Prepare for Camp

So your camper is registered and excitement, and maybe some nervousness, is building. Remember, we are here for you! Please call our office anytime during business hours with any questions, thoughts, asking for resources and advice.

This section of the website is designed to give you an idea of what your experience will be in dropping off, leaving, living without and picking up your camper. Again, your family and camper is unique in your story and what you need. We will work with your individual story and your camper, we got you!

After our camp specific info we’ve included links to articles and information that might be helpful to you in preparing physically, mentally and emotionally for Camp this summer.

Talking to Your Kid About Camp

Sending your child to camp starts when you first sign them up. It’s an experience that you can share together. Campers may feel excitement about the summer, as well as some level of nervousness and/or anxiety. These emotions are normal and healthy reactions. As the summer approaches, it can be helpful to discuss these emotions and to help prepare your camper by simulating camp experiences at home (these can range from a child completing his or her bedtime routine independently to doing a “camp out” in the living room). Please prepare your child for camp with words of encouragement and by giving them an accurate impression and clear expectations of the camp experience. The things you tell your child before they leave for camp often affect how they adjust to being away from home.

Here are a few helpful things to say:

“Camp Winnarainbow knows how to contact me if they need to.”
“I love you and I’m really happy that you will be having this wonderful experience.”
“I know you’ll do great at camp. It’s okay to miss me but don’t miss out on activities because of that.”

Here are a few things that are NOT helpful to say:

“I’ll pick you up early if you get too homesick.”
“Just try a week and see how you like it.”
“You have to go to camp because I need a vacation.”
“You can call me anytime.”

Packing List

Please pack with your camper so both of you are familiar with what they have brought. Send sturdy, well marked, washable clothing & enough to last for the Camp session) We recommend that you label every item with labels or a laundry marker.

  • Camp Stuff
    • Soft luggage is best for tipi living
    • Warm sleeping bag (it gets cold at night)
    • Pillow
    • 2 towels (one for showering, one for swimming)
    • Bag for dirty laundry
    • Flashlight (w/extra batteries)
    • you’ll get a Camp Winnarainbow water bottle at check in!
    • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, hairbrush, hair ties, shampoo & conditioner, lotion, feminine hygiene products, etc.)
    • Toiletry bag or large ziplock for above items
    • Sunblock
    • Chapstick
    • Insect repellant
  • Clothes
    • Shorts, t-shirts, tank tops & casual clothing appropriate for hot days
    • Warm clothes, including long pants, long sleeves & a jacket, sweatshirt or sweater for cool evenings
    • Warm pajamas
    • Socks & underwear
    • Swimwear
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat, Sun glasses
    • Two sets of footwear. A pair of sandals & a pair of tennis shoes is ideal (send at least one set of closed-toed, sturdy shoes for stilting & unicycling).
    • Rain gear (rain is unlikely, though possible)
  • Optional
    • White cotton clothing for tie-dye
    • Pre-addressed stationery/postcards and stamps
    • Earplugs may be useful if you child is a light sleeper
    • Disposable or digital camera
    • Books
  • What NOT to Bring:
    • All medications must be given to the Camp medical staff at registration. DO NOT pack any medicine in your camper’s luggage (this includes non-prescription drugs of any kind).
    • Any sort of sugary treats.
    • Food items that contain nuts.
    • Matches, fireworks or explosives.
    • Pocket knives or weapons of any kind, even toys that look like weapons (For instance, don’t send a comb that looks like a switchblade, or a squirt gun)
    • Money (unless it is left it in the camper’s account at the Camp Store)
    • Cell phones or valuable electronics (We encourage kids to unplug from their devices at Camp. Campers are allowed to use phones as cameras and to play music, but they must remain on airplane mode all session. Music must have lyrics appropriate for campers of all ages)
    • Valuable items, such as jewelry, collections, etc.
    • Cigarettes, alcohol, & drugs are strongly prohibited. (This applies to family members as well when on Camp property).
    • Bikes (We now have our own bike program, with a fleet of bikes for your camper to use! Please leave personal bikes at home).

*Campers are welcome to bring special costumes, outfits, or instruments. However, we cannot assume responsibility for breakage of valuable items brought to Camp, so do so at your own risk.

Private Shuttles From Berkeley

If you are unable to drive your camper, Instead of a bus this year, we have 4 ONE WAY Shuttles that will carry a limited number of campers to Camp Winnarainbow from Berkeley on the opening day of each session. You must register your camper for the Shuttle by emailing us at or calling us at (510) 525-4304 after June 1st call our Laytonville number (707) 984-6507. There is a fee for the Shuttle.

The Shuttle leaves at 1pm from Live Oak Park in Berkeley on Registration Day of each session. Live Oak Park is located at the intersection of Berryman Street and Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Arrive to the park between 12 and 12:30 to check your child in for the shuttles. Plan on staying with them until the shuttle leaves – hopefully by 1pm but often between 1pm and 1:45pm.

