Authorized Pick-Up Card

In order to pick up your child from Camp or from any of our bus stop locations, you must show your Camp Authorized Pick-Up Card or ID.

Behavior Management

At Camp Sonshine we measure a camper’s positive experience based on all campers’ ability to follow our five Camp rules:

  1. Keep your hands and feet to yourself
  2. No cutdowns (harsh or hurtful words)
  3. No talking while the counselor is talking
  4. No whining or complaining
  5. Have fun!

In the event that rules are not being followed, we have a behavior policy in place to restore a positive atmosphere for our campers at Camp.

Our procedures for behavior management are based on the behavioral issue demonstrated by the camper. Our offenses are split into Minor and Major Offenses as follows:

Minor

  • Whining and complaining
  • Talking while the counselor is talking
  • Disrespectful attitude or language
  • Cutting others down with hurtful words or actions

Major

  • Using hands and feet for physically harmful purposes
  • Running away from the group or activity
  • Focused emotional abuse (ie. bullying)
  • Sexual misconduct

For Minor Offenses, the following procedures will be followed (per offense):

  1. Specific verbal warning
  2. 5-minute timeout
  3. 10-minute timeout

Any Minor Offense whose repetition passes the three consequences will escalate to a Major Offense.

On campgrounds, we have a Calming Tent staffed with a counselor whose sole purpose is to listen to and support our campers in positive behavior. Our Calming Tent is used for behavior management for our Major Offenses but also as a place where campers can regroup and refocus away from their group.

For Major Offenses, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Removal from the group and 1-3 activity periods spent in the Calming Tent
  2. Full day suspension from Camp
  3. Three-day suspension from Camp
  4. Expulsion from Camp for the summer

Our Major Offense will result in immediate communication with parents and guardians and may result in immediate expulsion from Camp. Our purpose for communicating with families for behavioral issues is to help foster a safe camp environment through collaboration.

The Parent Liaison will facilitate communication with our families so we can best work to create a fun, safe, and nurturing camp environment.

Our behavioral and conduct policies exist to allow us to help our campers grow and have fun during the summer in a safe and positive environment.

Cancellations

If you choose to cancel one (1) or more weeks (retaining others):

  • $20 administrative fee per camper per week canceled (11/9 – 5/13)
  • 50% of all fees charged will be retained (i.e., deemed non-refundable.) The remaining amount will be credited. (5/14 – 6/10)
  • There will be no refunds for summer weeks or 10th Inning after June 10th.

If you choose to cancel everything (per camper):

  • All fees paid are refunded except the $20 per week non-refundable deposit and $35 application fee per camper. (11/9 to 5/13)
  • 50% of all tuition fees due will be charged. Any amount paid over this amount will be refunded (5/14 – 6/10)
  • There will be no refunds for summer weeks or 10th Inning after June 10th.

*All cancellations MUST be in writing.

** Having a sibling on the waiting list or having to attend Summer School is not cause for a refund.

Clothing (Teens)

We strongly encourage all teens to wear clothing that is in good taste and appropriate for Camp activities. Wearing clothing that advertises or promotes alcoholic drinks, drugs (i.e., pot smoking, marijuana, etc.), sex (nude or provocative images of men or women, etc.), cussing, and any other inappropriate language, as well as, clothes that show underwear (i.e., boxer shorts and bras) are not allowed. Swimwear must be in good taste. For ladies, one-piece swimwear or modest two-piece tankinis are permissible. For guys, we strongly discourage “Speedo”-type swimwear.

Counselor/Camper Contact

Counselors are not allowed to contact campers (outside initial camper call before their week starts) through phone call, text or social media. If a parent wants an exception to this for their camper, they can send it to us in writing (email or a note) to give permission for the counselor to be in contact with their child.

Deposits

A $20 per week non-refundable deposit, as well as the $40 application fee per child is required with each advanced or regular rate application as minimum payment, if not yet paying in full. Your deposit only gives you freedom and flexibility to make payments at your convenience until your total balance is paid. The deposit is applied toward the full balance. (It is not a separate fee, but reserves your child’s spot.) The deposit as minimum payment is not available on or after 5/13.

Discounts

Discounts can only be applied to camp tuition.

