Welcome to the fun-filled world of HSC campouts! We have compiled the following information to give you an idea of what to expect at our campouts. We hope you find this information informative and helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the camp host for the particular campout you’re planning to attend or hoping to attend, or contact our campout coordinator.
To stay informed and involved, join the HSC campers email discussion list.
New and inexperienced campers are welcome on HSC camp-outs.
Are most people who camp with HSC experienced campers? HSC camp-outs are for everyone! We welcome new and inexperienced campers. No need to worry. Once you have camped with us, you will know everything you need to know about camping. We’ll help. Feel free to either post your questions to the HSC yahoo camping list or Facebook group, or contact the Camp Coordinator, Catherine Hanna-Askin at email@example.com
I am a first time camper, what do I need to bring?
Here is what you will need at minimum. For a more complete packing lists join our Yahoo web page.
·Sleeping Bags & Pillows
·Plastic Bins to store non-perishable food
·Plates, Sporks, Cups
·Warm Clothes (often get chilly at night)
How can I try out camping without spending a lot of money?
We suggest that new campers either borrow equipment or rent it. REI and other camping stores often offer reasonably priced rentals.
Are there electric outlets at our camp-sites?
Some have electric outlets and others do not. Please ask the camp host if having electric outlets matters to you.
Are there flush toilets are our camp-sites?
Most camp-sites have flush toilets. However, some do not. Joshua Tree, a favorite HSC camp-site, has vault toilets.
Are there showers at our camp-sties?
Many of our camp-sites have pay showers, so bring lots of quarters.
Are there stores at our camp-sites
Most camp-sites have a small store which sells ice and other essential items. Some camp-sites are near cities with grocery stores. Others are remote. Ask the host about nearby amenities.
Do I have to pay for babies and toddlers? Children under two are free.
What forms do I need to complete to attend an HSC camp-out?
HSC honors the diversity of homeschoolers. This diversity is reflected in our camp-outs. Because our campers come from many different backgrounds and have different parenting styles, we have developed some processes to help create an enjoyable camping experience. We have found that for many camping families the community created at campouts extends to future campouts and beyond.
At HSC camp-outs we arrange our kitchen areas so that we have a Community Kitchen.
What is a Community Kitchen? Each family has their own kitchen and prepares their own food. However, we set up our kitchen areas next to each other in one area of the campsite.
Why do we have a Community Kitchen? Like the kitchen in your home, camp kitchens tend to be a great place to gather. Whether your preparing your potluck dish or making a late night snack, it's often just so much more fun to have some company while your cooking - and the kids like it too!
Tables - You will need to bring your own table. Group camp sites have only a few tables and those tables are for playing cards and games, doing crafts, setting out the potluck dinner and for eating together.
When you arrive at camp the host will point out the kitchen and tenting areas. Tents are usually around the perimeter of the camping area and away from the kitchen/campfire area if possible. Additionally we also like to leave an open area for running games if the campsite allows.
I like to go to bed early, where should I put my tent? Put your tent as far away from the kitchen area as you are comfortable. Please do not expect it to be quiet by 10:00 pm in the kitchen area or around the fire pit. There will be noise in the kitchen area until the wee hours of the morning.
I like to stay up late, where should I put my tent? Put your tent in an area away from the main tent/sleeping areas; nearer to the kitchen area. You may not disturb those who are sleeping. Remember when someone is right next to you laughing and talking loudly, it sounds like they’re in your tent.
The highlight for many is the nightly optional potluck. Potluck is one of the few times at camp when everyone is together. For those who are unable to eat potluck due to dietary concerns, we still welcome you to eat your dinner with the group.
How much should I prepare?What is the total amount your family will eat? Make at least enough so that you would fill their stomachs if they ate only that one dish. There should be enough for your family with plenty left over to share. You may serve yourselves before you put your dish on the potluck table.
What kinds of food are at Potluck? Anything goes. Some people are gourmet cooks. While others prepare simple, satisfying meals. Everyone always appreciates a huge batch of just a plain ole fresh vegetables, or mashed potatoes, or hot dogs. It doesn't have to be complicated. Don’t forget the kid-friendly meals of mac and cheese, pasta, rice, bread, etc. Most people enjoy fruit as well.
I am a vegetarian or a vegan, will there be food for me at the Potluck? Many of our campers are vegetarian or vegan and there is always lots of food for them.
How will I know if the food is vegetarian or vegan? The host will provide clothespins to identify vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes. One clothespin is vegetarian, and two clothespins is vegan. Gluten free clothespins are marked as such. Please be sure to use the clothespins to identify your food. The clothespins will be on the potluck table before meals.
Will there be enough food? There is usually plenty of food. However, make sure that your children don’t take too much before everyone has been served.
My kids are little, can they go first? The littlest kids are allowed to go to the front of the line. Parents may join them.
Are there any planned activities at HSC cam-outs? There are both spontaneous and planned activities. Capture the flag, badminton, a knitting circle, a hike, are all examples of spontaneous activities.
I would like to plan an activity, would that be ok?We love it when campers want to organize activities! Let everyone know what you are planning so they can bring the necessary supplies. Tie dying, foam weapon making, friendship bracelets, or a side trip are examples of past activities.