What to Bring
● any missing medical forms (if you sent them to us we will have copies)
● the shuttle fee
● any $ you want your camper to have for the Camp store
● all their luggage
● snack for the ride

Medical Check-In
A medical person will check in any meds – please keep these outside of luggage ready for check-in. If your campers medical forms are not complete your camper cannot be checked in at the bus!

Lice Check
Your camper will have a lice check. If any sign of lice or nits are found, your camper will not be allowed on the shuttle. Camp staff will work out a plan with you to see if you would like to clear them of lice and drive them to camp for a late arrival.

Staff members will supervise campers during the shuttle trip. There is not a shuttle at the end of the session. Come to the show and pick your kids up at Camp!

What to Expect on Registration Day

When you arrive at Camp, you’ll be directed to the Camp Office, where you’ll wait in line to complete your camper’s registration:

  1. Registration: we will check your camper in, tell you what tipi your camper is in, give your camper a name tag, double check who is authorized to pick them up on Show Day, take any money you want to leave in their store account, give your camper a new Winnarainbow reusable water bottle, and answer any of your questions.
  2. Lice Check: there can absolutely be no lice in camp because lice spreads very easily. If lice or nits are found on your camper’s head, the camp Director will work with your family to make a plan. There are several options. link to Lice policy?
  3. Medical Check-In: one of our Medical staff will go over your forms, hear from you about any concerns, take any medications (please see Health and Safety section about how meds need to be packaged), and do a quick verbal check about how your camper is feeling.
  4. Head into Camp! A Teen Staff will guide you and your camper into Camp to their tipi to meet their counselors and tipi community! Your camper’s counselors will be there to greet you and check in with you about any concerns or considerations.
Mail and Communication at Camp

We know that staying in touch with your child is important to you, just as hearing from home is important at camp. Though we do not have visiting days or access to phones for your camper to contact you, there are several ways you can be in touch while they are at camp

Letters and Packages
Write your child some letters! You can leave them in the office on the first day of camp to be distributed throughout the session or mail them within the first couple days of camp.

You can send a letter via email to We will print it & distribute it along with the mail. Please keep your emails to 1 page, as ink & paper are limited at Camp.

Join the fun and stay up-to-date with your child’s experience at Camp by downloading the Winnarainbow App!
App Features include:
● Newsfeed with news, photos, and updates of Camp activities
● Targeted push notifications for your specific Camp session(s)
● Photo albums: save and share photos right from the app!
● Calendar of activities with save-to-calendar feature to make it easy to
remember what’s happening at Camp!
● Contact Camp Winnarainbow staff via phone or email right from the app
Download here: For iPhones | For Androids

Mail Delivery Schedule

These are the days they receive & deliver mail so please send your mail to arrive in time for distribution. Note: USPS, Fed Ex, & UPS deliver weekdays only.

1 week sessions

Registration day: No mailLetters distributedRegistration day and Tues mail distributedWed mail distributedThur mail distributedShow Day: Fri mail at checkout
No mail pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupNo mail Pickup

2 week sessions

Wk 1Registration day: No MailLetters distributedRegistration day and Tues mail distributedWed mail distributedThur mail distributedFri mail distributedNo mail distributed
No mail pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupNo mail pickupNo mail pickup
Wk 2No mail distributedMon mail distributedTue mail distributedWed mail distributedThur mail distributedShow Day: Fri mail at checkout
USPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupUSPS pickupNo mail pickup
Directions To Camp

In The Forests of Mendocino County

It is approximately a three hour drive north of San Francisco, California on Highway 101. The nearest town is Laytonville, California.

The physical address is: 50350 N Hwy 101, Laytonville, CA 95454

Driving north from the San Francisco Bay area: Plan on an approximately three–hour drive north on Highway 101. We are located directly off of Highway 101, five miles north of Laytonville, California at highway marker 74.50. On the left, you will see a sign for Camp Winnarainbow and that is our driveway. Signs will lead you to the Camp parking and registration area. Please call or email if you need more detailed directions. Additionally, clicking on the directions link on the map below will get you navigation or turn by turn directions from Google.

Driving south from Eureka: Expect an approximately three–hour drive south on Highway 101. We are located directly off of Highway 101, 22 miles south of Leggett, California at highway marker 74.50. On the right is our driveway, although it is hard to see the sign coming from the north, so keep your eyes out for the highway markers. If you reach downtown Laytonville, you have gone too far. Once on our driveway, signs will lead you to the Camp parking and registration area. Please call or email if you need more detailed directions.  Additionally, clicking on the directions link on the map below will get you navigation or turn by turn directions from Google.