Do we have to attend Gateway School to be eligible for Camp Gateway?
Absolutely NOT! We are entirely open to the public during the summer and in general the majority of campers in any week attend schools other than Gateway. Our Day Camp is open for campers entering Kindergarten through sixth grade and our specialty classes are available for children entering K-8. The only exception to our open registration is two specialty classes (Kindy Camp and Language Arts) where we give priority enrollment to Gateway students before opening registration to the public.

We want to sign up for a Class and some Day Camp. How does it work? Should we sign up for Full Day Camp and the Class?
Many of our families combine classes and camp. Simply select the class you want and then select Morning Day Camp or Afternoon Day Camp to round it out to a full day of coverage. Be mindful that you do not need to overlap! Full Day Camp is only if you are not taking any classes.

What if we only need Camp on certain days of the week?
We understand that the summer can be a busy time with vacations and other activities. Unfortunately we do not offer “Partial Week Contracts” as they have proven difficult to manage and we have found that kids, staff and camp benefit as a whole from the continuity of a full week of camp. If you have additional questions you can email us at  If your child will be absent from a day of camp or class, please inform us of your absence by emailing or leaving a brief phone message: 831.423.0341 x334.

Payments/Cancellation Fees

Do you accept Credit Cards? Checks?
We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. If you are registering online, you must check out with a credit card. If you would like to arrange payment by check or cash – please contact Megan separately.

We changed our mind about something we signed up for. Do you offer refunds?
We understand that plans can change. If you registered online and are simply adding a week of camp or classes, you can contact the registrar to make a change. If you would like to cancel or switch a week of class or camp, please contact the registrar at Full Refund requests must be made in writing.

There is a cancellation fee of $50 for requests received on or after May 23rd. Requests received between June 8th and June 21st are subject to a cancellation fee of $75. After June 22nd, all cancellations are subject to a fee of $100
Any Specialty Class cancellations on or after May 23rd will also be subject to the materials fee for the course *where applicable.

Allergies/Medical Concerns

If my child has allergies, has a special medical condition or takes medication, how should I let Camp Gateway know?
Make sure you include any allergies (and procedures), medications and special medical conditions in the appropriate online or paper registration fields. If the allergy or condition is of particularly serious concern, please contact us at at least one week prior to your child’s first day so we can go over procedures.

Junior Guards/Little Guards

How does Junior/Little Guards Pick-up and Drop-off work?
We only offer pick-up and drop-off services for the Santa Cruz Junior and Little Guards program held at Cowell Beach. If your child is a morning guard, we’ll meet them at Cowell Beach at 12pm and escort them to Gateway. If your child is an afternoon guard, we’ll drop them off at 1pm after Gateway morning camp. Due to the increased traffic near the beach, our staff walks to and from the beach to do pick-up and drop-off. If you are concerned about identifying the staff member, contact us at and we can go over the procedure.

Please note that you MUST sign up for guards separately through the Santa Cruz Department of Parks and Recreation.


Do we need to bring a lunch? Do you provide snacks?
Please send your child to camp with a lunch (whether they are registered for full day, morning or afternoon programs they are welcome to stay with us for lunch). If your child is coming to a morning program, you will need to pack a morning snack as well. We provide a small, healthy afternoon snack.

What to bring

What should we bring to Camp?
Please remember to send an appropriate amount of food with your child (snack and a lunch). We occasionally play water games (they will be announced at least a day in advance) so please include a towel and a change of clothes on those days. Please apply sunscreen in the morning. We will reapply as needed during the day.

What should we leave at home?
Cell phones can be brought to camp, but must remain turned off and in backpacks. Please leave all video games, music players and other personal electronic devices at home. Of course we ask you to leave anything that could be considered dangerous at home as well.

Older Campers

My child is entering 7th or 8th grade and we would like them to attend Camp Gateway. What are our options?
Our day camp is designed for children entering grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. We do offer some specialty classes that will accommodate older campers and each week we have a few spots open in our summer day camp for older students who are interested in assisting in a C.I.L.T. (Camper In Leadership Training) role.

Working at Camp Gateway

I am interested in working for Camp Gateway. How should I apply?
We are looking for motivated, compassionate and responsible people to add to our Camp Gateway team. If you are interested, please email a résumé and cover letter to . Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are not able to respond to each individual applicant. You will be contacted only if you have been selected for an interview.