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Since 1973
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Title FAQ



Thank you for taking the time to learn more about YSSC. We, along with all concerned parents, want the very best camp experience possible for our campers. Please contact us with any additional questions you may have.

 

Sincerely,
Sara and Steve Kuljis
Executive Directors

 

 

Interested in more camp advice for parents? Check out the American Camp Association’s camp resource for parents at www.campparent.org.

 

How is YSSC different from week-long Christian camps?

 

YSSC is focused on developing the “whole child” by helping youth grow in character, skills, relationships and faith. Over many years, we have found that this mission is best accomplished through a longer residence experience, rather than a short 1-week program. It typically takes campers 3 or 4 days to feel at home in their new camp setting. Once they do, they benefit more fully from their experience. With two or more weeks at camp, children are more deeply immersed in a fun, nurturing environment, innovative programming and surrounded by gifted staff who serve as attractive role models. Campers develop broader community living skills, establish more significant relationships, have more practice stepping out of their comfort zone and bouncing back from setbacks. They also can gain a deeper understanding of God and His love for them. One week at camp is good, but two weeks at camp are great!

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How much does camp cost?

 

Tuition for our two-week session is $3,250. A deposit of $750 is due at registration with the balance due one month prior to the session. Tuition for the one-week XL Adventure Program (which is open to any camper entering 7th grade or older who is also registered for a regular 2-week session) is $1,000. A deposit of $250 for XL is due at time of registration.
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What does camp tuition include?

 

The camp tuition covers camper’s housing, food, 24-hour supervision, participation in all activities, both on and off site, use of all camp equipment, weekly laundry, a memories book and memories DVD. Not included in tuition are transportation costs, spending money, camp t-shirts or sweatshirts.
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What is your cancellation policy?

**All cancellations must be in writing and acknowledged by camp registrar.

Any cancellations that occur before April 1st will result in a $300 cancellation fee.
Any cancellaitons that occur on or after April 1st will result in a $750 cancellation fee.
Any cancellations that occur 4 weeks or less from the enrolled session will result in no refund.

Exceptions have been made in the case of medical emergency. Homesickness and dismissal from camp for unacceptable behavior are not grounds for refund.

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Can a camper stay between sessions?

 

Yes, we do offer a complementary supervised program for campers who are staying for consecutive sessions. They will enjoy activities, as well as rest, before the new session begins.
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How are staff members selected? What is the ratio of campers to staff?

YSSC’s staff is comprised of collegians, graduate students and professionals. Staff members are selected based on emotional and Christian maturity, youth work experience, strong communication skills, diverse talents and backgrounds, and zest for life. Candidates undergo an extensive interview, reference checks and criminal background checks prior to hiring. All staff receive one to three weeks of training in a variety of areas including child development, activity leadership, and behavior management. All staff members are CPR certified, and some have additional certifications (e.g. Wilderness First Aid, lifeguard certification, etc.) depending on their role.

 

At YSSC, 70-75 staff members serve 125-140 campers each session for a staff/camper ratio of 1:2. Cabin counselor/camper ratios are 1:6 or 7.
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What is the percentage of returning staff? Returning campers?

Approximately 55-65% of staff returns each summer. Returning campers number approximately 60-65%.
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Describe the Christian training at YSSC.

YSSC offers gentle, non-denominational Christian teaching, focusing on the basics of the Christian faith. We are conservative in lifestyle and beliefs. We accept the Bible as God’s Word and salvation through His son Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus called the little children to come close to Him in the New Testament, we too wish to nurture campers’ spiritual growth in a loving way.
We strive to help campers take the next step in their own personal journey of faith, whether learning about the love of Jesus Christ for the first time or allowing the Lord to be a greater influence in their choices regarding peers, activities, and decisions. This is accomplished through:

 

  • Age appropriate Bible studies focusing on the basics of the Christian life
  • Engaging guest speakers who supplement the teaching of cabin counselors
  • Seminars addressing issues relevant to campers
  • Fun, enthusiastic, and mature staff members who model daily Christian living

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Is YSSC accredited? What does that mean?

Yes, YSSC is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA is a national, non-profit organization that supports and promotes high standards and best practices in organized camping. As an accredited camp, YSSC undergoes regular independent audits to demonstrate its compliance of nearly 300 quality standards covering health and safety, facilities, personnel, administration, and programming. ACA accreditation is camping’s “good housekeeping seal of approval.” The ACA further provides camps with ongoing education and support, and offers parents information to help select a program and prepare their camper for camp.
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Is YSSC connected with any other associations?

We are members of Christian Camp and Conference Association which provides education, resources and networking for Christian camps worldwide. In addition, YSSC is a member of Western Association of Independent Camps, an association of accredited independent and family operated programs, which offers support, continuing education and inspiration.
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Can my child request to be in a cabin with a friend?

