Camp Guide – Bethesda, MD (II) (Woods Academy)

Contact Us

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Contact Us

Have questions or want more information? We’re standing by to help you!

Preparing for the Day

Click to Expand. Please label all items your camper brings to camp.

How to Arrive


    • Wearing Sunscreen
      • Apply sunscreen before arrival at camp and pack sunscreen for your camper
    • Wearing Sneakers or closed-back shoes
      • No flip flops or sandals
    • Wearing a Bathing Suit for Water Play

Please leave cell phones, iPads, gaming devices, other electronic devices, trading cards, toys and stuffed animals, sports equipment and irreplaceable items at home.

What to Bring


  • Lunch
    • Pack in a sealed lunch box with your camper’s name and plastic/disposable utensils and napkins
    • Lunch boxes will be kept indoors in a cool place but will not be refrigerated – please include a cold pack
    • Campers may not share food items so please pack unique items for each child if siblings are present
    • Each camper will have one snack provided daily
      • The provided snack will be Goldfish crackers. Campers are welcome to bring their own snack if these options don’t meet their needs. We recommend families with campers who have specific food allergies or sensitivities pack their own snack to eat.
    • For any additional information please refer to the lunch section below
  • Water Bottle
    • Campers will be outdoors for a large portion of the day. Please be sure to send your camper with plenty of water and/or a water bottle to refill throughout the day.
    • Water coolers are available throughout the day for refills.
    • Campers will not be allowed to share water bottles, and we encourage you to pack enough water for the day if you are uncomfortable with your camper using camp/facility provided hydration stations.
  • Change of Clothes
  •  Sunscreen
    • If you would like your camper to use a specific type of sunscreen or has any allergies to common sunscreen, please send your camper with their own sunscreen in a labeled Ziploc bag for reapplication throughout the day
    • In case of forgotten sunscreen, Headfirst will provide sunscreen for campers
    • Campers will be outside a lot during the day, if you pack sunscreen, be sure to pack an ample amount
    • Sunscreen will stay in camper backpacks and taken out for use

Lost & Found

Please be sure to label all items that are sent to camp with your camper(s). Any item with a name tag will be sent home, and any lost items will be tracked down to the best of our abilities.

Please leave all non-camp related items at home. Including cell phones, iPads, gaming devices, other electronic devices, trading cards, toys and stuffed animals, sports equipment and irreplaceable items.

*Any items without a name tag, will be posted on our Lost & Found section on the blog each Thursday. Please contact customer care if you recognize any items as yours and we will be sure to place in the campers bag before leaving on Friday.


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Swim Information

  • No swim is offered at our Woods Academy Campus; all campers will participate in daily water play. Campers should come to camp wearing their bathing suits. In a bag, they should bring a towel and a change of clothes.

Carpool and Authorized Drivers

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Arrival & Dismissal

We have four carpool waves for both morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. These waves are program-specific to help us space out our carpool volume and maintain consistency in small groups. Please see below for additional details.

We’re located at 6801 Greentree Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817, on the campus of Woods Academy. Drop-off and pick-up occur at the same location on campus. Once we turn in the entrance to the school, simply follow the Headfirst signs.

Morning Arrival (Drop-off)

Our regular camp hours are 9:00am – 3:00pm.

Please arrive on campus no earlier than your designated drop-off time. Morning carpool will begin at 8:30am and end by 9:10am. Please come at your designated arrival time based on program. (See below for designated time slots)

Afternoon Dismissal (Pick-up)

To help us keep the line moving, be sure to place a completed carpool Pick-up Placard on the passenger side of your dashboard during afternoon pick-up, and ensure that all pick-up people are listed as Authorized Drivers. To print a placard or add authorized drivers to your account, please go to the “Forms” section of your parent dashboard account. If you do not have your carpool Pick-up Placard during afternoon carpool, you will be required to show a photo ID that matches a name on our Authorized Driver list.

Without this Pick-up Placard, proper Authorized Driver status, or a photo ID our staff will be required to go through our pick-up authorization process, which will add wait time to your pick-up experience.

