We welcome all of our campers with campus scavenger hunts, getting-to-know-you games, and group meetings to ensure all campers meet each other and learn about camp life together. Our staff are skilled in building relationships and are trained to create community so campers new and returning have opportunities to make new friends. Our four camp communities are intentionally built to help campers make friends in their camper group, in their camp classes, on their camp team, and during all-camp activities. We know making new friends may feel a little scary at first, and if your camper is willing to try something new and say hi to a new person, friendship building happens at camp easier and faster than you can imagine!
Homesickness is a very normal experience at camp. Campers who do experience a bit of homesickness usually move through it within a day or two of arriving at camp. Our staff are trained to guide campers through the emotions that can come up in this process. Check out our homesickness video series in our Parent Corner for more information on our approach to guiding campers and ways you can support them before and during camp.
We have six camper groups at Summer at Santa Catalina. Campers are placed in their camper group based on the grade they are entering in the fall. Resident campers live with their camper group on one floor in our dormitories, and day campers join this camper group during the day. We do not accept switches in camper groups. Campers get to spend time with campers in other age groups during classes, free time, and evening programs. Each group has a unique name, and campers enjoy bonding with other campers their age over meals, silly competitions, and other fun activities. Both our resident and day campers learn respect and awareness of others as they fully participate in daily camp life in their camper groups. Depending on group numbers, occasionally groups similar in age may be combined for dorm living (e.g. Oaks and Monarchs).
Parents of resident campers can send traditional mail and/or utilize the online mail feature called Bunknotes via their camper account. Bunknotes is a one-way mail system and allows parents to send digital letters that are printed and delivered alongside the rest of the daily mail. Parents can also create guest accounts via their camp account to allow other trusted people to send their camper Bunknotes.
Campers are able to mail letters home. We encourage you to send your camper with stationery, envelopes, stamps, and a reminder of your full home mailing address. Counselors can help your camper learn how to address and write a letter!
International campers can turn in letters to be scanned and emailed. These letters are collected from our international mail trays in each dorm. We email these letters to the parent/guardian listed on your camper account. We are unable to scan letters daily, so we collect letters to be scanned three times per week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Campers may receive a maximum of 1 care package per week. Care packages are optional, and not all campers receive them. Great options for fun care package items include books, crosswords, and other items your camper can use at rest. Campers receive three snacks a day and frequently buy treats on field trips, so food items in care packages can easily be limited. Any food that campers receive must be turned into their camp-provided labeled storage containers. This process must be followed in order to keep our dorms ant and pest free and to ensure no peanut or tree nut food items are brought into the dorms. Please note that it is a safety issue if your camper does not turn in snacks. Items that cannot fit in the designated storage bin will not be stored, and our staff greatly thank you for your donation.
If your camper needs an item for a class or something vital to their success at camp (forgotten swimsuit, medication, etc.), these items can be mailed and will not count toward the care package total. Please be sure to coordinate with the camp office.
Please address all mail and packages as follows:
(Camper First and Last Name)
Summer at Santa Catalina: (Group Name and Grade)
1500 Mark Thomas Drive
Monterey, CA 93940
Summer at Santa Catalina encourages girls to grow their own sense of spirituality through community connection, weekly Chapel Sing and Mass, and a focus on connecting to that which is greater than ourselves. We embrace the true meaning of the word "catholicity" (from the Greek words kata and holos, meaning "inclusive of everyone") with an invitation and welcoming spirit to all of our students. Two-week campers attend Chapel Sing during week one and Mass or a prayer service either Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
Campers and staff alike love our food management company, Bon Appétit, and rave about the wonderful choices and great flavors. Resident campers are provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as morning, afternoon, and evening snacks. Day campers are provided lunch as well as morning and afternoon snacks.
Vegetarian options are available at every meal, and we are able to provide gluten-free options upon request. For campers who have allergies, parents are required to state the allergy on the Health History form, and all the questions on the form must be answered to the parents’ full knowledge. We are not able to accommodate all food aversions and encourage campers to try new things at every meal.
