Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our one-of-a-kind camp experience. 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.
Sara and Steve Kuljis
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 one-week program. With two or more weeks at camp, children are more deeply immersed, 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, and how faith plays an essential role in family, friendships, activities and goals. We talk more about our purposeful two-week program here.
Our American Camp Association accreditation 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:
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.|
|Cabin clean-up||8:45 a.m.|
|Discovery Bible Study||9:15 a.m.|
|Cabin activity||10:00 a.m.|
|Kickback/rest period||1:15 p.m.|
|Cabin activity||2:15 p.m.|
|Free time||4:30 p.m.|
|All-camp game/activity||7:00 p.m.|
|Campfire/evening meeting||8:00 p.m.|
|Cabin recap||9:00 p.m.|
|Lights out||9:30 p.m.|
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, camp T-shirt, memory book and memory video link. Not included in tuition are transportation costs, spending money and sweatshirts.
YSSC strongly urges campers to secure Cancellation Insurance for tuition reimbursement should they be unable to attend their session for any reason. Cancellation Insurance is provided by MH Ross/ Tripmate and is only available at the end of the online camper application process.
YSSC’s staff is comprised of collegiates, graduate students and professionals who 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 1-3 weeks of training in a variety of child development topics. All staff members are CPR certified, and some have additional certifications (Wilderness First Responder, lifeguard certification, etc.) depending on their role.
At YSSC, 70-75 staff members serve 120-130 campers each session for a staff/camper ratio of 1:2. In cabin groups, YSSC maintains a ratio of one cabin counselor for every 6-7 campers.
YSSC’s beautiful mountain setting is an ideal environment in which campers can see God’s handiwork, creativity and power in vivid ways. Additionally, through Bible study, guest speakers and “teachable moments,” we delight in helping children understand more fully God’s love for them and the value of Jesus Christ’s guidance in their lives. In the daily flow of life at camp, fun and faithful staff members model God’s truths and tools for Christian living. Camp families remark that YSSC is a place where campers discover a faith of their own, feel comfortable asking hard questions and are amazed by the wonder of God’s creation.
YSSC’s approach is gentle and non-denominational, focusing on the basics of the Christian faith:
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.
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 a way as to encourage new friendships in cabin groups.
We begin a wait list. To assure a balanced program each session, there are a limited number of spaces for both boys and girls, and for each age group. 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, please call the Registrar at 800-775-9772.
The most popular mode of transportation is our Charter Buses staffed by YSSC staff and available from Orange County, Pasadena, and Valencia. Campers needing to fly to camp can arrive at Fresno International Airport (FAT) and will be met by camp staff and transported by shuttle 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.
Yes, we do offer a complimentary weekend program for campers who are staying for consecutive two-week sessions. They will enjoy activities, as well as rest, before the new session begins.
Once your camper is enrolled in session, you will receive a confirmation email from our Registrar. Starting in early Spring, we will email you instructions for the following online forms to be completed:
In addition, we will email you a Family Handbook with general information and a What To Bring List. Reminder emails will be sent closer to your session regarding payments, missing forms and how to better prepare your child for camp.
Campers’ laundry is done halfway 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 emailed to you in your Family Handbook. Please label all items brought to camp with your child’s name. We strongly recommend having your child help label and pack camp gear in order to develop familiarity and ownership of his/her personal belongs.
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 Technology Policy 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, friends and adventure offered by YSSC. Campers develop friendships that are not dependent on social media and gaming. They grow to better understand the expressions and feelings of others. Campers remark that they notice more about their surroundings, are more creative and feel relieved of the constant pressure/stress they feel from Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Gadgets to be left at home include cell phones, tablets, laptops, mp3 players, electronic games and tech toys. Please note that cell phones may not be used as cameras by campers. E-readers without internet connectivity are permitted, however.
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 cards, letters and emails from family and friends throughout the session. “Camp Stamp” emails can be purchased through you Parent Account. 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.
We do not allow campers to receive care packages while at camp. Camp is already full of so many good things, fun friends and engaging activities that care packages often get overlooked by campers. Additionally, receipt of care package can result in jealousy and anxiety among cabin mates. However, campers still very much enjoy letters, cards and emails (through your Parent Account) from friends and family.
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, experiences success and develops stronger muscles of resilience and independence for the future.
Clear expectations and guidelines, positive reinforcement, wholesome 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, unwholesome, 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 and counselor/head counselor will discuss the inappropriate behavior and logical, relevant consequences may be enforced. 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]
Nutritious, kid-friendly food is served family style 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 favorites include sandwiches, burritos, and salad bars. Dinners often follow a theme: western barbecue on the meadow, Italian night 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.
Campers’ health is a high priority for us at YSSC. We try our best to accommodate basic food allergies and other dietary needs including vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy and lactose-free. In addition, YSSC is a nut-free program. Due to the size of our program and the growing number of special dietary considerations, however, we may not be able to meet all specialized diets. We request that campers with special dietary needs parents/guardians 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.
Our infirmary, “Club Med,” is staffed by a registered nurse, infirmary manager and assistant. Typically, our Club Med staff distributes camper and staff staff 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our infirmary, “Club Med,” is staffed by a registered nurse, infirmary manager and assistant. If your child requires medical care beyond simple first aid or stays overnight in the infirmary, the camp nursing staff will call advise you. This includes campers with fevers over 100º, flu-like symptoms, or recurring headaches and stomach aches.
Yes, please come see us before your child attends. Do call 800-775-9772 or email email@example.com ahead of time so we can be expecting you. Or you can schedule a visit on the Contact Us page of the website. Tours of YSSC are available from June 10 through August 15 each summer.
Yes, YSSC is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA is a national, non-profit organization that supports and promotes standards of excellence 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 child for camp.
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 best practices education and a variety of resources.
We encourage that. Please call 800-775-9772 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request references.