Get Ready For Camp

Dear Camp Families,

Welcome to Gold Arrow Camp 2024! We are excited to welcome your child to GAC this summer to have fun, make friends and grow.

We understand that, especially for parents of first-time campers, sending your child to camp is both exciting and nerve-racking. By following the guidelines outlined in this online guide and returning all of your camper’s forms on time, you will ensure that we have the information necessary to provide the best experience possible for your child.

Below are a series of topics for you to open and review.  Begin by opening the first topic, “Start Here.” Once there, you will see instructions about how to download a printable summary of all your pre-camp preparation requirements and move through “Get Ready For Camp.”

We’re here to help! If you have any questions as you review the this information and complete the required forms, please call the camp office at 800-554-2267 x.0, text us at 559-282-8569 or send us an email at

We are excited to partner with you to help you and your child prepare for an amazing summer at GAC!

Happy Camping,

The information you need to prepare for your child's trip to Gold Arrow Camp is located within the accordion tabs (and associated links) below. Please review the information in each tab. If you would like a printable PDF checklist of your assignments, click here. Download the Campanion app to complete camper forms, view photos and news, and send emails to your camper(s) this summer.

We offer bus transportation to and from San Francisco, Palo Alto, Dublin, Cardiff, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Santa Clarita. Our counselors will be on the buses with campers making sure that they start making friends, having fun, and feeling comfortable with their camp family from the moment they are welcomed at our bus stop.

The fee for each direction is $125 each way, and $250 for a round trip.


On the trips to and from camp, GAC will provide a pizza lunch that includes other options like fruit, chips, and a drink. If your child has specific dietary requirements and cannot eat pizza (or would like something else to eat), please pack a sack lunch for the trip to camp. GAC will provide an alternative lunch for campers with dietary requirements for the trip home.

Our staff will ask you medical screening questions, take your child’s temperature, move your luggage to the bus, and get your camper settled in and meeting friends.


1. CLOSED-TOED SHOES are required for travel so that campers have safe, appropriate footwear upon arrival at camp. 2. UNPLUGGED time starts at the bus drop off. Make sure your camper leaves all electronics with you before boarding their bus. 3. LUNCH will be provided (usually pizza), but your camper can bring a full water bottle and a sack lunch. For the safety of our campers, please do not pack any lunch items containing nuts. A small snack will be permitted on the bus. 4. Our BUSES DEPART ON TIME, so arrive at the check-in time. 5. DRIVE SLOWLY in the bus loading area. Look for signage to indicate the direction of traffic flow in the parking lot. 6. LABEL all luggage (including carry-on backpack) with the yellow luggage tag provided (extras available at bus check-in). 7. During health check-in, turn in PINK MEDICATION CARD and any medications (prescription and/or daily OTC medications). 8. Any changes to estimated pick-up and drop-off times on travel days will be communicated to parents by automated text messages. Be sure to complete the "Text Message Opt-in" form in "Family Forms." 9. Other bus safety rules: Listen to counselors’ instructions, stay seated unless cleared with a counselor, and avoid screaming or loud noises that could distract the bus driver.


The cost of transportation to and from the Fresno Airport is $75 each way.

Flight: Campers who travel on a flight to the Fresno Airport will need to schedule arrival/departure between 10am-2pm. Campers will be greeted at their gate by camp staff, screened, introduced to other campers, and board the bus (with counselors) to travel to camp. Contact the camp office regarding special arrangements, such as “unaccompanied minor” and international/out-of-state travel outside of our normal pick-up/drop-off times. Campers traveling by air to camp may bring electronic devices for travel to and from camp. These devices will be stored and charged in the camp office and returned to the camper for their travel home. Bring your charging cord!

If you prefer to have your camper's luggage sent directly to camp prior to their arrival and shipped home after the end of the session, please contact Ship Camps. This optional service may be a good option for campers traveling by plane.

Drop-off: Campers getting dropped off at the airport by car can arrive in the airport lobby between 10am and 2pm, but we suggest arriving around 1pm to minimize waiting time at the airport. Look for GAC staff in forest green polo shirts. On the last day of the session, campers will be ready for pick up in the airport lobby at 10:00am.

Drop Off at Camp

Drop-off time between 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm.

