PARENT INFORMATION PACKET
We are excited for the opportunity to serve your kids this summer at Mt. Gilead. We have carefully followed the Health Orders released by our county and are thrilled to serve our community by offering a day program for children in 1st-8th grade.
Due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer overnight camps. Like most daycares, children will be dropped off daily and picked up daily, Monday-Friday of our programmed weeks. Your 1st-8th grade child can attend any week of day camp. We will be creating grade-specific groups and activities which are age-appropriately catered to those groups. Space is limited to 72 children per week in order to ensure that we can keep groups of 12 children separated from other groups in compliance with the current daycare-specific health orders.
Our ability to run this program is based on closely following our local health orders. It must be acknowledged, however, that the complete elimination of risk is not possible. We must continue to operate as a community that watches out for each other’s safety as well as our own. One key part of maintaining a lower risk environment is not only our actions on site, but each family’s actions when not at camp. We encourage families to follow the recommendations set forth by the Sonoma County Health Officials, i.e. wearing a mask when in public and practicing sanitation and practicing social distancing.
We recognize it is a privilege that we have been given to operate this summer. We thank God for this opportunity to encourage, challenge and nurture your child in their walk with Jesus. We look forward to serving you and your children this summer.
$349 per week (includes morning snack and two meals)
1st-8th grade every week
Session 1: June 29 - July 3
Session 2: July 6 - July 10
Session 3: July 13 - July 17
Session 4: July 20 - July 24
Session 5: July 27 - July 31
Everyday dropoff will start at 7:30am and end at 8:00am
Everyday pickup will start at 5:30pm and end at 6:00pm
*This is not an overnight program. We ask that you drop off and pick up your children at the designated time every day so we can stick to our daily schedule and make the most of our day program.
Our drop off time will occur Monday-Friday from 7:30am-8:00am. Parents will be asked to remain in their vehicles during the entirety of dropoff time unless they need to drop off their child’s medication.
Drive-Through Drop Off:
Pull up to the main office parking lot of camp, there will be signs from the entrance of camp directing to the main office.
Once you arrive at the main office parking lot, there will be a staff member directing your vehicle to a loading zone. Staff will approach your vehicle window and ask your child’s name and digitally check them in using an iPad.
Health Screening/Medication Drop Off
Once digitally checked-in, your vehicle will be directed forward to staff who will ask a series of health screening questions and take the camper's temperature.
After answering all the health screening questions and temperature is within normal limits, your child will be allowed to exit your vehicle. We ask that they put on their face covering/mask at this time.
If your child has medications to turn in, your vehicle will be directed to an adjacent parking lot, where you will park and approach the nurses station following the marked socially distanced lines. We ask that you wear a mask or face covering once you exit your vehicle
If your child does not have medication to turn in, your vehicle will be directed out of the loading zone at this time and your child will be connected with their counselor to start their fun-packed day.
Specific Questions or Requests:
With our day program model, we will be expediting our pickup and dropoff procedures so that parents may be able to get to work on time and our participants will be able to start their daily activities. We will not have a designated time for parents to mingle with the staff and counselors. Our staff will be directing you through the pickup and dropoff times, and the Program Managers will be present and available during this time. If you have any special requests or needs, please notify the staff directing traffic and they will have a Program Manager or Leadership Staff Member come to your vehicle and assist you.
Pickup time starts at 5:30pm and ends at 6:00pm. We ask that parents remain in their vehicle during the entirety of pick up time, unless picking up their child’s medication.
Parents will be directed to our main office parking lot and directed into loading zones. Staff will approach your vehicle window and ask your child’s name. They will then radio to our counseling team and have your child escorted to your vehicle.
For the safety of your child, they will ask to see your photo I.D. to verify you are on the approved list to pick up your child and then you will be directed to the exit.
If you have medications to pick up for your child, you will be directed to an adjacent parking lot next to the nurse’s station where you can retrieve your child’s medication. We ask that you wear a mask or face-covering upon exiting your vehicle.
What to Bring
Masks or face covering
Notebook and pen
Daily Health Screening
Every attending child and staff member will be asked a series of health screening questions upon arrival on Monday; we have added questions to our screening that assess the current known symptoms of COVID-19. Our Health Supervisor and nursing staff will assess children and staff for visual signs of illness, and take temperatures daily. If a child or staff member has a temperature over 100 degrees F or reports any symptom of COVID-19 we will respond accordingly (see “Our Response to Signs of COVID-19”).
