• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    About Camp Winthers

    What is Camp Winthers?
    For 60+ years, Camp Winthers has provided outdoor science education and theme-based camp experiences for kids throughout the Greater Sacramento Area. Situated on 80 acres, 90 miles east of Sacramento in the Tahoe National Forest, Camp Winthers is the ideal mountain laboratory for the study of nature and so much more. Camp Winthers is owned and operated by the San Juan Unified School District. A sampling from this summer’s schedule includes programs in Art, Music, Video and Computer Technology, Outdoor Adventure and more.

    Is Camp Winthers for San Juan Unified students only?
    Summer resident camps and field trips during the school year are open to all kids in the Greater Sacramento Area. Target age for most camp programs is 9-14 yrs old, although some programs targeted to high school kids are also available.

    Can my child’s school do a field trip at Camp Winthers?
    The best way to inquire about a trip to Camp Winthers for your school during the fall is to express an interest to your child’s teacher and principal. From there, Camp Winthers staff will work with them to discuss availability and other details.

    Can groups other than school children go to Camp Winthers?
    Groups of 25 or more people can rent Camp Winthers facilities on summer weekends and during the fall. Camp Winthers is the ideal setting for alumni group reunions and planning retreats. For more information visit www.sanjuan.edu/CampWinthers or call (916) 971-7577.

    How much does Camp Winthers cost?
    Camp Winthers works very hard to keep camp fees as low as possible. Fees for week-long summer resident camp start at $320 and increase slightly for specialty camps. Cost for field trips and special groups vary. For more info. or to register for camp, visit www.sanjuan.edu/CampWinthers or call (916) 971-7577.

    What do camp fees cover?
    Camp fees are all inclusive and cover transportation to and from camp, all camp instruction, lodging and meals. Campers have the option to purchase camp shirts and other keepsakes at the camp store for $1-$20 per item.

    How is transportation handled?
    Transportation to and from Camp Winthers summer camp is by district school bus leaving from and returning to the San Juan Unified parking lot in Carmichael (3738 Walnut Ave). Transportation for field trips and special groups varies.

    What is Camp Winthers refund policy?
    Registered campers who are not able to attend camp may obtain a refund by writing to the Camp Winthers office by Aug. 31. A $25 processing fee will be charged for all refunds. Please allow four weeks to receive your refund check.

    Are scholarships available?
    A limited number of partial sponsorships in the amount of $70 are available to San Juan Unified students from low-income families. These sponsorships are made possible through donations from individuals, community groups and other sponsor organizations. These sponsorships may be used for district programs only.
    Two eligibility criteria must be met:
    1. The student must reside within the San Juan Unified School District 
    2. The student’s family must be receiving some form of public assistance (CalWorks, food stamps, free/reduced lunch program, unemployment compensation, general assistance, etc.) 

    If you believe you qualify for a sponsorship, contact the Camp Winthers office at (916) 971-7577.

    Camp Winthers Staff


    Who works at Camp Winthers and what are their qualifications?
    Camp Winther’s 30+ member staff is enthusiastic and well-trained. Camp Leaders have a combined 70+ years’ experience in outdoor education and are California credentialed teachers. Select key staff are certified in CPR, Advanced First Aid, Lifeguarding, SERV SAFE and are trained in outdoor education. All staff are TB-tested and background checked prior to employment at Camp Winthers.

    What is the camper to staff ratio?
    Camp Winthers follows the California Organized Camp suggested guidelines and provides a camper to Tent Counselor ratio of 10:1. Campers live in tent cabins with their counselors who provide constant supervision. In addition, a Naturalist is assigned to each group of 3 Tent Counselors, providing additional adult supervision and expertise.

    Can my child be a Camp Winthers tent counselor?

    Each year, Camp Winthers recruits Tent Counselors and Counselors in Training (CIT) from local high schools. Tent Counselors must be 16 years old (or older) and go through a rigorous evaluation process. A limited number of Counselor in Training positions are also available each year for 15 year olds. These CIT positions are on a volunteer basis, but applicants must be willing to serve a full summer session (6-7 weeks). These CIT are an excellent pathway to employment for kids who want to progress to a Tent Counselor position the following year, or want to get a job in their local community after the summer.

    Applications are due by the end of April. If interested, visit www.sanjuan.edu/CampWinthers or call (916) 971-7577.

    Life at Camp

    What does a typical week at Camp Winthers look like?
    Action-packed with scheduled activities, yet balanced with time for rest and reflection. Every day, regardless of the program, kids engage in physical activity and outdoor exploration. Camps also include fun things like Polar Bear dips, Water Carnival, stargazing, campfires, skits and ice cream making.

    What do kids do if the weather is bad?
    During inclement weather, camp activities move inside to our dining hall or 2-story Science Center. A wide selection of inside activities, crafts, and games are made available.

    What if a camper comes down with an ailment, needs special medication or just gets homesick?
    Campers who feel under the weather can recuperate in the Health Hut. If an ailment persists, Camp Winthers staff will contact the camper’s parent or guardian. All medications (prescription and over-the-counter) are handled in keeping with San Juan Unified policies. They are kept in a central location and administered by credentialed staff. Missing home is normal, but most kids find they are having too much fun to have missing home be a problem. But… Camp Winthers staff is well-trained and always ready to help deal with any homesickness should it arise.

    What is the food like? How do you handle food allergies and special dietary needs?
    Camp Winthers serves three meals a day and makes a variety of healthy snacks available. Our kid-friendly menu is well-balanced, nutritious and appealing. Parents/guardians of campers with special food requirements should contact Camp Winthers ahead of their child’s scheduled camp. The kitchen staff will work with parents to the extent that they can to meet dietary camper needs. Camp Winthers is not a closed system and cannot always guarantee what food products are brought on site from outside sources (other camper snacks, etc.)

    Can a child and their friend be in the same cabin?
    You can submit cabin requests on your registration form. While we strive to accommodate requests, campers must be enrolled in the same program and are dependent on age, group size and other factors. As such, we cannot guarantee that campers will be place in the same cabin.

    What is the best way to stay up with what is going on at Camp Winthers?
    Follow Camp Winthers online:


    Supporting Camp Winthers


    How can people support Camp Winthers?
    Camp Winthers is always working to keep up to date and provide innovative ways to enhance the camper experience. The most impactful way to support Camp Winthers is to provide financial contributions to help us:

    • modernize our facilities
    • upgrade our recreational equipment
    • replenish supplies and materials
    • “send a kid to camp”

    Are donations to Camp Winthers tax-deductible?
    Yes. All donations made to Camp Winthers through the San Juan Education Foundation (SJEF) are tax-deductible. The SJEF is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, tax ID#94-3160088.

    Donate online at sanjuaneducationfoundation.org/camp-winthers/

    Prefer to donate by check?
    Make checks payable to:
    San Juan Education Foundation
    Memo line – “CAMP WINTHERS”

    Mail checks to:
    San Juan Education Foundation
    Camp Winthers Campaign
    PO Box 1247
    Carmichael, CA 95609-1247


    With your help, we can help even more kids make the kind of memories that last a lifetime.