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  • Alpengirl Pre-Camp Letter to Camp Families
    Welcome to Boise, ID Airport - An Alpengirl Group

Alpengirl's Pre-Camp Letter - Example

In late May, a pre-camp letter (similar to the one below on this page) is emailed to camp families. The letter includes detailed pre-camp information such as unaccompanied minor staff information, communication during camp, medication policies, personal property regulations, sharing tents and last minute camp updates.

 

Dear Alpengirls,

We’re eagerly anticipating your arrival at Alpengirl Camp this summer!

How are your preparations coming along? Have you started shopping for camp gear, breaking in your boots, getting fit, reading through your itinerary, and submitting your online camp forms? All this effort will make your arrival smooth and your time at camp more enjoyable.

There’s a lot of detailed and important information in this letter for you and your parents to read. Please send us an email at info@alpengirlcamp.com if you need any clarification on these important instructions. 

Note: Alpengirl will be calling you the day before your camp starts to get to know you better, answer any questions, and confirm your travel plans. [NOTE: calls from camp staff will come from BLOCKED numbers, so please plan to answer blocked number calls on your arranged communication days].

Feel free to call us anytime at the Alpengirl office.

We can’t wait to adventure with you!

 

Packing Lists

Just prior to camp arrival, please check to see that you have the most recent packing list (your packing list may have been updated since you first reviewed and/or printed it).

Waivers

We contract with professional outfitters to provide some of our camp activities such as rock climbing, surfing, horseback riding and rafting. These professional outfitters have their own waivers that are separate from all the Alpengirl forms or paperwork you have completed. Outfitter waivers specific to each session are attached to this email (they are not found on our website). These waivers must be printed and signed and brought with you to camp in Ziploc #1 (see packing list). Without the signed waivers, you will not be able to participate in those activities.

National Park Visitor Use Form

If you're attending North Cascades, Cascades Sea to Summit, WA Lil's, Olympic Mini, Mother Daughter, or Olympic Sea to Summit Adventures you will find a Visitor Use Acknowledgment of Risk Form attached to this email which should be signed by a parent and packed in your Ziploc #1 (see packing list) for collection upon arrival to camp by camp staff.

National Forest Visitor Use Form

If you’re attending a Cascades & Coast Adventure, you will find an Acknowledgement of Risk Form for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest attached to this email which should be signed by a parent and packed in your Ziploc #1 (see packing list) for collection upon arrival to camp by camp staff.

For your XXXXXX Adventure, you have xxx (x) waivers to sign, print, and bring with you to camp (attached).

T-shirt

Upon arrival to camp, you'll receive an Alpengirl t-shirt. You should wear a comfortable travel outfit (select something appropriate from our packing list) and arrive to camp looking for Alpenguides who are wearing an Alpengirl camp t-shirt. 

Photos

Alpengirl's non-professional, unedited snapshot camp photos are for sale for your session; you may purchase these at any time through your registration portal. Proceeds support the Alpengirl ACA Campership Fund in providing camp scholarships. Photos will be made available to you soon after the camp season ends, by mid-late August. We provide this opportunity to ensure your child has photos to accompany their camp memories in case they do not bring a camera with them. 

Internet Policies

Social networking sites offer content both bad and good. At best, they provide a place for the meaningful exchange of creative ideas, memories, and dialogue, keeping people connected to the friends and experiences that matter most. In general, our camp views social networking sites (Instagram, etc), personal websites, and blogs positively and respects the right of campers to use them as a medium of self-expression. If a camper chooses to identify as a camper at our camp on such platforms, some viewers may view the camper as a representative or spokesperson of Alpengirl. In light of this possibility, our camp asks that campers observe the following guidelines when referring to Alpengirl Camp, its programs or activities, its campers, and/or employees:

  • Campers should be respectful in all communications related to or referencing the camp, its employees, and other campers.

  • Campers should not use obscenities, profanity, or vulgar language.

  • Campers should not disparage the camp, other campers, or employees of the camp.

