Camper/Family Handbook

Handbook updated March 30, 2024

✨ General Information

Welcome to the camper/family handbook! Please read through this and reach out to us if you have any questions prior to camp. Anything major changes to the handbook from last year are outlined in orange and labeled “New in 2024”.

Who are we?

Welcome to UCLA UniCamp! UniCamp began in 1927 as a Depression-era canned food drive for children in the Sawtelle neighborhood of Los Angeles, run by UCLA student volunteers. By the summer of 1935, we transformed into a summer camp experience under the umbrella of the University Religious Conference at UCLA. In the nearly 90 years since our first summer, a lot has changed: we changed campsites multiple times, we weathered various world events (including World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic), we became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and we evolved and improved our programs. Even through all of that, our core mission has remained the same: to give campers an amazing, fun, and beneficial summer camp experience.

We’re excited to have your camper at UniCamp this summer as they create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Please read this handbook to familiarize yourself with our policies and reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns prior to camp.

Contact Info & Communication

(Our office is not regularly staffed, so please do not visit it without prior arrangements with us.)

We will communicate with you primarily through email using the email address you used to register your camper. For time-sensitive updates (especially while your camper is at UniCamp), we will call or text you. Please make sure the contact information you provide on your registration forms is accurate.

Mission Statement

UCLA UniCamp creates a fun camp environment where children from underserved communities and student volunteers alike contribute to the betterment of their community. Through personal growth, relationship building, and life-long leadership development, participants explore who they are and who they might want to be as they leave their footprint on the world.

UniCamp Inclusion Statement

At its core, UCLA UniCamp is about creating community and learning from others. These goals can only be accomplished when all participants — campers, volunteers, and staff — respect the rights and dignity of each other and the larger community. Participants, particularly staff and volunteers, are expected to act swiftly, empathically, and proactively to create an environment that celebrates what makes each person unique.

UCLA UniCamp expects all participants to adhere to the UCLA Principles of Community and the True Bruin Values.


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.


UniCamp is designed to be an influential aspect of every camper’s development. After each session, our goal is that campers have:

  • improved resiliency and perseverance
  • improved leadership and teamwork skills
  • more knowledge about their natural environment
  • a desire to serve their own communities
  • increased understanding of who they are and their identities
  • developed skills to leading a physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy life


We value your privacy and we will not share your or your camper’s information with other parties unnecessarily. This means that we cannot provide you with the names or contact information of other campers, volunteers, or staff, but we are happy to pass along your contact info to them upon request.

We may be required to share information on an as-needed basis with third parties including but not limited to:

  • Community partner organizations: if you register through a community organization (e.g. UCLA Community Schools or The Village Nation), they will have access to all of your camper’s information
  • Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS): if you request a campership, your information will be verified through DCFS
  • USDA Summer Food Service Program: information on your income eligibility form may be required to be shared as part of our participation in the federal free/reduced lunch program

Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect

UniCamp staff and volunteers are mandated reporters, so they are required to report any suspected child abuse or neglect that they become aware of as part of their role. See the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act for more information. Reports may be made to law enforcement or the local child welfare agency and you may not be notified if/when a report is made.

🌄 Campsite

UniCamp’s traditional campsite, Camp River Glen, was damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary in August 2023, so the 2024 season will be held nearby at Camp Pine Mountain. The campsite is located in the Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino National Forest, about a 2-3 hour drive away from Los Angeles. Click here to see the location on a map. The campsite features:

  • 6 enclosed cabins with bunk beds
  • Separate girls and boys bath houses (with individual stalls for toilets and showers)
  • Archery range
  • Lodge and kitchen where meals are served
  • Amphitheater and campfire
  • Pool (8-feet deep at the deepest point)
  • Driving distance to our 55-foot-tall Alpine climbing tower
  • Hiking distance to go canoeing at Jenks Lake
  • … and much more!

Visitors are NOT allowed at camp, so please do not go to camp without contacting us first. Mountain road conditions can change quickly, so we will provide you up-to-date directions if you need to come to camp.