Our Response to Signs of COVID-19
If a child or staff report symptoms of COVID-19, they will immediately be isolated for a short time until they are able to leave camp. If a child shows symptoms, parents will be notified immediately and asked to pick up their child and their belongings. If a staff member has symptoms, they will be sent home. Children and staff who are asked to leave Mt. Gilead due to symptoms of COVID will not be allowed to return to the grounds for two weeks after the resolution of symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Fever over 100 degrees F
Shortness of breath
Loss of appetite
Loss of smell
As the current COVID-19 situation develops and more information becomes available, known symptoms may change. Health Supervisor will stay alert to recommendations for screening and commonly reported symptoms per the CDC recommendations.
Sonoma County Department of Health Services Compliance
We are functioning as a daycare provider per county and state guidance, operating within the parameters set by the Order of the Health Officer of the County of Sonoma No. C19-09 (https://socoemergency.org/order-of-the-health-officer-no-19-09-shelter-in-place-extended/), subsections 16.f.xxviii and 16.l
Amendment 2 of Order No. C19-09, subsection 1 (https://socoemergency.org/amendment-no-2-to-health-order-no-c19-09-essential-businesses/) clarifies that “childcare facilities can open to those outside of the essential workforce.”
We’ve submitted operational procedures for our Summer Daycare Program to the Sonoma County Department of Health Services for approval.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Compliance
We are also functioning as a daycare provider per the CDC’s Schools & Child Care Health Considerations, Tools, and Guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I pay my child’s balance?
Online: Go to the online student dashboard where you registered for daycare.
You can navigate to the dashboard by clicking “register” on the top menu of the Mt.
Gilead website www.mtgilead.org
By Phone: Call our office (707) 823-4508 and we are happy to process your payment.
When is drop off and pick up?
Drop off: Everyday, Monday-Friday, between 7:30-8:00am, in the main office parking lot
Pick up: Everyday, Monday-Friday, between 5:30-6:00pm
Further information on pickup and dropoff procedures later in this guide.
What’s your visitor policy?
For the safety of our students and staff, Mt. Gilead has a no visitor policy. If there is a specific
need (e.g. to drop off forgotten items) contact the Mt. Gilead office during business hours.
How do I send my child mail?
Please address mail as follows:
Mt. Gilead Bible Camp
13485 Green Valley Rd.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Mail is passed out at lunch Monday–Friday.
*Please plan ahead and make sure to give a couple of extra days for mail to get here so your child does not miss it.
Do you post any pictures of camp during the week?
We post photos, videos and blogs on our social media sites. For summer highlights follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
What to Expect from Mt. Gilead
Mt. Gilead Summer Program Mission
For students to know and be transformed by Jesus Christ through Authentic Relationships, Meaningful Experiences and Impactful Environments
We want to see students become committed followers of Jesus Christ. Everything that we do is about helping students understand who Jesus is and how to have a growing relationship with Him. This is why we do our programs, and everything from chapels to crazy games support that vision.
We believe the Bible is the authoritative truth, divinely inspired by God. The teaching of God’s Word is central to our programming, and we look for creative ways to tie biblical principles to all aspects of our programs.
We love the church, and our heart is to come alongside and support churches. Our desire is never to replace the work that churches are doing, but to help them minister to their students.
Our programs are focused on the student’s experience. We love our staff, but our programs are all about students learning about Jesus and having fun.
Mt. Gilead is a place where significant memories happen! Our programs are put together with that in mind. We know that students won’t remember everything that is taught in chapel or shared by their counselor, but they will remember how God worked in their lives and the highlights of their experience at Mt. Gilead for a lifetime.
Mt. Gilead is a Christian Camp & Conference Center in the Sonoma County redwoods on 238 acres, located just outside Sebastopol, CA. Our camp was founded in 1963. Since that time, we have hosted over half a million students and guests at summer camps, weekend conferences, outdoor education programs, church retreats and, now, day care programs. The map below gives you a general overview of our facility. We have highlighted a few key areas that are especially helpful for parents and students.
This is where you check in, drop off forgotten items, and sign your child out early. This is also where you will go if your student arrives at camp after registration on Monday morning. Our office staff are available in person Monday through Friday.
2. Main Chapel
This amphitheater-style building is one of the most utilized buildings at Mt. Gilead. Between the main sanctuary and attached Fireside common room, we’re able to host a variety of games, music, videos, skits, downtime, and other activities. With three different enclosed spaces within the structure, we’re able to offer multiple exciting activities while providing for social distancing.
