SUMMER CAMP FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SUMMER CAMP

We know that picking the best summer camp for your children is a big decision, and you may have some questions along the way. Please see answers to our FAQ below, and contact Camp Director Heidi Pfeiffer at heidi@blufflake.org or 414-839-1670 with any additional questions.

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT CAMP?
We expect that camp WILL TAKE PLACE during summer 2021! We will continue with a small-group format similar to this past summer, and will continue to update our safety precautions based on the most current information from the CDC and CDPHE. See our most updated COVID policies here. Pease don’t be afraid to register for camp now to ensure your child will have a spot! Refunds will be offered if you cancel anytime prior to June 6, 2021. Refunds will also be offered in the (hopefully unlikely) event that camp must be cancelled entirely.

HOW WILL THE SMALL GROUPS BE CHOSEN?
During your registration you will have the opportunity to request that your child be placed (or not placed) with siblings, or with any other specific campers you may know who are registering for the same week. After accommodating any such special requests, we will group campers by age. Unfortunately it is NOT possible for campers ages 5-6 to be grouped together with campers ages 7-12; these are two separate camps which each have their own separate activities and specific location within the site.

WHERE AND WHEN DO WE GO?
You will drop off and pick up your campers in the parking lot at Bluff Lake Nature Center, 11255 MLK Jr Blvd, Denver, CO 80238. Standard drop off is at 9am (please arrive up to 20 minutes early on the first day). Pre-care campers can be dropped off anytime between 7:30-9am. Half-day pickup for ages 5-6 is at 12pm. Standard pickup is at 3pm. Post-care campers can be picked up anytime between 3-5pm. Late fees will be assessed for tardy pickups: $20 if you are 15-20 minutes late, $30 if you are 20-30 minutes late, $50 if you are more than 30 minutes late. If you are running late for drop off or pick up, or if you need to pick up your camper early, please let us know as soon as possible (call or text Heidi at 414-839-1670). You may be asked to meet at the current location of your camper’s group rather than in the parking lot.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT IS VERY HOT OR IT RAINS?
Rain and heat are part of the outdoor experience, so we plan to hold camps regardless of weather. We do understand the dangers of lightning, however, and we will take appropriate shelter if lightning is present. If lightning storms persist, we will notify parents, and camp sessions will end early, or will be moved indoors to our Welcome Building. During Ozone Alert days we will take precautions to stay in the shade, rest in the afternoon and can also move inside in extreme heat. Please make sure your camper is prepared for all likely weather conditions by bringing a raincoat, sun hat, and plenty of water.

WHAT SHOULD CAMPERS WEAR?

  • We will be doing a lot of walking, so please wear comfortable shoes. Close-toed shoes with socks are preferred.
  • We will also have time for wading in the creek, so campers should also bring water shoes to change into during creek time. The creek bed can be slippery, so NO bare feet, crocs, or flip flops will be allowed. If your child does not have water shoes, we will provide them.
  • Please wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses (if desired).
  • Please bring extra layers in case the weather cools off.

WHAT SHOULD CAMPERS BRING?

  • Backpack
  • Full water bottle (Please write your child’s name on the bottle!)
  • Snack (Campers in post-care should also bring a second snack.)
  • Lunch (Please pack an extra-large lunch for our extra-active days! No refrigeration is available. Half day campers ages 5-6 do not need a lunch.)
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Water shoes (No flip flops, crocs, or bare feet, please! We will provide water shoes if your child does not have any. Some campers also like to bring a small towel and plastic bag for changing out of wet water shoes after creek time.)
  • Long sleeve shirt and rain jacket
  • Bug spray
  • Campers may bring their own field tools (binoculars, bug nets, etc.) if they wish, but we will also provide these items to use during camp.
  • Campers will NOT be allowed to use electronic devices during camp.

DO CAMPERS HAVE TO WEAR THE CAMP T-SHIRT?

Wearing the camp t-shirt to camp is always optional, never required. Each child will automatically receive one T-shirt for EACH week of camp they are registered for. You will receive the T-shirt (or T-shirts) on the first day of your camper’s first week. Your child can use the bathroom to change into it immediately, or you can take it home for them to wear another day (both options are common). If you order an “additional T-shirt” for $10 during your Active registration, this will be on TOP of the shirt(s) you are already receiving for your child’s registered week(s).

WHAT’S THE BATHROOM SITUATION?
Porta-potties are provided on site, along with hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer foam (we do not have flushing toilets). A large cooler of drinking water is provided each day for campers who need to refill their water bottles (we do not have running water).

WHAT ABOUT FOOD AND DRINKS?
All campers should provide their OWN snack, lunch, and water bottle each day.  Food should be non-perishable or in a lunch-bag cooler. We strongly recommend writing your child’s name on their water bottle and lunch box. If your camper forgets a snack or lunch, we will call you to bring it. We can provide them with a small snack to eat while they wait for you to arrive. Campers will be required to use hand-washing stations prior to eating. Sharing is NOT allowed between campers (except for siblings). Occasionally we will offer campers a small treat (e.g., s’mores for solar ovens, popsicles at the end of a very hot week, or suckers or bubble gum as prizes for camp games). If your camper has any dietary restrictions, please remind your small-group counselor at the start of the week. We are happy to let you know ahead of time which specific day we are planning to provide the treat, so that you have the option to pack an alternative for your child.

CAN I REGISTER EARLY?
Camp registration opens to the public on December 20, 2020, but 2020 donors to Bluff Lake will be invited to register two weeks early. Donate any amount to Bluff Lake to qualify. Early registration links will be emailed on December 6, 2020. Any donations after December 6th will be processed (usually within 24-48 hours), and the early registration link will be sent to the new donor immediately afterward.

