Camp Guide – Palisades, NW D.C. (St. Patrick’s)

Contact Us

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Contact Us

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COVID-19 Testing

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COVID-19 Testing

Our valued partners at St. Patrick’s have recently informed us that they plan to continue their school policy of mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing through the summer for all children, staff and faculty onsite for any on-campus activity, including summer camps operated by Headfirst.

We are currently working through the details with St. Patrick’s and will update with more detailed information as soon as it is confirmed and available. There will be a weekly onsite option for campers and staff to be tested ahead of their week of camp. Children enrolled in camp each week will be able to be tested during the camp day for the following week if they are returning to Headfirst the next Monday. In addition, families may choose to have children tested at a location other than St. Patrick’s if the test administered is a COVID-19 PCR test. We are working to finalize a list of approved providers for these tests.

Headfirst will provide further details in the weeks ahead, including timing for onsite testing and recommended options for off site testing. There will be no additional charge to families for onsite testing, and we are exploring off site testing options with cost covered by health insurance.

What to Bring

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

All Programs

    • Masks
      • All campers will be required to wear masks inside at all times and outside unless distanced for a mask break. Please make sure to send your camper with a mask from home clearly labeled with your camper’s name. We recommend sending extra masks with your camper. Headfirst will also have extra child-sized masks for campers who need a new one throughout the day. 
      • Staff will follow these same mask guidelines.
    • Water Bottle
      • Campers will be outdoors for a large portion of the day this year. 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.
        • Please note these hydration stations will be cleaned and sanitized daily for the safety of your camper and our staff.
    • 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. There will also be a gluten free option. 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.
    • Sunscreen
      • Apply sunscreen before arrival at camp
      • Headfirst will provide sunscreen for campers
      • 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
      • 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
    • 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.


For Jr. Day Camp, Day Camp & Multi-Sport I

  • Swim Suit for pool or waterplay
    • To maximize swim time, our youngest campers should arrive already wearing their swimsuit with/under their clothing
  • Pack a change of clothes (including underwear) for after swimming
  • Towel
  • Goggles (recommended but not mandatory)

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

All authorized drivers will be required to wear a mask during Headfirst carpool pick-up and drop-off to ensure the safety of campers, staff and families.

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 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, Washington, DC, 20007 on the campus of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School. Please enter the carpool line on Whitehaven Pkwy via Foxhall Road.

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 8:30am and end by 9:10am. Please come at your designated arrival time based on program. 

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 & 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. 

  • 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) 960-6026 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.


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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.

Medication and Health Forms

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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 History Form”
  • 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



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 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. And since the kids in our Extended Day enjoy a variety of activities, including sports, crafts, and board games, they’ll come home happy (and tired!).

Snack will be provided by Headfirst – choice of Goldfish crackers or a gluten-free option. 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 or over the phone.

Available by the week only.

  • AM Extended Day Tuition: $89/week
  • PM Extended Day Tuition: $149/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

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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2021 Themes by Week

Week Theme
Week 2 (June 21st – 5th) Super Hero/ “When I Grow Up” Day
Week 3 (June 28th – July 2nd) Patriotic Day (Red, White & Blue)
Week 4 (July 5th – 9th) DIPG Awareness Day (Wear yellow!)
Week 5 (July 12th – 16th) Costume Day
Week 6 (July 19th – 23rd) Fan Day, Favorite Sports Team
Week 7 (July 26th – July 30th) Tie Dye
Week 8 (August 2nd – 6th) Safari Day

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 2 (June 21st - 25th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • During this magical week at Headfirst, campers will explore the mysterious creatures that have echoed throughout legends for thousands of years.
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • Throughout the week, we’ll become pop culture prodigies as we celebrate a new decade each day through its music, games, clothing, and historical events!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      •  During this magical week, we’ll explore the legendary creatures and objects of some of our favorite tall tales as we blur the lines between fact and fantasy.
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 3 (June 28th - July 2nd)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • You’re invited to join Headfirst as we take a trip to state fairs around the country where you will enjoy delicious state fair food, learn about animals, and practice your game playing skills, all while enjoying the sites and sounds of a State Fair!
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • The Innovators are commissioned to chair the next great metropolitan museum – inspired-by and featuring artwork solely created by kids!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Come one, come all – the State Fair is here at Headfirst and each state is ready to wow!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 4 (July 5th - 9th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • During this legendary week at Headfirst, campers will travel back in time to the incredible dynasties of Ancient Asia!
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF…into a universe of adventure during this week of space exploration!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Grab your spades, sieves, and shovels as we dive deep into the amazing cultures of Ancient Asian civilizations.
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 5 (July 12th - 16th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Campers will explore farm to table when they learn Gomer wants to grow a garden.
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • This week the Innovators discover diverse habitats – including rainforests, deserts, mountaintops, and woodlands!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • When Gomer learns that most food comes from plants, he wants to grow his own garden but isn’t quite sure where to start.
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 6 (July 19th - 23rd)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Let’s go on a nature hunt through the woodlands to see what animals and plants we can find.
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • Whether we’re mastering eggs rolls or rolling pizza dough, this week challenges campers to evaluate, experiment, and explore elements of culinary culture from around the world.
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Be on the lookout for squirrels, bears, birds, and trees as we wander through the woods, Headfirst style!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 7 (July 26th - 30th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Melodies and harmonies will keep us busy this week as we explore the instrument families.
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • In our week as Party Planners, we’ll explore festivities from around the world, and then plan our very own camp-worthy celebration!
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • Explore the wonderful world of music this week while creating instruments and expressing yourself through song and dance!
  • Multi-Sport (rising K-5th)

Week 8 (August 2nd - 6th)

  • Day Camp (rising K & 1st)
      • Campers will discover the amazing creatures that live camouflaged under rocks, high in tree branches, and in the rushing rivers of this incredible habitat.
  • Innovators, Inc. (rising 2nd & 3rd)
      • In our week of Natural Disasters, the Innovators are chasing wild weather while protecting their planet.
  • Jr. Day Camp (rising Nursery & Pre-K)
      • It’s time to dive deep into the jungle where we will bounce back from obstacles and discover some of the most dazzling mysteries of our world.
  • 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, 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
Innovators, Inc. 1 buddy