3. Dining Hall and Dining Deck
The Dining Hall has an outdoor picnic area surrounded by redwood trees with tables for each student group. The students will be eating all of their meals on the Dining Hall Deck with their respective groups socially distanced from other groups. Meals will be brought directly to them on trays from the Dining Hall, either by our trained kitchen staff or by their counselor.
4. Victory Circle
Our outdoor amphitheater sits just up the hill from the Dining Hall Deck. Complete with spacious seating, stage and firepit, this area presents excellent opportunities to maintain safe distances between groups of students while still gathering for chapel sessions, music, and games.
5. Event Tent
Beyond our Main Chapel building, among the redwoods, is our Event Tent. This open-air, hardwood floored space houses a handful of gaming tables for foosball, pingpong, and carpet ball. It also presents a large shaded area for more crafts, games, and other fun activities.
6. Playing Fields
We have two large fields that we use for many of the awesome games that are part of our daily program rotations, including: soccer, frisbee, and knockerball. This is also where the trailhead is located for a hike up to beautiful Inspiration Point.
7. Recreation Canyon
Recreation Canyon has many more of our available activities like our craft cabin, shuffleboard courts, BMX course, scavenger hunt field, hiking trails, and more.
7th - 8th Graders Only:
Our target range can accommodate for 4-6 students at a time, with supervised lessons in archery for younger students, and axe throwing for older students
An exciting mix of traditional soccer and human hamster ball, these giant inflatable bubbles allow students to run, jump, roll, kick and flip while being fully shielded from the thighs up
Enjoy our state-of-the-art laser tag with your friends
All Age Groups:
Escaping the heat in our spacious Mt. Gilead pool
Square off on your own pedestals armed with soft, spongy foam filled batons in our huge inflatable jousting arena
Dodgeball with a twist
Like a pool table, but with soccer balls
Two full-size courts
A twist on the classic games of volleyball and four square
Three tetherball poles, located near the basketball courts
Hiking and Scavenger Hunts
Enjoy the beautiful scenery, and keep your eyes peeled for an assortment of treasures
Students have access to classic crafts, including lanyards, friendship bracelets, and tie-dye
A variety of simple, silly, and super fun dramatic displays
Learn a new instrument, hand motions for an old classic, or sing to your heart’s content
Relays, Messy games and Water games!
Shopping at Mt. Gilead
Our Snack Shack is open daily during activity rotations. We are accepting cash or child-specific online accounts, so you can preload money to your child’s account which they can spend throughout the week.
There are two options for you to deposit money to your child’s account:
1. Online from the Registration Dashboard
2. Over the phone by calling our main office.
You are not able to put money into your child’s account in-person, as we will be limiting traffic in our main office and there will not be a time for parents to shop during our expedited pickup and dropoff. Your child may also bring cash to spend at the Snack Shack. If you choose to give your child cash to spend, we recommend small daily amounts as Mt. Gilead staff cannot be held responsible if your child misplaces their cash, although we will do our best to make sure they keep track of it.
In-store shopping for Gilead’s Gifts will be unavailable during our Day Program. A limited supply of Mt. Gilead apparel and accessories will be available for purchase at our Snack Shack. We’re exploring a number of options for offering the remainder of our merchandise through online shopping and delivery.
Our Daily Schedule
Children will be put into set groups of 12 students with 2 counselors, in adherence with health orders, and will not physically interact with any other group. Their group and leaders will remain set for the entire week. They will go through a rotation of activities detailed later in this guide. Each activity site will be sanitized between rotations. The outdoor chapel times will be held at our outdoor amphitheater and our outdoor event tent. Groups will have their own marked seating areas, socially distanced from other groups in attendance.
7:30am..........Drop off and check-in/Health Screening
8:00...............Campers Join Groups
10:30.............Outdoor Social Distance Chapel #1
11:30.............Team (Group) Discussion
3:45...............Outdoor Social Distance Chapel #2
4:30...............Team (Group) Discussion
5:30...............Pick up and sign out
6:00...............Pick up complete
Late Pick Up
If you are going to be late for pick up, please call our main office as it helps both our staff and your child to expect your delay. There is a late fee of $5 for parents arriving 15 minutes after the scheduled pick up time. An additional $1 for every 5 minutes will accrue after that time. (example: if you arrive at 6:18, the late fee will be $6). All late fees must be paid before enrolling in another program.
Your child will be fed a snack at breakfast time as well as full meals at lunch and dinner time. We will be serving individually prepared boxed meals to our students and staff this summer, in order to follow increased safety measures. Our food service staff will be following county health orders and guidelines in order to serve our students and staff well this summer. They will be maintaining social distance from staff and children, while wearing masks and gloves during all preparation and meal service times.
