Summer Camp FAQ

Residential Camp FAQ


1. Are all activities co-ed?

  • Yes, all classes and whole camp activities are co-ed.


2. Where do most CCL campers come from?

  • 85% of the campers who attend CCL are from Alachua County. Our remaining campers come from all over Florida, the United States as well as international locations.


3. How does a camper’s day-to-day schedule work?

  • The first night, campers are given the opportunity to learn about the wide variety of exciting classes offered at CCL. Campers are able to select five classes to create their individual schedule. The camper’s individual schedule and the camp-wide daily schedule will be posted for them in their cabin. Campers participate in their selected courses throughout the week in order to develop skills and knowledge in their chosen program areas. For two week sessions, campers have the opportunity to build their class schedule at the beginning of each week so that they may experience all of the classes that CCL has to offer during their stay.


4. Do all campers eat at the same time?

  • Yes, all campers eat at the same time. Breakfast and dinner are served family-style, while lunch is served buffet-style.
  • Note: If you will require special dietary accommodations while attending CCL, please contact our office prior to attending camp.


5. What time do campers get up in the morning and when is bedtime?

  • Our wake-up bell rings at 7:30 AM and lights out for all campers is at 10:30 PM. Campers are monitored 24 hours a day as to ensure a safe and fun environment for all campers.


6. Is CCL a structured or non-structured; competitive or non-competitive environment?

  • The whole issue of structured/non-structured and competitive/non-competitive is one that is destined for a great deal of misinformation and cross-claims by varying directors.
    In some ways, CCL is a very “structured” camp. Our campers know what they will be doing each day and are expected to follow through with their camp schedules. On the other hand, CCL is considered less “structured” than some camps, because each camper’s program is scheduled individually, rather than by cabin group.Competitive or non-competitive is another issue within the camping community. At CCL, we participate in many activities that involve competition. Competition can be between cabins during evening activities, during games or sports played in classes, or on the courts during flex-time. In all of these situations, emphasis is placed on fun and participation, not winning, and unsportsmanlike behavior is not tolerated.  At Camp Crystal Lake we follow the “Challenge by Choice” philosophy. Counselors and campers encourage each other to take risks and grow in a positive setting based on individual abilities and goals.


7. How many campers are there and how is camp divided?

  • Each session, Camp Crystal Lake welcomes 180 residential campers. Campers are divided into boys’ and girls’ cabins by age. Each cabin houses 18 campers and at least three counselors.


8. Do you wear uniforms at CCL?

  • No. The dress code at CCL is very casual. As a School Board facility, CCL supports a modest dress code. Certain classes have more specific dress requirements. A suggested clothing and equipment list will be available on your Camp In Touch account to help you with packing. Parents, please include your child in the packing process as it will help them to know what they have. Also, please label all items sent to camp with your child.


9. Do all cabins have electricity?

  • While there is no air-conditioning in the cabins, each cabin is equipped with electricity and fans. There are also outlets available so that campers may bring fans for individual use.


10. What about the lakes?

  • At CCL, we have a total of three lakes: Big Crystal, Little Crystal and Mosquito Lake.
    Big Crystal and Little Crystal, which are connected by a channel, act as the setting for the majority of our water classes and activities. Our Free Swim area, which is enclosed by docks and divided into a shallow and deep section, resides in Big Crystal.


11. Who are our counselors?

  • The carefully chosen staff at CCL is comprised mostly of college-aged men and women and members of the Alachua County teaching staff. As School Board employees, all staff undergo fingerprinting and background checks. In addition, all counselors are lifeguard, first aid and CPR certified and are required to participate in training and team-building before the campers arrive at CCL.


12. What health care facilities are available?

  • Camp Crystal has a minimum of one experienced certified nurse at camp for all sessions. Our nurse is available 24 hours a day and is responsible for the distribution of medications as well as other camper medical needs. A medical doctor is also on call.


13. What if my child doesn’t know anyone?

  • Many campers arrive at CCL without knowing anyone. Right away they will meet their cabin counselors and cabin mates. Cabin counselors work to engage all campers and create a comfortable and friendly cabin environment. Monday’s evening activity, “Cabin Night”, was created to foster cabin unity.During classes, counselors encourage active participation from all campers. Every day spent at CCL is so full and active that campers soon forget they didn’t come with a friend from home. Participating in new and challenging activities helps to form meaningful friendships.


14. Can my child be in a cabin with his or her friends?

  • When applying online, you may request a cabin buddy for your camper. We make every effort to honor these requests, but cannot guarantee them.


15. How can I stay in touch with my child while he/she is at camp?

  • There are several ways to stay in touch with your camper. It is always exciting for campers to receive letters and packages. In order to ensure that campers receive mail early in the week, letters and packages can be left at the office on opening day for hand delivery. For a full review of photo and email options, please log into your Camp In Touch account.


16. Does my child need any money?

  • No. There is no opportunity for your child to purchase anything at camp. Please do not send money. A general store is open for Camp Crystal Lake goodies only on the closing day of each session.


17. What if my child gets homesick?

  • Camp is a great place for young or inexperienced campers to gain confidence and independence in a safe environment. Homesickness is sometimes a part of this growing process. CCL is an exciting and busy place, but even here homesickness does occur. We have a highly trained staff who are always available to help campers through periods of homesickness. Keeping campers excited and involved is the best way for our counselors to avoid this problem. Mail and packages from home are also helpful. In addition, there are steps that parents can take to help campers avoid homesickness before camp begins. Watch your email for a list of the “Director’s Tips About Homesickness” after your camper has been enrolled.


18. Is there a visitor’s day?

  • While there is no visitor’s day, communication through letters and e-mails is encouraged.


19. What if my child isn’t a strong swimmer or doesn’t like to swim?

  • On opening day campers will be asked to take a swim test, which enables us to gain a better idea of your camper’s individual abilities in the water. If your camper prefers not to take the swim test, he/she will be designated as a “shallow swimmer” for all their water activities and will be required to stay in the shallow end at free swim. There are a wide variety of “land” activities offered at Camp Crystal Lake, so please do not let this discourage your camper.


20. What if my camper has food allergies or other dietary restrictions?

  • We can accommodate many food allergies and dietary restrictions at CCL. Please call camp at 855-651-2267 or email prior to your child attending CCL to discuss any concerns.