The Headfirst Summer Camp Policies
At the Headfirst Companies, we commit to providing every camper the best and safest possible camp experience. From our programming to our policies, everything we do is steeped in our philosophical pillars of building holistically healthy kids through engagement with understanding, caring & professional counselors, as well as the Headfirst Super Six, laying the foundation for future success.
- Inclusion Policy
- Buddy Policy
- “Walk-Up” Registration Information
- Refund & Credit Policies
- Illness & Lice Policy
- Discipline Policy
- Potty Training Policy
- Sunscreen Policy
- Policy on Electronics, Toys, Trading Cards & Pins
Headfirst strives to provide a safe and supportive environment for each camper as they work to discover and grow their personal best with us regardless of race, gender identity, ethnicity or background. Our goal is to create a space where campers feel secure enough to expand their comfort zones, try and discover new passions and stretch themselves. We have a diverse camper and staff base, and work to ensure that all of our staff have the appropriate training and emotional intelligence to effectively support our campers along their journey. Incidents that involve any demographically-based or historically charged language or actions that may jeopardize a camper or staff member’s physical or emotional safety will be immediately escalated to our Leadership Team and could result in dismissal from camp without a refund or credit.
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. Please note that in order to fulfill the guaranteed amount of buddies per program for all of our campers, we cannot accommodate non-buddy related group requests.
Buddy Policy & Philosophy
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 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.
Parents are encouraged to register 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 through Sunday evening. If you’d like to enroll on Monday morning, you can do so by calling our office at (202) 625-1921
If you wish to cancel your camp registration and apply for a credit to another week of camp, you can contact our office at 202-625-1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The following policies and timeline apply.
- If you notify us before June 1st, you can apply for a 75% refund, or a 100% credit on your account for a future enrollment.
- If you notify us after June 1st, but at least one month (30 days) before the start of that specific camp week, you can apply for a 100% credit on your account for a future enrollment, or a 50% refund.
- If you notify us less than one month (30 days) but at least two weeks (14 days) before the start of that specific camp week, you can apply for a 100% credit on your account for a future enrollment.
- If you notify us less than 2 weeks (14 days) before the start of that specific camp week, you may receive a 75% credit on your account.
- Once a program begins, we cannot make any adjustments or offer any credits.
Headfirst Camps should be notified by phone (202) 625-1921 or email if a child is ill, especially if the illness is communicable. Internally, we keep track of the instances of communicable diseases at camp, and when appropriate will notify the parents of all children that may have been exposed, while respecting the confidentiality of campers and families involved.
Campers who have communicable diseases will be sent home and may not return to camp until the illness has been treated successfully and the camper is symptom free.
Campers who have signs of head lice (itching, head irritation, etc.) will be removed from their group and escorted to the camp office by the Safety Specialist. If we believe there is a possibility of head lice, we will ask the family to pick their camper up from camp. In order to return to camp, a camper must have had all active lice removed from his or her hair & and no longer show any signs of infestation, itching or irritation.
Headfirst Camps staff uses the positive techniques of guidance, including logical or natural consequences applied in problem situations, redirection of children to more acceptable behavior, anticipation of and elimination of potential problems and encouragement of appropriate behavior rather than comparison, competition or criticism. Consistent and clear rules are established. Staff members encourage children to solve problems rather than imposing solutions and help children to recognize and respect one another’s feelings. Counselors encourage pro-social behavior such as cooperation, helping, taking turns and constructive verbal communication to solve problems. The goal is to help children internalize rules and become self-directed in their behavior.
Headfirst Camps reserves the right to dismiss a child for consistent behavior that makes it difficult or impossible for the staff to meet his/her needs and/or the needs of other children in the group. This will occur without a refund (or portion thereof) or credit towards a future program. This will occur only after parent/staff discussion has occurred.
All campers attending Headfirst Summer Camps are expected to be fully potty-trained by their first day of camp. We ask that families provide an extra set of clothes with campers, if a camper has a history of bathroom accidents. If an accident occurs during camp hours, the Staff and Safety Specialist will notify the camper’s primary parent/guardian.
Headfirst’s policy is to do everything possible to protect our campers from excessive exposure to the sun, while still allowing them to get the most out of our outdoor games and activities.
Parents/guardians should provide sunscreen for use during the camp day. Sunscreen sent to camp should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and labeled with the child’s first and last name. Pursuant to careful research and the recommendations of the American Academy of Dermatology, all Headfirst Summer Camps are stocked with Oxybenzone-free Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50+ spray with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection for use by any camper that does not supply their own.
Families are responsible for applying the first layer of sunscreen prior to morning drop-off and provide it for use during the camp day. Upon receipt, counselors will label all sunscreen and place it in a tote bag that will be in their possession throughout the day. Any remaining sunscreen will be sent home Friday, the last day of camp. During the camp day, Headfirst staff will take all reasonable and appropriate steps to help each child reapply sunscreen to exposed skin– including the face, the tops of ears, and bare shoulders, arms, legs, & feet– prior to campers’ participation in outdoor programs. Counselors will not apply sunscreen when skin is broken or an adverse reaction has been observed. When staff notices these reactions, they will report them to the Staff and Safety Coordinator who will contact the camper's family. If, for any reason, counselors cannot apply sunscreen on a camper, s/he may not be able to participate in outdoor activities for his/her own protection. If parents/guardians have more than one camper attending camp, we ask each camper have their own supply of sunscreen so that it is readily accessible throughout the camp day.
Headfirst Summer Camps strives to provide a program free from video games, cell phones, audio players, toys and other distractions. Please do not permit your child to bring any of these items to camp as they will be busy throughout the camp day and these items also tend to get lost or misplaced when brought to camp.