  • Campers should not harass, bully, or intimidate other campers or employees of the camp.

  • Campers should not discuss engaging in conduct that is prohibited by camp policies.

  • Campers should not post potentially offensive or embarrassing camp photos of any other camper or employees of the camp.

In addition, campers and families should not attempt to contact our staff members. It is our policy that Alpengirl employees are not allowed to communicate with minor campers before or after camp through letters, texts, emails, or any other form of social media. If you would like to pass a message along to one of our staff members after camp is over, please contact the office and we will do our best to pass it along on your behalf. 

Mail

Due to the nature of these wilderness trips, it is difficult to receive mail during our adventures. If mail is something you’d like your camper to have at camp, you’ll need to have mail delivered to the Alpengirl office by June 7 so that we can be sure to be able to deliver it during camp. The best option for camp mail is to pack pre-written letters in your campers bags to hand to us upon arrival; we will deliver it during camp. Please do not send candy, gum, or food items. Photos and group gifts are appreciated. Campers may have the opportunity to send mail out during camp but it often reaches home after camp ends.

Group Care Packages

Camper parents, friends or family may have chosen to purchase an Alpengirl Care Package for their camper and the group. Our packages include gifts for each camper in the group + 1 special gift just for the camper whose friends/family purchased the care package. All group care packages have already been purchased for 2024. Note that not every camper, nor every trip, has care packages! It’s just a fun extra to accommodate care package requests by some camp parents.

*Birthdays at camp: a cake/dessert and candles is always arranged for campers with birthdays during the session, regardless of whether or not a care package is purchased.

Camp Store

Alpengirl logo clothing and novelties are available for purchase during camp on all sessions. All sizes, colors, and styles are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Items may not be re-ordered, and we do not guarantee that items can be bought at a later date -- once an item is gone, it’s gone! 

Typical Camp Store Items and Prices:

  • Alpengirl stickers $2

  • Alpengirl hoodie $45

  • Alpengirl sun shirt $35

  • Alpengirl custom bandana $15

  • Alpengirl pom pom jersey $40

  • Alpengirl fleece jogger pants $40

  • Alpengirl sweatpants $40

  • Alpengirl cookbook $15

  • Alpengirl yoga pages $15

  • Alpengirl custom reversible bucket hat $20

  • Alpengirl fanny pack $20

  • Alpengirl trucker hat $15

  • Alpengirl beanie $15

In addition to the standard camp store items listed above, we may have discounted closeout items such as t-shirts, tank tops, stickers, hats, and toques. 

Tents

Campers will share a tent with 2 or 3 other campers. For the first half of camp, tent mates are assigned. As a group, campers will decide after the first half of camp how the rotation of tent mates may change. If you are joining us with a friend, expect to share a tent with new friends during the first half of camp.

Music

Campers are encouraged to bring a written list of favorite songs from which Alpenguides can create playlists to listen to as a group in the van (we won’t be using any camper cell phones capable of music storage for group music listening during camp). Personal headphones are not allowed during camp sessions -- you may wish to carry them for flight travel, but they will be collected at the beginning of the session.

Personal Property Regulations

Optional camper personal sporting equipment (helmets, climbing harness, etc) brought to camp must be inspected prior to arrival and be in safe condition; they will also be inspected and approved for use by Alpenguides upon arrival. Campers are responsible for storing personal gear and property. Alpengirl cannot be held liable for loss, theft, or damage of any items you bring to camp. Campers are not allowed to bring their own horse or other animals to camp. Campers are not allowed to bring alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or weapons of any sort to camp. Alpenguides may perform searches and seizures of weapons, illegal substances, or other prohibited items. If you have any concerns about an item, please feel free to reach out to our camp office. 

Technology - Cell Phones, E-book Readers, GoPro, etc

Alpengirl policies regarding technology at camp:

  • Campers are not allowed to use e-book readers during camp. Campers may bring books with them for reading during camp in the evenings before ‘lights out’ in tents.