You are welcome to drop your child off at camp and/or pick him/her up at the end of their camp session. You will be greeted in the parking lot of the China Peak Mountain Resort by our staff who will ask you medical screening questions, take your child’s temperature, unload luggage, and then introduce your camper to a counselor who will accompany him/her into camp to meet cabin mates and get settled in. We do not offer visits into camp for parents on drop-off day. Follow the parking instructions as directed on the signs in the China Peak parking lot.

Pick-up at Camp

Pick-up time between 8:30 am - 10:00 am

For the safety of our campers, please arrive during the scheduled pick-up window, as we are boarding multiple buses and preparing for the departure of many other campers. Since our pick-up window is early in the morning, it is advisable to spend Friday evening at a hotel in Fresno or Clovis (90-minute drive to camp) or near Huntington or Shaver Lakes. You can view a list of recommended accommodations at  Tours of camp are available to camp families during pick-up between 8:30-9:30am on the last day of the session.

For a list of recommended places to stay near Gold Arrow Camp, click here to see our Accommodations Near Camp page.

For driving directions to camp, click here.


Prior to your child's attendance at camp, there are several forms that need to be completed by May 1. Most can be completed directly by the parent online through the Campanion app (preferred) or My GAC Login. The Physician's Examination form will need to be downloaded, printed, and then scanned/photographed and uploaded or mailed to the camp office.

How much money should I put in my camper's store account? Campers use credit, not cash, to make camp store purchases. The items in the store include small items and limited apparel (e.g. sundries, stickers, hats, stuffed animals, sweatshirt). The recommended Camp Store deposit is $25-$75. Choose the amount to deposit (in increments of $1.00) on the Additional Billing Options Form. Any unspent funds over $5 will be refunded back to you after the session ends.

For a convenient, printable list of all the forms to be completed, click on the link in the Start Here tab above or click here.

Campers need several clothing and equipment items to ensure a successful camp experience. To download our packing list for camp, including tips for packing, visit the Packing page by clicking here.
Answers to your questions regarding your child's health care while at camp (including management of sickness and injuries, medications, and allergies) can be found here. Or, to go directly to a specific topic, visit the links below.

If your child needs to take medications while at camp, all medications (including vitamins and homeopathic medications) must be stored at our Wellness Center and distributed by our camp nurses. We highly recommend no changes to your child’s routine prescription medication or dosage prior to their camp stay. For more information on how medications are managed at camp and instructions for sending medications to camp, please click here.

At Gold Arrow Camp, we have been able to successfully accommodate campers who have a wide range of allergies for years; however, we ask that parents contact us directly to discuss severe and/or extensive allergies. For more information on allergies, please visit our Allergies page.

How do I communicate with my camper during camp?

We highly recommend sending letters to your camper during their stay at camp.  Visit our Mail Policy page to learn how to send a camper a letter and why care packages are not allowed.

Also, to send a camper a one-way email during their stay, download and log into the Campanion app.

What do I do if I get a homesick letter from my camper?

For information on homesickness, including what to do if you get a sad letter, visit our Homesickness page.

How do I find out what's going on at camp?

Camp News is available the following ways:

Campanion App:  Your first source for stories, pictures, and important information from camp uploaded daily.   

Email: We’ll send weekly email newsletters as well as other important information via email. Make sure is added to your list of contacts so our emails don’t get sent to your spam folder!

Automated Calls & Texts: We use automated calls and texts to get information to our camp families. Please complete the the "Text Message Opt-in" form in the Family Forms section of your login.

How do I see pictures from camp?

For information and instructions on how to view photographs during a camper's stay, please visit our Photos page.
Gold Arrow Camp (GAC) has been successfully providing safe and memorable summer camp experiences for nine decades. We are honored to serve many second and third generation campers and families. For many of our campers and staff, GAC is not just a family tradition but an additional place that feels like home. The safety and well-being of children, both physically and emotionally, is our top priority. As a camp parent, it is your responsibility to read through these guidelines, review applicable ones with your child(ren), and ensure that your family is able to meet our standards and agree to our policies. GAC has these policies in place to protect our campers and staff. Read all the policies on the Camp Policies page by clicking here or jump directly to a specific policy by clicking on one of the links:
Preparing for a camp experience for the first time can be challenging.  For information on many topics (including homesickness and parent anxiety) and tips on getting ready for camp, visit our First-Year Families page.