Frequently Asked Questions)

Summer Camp Edition


Jump ahead to:          

Registration & Financial Opportunities          Preparing for Camp          

Staff          Safety          Facilities & Food


Registration & Financial Opportunities


What summer camps are being offered in 2017?


We have lots of exciting summer camps! We have 3 main options for our camps: Lodge Camps, Tent Camps, and Backpacking. You can also get a general overview of timing and pricing of every camp on our Rates & Dates page.


How do I register my child for summer camp?


Click here! It’s as simple as that!


Are summer camps co-ed? Why is registration separated by male and female registration?


All camps are co-ed during the day. Camp registration is divided by male and female registrants based on our in-cabin staff ratios. Cabins and tents are separated by gender.


Where is my ACTIVE account?


Your active account should only be used for registration. If you need to access it, click here. All paperwork will be done through a separate account with our new Parent Portal which will be up and running by the end of February. You’ll receive an e-mail about this once it’s ready to go so please keep an eye out for that update!


What is the Parent Portal?


The Parent Portal is a new system run through a local Boulder organization called CampMinder. Rather than using Active, once you have registered, we will be using the Parent Portal for paperwork including camper information, emergency contact information, medical/dietary information, waivers, etc. Once you make this account, you will be able to use it every year for the future (including registration starting for the summer of 2018).


Can my child attend more than one camp session each summer?


Yes, please! We strive to have returning campers from year to year, but coming back the same summer is even better. If your child attends multiple camps, you will be given discounts for each additional session attended.


Are there discounts for families sending more than one child to camp?


Yes there is! Any family who sends multiple children to camp will get a discount for each additional child. Remember that this is for siblings, not close friends.


How can I take advantage of the “refer a friend” discount”?


If yourefer a friend, you and the friend will receive 5% off their registration. Here are a few rules/guidelines:

  • The camper you are referring must be new to Cal-Wood Summer Camps.
  • The 5% discount can only be applied once to your account. If you refer multiple people, each new person will receive the discount, but it will only be applied to your account once.
  • You AND the friend you referred must make sure to write each other names in the “how did you hear about us” section of registration.
  • DO NOT PAY IN FULL right away. This will allow us to add a 5% discount to your account balance. We CANNOT offer refunds for the 5% discount.
  • Not applicable with other discounts or promotions.


Is there financial aid available?


Yes, there is financial aid available. You will need to provide specific information indicated on our financial aid page. Click here to get more information on how to apply!


Are there scholarships available?


Yes, there are scholarship opportunities as well! This summer, we will be giving away scholarships to students of all ages. There will be 1 scholarship awarded to each of the following age groups: children still in elementary school, children entering or already in middle school, and children entering or already in high school. For more information on how to apply, click here!


What is your cancellation and refund policy?


If you wish to change or cancel a registration, we must receive your request in writing. Please email us at camps@calwood.org.

  • Cancellations made prior to April 1, 2017: all payments returned except $50.
  • Cancellations made from April 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017: all 50% refunded.
  • Cancellations made after May 1, 2017: no refund.
  • Transfers made prior to May 1, 2017: you may transfer your camper to another 2017 Cal-Wood camp of same or lesser value. If you wish to transfer your camper to a more expensive camp, you are responsible to pay the difference at the time the transfer request is made.

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 Preparing for camp

Do you have any advice for first time parents?


In fact we do! Click this link to read some of our Helpful Hints!


Is it okay for a child request the same cabin/tent as their friend?


We love friends that come to camp together; it’s a great way to spend time with old friends, and an even better way to help make new ones. We try to grant requests, but cannot make any guarantees due to cabin capacity and staff to camper ratios. For lodge camps, your will be able to request bunkmates through your Parent Portal. If your camper is signed up for a tent or backpacking camp, they will get to choose their tent mates upon arrival to camp.


Can I bring mail for my camper?


Of course! Please make sure the camper’s name and the date to be delivered are detailed. Please limit your mail to ONE LETTER PER DAY and please limit your packages to ONE PACKAGE PER SESSION. Through your Parent Portal, you will also be able to send emails delivered within 24 hours for lodge and tent camps.

*If your child is attending a backpacking camp, they will receive all letters at the end of the backpacking portion of the camp. Letters and packages will not be carried into the backcountry.


What should I include in my camper’s ONE package?


We recommend items such as: small games (i.e. deck of cards, travel boggle, scrabble, etc), pack of bandannas, mad libs, age appropriate magazines, disposable cameras, arts and crafts supplies. Need some more ideas? Check out this website: The Wrinkled Egg


What should I NOT include in my camper’s package?:


YOU MAY NOT SEND FOOD TO YOUR CAMPER. This is to help avoid issues with animals getting into camper’s belongings. Please also do not send things like spray paint, Silly Putty, Silly String, or anything else that could potentially get your camper in trouble.


