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Camp Guide – Bethesda (Mater Dei)

Contact Us

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Contact Us

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

What to Bring

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

All Programs

  • Masks
    • Masks are optional for campers based on family preference. We encourage campers of all ages to wear masks if they can do so safely. Staff are required to wear face masks at all times when indoors.
  • 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
    • Day Camp (all locations) will have morning snack provided, please just pack a lunch
      • Snack – choice of Goldfish crackers or pretzels. 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.
  • Sunscreen
    • Apply sunscreen before arrival at camp
    • Pack sunscreen in a labeled Ziploc bag for reapplication throughout the day
    • Sunscreen will stay in camper backpacks and taken out for use
  • Water Bottle
    • 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
      • Please note these hydration stations will be cleaned and sanitized daily for the safety of your camper and our staff
  • Sneakers or closed-back shoes
    • No flip flops or sandals

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

Lost & Found

Due to health and safety recommendations from federal, local and site partners, we will be unable to save any lost items that do not have a name on them.

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.

Carpool and Authorized Drivers

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Arrival & Dismissal

We have four carpool waves this year 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 9600 Seven Locks Road, Bethesda, MD, 20817, on the campus of Mater Dei School. Drop-off and pick-up occur at the same location on campus. Once you turn in the entrance to the school, simply follow the Headfirst signs.

In the interest of camper safety and maintaining an efficient carpool process, we ask that camp families stay in the car during drop-off and pick-up.

 

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 8:15am and end by 9:00am.

During these staggered carpool waves, staff specific to each program will be the primary runners for carpool, allowing campers to go directly into the supervision of the staff working with them through the day.

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.

Without this Pick-up Placard or proper Authorized Driver status, 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.

Morning & Afternoon Carpool Waves

 1st Wave — Day Camp

  • AM Drop-off: 8:15 am – 8:25 am
  • PM Pick-up: 2:30 pm – 2:40 pm

2nd Wave  — Multi-Sport Camp

  • AM Drop-off: 8:25 am – 8:35 am
  • PM Pick-up: 2:40 pm – 2:50 pm

3rd Wave  — Innovators, Inc.

  • AM Drop-off: 8:35 am – 8:45 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: 8:45 am – 9:00 am
  • PM Pick-up: 3:00 pm – 3:15 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 info@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.

Lunch

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Lunch at Camp

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.

Campers will eat lunch with their group while following social distancing procedures.

Yumble

If you’re looking for a convenient alternative to packing a lunch for your camper, we partner with Yumble – a meal service that delivers nutritious (and fun!) ready-to-eat kids meals weekly straight to your home.

You can register for Yumble lunches by visiting yumblekids.com

Medication and Health Forms

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Waiver & Pre-Camp Health Status Certification

The Waiver and Pre-Camp Health Status Certification forms are both required to participate in Summer 2020 programming. 

  • If you have multiple campers registered, please fill out separate forms for each camper.
  • All Camper Forms can be completed electronically! You can access all forms through the Parent Dashboard by selecting the “Forms” tab on the left side of the page.

Health Forms

All Camper Health Forms can be completed electronically! You can access this form through the Parent Dashboard and then:

  • Select the “Forms” tab at the top of the page
  • Click the form named “Health Forms”
  • Fill out that form through the portal. Please note: no documents need to be provided or uploaded for this form.
  • Click “Submit” to finish the form
  • If you have multiple campers registered, repeat the above for each with their respective health forms

Medication Administration and Authorization

MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION AND AUTHORIZATION INSTRUCTIONS

** FOR CAMPERS WHO BRING MEDICATION THAT NEEDS TO BE ADMINISTERED ONSITE **

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 bag (including the form) 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 the blank Medication Administration & Authorization form” link
  • Print and complete the document
  • Scan and upload the document by following the same uploading steps (in the Health Forms section), and selecting the “Browse…” 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

Extended Day

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PM Extended Day

Extended Day will be available in the afternoon only with limited capacity.  We’ve also made the difficult decision not to offer daily drop-ins for Extended Day in Summer 2020. 

Extended care is offered on a weekly-basis in the afternoon – campers can be picked up any time before 6pm. The kids in our Extended Day enjoy a variety of activities, including sports, crafts and games, so they’ll come home happy (and tired!).

Snack will be provided by Headfirst – choice of Goldfish crackers or pretzels. 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 during the through the Parent Dashboard or over the phone.

Available by the week only.

  • PM Extended Day Tuition: $149/week

SAMPLE EXTENDED DAY SCHEDULE:

Time Activity
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

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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2020 Themes by Week

Week Theme
Week 1 (July 6th – 10th) DIPG Awareness Day (Wear yellow!)
Week 2 (July 13th – 17th) Wacky Tacky Wednesday
Week 3 (July 20th – 24th) Super Hero/ “When I Grow Up”
Week 4 (July 27th – July 31st) Decade Day
Week 5 (August 3rd – 7th) Favorite Sports Team
Week 6 (August 10th – 14th) End of Summer Blues

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, we request that you complete the Allergy-Free Table Waiver, to indicate whether or not you wish for your child to sit at this table during lunch/snack.

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 Allergy-Free Table Waiver form. 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.

Offerings by Week

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

Week 1 (July 6th - July 10th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • ALL PAWS ON DECK
      • Whether your camper wants to build, fly or save the day we’ll be sure to use and celebrate their unique skills as we help them continue to transform into their personal best!
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • WHERE IN THE WORLD IS HEADFIRST SUMMER CAMPS?
      • Campers will complete cultural projects and challenges from France, China, India, Madagascar, Australia, and more!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 2 (July 13th - July 17th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • FANTASTICALLY FROZEN
      • Gomer is going to need some help channeling his emotions and power for good… from YOU!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • ANIMAL ADVOCATES
      • This week, the Innovators become veterinarians and animal advocates as we take x-rays, learn bandaging basics, and all about what keeps our furry friends healthy!

Week 3 (July 20th - July 24th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY CAMPERS
      • This camp focuses on more than just traditional well-known superheroes – it touches on the importance of civic duty and community engagement. Through projects, story immersion and group activities, our campers will be ready to take their own super talents “up, up, and away” to save the day!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • URBAN ARCHITECTS
      • We’ll test bridges and boats, engineer skyscrapers, and artfully arrange a city by design. Our explorations just might kick start your career in urban development!

Week 4 (July 27th - July 31st)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • CAMPERS OF THE ROUND TABLE
      • We’ll play games with jesters, joust with knights and feast and dance with medieval merriment!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • GLOBAL GAMES
      • This camp features our most fun challenges yet including pool noodle hurdling and 50 meter crabwalk. Tenacity and teamwork will be put to the test!

Week 5 (August 3rd - August 7th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • WETLAND WONDERS
      • We’ll explore the wonderful wetlands that so many creatures and plants call home as we submerge ourselves in marshes, ponds and mangroves galore!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • HEADFIRST’S GOT TALENT
      • Throughout the week, campers learn the ins and outs of show business including directing, casting, costuming, set design, scripting, and performing!

Week 6 (August 10th - August 14th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
    • TRAVEL, TRUCKS, AND TRAINS
      • Go farther and faster with your transportation creations as we roll, row and fly ourselves to further lengths and higher heights!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
    • TOY STORE GALORE
      • Campers will invent and play boardgames, merge modern technology and classic crafts, and explore the history of some of the most famous games in this week that celebrates the power of play!

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, you are able to submit a “Buddy Request” anytime between registration and July 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
Day Camp 2 buddies
Multi-Sport I 2 buddies
Multi-Sport II 1 buddy
Multi-Sport III 1 buddy
Innovators, Inc. 1 buddy