Summer Camps in Northwest DC, Bethesda, MD & Oakton, VA (202) 625-1921

FAQs

Where are your camp locations?
Our camps are located at the premier facilities of St. Albans School and National Cathedral School in Northwest DC, Mater Dei School in Bethesda, MD and Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA.
What are the camp hours?
Camp goes from 9:00–3:00, with optional Extended Day available before and after camp from 7:30am–9am and from 3pm–6pm. We also offer Mini-Camp (new in 2017) as part of our Extended Day offering during certain weeks at each location.
What does my child need to bring to camp?
It depends on the camp program. All campers should click here for more information on what to bring to camp. Please clearly label all of your child’s belongings with their full name to ensure that all belongings can find their way home at the end of the day.
Do you separate children by age and grade?
Yes. During the registration process, you’ll be asked to enter your camper’s rising grade. This will select their age group and the available programs at that rising grade level. This is to ensure a developmentally-appropriate curriculum and experience for campers of all ages.
How do I register for a Headfirst Summer Camp?
It’s easy to register online. You can simply enter your camper’s information and then select the weeks and programs that you’re interested in. Please note: siblings are registered separately, so after fully completing the enrollment for one camper, you can go back to the “Enrollment” tab to register another camper. All programs are one-week sessions. Payment can be made in full at the time of registration or you may enroll in a payment plan during registration. There are no registration fees; only the camp tuition (in part or in full) is due when you enroll. Since the majority of our summer programs have limited enrollment, we encourage you to register early.
Should my camper enroll in multiple weeks of camp?
Yes! Headfirst has a wide variety of camps for every interest and our average camper enrolls in 4-5 one-week sessions per summer. Many of our Day Campers enroll for 7-8 one-week sessions giving them the chance to build long-lasting friendships and develop new skills including swimming and the Headfirst Super Six. We offer the flexibility of one-week sessions to allow families to tailor their summer camp experience to their schedule.
Do you offer discounts?
Discounts are offered based on time of registration and number of weeks enrolled. All summer long, we offer a sibling discount for families registering more than one camper. Click here for more information.
Do you accept “walk up” registrations?
Yes, but be sure to check the website or call the camp office for availability as camp programs do reach capacity for many weeks. We encourage parents to register for camp in advance, but we understand that for unforeseen reasons, parents sometimes need to register at the last minute. If you find yourself in this situation, you can enroll online up until 7:30am on the Monday before camp begins for programs that have availability. If you’re heading to camp on Monday morning, you can give us a call to let us know, and we can also get your camper registered over the phone for the additional week.
Will I receive additional information about camp after I register?
Once you register and pay for your camp program(s), you will receive a confirmation email for your own records. In addition to that confirmation email, you will receive a pre-camp email the week before your session(s) of camp. This email will provide you with all necessary information including: what to bring to camp, directions, links to our blogs and more.

During the camp week, you’ll receive a number of emails from us as well, including blog updates. You can always stay in touch with our blog while your camper’s at camp by clicking on the “Camp Today” tab on the Parent Dashboard.
Do I need to complete any health forms for my child to participate?
All campers will have to complete the necessary forms in order to participate in Headfirst Camps before their first week of camp. These forms are required by both the county and the state in all of our camp locations.
How do I upload the required camp form(s) to my Headfirst web account?
You are able to upload all your campers’ health forms through the link to the Parent Dashboard, located on the homepage. Once there, select the “Forms” tab to either fill out or upload the required forms.
Can we request that my camper be placed in a group with another camper (buddy requests)?
Absolutely! Buddy requests can be made during the registration process until June 1. We always do our very best to accommodate buddy requests as we know how important this can be to our campers. The number of buddies that we guarantee varies by both camper age and the program for which you’re enrolling — please see our full Buddy Policy & Philosophy for details.
What is the swimming test procedure?
Depending on which program your camper is enrolled in, we administer one of two types of Swimming Tests for each new camper each Monday.

Recreational Swim Test: This test determines whether your camper needs to wear a vest during recreational swim. The test involves swimming from one end of the pool to the other without assistance.

Instructional Swim Test: This test determines the aquatics level of your camper, and it involves measuring level-specific skills and comfort in the pool.
Will I receive feedback about my camper’s swimming?
Yes — over the course of the summer, we’ll distribute (via email) Swim Logs for all campers in programs with instructional swimming that have updates for the skills that your camper worked on as well as notes on their proficiency and progress. These reports are meant to provide feedback to both campers and parents to aid campers along their developmental journey as swimmers. The swim log will touch on each camper’s growth and progress in comfort level, effort and engagement in the context of swimming, along with the swim-specific skills that they work on at camp.
What is the counselor to camper ratio at Headfirst Summer Camps?
In each Headfirst Summer Camp program we provide a unique environment where campers are able to benefit from individual and small group learning and instruction. Each individual program is supervised and run by a leadership team member to ensure consistency and proper supervision. For our younger campers, we aim to maintain an in-group ratio of approximately 6:1. For rising Kindergartners and 1st graders, that ratio is 8:1, and for older campers it is 10:1. Junior Day and Day Camp groups are limited to 12 and 16 campers respectively to ensure both an appropriate ratio and also facilitate camper interaction and development.

