Ask The Chipmunk

Hello current and future campers,

I am the Chipmunk, and one thing I love to do when I am not out collecting nuts or climbing trees is answer your questions about Gold Arrow Camp.

Over the many years I have spent observing camp from my island across the cove, I have acquired a great knowledge of the goings on at Gold Arrow Camp. Feel free to ask me any of your questions, as I am happy to answer them.

I have posted some of the questions I have answered in the past on this page, so have a read of them below.

Hope to see you having fun across the cove this summer!




Have a question for Chipmunk?  Email your question to

Dear Chipmunk,

I was looking over your website and was a little confused? Do YOU get to pick YOUR OWN activites or does your cabin decide all together? Or does the staff pick them?? I like my own choices so just wondering.

From Confused

Dear Confused,

Our Program Director, Bean, schedules your cabin group to go to your morning and afternoon activities. She does the scheduling to make sure that you get to try everything and can be at activities and trying new things with your friends and your group counselor. There is a big board outside the dining area where you see what activities you have. You check the board after breakfast and after lunch. Sometimes, you have an activity like sailing or rock climbing that will last the whole morning (or afternoon). Other times, you’ll have two activities, like kayaking and arts & crafts, for the morning (or afternoon). So, as a cabin group, you are scheduled for anywhere from 2-4 activities each day. Every evening is “Free Choice,” where you get to choose as an individual what activity to go to. So, if you really like horses or archery or arts & crafts (or any other activity!), you get to pick to go there. Hope that answers your question and doesn’t confuse you more!


Dear Chipmunk,

I have some Q’s about the cabins. How many people are in each cabin? Do they have bathrooms in each cabin?? Is everyone in your cabin within your age group Ex. lions???Is there an adult or staff member who stays with you during the night????

From Cabins and Q’s

Dear Cabins and Q’s,

Great questions! There are 8-10 kids in each cabin. We call them “cabins,” but they are really tents on a large wood platforms. They do not have bathrooms in them, but the bathrooms are nearby. Yes, everyone in each group is in the same age group, generally within about one year of each other and no more than one grade apart. Two to three counselors live in the cabin with you and stay there at night. If you need to go to the bathroom at night, or if you need anything else, you just wake up one of your counselors. They don’t mind, because they know they’re training to be parents one day!


Dear Chipmunk,

Is it a good idea to go with a friend? My friend and I really want to, but she might not be able to go. Should I still go? I would be nervous to go alone.

From Friends

Dear Friends,

It’s definitely okay to come to GAC either with a friend or on your own. When you come to camp on your own, we’ll put you in a group with other kids who’ve come on their own. About half of our campers don’t come with a friend to camp, so it’s really okay. Many campers say that’s something they enjoy about camp — just being able to have a fresh start and make new friends! As soon as you get to camp (or get to the bus if you take the bus, which most kids do), the counselors will help you start meeting people. You’re never alone at camp, and you’ll bond really fast with your cabin group. Everyone’s nervous going to camp. That’s normal when you’re doing something new! Just don’t let the nervousness stop you from doing something that will be super fun!


Dear Chipmunk,

I have never been to GAC and so I was just wondering if the showers are private or not.

From Wondering.

Dear Wondering,

Yes, each shower has it’s own curtain, so they are private. There is another curtain for the changing area, so that is also private!


Dear Chipmunk,

I am very nervous to go on the high ropes again this year. Last time. they were so fun, because my friends helped me out. I act like I am excited when really I am so so so nervous!

From Scared of high things

Dear Scared,

Lots of campers and staff are really nervous when doing the high ropes, rock climbing, and other “high” stuff. Just remember that you only need to do what you’re comfortable with — “Challenge by Choice” we call it. It’s okay to be nervous, and I’m glad you had fun last year. Isn’t it funny how you can be both nervous and excited? That’s normal! I know you’ll have fun again this year. Sometimes, the worrying about stuff before it happens is much harder than doing the actual thing! )Maybe it’s good if you focus more on your memories of how fun it was and how supportive your friends were that will help you be more excited and less nervous!

See you at GAC!


Dear Chipmunk,

I’m a type 1 diabetic with good control. Will you let me come to camp?

Dear Hi!

We’ve had diabetic campers at camp before, and it’s worked fine. A few of our staff are diabetics, too. Have one of your parents call us to discuss what you need. Our number is 1-800-554-2267.

Thanks for your interest in Gold Arrow Camp!


Dear Chipmunk,

Last summer I had trouble finding my things at camp. I couldn’t find my towel when it was time for showers.

I also didn’t know where my long pants were. Help!

From Lost in Cabin 10

Dear Lost,

Don’t worry. Your problem is easily solved!

