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Summer Camp FAQ

Please note that these FAQ will be updated to reflect the 2021 summer camp season and COVID guidelines soon. For up-to-date info, please see this page.

Girl Scout vs. Non-Scout

Non-Girl-Scout girls who register for camp pay the extra membership fee of $25 and automatically become a Girl Scout.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to all registered girls of Girl Scouts of Western New York.  For this year only, families can apply their FA request to multiple alternative camp sessions.  

Paying for Camp

Your camp payment is due two weeks prior to the start of your daughter’s alternative camp session. Payment may be made by check, money order or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, or Discover).

Questions about your camp payment should be directed to Customer Care at 1-888-837-6410.

Camp Payment Plan

Did you know that Camp Doc offers a payment plan? Now paying for our GSWNY alternative summer camp program can be easy and hassle free. Please refer to your camp doc registration account page and click on set up payment plan. All payments plan must be paid by August 2, 2020.

Cookie Credit Cards

Cookie Credit Cards, may be used towards your camp balance by calling customer care at 1 888 837 6410. Cookie Credits Cards cannot be used towards your camp deposit. These cards cannot be processed with online orders. 

Refund Policy
  • No refunds will be given without three weeks prior notice of scheduled alternative camp session.

  • No refunds will be given if a camper attends part of an alternative camp session, and then wants to drop out of the program. 

  • No refunds will be given if a camper starts the alternative camp sessions late or leaves an alternative camp session early.

  • No refunds will be given if a camper is removed from alternative camp due to violating the camper/parent agreement. 

Zoom Sessions

All interactive zoom sessions will have minimum of 2 camp staff and 20 campers for chat room.  All interactive zoom chat rooms will be secured with a required passcode that will be provided to the parent/guardian via email prior to their child’s session. 

GSWNY Alternative Summer Camp Interactive Zoom Sessions 

Interactive Zoom Sessions will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  When you register your girl for GSWNY Alternative Summer Camp, you will be asked to choose an interactive zoom session timeslot. Please note that this timeslot will be the same for the entire week. The interactive Zoom sessions will have a maximum of 20 girls with 2-3 camp staff, and will take place:

 Monday, Wednesday and Friday                        

  • 9-10 a.m. 
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • 2-3 p.m.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Girls in grades 4-12 will also participate in interactive zoom bunk chat sessions. When you register your girl for GSWNY Alternative Summer Camp, you will be asked to choose an interactive Zoom bunk chat session timeslot.  

For girls in Grades 4-5 (Junior GS) - Interactive Chat Sessions will take place on Tuesday nights.

For girls in Grades 6-12 (Cadette/Senior GS) – Interactive Chat Sessions will take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Both the Jr and C/S bunk chat sessions will have a maximum of 25 girls with 2-3 camp staff.  

Tuesdays - (times are for Jr. and Cadette/Senior GS)

  • 6:15 - 6:45 p.m.
  • 7:00 - 7:30 p.m.
  • 7:45 - 8:15 p.m.
  • 8:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Thursdays – (times are for Cadette/Senior GS)

  • 5:30 - 6:00 p.m.
  • 6:15 - 6:45 p.m.
  • 8:15 - 8:45 p.m.
  • 9:00 - 9:30 p.m. 
Recording and Photos

For the safety and security of our campers and staff we will not be recording any of our zoom sessions.  Photos of our zoom sessions will be taken by our camp staff.  These photos will be used for GSWNY marketing and promotional purposes including website material to promote the interest of Girl Scouting. This includes photos for the American Camp Association and the United Way grants.

Camp Staff
  • Our camp staff are selected on the basis of their experience, ability to serve as positive role models, and their genuine desire to work with children. We give priority to those who can demonstrate their ability to work with young people, be part of a team, teach and share skills, as well as their enthusiasm to commit to the values of Girl Scouting. All staff are at least 18 years of age or are high school graduates.  We select staff who are committed to creating supportive environment that respects each child as an individual and allows her to feel good about who she is. Staff members are recruited from colleges and universities nationwide, local community agencies, Girl Scout referrals and staff placement programs in other countries. Countries represented in the past have included England, Germany, Australia, Scandinavia, Fiji and South Africa. Criminal and sexual background checks are completed on all staff members.

  • All staff attend pre-camp orientation where they learn or review camping skills, risk management, safety procedures, Girl Scout programming, human relations, and communication skills. Many of the staff return each year and travel from all around the world to join us.

 

For more information on attending Summer Camp contact a Customer Care Representative email or call 1.888.837.6410.