UniCamp has been held at our campsite, Camp River Glen, since 2000. Camp River Glen is located in the Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino National Forest. Click here to see the location in Google Maps. Our campsite is adjacent to the Santa Ana River and includes:

  • Open-air cabins with 12 bunks, sink, bathroom, and shower
  • Archery range
  • 55-foot-tall Alpine climbing tower
  • Lodge and kitchen where meals are served
  • Pool (4.5-feet deep at the deepest point)
  • Campfire area
  • … and much more!

Visitors are NOT allowed at camp, so please do not go to camp without contacting us first. We are a few miles down a dirt road and mountain road conditions can change quickly, so we will provide you up-to-date directions if you need to come to camp.

🦸 Staff & Volunteers

UniCamp is operated by four year-round staff, about 20 seasonal staff, and around 300 volunteers.

Professional Staff

Up-the-mountain staff:

Jason “Mr. Woooo” Liou is the Executive Director. From volunteering during his time at UCLA to now leading the staff team through many seasons of camp, Mr. Woooo makes sure that camp is in tip-top shape for all our volunteers and campers to enjoy.

Byron “Blitzen” Lutz is the Camp Director. Starting as a volunteer in the summer of 2011, Blitzen plays a key role in the day-to-day operations at UniCamp, supporting campers and volunteers. (If you ever call us, the phone tree is in Blitzen’s voice!)

Down-the-mountain staff:

Megan “Lilo” Le is the Director of External Relations. She makes sure UniCamp has a solid digital presence and creates strong relationships with our campers’ families. Like the rest of staff, she volunteered for UniCamp for all her undergraduate years (and some post-grad years) at UCLA. She’s probably who you will talk to if you contact us!

Martin “Sky” Mai is the Development Director (also known as “Sky the Finance Guy”). He started with UniCamp as a camper in 2005 and spent a few years with our UniCorps and WALL programs, returned to UniCamp as a volunteer, and still remains a part of UniCamp as staff. His role focuses on business operations and fundraising.


The majority of the time, your camper will interact with and be supervised by volunteers in their roles as counselors, specialists, session leaders, and more. There is a different set of volunteers for each week of camp, so even if your camper attends multiple sessions, they’ll meet new people and have different activities. Our volunteers are UCLA students, alumni, or former campers. (We recruit volunteers every year around January, so after your camper graduates from high school and is at least 18 years old, they can reach out to us for details about volunteering!)

Though our volunteers are very passionate and many are pursuing careers in education or social work, they are not experienced child care professionals.


We aim to have a maximum ratio of 1 adult to 4 campers at camp. There may be circumstances, like when the campers are sleeping, that have a lower ratio.

At UniCamp, we follow the Rule of 3: this means every camper is required to always be in a group of at least 3 people, one of whom is a supervising adult. Campers are told about this rule on their first day at camp, but you may want to tell your camper beforehand so they know what to expect.

Screening & Training

UniCamp follows industry standards for staff/volunteer screening, including requiring every supervising adult at camp to go through a Live Scan fingerprint-based background check. They are also required to submit an annual “Voluntary Disclosure” form where they must report any relevant crimes, even if not reported on the background check.

Volunteers are not required to have experience, but they go through an extensive training process that covers topics like leadership, working with kids, developing/running camp activities, policies/procedures, child abuse prevention/identification/reporting, and more. Even though volunteers have an initial interview, the training process is also a “continuous interview process” to ensure that they are a good fit to work with your camper.

☎️ Contacting your camper

Cell phones are not allowed at camp: if a camper brings their cell phone to camp, it will be confiscated and stored securely during the week. This is for a few reasons:

  • Camp programming is focused on building face-to-face relationships
  • We want to encourage campers to be fully present in and appreciate the nature at camp
  • Cell phones are expensive and fragile, so we want to avoid the potential for damage to your camper’s phone
  • Campers generally don’t have access to electricity to charge devices

Electronics are returned on the last day, prior to boarding the bus to return home and campers are free to use their phone on the bus ride.

