Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to get information about what’s going on at Camp Fire?
When can I expect Camp Fire to contact me (for example, if there is an emergency situation at or near site)?
What are Camp Fire’s emergency procedures?
What happens during school closures (for local or community-wide emergencies, unplanned building closures, snow days, etc.)?
What happens if my child gets injured during program?
When should I keep my child home? And when will my child be sent home due to sickness?
What should I send with my child?
What if I can’t afford to pay for Camp Fire?
When does registration open?
How do I cancel or change my registration?
What happens when my child is absent?
What if my child needs special accommodations?
What if my child has tutoring or an extra-curricular activity after school?
What should I do if I have a concern or complaint?
What if I can’t pick up my child on time?
How do I get in touch with my child when they are at Camp Fire? And when can my child contact me?
Can I visit my child during program?

Have a question not listed here? Please refer to our parent handbooks:
– Before and After School Program
Camp K on Kenai Lake
– Camp Si-La-Meo
or call the main office at 279-3551, between 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.

Where is the best place to get information about what’s going on at Camp Fire?

Facebook: We urge you to “like” Camp Fire Alaska on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CampFireAlaska to get up-to-the-minute information about program changes and emergency school closure procedures, registration alerts and news about emergency situations delivered right to you.

Website: Our website www.campfireak.org is also a good place to look for information.

Email: We also send out email alerts as needed, to the email address you provided in your online registration account.

Text: Additionally, we suggest you sign up for text alerts through the online registration system:
1. Go to www.campfireak.org/register and sign in to your online account
2. On the Account Details page, check the box that says “text alerts” (under your cell phone number)
3. Choose your cellular carrier from the drop-down menu

When can I expect Camp Fire to contact me (for example, if there is an emergency situation or my child is injured)?
In the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster or localized emergency that disrupts program, Camp Fire staff will follow our emergency procedures and will keep your child safe until such time as you can pick them up from program. Camp Fire will attempt to contact all parents by phone and/or text message if the situation warrants it, but parents should also check Facebook, our website, and their email accounts for communications from Camp Fire about the situation and instructions on where and when to pick their child up. If you do not hear from Camp Fire, the event has not disrupted our ability to provide a fun and safe learning environment, and you can plan to pick your child up as usual.

What are Camp Fire’s emergency procedures?
Camp Fire staff members have CPR, First Aid, and emergency procedure training. In the event a child becomes seriously ill or injured while at the program, staff will call 911 and request paramedic assistance and/or transportation. Each site has their own site-specific emergency plan that takes into account the special features of their location. These are available for viewing upon request.

What happens during schools closures (for emergencies, unplanned closures, snow days, etc.)?
Camp Fire provides full day program at the following sites when schools close due to weather: Denali, Lake Otis, Sand Lake, Spring Hill and Homestead in Eagle River. Note: Depending on the severity of the weather, for the safety of our staff and participants, the program may not open at all.

snow day chart

 

Camp Fire schedules sites to open at 7:30 a.m. Please have patience if conditions cause a delay.
Local radio and television stations will be notified if Camp Fire programs are open, sometimes referring to our program as an “Essential Service” rather than by name. A text message will be sent to families who have opted to receive this announcement. If you would like to opt in to text message notifications after registration, please log into your account and update your text notification status.
Families may also find information about closures here:
Camp Fire’s Facebook page
• The homepage of our website
• ASD Channel 14
• Other news & media outlets
• Between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., families may contact the Camp Fire office at 279-3551
While we strive to open program by 7:30 a.m. on these inclement weather days, travel may be difficult for staff. Due to this, Camp Fire requires the registering parent/adult to accompany their child into the school to assure programs are up and running; please do not send youth in alone, even if that is your normal routine. Additionally, these program days require that families provide their child with a nutritious sack lunch
Program closes at 6:00 p.m. in Anchorage and 6:30 p.m. in Eagle River. To ensure safe travel for families and staff, we may contact the registering parent/adult during the day to arrange for early pickup.
Single School Closures
From time to time, Anchorage School District will announce the closure of a single school or group of schools. These closures can be the result of many factors such as isolated snow, ice, or power outage, for example. Camp Fire staff train for and practice managing the site in these situations. In the event of this type of closure, Camp Fire will communicate in the following ways: send text alerts, update our Facebook page and website; inform media outlets to notify parents of children at closed schools about the status of individual Camp Fire Programs.

What happens if my child gets injured during program?
Camp Fire staff will inform the registering parent/adult of any injuries that occur during program hours. Staff will contact the registering parent/adult in the event of a non-serious injury that requires medical care. Staff will appropriately care for the child until an adult can pick them up. The registering parent/adult is responsible for submitting all bills to the Administrative Manager at the main Camp Fire office.
Camp Fire Alaska carries Limited Accident Insurance, which covers all participants in the School Age Programs with a limit of $8,000 per incident. Treatment must begin within 30 days of the incident. The insurance covers claims received within 52 weeks from the date of the incident. Send all requests for reimbursement to the Administration Manager at the Camp Fire office.
Camp Fire Alaska also carries General Liability Insurance with a $1,000,000 limit and an umbrella policy with an additional $3,000,000 limit; for a total coverage of $4,000,000.

