New Campers. New Questions.

New Camper FAQs

If you’re new to summer camp you probably have a hundred questions so we created this list to help answer a few. If you still have more reach out to us and we’ll answer the rest of your questions.

Campers are grouped by age and/or grade in our camp. Our goal is to create groups with a mix of campers both new and returning. Many of our campers attend camp on their own, so we make every effort to include other campers in the group who also came to camp on their own. For campers coming with a friend or friends, we are happy to accommodate requests, but requests must be mutual. When campers come to camp in large groups, it becomes difficult to keep all friends together therefore it is likely that groups of 4 or larger will be split into separate groups. However, we try our best to be sure that campers from a large group are with at least one of their requests (not necessarily their first request).

We have 200 campers in camp divided into 20 cabin groups of no more than 10 campers. We also have 32 CIT’s, split evenly between boys and girls. 

Our camper to counselor ratio is approximately 3:1. Two full counselors live with and supervise each cabin group, plus an Assistant Counselor and a CIT is assigned to each group.

Campers are housed in motel-style accommodations with 10 campers and 2 counselors per room. Campers sleep in sleeping bags on comfortable bunk beds. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning and heating, ample storage space for belongings, and full bathroom and shower facilities.


At Canyon Creek, we know our staff is the key to a positive camp experience. All of our counselors are at least 18 years or older and have completed at least one year of college or work experience. All counselors must pass a written evaluation as well as a lengthy interview process conducted by our Directors who have over 30 years of interviewing experience. In addition, comprehensive, professional background checks are done on all employees. Counselors attend a week-long training that includes First Aid and CPR certification, child psychology and counselor conduct seminars, conflict resolution strategies, situational role playing exercises, and introductions to the newest games and exercises. At Canyon Creek, we are committed to your family and your child’s safety is our number one concern.
Parents are welcome to drive their camper to and from camp, however, the majority of our campers take advantage of our chartered buses. We recommend taking the bus as the camp experience really begins by meeting friends on the way to camp, and campers usually want to extend the time with their friends on the bus ride at the end of camp. Our charter buses depart from two locations: Cheviot Hills Recreation Center in West Los Angeles, and Balboa Recreation Center in Encino. All sessions begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. Parents receive a packet of information prior to their session with exact time details. For campers flying in to camp, we are pleased to provide a complimentary airport service. Parents are asked to provide camp with their itineraries as far in advance as possible, and we will work with you on the pick-up and drop-off details for your camper.
Named Nathalie’s Candies after one of our most beloved camp skits, the camp store sells snacks, toiletries, camp clothing, and other camp items such as stamps, postcards, and stationery. Items in the store are covered under campers’ tuition. The camp store is open M-F after lunch and campers get to choose up to 2 treats to enjoy before their afternoon Free Choice Activities.
Canyon Creek uses CampMinder to make our parents’ camp experience as easy as possible. CampMinder provides registration, photo and email services for our campers, parents, and staff through our website. Campers’ parents have individual passwords with which to logon to the site and have the ability to assign passwords to other family members. Canyon Creek photographers upload hundreds of photos each day, available for viewing and purchasing.
As part of the registration process, parents will receive a “What to Bring to Camp” packing list that includes all of the items we recommend for a one and two-week stay with us at camp. We recommend not bringing any items that are of high value as we cannot be responsible for lost or damaged items. Canyon Creek has a strict NO CELL PHONE policy, as well as a NO ELECTRONICS policy. Any cell phones or other electronic devices found at camp will be kept by the Director and given back on the last day of camp.
To keep our camp population safe and healthy, Canyon Creek is a closed campus. Campers staying multiple sessions will have an opportunity to call home and talk to their parents between sessions but no visitors are allowed on camp grounds.

Morning activities are scheduled by cabin group to ensure that campers get to try everything at camp – especially the activities they may not choose on their own. These activities include archery, go-karts, and ropes course, tennis, and ropes course. In the afternoon, campers then get to choose their activities for our “Free Choice Activities” from a long list that changes daily. The evening activities are planned as all-camp activities.