Calls home are generally not allowed while campers are at camp: campers won’t be able to call home and you will not be connected to your camper if you call us. This is for a few reasons:

  1. Calls home can cause homesickness or make it worse
  2. One of the outcomes of camp is helping campers practice independence
  3. We do not have enough phone lines to facilitate all campers calling home

Though we don’t allow real-time communication, you can still get in touch with your camper by sending us a note over email ( or text message (310-208-8252). Your note will be printed out and given to your camper and you’ll receive their response if they write back. You can also call/text/email us to check in on your camper, but expect to hear back in a day or two to give time for us to check in with your child’s counselor.

Because most sessions are just a week long, don’t expect updates from us while your child is at camp. If there is an emergency, if we have questions about your camper, or if we need to reach you for any reason, we will contact you using the contact details you provided on your registration forms.

📸 Photos

UniCamp does not normally send home photos of camp, but you are welcome to send your camper with a camera (that is not a cell phone or tablet). You can also ask their counselor when you pick up your camper to send you photos if they took any. Please be mindful of the privacy of other campers by avoiding posting/publishing photos of others without their permission.

🏕️ Cabins

All cabins at UniCamp are enclosed buildings with between 10 and 30 bunk beds (including a mattress pad) with lights and a limited number of power outlets. Most cabins do not have a bathroom. There are separate boys and girls bathhouses with toilets, sinks, and showers. (All showers at camp are in a stall: there are no communal showers.)

Campers will be sorted into a “unit” with other campers of their same gender and approximately the same age. There are typically 5-10 campers per unit and always at least 2 counselors. There may sometimes be multiple units in the same physical cabin.

Most camper cabins at UniCamp are open-air (no doors or windows) and include a sink, toilet, and shower. All showers at camp are either in a dedicated room or a stall: there are no communal showers. There are 12 bunks per cabin, each with its own mattress pad. Cabins do not have electricity or hot water, so it’s important to bring a flashlight!

If you would like to request that your camper is in a unit with others, make the request in writing (over email or text message) at least one week prior to the start of your camp session. To make sure the request is mutual, a parent/guardian from each camper must also agree in writing. Feel free to send a group email/text to make the process easier.

Gender is self-reported on the camper’s registration forms and by the camper themself at camp. UniCamp works with various schools, so our policy in regards to transgender or gender-nonconforming campers is aligned with the California Department of Education’s policies. Specifically:

  • Campers are placed into a boys or girls cabin according to their self-expressed identity, even if it is different from what is on their registration forms (if bunks are available)
  • Campers are given access to the boys or girls restroom according to their self-expressed identity. (Most restrooms, and all changing areas, at camp are single-stall and gender-neutral.)
  • Nonbinary or gender-nonconforming campers may be placed into a boys or girls cabin
  • Campers cannot change cabins during the week
  • If a camper expresses that their gender is different from their sex assigned at birth, this may not be communicated with you
  • UniCamp personnel will refer to campers using the name and pronouns they request
  • Requests to avoid being in the same cabin as a transgender camper will not be accepted
  • For privacy, a camper’s transgender status will not be disclosed to you or other campers (though they may share it if they choose)

The above policies apply similarly to UniCamp staff/volunteers.

📝 Registration

If you are registering through a school or another community organization, camper registration policies may be different.

Camper registration is first-come, first-served and spots are not reserved until the full application, including payment, is received.

Campers cannot attend back-to-back sessions that start/end on the same day. Because our experience is only designed for one week, campers are often exhausted at the end of the week. If they want to attend multiple sessions in the summer, they should go home to rest, do laundry, and refill supplies before coming back.

