Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions or concerns about your child's trip to CHOSS? Would you like to know more about what is in store for your son or daughter?


You are certainly not the first, or the only, parent that has a myriad of questions floating around in their head and just doesn't know where to go for the answers. Maybe you've tried the teachers, but they don't have quite the right answers you were looking for or didn't seem to be sure of their answers and, for whatever reason, you just haven't gotten around to actually giving the CHOSS Directors a call.


Well, we certainly understand your concerns with sending your child away to overnight Science School for maybe their first time away from home. It has been our experience that you are not alone. Many parents have the same questions and concerns and we are always happy to answer them all. Here are a few of the questions we receive most frequently from those just like you - the parents!

Q: Do you have (insert wild animal here) at CHOSS?


A: CHOSS is located on 900 acres in the foothills just adjacent to the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Bernardino National Forest. An amazing array of diverse wildlife has been spotted on our property, and your son or daughter will certainly be excited at their first glimpse of a bear, coyote or deer. Yes, bears, rattlesnakes, and coyotes frequent our property, including our trails. All of our staff is trained and competent in dealing with any situations which might arise. And the old adage "They are more afraid of you than you are of them" is generally true. Your child's safety comes first at all times. And at the same time we aim to instill a respect for all of our wild friends, as they are all a part of the circle of life. Your child may have a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness some of our wildlife from a safe distance.


Q: Does it snow at CHOSS?


A: VERY rarely do we experience snow on our property. We are situated at about 3000 feet, just below the typical snow line. Possibly once every several years we see a brief snow shower, which usually disappears by the afternoon.


Q: Will my son or daughter get to shower?


A: Your child will have an opportunity to shower each day in their cabin groups. Our students shower in individual stalls with curtains while our Instructors monitor from outside to make sure everything is ok. And we have hot water, too!


Q: What if my child gets hurt?


A: Safety is of utmost importance at CHOSS. Each of our Instructors is certified in First Aid and CPR and is able to handle most situations in which your child might find his or herself. Furthermore, they carry a first aid kit with them at all times. CHOSS also employs a Medic, with a higher level of training, who is in charge of the general safety and health of the entire camp and of all of our students. They will be the person who will administer any medications your child might have as well as deal with any of the minor injuries or illnesses which might arise. And for the rare occasion when something a little more serious occurs, we are less than 3 miles from the nearest hospital emergency room. Our Medics or Directors will be in touch with you to keep you informed every step of the way if there is any health or injury issue with your child. We understand the huge responsibility we take on when you send your child into our care.


Q: How can I contact my child while they are at CHOSS? Can I talk to them?


A: Due to the fact that we often have over 100 students on our site and we keep them very busy, students are not able to receive or make phone calls or have access to a computer. If you would like to email your child while they are at CHOSS please visit the 'Parents' page and fill out the online postcard. Emails are printed twice daily and passed out at 4:30pm and 9:00pm so if you would like your child to get their email please have it sent before 9:00pm. You may also send your child mail, which is also passed out each day. We recommend that you send any letters at least a week in advance to make sure we receive it during your child's visit. From experience I can tell you that our students love receiving mail/email from home!


Q: Should I send (insert over the counter medication here) with my son or daughter?


A: CHOSS keeps most common over the counter (OTC) medications on stock, including general pain killers, cough medicines, antacids, etc. It is not necessary to send these things to CHOSS. However, if your child takes specialized OTC's such as allergy meds or there is a particular OTC you give your child please send it along - just make sure it is on the medication form.


Q: What do I need a doctor's signature for?


A: This is one of the most important responsibilities for parents. CHOSS requires that a CHOSS Medication Form is filled out with a doctor's signature for ALL prescription medications which are brought to CHOSS for your child. This includes medications such as antibiotics, inhalers, allergy and other prescription meds. If your child comes to CHOSS with prescription medications without the proper doctor signature we will give you until dinner on the first day to resolve the situation or your child will not be permitted to remain at CHOSS. Why can't CHOSS administer the meds with your approval without the doctor's signature? Actually, there are both legal and liability reasons why we are not allowed to administer prescription medications without direct and explicit permission from you AND your child's doctor. This is for your child's protection and safety.


Q: What should I pack? What will my child need for their stay?


A: Check out or download a copy of our Packing List.


Q: How can I order my child clothing (Tshirt, hoodie or hat) from their stay?


A: The easiest and cheapest way is through the school before their visit. CHOSS currenlty sells Tshirts, Hoodies, and Hats as momentos of your child's trip. You can also order directly from the CHOSS Clothing page. Please DO NOT send money with your child!

































Q: What are the cabins/facilities like?


A: CHOSS shares facilities with the Highland Springs Conference and Training Center. Typically, our students use the grounds during the week and the Resort uses the ground for its guests during the weekend. All of our cabins, dining facilities, etc, are modern with heat, A/C, running water, attached bathrooms, etc. The students sleep in bunk beds.


Q: What is the food like?


A: Just ask your child when they come home. The food is always one of the most talked about highlights at CHOSS. The kids just love it! Our kid friendly meals are prepared by the same cooks and in the same kitchen as the resort guest meals. Meals are served buffet-style with our Instructors serving firsts and the students serving themselves seconds. In the Dining Hall we focus on having zero food waste, asking the students to "Take what they can eat, and eat what they take." And we all celebrate our accomplishments. Furthermore, to keep your child hydrated and healthy for their very active stay, we require that all students drink 2 cups of water before they can have a cup of juice.


