First-Year Families

First-Year Family Orientation Video

Our 17-minute First-Year Family Orientation video shares information on topics including communication while at camp, preparing for camp, packing tips, homesickness, and what to expect on the first day. 


GAC Party Los Angeles, 2017

Learn the GAC Song!

Learn one of our favorite camp dances (to Footloose):


We are so excited to welcome you into the GAC Family this summer. We hope you will be part of our community for many years to come.

The first year of going away to summer camp is the hardest – both for kids and for parents. Everything is new and unfamiliar. For many families, this is the first time parents and children have ever been apart from each other without digital or phone communication. We understand your concerns and have helped hundreds of families through the adjustment. We are here to help alleviate your worries and make you and your camper feel as comfortable and welcome as possible!

Gather your family around your computer, and we’ll share some tips and information to help prepare both you and your camper for your first Gold Arrow experience. 

First-Year Family Resources

Parent Resource Page

Camper Mail Policy

Driving Directions to Camp

Homesickness Prevention and Treatment

Kidsickness: Help for First-Time Camp Parents 

Allergies at Camp

Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance

Cell Phones at Camp

Accommodations Near Camp  

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing for Camp

Countdown to Camp: 5 Things to do Now  

Are you or your camper nervous about the experience?
Messages for an Anxious Camper

Having some parental worries about your camper being away from you?
5 Reasons NOT to Worry While Your Kid’s at Camp  


Packing List & Suggested Vendors 
5 Essential Summer Camp Packing Tips Every Parent Should Know  

While Your Camper is at Camp 

5 Tips for Surviving Your Child’s First Stay at Overnight Camp

5 Fun Ideas for Letters to Campers 

10 Messages for a Homesick Camper

Why Kids Need to Get Uncomfortable 

5 Ways Camp Grows Grit

Dear Parent Hitting the Refresh Button (again) to View Camp Photos

5 Reasons Not to Worry While Your Kids are at Camp  

What to Expect After Camp

Campsickness: 10 Tips for Easing the Re-entry Home

10 Ways to Better Understand Your Camper’s Experience