Refund/transfer policy

When you complete your registration, we reserve your spot at camp so our refund policy balances flexibility with trying to make sure we don’t have any unused spots. To request a refund or transfer, email us at

>30 days before session start2-30 days before session startWithin 48 hours of session start
No-cost cancellation grace periodWithin 48 hours of registrationWithin 48 hours of registration*Within 2 hours of registration
Cancellations$25 feeNo refundNo refund
Transfer to a different sessionNo cost$25 feeNot available

* any remaining grace period time is shortened to 2 hours at the 48-hour mark before each session. So if you register 72 hours before the session, you’ll have a 26 hour grace period.

Not showing up or canceling on the day of camp both prevent other campers from coming to camp. These may affect your ability to participate in the future and a refund will not be given.

Transfers between programs on the same dates (e.g. UniCorps to CLIMB) can be done at any time if space is available. In some limited circumstances, campers may be given the option to change programs at check-in or on the first day of camp.

Camper information

Please make sure all your camper’s information is current, accurate, and complete. The information you submit during the camper registration process is all the information we have about your camper, so be sure to include anything that may be important, even if it’s not asked. Leaving out important information (e.g. allergies, disabilities, etc.) may mean we can’t safely care for your camper!

If your camper needs any accommodations or if you would like to talk about the specifics of caring for your child, please contact us prior to camp so we can make sure we’re prepared and the information is passed along to your child’s counselors. UniCamp staff may also contact you to ask for clarification.

We do our best to accommodate all campers, but in some circumstances, we may determine that your camper is not a good fit for UniCamp. In that case, we will do our best to refer you to other camps that specialize in supporting your camper.

If you need to update your camper’s information, contact us ( or 310-208-8252) with the details so we can update the information in our system.

🛶 What happens at camp?

Campers will stay with their cabin group (“unit”) for most of their time at camp, directly supervised by their counselors. There are some all-camp activities and opportunities for multiple units to interact.


The schedule of camp can change each day, but the general structure for classic camp is:

6am: Optional morning activity (e.g. morning hike, polar bear swim, etc.)
7am: Wake up
8am: Breakfast
9am: Activities (listed below; often done for about 1 hour each together with the camper’s unit)
12pm: Lunch
1pm: Activities
3:30pm: Snack
4pm: Activities
6pm: Dinner
8pm: Night activity
10pm: Lights out

After each meal, campers participate in duties (e.g. doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, picking up trash, etc.) to help keep the campsite clean and to create a sense of shared responsibility.


Activities at camp vary day-by-day and session-by-session, but here are some activities that commonly occur at camp:

  • Archery
  • Alpine climbing tower
  • Mountain biking
  • Arts & crafts
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Dance
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Science
  • Nature
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Team Building games
  • Drama
  • Recreation (volleyball, games/competitions, etc.)

Activities at night include:

  • Campfire (with songs and skits)
  • Night hike
  • Trivia
  • Dance
  • Talent show


There are a lot of camp traditions that your camper will learn throughout their session including:

  • Camp names: everyone at camp has a “camp name” that they go by instead of their real name. This can be anything that the camper chooses as long as it’s appropriate. Some popular choices include nicknames, movie/book characters, foods, and common objects. Camp names help create an environment where campers can explore their identity in a fun way!
  • Songs: like most camps, we have a lot of camp songs. When your camper gets home, ask them about their favorite camp song!
  • Woodsey Bling: we do a lot of arts & crafts at camp, but one of the most popular is making yarn necklaces. Campers are encouraged to make Woodsey Bling to give away to other people.

💙 Behavior management

Campers are expected to follow all camp rules and to behave respectfully towards everyone else. Each unit creates a list of community agreements (with consequences) at the start of the session to make sure everyone has a voice in the behavior expectations.

If a camper does not meet our behavior expectations, our goal is to both (a) help the campers meet the behavior expectations in the future and (b) address any ways they may have harmed others. Depending on the specific circumstances, any of these techniques may be used:

  • Conversations with their peers, their counselors, their community partner, or camp leadership
  • Direct consequences including sitting out of activities, going last for meals, etc.
  • Calling home to let you know about the behavior
  • Written behavior agreement signed by the camper
  • Sending the camper home

Though we try to resolve conflict and support every camper’s unique needs, there are some circumstances where we need to send campers home. If a camper is sent home early, you will be required to pick them up from our campsite in the San Bernardino National Forest, about a 2-3 hour drive from Los Angeles. If you will be out of town while your child is at camp, make sure to have a back-up plan for someone to pick them up if needed.

