Every year, we hear from kids and their parents that camp is an amazing and exciting place that they look forward to 11 months out of the year. The presence of children and families at camp contributes immensely to the village feeling of our workshops, and we believe children in our community provide hope for the future. Keeping camp an inclusive and safe place for kids is a top priority for the EEFC, and for that to work we need dynamic participation, oversight, and support from parents and guardians.
Both East and West Coast camps take place in big outdoor spaces with water, woods, and wilderness. Regardless of whether your children are in class or on their own they are your responsibility, and we want them to be safe while having a blast. At camp they are still your kids!
To help make the week successful, parents, guardians, and kids meet on the first full day of camp to get to know each other and review the ground rules. This meeting is a great time to find the parents of other kids your child's age, and even work out mutual childcare arrangements that will enhance your own camp experience.
There will be up to four sessions daily exclusively for children. Unless your child requires constant parental oversight, in most cases that means that you (parent or guardian) may deliver your charge at the start of the session and meet them at the end.
There are almost always activities organized by parents and other adults that kids can take part in at each workshop, and kids are part of the evening dance party scene and the kafana. In short, there’s always lots to do for everyone.
We want everyone at camp to be safe, including our kids. When your children aren’t in a camp class session you are responsible for them—whether you are with them or have coordinated a childcare arrangement. If your child is found in a dangerous situation, unsupervised, we will let the parent or guardian know.
You need to know that if a child is allowed to remain unsupervised in a dangerous situation after his or her parent or guardian has been warned by the Site Manager, the Site Manager has the authority at his or her discretion to ask the family to leave the camp. We don’t ever want to have to invoke this authority, so please, if in doubt, do reach out before camp to the Mendocino or Iroquois Springs Parent Liaison (see links below), who can answer your questions and connect you with other parents and guardians who are bringing kids to camp. After you get to camp, the parent/kid meeting on Sunday will provide you with more information, and give you a chance to ask any other questions you may have.
For all children who are 12–17 who wish to come to camp without a parent, their guardian must fall within one of these categories:
For all children under 12 who wish to attend camp without their parents, their guardian must fall within one of these categories:
These guidelines are based on our experiences with children attending camp without their parents, and the tensions that can (very naturally) arise. We don’t want to put guardians in difficult positions. If his or her charge starts to show some bad decision making, or inappropriate behavior, we want the guardian to feel completely comfortable laying down the law, reiterating the consequences of misbehavior, and being 100% supportive of any decision the Site Manager or other EEFC administrator makes regarding disciplinary action, which could include asking the child and guardian to leave. These kinds of situations can put siblings or cousins who are acting as a guardian in a difficult position, and that’s why we ask that he or she be at least 22. In fact, this policy is the same for parents—if a child needs to leave camp as a result of his or her behavior, his or her family must also leave. Our guardian permission form and agreement must be evaluated and agreed to by the Parent Liaison and/or the Site Manager before the minor’s registration can be confirmed.
The EEFC Board Parent Liaison is your point of contact before camp if you have questions about these guidelines, or want more information about how to make your child’s experience at the workshop a positive one. Contact links:
We MUST have Parent/Guardian Agreement forms on file for every minor (child under the age of 18) who attends our workshops. There are no exceptions. These forms must be submitted to our office 4 weeks before the beginning of camp.
Complete the Parent/Guardian Agreement Form online or download the form and mail it to the address below.
If your child is attending the workshop with a temporary guardian you must submit this form to the EEFC. Download the Temporary Guardian form, complete and return by mail it to the address below.
If you have any questions or problems with these forms, please contact us.
P.O. Box 12488
Berkeley, CA 94712-3488
What are the rules?
Your children will be appropriately supervised when they are in scheduled children’s classes or activities (though parents, especially of younger children, often enjoy helping out). At all other times, children are the responsibility of their parents or guardians. Our workshops are great experiences for kids, but they are not set up like a traditional children's camp. There are no counselors, there is no curfew, teachers expect that kids who attend adult classes can learn in an adult setting, and the majority of our participants are adults. That means that parents carry some significant responsibilities for their kids, including knowing where their children are at all times, having them sleep in your cabin every night, and making sure that their kids are making good decisions about where they are and what they’re doing when they are not in class. Check out the previous tabs for more information about the workshops, and the guidelines and responsibilities of kids and parents at the workshops.
Can kids attend the adult classes on their own?
If you think your child can attend a class without an adult, please talk to the teacher in advance, and check in with him or her periodically to see how your kid is doing. Depending on your children's personality and the class structure, they may need you to be there with them during class time—the teacher will make that decision.
Is babysitting available?
Yes and no. The camp staff does not include babysitters, but parents generally help one another out by sharing childcare duties throughout the week. Teenaged campers are often available for hire as babysitters, and some families plan in advance to sponsor a teen's attendance at a workshop in exchange for babysitting. If you want to plan for a babysitter in advance, it's helpful to use the EEFC listserv.
Kids: My minor child wants to come, but I can’t come myself.
Minors can attend workshops without their parent(s) if they have a designated guardian who meets our guidelines, and who will be present at the workshop for the entire time that the minor will be there. Note that any guardian or parent attending camp must register and pay tuition in the normal fashion. See the previous tab for more information about parent/guardian guidelines.