Absolutely! Our day campers join their camper group each morning after drop-off in our morning rally. Then all campers take classes together, enjoy lunch and rest, and enjoy afternoon classes. Day campers are invited to stay for our evening programs; check out your camper portal for more information.
Definitely! We are intentional about connecting our campers in various ways across age groups. Campers who are in a different grade will not live together, but could be in the same building and will see each other throughout the day in classes, snack time, meals, free time, and evening programs.
Field trips vary based on session. Our campers love attending Carmel Beach and the local farmers market. Saturday field trips include trips to local attractions including the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more! Summer field trips are announced each spring. Stay tuned for more information!
We strive for our campers to be healthy during their time at camp. Our Health Center is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Outside of these hours, our camp administrative team works to support all wellness-related concerns. Campers can see our nurse if they are feeling unwell. If a physician or camp nurse determines that a camper must leave camp for a medical reason prior to the closing of camp, parents will be notified. Day parents will be asked to pick up their child from camp, and resident camp parents will be informed of our plan to take their child to receive medical treatment. All campers are required to have a signed Authorization to Treat Form with proof of insurance during the time they are at camp.
Our camp nurse or directors will notify parents if (1) a camper exhibits symptoms that are deemed worthy of off-site medical treatment or (2) a camper has any illness that prohibits participation in the majority of camp activities for the day.
Medicines, vitamins, and supplements brought to camp and taken by your camper must be properly labeled by the pharmacy and in their original packaging. All medicines, vitamins, and supplements, including over-the-counter medications, are turned into the nurse on opening day (and kept in the Health Center throughout camp) and are supervised and administered by the camp nurse or camp administrative team.
Yes! In our camp store, campers can find great Catalina swag. We stock sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, towels, hats, and more featuring our traditional “running girl” logo or wildest tie-dye! Campers visit the camp store one to two times with their camper group during their session at camp. The bookstore is also open on opening day, and some items are available in our online bookstore.
Camp store purchases are charged to the credit card on file at the end of camp. We use the last credit card given unless otherwise directed. Please discuss your shopping expectations with your camper. This can be an important lesson in family culture and monetary responsibility. Campers learn that what is acceptable to one family may not be to another. You can indicate an estimated spending limit for your camper on our Camp Store and Spending Money web form. Please note that this is an estimated spending limit, not an exact amount.
Laundry is only available for our Session 4 (5-week musical theatre) and multi-session campers. Session 4 campers have laundry done twice and multi-session campers done once. Campers need to have all clothing articles and a laundry bag labeled. Campers should plan for two and half weeks of clothes and items, as laundry is done between sessions. Campers can opt to wash only clothes or clothes and linens. We are unable to handle clothing or linens that need special care.
Summer at Santa Catalina is an immersive and interactive experience; therefore, campers do not need any electronic entertainment. We provide an intentional and fun community within an unplugged atmosphere. Phones, iPods, iPads, game players, DVD players, laptops, or any other electronic device are not permitted. If these devices are found, they will be removed and held for the parent to check out at the end of the camp day for day campers and the last day of camp for resident campers.
Some of our classes (e.g. photography) will require campers to use a camp-provided computer for class purposes. Other classes, such as art or dance, may utilize short videos for teaching purposes only. Resident campers have a movie night each session, and we provide each camper group access to music and speakers. Other than that, we are tech free! This includes our counselors, who when on duty do not use or carry a cellphone.
A $500 nonrefundable credit card deposit is due upon enrollment for each session per camper. The deposit amount will be deducted from the total tuition fee. The balance of tuition and other fees is due on or before June 1, 2023. If you enroll after June 1, 2023, full tuition will be due upon enrollment.
After June 1, 2023, there will be no tuition refunds or tuition transfers. No adjustments of fees will be made if a child is withdrawn before the end of the period of enrollment, or dismissed for misconduct.
We take roommate requests only for special circumstances for health or mental health concerns. Roommate placements are intentional and are created to support the overall inclusive camp community. In our experience, all of our campers, both new and returning, are best set up for success when they get to meet and room with new friends.
Campers have an opportunity to change their class schedule after the first full day of camp. We encourage campers to stay in their afternoon classes, as they only take them for four class days and then switch for the second week of camp. Class schedule changes are based on availability.