Drugs, alcohol, and weapons

Drugs (other than prescriptions), alcohol, and weapons are not allowed at camp. Campers are given the opportunity to turn them in with minimal consequences during the first 24 hours of camp. If found after this, there may be more severe consequences including sending the camper home.

If drugs, alcohol, or weapons are found, they will be confiscated and you will be contacted. Most items that are not an immediate danger (e.g. marijuana, vapes, knives, etc.) will be stored securely during the session and will be returned in the same way as camper medications so that campers don’t have access to them.

Searching camper belongings

Though we try to avoid it, there are some rare circumstances where it’s in the best interest of the camp community to search a camper’s belongings. If this happens, the camper will be notified and, if possible, given the opportunity to observe.

🚨 Emergencies

Environmental conditions in the mountains can often be unpredictable, but UniCamp has plans for most conceivable emergencies including fires, floods, animals, active threats, and more. Campers participate in an emergency evacuation drill at the start of every session. Our emergency plans are dynamic, so contact us if you would like more information. Some emergencies require campers to be sent home early or to stay at camp longer than planned. UniCamp may cancel or end a session early at its own discretion, even if an evacuation is not ordered.

During an emergency, we will primarily communicate over email as often as possible. Because cell phones are not allowed at camp, you will not be able to contact your camper directly.

Note that there are often environmental disasters that may occur near Big Bear or in San Bernardino County but because of how large the forest and county are, are not anywhere near UniCamp.


Camp is in the forest, so we are visitors in the home of plenty of plants and animals. The vast majority of animals are scared of humans, so encounters with wildlife are rare. However, we are still very cautious to avoid animal encounters with policies like keeping food and scented items out of the cabins. All UniCamp staff and volunteers are trained about how to safely deal with animal encounters. When possible, we encourage campers to observe low-risk animals (e.g. deer, birds, non-venomous snakes, etc.) from a safe distance to learn about the forest. Animals that are a higher risk (e.g. bears, rattlesnakes, etc.) are scared away or removed from the site by UniCamp staff.

🚌 Check-in/Check-out

The details for most sessions are:

Location: Westwood Recreation Center (1350 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025)

Check-in time: First day of camp at about 9am

Check-out time: Last day of camp at about 4:30pm

The exact details will be confirmed with you prior to camp. Some programs that are partnered with community organizations (e.g. UCLA Community Schools) will have different check-in/out details.

If you would like to drop off or pick up your camper directly from our campsite, please contact us. Campers must arrive at camp by 6pm on the first day of camp.

Lunch is not served on the first day of camp: campers are required to bring their own lunch to eat on the bus ride.


At camper check-in, you’ll go through a few steps including:

  • Checking that all forms are completed
  • Health screening
  • Medication check-in
  • Luggage labeling/loading

After completing the check-in process with your camper, UniCamp can begin supervising your camper so you can leave. The buses will not be held for late arrivals, so please show up on time.


The check-out time can vary depending on traffic, so plan to be flexible. When the buses arrive, all campers will stay on the bus until they’re checked out by their adult. Campers will only be released to adult contacts listed on their registration forms. Please be ready to show ID when picking up your camper. If you would like to add or remove someone from your camper’s authorized pick-up list, please contact us.

Please arrive on time to pick up your camper: UniCamp is not able to maintain supervision of your camper past the check-out period. In extreme circumstances, campers may be given to local social services or law enforcement if they are not picked up.

