Newsroom by the Bay has a strong tradition of offering a rewarding day camp experience to students from all over the South Bay and Peninsula. Campers regularly commute to us from nearby Cupertino, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Woodside, and other local communities. Due to Bay Area traffic and the size of the Stanford campus, we discourage students from commuting from San Francisco, the East Bay or Marin County as all students must be at Serra at 8 a.m. for the morning chalk talk and equipment checkout.

Here below are some frequently asked questions and answers about our commuter program. If you don’t find the information you need here, please email us at and we’ll be glad to help.

I was looking for a weekday day camp, but it looks like NBTB extends into nights and the weekend. What should I do?
Our commuter program runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from kickoff Sunday to the multimedia showcase on Saturday night. Most days, if you want you can go home at 4 p.m. But as a commuter you will also have the additional option of staying late for evening and weekend guest speakers and events. Our guest speakers begin at 7 p.m. and typically go until 8 p.m.

Whether or not you take advantage of our evening programs depends on you. Either way, as a commuter, you’ll have the same access to learning as the residential campers do.

What about field trip days? What is the schedule then?
NBTB students in the Year 1 program will go on a daylong field trip to San Francisco on Wednesday during camp week. Year 2 students go to San Francisco and have an additional field trip in the Palo Alto area. On field trip days only, you may be required to be at camp by 7:30 a.m. in order to take CalTrain or other public transportation to your field trip destination. Commuters have the option of joining their teams in San Francisco but must make these arrangements with us 24 hours in advance by talking with their team leader and/or notifying the program office. Most field trips return by 5 p.m. but there are exceptions. Specific departure and return times for your field trip day will depend on the field trip destinations that your group picks during your planning session after our first Sunday camp kickoff.

Okay, I’d like to stay into the evening. What extra activities will be offered?
Whether it is listening to a guest speaker or going to downtown Palo Alto to conduct a journalistic survey of ice cream shops, each evening at NBTB will offer fun and insight. Our evening activities generally conclude by 9 p.m.

Whenever you choose to leave us for the day, remember to check out with your team leader to turn in any equipment you have checked out from us and to tell us you’re heading home.

Also, we find that many commuters continue collaborating — digitally — with their new teammates on their journalistic work into the weekday and weekend nights, but whether you do so is up to you.

When should I arrive on the Sunday NBTB begins?  
Please at our dorm, Serra House in the Stern Hall housing complex, by 3 p.m. sharp for our opening session.

Click here for a map where you can see Serra and get interactive directions. The best dropoff point is 500 Galvez Street. You can also park at nearby Wilbur Field Garage and walk west on Bowdoin Street to Galvez.

Our opening session lasts from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. You’ll get your press badge and meal card, learn about our camp rules and procedures, meet your news team and have dinner with your team leader. After dinner, you’ll plan your reporting field trip to San Francisco.

It’s important to stay for the full program on Sunday as this is when you’ll pick your theme for the week and make other important decisions. If you must leave early, let us know in advance. And be sure to check with your team leader on Monday to make sure you’re updated on your group’s progress.

Where and when should I report on Monday morning?
Please be at Serra by 8 a.m. sharp. There will be a brief morning chalk talk with announcements, then you’ll head with your morning class group to your first class.

Where can I get picked up each day?
The best place to get picked up is at the entrance to Serra at 500 Galvez Street. Another easy pickup point near us is the roundabout at Escondido Mall and Escondido Road. Just make sure you check any equipment back in to our Shark Tank and that your team leader knows that you are going home for the day.

When does the program end? Can I leave on Saturday after the closing multimedia showcase?
Though residential students will check out on Sunday, as a commuter you’re free to leave at the conclusion of the multimedia showcase on Saturday night. The showcase typically runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and your family is welcome to attend.

What if I want to make alternative arrangements to be picked up, for example, on field trip day?
Some commuter families request alternative pickup arrangements on field trip days so that students can head directly home from San Francisco to their homes in the Stanford area, for example, in Mountain View or San Jose. We are glad to accommodate these requests but ask that families tell us 24 hours in advance so that we can make sure we have permission and make the necessary arrangements to allow you to head home safely on your own.

What meals does my commuter fee include? 
Daily lunches plus dinner on kickoff Sunday and dinner prior to the multimedia showcase on Saturday night are included.

At the Sunday check-in and orientation, commuters will receive meal cards with access to lunch every day at Stanford Dining. Commuters will be on their own for breakfast and dinner. Commuters who wish to stay for dinner on any day after Sunday may purchase meal cards for approximately $20 from the camp office.  But many commuters make friends quickly and decide to head off to one of the campus restaurants or cafes for dinner together.

What tech tools should I bring (laptop, iPad or tablet, cellphone, digital phone)? 
While students may wish to bring some electronic devices, no tech tools are required — students who check the box on their applications indicating that they require an iPad will receive one to use for the week. However, many campers do bring digital cameras, videocameras, laptops and smartphones, and these are helpful. We work with students to get onto the Stanford wireless network when they arrive on campus, and we also recommend apps to students during their classes, most of which are free. Students should make sure they have the username/logins for all their devices so that they can access wifi and add apps.

Will I have Internet access for my (laptop, tablet, smartphone)? Can I email?
Students will have Internet access and email via their tech tools, such as computers or tablets. However, commuters must return all rented iPads to the camp office at the end of the day before they leave. There is no limit to the number of devices you can use on the Stanford wireless network.

How much does parking on campus cost? Where should I park for drop-off/pick-up/commuting?
Once camp begins, you can purchase a parking pass from the camp office for any of the program days, including the Sunday program start. Daily parking passes are approximately $5 and a week pass is $35. Note: Stanford sells monthly passes only, so a “week” pass actually is good for one month.



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