Students will sit outside on our large dining deck with their set groups and maintain social distance from all other groups. The tables on the deck will be cleaned and sanitized after every meal.
Special Dietary Needs
We work with parents and attendees to accommodate food allergies and dietary needs. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available at all meals and labeled specific boxed meals will be set aside for those who need them. To get other special meals, or if your camper needs their food prepared separate from the rest of our menu, they can communicate with their counselor and we will help them get what they need.
Your child can also bring their own snacks every day. We ask that they have the capability of carrying their own snacks and whatever other belongings they bring to camp, in a backpack or purse. We ask that your child does not share their snacks for the safety of other children who may have allergies.
If you need to contact your child during any part of our scheduled day, you may call our main office. We will be able to get a message to your child. We understand that sometimes situations come up and your child may ask to reach you. We request, if at all possible, that phone calls from children in our day program to parents are limited to emergencies as to maintain clear phone lines, as well as to protect the health and safety of your child and our office staff.
Our counselors will be sending short notes home with your child everyday, highlighting how your child is enjoying their time at our day program.
Mt. Gilead has medical professionals available to children at all times. The nurses who serve at Mt. Gilead are currently licensed in the state of California. We have standing orders for care which have been signed by a doctor and approved by the Sonoma County Health Department. Our Summer Health Supervisor is a Registered Nurse and coordinates with all nursing staff to ensure that these orders are followed.
All camper medications must be turned in to nursing staff. Medications are dispensed to campers per parent instructions throughout the week. Please pick up your camper’s medications on Friday prior to leaving camp. If medications are left behind, it is your responsibility to pick them up. Medications are kept for two weeks and then properly disposed of.
Illness and Injury
Illnesses and injuries sometimes happen at camp. Students who have a fever will be sent home. Allowing sick students to remain at Mt. Gilead, even in isolation, is not permitted according to the Health Department.
While we do not call home every time a student visits the nurse for an injury or illness, we do our best to keep parents informed of their student’s well-being when injuries do occur.
Our staff are a huge part of the student’s experience. The majority of our summer team are returning staff members, past campers or close friends with full-time or summer staff members. This allows us to hire people that are recommended by people who we know and trust.
The search for summer staff is a year-round process which we take very seriously. Our strongest resource for hiring new team members are staff alumni. Starting in the fall, we travel throughout the west coast seeking the best available candidates. We have an extensive application process, including questions regarding beliefs, work history, education, faith walk and personality. Candidates must also submit references from both a pastor as well as a teacher/mentor or employer. The next step is for applicants to interview with our Program Managers. We seek to really get to know their background, experiences, qualifications and motivation for being on staff. Once the application is complete and the interview is done, our Managers spend time praying and processing through our potential applicants. Those who are selected are given a background check.
All staff and volunteers, prior to being hired, are required to authorize Mt. Gilead to run a background check. The background checks are completed by our HR department and are processed by Protect My Ministry. We also check references on all staff and volunteers.
Student supervision is very important. We have a staff-to-student ratio of 1:3 for our day care program. This includes counselors, activity staff and support staff. Most student groups will have 2 counselors with a maximum of 10-12 students. During our daily programmed activities, we assign staff to monitor different areas throughout our campus, including at least one staff at each individual station available to students.
We work hard to make sure staff are well-prepared. We spend two weeks prior to student arrival providing training in group dynamics, decision making, challenge course and activity training, as well as spiritual formation, leading Bible studies, student group management, and debriefing learning experiences. We also provide additional training in the following areas:
Mt. Gilead has established plans for a variety of medical emergencies as well as natural disasters. We practice these plans with all staff. In the unlikely event that Mt. Gilead has to be evacuated, we have an evacuation plan which involves transporting students to the Graton Fire Department. If this becomes necessary, we will communicate via social media, email and by making phone calls when necessary. Our evacuation plan includes the establishment of an Emergency Director. This position will typically be filled by Dave Gould, Mt. Gilead’s Executive Director, but could be filled by one of the Program Managers, or another on-site manager.
First Aid Certifications
All staff are CPR-certified prior to the start of our summer programs. This includes CPR, First Aid, and AED training. Mt. Gilead has an on-site AED for use during cardiac emergencies.
Protecting Mt. Gilead students is an integral part of our pre-program training. This includes student protection policies, mandatory reporting for child abuse, staff code of conduct, and safety awareness training.