Regular/Non-Alternative Summer Camp FAQ

2020 Day and Resident Summer Camps have been cancelled. The below typically pertain to day and resident camp FAQ questions, but are not relevant to the summer alternative camp we are offering in 2020.

Girl Scout vs. Non-Girl Scout

Non-Girl-Scout girls who register for camp pay the extra membership fee of $25 and automatically become a Girl Scout.

Camp Living
  • All cabins, tents, and yurts are supplied with cots/beds and mattresses. The program, number of girls, and the camper’s age determine the living arrangements. Each unit has shelter for rainy day activities, bathroom facilities, and storage.
  • Please see the resident camp packing list.
  • Friends with Friends placement at Resident Camp: If your daughter’s friend is also signed up for the same program, then both girls will be in the same program unit. However sleeping tents are on a first come, first served basis and are not reserved.
  • Friends with Friends placement at Day Camp: If two campers wish to be placed together in the same program as "buddies," they must both meet all program requirements. Please list "buddies" in the "Camper Buddies" section of the registration forms and submit registration forms together. Attempts will be made to honor their request, although it may not be possible to place more than two girls together. Please remember that camp is a time to enjoy old friends but also a time to make new ones.
  • Camp programs for girls in grades 1-3 will sleep in lodges with staff supervision.
  • Camp programs for girls in grades 4-12 will sleep in cabin tent or platform tent units only.

 

Camp Staff
  • Our camp staff are selected on the basis of their experience, ability to serve as positive role models, and their genuine desire to work with children. We give priority to those who can demonstrate their ability to work with young people, be part of a team, teach and share skills, as well as their enthusiasm to commit to the values of Girl Scouting. All staff are at least 18 years of age or are high school graduates.  We select staff who are committed to creating supportive environment that respects each child as an individual and allows her to feel good about who she is. Staff members are recruited from colleges and universities nationwide, local community agencies, Girl Scout referrals and staff placement programs in other countries. Countries represented in the past have included England, Germany, Australia, Scandinavia, Fiji and South Africa. Criminal and sexual background checks are completed on all staff members.
  • All staff attend pre-camp orientation where they learn or review camping skills, risk management, safety procedures, Girl Scout programming, human relations, and communication skills. Many of the staff return each year and travel from all around the world to join us.
  • For an application to work at camp, please visit our employment webpage.
Staff to Camper Ratios
  • The ratio at resident camp of unit counselors to campers is 1:8 for campers under the age of eight and 1:10 for all others. The ratio at our day camps are 1:12 for all campers. Program, management and support staff members are also available to support camper groups.
  • Camp programs for girls in grades 1-3 will sleep in lodges with staff supervision.
Meal
  • Our food service staff at resident camp prepares a variety of pleasing and nutritious meals appropriate for children. Our camps serve plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and breads. Snacks are provided in the afternoons. Day campers should bring a non-perishable lunch, drink, and water bottle each day to camp. Snack at camp is provided every afternoon.
  •  Resident Camp: We do offer a vegetarian alternative at each meal. For girls who have allergies, dietary needs or requirements based on religious or philosophical beliefs, we should discuss this as we may or may not be able to meet your requirements. Contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Camp Administration at 1.888.837.6410 to discuss possible accommodations at camp.
Medical and Safety
  • Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of every camper. Our camps follow all safety and risk management guidelines set by Girl Scouts of the USA, the local, state, and federal boards of health, and the American Camp Association, a national camp organization that sets high standards for both the health and safety of campers and staff, and the delivery of quality programs. All camps must comply with regulations of the New York Department of Public Health.
  • American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation means that the camp you are considering for your child cares enough to undergo a thorough annual review of its operation—more than 300 standards from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. The ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. All our camps are ACA certified.
  • A health supervisor is on site at each camp and oversees the routine health care and administration of medications for all campers and staff. A doctor is on call if illness or injury requires additional medical attention. Parents would be notified in the event of an emergency.
  • Parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible should a camper be taken to the doctor's office/hospital for an injury or health condition and if medication has been prescribed by the camp's healthcare supervisor (HCS). The HCS or camp director will notify parents/guardians of any persistent conditions or ailments. Parents/guardians should notify their doctor and healthcare provider of any health condition or accident/injury occurring at camp for follow-up visits and billing purposes.
  • All medication must come to camp in the original containers and be stored by the healthcare supervisor (HCS) in locked compartments in the camp health center. Exceptions to storage by the HCS are authorized for medications for treatment of allergies and asthma. Questions about these medications should be raised with the camp prior to the child’s arrival. To ensure a smooth transition, we recommend that your child continue the medications she needs during the school year at summer camp. If prescription medications are brought to camp, the container must have a pharmacy label showing the prescription number, patient’s name, date filled, physician’s name, name of medication, and directions for use.  The HCS dispenses medication according to the directions. If a camper refuses to take prescribed medications, this refusal is documented in the health log and the parent/guardian is notified. If your camper is taking the bus to camp, all medications must be placed in a Ziploc bag labeled with the camper's name and address and handed directly to the bus monitor by parent/guardian.
Early Bird Discount

