Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will you be requiring COVID vaccines in 2024 for campers?

A: At this time, we will not be requiring vaccines for campers in 2024 as now there are vaccines available for all age groups. However, this is subject to change before camp begins if we have a change in local health advisories.

Q: My child struggles with reading. Is this a good program for them?

A: BookTrails programming aims to nurture reading for students reading at different reading levels. We have staff devoted to giving extra attention to hesistant or reluctant readers. All of our curriculum is developed with local school teachers’ advice and approval. BookTrails is the perfect program for a student who needs extra reading help or encouragement during the summer break. If you are worried about your child’s ability to follow along with the reading, we recommend reading the book with your child before class starts. Unfortunately, BookTrails is not licensed to accept severe special needs students. Please contact admin@steamboatbooktrails.org with specific questions.

Q: Are the grades listed for each camp the grade completed or grade entering?

A: We refer to the grade completed in our camp age descriptions. However, we are flexible and can sometime approve exceptions for children who are reading above/below grade level or wish to attend camp with their siblings. We CANNOT admit children who are younger than age 7 and who have not completed first grade due to our license— Children must have either completed first grade OR be age 7 to attend BookTrails Camp. Please contact us at  for questions about age requirements.

Q: How does the main camp book work? What if my child is below/above the reading level of the main camp book and/or has read the book before?

A: Each camp includes a “Main Book” that is read together, as a camp, throughout the week. We use this common book during read aloud time and for group discussion. During “Choice Time” our campers are invited to choose a book at their reading level that follows the theme of the week to read independently. We spend a part of each day reading both the “Main Book” and “Choice Book” at camp. If a child finishes their Choice Book, they are able to visit our library to swap their book to a new selection. A new, fresh copy of our “Main Book” is given to each camper on the first day of camp and then they bring home the book at the end of the week. “Choice Books” remain in our library for campers to choose during for the next weeks of camp. Our staff spends time researching and curating both our “Main Books” and “Choice Books” at BookTrails Camp to ensure we have a robust selection of books that follow each camp theme. We might be one of the only summer camps to have a designated Camp Library!“Main Books” are read during read aloud time, as a large group or in small groups. These books can be read aloud entirely to your child if they are below reading level, or your child may be jumping in to volunteer at read aloud time. It will be your child’s decision on whether they would like to listen to the book or volunteer to read and we will encourage them along the way.Don’t worry if your child has already read the “Main Book” for their camp! We will introduce the story in new ways and create fun activities to relate to the book. It is always fun to revisit one of your favorite books, especially with a group of your peers to hear new viewpoints on the story.

Q: Do return campers get priority for registering for BookTrails Camp?

A: We have switched to a registration lottery in the hopes to create a more equitable, less stressful system. There will be three separate lotteries held; one for returners, one for those waitlisted in 2023, and for completely new campers. Returning campers will be given a slight priority of getting into camp.

Q: Is there a limit to how many camps a camper can sign up for in a summer?

A: Yes, we are placing a 1 camp limit per child in an attempt to allow more children to experience camp and due to the high demand. This applies to each individual camper, not each family. BookTrails Camp will always be a small program based our site and reading curriculum, however we are planning to open 100 additional spots during the next 2-5 years.

Q: Where will my child be during the day?

A:  We will be visiting a variety of places surrounding our host ranches, including museums, public parks, historical places, and other ranches.  You will receive more details about class schedules a few weeks before camp starts.  Each day when you drop off your child, you will be given the location for the day along with our cell phone number.  All of our drivers are trained, have clean driving records, and are insured.  

Q: Can my child sign-up for the same camp they attended last year?

A: Absolutely! Camps are different year to year because we introduce new books and lessons. For this reason, it is common for BookTrails campers to repeat the same favorite camps year after year. This is especially true for Camp Splash and any of our week-long overnight camps.

Q: My child takes medication during the day. Can you accommodate them?

A: Yes, please read our policies here to understand the regulations concerning medications at camp. All medications, both over the counter and prescription, require the Medications Form to be filled out by a physician. We cannot take any medications for your child without this form.

Q: My child already has read the book that you will read during a camp program. Can they still participate?

A: Yes!  We consider it an advantage to the student if they have already read the book before the class.  We will explore each book in many different ways and promise no student will be bored, even if they already know the story.

Q: Is my child required to attend the camp-out?

A: No, children and parents should make a decision together if they are ready for the overnight camp-out. However, the camp-out is the MOST fun part of the week and is very safe. We strongly encourage campers to participate in the camp-out. Staff can work with parents to create an environment where their children feel safe.

Q: My child is a picky eater. Can they be accommodated?

A:  Yes, our staff will work with you to accommodate your child’s dietary needs.  E-mail us at admin@steamboatbooktrails.org.

Overnight Camp Questions

Q: What are bathroom and shower accommodations?

A: The Reading Ranch is off-the-grid, so we are currently developing our bathroom facilities.  For the next few years, we will be using porta-potties at camp that receive weekly maintenance and cleaning.  In the future, we hope to install composting pit toilets, but must first gauge the usage and amount waste that is accumulated during camp.

During their week with us, campers may use the showers at Steamboat Lake State Park, which we visit frequently for swimming and other exploration.  However, most of our campers prefer to rough-it during the week with us and “bathe” in rivers and creeks.  Please let us know if you your child requires a shower during their 5 days at camp. 

Q: Will boys and girls be sleeping separately at camp?

A: Yes, our cabin tents are split into groups of 8 girls and 8 boys.  Bear Cabin is for boys and Wolf Cabin is for girls.

Q: What will campers eat?

A: We have created a menu with our camp consultants for the week at camp.  We can share more information about food, just give us a call or send an e-mail.  We also keep supplies of ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly, and other staples for picky eaters.  Breakfasts are typically light (bagels/cream cheese, cereal, fruit), Lunches are sandwich bars (lunch meats, peanut butter/jelly, fruit/veggies) and dinners are cooked as a community in our outdoor kitchen.  Some examples of our dinners are spaghetti night, stir-fry, BBQ, and burritos.  We are happy to accommodate allergies and food sensitivity, just let us know! A sample of our weekly menu can be found here.

Q: What is BookTrails cancellation policy?

A: 2024 BookTrails Cancellation Policy


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