STAR Camp: Where Fun and Adventures Create Opportunities for Growth


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Dates and Deadlines

Applications available April 1 , 2017
Fee (discounted price $110) Before May 14, 2017
Fee (regular price $130) After May 14, 2017
Deadline for application June 14, 2017
Financial Aid Available
The camp runs for one week every year.
June 27 to June 30, 2017



Programs and Activities STAR Camp activities are designed to promote fitness, teamwork, and responsibility while challenging campers to try new things and develop new skills. Supervised by YMCA camp staff, all activities are conducted in a safety-first manner.


Includes safety rules briefing; supervised by trained YMCA staff.

Climbing Wall

Outdoor wall offers two levels of difficulty. Safety helmets and harnesses provided; supervised by trained YMCA staff. Each participant’s parent or guardian must fill out a waiver.


Unheated outdoor pool 25 by 75 feet, 3 to 8 1/2 feet deep. Swim test required for use of deep end (one lap and one minute of treading water). Lifeguard on duty; supervised by trained YMCA staff.


200 feet in length, 15 to 25 feet above ground. Safety helmets and harnesses provided; supervised by trained YMCA staff. Each participant’s parent or guardian must fill out a waiver.

Horseback Riding

Horses provided and supervised by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue Unit. Staff members lead horses with riders; safety helmets provided. Horse-drawn wagon rides are also hosted by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Mounted Search and Rescue Unit

Camp Games

A variety of games such as tug-of-war, obstacle course, and relay races. Campers compete in groups against fellow campers.

Campfire Skits

Campers develop and rehearse brief skits, then perform them in front of the entire camp.

Gang Awareness Seminar

Discussion led by members of the Sheriff’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit and Jericho Project.

Cyber-Safety Seminar

Presentations, videos, and discussion on such topics as cyber-bullying, social media awareness, internet predators, and the responsibilities that come with technology use. Led by a Sheriff’s Office school resource officer with a background in high-tech crimes investigations.

"Hug a Tree" Presentation

Covers basic principles for staying safe in the wilderness and surviving when lost. Presented by the Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue program / Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit (BAMRU).


Loma Mar: A Traditional Summer Camp Experience

Picked up by Sheriff’s Office vans at various locations throughout the county, STAR Campers come together at the YMCA Camp Loma Mar.

The YMCA Camp Loma Mar is located in the town of Loma Mar among the redwoods of the Pescadero Valley, 15 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The camp comprises some 100 acres of recreation fields, open spaces, and oak and redwood forest with hiking trails.

The traditional camp facility features cabins with bunks for up to twelve campers and one or two adult counselors. Equipped with electricity and heat, all cabins are located near newly renovated restrooms with hot showers. Campers enjoy three healthy meals a day, with fruit available as a snack all day.

For more information on Camp Loma Mar, please visit the camp’s website.

About Us

STAR Camp: Bringing Young People Together Since 1995

The first STAR Camp was organized in 1995 by the office of then-Sheriff Don Horsley of San Mateo County. Twenty years later, it has become one of the Sheriff’s Office’s premiere programs for county youth.

Inspired by an Indiana State Police program called “Respect for Law Camp,” STAR Camp was designed from the beginning to forge trusting personal relationships between young citizens and law enforcement officers. A natural extension of that mission, the program now engages participants in learning and discussion of timely community law enforcement and security issues such as gang-related conflict, bullying, and cyber security.

Still, the central mission of STAR Camp remains as vital as ever: to give young people of San Mateo County an opportunity to “get away” and enjoy the wonders of tall trees, fresh air, and the camaraderie of competing together in a variety of outdoor games and physical activities.



STAR Camp Staff

Sheriff Bolanos provides the adult staff, which includes both Sheriff’s Deputies and Sheriff’s Office employees, to supervise the program. Outdoor activities are supervised by YMCA Summer Camp staff. Teenaged youth leaders, selected from current members of the Law Enforcement Explorer program through a multi-step interview process, serve as role models and group leaders for young campers.

For Parents

From Sheriff Carlos Bolanos

Dear parent or guardian,

I would like to invite your child to attend the Annual Sheriff’s Training And Recreation (STAR) Camp program for selected fifth through eighth grade students. It will be held at the YMCA Camp Loma Mar in San Mateo County, June 27- 30, 2017. Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputies, working with the Sheriff’s Office patrol area schools, will select 110-150 boys and girls to participate. There will also be limited openings for county employee’s relatives to attend camp.

