Camp Wonder Frequently-Asked-Questions

 

Please read below to find answers to our FAQs for Camp Wonder! If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to email us.  Thank you for your support of Camp Wonder! The following is divided into four sections: for parents/guardians, for campers, for counselors/volunteers/medical students, for doctors/nurses

 

FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS

1. Do you provide food and water for the campers?

Yes, we provide all food, water, and snacks for the week of camp.  If your child is flying, you can send snacks for the trip to camp.  We will provide the camper with a bagged-lunch for their trip home.  The children are not allowed to keep food in their cabin because it would attract pests.

 

2. Are any of the skin diseases contagious?

No, none of the skin conditions at camp are contagious.  We do our best to screen campers and staff for anything communicable.  As part of the check-in process at camp, each child is screened for communicable diseases and undergoes a lice check.  If the child is determined to have a communicable illness or lice, the child will be quarantined and the parents are required to pick-up the child immediately.

 

3. Do you require vaccines?

Yes, everyone at Camp Wonder must provide proof of the California State required vaccinations: Polio, Hepatitis B, Varicella, TDaP, meningococcal and MMR.  There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.  In addition, each child must have a recent TB test (PPD, tspot or QuantGOLD).

 

4. Who can attend Camp Wonder?

CSDF accepts children ages 6 - 16 diagnosed with any skin disease from any state in the United States.  CSDF is a non-discrimination camp, therefore your child may meet another child or adult volunteer who is of a different religion, race, ethnicity or is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer.

 

5. What should I pack for my child?

Once your child has been accepted to camp, you will receive a list of things he/she will need.  In general, pack anything your child would use if they were home for a week.  Camp Wonder doesn't have large laundry facilities to do lots of wash. Please pack adequate clothing and necessities to be used without being cleaned.

 

6. If I am accompanying my child to camp, can I come visit?

Camp Wonder is a week to build confidence and meet other children. We don't allow parents to come visit for a day or an activity nor stay onsite for any reason.  Camp is meant to be a vacation for you as much as for your child.  If your child has a unique medical necessity that requires your special attention, please contact us on a case by case basis.

 

7. Are there doctors at camp?

We have a full medical staff of 40 doctors and nurses from UCLA, USC, UCI, UCSF and Stanford who volunteer their time to make sure that your child is well cared for while they are having fun! We do not give medical advice or change treatment regimens. Our medical staff continues the care that you provide at home.

 

8. Do you pay for airfare?

Yes, we will cover your child's airfare once your application has been approved by both our program and medical committee.  Unfortunately, CSDF doesn't have enough funds to cover any parent or person who wants to accompany the camper.  We will work with you to make sure you and your child are together on the plane if you are covering your costs. 

9. Who reviews application? And when?

CSDF has a two-step, rolling admission process.  Applications will be emailed out around March for the upcoming year.  Once the entire application has been completed, the program commitee and the medical committee will review the paperwork.  Both committees have to admit the camper in order to receive final approval.  This process takes around 4 weeks after the entire application has been submitted.  All application materials are due May 1st for the upcoming camp year.

10. What are some reasons why my child wouldn't be eligible for camp?

We do our best to accommodate all needs but there are some instances that we cannot allow for safety of our staff and the entire camp. The following reasons are examples of reasons your child may not be admitted to Camp Wonder but are not the only reasons:

  • If you or your child reside outside North America.

  • If your child had behavioral issues at camp in the past and was asked to leave, the child will not be eligible to attend camp in the future.

  • If your child is unable to get in/out of a bath independently (meaning one of our staff would have to lift the child in/out of the tub).  This puts a strain on our medical staff.

  • If your child is not up-to-date on their vaccines.

  • If your child is daily in a wheelchair but does not use a power chair.  Our staff is unable to push a wheelchair all week because it takes away from other campers.

 

11. Can I volunteer at camp while my child is attending as a camper?

We don't allow parents to volunteer while their child is attending as a camper.  Camp Wonder is a week to build confidence and meet other children.

