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6th-Grade Camp


6th Grade Camp is a week-long, outdoor education program offered by the YMCA.  As part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, students will become fully immersed in a hands-on science curriculum, building community with peers and staff, and participating in fun new activities.  VMS will be participating in 6th Grade Camp the week of September 16, 2019. Watch for more information about registration. Should you have additional questions, please contact Assistant Principal, Oscar Felix at (760) 331-5397.

Camp Marston

6th Grade Camp FAQ

1. When is 6th Grade Camp?

6th Grade Camp is a year-round program run by the YMCA  This year, VMS is scheduled to attend camp the week of September 16, 2019.


2. Who goes to 6th Grade Camp?

Our 6th-grade students. In addition, some of our VMS teaching staff will be attending camp, as well as a small number of our 8th-Grade Web Leaders who will participate in the Junior Counselor Program at Camp Marston and will assist our 6th-grade students throughout the week.


3. Does the 6th Grade Camp cost money?

Based on transportation, room/board, food, there is a cost of $340 per student associated with 6th-grade camp. Families can contribute via cash or check at VMS, or online through the VMS Webstore. No student will be denied the opportunity to attend camp due to an inability to pay.  For scholarship information, please contact our Assistant Principal, Oscar Felix at (760) 331-5397.


4. My student has _________________ (allergies, health concerns, special condition) How do I communicate that to the camp?

Students with specific medical concerns should complete the Medication Authorization Form and/or the Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations form (included in the 6th-grade camp packet).  In addition, our school Health Technician will be in communication with the RN Nurse at Camp Marston about specific cases.  Should you have additional questions regarding health concerns, please contact the VMS Health Technician, Mrs. Lane at (760) 331-5390.


5. Will my student be able to choose who they are in a cabin with?

Due to the size of our 6th-grade group and logistics involved with sending our 6th-grade students to camp, we are not able to accommodate specific cabin requests.  Likewise, Camp Marston does not allow for schools to submit cabin requests.  In addition, one of the primary goals of the camp experience is for students to forge new friendships and relationships with students that they might not normally spend time with on campus.  


6.  How will my student make up for the week of school that they missed?

Since Camp Marston is an approved outdoor education program offered by the YMCA, it is fundamentally focused on providing meaningful, standards based science instruction for students.  So, rather than missing a week of school, students are afforded a unique, hands-on curriculum based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Standards. In addition, since VMS participates in 6th-grade camp each year, our teachers have planned their curriculum around our 6th grade camp week.  6th-grade students who attend camp will not "miss" any instruction.


7.  What if my student chooses not to attend camp? Do they need to come to school still?

Historically, most VMS students choose to participate in 6th-grade camp.  However, each year, and for a variety of different reasons, some students do not attend camp.  Those students that do not attend camp will be grouped into a rotation schedule with the remaining 6th-grade students and will be participating in extension and enrichment activities related to the 6th-grade curriculum - including projects and science experiments.  6th-grade students who do not attend 6th-grade camp should plan on attending school at VMS each day.


8.  Who will be responsible for my student up at camp?  What qualifications does the camp staff have?

As a function of the YMCA, all camp staff are fingerprinted and must hold the same certificates and credentials as the teachers and staff of VMS.  Similarly, the camp is run in much the same way as a school - including a camp principal, teachers (counselors), health professionals, food service workers, etc.  VMS teachers will also be attending camp to support and connect with students during this fun time.  Students will be under the direction of the camp principal and the camp staff and will be supported at times by VMS teachers in attendance.


9.  What about facilities?  Are students separated by gender?

Each "cabin" at camp is divided into several "dens" or rooms that hold up to 18 students.  The "dens" all open onto a centralized common room for the members of each cabin to congregate to play board games, talk, etc.  Each cabin (and it's respective dens) is gender specific (either boys or girls) and is supervised by a camp staff member of the same sex.  Students spend the majority of their days outside of the cabin - on hikes, involved in activities, sharing meals, etc.  As such, students spend very little time in the cabins except to sleep.  Each cabin has its own attached restroom and shower facilities.


10.  Can my student bring _________________?

Students are encouraged to utilize the packing list provided as part of the 6th-grade camp packet.  Students should abide by school rules in terms of what they bring - no knives or weapons, no fireworks, no inappropriate clothing, etc. In addition, Camp Marston does not allow any electronics (cell phones, video games, etc.) that need to be plugged in to charge.  Also, due to the wildlife in the area, they also do not allow students to bring food - especially candy - from home.  


11.  How can I get in contact with my student at camp, especially if they aren't allowed to take a cell phone?

Camp Marston does not have any cell phone reception, so, even if students were able to bring phones, they would not be accessible by cell phone.  If you need to contact your child for an emergency reason, please contact the Camp Marston mainline. We encourage you to write your student letters (be sure to send them the weekend prior to camp to make sure they get them). Likewise, some parents prefer to write letters and place them in students' luggage for them to read during the week.  


Have another question that we didn't answer?  Check HERE or contact Mr. Felix.


Return the following forms to the VMS Health Office no later than Friday, September 7th.


VMS Camp Cover Letter


Parent Guide (English) / Parent Guide (Spanish)


Health Form (English) / Health Form (Spanish)


Packing List (English) / Packing List (Spanish)


To make a payment for camp, you may pay in the front office by check (made out to "Valley Middle School - ASB"), cash, or card, or pay online at the VMS Webstore.


**Camp Store will be closed - please do not send money to camp with your child**

What to expect