If you arrive earlier than your designated pick-up time, your camper(s) will still be in programming and not easily available for pick-up. Please don’t arrive early for afternoon pick-up. Our staff will send your car through the carpool line, ask you to find a space to turn around off-site, and then return at your designated time. (See below for designated time slots)

Morning & Afternoon Carpool Waves

1st Wave — Day Camp & Junior Day Camp

  • AM Drop-off: 8:30 am – 8:40 am
  • PM Pick-up: 2:30 pm – 2:40 pm

2nd Wave  — Innovators, Inc. & Sprouting Scientists

  • AM Drop-off: 8:40 am – 8:50 am
  • PM Pick-up: 2:40 pm – 2:50 pm

3rd Wave  — Multi-Sport

  • AM Drop-off: 8:50 am – 9:00 am
  • PM Pick-up: 2:50 pm – 3:00 pm

4th Wave — Families with Siblings in Different Programs

We ask that families picking up at least two campers in different programs arrive for our fourth carpool wave.

  • AM Drop-off: 9:00 am – 9:10 am
  • PM Pick-up: 3:00 pm – 3:10 pm

Pick-Up for Families Who Share Regular Carpool Pick-Up Responsibilities:

We will treat families who share carpool responsibilities like those with siblings. If your family regularly shares carpool responsibilities with another family (or families), please follow the above section for instructions on sibling pick-up and contact us directly at (202) 625-1921 or customercare@headfirstcamps.com to confirm names of campers who will be carpooling home together each day, so we can be sure all campers are ready for pick-up at 3:00 pm.


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Lunch at Camp

Lunch and Snack

  • Pack in a sealed lunch box with your camper’s name and plastic/disposable utensils and napkins
  • Lunch boxes will be kept indoors in a cool place but will not be refrigerated – please include a cold pack
  • Campers may not share food items so please pack unique items for each child if siblings are present
  • Each camper will have one snack provided daily
    • The provided snack will be Goldfish crackers. Campers are welcome to bring their own snack if these options don’t meet their needs. We recommend families with campers who have specific food allergies or sensitivities pack their own snack to eat.

We do not have a fridge on-site for our campers to store their lunch boxes or a microwave on-site for our campers to heat up their lunch. Lunches will be stored indoors during the camp day, but may be outside briefly during morning carpool. Therefore, if you are sending your camper with food that needs to be kept at a cooler temperature, we ask that you include an ice pack in your camper’s lunch box. We also ask that you do not send your camper with any lunch items that require reheating.

Also, please include any utensils or other items your camper may need to eat their lunch, as we do not supply utensils.

*If your camper has food allergies, please refer to section below, Life-Threating Food Allergies, for more information

Life-Threatening Food Allergies

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Allergy Free Table

For camper safety, Headfirst Summer Camps provides a table during lunch and/or snack that is free from both peanuts and tree nuts, which we call the Allergy-Free Table. If you indicated during the registration process that your camper has a life-threatening food allergy, your camper is automatically assigned to the Allergy-Free Table. If you do not want your camper to sit at the Allergy-Free Table, we request that you complete “Allergy-Free Table Waiver” section of the Enrollment Questions form.


To complete the waiver, please do the following:

  • In the Parent Dashboard, select the Forms tab. Click on your camper’s name, and then select the Enrollment Questions form. Select yes and read the instructional text and questions, and select either Yes or No at the bottom of the page.
    • By selecting Yes, you agree that your child will sit at the Allergy-Free Table with other children and counselors who experience similar food allergies. You also agree that your child will bring a lunch and/or snack that is free from peanuts and tree nuts.
    • By selecting No, you agree that even though your child has a peanut, tree nut, or other food allergy, and may be seated with campers whose lunch and/or snack may contain these common food allergens, you do not feel it is necessary for your child to sit at the Allergy-Free Table.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Medication and Health Forms

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Medication Administration and Authorization



Please follow the instructions below carefully. If you have any questions, contact us at (202) 625-1921 or customercare@headfirstcamps.com.

If your child is bringing medication to camp, please follow these instructions so we may ensure your child’s safety at all times at our camps.

  1. Clearly mark the medication with your child’s first and last name.
  2. Complete and print out the Medication Administration and Authorization form in the Parent Dashboard (instructions below).
  3. Place both of the above into a one-gallon zip lock bag. Seal the bag.
  4. With a permanent marker, please neatly write your child’s first and last name on the outside of the bag.

Upon your arrival at camp on Monday, hand the bag – with both the medication and completed form inside – to the person who greets you at your car or check-in table. We will then walk your child directly to the camp Safety Coordinator.