What I’ve learned (from my many years watching campers from my pine tree branch) is that it will be better this summer if you do your own packing. Here’s what to do:

(1) Print the suggested packing list (on the website in the Campers’ section under “Clothing & Equipment” or use the one on the back of the Parent Survival Guide)

(2) Lay out all the clothing and other items you are going to bring to camp, checking off on the list as you go

(3) Check with your parents for any items that are on the list that you don’t have

(4) Label everything with your name

(5) Put all items in your camp luggage (usually two pieces of luggage – one larger one like a trunk or suitcase plus a duffle bag)

If your mom or dad insist on being included in the packing (because they can’t help themselves), have them check your items and help with the labeling, but make sure that you put everything in the bags yourself. That way, you’ll know where everything is!

Happy Packing,


P.S. I hope to see you on opening day again this summer!

Dear Chipmunk,

What’s the best way to pack for camp?

From New Camper

Dear NC,

Here are my top 5 tips for packing for GAC:

(1) Make sure you either pack yourself or help your parent pack, so that you know where everything is!

(2) Follow the Packing List supplied in the Parent Survival Guide.

(3) Roll your outfits (underwear, socks, t-shirt, shorts) or put them each in a large ziplock bag. That way, you can pull one out each day!

(4) Label EVERYTHING. You can either use iron-on labels or a permanent marker to label things.

(5) Pack your clothing items in a trunk or duffle that is easy to search through and find stuff. Use a duffle bag to pack your sleeping bag and pillow.

Have fun packing for camp!


Dear Chipmunk,

I am in 9th grade and have been coming to GAC for 3 years. I’m wondering what I can do at camp next summer.

From Wondering

Dear Wondering,

For our returning campers who are currently in the 9th grade, you can STILL BE A CAMPER! The summer after 9th grade (going into 10th grade) is the last time you can be in a cabin group. After 10th & 11th grades, you are eligible for our Junior Counselor program or our Outdoor Leadership Course.

Hope to see you back at GAC!


Dear Chipmunk,

Is my counselor from last year coming back to GAC?

From Chelsea

Dear Chelsea,

The best way to check which counselors are coming back to GAC is to look on the “Meet Our Staff” page on the GAC website. Keep checking there, because new pictures and people are being added every few weeks!

See you at camp,


Dear Chipmunk,

Why are cell phones not allowed at GAC? All my friends and I have them, and I’m used to having it with me all of the time. It will be hard to come to camp and not have my cell phone with me or be able to check messages.

From Ally

Dear Ally,

For most of us (older campers and staff), it’s a big change coming up to camp and not having our cell phones accessible. After a few days, most of us realize that is also one of the best things about being at Camp! The chance to get away from all of the technological stuff that is such a big part of our lives, and really get to know the other campers and staff, is what makes GAC so special. We all come back to camp to enjoy being with friends, hanging out around a campfire, bonding with counselors, and having fun enjoying the outdoors. How would it feel to be sitting around your campfire, enjoying the stars and the crackling fire, and hear a cell phone (or two) ring? Or what about being with a cabin mate who is talking on her cell phone instead of talking to you? It would really change how camp feels if campers and staff were walking around talking on their cell phones or using them to call their parents the first time they have a problem at camp. Most parents are used to having the constant communication connection that cell phones provide, but being independent from your parents is one of the biggest benefits of coming to camp. So, leave your cell phone at home (next to your computer, iPod, and gameboy), and come to camp to enjoy one of the only places on earth where you won’t hear a cell phone ring every 5 minutes!

Ring Free in the Sierras,


Dear Chipmunk,

I am in Session 1 this year, and I am kind of worried because last year was my first time at GAC and I went with my best friend (her 3rd year), and she helped as a sort of guide. This year, she isn’t going and I am kind of worried that it might be a bit lonely at camp seeing as she won’t be there and all my friends from last year are in Session 2. I am sort of good at making friends but I am not sure I will be able to because, like, I am good at making friends where I live because I have stuff to talk about. This year I wont have anything to talk about and so I am worried.

From Worried about Returning

Dear Worried,

Thanks for your email! I love hearing from campers! I know it seems scary going to camp without your friend, but lots of campers come to GAC and don’t know anyone. Even some of our first-year campers are coming this year and don’t know anyone else at camp. Being a second year camper, you’ll be able to help new kids get used to camp. Your counselors will help you get to know the other kids in your cabin and make sure you are making friends. I think, even when you meet people from other places besides your home town, you’ll have stuff to talk about. You can talk about sports, hobbies, music, camp activities, funny stories, riddles, and lots of other things. Your counselors will help you think up topics if you’re having trouble. So, don’t worry, because I know you’ll have a lot of fun at GAC this year. For most kids, they have even MORE fun their second year, because they know what to expect and know a lot of the staff already. Be sure to let your counselor or another adult at camp (like Sunshine or Monkey) know if you are having any worries or need any help with anything.

See you at GAC!

Happy Camping,


Dear Chipmunk,

When will I get my yearbook from last summer? I can’t wait!



Dear Waiting,

We have been working hard on putting the yearbook together this fall. It will soon go to the printers this month and will be mailed out in January or February.

Hope it brings back memories,


Have a question for Chipmunk?  Email your question to