FAQs

The information provided is designed to help get parents and campers ready for an overnight camp experience with us.

Check-in Day Information

  • Check-in time: Sunday between 2:00-4:00pm

Please allow at least 30 minutes for check-in. Early check-ins are not available. Any other special arrangements for check-in should be made in advance. All forms and waivers must be submitted prior to your camp session start date.

Check-out Day Information

  • Check-out time: Saturday between 9:00-10:00am
  • Mini Camp check-out: Wednesday, 5:00pm

Special arrangements for check-out must be made in advance.

Parent Handbook

Where Is YMCA Camp Santa Maria?

We are located about 45 minutes west of Denver, just past Bailey, Colorado, off of U.S. Highway 285.

How are YMCA Camp Santa Maria staff members selected?

Our staff members go through a rigorous hiring process, including a written application and interview. All candidates must provide three written references and are subject to a state and federal criminal background check, including fingerprinting. We hire staff members based on their experience working with youth, knowledge and skills in specific camp activity areas, and their ability to create positive relationships with campers and fellow staff members. First and foremost, staff are chosen for their commitment to being a role model for kids and contributing to the camp community

How does YMCA Camp Santa Maria help campers adjust to being away from home?

Our staff members are trained to help campers cope with a wide range of feelings, including homesickness. A good portion of staff training focuses on child development, behavioral guidance and overcoming homesickness. Once at camp, fun programs and meeting new friends keep campers busy. Our staff members strive to provide a nurturing environment, where campers can overcome their feelings of homesickness, become more independent and feel proud of their accomplishments. We strive to create a community that serves as your camper’s home away from home. We also have a list of suggestions for parents to use before sending their kids to camp.

How does YMCA Camp Santa Maria handle behavioral issues?

When you get a large number of people together in one place for any period of time, issues between individuals can arise. At YMCA Camp Santa Maria, we practice behavioral guidance to address these types of issues. On the first day of a session, all of the campers learn about the guidelines and rules of camp. Staff take time to let campers know the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Then each cabin creates its own "cabin code of living" with guidance from staff, allowing them to develop their own rules for how they treat each other during the session.

If issues arise in a cabin or between members of different cabins, the first intervention happens with cabin staff. In staff training, we teach staff various methods to guide each person involved in the incident to a mutually agreeable solution. It can take some time. If the cabin staff need assistance, a unit director or the camp director will be called. It is our goal to keep kids at camp. There are certain behaviors, however, that we will not tolerate, including physically attacking another person, physical, emotional or psychological bullying, sexual contact, or continued refusal to follow camp policies. All campers and staff are held to these standards.

If a camper gets into a situation that requires staff intervention, YMCA Camp Santa Maria will use the following steps to address the issue:

  • Staff and the camper(s) involved will sit down and talk about the incident. Any other people involved in the event will also participate. If necessary, a unit director or the camp director will be involved.
  • The parents of the camper(s) involved will be called and informed of the situation.
  • The camper(s) and staff will create a behavioral contract that will state the issue being addressed and actions that each person involved will follow. Parents will be called and filled in on the particulars of the contract.

If the camper’s behavior necessitates dismissal from the session or the camper refuses to change his or her behavior, parents will be called and asked to pick up their child as soon as possible. In some cases, a camper may be removed from camp and allowed to come back the same summer. If a camper is removed from camp and does not come back, a discussion between the camp and the parents may need to take place before the camper is allowed to return to camp.

What is the camp position on bullying?

At YMCA Camp Santa Maria, we take the issue of bullying very seriously, and people who choose to bully at camp will be asked to leave. Whether the bullying is physical, psychological, emotional or even electronic, it is grounds for a camper to be removed. We train our staff in the various forms of bullying prevention and even the different ways boys and girls bully. If you have any questions about bullying or what constitutes bullying at camp, please contact us.

Does YMCA Camp Santa Maria offer scholarships?

It is our belief that the camp experience is an important part of childhood, and we provide that experience for all children no matter their family’s financial situation. YMCA Camp Santa Maria provides financial assistance to families that complete our financial assistance application process and qualify. Visit the Financial Assistance page on our YMCA of Northern Colorado website for more information.

How can I be best involved in my child’s camp experience?

Parents play an important role in a camper’s experience. Sending your child to camp prepared is important to his or her success. It is also important for parents to discuss with their child what to expect while they are at camp. Campers are always excited to receive mail, and parents are encouraged to correspond with their camper. At Camp Santa Maria, we also encourage camp families to have open communication with our staff so we may serve campers in the best way possible.

What type of medical care is provided at camp?

YMCA Camp Santa Maria has at least one full-time medical personnel who lives onsite and provides medical care to campers at all times. We are also connected with a pediatrician and clinic in the town of Conifer, and we are serviced by local emergency medical services. It is important that parents discuss special medical needs with the camp director prior to coming to camp.

Can campers make phone calls?

In general, we do not allow campers to call home. We enforce this policy because we have found that calling home most often has a negative effect on the camper and prolongs homesickness. If a camper is very upset, you will hear from us ASAP and we will discuss any future actions together. A staff member will contact you in the case that your camper is ill or experiencing ongoing homesickness. Please note that campers are not permitted to have cell phones at camp, so please leave them at home. Your camper will survive, and likely thrive, without their phone at camp.