Yes, many campers come to YSSC with a special friend or two. We will do our best to honor cabin requests for friends of similar age and grade. Cabinmate requests must be mutual and are not guaranteed. A request not to be housed with a certain camper may result in the inability to be housed with another requested individual. In addition, because new friendships are a significant part of the summer camp experience, we seek to assemble cabin groups that will allow new friendships to develop. The Cabinmate Request Form can be filled out online up to 2 weeks prior to the session start.
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How are cabin groups arranged?

Campers are arranged in cabin groups by gender, age, grade and in consideration of cabinmate requests and each camper’s Personality Profile as provided by parents. There may be a one or two year age spread within a cabin. Each counselor shepherds up to 7 campers for the entire session. Some campers come to YSSC with a friend, although many come to camp alone. We will arrange cabins in such way as to encourage new friendships in cabin groups.
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What happens when a camp session fills?

We begin a wait list. To assure a balanced program there are limited amount of spaces for both boys and girls and for each unit. Unit I is 3rd-6th grade, Unit II is 7th-8th grade, and Unit III is 9th-10th grade. For the most updated availability information, you may call the Registrar at 800/775-9772 or view the Latest News on our website home page.
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What information will we receive after we register?

After receiving your camper’s application, we will email you information about your online “My YSSC” account and links for the following online forms to be completed:

 

  • Personality Profile
  • Health History
  • Physician’s Exam
  • Cabinmate Request
  • Transportation Form
  • Camper Code of Conduct
  • Care Package Policy
  • Settle Up Form

 

In addition, we will mail you a Family Handbook with General Information and a What To Bring List. Reminder emails will be sent regarding payments and missing forms closer to your session.
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Do campers need to pack for 2 weeks?

Campers’ laundry is done half way through each session, so campers need only pack one week’s worth of clothing. We urge campers not to bring expensive clothes, or clothes that require special care. A handy “What To Bring List” will be sent to you in your Family Handbook. Please label all items brought to camp with your child’s name. Consider having your child help label and pack camp gear in order to develop familiarity and ownership of his/her personal belongs.
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How do campers get to camp?

The most popular mode of transportation is our Charter Buses staffed by YSSC staff and available from Orange County, Pasadena, and Valencia. We occasionally offer a staff supervised train ride from Oakland (OKJ) to Fresno and then onto camp. Campers needing to fly to camp can arrive at Fresno International Airport (FAT) and will be met by camp staff and transported the 60 miles to YSSC. Of course, we always appreciate when camper families drive to or from camp so they can see our grounds and meet staff. Sign up for transportation options on your online Transportation Form.
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Is technology permitted at YSSC?

Like many traditional summer camps, YSSC asks campers to "unplug" from technology so they can more easily "plug in" to their new camp community. Our "No Tech" rule applies to YSSC's charter buses and extends through the entire session. By leaving technology at home, campers engage more quickly and are more poised to take advantage of the fun, growth and adventure offered by YSSC. Gadgets to be left at home include cell phones, tablets, laptops, mp3 players, electronic games and techno toys. Please note that cell phones may not be used as cameras by campers. E-readers without internet connectivity are permitted, however.
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Why does YSSC not permit campers to bring technology to camp?

At YSSC, campers develop friendships that are not dependent on gaming. They grow to better understand the expressions and feelings of others. Campers note that they notice more about their surroundings and are more creative without a cell phone always in hand. Campers also get out from under the constant pressure and stress of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Do all campers participate in all activities?

YSSC offers a program of progressively challenging activities in order to help children learn new skills and build up to greater accomplishments. Activities are assigned daily with occasional Free Choice options.
Unit 1 - Grades 3 through 6: Confidence building and teamwork are emphasized in a variety of activities such as water sports, low ropes course, nature study, archery, Yosemite Valley hikes, adventure games and Star Rock sleep-outs.
Unit 2 - Grades 7 and 8: Deeper conversations and greater physical challenge are added to campers’ schedule including a 3-day introductory backpack trips, high ropes course, and Bible seminar choices.
Unit 3 - Grades 9 and 10: Our oldest campers enjoy added opportunities including the King Swing, evening lake excursions, private gazebo housing, and leadership challenges.
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Can I call or visit my child while he/she is at camp?
We ask that parents call to speak to their camper only in the case of emergency. Campers are seldom near a phone and it is challenging to coordinate calls with camper schedules. In addition, calls from home can cause homesickness in a camper or jealousy among cabin-mates. We highly encourage cheerful letters, faxes and emails from family and friends throughout the session. In case of emergency, please call the camp office and we will arrange for a time for your camper to return your call as soon as possible.
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Can we send care packages to our camper?

We allow campers to receive only one package per session. Any more than one package will be returned to sender. Campers have jam-packed schedules and do not always have time to fully enjoy multiple packages.  Numerous packages also raise jealousy or envy among cabinmates. Please do not include food items. This dampens campers’ appetites at meal times, encourages mountain critters to invade cabins, and may be a danger to campers with food allergies. Some care package suggestions include a new hat or shirt, costume or craft items, books, stationery, pictures from home, small non-electronic games, an inflatable pool toy, decorations for the cabin, or small favors to share with cabin-mates.
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What happens if a camper gets homesick?

