Kids for the Bay
(Bay Area, CA)
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Kids for the Bay
If anyone's child(ren) has participated KIDS for the BAY's Berkeley-based summer day
camp program (www.kidsforthebay.org/camp) in the past, I'd love to hear about your
experience. Thanks in advance for your input!
I almost didn't answer, because I want to make sure my younger child will be able
to get in easily. But, the folks at Kids for the Bay deserve recognition for their
really sweet, cool camp.
Kids for the Bay is intended as a one week camp, so your kid has to be good with
new situations. Every day they travel to a different body of water. They do
age-appropriate science (dissecting a squid and then using it as bait for crabbing
-- subsequently thrown back). Used to be the older kids went out on a boat, but no
more (at least as of a couple of years ago). The counselors teach similar science
during the year at schools, so they're quite good at it. There are non-competitive
games, environmental education, and a very nice atmosphere.
Downsides: you have to drop off and pick up the kids every day at another
inconvenient location. Lots of driving. Also, after a few consecutive years, my
kids said that the curriculum was repetitive. Basically several ages are lumped
together, so you may want to wait until the next age group before sending them
again (if your kids doesn't like repetition).
Kids for the Bay rocks
My son has done the ''Kids for the Bay'' summer camp for the past 3 years, and it
is usually one of the highlights of his summer. The camp is really interesting,
well-run, and staffed by thoughtful, intelligent, and fun people. My son has
always enjoyed the variety of places they go and activities they do, and requests
to return each year. I've recommended it highly to friends and do so here as well!
My daughter attended a week of their animal(?) camp last summer. It was a bit
difficult for her because as an incoming 5-th grader, she was two years older than
the next oldest kids and a lot of the kids were incoming kinders. I thought it
was well run and the counselors were solid. Because of the structure, the camp
size was relatively small and the activities were low key. They had all projects
planned in advance, but if time got too tight, they'd move a scheduled activity to
another day. For this summer they're breaking the camps into two age groups and
raising the age limit for the older group.
We signed up for the camp because my daughter had two amazing school field trips
with Kids for the Bay.
I'm looking for comments on KIDS for the BAY's Aquatic Science
Adventure Camp. They have week-long sessions for 5-7 and 8-10 year
olds. Is the camp organized and safe? How professional are the
staff? Did your kids have fun?
Thanks for your thoughts!
looking for camp
My son, then 7, did Kids for the Bay aquatic camp last summer. He had a
fantastic time, and I thought it was one of the best camps I've seen.
The staff, all young adults, were knowledgeable and fun, and had great
rapport with the kids.
My son learned a lot and still retains most of what he learned, nearly a
year later! It was definitely one of his favorite camps of the summer.
As for safety, that was a non-issue. It was very safe.
It was a little tough logistically to go to a different location each
day, but it made for a much richer camp experience.
I highly recommend it.
I could not be more positive about Kids for the Bay. If your child is
into Aquatic science, it would be hard for them to have a bad time. The
groups are small, well run by experienced leaders. Most of their team
leaders seem to work there all year round in education with kids, unlike
so many other camps. It is high quality, high integrity. The leaders
are kind, keep order, and establish bonds with the kids. My son learned
a great deal and came back every year. He is really sad to be too old
for the program now. Kids for the Bay is dedicated to conservation
through education. The lessons my son learned are indelibly printed on
his mind and I would say this experience has been character building -
having a lifetime effect in terms of how he sees the environment.
My stepdaughter attended kids for the bay last year when she was 8. She
was the only girl in the older group and we were so worried...but
relaxed immediately. She LOVED it. It was well organized, safe, very
educational, had a set of diverse activities daily, and had a lot of
outdoors time. We were never confused about where to drop her off every
day. And I can't say enough about how grateful we are to the teachers
for making it a great experience when it could have been terrible as the
only girl. And the most telling situation is that when we were horribly
late picking her up one evening because of bad traffic and didn't have a
cell phone, both teachers stayed with her, never charged us and had her
so entertained that she wasn't worried or even seemed to notice that the
other kids had been picked up long ago. We will never forget that
kindness and consideration they showed for her and for us.
I will admit that I was nervous about the camp because programs indoors
appear more ''safe'' but I became a real convert after hearing about the
program from my daughter and reading their materials. I am a science
educator myself and was impressed with the content and
knowledge/experience of the camp leaders.
Fan of Kids for the Bay
My Daughter, then aged 6 1/2, went to Kids for the Bay last summer and
loved it. She is a nature girl and loves nothing better than mucking
around at water's edge. The program seemed well run, organized and safe
(though of course I wasn't there, so who knows?). The counselors were
nice and seemed in control and my daughter liked them. I picked up a
happy, non-sun burned girl every afternoon. The main down side is all
the driving around to different drop off locations, but oh well, it
wasn't that bad. I recommend it for kids comfortable in the outdoors.
