FAQs
When can I register for Summer Camp? Do I have to be a veteran family?

Summer camp registration opens to everyone January 16th at 7AM. Regardless if you are a new or veteran family, we strongly encourage ALL families to register as soon as registration opens. For more information on registration or waitlists see our Registration Information page.

Are all summer sessions 5 days a week?

Yes, all summer camp sessions are 5 days a week. While campers can be absent days from a session, these dates cannot be credited or ​exchanged for other sessions dates (no makeup days).

Does my camper need to be vaccinated and/or will they be required to wear a mask at camp?

At this time, COVID-19 vaccinations are not required to attend camp. This may change depending on requirements set forth by the City of Pasadena or Los Angeles County Health Departments.

Per Pasadena Health Department (PPHD) masking in outdoor settings was lifted on February 26, 2022.  This applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status, at all settings including schools and other youth settings. Therefore until further notice, masking while outdoors at camp, is now optional for campers and staff. TSC understands we have families that have a broad range of comfort with masking and we encourage each family to make the decision that is best for them”.

Tom Sawyer follows all Day Camp Health Orders issued by the City of Pasadena and Los Angeles County. Campers should not come to camp if they are not feeling well. Campers and staff will have a daily health screening and temperature check, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and regularly wash hands. For specific protocols or updates see our COVID-19 Information page.

Does TSC provide transportation?

Parents should plan to drop off and pick up at camp each day.

There will be three big yellow bus pick up point in the LA Zoo, South Pas and East Pasadena areas that will provide transportation to and from camp. Seats are limited and fees apply. Sign up at Registration.

Camp transportation to and from the pool and to Outpost activities is provided and included in your camp tuition.

Masks are required at drop off and pick up, and on any transportation while at camp.

Can you tell me about pool safety and supervision?

Safety is at the core of our aquatic program, and safety of campers and staff is paramount. Aquatic activities at camp require certified, trained staff in appropriate ratios, skill testing, safety systems, rescue equipment, rehearsed emergency procedures (before and throughout summer), and other guidelines to reinforce risk management and safety. 

The key to water safety is proper supervision.  TSC employs approximately 8 pool staff supervised by 2 on deck directors. All pool staff are certified by the American Red Cross as Lifeguards, including First Aid, CPR and AED certifications.  Lifeguards rotate stations every 20 minutes.  Our Lifeguard staff regularly practice response drills to ensure vigilance. 

Group Counselors swim with their campers along with lifeguard staff. Additional lifeguards are on deck supervising at all times. We maintain a 3:1 camper to staff supervision ratio. 

Campers are in the pool for a 35-40-minute swim block; at least 20 minutes of the block is a lesson followed by free swim. The pool’s lap lane and deep end are roped off and only used by our highest-level swimmers with supervision. 

We have a 3ft deep area for new and non-swimmers that is separated with lane lines from the rest of the pool. Our goal is to make all our campers water safe and are happy to work with parents at whatever level they are comfortable with, including wearing floaties or life vests.  

We conduct swim assessments on a camper’s first day of camp and use a wrist band system to identify swim level.  Campers may only leave the shallow end of the pool once they’ve demonstrated proficiency to do so.  Swim levels are evaluated on an ongoing basis.  A large part of our job is knowing the abilities of the children in the water.  Campers who demonstrate a specific level of skill will receive a color-coded wristband to be worn all summer.  

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our program or your child’s individual concerns or needs.

Can you tell me about camp safety?

Safety is at the core of all Tom Sawyer Camps’ programs. Many of our specialist activities at camp require certified, trained staff in appropriate ratios, skill testing, safety systems, rescue equipment, rehearsed emergency procedures, and other guidelines to reinforce risk management and safety.

The key to safety at camp is proper training and supervision, and camper to counselor ratios.  The majority of our senior staff are First Aid and CPR certified. All pool staff are certified by the American Red Cross as Lifeguards, including First Aid, CPR and AED certifications.

Our American Camp Association accreditation (see FAQ below) is one of the many ways we ensure quality programming that is both safe and impactful. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our programs. Please email us at info@tsc.camp or call us at 626-794-1156.

Tom Sawyer follows all the Day Camp Health Orders issued by the City of Pasadena and Los Angeles County. Campers should not come to camp if they are not feeling well. Campers and staff will have a daily health screening and temperature check, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and regularly wash hands. For specific protocols or updates see our COVID-19 Information page.

Can you tell me about who accredits your camp?

Tom Sawyer Camps is a proud to be a member of and be accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) for over 40 years! The ACA ensures the highest professional practices and administration in order to provide for the unique experiences offered in organized camping.  The ACA’s extensive standards accreditation program requires us to be visited every five years in order to maintain our accreditation. 

ACA collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies which helps assure that current practices at TSC reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation.  ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health and cleanliness but also sets standards for programming, camp staff, emergency management plans, and many other areas. ACA applies separate standards for activities such as waterfront, horseback riding, and adventure and travel. 

ACA helps our directors provide the best possible experience for campers.  Your child is enrolled in an ACA accredited camp and we are proud of our association with the ACA. TSC is also a proud member of the Western Association of Independent Camps. 

When we were looking at her camp group photo, I asked my daughter who her friends were. She said: "All of them!"

TSC Family2021

Felicity woke up each day looking forward to camp! She still sings the songs, talks about the horses, and mentions what she learned on a daily basis. It was a wonderful experience and we are so thankful to have had this opportunity.

TSC Parent2021

My campers often look at the TSC photo and still name their friends. Thank you and the TSC family for creating such a gift for families.

TSC Parent2021

Our Campers want to be Counselors someday, because of the examples that your Counselors set for them. Tom Sawyer is encouraging them to be leaders.

TSC Family 2021

Camp has given our child confidence to try many new things like archery, horses, swimming, climbing, high ropes, and taking the initiative to make new friends.

TSC Family2021

I was impressed by the high level of communication between the camp leadership and parents. If something came up at camp, they helped my child grow skills to handle things and always updated me about it.

TSC Family2021

My daughter had the absolute best time! She learned new skills, made friends, and came home, every day, covered in mud! It was exactly what summer should be.

TSC Parent2021

Our son Oliver adores TSC. Loves the counselors, all the activities, and the fellow campers.  TSC has become a summer family tradition.  He hopes to one day be a counselor!

TSC Parent2021

Our daughter stepped outside her comfort zone on the rock wall and high ropes and is so proud of herself! The well-trained staff made it a great and safe experience for her.

TSC Parent 2021

My son had a wonderful time. All his needs were met including his fear of swimming. The counselors were fantastic with him.

TSC Parent2021