  1. If your camper’s medication must be with them at all times (e.g., an EpiPen or inhaler), the Safety Coordinator will place it in an Emergency Fanny Pack and give it to their counselor, who will wear it on his/her person at all times. If your camper changes groups or transfers into another activity that is supervised by another counselor, the medication will be transferred to the counselor supervising your camper and his/her group. The Safety Coordinator will also provide your child with a temporary red bracelet (this will happen each morning at check-in). We will mark the bracelet with your child’s name on it so his or her identity can be matched to the medication for the duration of the camp day.
  2. If your camper’s medication does not need to be with them throughout the entire day, the medication will remain with our Safety Coordinator so s/he may supervise the medication administration at the appropriate time(s) of day.


Important Notes:

  1. The Headfirst Companies will supervise medical administration but will not administer medication directly, with the exception of campers who bring their own EpiPen and are suffering from anaphylaxis, and campers who bring their own inhaler and are suffering from an asthma exacerbation.
  2. All medication will be returned at the end of each week. If your camper is attending multiple weeks, please bring the medication back each Monday.
  3. If you believe your camper’s medical condition requires additional consideration beyond what was previously outlined, please contact us directly so we may discuss the establishment of a tailored medical management plan.

To complete the “Medication Administration Authorization” form:

  • In the Parent Dashboard, select the “Forms” tab
  • Click on your camper’s name, and then select the form named “Medication Administration Authorization”
  • Click on the “Download Medication Administration Authorization form” link
  • Print and complete the document
  • Scan and upload the document by following the same uploading steps (in the Forms section), and selecting the “Choose File…” button to select completed and scanned copy to upload
  • Include the copy you printed out in your camper’s zip lock bag with his/her medicine

*This form is for self-administration, if you would prefer to allow on-site staff to administer the medication, please contact Customer Care for a revised form.

Extended Day

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AM and PM Extended Day

Extended care is offered on a weekly-basis in the morning and afternoon. Campers can be dropped off as early as 7:30am and picked up any time before 6pm. The children in our Extended Day enjoy a variety of activities, including sports, crafts, and board games, so they’ll come home happy (and tired!).

Snack will be provided by Headfirst – Goldfish crackers. Campers are welcome to bring their own snack if these don’t meet their needs. We recommend families with campers who have specific food allergies or sensitivities pack their own snack to eat.

To enroll, just add the Extended Day option through the Parent Dashboard on your Camper Application or over the phone.

Available by the week only.

  • AM Extended Day Tuition: $90/week
  • PM Extended Day Tuition: $165/week
Time Activity
7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m Story time, Arts & Crafts
2:45 p.m.–3:30 p.m Transition & Snack
3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. First Activity
4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Second Activity
5:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Wind Down Time

AMX and PMX Pick Up & Drop Off Instructions

Pull through the usual carpool lane and someone will greet you.

For drop off, be sure to place a completed carpool Pick-up Placard on the passenger side of your dashboard, and ensure that all pick-up people are listed as Authorized Drivers. We will bring your camper to your car.

Dress Up Day

On Wednesday of each week, we invite campers to participate in a themed Dress-up Day to encourage team spirit and allow campers to express their creativity.

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2023 Themes by Week

Week Theme
Week 1 (June 12th-16th) Beach Day
Week 2 (June 19th-23rd) Crazy Hat Day
Week 3 (June 26th- 30th) When I Grow Up Day
Week 4 (July 3rd-7th) Tie Dye Day!
Week 5 (July 10th-14th) DIPG Awareness Day (Wear Yellow)
Week 6 (July 17th-21st) Earth, Wind, Fire, Water Day
Week 7 (July 24th-28th) Futuristic Day
Week 8 (July 31st-August 4th) Jurassic Park and Archaeologists Day
Week 9 (August 7th-11th) Inside Out Day

Offerings by Week

Click to expand and get more information about what themes we’re running this summer!

