- Drop-off: 2pm-4pm Sunday
Pick-up: Between 4pm-5:30pm Friday
- Rising 4th Grade, Rising 5th Grade, Rising 6th Grade
- Alexandria, VA
Headfirst Overnight Camp provides the best of both worlds – the fun and traditions of an overnight camp, but with shorter stays and the convenience of being close to home. Our five-day program is the only one in the DC metro area that allows campers to mix and match their electives to create their ideal experience, and thanks to our location, we’re also able to offer exciting field trips into the nation’s capital each week, such as the National Building Museum and Madame Tussaud’s.
With exceptional facilities on the stunning grounds of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA and the same renowned programming and highly-trained staff as our day camps, you know your child will be in good hands. We even include all the “extras” that make overnight camp so memorable: bunk competitions, House induction ceremonies, a talent show, and all-camp games and scavenger hunts.
If your child is ready for a fantastically fun overnight experience, you’ve come to the right place.
How it Works
During the day, campers participate in their selected daytime elective, followed by free time for chilling in their rooms or bonding with new friends. They then begin their afternoon elective, which is either Ultimate Sports Challenge or one of our creative electives, all of which are designed to introduce campers to new hobbies and interests they might not otherwise get to try.
After dinner, the overnight experience ramps up, with exciting camp-wide games and challenges. There’s a different event each night, including a free choice evening, where campers get to choose their own activity, and one evening each week features a trip into downtown DC.
Daytime Electives (choose one)
Fitzpatrick Hoops Camp, located at our Alexandria, VA location, is a supportive atmosphere for players of all abilities who enjoy positive coaching and healthy competition. This fun and fast-paced camp is coached by Episcopal’s own Jim Fitzpatrick.
All skill levels and abilities are welcome in this fun and fast-paced program! Campers play multiple sports and games each day, and work to win both personal and performance points on the Headfirst Scoreboard.
All new in 2019! This STEAM-based camp dives deep into a different story and theme each week, creating a world where campers must learn and experiment together in order to solve a final team challenge. Each week includes a related field trip to help bring the theme to life.
In addition to learning new skills and technology related to various STEM themes – such as Coding, Robotics, Physics and Forensics – this cutting-edge camp also focuses on problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration, making it a fun and interactive experience.
Afternoon Electives (choose one)
The Ultimate Sports Challenge
Enjoy some friendly competition in familiar sports like soccer and basketball while also exploring more outside-of-the-box activities like Frisbee Golf, Ninja Warriors and Bumper Bubble Soccer.
Junior Medical: Life in the ER
Medically-minded campers will learn some of the techniques, skills, and knowledge necessary to be an Emergency Room doctor, including basic first aid, how to assess symptoms and check a person’s vitals, and swabbing for bacteria. They’ll also collaborate with fellow campers using real medical tools and methods to dissect an organ (non-human!) and suture a banana peel. Paging Dr. Headfirst!
Picture This! Digital Photography
After learning and practicing some basic photography concepts, Picture This! campers will be challenged to apply them through games, group activities, and timed photo scavenger hunts. Participants will also share feedback with each other as well as favorite techniques to make their photos look picture perfect. More than simply point and shoot, this program will challenge campers to push past their photography comfort zones!
WHOC Radio Headfirst
Join us for a week of radio- and podcast-themed fun, where campers will have the opportunity to learn recording, interviewing, and editing skills, and apply them as they work with a team to create their own podcast or radio show. From crafting their show’s content to choosing a radio DJ name, campers will enjoy experimenting with the world of sound and voice. By the end of the week, participants will have each created a unique podcast for their fellow campers to enjoy.
Junior MBA: Silicon Valley Experience
Junior MBA campers will experience the ups and downs, successes and setbacks that come with being a real entrepreneur. After designing and developing a product of their choosing, campers will flesh out their financials, build a marketing website, and hold a press conference in hopes of achieving a successful launch at the end of the week. This elective is set up like the Game of Life, where the outcome of some activities are determined by a “roll of the dice,” such as receiving a big order that brings in extra income or being hit by an expected tax bill. Do you have what it takes to make it?
Where is Overnight Camp located?
Headfirst Overnight Camp is located at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA.
What is the camp schedule like?
Campers have exciting, packed-to-the-brim days while at Headfirst Overnight Camp. Take a look at our sample schedule:
- 7:30 am : Wake up call
- 8:00 am : Breakfast at the dining hall
- 9:00 am : Check into daytime programming
- 12:00 pm: Lunch time!
- 2:45 pm: Check into Overnight programming
- 3:00 pm: Snack
- 3:30 pm: Rest period
- 4:30 pm: Elective hour #1
- 5:30 pm: Dinner time!
- 6:15 pm: Elective hour #2
- 7:30 pm: Evening activity
- 8:45 pm: Evening snack
- 9:00 pm: Wind down time
- 9:30 pm: Dorm check and lights out
What is the food like at Overnight camp?
It’s delicious! The Episcopal dining hall serves a variety of hot and cold meat-based and vegetarian prepared entrees, fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal and bread products, and a variety of low-calorie drink options. And don’t forget about dessert – it’s often our favorite part. Overnight campers visit the dining hall three times daily and serve themselves in the servery.
