Summer Sports & Outdoors Programs
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I have a son who will be 8 years old (entering 3rd grade) next summer. He is
active and enjoys sports and structured activities. We moved to CA from the
east coast and I guess I am more familiar with east coast camps (lakes, pools,
zip lines, horseback riding...the whole 9 yards!). It seems like those camps
don't seem to exist around here. My son has some social anxiety. He doesn't
always know how to insert himself to play with other kids (especially in an
unstructured setting). It takes him time and proper encouragement). I would
be interested in learning about any camps you believe are worth looking into.
I am open to all price ranges. He also has interests in robotics, gymnastics
In Search of Camp
We just had our last day at Monkey Business Camp
in Tilden & LOVE LOVE LOVED it. I was
worried about sending my daughter to camp where she didn't know anyone. She's had a lot
of social anxiety, and sent her to MBC bec. of recommendations of other BPN parents with
shy/socially anxious kids. MBC has a really terrific structure and culture that really
helps the kids settle in quickly. All the counselors were wonderful (many of them former
MBC campers themselves), and the kids (of all ages) seemed really sweet & caring. I
didn't hear a single tale of ''so and so wasn't nice to me!'' all summer long. The
activity level seemed fairly high, they're outdoors all day long, and they swim at Lake
Anza weekly (sometimes 2x a week), they go on hikes, walk to the Nature Center & Little
Farm. I highly recommend it to everyone. And it doesn't hurt that it's also incredibly
inexpensive if you sign up for the whole summer (much less than if you only sign up for a
Happy Monkey Business Parent
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 don't know about the social anxiety part, but there is a camp in Lafeyette that has
most of what you describe in terms of activities. Check out Roughing It
(http://www.roughingit.com/) for a list of different activities and how to sign up. They
even have bus service to pick up kids in most areas of the East Bay. Expensive, but I
think they are worth it.
Does anyone have a summer day camp that is outdoor based with hiking that can
be recommended? My almost 10yr old daughter has asked specifically for this
type of day camp but I am having a hard time finding anything. We are in
Oakland. We would also need aftercare. Also, any input on ''Touch the Earth''
an outdoor day camp in Joaquin Miller..Thanks!
Have you looked at Trackers,
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.
This Land is Your Land
fits the bill (the name alone!) This is the summer
camp offered by Sarah's Science. My kids have attended for several
summers and are always itching for more. The camp is outdoors, all summer
long, in local parks in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Ramon. The kids hike,
swim, build forts, create interesting inventions and contraptions, and look
for lizards and banana slugs. Simply put, they have fun and get dirty
every day! I've met THE Sarah of Sarah's Science at camp a few times
and it is clear to me that she is dedicated to the cause. She actually has
written a few very interesting pieces about children and nature. See:
Woody Gutherie Fan
Hi - do you have any recommendations for baseball or football camps
in the East Bay? I have a first grader who has fallen in love with
both sports and desperately wants to take camps in these areas. I
see some listed on the Cal Adventures website - do you have any
feedback on that organization? Thanks in advance for any advice.
For a good baseball camp, especially for your son's age, check out
BALL Summer Camp.
It is run by an Oakland couple with three sons, all of
whom play baseball. My high school sons have been CITS/counselors
there. Kids seem to love it, it is well run, and reasonably priced.
The kids are divided up by age group so younger kids aren't having
to compete with much older kids. Check it out =
My son did BALL Summer Camp
for baseball last summer at age 6 and is
already begging to go back for more this summer. It's run by a
long-time North Oakland-South Oakland Little League family (playing
and coaching) and they have a really great and enthusiastic staff of
counselors who not only know baseball but really connect with the
kids. They work on skills and drills and also play organized
baseball games daily. More info at www.summerballcamp.com
Cal Athletics (not Cal Adventures or Cal/Golden Bear Recreation)
offers a non-contact football camp in June. Especially if your
first grader is a Cal football fan, this a fun experience. The
drills are run by the Cal football coaching staff, and many of the
players on the roster, including some of the marquee players,
assist, and they are generally all very accessible and encouraging
to the campers. My son attended the camp a few years ago with a
buddy and had a great time.
The camp is suitable to kids of all levels, and the focus is on
skill-building and having fun, so it's not a hard-core development
camp or anything.
That being said, I would recommend that your first grader attends
the camp with a buddy or two. There are a few kids attending the
camp who have ties to the Cal football coaching staff or player
roster, or kids who have played Pop Warner football, so they come
into the camp with a sense of familiarity or perhaps an elevated ego
for whatever reason, so there is a bit of hierarchical posturing
that goes on at the camp.
Mom of camper
i am looking for camp ideas for my 7 year old son who loves
sports. we live in the east bay and would appreciate any
I would recommend the UC Berkeley Rec. department camps:
Defintely you should try the camps at UC Berkeley.
My 9-year-old has gone to the Cal Rec camps for three years
now. It's very well-run and
well-organized, and staffed by enthusiastic young counselors.
The great thing about the camp for a sports fan
is that a variety of different sports are
offered, so kids get to try out sports they might not encounter otherwise.
There is swimming every day, and the kids stay busy and active.
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