  • Cell phones with camera function may not be used at camp, the camera MUST be separate from a cell phone. 

  • Cell phones (and any other device that allows texting or calls such as a smart watch) are collected at the start of camp, turned off, and stored for non-use during most of camp (read more about campers and cell phone use below).

  • Please don't bring a GoPro or video camera to camp. Alpengirl does not allow campers to take video of people during camp. If interested in self video or landscape video, please call us for request and further discussion.

Medication

“Medication” is any substance a person takes to maintain and/or improve their health (this includes vitamins and natural remedies). Campers must bring enough medication to last the entire time at camp. Medication brought to camp should be in original pharmacy containers with labels that show the camper's name and how the medication should be given (if repackaging any medications, you MUST include a photocopy of the original container label). 

Medications brought to camp must be listed on the “health history form” -- dispensing directions on the container must match dispensing directions given on the health form. If your doctor has recommended dosages different than what is stated on the container, a doctor’s notation on the health form is required for administering during camp. Upon arrival, Alpenguides will collect camper medications and dispense them during camp as directed by individual health forms.

Campers that arrive with medications not listed on their health history form will not be given the medication until a parent gives verbal permission.

The following non-prescription medications may be stocked in the camp first aid supplies and are used on an as needed basis to manage illness and injury (unless you indicated on your health form that they are not to be given):

Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), Acetaminophen (Tylenol®), Pseudoephedrine decongestant (Sudafed®), Generic cough drops, Diphenhydramine antihistamine/allergy medicine (Benadryl®), Epinephrine emergency treatment of allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) (EpiPen® auto-injector), Laxatives for constipation (ExLax®), Loperamide anti- diarrheal (Imodium A-D®), Aloe, Anti-itch creams or sticks.

Allergies and Asthma 

If you are (or think you may be) severely allergic to bee or wasp stings or foods/plants and require medication, you are REQUIRED to bring 2 of your own .3 mg self-injecting EpiPens.

If you require an inhaler, you are REQUIRED to bring 2 with you to camp (1 inhaler can be kept in the possession of those with the prescription).

Water Purification

Alpengirl will be providing and using Aqua Mira® chlorine water purification drops or iodine tablets (as backup) during most backcountry trips. If you prefer an alternate method for water purification, please let us know before camp. NOTE: Most of the time during camp we have potable water to drink and the only days when we’ll need to use these methods to purify our drinking water is during multi-day backpacking, horse, canoe, or raft portions of the trip (typically less than 5 days of any camp session), or possibly other times when on a hike or canoe trip.

Eating, Drinking & Self-Health Care

Participants will be instructed on how to keep warm, clean, dry, and hydrated/nourished while at camp and in often-new outdoor environments. Participants are expected to follow these instructions during camp, to monitor their own health, and to report all health care concerns they have for themselves or for others to Alpenguides immediately. In most cases, participants will drink more water, experience altered digestive activity, experience different sleep patterns, and eat different types and quantities of foods than they do at home.

Additionally, we ask parents to lay out their expectations for their campers in regards to wearing sunscreen and mosquito repellent during camp. Camp staff will remind campers to apply/reapply sunscreen and insect repellent, but parental help in setting the expectation for this before camp is extremely helpful for Alpenguides.

Your Alpenguides!

Your Alpenguides are:

  1. ______________________

  2. ______________________

Feel free to put a face and bio to the name of your guides by looking at our camp staff page. These are the staff members that are currently expected to lead your trip; please note that the assigned guides may change as necessary to accommodate changes in programs or illness/injury. You will hear from one of your guides the day before your trip begins :)

Pre-Camp Calls - The Day Before Your Camp Starts

Each camper/parent will receive a phone call from an Alpenguide or Alpengirl office staff the day before your session begins. During this call, we’ll re-confirm travel itineraries and meeting plans, confirm that you have required waivers packed for outfitter activities, ask questions about health forms, answer last-minute questions, and ensure that you are ready for a great adventure! 

