General Camp FAQ’s

Who runs this camp?
Sonoma Day Camp is run by the Sonoma Service Unit #103 of Girls Scouts of Northern California. It is staffed by trained adult Girl Scout volunteers. Many volunteers are active troop leaders. Being volunteers, they are all enthusiastic about providing an incredible camp experience. To learn more about the key administrative staff involved, visit the Meet the Team page on our website.

What about Health & Safety?
Sonoma Day Camp is operated according to the Girl Scouts of Northern California’s strict standards for health and safety. A qualified health supervisor is present at the camp at all times. All activities are supervised by trained adults.

Where will Sonoma Day Camp be located?
Day Camp is held under the oak trees on the school grounds at Dunbar School in Glen Ellen.  This is the perfect shaded area for a great camp experience.  All activities take place outdoors.  We provide additional shade canopies as needed, but sunscreen and protective hats are mandatory camp attire.

What does a typical day at camp look like?
At Sonoma Day Camp, there is a general routine that most units follow. Units schedule time at various activities, and all girls stay with their units throughout the day.
9:00am Campers Arrive / Opening Circle/Flag Ceremony
9:30am Dismiss to Units
9:30-12pm Unit Activities
12-12:30pm Lunch
12:30-1pm All Camp Kapers
1-2pm Leader Break / Unit Quiet Time with PAs
2-3:30pm Unit Activities
3:30-3:45pm Unit Clean-up
3:45pm-4pm Closing Circle Ceremony / Dismissal

Is Transportation to and from camp included in the fee?
No. Transportation to and from the camp is the responsibility of each family. We do encourage families to carpool.

What should my camper wear every day?
A dress code has been implemented to ensure the comfort and safety of all Girls Scouts. A short-sleeve camp t-shirt* will be included in the registration fee and provided to the camper on the first day of camp. We ask that the campers wear this shirt to camp each day for identification purposes (expect to wash it frequently). Alterations to the camp shirt will not be permitted. Girls may also wear long pants or shorts that hit just above the knee (NO “short-shorts” or bare shoulders). Durable shoes with closed toes and laces and long socks are required (i.e. sneakers or hiking boots – No sandals, clogs, crocs or flip-flops). Please apply sunscreen and insect repellent before arriving at camp and bring a hat to wear.

Will my daughter stay on-site the whole time or will there be fieldtrips? 
Currently we do not have any plans to have the girls leave the Dunbar site during Day Camp. If any fieldtrip does get planned for a specific unit you would be contacted prior to camp by your campers Unit Leader with all the details and to get your permission.   

Can I tour camp when we drop our camper(s) off?
Yes, AFTER the first day. On the First day we will be busy transitioning our campers into camp life and just don’t have the resources to give you a tour at that time. Also, it is best for your camper if your drop-off is a quick process. However, your camper MAY give you a tour of camp at pick-up on day 2-5, if you so choose. By then, she’ll know all the ropes and will happily share her camp memories as you walk around camp.

May we visit our daughter during the Day Camp session?
Many years of camp experience has shown that having parents visit at camp can be very disruptive for campers and staff, so we ask that you only visit during the pick-up time on any day. An emergency contact number will be provided in the event you need to contact your daughter for any reason. Hint* A way to have fun and participate at camp is to volunteer (you will most likely not be placed in the same unit as your child but you will always be close by).

What are the bathroom facilities like at Camp?
Although our Sonoma Day Camp will be at Dunbar Elementary School we will be 100% outdoor camp and not using the actual school facility. There will be clean Portable Facilities for your daughter to use. We are bringing these in especially for our Day Camp and they will be maintained and cleaned throughout the week. Hand wash stations will also be set up around camp.

What if you are nervous about attending camp?
Many girls get scared or nervous before attending their first day at camp, whether it’s day camp or overnight camp. To help you feel more comfortable, have your daughter look at the camp website to learn more. You might also talk with the camp director to learn more about the program. We are happy to answer any of your questions. Finally, see if there is someone you know who is attending camp; you could have a buddy on the first day.

Are group pictures taken?
We will take pictures of each unit in their camp shirts on the first day of camp. A keepsake camp photo will be given to each girl on the last day of camp and is already included in your camper fee.

Can my camper be placed in the same unit as her buddy?
Unit placements will not be made until June. We will do everything we can to make it happen but can’t guarantee that buddies will be able to be placed together. There is a place to list a buddy name on the registration form. Make sure both campers indicated their respective buddy on each of their forms. Depending on when their forms and payments were received we will do our best. The camp program is designed so that all campers make new friends and participate with all other camper – so even if they are not officially placed in the same unit they will get to see plenty of one another throughout the week.

My daughter’s friend backed out and she is coming to camp alone – she won’t know anyone else there. She’s nervous about that, and frankly, so am I.
Most of our campers do NOT come to camp with a buddy. Sure, it’s always reassuring to have a buddy coming with you to camp – it does help ease some of the anticipatory nervousness. But frankly, we’ve been told over and over by the campers themselves, that they actually have MORE fun when they come alone and make new friends. There are ALWAYS lots of girls in each unit who do not know anyone else, and they are ALL very anxious to make new friends too! Our own daughters have done it both ways, and they actually prefer the “new-friends” experience!

What are some of the things campers encounter every day?:

Activities, Activities and More Activities
See our Camp Program page for more info about how we’ll keep your daughter busy all day long!

Portable Toilet Facilities
Sonoma Day Camp campers and staff use what we call a BIFFY (Bathroom In Forest For You). The sanitation company will pump and replenish the wash station several times during the week.  Staff and campers will help to clean and tidy them every day, and we have procedures in place to keep them as odor-free as possible.

Flag
Every morning at 9:15am and every afternoon at 3:45pm, there is a flag ceremony. Every unit will perform the ceremony at least once during the week.

Kapers
Every unit has a kaper (chore) to do every day. From picking up litter to performing the flag ceremony, everyone does their part to keep camp running.

Down Time
Every unit has some down time almost every day, where campers can eat a snack (offered daily in the afternoon), write some letters, play cards, and nap if needed.

I have other questions – who can I contact?
Take a look at our other FAQ pages first, but you are always welcome to call the full Sonoma Day Camp Crew at our voicemail line 707-205-1233 and we’ll call you back within 72 hours. Want a possibly faster response – email us your question at SonomaGSDayCamp@gmail.com