TRAVEL POLICIES:

CSDF works very hard all year to raise money for Camp Wonder and the airfare to get your child to camp.  When we loose airfare because a child does not take their flight, it takes away from another camper who could have attended Camp Wonder.  Please be respectful of our travel policies.

 

If your child does not make their flight, you are responsible for any change fees or complete reimbursement of the airfare. We completely understand that sometimes children are unable to attend camp for medical reasons so if you obtain a note from your doctor and we are able to obtain a refund from the airline you are no longer responsible for the cost.  If we do not receive a note from the doctor and you do not reimburse the lost fare, your child is no longer eligible to attend Camp Wonder in subsequent years.

 

For all travel questions, please email Christine Tenconi at ctenconi@csdf.org.

 

FOR CAMPERS

1. What kinds of activities do we do at camp?

Camp Wonder is a week of FUN!!! We have all kinds of activities: arts & crafts, swimming, sports, zip-line, rock-wall, horseback riding, carnival night, Prom.  You will do your activities with your group but if there is an activity that you do not want to participate in, we will find an alternative.  Camp Wonder is a great place to meet other kids and make lifelong friends!!

 

2. Can I bring a phone?

We do not allow the use of phones at camp.  If you are flying, we understand that you will need your phone to communicate with your parents during your trip.  However, once at camp, we will ask you to hand-in your phone for the week.  It will be locked in a secure place and given back to you when you go home.  We want you to focus on meeting your new friends at Camp Wonder and focus on having FUN!!!  If you need to call your parent during the week, you can ask one of our directors to provide a phone.

 

3. What are some rules at Camp Wonder

The number one rule at Camp Wonder is to HAVE FUN!!! However, part of that rule is to be kind and respectful of your fellow campers, your counselors and any member of our staff.  We DO NOT tolerate bullying, disrespect, abuse or meanness.  If we find your behavior to fall into one of these categories, you will be sent home.  At Camp Wonder, you will meet kids and adults of different races, religions, gender preference and skin disease, among other differences.  You must be respectful of everyone's differences!  At Camp Wonder, we celebrate everyone for who they are! 

 

4. What are the cabins like at Camp Wonder?  

You will be staying in a cabin with other kids your age and your counselors.  There are 12 people per cabin with a community bathroom.  Each person gets their own bed (bunk beds) and a drawer for their things.  The cabins are cleaned each day but you are expected to also help out by picking up after yourself.  The cabins are FUN!  You will often hear music playing, dancing and laughing in the cabins!  Your cabin-mates will be lifelong friends!

 

FOR COUNSELORS AND MEDICAL STUDENTS

 

1. What do I need to know if I am flying to Camp Wonder?

If you are flying to Camp Wonder, you are responsible for your own airfare.  We provide a shuttle from Oakland Airport (OAK) on the day camp begins and to OAK when camp ends only.  If you fly into San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) or on a day other than the first and last day of camp, you are responsible for your own transportation.  When you make your airfare, please email us your itinerary at least one week before camp so we can place you on a shuttle.  Please have your flight arrive between 11am-2pm on check-in day and your flight departs between 10am-2pm on departure day.

 

2. Can I volunteer at camp just for a day or two?

Due to the long wait list and limited space for volunteers, counselors and medical students, we only accept applicants who can commit to the entire week.

 

3. I can come the whole week of camp but I have an obligation for one afternoon.  Can I leave camp for a few hours?

No, there are no in and out privileges at camp. We require all medical students and counselors to stay onsite the entire week. 

 

4. Do you provide housing for my stay at Camp Wonder? 

Yes, you will be housed in a cabin either with a group of campers or other staff members.

 

5. Do you reimburse volunteers for miles, gas or other travels costs to attend camp?

CSDF is a grass-roots organization with a small operating budget.  Our mission is to improve the lives of children with skin disease and assure that all our funds go towards this important cause.  Therefore, we do not reimburse for miles, gas or airfare to attend camp. We apologize if this means you are unable to volunteer.

6. What are the requirements to be a counselor at Camp Wonder

You have to enjoy having fun!! Camp Wonder is a high-energy, fun experience!! You must also be over the age of 18.  There is a formal application process, that includes background checks and two short-answer essays.  Your application will be reviewed by our program committee.