There is no discount on:

  • Convenience options
  • $40 application fee

Early Pick-Up

If you need to pick your child up early, it is essential that you call Parent Services to notify us of your plans. A note sent with your child is not acceptable. We require a 24 hour notice, when possible, if your child needs to leave early. Early pick-ups are only allowed before 3:30 PM. Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange early pick-ups between 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM due daily departure preparation.

If Adventure campers would like to come to an Overnighter, but do not want to stay overnight, they can be picked up in the Rotunda after the scheduled events. Please call Parent Services to make these arrangements.

Emergency Contact Person(s)

Please ensure that you have designated someone in the immediate vicinity who will be free to pick up your child if you are not available. Campers may never be transported in staff vehicles.

Footwear

For foot safety, our medical supervisors have recommended that shoes for camp provide appropriate support for hiking and strenuous activity and fully enclose the foot (toe and heel) to prevent injury from sticks, cuts, etc. For creek and pond exploration, we ask that campers bring water-shoes or an old pair of sneakers each day. Please note: If your child comes to camp in open-toe or open-heeled shoes, you will be called and asked to bring alternative shoes for your child.

Grouping

If your camper has a special request to be grouped with a friend, Parent Services must be contacted. Our representatives will make every effort to acknowledge your request, given that (1) both children are in the same grade and (2) the child’s parent has not specifically requested a different grouping arrangement.

Illness

The Camp First Aid Station is primarily a short-term treatment center, not one that is equipped to handle full-day nursing care. If your child wakes up and does not feel well (e.g., fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or any other acute illness), please let he or she spend the day resting comfortably at home in bed. Please do not send your camper with a condition that could be contagious.

If your child is showing any of the following signs you will be contacted and asked to pick his/her up from the First Aid Station:

  • Fever
  • Nausea/Diarrhea/Vomiting
  • Earache
  • Suspected Chicken Pox, measles, or other contagious rashes
  • Suspected Strep Throat
  • Suspected Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Pediculosis (head lice)
  • Any injury requiring a physician’s care
  • Scabies
  • Skin rashes
  • When the Camp Nurse deems it to be in the best interest of the camper

If a camper visits the Camp Nurse for something minor, he or she will receive a sticker.

Any child having a communicable condition (e.g., pink eye, head lice, etc.) must have a release note sent to Parent Services by a physician.

Camp will credit for the days missed after, but not including, the first two days when requested in writing and accompanied by a doctor’s/school note.

Late Arrival

If your camper(s) arrives after 9:15 AM, they must be checked into the Summer Office or Parent Services. When running late, parents should check their campers’ schedules to see if there are any field trips or pool trips that morning. If the bus has already left for the field trip, parents can drop campers off at the trip location*, or they can elect to have their camper wait until his or her group is back on grounds!

*Please call Parent Services to confirm trip location before dropping off a camper

Late Fees

A $10 late fee per week may be added to any accounts not paid in full by the May 12th payment deadline. We reserve the right to drop any accounts not paid in full by June 10th without refund.

Late Pick-Up

Bus Stop

If you are running late for pick up at the bus stop, please call the Parent Services. Our Bus Counselors will have our drivers wait for 5 minutes and prior to calling Parent Services who will then make every effort to contact you if we do not hear from you. If our efforts are unsuccessful, the camper will be transported back to Camp. Upon arrival, he/she will be escorted to Extended Care to await parent pick-up. Under no circumstances—unless a Walker’s Note is on file for the current Camp year—will your camper be left unattended at the bus stop.

Regular Pick-Up (Camp)

If a child normally gets picked up by a parent/guardian, but is not picked up by 4:25, he/she will go to Extended Care. An $8 one-time use fee will be charged for using our Extended Care service.

Extended Care

If you are running late to pick up your child from Extended Care (i.e., your camper is still here after 6:35pm) there will be a late fee of $5 per 10 minutes late.

Latestay/Overnighter

If your child decides to come to a Latestay after the camp week has started, payment must be called in or brought personally to our Main Office by the Wednesday preceding the Latestay and may not be mailed or sent with a camper.

If your 3rd- 4th grade child decides to come to an Overnighter after the camp week has started, payment must be called in or brought to our Main Office by Thursday preceding the Overnighter and may not be mailed or sent with a camper.

If your child will need to take medications during an Overnighter, we must have on file a Drug Authorization form signed by your child’s physician.