When should I keep my child home? And when will my child be sent home due to sickness?
Camp Fire staff will notify the registering parent/adult immediately if their child becomes ill. An adult must pick up the child as soon as possible. Staff will call the Emergency Contact(s) if they cannot reach the registering parent/adult. Staff will isolate the child and provide supervision until an adult arrives
Municipality Licensing Regulations require Camp Fire staff to send any child or staff member home who exhibits symptoms of a serious or contagious disease. If a contagious disease is confirmed they will need to obtain doctor’s written permission to return to the program. Staff will inform families in writing of any contagious illnesses their child comes in contact with.
Symptoms that Warrant Exclusion from Camp Fire Programs
• Severe pain or discomfort particularly in joints, ears, or abdomen
• Acute diarrhea, characterized as two times the child’s usual frequency of bowel movements with a loose consistency within a period of 24 hours
• Two or more episodes of acute vomiting within 24 hours
• Severe coughing or sore throat
• Oral or axillary temperature of 101.5 degrees F or more
• Yellow skin or eyes
• Red eyes with discharge
• Infected, untreated skin patches or lesions
• Difficult or rapid breathing
• Severe itching of body or scalp
• Skin rashes, excluding diaper rash, lasting more than one day
• Swollen joints
• Visibly enlarged lymph nodes
• Stiff neck
• Blood or pus from ear, skin, urine or stool
• Unusual behavior for the child characterized by no playing, confusion, persistent, inconsolable crying
• Loss of appetite characterized by refusing all solids
• Symptoms which indicate any of the following diseases: Chicken Pox, Impetigo, Lice, Scabies, Strep throat

What should I send with my child?
In our Before and After School Program, outdoor play is offered daily. If the temperature falls below -10° with windchill, children will stay indoors. Extreme wind, heat, smoke, or other conditions may require indoor play as well.
Some programs, such as Camp Si-La-Meo and Camp K on Kenai Lake are outdoor-based. All youth must have weather appropriate clothing every day. Winter clothing includes coat, snow pants, hat, gloves, and boots. Summer clothing includes raingear (even a sunny day can turn cool and rainy in Alaska), and extra, warm layers (such as a sweatshirt or fleece jacket), a hat, and closed-toed shoes appropriate for play (such as sneakers).
Please consult this chart for more information:
chart

(find the Camp K packing list link here)

What if I can’t afford to pay for Camp Fire?
Fee assistance is available from several sources including:
*Child Care Assistance
*Cook Inlet Tribal Council
*Court Appointed Special Advocate
*Child in Transition
*Office of Children’s Services
*Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
*National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) military only
In addition, Camp Fire Alaska raises funds from various sources to offer scholarships and camperships to families who need assistance paying for our programs. You can download a scholarship form for our Before and After School Program here  or for one of our summer programs here.

When does registration open?
Registration for the upcoming school year’s Before and After School Program opens at the beginning of the calendar year, with currently enrolled families allotted priority access. Unenrolled families may add themselves to program waitlists at this time. Registration for all summer programs opens to the general public at this time. After a grace period of approximately one month has passed, Before and After School Program vacancies will be filled from the waitlists, then opened to the general public for open registration. Updates will be made to Camp Fire Alaska’s Facebook and Website informing parents of upcoming registration dates. 
You may register at any time for any program that has space, but please be aware that we require two working days between registration online and your child’s attendance at program in order to ensure there are sufficient staff at site and that our paperwork meets licensing requirements. This applies to summer camps as well, and registration for summer programs is usually closed at midnight two working days before the program’s start date.

How do I cancel or change my registration?
If you wish to change or cancel your child’s enrollment, you must inform us in writing, by the 15th of the month prior to when the change will take effect. Please fax a signed letter explaining your request to: 278-9829 or email us at campfire@campfireak.org

What if my child needs special accommodations?
Camp Fire seeks to make possible the participation of every child in its programs. When working with a family whose child has a medical or behavioral condition, Camp Fire provides services to assess the program’s capability to provide necessary accommodations. Families have the right to request an accommodation for their youth at any time. This can be done through updating the child’s registration online. It is the families’ responsibility to answer all the questions on the registration page honestly and to the best of their ability, which is the first way Camp Fire can learn about a youth’s needs.
Camp Fire will work with the family to develop a Plan of Care, which outlines the youth’s strengths, abilities, challenges, and requested supports or resources required to meet their unique needs. Should a child acquire a new need, or experience a life change that may affect their needs in the program, the registering parent/adult will be required to complete and/ or update a Plan of Care so we may continue to provide quality care.
We are an inclusive agency and work hard to partner with families and local agencies to find solutions allowing for youth with varied challenges and abilities to access our programs. Unfortunately, there are times when it is found that further accommodations fall outside Camp Fire’s level of expertise; whether our inability to provide accommodation is based on the level of required care or the extended period of time working with an unsuccessful (though progressive) set of interventions, Camp Fire reserves the right to decline service. As a result, it is determined that the program is not an appropriate placement for the child and attempts will be made to refer the family to alternative care.