Week 2 (June 19th - 23rd)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Calling all animal lovers! This camp is headed straight to the Sahara Desert in North Africa, home to some of the most amazing animals on the planet. As campers’ journey through the savanna, they’ll need to create their own functional binoculars and rely on the cleverness of the color-changing chameleons to avoid some pesky poachers! This mash up of geography, zoology and wildlife conservation will keep campers swinging from the trees as they explore one of the most exciting animal habitats on earth.
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • Welcome all that bubbles, fizzes, floats, and EXPLODES during this week of kitchen chemistry and foodie physics! Campers learn the science of combustion and reactions by devising delectable dishes and stirring up surprising snacks! Headfirst Summer Camps is the only place where edible eruption is the goal, not the #fail…don’t try these creative concoctions at home!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Headfirst’s trusty mascot, Gomer, would like to discover what animals might be roaming the earth that he doesn’t know about yet. So, he decides to go on Safari to the Sahara, exploring a new-to-him location that many creatures call home, and bring our campers with him! After all, curiosity creates confidence, and what better way to become more confident than to learn about different creatures firsthand? But when he encounters some pesky poachers, he and the campers will have to come up with a plan to save all of the amazing animals they’ve met. Can these campers save the day?
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 3 (June 26th - 30th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Welcome to the ultimate building challenge! This week will focus entirely on architecture, engineering, and problem solving. Campers will practice their building skills by constructing marble runs, bridges, and do-it-yourself bulldozers, all to prepare for the week’s final challenge. They’ll have to build a cool-misting system to help keep our Headfirst mascot, Gomer, feeling happy and hydrated in the hot sun. If you thought Iggy Peck’s structures were impressive, just wait until you see what campers come up with!
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • During this spoooooky week, campers will learn alongside the summer’s coolest ghouls! We’ll brew potions, levitate ghosts, craft our own monster identities, and have a frightening amount of fun in our ghastly games.  Campers will explore important STEM concepts like echolocation, bridge engineering, precision and accuracy, shape attributes, and predator and prey relationships.  Through this week’s challenges, campers just might become the next Frank Einstein!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • This week, campers will be tasked with creating a structure to help provide shade for Headfirst’s beloved mascot, Gomer. They’ll have to work together, using tools and materials, through all stages of building, including visualizing, planning, and creating their structure. Campers should bring their favorite tool belts and blueprints, along with their most creative thinking, to this exciting architectural challenge!
  • STEM III (rising 4th & 5th)
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 4 (July 3rd - 7th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Abracadabra! Through concocting magical potions, flexing our strength and creativity, and exploring the art of illusion, campers will learn about the wonders each of us brings to our world. With our friend, Mirabel from Disney Pixar’s Encanto, as our guide, this enchanting week will illuminate the special powers in each of us!
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • Whether you ruff, meow, tweet, or neigh, you’re welcome at the Headfirst Animal Hospital! This week, our Sprouting Scientists become veterinarians and animal advocates as we take x-rays, learn bandaging basics, and all about what keeps our furry friends healthy! Don’t stop retrievin’, hold onto that feline…with this purrrfect week of camp!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Like the Madrigal family from Disney Pixar’s Encanto, we each possess our own power, made stronger by our communities! By exploring the mystery of magic and illusion, we will learn about the power that our special skills bring to our own lives and the world around us. Get ready to work your magic!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 5 (July 10th - 14th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • From birds and airplanes to rockets and kites—flying is a wonder! Through exploration of the concepts of gravity, aerodynamics and the beauty of wings, campers will learn all about flight and its impact on the world around us.  Campers will imagine the resiliency required by the Wright brothers and the Tuskegee Airman, or of a baby bird learning to fly, and will be inspired to take risks and to fly into their own future
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • Pollution, depletion, extinction…oh why!? Mother Earth needs YOU to be a friend to the flora and fauna in this week of sensational sustainability. Through experiments and engineering, we’ll learn transferable ways to be ambassadors of nature. We’ll personalize reusable bags and napkins, plant miniature gardens, and create seed bombs and hand pollinators. May the forest be with you!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Headfirst campers! By exploring animals, insects, machines, and homemade crafts that take wing, your camper will discover there’s more than one way to soar this summer!
  • STEM III (rising 4th & 5th)
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 6 (July 17th - 21st)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Did you know that the elements of wind, fire, water, and earth are just like the elements that make up our personalities? This week at camp, we’ll get to know the characters of Pixar’s Elemental to learn how each element and each emotion can surprise us, how they can help us, and how they work together to accomplish so much more than they can on their own!
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • A missing diamond. A mysterious note. A glass of spilled milk. Campers must sift through the clues this week as they solve puzzles, unravel mysteries, and catch criminals. Employing real-life techniques, campers will dive deep into the exciting world of forensics. Even Sherlock Homes would be impressed.