Camp staff will attempt the pre-camp call 1x to each parent/guardian telephone number you have provided. If all of these numbers are unavailable, a message will be left confirming travel and meeting information and will address any other items of great importance.

[NOTE: calls from camp staff will be from BLOCKED numbers, please plan to pick-up blocked number calls on your scheduled call date]

Please feel free to contact the Alpengirl office at any point prior to camp as questions arise.

Campers Calling Home During Camp

Campers call home only on arrival and departure day during camp. Campers will use a staff cell phone [via BLOCKED number] if they choose not to bring a phone with them to camp.

  • Campers arriving by airplane will call home within 2 hours of airport arrival. 

  • Campers departing by airplane will be instructed to call home before boarding planes upon departure.

Parents Calling Camp

If parents have a need to call camp during their camper’s camp session, parents should call Alpengirl in Montana at 406-570-6312. Please leave us a message and we will do our best to return your call promptly. In addition, we ask that you also send an email to info@alpengirlcamp.com. If you do not hear back from us within 24 hours, you should assume we are in the backcountry; we will return your call as promptly as possible. Returning your call and responding to your needs at home may be delayed due to the nature of our wilderness trips. Alpengirl groups and staff have a cell phone and satellite communication device available for emergency use only. Alpenguides check in with the Alpengirl office and camp director regularly throughout each session.

Staff Calling Parents During Camp

Alpenguides or Camp Directors (Gabby McElwain or Keren Mikva) or Alpengirl office staff will be in contact with parents as needed during camp. We will call you if there are concerns of homesickness, illness, or injury that requires more than a band-aid. We air on the side of caution and take your campers' concerns seriously. And, remember, “No News is Good News.”

Pre-Scheduled Staff Call During Camp - Only For Trips Longer Than 8 Days 

Alpenguides or Alpengirl office staff will be calling home on one pre-scheduled day during your camper’s session (except Lil’s sessions or the Mini Adventures). This call may be placed at any time— morning, afternoon or evening— on that scheduled day. Please note THIS CALL WILL BE FROM CAMP STAFF, NOT YOUR CAMPER. Please understand, these are wilderness-based trips and we have only one day scheduled to get in touch with all parents; phones and cellular service on other days or at other times of day are not guaranteed. If we cannot reach parent/guardians at any of the numbers you have provided on your forms, a detailed message will be left to update you with news from camp and of your camper. Please remember that calls from camp staff will be from BLOCKED numbers and plan to pick up calls from blocked numbers while your camper is at camp. You can expect your call on ________.

Blog & Social Media Updates

Alpenguides will be providing the Alpengirl office staff with information about camps from the field while camp is in session. Highlights from camp will be shared 2-3 times per camp session via our website blog. You may sign up to receive the Alpengirl blog via email or you may go to the Alpengirl Blog on our website and look for the blog email sign-up link. Due to the wilderness nature of our trips, the frequency of our blogs and Facebook and Instagram posts are limited during the summer.

Travel Arrangements

Please double check that you have followed the Travel Info page on our website when arranging travel for your camper this summer. It is important for parents to check both the date and the time to see that your campers travel plan matches what is outlined on the Travel Info page of our website. We will do our best to review the travel information you provide on your camper's travel form (available via Campminder portal) and to let you know if we see an error; however, ultimately, it is the parents' responsibility to have booked or arranged travel according to the Travel Info page. If mistakes are found, parents are responsible for paying for any additional travel fees associated with correcting the error. If you are in doubt or have questions about travel in general, please contact us anytime.

Air Travel: Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Tickets 

If your camper is flying to camp with an “unaccompanied minor ticket” (UM) purchased, she will receive airline assistance during travel. Please review the Travel Info page of our website for complete arrival/departure details.

Here a few important reminders regarding UM tickets:

  • Don’t wait until you’re checking in your camper for her flight to find out what the airline rules are regarding minors. Each airline has their own UM rules and fees. Be prepared ahead of time and avoid travel day stress by checking in with your airline NOW about what their rules and requirements are for purchasing unaccompanied minor tickets.

