Child Safety and Accommodations
Safety & Supervision
We assure you that your student’s
safety is our top priority
All of our safety measures and rules are designed to minimize physical
and emotional risks to your child while they are here at camp.
Students are under constant adult supervision.
For most of the day, this includes the supervision of their classroom
teacher, their naturalist or one of our office staff in addition to
their cabin leader. All SJOE staff have extensive experience working
with children and have been TB tested, fingerprinted and background
checked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. High school cabin
leaders are volunteers, undergo training before meeting their students,
and typically come from the same school district as your student. Rules
and expectations for the cabin leaders are set high to ensure a safe
and secure cabin environment at all times.
Students are required to adhere to specific rules while they are present at outdoor school.
We require students to be mutually respectful of each other,
individual and camp property and the environment. We stress the
importance of physical safety and have a zero tolerance policy for rough
housing, fighting and other behavior that physically endangers anyone.
staff works with the YMCA to ensure that the trails and natural areas
utilized by students are clear of major obstacles and potentially
dangerous plants such as poison oak. As trail conditions change with
the weather and seasons, we adjust our lessons and excursions to match.
However, as with any outdoor activity, certain risks are inherent. The
majority of our trails are unpaved, so especially in rainy months, mud
and uneven footing are expected; with our site happily situated in the
Santa Cruz Mountains, a certain amount of up and downhill hiking is
required. Our trail schedule allows for one night hike (approx. 1 hour
in length), one "all day" or picnic lunch hike (approx. 5 hours in
length) and one morning hike (approx. 2.5 hours in length), as well as
short hikes in the marsh and to the tidepools at Beach Day. Distances
covered in these hikes will range based on trail conditions, lesson
plans and capabilities of the students at the discretion of SJOE
naturalists. If you have concerns about the physical nature of our
program please contact us!
Medications and Emergencies
have a full time medic and staff person on-duty at all times. Two of
our office positions are devoted solely to address any medical issues
that arise and all of our staff have current First Aid and CPR
certifications, at minimum.
Our full time medic is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). If your
child requires medication while they are on site, please carefully read
“Sending Medications” to ensure the proper medical protocols are
Our medical staff will contact you early in the week if the medical information provided is insufficient.
Without the proper paperwork and protocols, we cannot administer medication to your student.
Should any serious medical issue arise with your student while they
are here, we will contact you. Given the remote nature of our site,
emergency response times vary. First responders can be on-site in 20-30
minutes, while ambulance response times range from 30-45 minutes.
staff is dedicated to the safety, health and growth of each student
that comes to outdoor school. We strive to include any student that
expresses an interest in our program regardless of physical or mental
limitations. If your child has special needs or abilities, including
allergies, please contact us in advance so we may arrange the necessary
you have any questions about your child’s safety or our safety
procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact our Principal, Gregory
Bahr, on site at 650-747-0139, or our program assistant at the county
office, Frances Palmer, at 209-468-4809.
program utilizes cabins and facilities owned and maintained by the
YMCA. Cabins are all single sex and well equipped with heat and full
electricity. Most cabins have indoor bathrooms complete with showers,
sinks and toilets. Cabins without attached bathrooms utilize
outdoor/disconnected bathrooms a short distance away. Each child will
have his/her own bunk, mattress pad, and space to store their suitcases
are expected to keep their cabins and bathrooms clean and organized
throughout the week. YMCA staff thoroughly cleans and sanitizes every
living space after students leave for the week, so cabins are fresh and
ready for the incoming group. The Y staff is constantly working to
improve living spaces and have recently built a yurt (a round cabin, to
be used as student housing soon), renovated a large outdoor bathroom,
and installed new heaters in many buildings. Maintenance and
housekeeping staff are on call while students are present to resolve any
issues that come up during the week.
cabin group will include one to three high school volunteers, or cabin
leaders, who supervise students at all times. While we try our best to
match male cabin leaders with boys’ cabins, it is possible that a boys
cabin will have a female cabin leader. Girls’ cabins will always have a
female cabin leader. For more information on cabin leaders, see the
cabin leader page or contact your student’s teacher or our staff.