Early Bird Discount 

Available for registered Girl Scouts of Western New York members only. To receive the Early Bird Discount of $25 for GSWNY day camp, registration forms must be received online or at the Girl Scout office on or before Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 4:30 p.m.

Visiting & Contacting
  • Each camp will host an open house. Families are welcome to see the camp and meet the staff members. More information on camp open houses is available in the camp guide.
  • In your camp information packet, you will receive the mailing address and information needed to contact your daughter during her stay at camp. We encourage you to write your daughter during camp, but remember it is often necessary to postmark mail prior to your daughters' departure to ensure she receives it in a timely manner.
Girl-led Programming
  • Each camp offers unique and exciting activities from horseback riding to ropes courses and more. Other camp favorites such as archery, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking and team building activities are also available. For details on the activities that each camp offers, refer to our summer camp page, which contains the most recent summer camp catalog.
  • Campers’ first choice takes place when they register for their "unit" program. Each unit program offers specialized activities in which campers will participate. Additionally, campers will take part in "girl planning," which will give them an opportunity to pick some of the areas of focus or activities during their session.
Care Packages
  • Care packages are encouraged, but please NO FOOD. It attracts unwanted animals in the tent units. Any food sent in the camper packages will be held in the camp office.
  • If you would like to purchase a care package, please refer to our camp catalog for details.
  • If your daughter has dietary restrictions, please contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Outdoor Program, to discuss the options available 1.888.837.6410.
Camp Transportation
  • Transportation is not included in the cost of any camp. Bus stop location details are included in the Camp Guide and in your camp confirmation packet. Bus service to resident camps will run from Rochester & Buffalo for $50 each way. Cancellation of bus registration by parents must be given seven days prior to the pickup date to receive a refund of bus fees. Buses may be cancelled by GSWNY due to insufficient enrollment.
Cancellations/Refunds
  • No refunds will be given without three weeks prior notice of scheduled camp session.
  • No refunds will be given if a camper attends part of a session, and then wants to go home. Have you reviewed or taken the “Ready for Camp” quiz?
  • No refunds will be given if a camper arrives for a camp session late or leaves a camp session early.
  • No refunds will be given if a camper is sent home early from camp due to violating the camper/parent agreement.

REFUNDS WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS ONLY:

  • The registrar is notified three (3) weeks prior to the start of a girl's camp session. The refund consists of camp program fees less the $25 non-refundable deposit.
  • A girl has a health issue (supported by physician's written recommendation) that prevents her from attending camp. Every effort will be made to place her in an alternate week of camp or a full refund of the registration and camp fees will be made.
  • If the service on a particular bus route is cancelled due to low registration. If we can accommodate another stop and your child is unable to attend due to lack of bus transportation a full refund will be provided.
  • If your daughter cannot be placed in the program(s) of her choice, a full refund of camp fees will be made.
  • A camper must attend summer school, as verified in writing by the school, a full refund of camp fees less the $25 deposit will be made. 
Program Adjustments
  • Camp Directors reserve the right to reassign a girl from one program to another – during the same week – if she does not meet the required minimum skill level for her program selection.
  • Camp Directors reserve the right to send any camper home if she is having difficulty adjusting to camp life. When this happens, parents/guardians are notified. (Please consult the Camper/Parent Contract for more detailed information).
  • The Girl Scouts of Western New York, Inc. reserves the right to make program adjustments due to a change in weather or other environmental conditions. 
Campers That Require Reasonable Accommodations
  • Parents and Guardians: The Girl Scouts of Western New York wants to provide a positive summer camp experience to every girl. If your child requires special accommodations (transportation, diet, food restrictions, extra supervision, other, etc.) while at camp, please contact the Director of Camp Administration 1.888.837.6410 PRIOR to REGISTERING YOUR CHILD for camp at 716-935-6063 or summercamp@gswny.org to discuss the possible accommodations that could safely and reasonably be made for your child.