What if my camper needs to leave early?


We discourage campers from leaving early due to the unique nature and location of some of our camps. However, we understand that emergencies can happen and prior obligations do exist. Please, if at all possible let us know with as much notice as possible, when you will pick your camper up. Your camper will meet you at our main lodge at the desired time. If it makes logical sense, your camper will have the opportunity to return to camp.


Is it OK if someone else picks-up my camper at the end of camp?


You may give permission for other adults to pick up your child (this is a great option for carpooling). Once you create your account through our Parent Portal, you will be given the opportunity to list additional adults authorized for arrival and departure days. Please remember, at arrival and departure, a photo ID is required.


What should I pack?


We have specific packing lists for each camp. You will be receiving a camp packet in an email as the date gets near, but if you would like to see them in advance, click on the following links: Chipmunk Camp, Base Camp, T.U.N.E., Eco-Engineers, MFA, Mountain Summer Camp, Wildland Skills, Wildland Skills Advanced, Little Trekkers, Trekkers, Alpine Trekkers.

*Our lists will tell you exactly what you child needs for your camp, along with some reminders for items not to bring to camp. We have a strict NO FOOD POLICY in cabins and tents, so please do not send your camper with food.

*It is also helpful to label all of your child’s items. Campers will be sharing a space with other campers and items can easily get mixed up. Labeling all items will help your child come home with everything they brought to camp.

*Please know that we have an extensive gear room at Cal-Wood where your child may borrow items for their time at camp. There is no need to buy expensive gear for your child’s trip to a Cal-Wood summer camp!


My child has medication, what do I do? How do I pack them?  


There will be forms available through your Parent Portal to list all necessary medical information but please note, we have very specific regulations from Boulder County on appropriate ways to deal with medication at camp:

“Medication” is defined as any substance a person takes to maintain and/or improve their health. (This includes ANY prescribed medications, over the counter medications (OTCs), vitamins, and natural/herbal remedies.)


If a camper needs to take ANY medications (as defined above) during their time at Cal-Wood, we have trained and certified medication administration personnel on staff to facilitate this process. The camper’s PHYSICIAN must complete a medical authorization form (available through your Parent Portal) in its entirety in order for medication to be given.


All medications MUST:

  • be in ORIGINAL PACKAGING (i.e. original Claratin box, labeled prescription vials)
  • have WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION from a LICENSED PHYSICIAN (to be filled out on the medical authorization form)
  • have enough supplies to last the entirety of the camp session




My child takes vitamins, are those considered a medication?


Yes! Vitamins are considered medication at camp.  To reiterate: “Medication” is defined as any substance a person takes to maintain and/or improve their health. (This includes ANY prescribed medications, over the counter medications (OTCs), vitamins, and natural/herbal remedies.) These will be held and administered by a trained and certified medication administration personnel.


Where and when do I drop off my camper?


On arrival days, you will drop off your camper at 1:00pm. On departure days, you will pick up your camper at 1:00pm. Arrival and departure will both occur at Gateway Fun Park, located at 4800 28th Street, Boulder.

*T.U.N.E. camp is the only camp that will have departure day up at Cal-Wood. If your child is attending T.U.N.E. camp, you will get additional information on how and when to pick up your camper on departure day.


Can I talk to my camper during camp?


Campers will not have access to phones while at camp. If a message needs to get relayed, we will make sure to do that, but campers will generally not be given opportunities to talk directly to parents. You may send emails through your Parent Portal to communicate to your campers and you can check up on their fun by following us on Facebook to get updates, as well as check out pictures posted through your Parent Portal.

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What is Cal-Wood Education Center?


Cal-Wood’s mission is to offer a unique outdoor educational experience to youth and adults in a manner that will carry on the vision of Roger and Oral Calvert. To this end Cal-Wood’s goals are: (1) to help all who come to Cal-Wood develop a greater appreciation for the natural world; (2) to offer environmental education to those who would not otherwise experience it; and (3) to provide unique educational opportunities in a special mountain setting.


Who are your staff?


The camp supervisory staff are full-time professional educators, along with our college-aged counseling staff who will provide the in-cabin supervision. Our staff have diverse backgrounds focusing on education, sciences, and the outdoors. Each member of our summer staff is trained to facilitate our summer camp programs. Our staff members are all background checked and have medical certifications ranging from First Aid/CPR to Wilderness First Responder. Support for the camp staff is provided by a Summer Camp Coordinator (Marni Brown) and Program Director (Jamie Preira) who are also full-time year-round Cal-Wood staff members.