Health screening

The health screening at camper check-in is designed to make sure all campers are healthy enough to attend camp and do not have any diseases that might spread to other campers. The health screening involves asking a series of questions, visually inspecting the camper for signs of illness, doing a lice check, and doing a temperature check. If your camper does not pass the health screening, you can move your registration to a later session or defer to the next year at no cost.

Campers will not be allowed to attend if they have…

  • A fever: temperature of 100.4ºF or above without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Head lice: we share helmets and other equipment at camp, so campers who currently have lice cannot attend.
  • Flu, COVID-19, strep throat, or other respiratory illness: campers should be feeling well for at least 24 hours before camp.
  • Signs of other infectious diseases: including unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, rashes/lesions, eye secretions, etc.

Lost & found

Lost & found is available to look through at check-out and will be saved for one week before it is thrown away or donated. Contact us as soon as you know something is missing so we can start to look for it. Label individual items with your camper’s name to increase the likelihood we’ll be able to get it back to you if lost.

🧳 Packing

What to bring

This is a packing list for an 8-day/7-night session. You may want to adjust the quantities slightly depending on your session length. The temperature at camp can range from 40ºF at night to over 90ºF during the day.


  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 3-4 pairs of durable pants
  • 3-4 pairs of shorts
  • 7 t-shirts
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 sweatshirts/sweaters
  • 1 swimsuit (that covers the camper’s top and bottom)
  • 1 pair CLOSED TOE shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

Other supplies

  • Lunch (to eat on the way to camp on the first day)
  • 2 towels
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Cheap/disposable camera (optional)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Pillow
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Medications in original packaging


  • Unscented soap
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Comb, brush, or other hair care
  • Unscented shampoo
  • Unscented deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Lip balm

Please limit yourself to 2 pieces of luggage per camper and label your bags and anything else that may get lost (e.g. water bottles, flashlights, etc.).

What not to bring

Know what your child is bringing! Any of these items may earn them an early trip home.

  • Food or things that smell like food. Since we are in the forest, we are very careful about not attracting animals. Except for the first day’s sack lunch, any type of food or food-scented items are not allowed. Campers will have a chance to throw away any leftover food once they arrive.
  • Weapons, fireworks, drugs, alcohol, controlled substances, tobacco, smoking/vaping products, matches, lighters, etc. Even if legal, these are not appropriate for our camp environment and some have the potential to cause forest fires.
  • Toys. Small stuffed friends are okay, but there is enough activity going on each day that toys aren’t necessary and can be distracting.
  • Video games, music players, cell phones, and other expensive items. These items take away from the camp experience and may be damaged by the active, outdoor nature of camp. Cell phones will be collected on the first day and stored safely until the end of the session.
  • Markers or marking pens. Any supplies for arts & crafts or journaling activities will be available at camp.
  • Revealing clothing, clothing with profanity, clothing with drug/alcohol references, etc. If a camper is seen wearing anything inappropriate, they will be asked to change. Appropriate dress helps us maintain a positive, encouraging environment at camp.
  • Pets. Please contact us if the camper needs to bring a service animal so we can ensure the safety of the animal and the other campers.

In addition, money is not needed at camp. The cost of camp is all-inclusive, so nothing extra is sold to campers.

Scented items

Scented items, especially those that smell like food, can attract animals, so they are not allowed in the cabins. Food and snacks are provided at regular intervals, so do not bring food except for the first day’s lunch.

Scented items that smell like food (e.g. strawberry scented shampoo) are not allowed: they will be confiscated on the first day and will be returned on the last day of camp. They cannot be used during the session.

Scented items that don’t smell like food (e.g. “fresh”-scented deodorant, shea butter, coconut oil) are allowed, but campers are asked to store them just outside their cabin.

Here are some examples of unscented items that are commonly available. Stores like WalMart, Target, and Dollar Stores often have at least one unscented option. It may even be available in a generic brand or a travel size! Products marketed for “sensitive skin” are often unscented.



