Camp Policies

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 below or jump directly to a specific policy by clicking on one of the links:
Cabin Requests
Camper Mail Policy
Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance
Communication Outside of Camp
Dismissal from Camp
Electronics, Music, and Media
Late Arrival/Early Departure
Parent Behavior
Photo Philosophy
Providing Camp with Information

If you have any questions about our Camp Policies, please contact us via email or phone (1-800-554-2267 ex. 0).

Cabin Requests

Any requests for my child to be placed in the same cabin group with another camper will be communicated to camp at least one month prior to the start of the camp session, and I am responsible for making sure the request is mutual with the other family. I will not disrupt camp by asking for a change in cabin assignment other than if the camp did not accommodate a mutual request for two campers who are within a year of the same age and are attending the same session.

Camper Mail Policy

While at Gold Arrow Camp, campers are permitted to receive letters and postcards that can be sent with ONE FIRST CLASS STAMP. Oversized envelopes and packages, which require more than one first class stamp, will not be accepted.

Campers are not allowed to receive any packages while at camp. Please make sure to let your relatives and friends know not to send your child a package while at camp, but encourage them to send letters and postcards which can be sent with one first class stamp.

If there is a clothing or equipment item, such as a pair of prescription glasses, a school-assigned reading book, or a toiletry item not available in the camp store, which you need to get to your child while they are at camp, you must contact the camp office, let us know what you are sending, and address the package to the office, and the item will be unpacked and delivered to your camper. If you do not call and get the package pre-approved, it will be returned to the sender, unopened. Campers traveling by air may ship luggage ahead of their camp stay. Contact Ship Camps for this optional service.

Read more about our Camper Mail Policy here.

Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance

Please review the following Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance with your child and let your camper know to tell a staff member if their fun or enjoyment of camp is being jeopardized by any camper or staff member’s behavior towards them.

To maintain a wholesome, fun, child-focused environment free of social pressures and negative influences, Gold Arrow Camp has developed the following behavior and appearance guidelines, which will be strictly enforced. If you are concerned that your child may not be able to meet our Camper Standards, please consult with a Camp Director immediately.

For children to be safe in our camp program, campers need to be able to:

  • Follow a structured schedule in a group setting.
  • Follow verbal or written directions and guidelines when given by an adult to a group of ten children.
  • Live, interact, and sleep in a group setting (tent or cabin with 12-14 people) without disrupting others’ sleep or camp experience.
  • Self-manage frustrations or emotional outbursts.
  • Be able to walk up to three miles daily over uneven terrain (including hills and rocks).

Gold Arrow campers are expected to treat other campers and staff with respect at all times, and value each camper’s right to have a fun experience.

The following behaviors are not permitted at Gold Arrow Camp and will result in disciplinary action (up to being immediately dismissed from camp without any tuition refund):

  1. Teasing, taunting, social aggression, threatening or discriminating comments, or harassment or hazing of any kind towards any member of the camp community, including when camper is not at camp.
  2. Violence of any kind.
  3. Use of foul language, discussion of inappropriate topics, or possession of inappropriate media (magazines, books, etc.) as determined by the Camp Directors.
  4. Possession or use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. All prescription and over-the-counter medications must be stored in the Wellness Center and administered under the supervision of our camp Health Personnel.
  5. Sexual or intimate relationships.
  6. Unauthorized absence from cabin or activity.
  7. Abusive or disrespectful behavior towards any member of the camp community.
  8. Inappropriate appearance or attire (see below).
  9. Possession or use of personal electronic equipment (cell phone, electronic game, mp3 player, laptop computer, e-reader, etc.).
  10. Destruction, vandalism (including graffiti), or theft of any property belonging to camp or another community member.
  11. Equipment used to perform significant body alterations, including tools and materials used to tattoo or pierce skin.

Appearance and Attire: Campers should bring to camp clothing that is appropriate for an outdoor, active camp program. Use of make-up and/or wearing of expensive or trendy clothing that distract from a wholesome, outdoor camp environment are discouraged while at camp.

The following are not allowed at camp:

  1. Clothing with any words, logos, or graphics depicting violence, bands who play violent music, drugs, alcohol, or inappropriate language or topics.
  2. Jewelry that includes collars, chains, and face or body piercings. Earrings are allowed.
  3. Clothing or appearance that is unsafe or inappropriate per camp’s discretion: e.g., tops that expose any part of the breasts, shorts that expose undergarments or any portion of the buttocks. Clothing that does not cover underwear. Clothing must fit closely enough so that the camper is not at risk for injury due to clothing getting caught in belay ropes, etc.
  4. Any permanent tattoos need to be covered at all times with clothing.