I have an RV; can I bring it to a HSC camp-out? We are usually at a group site, and many group sites do not allow RV’s. If you have an RV, please let the host know and she will tell you if we can accommodate it. Many people with RV’s get an individual site near the group site. Please note, many places do not allow RV’s longer than 29’.
I have a Trailer or Tent Trailer; can I camp at the group site?Some group sites allow Tent Trailer and Trailers. Please ask the host if you can bring your tow vehicle. Please note that even if you can bring your tow vehicle, most likely you will not be able to park your car at the group site. You may need to park your car in an overflow parking area. You also may need to pay for parking.
When our group site fills up, we may have campers in individual sites. Also, we cannot always accommodate RV’s or Trailers in our group site. Please contact the host in advance so that you can be kept informed about the campout.
I am at an individual site, should I attend the Morning Meeting? Campers at individual sites should attend the Morning Meetings. During the Morning Meeting, you will introduce yourself and let everyone know that you are at an indivual site. Check with the host for the meeting time.
Can I set up my kitchen in the Community Kitchen area? If there is room, you can set up your kitchen in the Community Kitchen area. Please ask the host if you would like to have your kitchen in the Community Kitchen area.
Can my family and I spend our days and evenings in the group site? Everyone is welcomed to spend time at our group site. You are welcome to spend your days visiting your friends. Join us for our potlucks, then come site by the campfire with us. In fact, plan to spend most of your time in the Community Kitchens because that is where your kids will be.
Can I drive to the group site and park my car?It is unlikely that we will have any extra spaces to park your car. So please plan to walk to the group site.
Do I need to fill out the Liability Form if I am staying in an individual site?If you spend any time with us at our group site, you must complete the online HSC Liability Form.
Will it cost me anything to spend time at the group site? There is a $25 per family participation fee. The host will provide you with the payment link when you complete your liability release forms.
Parents are solely responsible for the welfare and safety of their children or any minor children accompanying them to HSC camp-outs. Each parent must supervise their children and any children accompanying them.
Parents will supervise their children so that there is a safe and respectful atmosphere at HSC camp-outs. Parents should discuss with your children the responsibilities of being in a group that consists of a variety of ages -- young children, teens and adults.
Parents are soley responsible for the activities of their children and any children accompanying them to HSC events.
During the HSC camp-outs, do my children have to be with me at all times? Parents are solely responsible for the supervision of their children. Parents will need to decide what that looks like. Parents know their children and know how much or how little supervision their children need.
Can I leave my children with other parents if I need to run a short errand?If you need to lave the campsite for any reason, please ask another parent to watch your child(ren). Let your child(ren) know that you are leaving the campsite and who is watching them. Do not leave your children unsupervised.
If I see a child doing something that I think is dangerous, what should I do?Ask the child to stop. If the child says that “s/he is allowed to do it”, then ask the child to go to his/her parents and tell them what they are doing. Sometimes, you will see something that you think is dangerous; however, the parents know about it and are ok with it. If you are concerned, it is always good to let the parents know about the questionable behavior.
Tigers, lions and bears, on my! Occasionally we go to places where there are dangers such as raging rives, high rocks or other natural dangers. In those cases, you should discuss with your child(ren) what is ok for them to do. Can they climb those high rocks? Can they be anywhere near the raging river? Become familiar with the area and let your children know what is acceptable to you.
Instructions for registration will be provided when registration opens for each individual event. HSC members get priority and so do campers who are staying the entire time. Specific limitations or options will be provided for each campout, so read the information thoroughly.
Registration payments are nonrefundable unless we are able to fill your spot. IF we can fill your spot, we will refund your payment minus a $15 processing fee.
HSC hosts campouts in February, March/April, May, June, September and October. As soon as dates and locations are confirmed, a "Save the Date" announcement is posted here and on the HSC email list, the HSC Campers List, and in "The California Homeschooler" monthly email newsletter sent to all current HSC members.
When registration becomes available that will also be announced here and on the HSC email list, the HSC Campers List, and in "The California Homeschooler" monthly email newsletter.
Remember that HSC members get priority registration and campouts do fill up quickly. Join HSC here.
Van Damme State Park is 3 miles south of Mendocino, 18 miles south of Mackerricher State Park, 150 miles north of San Francisco.
Van Damme State Park consists of 1,831 acres of beach and upland on the Mendocino Coast. The park features the lush Fern Canyon scenic trail system; the Pygmy Forest where mature, cone-bearing cypress and pine trees stand six inches to eight feet tall, and the bog, or Cabbage Patch, where skunk cabbage grows in abundance. The park's ten miles of trail go along the fern-carpeted canyon of Little River. A paved road is used by joggers and bicyclists. The beach is popular with abalone divers.
Of all the park system's units along the Mendocino coast, Van Damme is perhaps the richest in terms of historical resources connected with the redwood lumber industry. Its story is a prime example of the struggles and eventual failures of a small, independent lumber operation.
Save the Date Pismo State Beach Campout
Registration is not yet open.
New and experienced campers welcome!
October 10-17, 2014
Location: Southern San Louis Obispo county, about 200 miles north of LA and 250 miles south of San Francisco.
Pismo State Beach offers all kinds of attractions: hiking, swimming, surf fishing, and digging for the famous Pismo clam. There are tree-lined dunes and the beach is popular with bird watchers.