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Earth, wind, fire, and water seem so different from one another – but are they really? Motivated by Disney Pixar’s new film, Elemental, campers will explore what makes each element unique, how they work together to make our world beautiful, and how we, too, are each made of many incredible elements that all work together!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 7 (July 24th - 28th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Combining conservation, zoology, and environmental science, this week will look at the Arctic & Antarctic, giving campers the opportunity to learn about some of our planet’s most ecologically vulnerable regions. Snowflake symmetry printing, igloo building, snowshoe racing, and penguin egg incubator challenges are just some of the fun activities campers will enjoy as they discover the importance of caring for the natural world.
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • In our iPad coding animation program, campers will utilize the ScratchJr software to create their own unique, interactive stories. ScratchJr was specifically designed as an introductory visual programming language, allowing campers to familiarize themselves with fundamental coding principles through an accessible and easy to understand interface. This course is the perfect introduction to coding for young campers as they learn how to articulate their thoughts and creative ideas through technology.
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Campers will enjoy a snow-filled week as they help an Emperor Penguin traverse the Antarctic Circle to relocate his colony. They’ll learn about life in the south pole, find a safe location where the penguin’s colony can thrive, and help him navigate back home. Along the way, they’ll learn about different types of Antarctic and Arctic animals, paint watercolors of the Northern lights, and much more.  There’s “snow” place like camp!
  • STEM III (rising 4th & 5th)
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 8 (July 31st – August 4th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Beat the heat of summer with some of the most amazing cold-blooded creatures to ever roam Earth! Although the dinosaurs have long been extinct, their descendants still manage to slither, crawl and creep their way to almost every continent… and in some very unlikely creatures! Come sun your scales as we learn about these radical reptiles and awe-inspiring amphibians and their ancestors who used to rule the Earth.
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • Campers are welcomed to the world of robotics during this week of Sprouting Scientists! Using Wonder Workshop’s Dot and Dash combo, and Sphero SPRK, campers will utilize digital programming language to bring their robots to life.  In small groups, campers will collaborate to master numerous games and challenges.  Some of these explorations include a robo-masquerade ball, maneuvering through obstacle courses, using the robots to act out a narrative, bowling and target practice, and coding robots to respond to movement, color, & sound.
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • It’s hard to see your own awesomeness when you’re constantly comparing yourself to the mighty reptiles that once ruled the earth… just ask Lizzy the Lizard! You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest or even most aesthetically pleasing creature to be great and admired, every being has something amazing worth celebrating.
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 9 (August 7th - 11th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • All aboard! Headfirst is taking a road trip across the USA to help campers experience the beauty and scope of our country. We’ll learn about famous sights and regions, while incorporating art and STEM projects such as painting the spectacular sunsets of the West, making light-up road signs to guide the way, and building wind-powered cars to help us understand forces of motion. This geo-focused week will help our campers feel they’re ready to take on the world – both literally and figuratively!
  • Sprouting Scientists (rising 1st & 2nd)
      • We embrace all that stretches, squishes, and sticks in this ooey-gooey week of camp! Through hands-on chemistry, we’ll combine materials that can grow, glow, and color change before our eyes! From experimenting with the best slime recipe, to exploring the wackiest, weirdest, and coolest creatures of our world, we will be experts in the world of sensory science!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Headfirst’s mascot, Gomer, has decided he wants to take a road trip… to California! With over 2,400 miles to cover and just a few days to get there, campers will have to learn about our country’s geography, famous monuments and sights, and the importance of backwards planning to make this virtual road trip a reality. Will the campers get CA in time, or will they let any little “bump in the road” prevent them from achieving their goal?
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Buddy Requests

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Buddy Request Information

If you’d like to request that your camper be in a group with another camper who is enrolled as in the same program, you are able to submit a “Buddy Request” anytime between registration and June 1st. To submit a buddy request, fill out the form titled “Buddy Requests” in your parent dashboard account.

Each year, we are joined by campers who come to camp with friends, those who come to camp not knowing anyone and many campers who are new to the area altogether. For all categories of campers, and the many in between, we strive to create a culture and group dynamic that aids each child in achieving their personal best and in expanding his or her social comfort zone.

Our Buddy Policy allows families to make limited requests for their child to be paired with friends — while also ensuring that each camp group can be arranged thoughtfully and balanced in such a way that every member of that group is set up to enjoy and make the most of every day with us.

We do our 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 the table below for more information.

Program Guaranteed Buddies
Junior Day Camp 2 buddies
Day Camp 2 buddies
Multi-Sport I 2 buddies
Multi-Sport II 1 buddy
Multi-Sport III 1 buddy
Sprouting Scientists 1 buddy
STEM III 1 buddy