Note: We will strictly enforce our dress code. To avoid being required to mail additional clothing to your child at camp, we ask that parents supervise packing and make sure that no inappropriate clothing items are brought to camp.

Communication Outside of Camp

We are unable to monitor communication between campers and between our campers and staff outside of camp. However, we ask that you report any inappropriate outside communication or behavior to us so that we can determine if a camper or staff member should be welcome back into our community.

It is essential that you communicate to your children that any hurtful or inappropriate communication between campers or behavior by campers outside of camp (including bullying, sexting, or any unsafe behaviors that are harmful to themselves or others) may result in them not being allowed to return to GAC.

We inform our staff that ANY contact between staff and campers that occurs outside of camp needs to take place in a forum in which parents are aware of the contact. Our policy states that staff write to campers by means of physical letters only, which can be seen by parents in the incoming mail. During the seasons when camp is not in session, we discourage staff from “friending” and following campers on social media and prohibit them from texting and private-messaging campers and having any one-on-one relationship that is or could be perceived to be inappropriate. Parents are responsible to supervise all social media interactions of minor children, including any interactions with other campers and between campers and staff members. Please inform us of any inappropriate interactions outside of camp so that we are aware of campers and/or staff members who are not following our policy.

In the past, some parents have viewed a person’s status as a current or former GAC staff member as a passive recommendation from Gold Arrow Camp for the person to serve in the capacity of private babysitter or nanny for their child after camp. Our staff members are very closely monitored and supervised during the summer and are never allowed in private spaces, one-on-one with campers. Once staff are no longer working for us (during our off-season), we are no longer supervising them in their behaviors and interactions with campers. While most of our staff would receive a positive recommendation from us, not all of them are eligible for rehire in subsequent summers. Do not view a person’s status of working at Gold Arrow as a recommendation from us. Call us for an employment reference if you are seeking to hire a former staff member for a position with your family.

Dismissal From Camp

I understand that the camp reserves the right to dismiss a camper whose conduct is dangerous, illegal, or at the discretion of the camp directors, detrimental to the camp and/or to other campers’ experiences, otherwise unsatisfactory, or does not meet the Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance.

Please review the Camper Standards of Behavior and Appearance with your child and let your camper know to tell a staff member if their fun or enjoyment of camp is being jeopardized by any camper or staff member’s behavior towards them.

Electronics, Music & Media

Gold Arrow Camp has always focused on being a traditional, wholesome, outdoor camp program. Camp is a place for children to interact socially and explore their surroundings. Camp is not a place for headphones or cell phones. In order to keep our camp environment free from music and media content that may not be suitable for the age groups served at camp, we have developed the following policies for camp:

  1. iPods and other portable music devices are not permitted at camp. Campers or staff members wearing headphones are not building relationships at camp.
  2. Music devices, other than those provided by camp for campfire or dance preparation, are not permitted in camp. When relaxing in our tents and cabins, we do not want to hear music blaring from other cabins or activity areas.
  3. Music played at dances and during campfires and assemblies must be selected from the camp’s ample library of music. If you would like a song added to the camp library, write the artist and song on a piece of paper and put it in the PoP Box for Director approval.  Be sure to include your name and the purpose for the song.
  4. Singing and guitar playing (as well as other instruments) are encouraged. Please keep music appropriate to GAC, and obtain Director approval before performing a song that is not already included in the GAC music library.
  5. If your cabin group would like to use a song for a skit or dance, it must be from the GAC-approved music library or can be submitted as a suggestion to add to the library.  Please ensure this is done BEFORE you start practicing with your cabin.
  6. Media (magazines, books, etc.) that are not appropriate for the camp setting are not allowed. This includes magazines or books with sexually explicit or violent photos or text or foul language or graphics.

Campers may not bring electronic devices to camp except for lights, watches, and cameras that do not connect to a cellular or bluetooth network, will not require charging during the session (no outlets available), and do not have any apps, games, or messaging capabilities. Simple activity tracking devices are permitted.

E-Readers are not allowed at camp. We have an ample supply of library books for camper reading or books can be brought from home.

We discourage campers from bringing any expensive devices that may be broken, dropped in the lake, or lost while at camp. Some campers bring disposable cameras from home, which we do NOT sell in the camp store. Campers are permitted to bring an inexpensive digital camera with no connectivity to cellular or wireless networks.