In case of an emergency at camp, our staff is trained in first aid and CPR and is fully versed in camp emergency communication procedures. In addition to our counselors, we have Registered Nurses on campus the entire summer. We also have a Camp Doctor on call at all times. We keep emergency supplies, including epi-pens (for allergic reactions) and multiple AED (Automated External Defibrillator) units throughout our camp Health Center. Emergency Medical Services are just 3 miles down the road from camp, and, in a life-threatening emergency, air transport is readily available and able to land directly on campus. Of course, our most important priority is maintaining our campers’ and staff members’ safety, so we enforce safety rules throughout camp and during all activity programs. Our excellent safety record attests to our stringent adherence to high safety standards.

Canyon Creek Summer Camp is an accredited camp certified by the American Camping Association (ACA). We are proud to have earned accreditation from the ACA in just our second year of existence. We have since maintained our accreditation by adhering to over 250 strict standards pertaining to site and food service, transportation, healthcare, operational management, human resources and program standards.
Many people often use the term “homesickness” when talking about their kid’s reluctance or anxiety about being away from home. However, at Canyon Creek, we refer to the way a kid is feeling as “missing home,” and help them to understand that they are not in fact “sick” because what they are feeling is completely normal and happens to kids of all ages. Our number one goal when interacting with a kid who is missing home is to help them feel safe and comfortable. Although our counselors are fully versed in issues relating to this topic, our Directors are the ones who deal directly with each camper to help them work through their reluctance. It is important to note too that we keep parents fully aware of what is happening at camp so that we can partner with you to find the best and most effective technique for your individual kid. Campers who feel like they might be picked up from camp often have the hardest time working through their feelings, so we always ask parents to help start the conversation well in advance of their kid coming to camp so that while at camp, campers don’t rely on their pre-arranged “deals” with their parents that they will be “saved” from their difficult situation. As parents ourselves, we understand completely how hard it is to not be able to shield your kid from every sad feeling, but as camp Directors, we also fully understand the lifelong implications of letting a child work through their issues without a parent’s direct help. Finally, although every kid is unique, missing home is not unique, and we have found that with some kids it can be a short moment of sadness, and with others it takes more time. We are fully committed to helping your kid with however long it takes for them to feel comfortable and enjoy camp to its fullest.
The majority of our camper population takes medication for a multitude of reasons. This includes prescription medication, over-the-counter medication and vitamins. All medications (including vitamins) are administered by our Camp Nurses and records are kept in strict confidentiality. Prior to the beginning of your camp session, parents are required to fill out medical forms, and have a doctor’s authorization for any and all medications required while at camp. Our Camp Health Center keeps in stock at all times various over-the-counter medications as outlined in our Parent Packet and parents must provide authorization for all such medications.
Canyon Creek has a “no electronics” policy which includes cell phones, Ipods, and other such devices. While at camp, campers communicate with each other with their actual voices (do you remember those times?), and they communicate with their parents via letter writing (yes, the old fashioned way). For our campers’ safety and protection, we cannot allow electronics in the cabin as many devices have recording capabilities and the cabin must remain a private environment.

Campers absolutely love to get mail at camp. Mail from home can come as either a letter or a one-way email. Parents love our one-way email service because it is easy, and they know that their camper will get that letter the same day. Campers can communicate with you via letter writing. Of course, Directors are always available to talk with parents by telephone regarding their camper, and we pride ourselves in giving parents more information than necessary so that you can enjoy your camp time too!

All activities at Canyon Creek other than SCUBA are open for kids of all ages, sizes, and ability. Our specialists at each activity help to gauge camper skill level so that the appropriate equipment is used and the appropriate supervision is provided. SCUBA is a NAUI-sanctioned activity for campers age 10 and up, even though the SCUBA program at Canyon Creek is done in our solar-heated pool, and not in an open body of water. Canyon Creek provides all the necessary equipment in a variety of sizes for every activity at camp.