A Guide for New Campers

Camp Natoma always welcomes new campers. Read on to learn more about your upcoming week at Camp Natoma!

 

Campsites

Where do I sleep?
Campers live outside and sleep on metal cots (beds) with mattresses. Bring your own warm sleeping bag and a sheet to cover the mattress. Some campers put a small rug by their bed. You can imagine it like a cabin but without walls or a roof! You’ll be in a small group with a counselor and other kids that have completed the same grade as you.
There are five campsites - they are named Hilltop, Acorn, Franklin, Stockton, and CIT.

  • Hilltop - Girls who have completed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades
  • Acorn - Boys who have completed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades
  • Franklin - Girls who have completed 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades
  • Stockton - Boys who have completed 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades
  • CIT - Boys & Girls who have completed 10th grade

 

Daily Activities

What will I do each day?
Each day at camp is jam-packed with fun activities. Some activities are with just the kids your age and others are with kids of all ages. Your counselor will help you learn the daily schedule and know where to go! It’s important to remember that you can’t possibly do everything in one week. We’ve designed camp so that each summer you come back, you’ll get to do something new and you always have something to look forward to!

If you’ve completed 1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th grades:
You’ll go to the POOL twice a day - once with organized learn-to-swim activities and games, the other is free time with all the other campers.
You get to sign up for one morning activity that you’ll do every day - Drama, Crafts, or Nature Explorers - with the same instructor and group of campers.
Each afternoon you’ll do a different long Specialty Activity with other campers your age.
These may include: Hikes, Tomahawks, Skits, Crafts, Large Group Games, Creek Walks, Geocaching, Cooking, Archery (out of 5th grade only)

If you’ve completed 6th/7th grades:
You get to sign up for two morning activities that you’ll do every day with the same instructor and group of campers - Art, Drama, Outdoor Skills, Guitar, or Archery.
You’ll go to the pool for free swim in the afternoon with all the other campers.
Each afternoon you’ll do a different Specialty Activity with other campers your age.
These may include:  Hikes, Tomahawks, Skits, Crafts, Large Group Games,, Pool Games, Outdoor Cooking, Teambuilding

If you’ve completed 8th/9th grades:
You get to sign up for two morning activities that you’ll do every day with the same instructor and group of campers - Art, Drama, Outdoor Skills, Guitar, or Archery.
You’ll go to the pool for free swim in the afternoon with all the other campers.
Each afternoon you’ll do a different Specialty Activity that focuses on teambuilding - that culminates with a special backpacking trip. Teambuilding activities include games, group problem solving challenges, skits, pool games, and introductory leadership training.

 

Trading Post

Camp Natoma’s store is called the Trading Post. Your parents can put money into your account for you to spend while you’re at camp. Most days at camp, you’ll have a short time to visit the Trading Post. Items for sale include Camp Natoma hats, keychains, bandanas, sunglasses, water bottles, stuffed animals, frisbees and more.
Important: If you order a camp sweatshirt when you register, you’ll pick it up at the Trading Post. Your sweatshirt will not be delivered to you.

 

Food

Camp makes you hungry! Our Cooks make delicious food for campers and staff. You should expect to be hungry from being outside and doing lots of activities. We pick the food we serve based on camper recommendations and nutrition guidelines from the experts. You’ll sit at the same table for every meal. At each meal a different table gets to eat first - and last. At breakfast you can always expect oatmeal and fruit and each day a different main dish -  like pancakes and bacon, french toast and sausage, muffins and eggs, and breakfast burritos. At lunch and dinner you can look forward to things like pizza, burritos, soup, spaghetti, tacos, lasagna, sandwiches, stir fry and more. There’s always a vegetable and usually salad too. You’ll get dessert after dinner. We know that sometimes camp food is different from the food you eat at home. At Camp Natoma we expect campers to give new things a try - and this includes meal time! It’s important that at each meal campers eat more than one item so you’ll feel good and have energy for activities. We want campers to feel full after a meal, so we always offer seconds! There might not be seconds on every item - but there should be something to help you feel full. Also, every day we offer a mid-afternoon snack. It’s often fruit - trust us, cold juicy fruit is delicious on a hot afternoon at camp!
The only place you can have food is at the Dining Hall. No food is allowed anywhere else in camp because we don’t want to attract bugs and animals!

 

Showers & Changing

At Camp Natoma, the showers are unlike any you’ve probably seen before.  Be prepared -  showers won’t be hot like your shower at home. Everyone takes a quick shower at the pool each day, and has the opportunity to take showers on a rotation throughout the week. Counselors do not force campers to shower, but they do remind them showers are available at their rotation time.
Also, since you’ll be camping outside, your counselor will make sure you know where to change with privacy.

 

Camper Rules & Safety

  • RESPECT: Yourself, fellow campers, staff, nature, and camp property
  • Participate in activities and be willing to try new things.
  • Wear closed toed shoes at all times.
  • Alway remain within camp boundaries and stay on trails.
  • Do not bring ANY food (snacks, candy, gum, etc.) to camp. Do not take any food to campsite or activity areas.

Camp Natoma is a place to have fun, make new friends, and try new things. Lots of kids come to camp not knowing anybody - so our staff will help you make new friends.

 

Transportation

How do I get to camp? Your parents will check you in at a special location at Thacher Winery. From there, you’ll board the camp bus - called the Amotan Express. Expect to meet a new friend for this bumpy ride in to camp!
While riding the bus you must follow the bus rules:

  • Board the bus only when instructed to and listen for the roll call
  • Stay seated “back to back, bottom to bottom” on the bench at all times
  • Don’t put hands, head, or any other item out the window
  • Alert the bus supervisor if you have any problems or are not feeling well
  • Do not eat on the bus. Drinking from a water bottle is OK.