Body Wash

  • Dove Deep Moisture body wash (WalMart link)
  • Suave Essentials Deeply Clean body wash (WalMart link)
  • Bar soap (brands like Dove and Dial have unscented options)

🍔 Meals

This is an example menu to show some of the meals we serve at camp. All meals are served with milk and water and are made in our camp kitchen. Meals may change based on the length of the session, ingredient availability, kitchen constraints, and more. Off-site portions of programs (e.g. for WALL and CLIMB) will have different meals.

BreakfastCereal, fruit, cheese stick, and juiceFrench toast, fruit, and juiceCereal, fruit, yogurt, and juiceCinnamon roll, fruit, and juiceCereal, fruit, yogurt, and juiceBreakfast sandwich, fruit, and juiceCereal, fruit, and cheese stick
LunchTurkey wraps, tater tots, fruitChicken patty sandwich, tater tots, fruitGround turkey tacos (with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and beans), and cilantro cornTurkey chili, cheese, cornbread, and fruitPepperoni pizza, salad, and fruitGrilled cheese, tomato soup, fruit, and celery with peanut butterHot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, and fruit
SnackGranola barCheese crackersPopsiclesSoft pretzelsPeanut butter crackersWatermelon(snack is not served on the first/last day of camp)
DinnerPasta with turkey tomato sauce, salad, fruit, and cakeTeriyaki chicken, veggies, rice, fruit, and fortune cookieHamburger with toppings (cheese, lettuce, and tomato), tater tots, and cookie with ice creamBBQ beef ribs, corn, biscuit, and baked applesEnchilada casserole with toppings (lettuce and tomato), rice, beans, and churroItalian baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, dinner roll, and rice krispy treat. (And s’mores before bed!)Turkey lasagna, veggies, fruit, garlic bread, and cookies

It’s important that campers eat full meals at camp so they have enough energy for camp activities. If your camper is on a diet or may undereat for any reason, please let us know prior to camp.

Dietary restrictions

We can accommodate most common dietary restrictions, including common allergies and veganism/vegetarianism, as long as they are listed on your camper’s registration forms. Please contact us if your camper has a very limiting dietary restrictions (e.g. Kosher, Celiac disease, etc.): you may need to send extra food to supplement our menu.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

UniCamp participates in the USDA Summer Food Service Program, an extension of the school lunch program. All our meals meet SFSP requirements for complete, nutritious meals. The income eligibility form is required for everyone as part of our participation in SFSP.

🩺 Health


Medications are stored securely and administered by our medic: campers are not allowed to have direct access to any medication (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and dietary supplements). When you check your camper in on the first day, you will be asked to turn in all medications and confirm dosing instructions. Please bring medications in their original packaging, with the prescriber’s printed instructions. Make sure you send enough medication for the entire camp session plus one extra day: we are not able to count all medications at check-in.

We have the following over-the-counter medications at camp: acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), calamine lotion, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), cough drops, eye drops, antibiotic cream (Neosporin), aloe, laxatives, stool softener, antacids (Tums), hydrocortisone, diphenhydramine cream (Benadryl cream), Midol, cough syrup/medication, dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), and fiber pills/gummies. During the camper registration process, you can allow us to give any of these to your camper or request that we don’t give some/all of them. There’s generally no need to send over-the-counter medications “just in case” if they’re on this list, but you are welcome to if you’d like.

Your camper must be able to take their medication themself. That means that, while UniCamp staff will supervise your camper while they take their medication, …

  • Injections must be dosed and injected by the camper
  • Topical medications and creams must be applied by the camper
  • Patches must be applied by the camper
  • Inhalers, nebulizers, and spacers must be assembled and dosed, and taken by the camper

If your camper needs to take their medication in a certain way (e.g. by listening to a certain song, with a specific juice, etc.), please let us know prior to camp so we can make arrangements for your camper to take their medication comfortably.

If your camper has a prescribed emergency medication (e.g. Epi-Pen, albuterol, rescue inhaler, etc.), you are required to send it. UniCamp does not stock prescription medications and we are at least 45 minutes away from the closest hospital, so it’s important that we have any medication your camper may need at camp. Rescue medications will be held by UniCamp personnel during the week, but campers can carry their own rescue medication with their adult’s permission.

At the end of the session, your camper will be asked to put their medication into their luggage before it goes under the bus. This ensures that campers don’t have unsupervised access to their medication until they’re checked out. When you pick up your camper, please double-check that you have all of your camper’s medications.

Wellness at camp

First aid (including bandages and over-the-counter medications) and medications are administered by the camp medic. The medic has at least a first aid / CPR / AED certification, but they are often an EMT, Wilderness First Responder, or nurse. If your camper has any special medical needs or disabilities, please notify us on your camper’s registration forms and by contacting us directly prior to camp. If you provide us with incomplete camper medical information, we may not be able to care for your camper’s needs.

Medical emergencies

If your camper has a medical emergency, we may call 911, transport your camper to a hospital, or require you to pick up your camper. Please make sure you or another adult is available to pick up your camper if needed. The closest hospitals to Camp River Glen are in Big Bear, Redlands, and Loma Linda. You are responsible for the costs of medical care from hospitals and non-UniCamp providers, so you are strongly urged to have medical insurance.

When we will contact you

The vast majority of health concerns at camp are small and resolve quickly (e.g. bug bites, cuts, splinters, headaches, etc.). We will only contact you for larger or lasting health concerns including:

  • Permanent changes to your child’s body (e.g. losing a tooth)
  • Health concerns that require elevated medical care (e.g. if we call 911 or bring your child to a hospital)
  • New infectious disease (e.g. fever, COVID-19, flu, etc.)
  • Confirmed exposure to an infectious disease (e.g. in the same cabin as someone with COVID-19)
  • Injuries over a large part of your camper’s body (e.g. large or a significant amount of cuts/scrapes)
  • Seizures (even if your camper has epilepsy)
  • Head/neck/spine injury (e.g. concussion)
  • Significant mental health concerns (e.g. suicidal ideation, self-harm, etc.) other than ongoing conditions like ADHD

📵 Preparing campers for camp

Help your child have an amazing week of camp by helping them prepare beforehand using these strategies:

  • Prepare them to be away from their phone/electronics. Consider limiting their hours or access to their phone in the weeks prior to camp so it’s less jarring when they don’t have access to it at camp.
  • Talk to your child about abuse and personal safety. In addition to UniCamp’s abuse prevention strategies (including extensive screening and training), an important step you can take to protect your child from abuse is teaching your child about what abuse is, what appropriate boundaries are, and how to get help. If you haven’t had this conversation with your child yet, we strongly encourage you to do so. Here are some tips from Valley Children’s Healthcare about how to do this. We follow the “Rule of 3” at UniCamp, meaning campers always need to be in a group of at least three people, one of whom is an adult. This means your camper should never be alone with anyone at camp. This rule is shared with campers on their first day, but you may want to discuss it with your child too.
  • Help prevent homesickness. Many campers can experience homesickness even when they’re having a great time at camp. You can help prevent homesickness before camp by (see more tips from the American Camp Association):
    • Talking positively about camp. Get your child excited about camp. It’s normal for adults to be anxious about sending their child to camp, but don’t express these worries/fears or talk negatively about camp to your child.
    • Giving them opportunities to be away from you. If your child has never spent this much time away from home, help them build up to it by giving them opportunities to be away from home for shorter amounts of time. Sleepovers with family or friends are a great option!
    • Don’t make a “pick-up agreement.” It may be tempting to tell your child that if they don’t like it, you can come pick them up. Agreements like this have been shown to increase the likelihood of homesickness, so do not make these agreements. If your child is feeling homesick to the point that they are not enjoying camp for an extended period of time, we will contact you.
    • Don’t promise to contact them every day. Campers aren’t allowed to call home during the week, so don’t promise that you’ll talk to them regularly. You can write a letter or two for us to give to your child, but it’s important that your child practices independence while at camp.