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Quest Camp or Cal Blue Camp for Social Skills

May 2007

My son's school has recommended that he attend a social skills camp this summer. He has ADHD, is quite anxious, and has problems reading social cues. Can anyone comment on or compare Quest Camp in San Ramon with UC's Blue Bears Social Skills track? Quest seems more ''therapeutic'' but I'm not sure my 9-year-old would feel OK if all of the kids are socially challenged and its a long drive (We're in Berkeley). On the other hand, Blue Bears doesn't seem as highly structured and we would like to have a positive outcome. Do any BPN parents have experience with one or both of these camps? Camp Mom

Editor: See reviews for Quest Camp and Strawberry Canyon Social Skills Camp


Summer camp for awkward 11 year old boy

Nov 2006

My 5th grader is quite bright but has some difficulty in social situations (no friends to speak of), and we kept him out of camp a couple of years back because of his difficulties getting along, but he got bored at home while his siblings were at camp.

Last summer he did well at Camp Gan Israel, and Camp Kefli (which he loved, especially all the field trips). He's decided not to go back to CGI (too much religion for the older boys), and Kefli is only two weeks, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with him for the rest of the summer.

He's not into team sports, drama or arts & crafts (likes books, science, gymnastics, videogames(!)), and I would love to find a Jewish camp, but we're in Lafayette and I can't find one nearby that I think he'll like, so I would consider any well-run camp that is welcoming to kids who are a bit ''different,'' and especially any that have a focus on building social skills. I'd love any input any of you have to offer. Thanks!


You son sounds a lot like mine, though mine is now older. One camp that my non- sports, non-arts & crafts kid loved is called Shake, Rattle & Roll, located in the Oakland hills at Redwood Regional Park, run by Oakland Parks & Rec. The camp has an odd name, but it focuses on nature, outdoor survival skills, archery and other fun stuff. He always came home filthy dirty but very happy. I would also recommend some of the Cal Adventures programs, like kayaking, rock climbing, etc. While my son doesn't like team sports, he really enjoys individual sports and outdoor experiences. I also noticed that Cal now runs a social skills development camp (go to oski.org). We haven't tried it, but it might be worth investigating. Good luck! Anonymous
Not quite an answer to the literal question, but pick up a copy of ''Hold on to Your Kids'' and you might find comfort in your son having few/no friends. This book really changed my perception on the idea that 'My kid really needs to socialize with others.'' Amazed
I recommend Camp Galileo for your 11 year old son. And although it costs extra, send him to the ''before camp care.'' The kids are engaged the moment they arrive. There is a smaller group. The morning counselors are enthusiastic, kids get a chance to start feeling part of the mix before other kids arrive. Morning kids have name tags and ALL of the counselors know them before the other kids arrive.

Then, there's the Art, Science and Outdoor games. It your son feels slightly awkward in one event, another will roll along soon. It's also broken down in age groups, so there will be a few kids older and a few younger in most cases. The camp has a three week rotation, meaning that the first week will repeat on week 4. My nervous 7 year old is begging to go back this summer. While some of the activities were below her actual ability, the camp was FUN and engaging. Camp Galileo Fan


Looking for Social Skills Summer Camps for 7-year-0ld

March 2006

I am looking for a one/two week summer camp or program for my 7 year old son. He has been diagnosed with non-verbal learning disabilities, primarily social skills deficit. He as ADHD as well. If you know of or have experience with any East Bay social skills or NLD programs, your input would be valued. Previous posts mentioned the UC Berkeley program at Strawberry Canyon, but this camp is for 3rd graders and older. Anne


My son, who is now 11, attended Quest Therapeutic Services summer day camp last year, and has continued in their once- weekly afterschool program this year. He'll attend again this summer.

The summer camp is in Alamo, which is a drag for working parents this side of the tunnel, but I have to say it was absolutely worth all of the driving and schedule juggling. We have since found a family to carpool with (families come from all over the Bay Area), and the afterschool program fortunately has an Oakland site.

They require a minimum 3 week attendance, which is what we did. It's quite expensive, and no financial aid (at least as of last year), and the only way I was able to do it was with significant help from my parents. But again, if it's at all possible, it's worth every penny. My son absolutely blossomed during his time there; the transformation was quite striking. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about the camp. My son also has social skills deficits, and suffers from depression and some ADHD symptoms. There are children there with a very wide range of issues/disabilities. Emily


My hand is waving in the air and I'm shouting pick me, pick me, I know the answer to this one!!

The very best and perfect place for him to go is Quest Camp. They are absolute specialists in ADHD and NLD and social stuff. Hang the cost and the commute - what he will learn will give him such a solid foundation for the next school year too. And he will have a blast too. Plus you probably will be able to car pool. Go to www.questcamps.com to check it out. Anon


Day camp for extremely shy 9 year old

March 2004

I'm looking for a local day camp (Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and places north of) for an extremeley shy (has Selective Mutism) 9 year old boy. My son will talk to kids after he warms up, but often not to any new adults. He uses non verbal communication with adults and gets along just fine, so far. He went to the BRJCC day camp for 2 years but doesn't want to go back there. He doesn't particularly like to swim, but loves other active activities, art, field trips etc. Kee Tov would NOT be the place for him as it is too busy and chaotic, I think. My older son loved Kee Tov. Any recommendations would be so helpful, Thanks, June

Recommendations received:

  • Strawberry Canyon Youth Programs social skills camp
  • City of Albany Recreation Programs
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