The first few days of camp can be an anxious time for any camper. We thoughtfully program these days to develop closeness within cabin groups so children feel safer, known, and have a sense of belonging. If homesickness persists, the counselor, head counselor and director work together to help the camper work through and overcome this challenge. We may invite parent input to aid in the process. It is our deep desire that the camper stays at camp, experience success and end his/her session strong.
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How does YSSC handle behavioral problems with campers?

YSSC’s program is designed for well-adjusted children who treat others with respect and value each child’s right to a fun, enriching experience at camp. Clear expectations and guidelines, positive reinforcement, positive role modeling and a cultivated sense of fairness are key components in our effort to maintain a safe and nurturing camp environment. We work hard so that every child will develop greater social skills and succeed at camp. Disrespect, mean or violent behavior, including teasing or harassment of any kind is not tolerated.

 

If discipline problems arise, we handle each conflict on an individual basis. In most cases, a camper will participate in dialogue explaining the inappropriate behavior and receive relevant, logical consequences. Continued misbehavior will result in a contract between the camper, parent, and director. Broken behavior contracts result in the camper going home early from camp with no tuition reimbursement. [View Camper Code of Conduct]
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How is the food?

Nutritious, kid-friendly food is served at YSSC. Campers love it and often ask for recipes. Breakfast favorites include eggs and bacon, homemade cinnamon rolls and yogurt, French toast and pancakes, served with fruit and cereal options. Lunches are often finger food favorites – sandwiches, burritos, and salad bars for example. Dinners often follow a theme: western barbecue on the meadow, Hawaiian luau at the pool, and the end of session tri tip banquet. Wheat breads, fresh fruit and vegetables, and real dairy products are important to our menu. And a yummy dessert can always be expected after dinner. It isn’t a surprise that campers chant “1, 2, 3, kitchen staff rocks!” at mealtime.

 

Our camp snack bar, known as “The Canteen,” offers healthy choices such as juices, fruit popsicles, granola bars, etc, instead of sodas and candy bars.
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Can YSSC accommodate special dietary needs?

Campers' health is a high priority for us at YSSC. We try our best to accommodate basic food allergies and other dietary needs such as vegetarianism or lactose intolerance. In addition, Session Two each summer is designated as a peanut free session.  Due to the size of our program and the growing number of special dietary considerations, however, we are limited in the variety of dishes that we are able to offer and the additional resources necessary to prepare special meals. We request that campers with special dietary needs discuss with us in advance of registration the feasibility of accommodating their needs. In cases of complex dietary issues, we ask that a family help coordinate a menu for their child and provide supplementary food items so that our food service staff can continue to do their job efficiently and effectively.
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What if my child needs to take vitamins or medication while at camp?

Our infirmary, “Club Med,” is staffed by a registered nurse and infirmary manager. Typically, campers (and many staff) receive their vitamins and medications at mealtime. For bedtime medications, campers stop by Club Med on the way to their cabins for the night. Because we are a small camp, our Club Med staff grows to know each of our campers and can meet individual needs well. All medication must be sent to camp in original packaging and in labeled ziplock bags to be turned into camp nurse upon arrival. If you have a special concern about your child’s healthcare needs, please contact our office at 800/775-9772 or email us at info@yssc.com
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Tell me about Health and Safety at Camp

 

YSSC is accredited by the American Camp Association, which stipulates compliance with nearly 300 safety and quality standards, and best practices. Other steps taken to support health and safety for our camp community include:

 

  • Live-In Cabin Counselors
  • All staff CPR certified, along with other relevant training/certifications depending on staff role
  • Mandatory check-in required for all visitors
  • Camp Infirmary, staffed around the clock by a Registered Nurse and full-time manager
  • Local pediatrician on-call 7 days/week
  • Urgent Care and Children’s Hospital a short drive away
  • Rehearsed Emergency Preparedness Plan

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Can we visit the camp before our child attends?

Please come see us. Do call ahead so we can be expecting you. 800/775-9772. Or you can fill out our new “Visit Camp” request form in advance! Tours of YSSC are available from June 10 through August 15 each summer.
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Can I talk to any families who have sent children to YSSC?

We encourage that. Please call 800/775-9772 or email us at info@yssc.com to request references.
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What does a typical day look like at camp?

 

A typical day at camp follows the schedule below. Variations are implemented for off sight days and weekends.

Wake up bell

7:00 a.m.

Flag raising

7:40 a.m.

Breakfast

8:00 a.m.

Discovery Bible study

8:45 a.m.

Cabin clean up

9:30 a.m.

Cabin activity

10:00 a.m.

Lunch

12:30 p.m.

Kickback/rest period

1:15 p.m.

Cabin activity

2:00 p.m.

Free time

4:30 p.m.

Dinner

5:30 p.m.

Group games

7:00 p.m.

Campfire/evening meeting

8:00 p.m.

Cabin recap

9:00 p.m.

Lights out

9:30 p.m.

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