STAR Camp provides a unique opportunity for youngsters to get a close look at law enforcement and police community relations. Outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and archery round out the program. Deputy Sheriffs and teenage explorers will supervise your child, with YMCA summer camp staff directing program activities.

Seventh- and eighth-grade campers will also participate as counselors-in-training for younger campers. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to serve as role models and gain experience in leadership.

Please download and complete S.T.A.R. Camp application and return it to the School Resource Unit or mail it to “San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, North Fair Oaks Substation, C/O Lydia, 3121 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063” no later than June 15, 2017. There is a $110 camp fee if paid before May 14, 2017. After this date the fee will be $130. This fee includes a non-returnable $10 fee for the Trading Post. Checks or Money Orders only please, Payable to “San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activities League” Memo: “STAR Camp” (In the event all available camper spaces are filled, money will be refunded to applicants left on a waiting list.)

Upon receiving your application and the associated fee, we will place your child’s name on the eligibility list for STAR Camp. We will mail you more details and a medical for mid-May to confirm attendance. If you have any questions, please contact Lydia at (650)599-9186.

Yours truly,

Carlos Bolanos, Sheriff



Please download and complete S.T.A.R. Camp application and return it to the School Resource Unit or mail it to “San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, North Fair Oaks Substation, C/O Lydia, 3121 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063” no later than June 15, 2017.

STAR Camp Documents Downloads

S.T.A.R. Camp Application
2017 STAR CAMP Camper Application - English Version Click to download
2017 STAR CAMP Camper Application - Spanish Version Click to download
S.T.A.R. Camp Additional Required Documents
Code of Conduct to be signed 2017 - English version Click to download
Code of Conduct to be signed 2017 - Versión en español Click to download
What to bring to camp - English version Click to download
What to bring to camp - Versión en español Click to download
Climbing Wall Ropes Release Form 2017 Click to download
Medical Form Click to download

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the dates for STAR Camp?

STAR Camp is normally held in late June; for this year’s specific dates, see Dates and Deadlines.

2. What is the age range for STAR Camp?

STAR Camp has been designed for students attending fifth through eighth grade.

3. How much does it cost to attend STAR Camp?

Either $110 or $130, depending on how early you apply. See Dates and Deadlines.

4. How do I sign up my child for STAR Camp?

You can download the application and the waivers needed on this website. Please fill and print them out and send them to:
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office
c/o Lydia
3121 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063

5. When is the camp application due?

Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. See Dates and Deadlines for due dates.

6. When is the balance due?

The balance is due with the application. You may pay by check or money order, payable to:
“San Mateo County Sheriff's Activities League”
In the Memo field, please write: “STAR Camp”

7. How will I know if my registration was received?

You’ll receive a letter acknowledging your application as well as a Medical Form that must be completed and submitted before your child may attend STAR Camp.

8. What kinds of activities will my child participate in at camp?

climbing Wall
camp games
campfire Skits
Gang Awareness Seminar
“Hug a Tree” presentation
For information about these activities, please visit the Programs/Activities section of this website.

9. How do I know my child will be safe?

STAR Camp has been held annually for 23 years without a serious mishap. The camp is supervised and monitor by trained Deputies and staff to help ensure child's safety.

10. What items does my child need to bring to camp?

When you register your child, we’ll send you a list of the items recommended for him/her to bring to camp.

11. Who will take care of my child’s medical needs during the camp?

If your child is currently using any medication, it will kept in a secure location and given to the child as directed. In the case of any medical emergency at the camp, paramedics will be called in and the parents notified. Trained staff are on hand at all times to help with non-emergency medical issues.

12. What if a camper wants to come home midweek?

While many campers get homesick during the duration of STAR Camp, we try to counsel the child into staying. If the situation becomes untenable, we contact the parents, who must physically pick up their child at Camp Loma Mar.

13. How do I contact the camp in case I have an emergency and need to pick up my child?

Please call 650-879-0223 to reach Sheriff's Office staff for the duration of STAR Camp.

14. Where can I direct additional questions I may have?

Please call the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit at 650-257-3403 and dial extension 9 for Deputy DeRespini.

Contact Us

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The Sheriff’s Training And Recreation (STAR) Camp
3151 Edison Way
Redwood City, CA 94063
Tel: 650-257-3403