WHAT IF CAMP FILLS UP?
When a camp week is full, you will have the option to join the waitlist for that week. Complete the registration process to be added to the waitlist. If a spot opens up, we will contact you to see whether you would still like to register. Through joining the waitlist is free, payment will be due upon acceptance. We will fill camp openings in the order campers are placed on the waitlist. You must join the waitlist for each camp session you are interested in.

HOW DO I REGISTER?
Junior Counselor applicants can find their registration instructions here, and Scholarship applicants can find their registration instructions here. For all other campers, registration will open here on December 20, 2020. Our Active registration system lists two separate summer camps–one for ages 5-6, and one for ages 7-12–so please be sure to choose the right one before you start. You will be asked to create a camp account where you can see your purchases and download paperwork. You will need to submit the contact information for your child’s healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and at least half of your payment during the registration process. At least two weeks before your first day of camp, you must also submit all required medical forms via Active or email to heidi@blufflake.org. Active will also request that you upload a photo of your child, and we would be extremely appreciative if you do so! This will help us learn their name more quickly.

DO I NEED “REFUND INSURANCE”?
NO, please do not spend your money on the refund insurance offered through Active! You are already automatically eligible for a refund according to our normal refund policy, and the “insurance” does NOT add any additional benefit.

WHAT FORMS DO I NEED?
In addition to your Active registration, you must also submit all required medical forms at least two weeks before your first day of camp. Please see full details here. All campers must submit a up-to-date CPDHE-approved immunization record (not just a printout of your insurance records), as well as a general health appraisal signed by a physician and parent within the last year. Campers who are bringing medications must also submit additional forms. Photos of the child’s face are strongly encouraged for all campers, and required for campers who will be bringing medications. Forms can be uploaded to Active or emailed to heidi@blufflake.org. No refunds will be given if your child is not allowed to attend camp due to late or missing forms.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY CAMPER’S MEDICATION?
All medication (including over-the-counter medicine) requires specific medical forms to be completed and signed by the child’s physician. They must be submitted on Active or emailed to heidi@blufflake.org at least two weeks before your child’s first day of camp. You must also follow all of our medication drop-off procedures. Please see full instructions here. Please note that we do not allow campers to self-carry medications; they must be carried by counselors. Our counselors are trained and certified in Medication Administration prior to camp.

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR PRE/POST CARE OR HALF DAYS?
Pre-camp care (7:30-9am), post-camp care (3-5pm), and the combination of both are all offered as options within the normal registration process in Active. You must sign up and pay for the entire week; it is not possible to purchase extended care for individual days. The half-day option is only offered for ages 5-6. During the registration process for ages 5-6 camp, you will select either full day camp (9am-3pm) or half day camp (9am-12pm).

WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS MEDICAL, PHYSICAL, OR EMOTIONAL NEEDS?
Bluff Lake Summer Camp tries to accommodate youth with medical conditions, developmental disabilities, or physical disabilities. In order to ensure a fun and safe experience for all campers, please contact our Camp Director, Heidi Pfeiffer, Ph.D., at heidi@blufflake.org to discuss your child’s unique needs before registering. We will do our best to accommodate your child if it is possible for us to do so.

WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD THE REGISTRATION FEE?
We encourage you to learn more about our scholarship program here!

WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?
You must pay at least 50% of camp fees during the online registration process. The full amount is due by June 6, 2021.  You can make additional payments through the registration website (if you created an account), or you can contact maggie@blufflake.org and she will input your payment. If you are registered and have not paid your full camp fees by the end of June 6th, your credit card will automatically be charged for the remainder. If this charge is rejected, you will be removed from the registration list. No refunds will be given for failure to make full payment by the deadline.

WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY?
You do NOT need to purchase the “refund insurance” offered through Active. You will automatically be eligible for our refund policies, and the insurance does not change any of these policies. The last day for refunds is June 6, 2021. If you need to cancel after that deadline, you may: (a) switch to a different week if there are still spots available; (b) carry your fee forward for free 2022 camp registration; or (c) donate your fee to Bluff Lake (tax deductible) to help provide scholarships and many other valuable programs. Please email maggie@blufflake.org as soon as possible to request any of the above options. The only instance in which refunds would be offered after June 6th is if camp must be cancelled due to COVID-19 (we do not anticipate this), or if your child cannot attend camp or has to leave camp due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, exposure, or symptoms. You are NOT eligible for a refund for missing camp due to late or missing required medical forms or medication. View our full Refund & Cancellation policy here.

WHO ARE THE CAMP COUNSELORS?
All Bluff Lake Nature Center Summer Camp staff have passed background checks through the Sate of Colorado and are trained in First Aid and CPR. In addition, our Camp Directors are also trained in Universal Precautions and Medication Administration. Most of our staff are over the age of 21 and have multiple years experience in classroom teaching and outdoor education. Learn more at our Camp Staff page.

WHAT IS A “JUNIOR COUNSELOR”?
Our Junior Counselor program is for teens ages 13-17. After going through an application process, they will be mentored by an adult counselor in assisting with the day-to-day activities of camp. We will accept Junior Counselors for every week of summer camp. You can learn more about the program here.

WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Please feel free to contact our Camp Director and Education Manager, Heidi Pfeiffer, Ph.D., at heidi@blufflake.org or 414-839-1670.

SUMMER CAMP LINKS

Camp Overview, 2021 Changes, and COVID
Camp Staff
Schedule & Themes
Hours & Location
Prices and Registration
Medical Forms
Junior Counselors
Scholarships
FAQ