  • There are 3 options for paying for the UM ticket for her departure from camp: 

    • Pay for the UM departure ticket in advance of travel (online or at check-in) and provide Alpengirl with a paid in full receipt. 

    • Pack cash in your camper’s carry-on Ziploc #1 (see camp packing list) for collection by Alpenguides upon arrival to camp (Alpengirl will then pay for the fee on camp credit card on the way home). 

    • Pack credit or debit card in your campers carry-on Ziploc #1 (see camp packing list).

  • Upon flight check-in with your UM ticketed camper, it is important to double check that the correct Alpenguide name, contact phone and driver license address is listed. This information will be sent to you 10 days prior to the start of your session. Double-check at the check-in desk regardless if you already did it online or if your travel agent did it, this Alpenguide is the only one allowed to collect your camper upon arrival to camp.

  • Arrive earlier than normal to check-in a UM, it can take a surprisingly long time with all the paperwork.

UM Designated Pickup Staff Member Information

If your camper has an Unaccompanied Minor ticket, we will send you an email with the exact name of the staff member who is assigned to pick up your camper no fewer than ten (10) days prior to your camp arrival date. We will include the staff member’s full name and contact information listed on their driver’s license. This name may differ from arrival and departure day. Please look out for an email 10 days prior to your trip arrival day. You can expect this email by ________.

Air Travel: Baggage Fees

There are 3 options for paying for the airline baggage fee for her departure from camp: 

  • Pay for the bag fee in advance of travel (online or at check-in) and provide Alpengirl with a paid in full receipt. 

  • Pack cash in your campers carry-on Ziploc #1 (see camp packing list) for collection by Alpenguides upon arrival to camp (Alpengirl will then pay for the fee on camp credit card on the way home). 

  • Pack credit or debit card in your campers carry-on Ziploc #1 (see camp packing list).

Trip & Travel Insurance

Accidents, injuries, illnesses and other events or situations can occur before or during camp which may prevent a camper from starting or staying at camp with us. 

A camp family can incur costs and/or losses due to trip delay, cancellation or interruption or early termination, medical treatment or evacuation on a trip or otherwise, or costs incurred from canceled flights, lost baggage, or other costs.

We have already HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that parents consider purchasing trip and/or travel insurance that may include coverage for paid program tuition or other fees and cover some of the costs and/or losses as described above. 

NOTE: Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) plans may require purchase within 7-21 days of paying a trip deposit.

Camp families are encouraged to choose any 3rd party insurance program or company that they prefer in order to best protect their investment this summer. If you need a place to start researching plans, try Travmark Insurance - contact agent Mark Ceslowitz. 

Alpengirl’s cancellation and refund policy and insurance information is provided in the Terms of Agreement in the camper application.

Reminders Just Before Camp

  • Did you print the latest packing list and do you have everything required for camp participation (e.g. waterproof rain jacket with hood?)?

  • Did you list all medications (midol, advil, vitamins, etc) on your campers’ health form? 

  • Any recent changes to your campers mental or physical health since completing the health form? If your camper has a recent illness, injury, or mental health issue, please call Alpengirl to discuss.

  • Did you pack 2 self-injecting Epi-Pens if you know (or suspect) that your camper is severely allergic to bee/wasp stings or foods/plants?

  • Did you pack 2 inhalers if your camper requires an inhaler?

  • Any new or changed parent/guardian telephone numbers or contact information? If so, email Alpengirl.

  • Check your calendar and make arrangements to be accessible to a phone on scheduled call days.

  • Arrange pre-written letters for your camper to receive during camp.

  • Have you checked with your airline regarding rules and age restrictions for minors traveling alone?

  • Have you checked that you have arranged the correct date and time for travel to and from camp according to the Alpengirl Travel Info page?

  • Print and review the travel information with your camper.

 

Now, it’s time to start packing those bags, working those muscles, and practicing your dance moves! See you soon, Alpengirls :) 

 

Adventurously yours,

The Alpengirl Team