What happens when my child is absent?
The registering parent/adult must notify staff at the program site of their child’s absence by calling the program before or during program hours. You are always free to leave a voice mail message at the site’s answering machine. Special note for after-school program: if the child did attend school that day but did not sign-in, staff will search school grounds for the child. Staff will notify the registering parent/adult immediately if the child is not found and will assist the family in determining the child’s whereabouts.

What if my child has tutoring or an extra-curricular activity after school?
Your child may occasionally attend an after school, extra-curricular activity such as: choir, art club, running club, Scouts, tutoring, student council, and others. If you intend for your child to participate in any of these activities, please speak with your Site Director and complete an Authorization to Participate in Extra Curricular Activities form that can be obtained and completed on site requiring the following information: The days the activity is scheduled to occur, if it is a reoccurring activity, scheduled hours for the activity, and where the activity will take place. On the day of an extra-curricular activity, please remind your child they should come to Camp Fire and check in before heading to their activity.
If younger children, ages 5 and 6, want to participate in extra-curricular activities, they follow the exact same procedures as above, BUT ONLY IF those before and after school activities are within the school building.
Regardless of the age, once the form has been completed, the registering parent, Camp Fire youth, and Site Director will make a plan about how the youth will transition between school, the activity, and Camp Fire program. In particular, 5- and 6-year-olds need to be escorted between the extra-curricular activity and Camp Fire, which is a licensing requirement.

What should I do if I have a concern or complaint?
Several options are available to resolve concerns:
• Please talk to the Site Director at the site and state your concern. The Site Director will want to work with you to create a solution that works for everyone.
• For whatever reason, if you do not wish to report your concerns to your Site Director, you can contact the Regional Supervisor or Program Manager. You can do this by calling the main office at 279-3551, stating the site your child attends, and asking to speak to the Regional Supervisor or Program Manager for that site.
• The Manager of Quality School Age Programs or Director of Program Services are always interested in learning about ways our program can be improved and will work with you to find solutions.
Additionally, parents can report concerns or complaints to the Municipality of Anchorage: Child Care Licensing at 907-343-4758.

What if I can’t pick up my child on time?
If you are going to be late picking your child up (after 6:00 in Anchorage or after 6:30 in Eagle River), please call your site and let the site director know when you expect to be there. Please be aware that a late charge of $10 per child /per quarter hour applies if the child is not picked up by designated closing time.

How do I get in touch with my child when they are at Camp Fire? When can my child contact me?
Your child will generally not have access to a phone while in our programs, as we aim to create an electronics-free environment for youth whenever possible.
Staff in our Before and After School and Summer Adventure programs may allow your child to call you under specific circumstances that have been agreed upon by you and the staff beforehand. In general, we will keep that communication to a minimum so as not to disrupt our program or your work day. Each Camp Fire program site has a direct phone line you can call in the event of an emergency. Please speak to a staff member on site to confirm that phone number.
Staff in our camp programs (Camp K and Camp Si-La-Meo) will contact you if your child is sick or hurt, but non-emergency communication between campers and families is discouraged as it is disruptive to program and we encourage children to be independent and electronics-free. Staff are trained to help youth through issues of homesickness and separation anxiety. Camp will provide an environment that will keep your child involved in program and having fun.
Telephone communication from Camp K is made by staff with a satellite or cellular phone. These camp phones are used for daily communication with the Anchorage office, and for emergencies only. Please note that your child will not have general access to a phone, and non-emergency phone use will not be available. Campers are not permitted to bring cell phones to camp.

Can I visit my child during program?
Before and After School Program and Summer Adventure Program: You may visit your child at any time during program. Please check in with the leadership at your site when you arrive.
Camp Si-La-Meo: If you would like to visit camp with your child before their session, please contact the Program Manager at 257-8825 or 564-8391 to make an appointment. Any visitor to camp after a child has been signed into program must check in with the leadership staff upon arrival. For the safety of our campers and staff, Camp Si-La-Meo is a closed program, and all visits during sessions must be scheduled and approved by the program manager.
Camp K:  For the safety of our campers and staff, Camp K on Kenai Lake is a closed campus, and all visits during sessions must be scheduled and approved by the camp director or program manager in advance. If you would like to visit camp with your child before their time at camp, please contact our main office in Anchorage to make an appointment. Any visitor to camp must check in with the camp director upon arrival.
Do send letters to your child while they are at camp, and send pre-addressed and stamped envelopes with them so that they can share their day’s adventures with their family back home! Parents should mail letters several days prior to the session starting to make sure a letter arrives while their camper is at camp.
Address mail to your camper like this:
Camper name
Camper Session
Camp Fire Alaska
Post Office Box 689
Cooper Landing, AK 99572

Have a question not answered here? Please refer to our parent handbooks:
– Before and After School Program
Camp K on Kenai Lake
– Camp Si-La-Meo

or call the main office at 279-3551, between 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday