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Youth Camps FAQs

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How do I know if I qualify for the Stanford Affiliate Discount?

The following qualify for the Stanford Affiliate Discount:

  • University Exempt/Non-Exempt Employee
  • University Faculty
  • University Temporary/ Casual Employee
  • University Retiree
  • University Family Member
  • University Post Doc
  • University Student- Undergraduate/ Graduate
  • University Alumni
  • Stanford Health Care Employee
  • Stanford Children’s Health Employee

During registration please select your proper affiliation in order to verify the discounted rate. 

What COVID-19 precautions will be taken? 

Stanford University will no longer require a COVID-19 Vaccination to attend Camp, however, the University strongly recommends vaccination and bi-valent boosters for all summer participants. 

If a camper begins to show symptoms during camp a COVID test will be administered to the camper. If the results are positive the camper must be picked up immediately and can not return to camp until a negative test can be provided. 

Where will my child be located during camp?

A majority of our day will be spent at Arrillaga Outdoor Education Recreation Center (AOERC) or on Roble Field. We will also explore Stanford’s campus throughout the week. 

How do I register for Camps? 

Follow the link on our most current Camp page here. When space is full, please sign up your camper for the waitlist and we will reach out to you if a spot opens up. Campers will be placed on a waitlist in the order registrations were received. 

How do I pay for Camp? Can I cancel my registration? 

Full payment for all programs as well as extended care and any additional financial options is due upon enrollment. $100 per week is considered a non-refundable deposit. 

Changes to and/or withdrawals from camp sessions, including extended care, are subject to a $15 administrative fee. 

The final day to get a refund for all Summer camps (minus the non-refundable deposit) is Friday, May 31st, 2024. There will be no refunds after this date for summer. All cancellations must be received in writing by 6:00 PM on May 31st. Please email us at Please allow up to three weeks for refunds to be processed. 

If a camper is not behaving in accordance with camp safety, policies and expectations, the camper may be dismissed from the remainder of the sessions(s) without refund. 

Absences & Short-Term Illness 

Refunds are not available for vacations, special events, short-term illnesses of two or fewer days or other personal commitments that prevent attendance. 

Extended Illness 

A partial refund may be available for COVID-related or extended illness of three or more consecutive program days. Documentation (a doctor’s note, test results, etc) and written note from the parent or guardian explaining the situation must be received within eight working days from the first day of absence. Upon review, participants may attend camp a different week or receive a refund minus a $15 processing fee. 

Where can I find my receipt?

To view a past receipt, select Orders in the top-right corner of the screen on the Camp Cardinal Registration Website: 

Once clicked, you can find your order history by entering your email address, phone number, or order confirmation number.

Through two-factor authentication, you will receive a notification to your selected communication preference (email or cell phone), and will reach the order history screen. 

Click View Order Details, and you can view your past order confirmation screen which doubles as an order receipt!

What are the different age groups and what is the ratio of campers to counselors? 

Campers need to be registered for the correct age group, campers turning 5 years of age on or before September 1, 2024 may register for Camp Cardinal. 

5-6 Years Old (entering Kindergarten-1st Grade): 10 campers to 2 counselors 

7-9 Years Old (entering 2nd Grade - 4th Grade): 12 campers to 2 counselors 

10-12 Years Old (entering 5th - 7th Grade) : 15 campers to 2 counselors 

13-15 Years Old (entering 8th Grade - 10th Grade - Counselor in Training Camp): 20 campers to 2 counselors 

If my child’s age group is full can I register for a different age group? 

Unfortunately, no. Campers need to be registered for the correct age group for safety and ratio reasons. If your child’s age group is full you will need to add your child to the waitlist for that age group. We will contact you if a spot becomes available. Campers registered to the wrong age group will be dropped without a refund. 

Can you group my child with their friend? 

Yes, usually, if they are the same age group. A week before your registered week of camp you will receive a Friend/Sibling Request Form to fill out. All requests for friends to be in the same group must be submitted before the noted deadline on the request form. We will accommodate you as best as we can. No changes to groups will be made on the first day of camp.  

We may choose to separate a group of friends for personnel or behavioral reasons, we will always communicate with parents prior to any changes made to a group. 

My child does not know how to swim, can they still go to the pool? 

Campers who do not pass the swim test or choose not to take the swim test are required to wear a life vest (provided by Avery Recreation Pool Lifeguards) and must wear the vest the entire time on the pool deck. The swim test is given by the Lifeguards and requires campers to swim from one side of the pool to the other without stopping, once completed campers must then tread water for 60 seconds.

*Counselors do not give swim lessons to campers during Camp Cardinal. 

**Please note due to lifeguard staffing and for safety reasons only 25 campers will be allowed to be in the pool each day, all campers will have the opportunity to swim at least twice throughout the week. 

I am only available for one day of Camp. Can I pay for just one day at a time? 

When we allow a camper to enroll for one day of camp, we’re taking away a spot from a camper that may have come for the whole week. Because of this, staffing requirements, and other factors, we do not prorate our Camp weeks

Other things to note: 

  • There will be no reduction or refund of fees for camp programs because of absence, illness, suspension/expulsion, or withdrawal due to changes in family circumstances during camp sessions. 
  • No partial enrollment or proration is available 
  • Please allow up to 3 weeks for refunds to be processed 

Does my child need to speak English to attend camp? 

We strongly recommend they know the basics. Campers should be able to communicate basic needs as well as understand instructions/rules given by counselors and lifeguards. 

Is lunch provided for my camper? 

No, campers must bring their own lunch with them to camp each day. Please note we will not have access to refrigerators or microwaves. We also ask that due to a variety of allergies campers do not share food with other campers.  


Unless otherwise specified in writing, the undersigned gives permission for photos and video to be taken for future brochures or published anonymously on the Stanford Recreation website or other online sites without compensation. 

Late Pick Up 

If your child is not picked up at the pick-up time, a late fee will be assessed.

1-15 minutes… $25

16-25 minutes… $35

26-35 minutes… $45 

Campers that are continually picked up late may be withdrawn from the camp program. Extended care is available for childcare after 4:00 PM. Space is limited. 

Can my camper arrive late or leave early for a doctor’s or other appointments? 

If you need to schedule an appointment for your camper, we recommend doing so early or late in the day for easier drop-off and pick-up. If you have to miss anything, please let us know as soon as possible by email: Let your camper’s counselor know about the appointment at check-in the day before the appointment so they can give you the location of the camper’s group at your expected arrival or departure time or contact information to reach them. 

When will I receive a packet with all the relevant information about Camp? 

You will receive a parent packet via the email you use during registration a week prior to the start of your camp week. 

Can my child bring a phone or other portable electronic devices? 

We strongly discourage campers from bringing electronic games, music players, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Not only are they vulnerable to being taken, forgotten, and broken they discourage personal interaction and participation. Campers that bring electronic devices and accessories do so at their own risk. If campers do bring these items, counselors will ask that they keep these devices in their bags and out of sight throughout the camp day. We want campers to interact with each other and the counselors while being active for the best camp experience possible! 

What should my child bring to camp? 

Please label everything so we can more easily return it to you if it is left behind: 

  • A bag or backpack 
  • SUNBLOCK! Please apply sunblock in the morning before drop off and we will remind campers to reapply throughout the day. 
  • Hat 
  • Reusable Water Bottle! We will have regular breaks to fill water bottles, especially on hot days. 
  • Lunch every day! We recommend that plenty of snacks are also packed 
  • Optional: swim suit, goggles, sandals, and towel 
  • Book, comic book, coloring book or other item for down time after lunch (please no cell phones or electronic games - we don’t want them to be lost or taken!)