In addition to the group counselors, the additional team members and leadership team staff on-site each weeks contributes to an overall on-campus ratio of approximately 4:1. While campers are at the pool, the additional pool staff, lifeguards, and Aquatics Lead contribute to a ratio of approximately 3:1 while in the pool.
How do you handle inclement weather?
Safety is our number one priority at all times, and we are extremely mindful of the weather. If we see or hear a thunderstorm approaching, outdoor camp programs are immediately brought inside as we take extreme precaution to ensure that all outdoor camp programs are safe.
What precautions do you take to handle the summer heat?
We’re well aware that the summer heat can drain a camper throughout the day and week. Water is always available for each camp program and campers are encouraged to take water breaks approximately every 15-20 minutes. We take the heat, the humidity index, and the air quality index seriously. Daily, the Executive Director of Headfirst Camps communicates with the Site Directors at each camp location to discuss the heat and air index. On extremely hot days (Code Red) and for those campers spending the majority of their time playing outdoors, participants will take mandatory and extended breaks throughout the day, an extended lunch break, plenty of water and misting fan breaks, and lower impact activities during the day.

In addition, we ensure that sunscreen is re-applied on your camper multiple times throughout the day. We typically plan to re-apply sunscreen at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm. We always have sunscreen on-site if your camper forgets or loses their sunscreen. All sunscreen applications are logged in Sunscreen Logs so that we can easily monitor all campers. Please see our sunscreen policy for more information.
Can Headfirst accommodate children with peanut or life-threatening allergies?
Families with children who have peanut or nut allergies can feel safe and comfortable at Headfirst Camps. We are well aware of the dangers and concerns with severe allergies and take our allergy procedures and systems very seriously.

Our Process:
If your child requires an EpiPen at camp, we ask you to place the EpiPen in a clear plastic bag along with a head shot photo of your child, noting the name of your child on the outside of the bag. This bag (and any necessary instructions) should be presented to the Headfirst Safety and Staff Coordinator on location, upon check-in on Monday morning. Upon registration (and in the morning of each camp day), Headfirst Safety Specialists take special note of our campers with allergies by placing a mandatory, but inconspicuous, colored bracelet around each child’s wrist, as well as placing their EpiPen or other medication in a bag that stays on their counselor at all times throughout the camp day. We highly recommend that all EpiPens and any additional medication stay on location throughout the week. Our counselors in charge of campers with life-threatening allergies wear a first-aid fanny pack at all times containing their campers EpiPen. Any additional medication and necessary instructions for that medication stays with your child at all times.

Our Allergen-Free Policy:
During both lunch and snack breaks, to prevent contact with any food allergens products, we have a designated allergen-free area. We require our campers who have life threatening food allergies to eat meals in our nut-free area during lunch and snack. We take special care not to make the campers with food allergies feel alienated during our eating breaks, and we encourage these campers to invite a friend to sit with them at lunch, provided their friend’s lunch is also free of all of the foods that any camper in the allergen-free area cannot be in contact with. At least one Headfirst counselor is seated at each allergen-free area for the duration of the lunch period. If you would prefer your child to sit in a non allergen-free area please complete our Allergen-Free Table Waiver during the registration process. To ensure that our campers with allergies at our allergen-free area have a safe lunch experience at camp, we ask that absolutely no peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy, egg or dairy products are permitted while in the allergen-free area regardless of your child’s particular allergy. At the end of each eating period, we require all campers to wash their hands with soap and warm water to ensure they thoroughly clean their hands prior to their next activity.If you have any questions about our policies, please feel free to contact the Headfirst Customer Service Team at (202) 625-1921 or info@headfirstcamps.com.
Who is your camp mascot, Gomer?
A favorite of our younger campers, Gomer is the beloved Headfirst Summer Camps mascot! When Gomer is not eating his many required meals per day, he may be found at our summer camps with scheduled and surprise visits throughout the camp week. Gomer has also attended the National Zoo's Guppy Gala, local camp fairs, and other premier events.
Headfirst is definitely ‘heads’ and shoulders above most of the other sports camps in the areas. I’ve sent all four of my kids, and they have always enjoyed the extra camp activities, as well as the core sport the camp was focusing on. I really like the new Passport concept that teaches kids values about being good leaders and teammates. You really can’t go wrong with Headfirst! Katherine M.
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