Late Arrival/Early Departure

Late arrivals and early departures from camp are disruptive to the camper’s overall experience, negatively impact their cabin group, and require extra staffing. Our community-focused program is intentionally set up to allow for friendships and group bonding to start on the first day of camp and for important closure activities to occur at the end of the session.

When enrolling your child in a session at camp, please make sure your child is able to stay for the entire session (start date through end date). Because it is disruptive to camp and the other campers in the group, late arrivals and early departures from camp are highly discouraged. If our session dates do not work for your family, please find a different session or postpone your child’s stay at camp until he/she can attend a complete session. Unless there is a medical or family emergency that arises during the camp session, early departure from camp will result in your family not being eligible for priority enrollment for the following summer.

Parent Behavior

Gold Arrow Camp understands the importance of partnering with our campers’ parents to provide a safe and impactful growth experience for their children while they are under our care. We consider the positive example parents set for their campers and the cooperation of parents essential to providing all campers with a positive experience.

Parents are expected to support all policies, rules, and regulations. Further, parents are expected to cooperate with and act civilly towards all members of the GAC community, including our staff and the contracted vendors providing service to GAC both on site and off site.

Unacceptable parent behavior, including actively undermining any camp policy, and/or disrespectful behavior towards any member of the community (determined at the discretion of the camp directors), may result in non-renewal or termination of the Camper’s enrollment.

I acknowledge that I understand all camp policies, and understand that my positive example is essential to my child’s participation. I will follow the Camp’s guidelines and will reassure my child that if they are sad or uncomfortable (which they inevitably will be at some point) that I am confident in their ability to be successful at camp and I will not pick them up early. I understand that I will not be permitted to talk with my child on the phone while he/she is at camp and that if I insist on doing so, I am not adhering to camp’s policies.

Photo Philosophy

We understand parents enjoy seeing photos of their children while with us at camp. While your child is at camp, you may go several days without seeing any photos of your child. Or, you may see your child pop up in a lot of photos from different special events.

In addition to capturing photos at special events like Big Campfire (skit night) and the dance, our photographers are assigned to take photos of each cabin at ONE activity per week. Your child’s activity photos could be from the beginning of the week or the end of the week, and we cannot take requests for photos at a specific activity. Read more about our Photo Philosophy here.

Providing Camp with Information

In fairness to our counselors, staff, and your child(ren), we need to make informed decisions about people we invite into our camp community. Our purpose in having pertinent health information, both physical and emotional, is to be able to better serve each child. We expect that parents or guardians have provided us with all the necessary information we need to keep all children safe.

Additionally, we need to be informed about any of the following:

  1. Psychiatric problems, including suicide gestures, suicidal ideation, or any self-harm.
  2. Medical issues.
  3. Mental health issues/diagnoses (e.g. ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders).
  4. Recent changes to medications, including if a camper has been taken off a medication for the summer or has recently changed dosage.
  5. Any hospitalization or treatment for physical or emotional reasons.
  6. Any traumatic event/possible reaction to family issues such as parental separation or divorce, illness, or death.

When you provide this information to us, it is ONLY shared with the staff members who need to know. For example, the health personnel may be the only ones with knowledge regarding a diagnosis or special health-related need, but a cabin counselor needs to be made aware of a recent traumatic event that may be impacting their camper. Our staff take confidentiality seriously and are trained not to discuss camper’s private issues with anyone outside of the group caring for the child.

There may be a circumstance where we have agreed to accept a child with full knowledge of his or her issues and have attempted to take all the necessary steps of making the experience successful, but find that we are unable to do so. For the good of this child and the camp community, the child may have to leave camp.

Failure to respond thoroughly and accurately to any question on the Camper Application, Camper Profile, or Health History, or to provide pertinent information about your child that impacts his/her behavior, may result in your child’s immediate dismissal from camp, at the sole discretion of the Camp Directors, without a refund of tuition paid.

In the event that my child must depart camp early for one of the following reasons, I will supply the name and contact information for an adult available to pick up my child within 12 hours during my child’s enrolled session(s)

1. Dismissal from camp for behavior(s) that are determined by Directors to be detrimental to other children, camp staff, or to themselves.

2. Illness (including COVID or other communicable diseases) or injury that our Wellness Center Staff and/or Directors deem need further evaluation or care away from camp.

3. Evacuation from camp for any reason.