TrackersBay (Berkeley, CA)
Summer Camp & After-school Programs
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TrackersBay (Berkeley, CA)
wondering if anyone
can submit a review of Trackers camp/
Thinking ahead to next summer
We've done Trackers for years, and mine have really enjoyed it. We've only ever
done the more ''traditional'' outdoor skills ones (as opposed to pirates, zombies,
etc.), but even those have really captured my kids' imaginations.
Re: Camp with structure and sports for active 8 year old
I love, love Trackers (www.trackersbay.com). My son also has similar social anxiety
issues/hard time joining in and their summer camps have been perfect. Low key, yet
outdoors the whole time. My son has done a fishing camp, a wilderness survival skills
camp, and because he had such a good experience,we did an after-school program through
Trackers this past school year. The groups are small so the staff is able to engage with
each of the kids. It's not a bells-and-whistles kind of camp but engages kids more than
most of the camps we've tried. You could start with an after-school program and if your
son likes it, try a summer camp.
I signed up my 8 year old boy for a Tracker's camp over the summer, and I got back
the ''welcome'' e-mail confirmation, which told me to expect my child to come home
''covered in poison oak.'' I had never seem my son react to poison oak before, but
recently he got some on his arms and ankles, and it was not a pleasant experience,
and lasted at least a couple of weeks. So now I'm having second thoughts about this
camp (or any of the outdoor type camps!), and wondering what I can do to minimize
exposure, if they try to keep the kids out of the stuff, or if they actually
encourage the kids to immerse themselves in all the plants of the forest (for
''camouflage'', etc.). It sounds like a fun camp, and he signed up with a friend, but
I do not want any of his summer ruined by itchy poison oak rashes if I can avoid it.
If anyone has experience with this camp, I would love some feedback.
We did a Trackers camp last year and it was great, the kids all loved it.
I think the point of the email is that this is an adventure camp, prepare
for your child to come home muddy, dirty and having gotten into whatever
they can. Sounds like a great opportunity for you to help your child
recognize poison oak, having known the effects, and raise their awareness
of it. From my experience I can guarantee you that they wouldn't encourage
your child to roll around in poison oak, but they will or may be going
places where it is plentiful.
Hello - I'm the director of Trackers here in the Bay and I wanted to
respond to the question of poison oak management at Trackers specifically
and at outdoor camps in general.
Some of our groups are more likely to encounter poison oak than others.
''Stealth, Archery, and Wilderness Survival'' or ''Forest Ninjas'' do
involve sneaking around in the bushes. We do those stealth exercises in
areas where poison oak does not grow and we always have an instructor scout
the area first. To supplement that we do extensive preparation with the
children to teach them what it looks like and how to avoid it. If we have
any reason at all to suspect exposure, we do a thorough wash with tecnu
(the anti-poison oak soap).
That said, in California it is hard to 100% guarantee a poison-oak free
outing whenever one goes off-trail, which is what many of our camps
specialize in. This is why we ask parents to assume there COULD have been
poison oak exposure so that they can have a change of clothes ready at the
end of the day - better safe than sorry!
If a child has a particular poison oak sensitivity we note that on our
instructor forms and keep an extra close eye on them. They also get extra
washes with tecnu even if we don't think they need it. In severe cases, as
with children who get systemic poison oak reactions, we would counsel that
child into a camp where poison oak exposure risk is much less likely. That
will include camps like ''Little House,'' our fishing camps, ''Pirate
Adventure,'' etc. I am sure most other outdoor camps can give you an idea
of which topics/weeks will be less likely to include poison oak exposure as
Please feel free to call me directly at 415-215-7209 or email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Re: Hiking outdoor summer day camp for 9.5 yr old girl
Have you looked at Trackers, http://trackersbay.com/youth/summer-camps.php?
Some of their programs are going to have a bigger hiking component than
others - I'd bet a Rangers week would be good. They do have extended care
until, I believe, 6:00.
Re: Afterschool Program in North Berkeley for 3rd grader
We didn't have great afterschool options and enrolled in a Trackers
afterschool camp...they are awesome and focus on outdoor education
and are very imaginative. Their website is www.trackersbay.com
Does anyone have experience with Trackers Bay summer camps for kids?
They sound extremely interesting, but the only reviews I could find
were from folks who seemed to use Trackers Bay classes as part of a
home schooling program. Any thoughts on just going for a week of their
I hate to just tell you what you've already heard but I have to say.....I have 2
kids in public school and homeschooling the 3rd. The one (1st grade ) I'm
homeschooling has been in an amazing trackers program at Tilden this year. His
Lead Teacher is Whitney and she is an amazingly talented educator. She has a
group of boys ages 6-12 and she engages them in intriguing, beneficial and FUNl
ways each week. He has made a sling shot, a bow and arrow, tracked animals,
played capture the flag, fished, and countless other invaluable things this
year. He will be going to public school next year for 2nd grade BUT I will be
signing him up for a Trackers after school class as well.
The one review on the BPN site is from me, written after our first Trackers
summer camp experience. We're signed up for our third round of Trackers this
year, and now will have two there. Our daughter loved the second year as much
as the first. And, I heard a lot more about the outdoor activities last year
(this may have been because last year they were at Redwood Regional Park, and I
don't think they had an indoors). She came home with throwing stones to
practice, and talked my ear off about gophers and snails. They also had a day
where they went and boated on the Bay with a boat that one of the counselors had
made himself. I still hear about Casey's boat now almost a year later (I just
asked her what the best part of Trackers camp was, and she said ''the wildlife
and Casey's boat). The ''guilds'' curriculum is new this year; my older
daughter's a huge fan of the Little House books, so she chose a Wilders week.
The location this year is new, but I'm sure they'll make it work. The lack of a
stable location is I think just a side effect of starting up in the area. The
program is based in Portland, and I have family there that have also done the
summer camps and really enjoyed them.
Any reviews of TrackersBay Outdoor Nature Camp? I'd love to hear any feedback
before signing up my 6 and 8 year olds. Thank you.
Our daughter went to Trackers for one week last summer, when
they were at Canyon School and she was between K and first
grade. We're signing up for a session again this summer, so
that's the short answer. She really enjoyed it. That said,
we actually heard very little from our daughter about their
outdoor-education curriculum. She mostly reported painting
and playing on the play structure. I assume that's just
what stuck with her and/or what she chose to do when given a
choice (and I'm sure activities vary based on age and
program week). I guess I was expecting reports of treks
through the woods and close encounters with banana slugs --
in part because those are activities we do as a family and
that I know my daughter enjoys. But, mostly I heard about
the hot chocolate and painting. C'est la vie, and in the
end I didn't worry about it, since she obviously really
enjoyed the art and play activities and came home tired and
content every day. And, I mean really content, without the
emotional exhaustion she'd sometimes show facing new camps
and new situations. She was just really chill at Trackers.
She loved her teacher, Wendy, who also really impressed us.
Our daughter did fall and hurt her wrist pretty badly on
the first day (truly something that could happen anywhere),
and I think Wendy and the camp handled that *very* well,
keeping us informed and helping us make the call on whether
this was a pick-up-and-take-her-for-an-x-ray situation
(which, at first it really looked like), or just a wait it
out situation (which it turned out to be). I was not at all
surprised when my daughter requested Trackers again this
summer, and I was happy to sign her up for it.
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