My daughter has gone to KIDS for the BAY's Aquatic Science Adventure
Camp for many years, and has really enjoyed the program. The camp (for
children ages five to ten) features hands-on ecological and science
investigations in the outdoors, meets in a number of wonderful outdoor
locations in the Berkeley area, and has great camp leaders. I highly
recommend the camp for young scientists and nature enthusiasts. They
are currently enrolling for the summer, and are even offering a $50
discount for the 6/14 to 6/18 5-7 year-old session and the 7/12 to 7/16
and 7/19 to 7/23 8-10 year old session. MB
Does anyone have any experience with KIDS for the BAY's
Aquatic Science Adventure Camp? It sounds like a fun,
hands-on camp, and I like that the campers are outside
exploring nature all day. Any feedback would be
Searching for fun camp
My daughter *LOVED* this camp last summer and I must say, it was the most
organized production I have EVER seen. A thorough packet with precise maps
was provided (we had just moved here, and each day the campers went to a
different site, so this was appreciated!). The counselors are so experienced and
kid-centered I wished they were my children's full-time teachers during the
year. The t-shirts are even very nice, 100% cotton...not that this is a big deal,
but when you're sweaty, outside, hiking, you want comfort. Just an example of
the good choices made by the directors of Kids for the Bay. Also, when they do
dissections, they actually get their OWN squid and instruments, they don't all
crowd around one person who cuts it open. Excellent program.
Kids for the Bay is a really nice camp. The counselors are year-round staff
working in schools through Kids for the Bay, so they're quite good. Obviously,
the focus is aquatic biology and environmental education. Stuff like dissecting
a squid, then using it as bait to catch (and release) crabs. They do sweet,
non-competitive games with a science spin and just seem to do a great job
dealing with many different kids. It's a small group and many kids sign up
together. If you couldn't find a friend to go with (which is wise for carpooling
anyway), I bet the counselors would assist with assuring a kid with no pre-
existing relationships was not excluded, especially if you asked for them to
watch for it on the first day.
The down-sides: drop off is all over the place because they're visiting a
different body of water each day and sometimes it's quite a haul. Second,
kids may not want to return each year, because the curriculum is the same
within each age group (5-7, 8-10 or something like that). So, our kid didn't
want to go for a 3rd consecutive year of the same experiments. When the age
group changed the following year, he was happy to go back. He was
disappointed that the boat trip that he'd heard the older kids went on was
discontinued the year he moved up to that group, but otherwise had a great
My son did the Kids by the Bay Summer Camp a few summers ago
and I thought it was very well run. My son enjoyed it -- as
much as he enjoys any summer camp. Which is to say, he
strongly prefers something less structured and less like
school. But if your kid likes that kind of program
--structured, educational and fun with great adults working
in the program, you'll do fine. One last thing -- I went
with the kids on the Friday when parents are invited to join
in on the boating on the Bay experience -- awful, foggy
weather and most of us got rather sea sick.
don't have sea legs
Kids for the Bay is a great summer camp! It is a biology-
based camp that focuses on environmental education. The
kids do all sorts of fun things, including testing water
quality in local watersheds, catching crabs at the marina,
and disecting squids. The groups are small (maximum 16
kids)and the counselors are very welcoming. It's always my
kids' favorite camp. Check it out...
Re: Summer Camp for 8 year old boy
My eight year old has two great recommendations.
[Monkey Business...] His other favorite camp is Kids for the Bay,
which has a focus on the East Bay watershed. He loved the hands
on science activities and going to different locations, the
Marina, sailing on the Bay, strawberry creek, etc.
I highly recommend this summer camp to all parents. The motto
of KftB is ''No child left inside!'' It's a great adventure. I
have an 8 year old who wants to go back for the third year and a
6 year old going back for the 2nd year. As a teacher and a
parent, I believe that this program offers children an
experience that sparks their intellectual curiosity and helps
them connect to nature. It's well run and consistently good.
Our daughter absolutely enjoyed her week of activities and her teachers at Kids
Bay last summer (2007). Every person on the staff had a genuine passion for
the kids about our bay and how to keep it safe and beautiful. To this day, our
daughter still picks up trash along the bay after her week at Kids for the Bay
highly recommend this fun and enriching camp.
Now that it is March, many of us our making our summer plans. I
just wanted to share with you all how much my son loves the
environmental science camp led by Kids for the Bay. This will
be my son's 4th year in the camp--and each year it is always his
favorite. Last year, he came home each day, eager to describe
what they did. He loved dissecting a squid and then using
the ''leftovers'' to catch a crab. He loved looking for and
identifying sea life under the Berkeley pier. And...he LOVED
steering a 65 foot sail boat on the bay! Yep...I even got to go
on that amazing trip. What a way to learn more about and
appreciate our Bay! My son, now 8, says, ''When I grow up, I'm
going to be a marine biologist and do things like this
everyday!'' I know much of this enthusiasm and interest in
science has been inspired by the knowledgeable, competent, and
caring counselors at Kids for the Bay. Feel free to write to me
if you would like to hear more.
Has anyone had any direct experience or knowledge about Kids for
the Bay summer camp (run by earth island)? I checked the past
listings but nothing there. thanks. Betty
My six-year-old son had a good time at Kids for the Bay Camp
last summer. He seemed to learn some ecology, too.
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