How are food allergies and sensitivities handled?
Episcopal’s dining hall is managed by Flik Dining Services and is completely nut-free during the summer. The dining hall staff is very comfortable and familiar with other food allergies and sensitivities. There are gluten-free and dairy-free options at every meal, and symbols help visually designate gluten-free and vegetarian foods. Campers who require such food items will be given a tour of the locations where they can find foods safe to enjoy. HOC staff are also aware of students who may need to sit at an allergen-free table and help to facilitate safe dining.
Are cell phones and technology allowed?
Cell phones and other wi-fi capable technologies are not allowed at Headfirst Overnight Camp. Please leave all electronic devices and technology at home – this includes smartphone watches, iPods and mp3 players, video or DVD players, iPads and tablets, and gaming devices. We encourage parents to talk with their campers about our policy before arriving at check-in to prepare them for a week of unplugged activities. While some of our programs use iPads for activities, campers will only use them at designated activity times.
Who is supervising and caring for my camper? Who are your staff?
Headfirst Overnight Camp staff are hired by our extraordinary Talent team and go through multiple screenings and interviews. All staff are background checked and fingerprinted prior to joining us on Episcopal’s campus. All Overnight staff are over 18 years old, receive training on safety, programming, and supervision, and are led by our on-site Leadership team. Campers are with counselors throughout the day, and staff are housed on the hall with campers to provide support and structure through their time at Overnight Camp.
How can I contact my camper?
Headfirst Overnight Camp recommends sending your camper an email! At check-in, you’ll receive information about how to send an email to your camper during the week. We distribute emails twice a week, and campers can respond by writing back. We do our best to encourage them to write back, but we don’t force them to. We scan their responses and send them back to you by noon the next day.
If you write your camper an email, we recommended focusing on how exciting it is for your camper to be at Overnight Camp. Letters that mention missing a camper or counting down the days until their return tend to backfire, prompting homesickness or sadness. Encourage your camper to try new things, tell you about the exciting activities, or even ask about their favorite meal.
Where will my camper live?
Campers live in dorms, separated by gender, on Episcopal High School’s campus. Campers are likely to be in a double with a single roommate but may share a room with up to three others. Staff of the same gender live on the hall and provide support and structure.
What should my camper pack?
After registration and prior to the start of camp, parents/guardians will receive the Parent Information Packet that includes a detailed packing list. Please leave brand new items and anything valuable or breakable at home! Some items are essential – medications, clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, and toiletries – and others are optional – a stuffed animal or a small lamp.
How do you manage medications?
Our Camp Nurse is responsible for medication management and administration with support from our Medication Administration Trained Leadership Staff. All medication brought to camp (including both prescription and preferred over-the-counter) will be turned in during check-in. The Camp Nurse speaks with campers and their families about instructions and timing to make sure the same schedule is followed at camp that would be followed at home.
If your camper’s medication must be with them at all times (i.e., EpiPen or inhaler), we 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.
Headfirst Overnight provides most over-the-counter (OTC) medications needed at camp. It is not necessary to pack OTC medications. Upon registration, parents/guardians will be able to select the medications they want to be made available should their camper need them.
How does check-in and check-out work?
Headfirst Overnight campers check in on Sundays between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, with arrival on campus by 3:30 pm. Campers and families will be guided through different steps of the process, including moving items to their dorm room, checking in spending money, having their temperature taken and completing our health screening, and turning in medications and meeting with the nurse if needed. At the end, campers head off to play games and parents/guardians can depart!
On the flipside, Fridays from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm are check-out days! Parents/guardians will sign out their camper prior to meeting them at the dorms with their luggage. We do check ID against our Authorized Driver List before releasing any camper to an adult.
Can I visit my camper or come observe activities?
We do not permit adults who have not been background checked and fingerprinted to enter our facility sites. If you would like an update on your camper, please contact our Customer Care team during regular business hours.
I need to coordinate early departure or late arrival – can I do that?
If you need to coordinate a unique arrival or departure time outside the scheduled check-in and check-out windows, please contact our Customer Care team as soon as possible, or by 6 pm the Friday before. Onsite Leadership will be in touch leading up to the day to coordinate the details.
Do you accept “walk up” registrations?
No, we do not accept walk up registrations for Overnight Camp.
How do I get in touch after regular business hours?
We recommend contacting our Customer Care team and leaving a message – a member of the team will respond to any messages left after regular business hours promptly the next day.
At check-in, parents/guardians will be given the Leadership on Duty phone number, which is operational between 7 pm and 7 am in the event of extreme emergencies. However, parents will not be connected to their camper should they ask to speak with them.
Headfirst Summer Camps strive 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.
Refund & Credit Policies
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.
Medication Authorization & Administration
Headfirst Overnight Camp has a Camp Nurse on staff who is responsible for medication management and administration with support from our Medication Administration Trained Leadership Staff. When dropping your camper off, please include all necessary medications (including prescription and preferred over-the-counter medicines) in clearly marked bags, along with the Medication Administration Authorization form.