Life Jacket

When teen campers (TA & WASC) visit the following locations: Ocean Beaches, Cunningham Falls, Gunpowder Falls, and Greenbrier State Park, we require further swim testing and the use of personal floatation devices (also known as PFDs or life jackets). Any Camper who cannot meet the standard of this additional safety requirement will only be permitted to swim in shallow and/or enclosed wading areas. Parents can waive our recommendation for wearing life jackets only in reference to these specified trips. Parents can waive their child’s requirement to wear a life jacket by contacting Parent Services and filling out our Life Jacket Waiver form (you can download this form online from our Resource Center). Note: Campers will be required to wear a life jacket if a waiver is not on file.

Lost & Found

We strongly encourage, especially for younger children, labeling items (e.g., hats, towels, lunch kits, etc.) that are sent with your child to Camp. All non-valuable items that are found will be stored in our Lost and Found area. All valuable items will be sent to Parent Services.

Payment

Any registrations received on or after May 12th must be accompanied by payment in full.

Payment Method

Checks*, cash, credit card authorization (MasterCard, Discover, AMEX or Visa), or money orders are acceptable forms of payment.

*WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT CHECKS FOR ANY REASON ON OR AFTER JUNE 9th.

Returned Checks

There is a $35 fee charged for returned checks.

Sickness/School Extensions

Absence of more than two consecutive days due to illness or school being extended.

Camp will credit for the days missed after, but not including, the first two days when requested in writing and accompanied by a doctor’s/school note.

Special Needs

We are not a special needs camp; however, depending on your child’s special need, we may be able to accommodate. In order to determine whether or not we are a good fit (i.e., if we are equipped to adequately meet you and your child(ren)’s needs, we require that parents/guardians submit a completed Special Needs Questionnaire prior to scheduling a face-to-face meeting. We also request you submit your child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Program)—an extensive form that all federally-funded schools must complete for children with any type of special needs—with your Questionnaire. Please note that the IEP helps us understand your child’s individualized needs but is not required.

Once your completed Questionnaire is received by Parent Services, a meeting will be scheduled with you and your child, and our Program Manager. This meeting will serve as an opportunity for us to see if your child is able to fully function at Camp without major assistance. The meeting is also an opportunity for you to ask specific questions about our program.

Please note that a camper’s application cannot be processed without prior acceptance.

Spring Break

Because of limited availability, fees for Spring Break must be paid in full upon registration. No refunds for canceling Spring Break after February 26th.

Sun Protection

Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to apply sunscreen to their child before bringing him or her to Camp. We also encourage parents to pack a hat and extra sunscreen in each camper’s backpack.

Swim Level

Campers may not move up a swim level without having parental/guardian consent on record in Parent Services. Please remember that it takes a minimum of 24 hours to make any changes. Upon the next pool visit, the camper will be tested at the newly-requested level.

Visiting Camp Grounds

The State of Maryland requires that each adult in contact with the campers be fingerprinted and get a background check. For this reason, visitors are not allowed to join groups. If you would like to see your child during the day, you will be asked to follow this procedure:

  1. Check in at Parent Services and receive a visitor’s badge.
  2. A Parent Services representative will escort you to where your child is according to the group schedule. (Please be aware that groups do leave grounds for swimming, field trips, and sometimes on outside/in days.)
  3. You may watch your child’s group from a distance, but may not join the group.
  4. If you would like to say hello to your child to let him or her know that you visited, please ask in advance and a staff member will go with you to bring your child to you. The staff member will then be able to take your child back to the group.

Waiting List

If child is unable to enroll, or is withdrawn from the waiting list, all payments are refunded. Payment is not processed unless camper is enrolled. Please note that having a sibling on the waiting list is not cause for a refund.

Walkers

If a parent or guardian would like the camper to have permission to walk home from the bus stop, a signed waiver (in the form of a letter) must be on file in Parent Services. Please see our Resource Center for a sample Walker’s Note. Otherwise, a parent, guardian, or designated adult with a blue “Authorized Pick-up Person” card must be waiting to meet the child at the stop.

Week/Program Transfers

As long as there is availability, families will NOT incur additional charges for:

  1. Switching from week #1 to week #5.
  2. Switching from Teen Adventure to Wilderness.
  3. Switching from Germantown to Silver Spring (within the same program)