7. Do you reimburse if I drive to camp?

We DO NOT reimburse for miles to and from Camp Wonder for any volunteer.  CSDF works very hard all year to raise money for Camp Wonder and we want as much funding as possible to go towards programming and travel expenses for the campers.

 

8. Can my spouse, partner or friend come to visit for a day?

No visitors are permitted at Camp Wonder unless pre-approved by a CSDF member.  We respect The Taylor Family Foundation’s and the Fire Department's numbers limits for the campsite.  If your friend, spouse or significant other arrives at camp unannounced we are unable to pre-plan our numbers accordingly and he/she will be asked to leave.

 

9. What are the health requirements for staff?

We request that all staff that all non-health-care providers submit their vaccination records.  We also request that all staff is up-to-date on their Td booster (required once every 10 years). If you have any issues, please contact us.

10. Will I be allowed to keep my phone at camp?

For safety reasons, there is no technology at camp during the day while you are with your campers.  We will give you a walkie-talkie to be able to speak with your co-counselors and other members of our staff.  At night, after the staff meeting, you are allowed to use your phone to connect with family and friends. We encourage you to look at your week at camp as an opportunity to get to know new people and bond with the kids.

11. Do I need any vaccines or medical documents to be eligible to volunteers?

Yes, we require that you prove an MMR vaccine.  We also recommend being up-to-date on all vaccines.  If you have any illness or disease that appears infectious, we will ask you to leave camp until you are medically cleared.  Many of our campers and staff are immunosuppressed and at high risk for infection.  Please be mindful and respectful of their health.

 

FOR DAY VOLUNTEERS

1. Can I be a day volunteer?

Yes, CSDF and Camp Wonder welcome day volunteers on certain days of camp: check-in and check-out days.  We are fortunate to have committed staff that attends camp all week long and therefore cannot allow day-volunteers during the main days of camp.  We do this out of respect for your time and to maintain consistency at camp.  We appreciate your interest in helping out at Camp Wonder! We hope to see you there!

2. How can I apply to be a day-volunteer?

If you know you can volunteer on the check-in and/or check-out day, please email applications@csdf.org.  We will email you an application that must be filled out before you can be accepted as a day volunteer.  This application includes a full background check.

FOR DOCTORS, NURSES

1. Can I come to camp just for a day or two?

Due to the long wait list and limited space for medical staff volunteers, we require that all medical staff come for one half of the week minimum.  We have set sessions for medical staff (first half, second half or the entire week).  If you are interested in volunteering, please email ftenconi@csdf.org for the guidelines.  

 

2. What do I need to know if I am flying to Camp Wonder?

If you are flying to Camp Wonder, you are responsible for your own airfare.  We provide a shuttle from Oakland Airport (OAK) on the day camp begins and to OAK when camp ends only.  If you fly into San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) or on a day other than the first and last day of camp, you are responsible for your own transportation.  When you make your airfare, please email us your itinerary at least one week before camp so we can place you on a shuttle.  Please have your flight arrive between 11am-2pm on check-in day and your flight departs between 10am-2pm on departure day.

 

3. Do you provide housing for my stay at Camp Wonder?

Yes, you will be housed in a cabin either with a group of campers or other staff members.

 

4. What will I be doing at Camp Wonder as part of the medical staff?

As a medical staff member, you must be a registered nurse, a doctor or a PA.  Medical students are not considered part of the medical staff.  If you qualify as a medical staff member, you will be assigned to a cabin to manage the medical needs of our campers, including dispensing and/or administering meds, doing dressing changes, applying cream, helping with showers or baths, among others.  We ask that all our campers are potty trained so there are no diaper changes.  When you are not in "Club Med" (our medical facilities) we encourage you to get to know the campers you are working with by going to activities with them: ropes course, pool, arts, and crafts, etc.

 

For any other questions or concerns, please email ftenconi@csdf.org.  

Thank you for your support of Camp Wonder!!

 

1600 So. Main Street, STE 325,  Walnut Creek,  CA 94596   //  email   //  1(925) 947-3825

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