Q: Should I send money with my child to CHOSS?


A: Absolutely Not!! Please do not send any money with your child to CHOSS. They will not have the opportunity to purchase any items during their stay and we do not want to be responsible if any money happens to be lost. Any money sent with students will be confiscated upon arrival and handed over to the teachers to be returned to the students upon departure. If you would like to purchase a momento for your child, please do so through their teacher or give us a call directly.


Q: When will picture of my child's school visit be up on the internet for me to see?


A: We take varied pictures of each school group that comes to CHOSS so that we can post them on the website for a limited time for parents, friends and family to get a little glimpse into the world of CHOSS. We try to get at least one picture with each student's trail group so that everyone can be included. Feel free to download and print all the pictures you like. Hopefully, your child's pictures will posted within two weeks of his or her school's visit and will remain on the website for the remainder of the current season. Check out the current pictures which are on the website here!


Q: What happens if my child has discipline issues while at CHOSS?


A: CHOSS utilizes at three strike policy which is outlined in the Discipline Agreement which is required to be signed by both a parent and the child. For a first strike your child will talk with his or her Instructor about their choices and about what better choices they can make for the rest of the week. For a second strike, your child will then speak more at length with one of our Directors about the further consequences of their continued poor choices they have made and try to come up with a plan to make sure they do not continue. At this point the teachers will be informed and the Directors will call home to inform you of the situation and possibly ask for some advice in dealing with the situation. You son or daughter will then most likely miss out on an activity. A third strike, then would require the student to be sent home and you will be responsible for arranging for them to be transported home. Of course, any act which threatens the safety, either physically or emotionally, of any student, Instructor or teacher will result in immediate dismissal from CHOSS. This includes fighting, threats, etc.


Q: What happens if a student needs to use the restroom in the middle of the night?


A: If they are in a cabin where the restroom is not in the cabin, but down the hall, they are instructed to wake up their cabin instructor. The instructor will watch the student walk to the restroom from the cabin door way and watch the student go into the restroom, wait until student comes back in and locks the door.


Q: What needs to be packed?


A: The packing list is listed here on our website. PLEASE REMEMBER A WATER BOTTLE.


Q: When is bed time?


A: Lights out at 10PM


Q: What time do they wake up?


A: 6:30AM


Q: Does my child shower? And when?


A: Yes. They will not shower on the first or last day of camp, but every day in between your child will shower.


Q: What if my student is a picker eater?


A: Our food is better than school food in fact, it is better than most camp foods. Our food is prepared by our kitchen staff who also works at our award winning Grand Oak Steakhouse at Highland Springs Ranch and Inn. Meals are served buffet style and even the pickiest eaters find something they like.


Q: What if my student has a food allergy?


A: Please list any food allergies on your child’s Consent and Health History form. We will have substitutes for the student at all meals.


Q: What if my child has dietary restrictions?


A: Please list any dietary restrictions on your child’s Consent and Health History form. We can accommodate almost all dietary restrictions. We will have substitutes available for the student.


Q: Does my child need to bring over the counter medicine?


A: No. CHOSS has OTCs from Acetaminophen to Zyrtec (A to Z J). If your student takes a specific OTC every day, then please send it with a signed Medication form.


Q: What if my student takes prescription medicine?


A: Prescription medicine needs to be in the original package and the Medication form needs to be signed by a physician. Please put the medicine in a clear Ziploc bag along with the signed medication form.


Q: Is there a nurse on site?


A: We have a Medic / Health Care Supervisor on site 24/7 while students are on site.


Q: How do I fill out a medication form?


A: In 3 easy steps.

Step 1: IF ANY OF YOUR MEDICATIONS ARE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS, YOU MUST HAVE A PHYSICIAN SIGN the medication form. We cannot administer prescription medication without a physician’s signature, and your child will not be permitted to stay at CHOSS.

Step 2: If you are bringing Over the counter or Non-prescription medication,

Please fill out the bottom of medication form. No physician’s signature is necessary for non-prescription medication. REMEMBER we stock basic Over the Counter medications such as Tylenol, Aspirin, Cough Syrup, etc. therefore it is not necessary to send these with your child.

Step 3: Please sign the bottom of the medication form and date it.


Q: Are there dangerous animals at CHOSS?


A: Yes. We have snakes, bears, coyotes, bobcats, etc. However, they tend to stay away from camp because they don’t like students’ (Noise J). Instructors go over procedures with their students if they ever encounter dangerous animals. We have never had a situation with any dangerous animals.


Q: If my child isn’t feeling well during the day, what is the procedure?


A: Our healthcare supervisor will assist and diagnose the student. Depending on the student they can rest in the infirmary (supervised) or go back with his or her group. The healthcare supervisor will monitor the student through out the day.


Q: How far is the closest hospital?


A: The San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is the closest hospital and it is 2.8 miles away.



Q: What are the teachers’ roles at CHOSS?


A: You can find all the roles for teachers on our website located in the teachers tab.







© 2015 Camp Highland Outdoor Science School (CHOSS). 10600 Highland Springs Avenue, Cherry Valley, California 9223 USA

Telephone 951-845-1151     Fax 951-845-8090