What happened to CITs?


Our camp structure has recently changed. Rather than having CITs in charge of each cabin with older staff as support, we now require that all counselors are at least 18 years of age to ensure that the staff directly supervising your children are of appropriate age and maturity to successfully take care of your children. For the time being, our CIT program is on hold, but we hope to bring it back in the near future as a revamped program focusing on learning leadership skills, rather than being the main supervisors of campers.


What is the camper to staff ratio?


Our camper to staff ratios exceed strict guidelines set by Colorado Human Services, Child Care Division. For campers aged 8-10, the ratio is at least 1:8, for campers aged 11-13, the ratio is at least 1:10, and for campers aged 14+, the ratio is at least 1:12. Realistically, our camps have ratios closer to 1:5, or 1:6.

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Where are you located?


Cal-Wood is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (15 miles northwest of Boulder) just outside Jamestown, Colorado. We are located on a private 1,200 acre property at an elevation of 7,800 feet surrounded by the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest.


What is the weather like?


Colorado is famous for blue skies and plenty of sun. At an elevation of 7,800 feet, the average daytime temperature in the summer is about 80 degrees Farenheit. Evenings are cool, usually 50-55 degrees Farenheit. Occasionally, we have an afternoon rain shower. Many of our trips into the high country camp above or near timberline and these temperatures can drop to below freezing, even in July!


What happens if there is an emergency?


Cal-Wood staff members are all connected by radio communication. Phone and internet access allow us to be connected to current situations and emergency services. First Responders can reach Cal-Wood within 10 minutes, fire services within 20, ambulance within 35, and helicopter within an hour. The local fire department is informed of our camp sessions and of our emergency procedures. Before each season, staff members are trained on emergency procedures.


What if my child needs to be evacuated?


In the case of an emergency that requires evacuation, we maintain close contact with Lefthand Fire Protection District as to our numbers and needs as a group. If evacuation is made by vehicle, campers will be driven to a safe zone where Boulder Valley School District buses will meet the campers and transport them to a central location for pick-up by authorized family members or friends. If evacuation takes place by helicopter, campers will be taken to a safe meeting place and pick-up will proceed from there.


What if I need to get a message to someone at Cal-Wood?


Cal-Wood office staff is available by phone or email during business hours (roughly 8:30am-5pm) Monday through Friday. Please email camps@calwood.org or call 303-449-0603 (For Marni Brown, Summer Camp Coordinator, dial ext 7., for Jamie Preira, Program Manager, dial ext 1., for Cal-Wood Summer Staff, dial ext 6). Outside of those times, Cal-Wood camp staff may be reachable by both phone or email. Messages are always checked and responded to as soon as possible.

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Facilities & Food

Where do the campers sleep?


Depending on which camp you are attending, the sleeping arrangements vary:


Lodge Camps (Chipmunk Camp, Base Camp, T.U.N.E., Eco-Engineers, MFA): Campers will stay in charming log cabins just a stone’s throw from our main lodge. Days will be filled exploring our forests, meadows, creeks, and mountains while making new friends and bonding with old. After a day of fun and laughter, recharge with home-cooked meals served in our cozy dining hall.


Tent Camps (Mountain Summer Camp, Wildland Skills, Wildland Skills Advanced): Away from the solid walls of our cabins, campers will establish their domain at a remote camp-site at Cal-Wood. They will embrace the mountains by sleeping in tents and preparing food outside.


Backpacking (Little Trekkers, Trekkers, Alpine Trekkers): Forge into the backcountry with the peace of mind that everything you need is on your back. Campers will embark on multi-day trips in a local wilderness area with our experienced trip leaders.


What is the food like?


Our kitchen staff provides nutritious homemade meals. Each meal is accompanied by fruits, vegetables and a selection of baked goods or side dishes. There is a vegetarian option available for each meal, but we do need to know this information ahead of time. We prepare meals that suit every palate out there, but please refer to our Dietary Restrictions Accommodation form for more information.


My Camper has food allergies, what do I do?


Don’t worry, our kitchen staff has years of experience and plans meals around dietary restrictions and food allergies year round. Please let us know as far in advance as possible so the kitchen staff has enough time to plan accordingly. That being said, we can accommodate most food allergies. If there is a severe or complex food allergy, we encourage you to pack foods your camper can eat safely. Please refer to our Dietary Restrictions Accommodation form for more information.

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If any of your questions remain unanswered or you need clarification, please contact us at (303) 449-0603 ext. 7 or camps@calwood.org.