Headfirst Overnight provides most over-the-counter (OTC) medications needed at camp. It is not necessary to pack OTC medications. Upon registration, parents/guardians will be able to select the medications they want to be made available should their camper need them. Campers are not permitted to have over-the-counter (OTC) medicines in their possession.
Under the supervision of our nurse, we will administer any necessary medication — including both OTC and prescription.
All morning and evening medications are distributed at meals. Bedtime medications are distributed by the nurse immediately prior to camper lights out.
Dormitory & Residential Policies
All dorms at Headfirst Summer Camps will be single-gender by building. Campers of the same gender are permitted to visit each other’s rooms until 9:30pm, when campers will be asked to be in their own room prior to 10:00pm lights out.
All dorms are supervised by HOC staff, as well as a residential lead counselor in each dorm.
All campers will be placed with roommates based on their age and program. If your camper is attending with a friend, you may indicate a roommate request during registration, and we will do our best to place them together in their dorm. Dorm rooms at Episcopal vary from doubles to quads, and depending on enrollment, age, and programming, campers may be with one to three roommates during each week of residential programming.
Campers may not leave the dorm between wind down time (9:00pm) and wake-up call (7:30am).
Dorm Appearance, Standards, & Safety
The occupants of each room are responsible for its condition. At the beginning of each session the staff will take an inventory of the room. When campers vacate a room, missing or damaged items not on the original report will be billed to them.
Episcopal furniture is not to be removed from a room without the permission of the staff. Where applicable, screens are not to be removed from windows.
It is vitally important that certain fire safety and health practices be followed in order to ensure the safety and well-being of others:
- Multiple plug adapters and extension cords are forbidden by city fire ordinances. Power bars with circuit breakers should be purchased and used when operating multiple electrical devices.
- Candles, incense, or other incendiary items are not allowed on the dormitory. This is considered a major violation.
Security of Rooms & Room Searches
Headfirst Summer Camps reserve the right to search a camper’s room, belongings, phone, computer, or other personal electronic devices when concerns arise over substance use, theft, or other major rule violations. When possible, a room search will be conducted in the presence of the occupant(s) of the room as well as two Headfirst Summer Camp team members. If there is ever an instance, however, when the health or safety of a camper is compromised, a staff member may be directed to conduct a room search immediately. In that case, the staff member may do so without the occupant(s) present. In the event any search yields information regarding behavior by any camper that appears to be improper, Headfirst Summer Camps reserve the right to use that information as it sees fit, including sharing it with appropriate authorities.
Campers are hosts in their rooms. They are responsible for what transpires in their rooms and may be accountable for disciplinary action even if they personally have not participated in the rules infraction.
No camper may enter or remain in another camper’s room unless the occupant is present in the room. Violation of this expectation will result in a disciplinary response. Therefore, it is important that campers do not share room combinations with other campers.
For the safety and security of dormitory residents, first-floor dorm room windows are equipped with window guards. They may only be removed by the dorm resident in the case of an emergency. Otherwise, tampering or removing the guards will result in a disciplinary response.
In the event that a camper contracts an illness while at camp, Headfirst Summer Camps may quarantine that camper as necessary to prevent its spread. Our on-staff nurse is licensed to provide care, and will communicate with camper’s parents as necessary.
The McAllister Health Center houses a 12-bed observation unit and overnight infirmary for campers requiring isolation. Admission to the Infirmary is at the discretion of the nurse on-staff.
Behavioral & Discipline Policy
Headfirst Summer Camps dormitory and teaching staff use the positive techniques of guidance, including logical or natural consequences applied in problem situations, redirection of campers 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 campers to solve problems rather than imposing solutions as a mechanism for fostering and developing independence and autonomy.
Headfirst Summer Camps reserves the right to dismiss a camper 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, or for behavior which endangers the safety of him/herself, other campers, or staff. 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.
Headfirst Summer Camps will under no circumstances tolerate the introduction to campus or the use of any illicit, banned, or age-restricted substances or materials by campers. In the event that a camper is found to have violated this policy, he or she will be immediately dismissed from camp.
Responsible Use of Technology Policy
All members of the Headfirst community who use the School’s computing and information resources must act responsibly. The guidelines for the acceptable use of technology can be found on the Episcopal website under Technology Support -”Acceptable Use Of Technology”. Please refer to it for a complete guide on the acceptable use of technology. Ignorance of these guidelines is not an excuse for misuse of the School’s technology.
All students must take reasonable and appropriate steps to see that their computing devices are password protected and have active antivirus and malware software installed. If you do not have security software, it will be provided to you free of charge.
Only devices that have been approved by Headfirst Summer Camp may be attached to EHSnet, and not every Internet-capable device may be connected to the School’s network. The Technology Department reserves the right to remove any device that poses a threat to the safety of the computer network.
Ultimately, each user is responsible for their own computing and own work using a computer; this responsibility and privilege should be taken seriously. Misuse of technology may result in disciplinary action ranging from loss of privileges to dismissal. In addition, it is important that students cooperate with members of the Technology Department when requested for information about computing activities. Under certain circumstances, a network administrator may be authorized to access your computer and/or email files.