First Year Families


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 Resources

First-Year Parent & Camper Orientation

If you were unable to attend the live online orientation or need to revisit some of the information, please view the pre-recorded camper orientation. This orientation includes helpful information like what to expect, packing tips, who to ask for help at camp, and other important tips to help campers (and parents!) prepare for their camp stay.

Parent Orientation

Please view or listen to the Parent Orientation that includes information about parent expectations, reviewing camper standards of behavior, camper medications, communication during your camper’s stay at GAC, and more!

Parent Coffee Chat

Each month, we offer a opportunity for parents to get together online to discuss various topics focused on raising children who become thriving adults. Check our Upcoming Events page for more information and a link to register for our monthly Parent Coffee Chats!

Talk With Our Team

If you have questions about preparing for camp, how to help your child adjust for their first overnight camp experience, or anything else camp-related, please let us know! We appreciate the chance to chat with our first-year families and are here to help. Schedule a call, send us an email or call us directly at 800-554-2267 x.0. For general questions about packing, forms, and travel, feel free to drop in to our online office hours.


Preparing for Camp

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

Destination GAC