Summer Programs in or near San Francisco

Camp Galileo - Cupertino

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State and County:
CA, Santa Clara Co.

City / Town:

St. Joseph of Cupertino School, 10120 North De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014

Contact Information:

Application Information:

Google Map Link:

Type of Camp / Gender:
Arts, Science, & Adventure Camp

Age Range:
Pre-K - 5 grades

Duration - Dates / Time:
6/18 - 8/3/2012 (dependent on the year); Weekly: M - F, 9 am - 3 pm; Extended Care Available: 8:00 am - 9:00 am & 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

$299 - $379 per week

Counselor / Student Ratio:

Camp Galileo is the only Bay Area summer day camp for pre-K to rising 5th graders that encourages kids to brainstorm, create and think like innovators through the Galileo Innovation Approach. Each week-long summer camp session centers around an imaginative story or theme, which inspires art, science and outdoor projects for campers to explore.

Field Trips:

Yes, extra fee of $30/week


Asian alone - 36,815 (63.1%); White alone - 17,085 (29.3%)

Safety of Neighborhood:

Requirements - Medical, etc.:
application and health/immunization form

What to Bring:

Yelp -

3.5/5 stars (3 reviews)

3 reviews in English
Review from Lisa C.

8 friends
90 reviews
Lisa C.
Bay Area, CA

Love, love, love this camp!

My daughter's first experience with camp. We signed her up for the youngest class (age 5) which are the "Nebulas". Originally, we signed up for two weeks, but because my daughter loved it so much, we added on one more week.

We decided on Camp Galileo because of the balance between art, science, and outdoors. I loved the various themes and the philosophy of the camp. I heard good things from another parent who asked around about the camp. Word of mouth recommendations - great.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but after the first day, all of my (not my daughter's!) anxieties about sending my daughter for 6 hours of camp went away.

- Well organized staff. There are registration tables organized by last name. My daughter got a welcome from her team leader. We arrived early so my daughter joined in a story time. All campers wear a name tag showing name, class, and team color. By going more than one week, a few of the staff knew my daughter my name which was nice as they welcomed her each morning.

- We signed up with a friend which made the camp experience not so daunting. Camp Galileo guarantees at least one friend to be in the same group if you put down that friend's name at sign up. Also, my daughter found it easy to meet kids. She started mentioning different names to me.

- Potty breaks. I found out that the Nebulas get asked and taken for bathroom breaks between each rotation (art, science, outdoors).

- Same team leader if attending for more than one week. I was appreciative that my daughter had the same team leader and team color every week that she attended. This added some familiarity for my daughter, and she didn't have to get to know a new team leader each week.

- Themes and spirit. There is so much team spirit at this camp. From the team leaders to the director to the interns. Each Friday is a closing ceremony for parents to attend (1/2 hour before camp ends). We get to hear the camp songs and learn what was done that week. My daughter was so proud of us attending her camp and seeing what she did!

- Ratio. My daughter's team had about 12 kids in it. There is a dedicated Nebula science instructor, art instructor, and outdoors instructor. So, in each rotation, there would be a 1:6 ratio of teacher to camper. That's a good number.

- Level of staff. I liked that all of the instructors and the director are college graduates. The team leaders, I believe, are also college graduates or currently in college. The two staff members that I talked with were either teachers or pursuing a master's in education.

- Helpful main office. I've called and emailed the main Galileo office a few times with questions. Very prompt responses and helpfulness.

- Choicelunch. We signed up for the lunch program. I loved being able to sit with my daughter and go through all the lunches that she was able to choose from. Easy process and many choices! The lunch includes a snack, but no drink. My daughter brought a water bottle and backpack every day.

- My daughter mentioned to me that someone in one of the three Nebula groups was pushing other kids and was sent to the office. I appreciated that the camp takes a no tolerance approach to anything physical between campers which is what a regular elementary school would do. My daughter is there to have fun, and the team leaders should not have to spend their time dealing with this situation. (Not to mention that if it were my child being pushed, I'd be glad of this policy.)

Overall, a great first camp experience. My daughter has already asked for us to sign her up for the full weeks (I think 7) for next summer. She is still singing and putting on shows with all of the camp songs that she's learned. I have to say that the songs are catchy, and my husband and I find ourselves singing along with her!

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Review from Jessica H.

0 friends
4 reviews
Jessica H.
Saratoga, CA

I signed up my 5 year old boy for nebular for 4 weeks, he got suspended twice for pushing other campers. I know it is wrong to push, but I was very disappointed that the camp sends kids back to parents so frequently. We already spent a fortune on the camp, and still have to take time from work.
The activities are fun and exciting, however, the team leaders are not experienced with kids, they don't know how to handle smaller kids, how to avoid conflicts between kids.

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Review from R S.

0 friends
7 reviews
R S.
Campbell, CA

This is my son's second summer with Camp G. He loves it. We originally chose Cupertino since it was slightly cheaper than Saratoga. The Camp director, Julia, is worth more than her weight in gold. She learns the kids names and interacts with them all. We went back to Cupertino this year just because of Julia.

Camp G offers incentives to offset the is a fairly expensive camp. Once you realize what your kids learn everyday and how much fun they have, it becomes more than worth the price.

The team leaders have a great ability to handle kids for 6 hours a day. Camp G is a science and art camp with 4 different themes to choose from. This year they partnered with Choicelunch to offer kids healthy hot lunches and snacks. It saved me time in the morning and I was able to choose from several choices each day for my son's lunch.

If I could give it more stars, I would. I highly recommend Camp G for all kids. I think my friends are getting tired of me raving about Camp Galileo.

Cupertino Newspaper -

Camp Galileo: A Camp for Science, Creativity and Fun
Cupertino's Camp Galileo promotes learning in a fun environment
By Aaron Selverston Email the author July 15, 2012
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“If we mess up that’s okay! That’s what we’re supposed to do,” belts Camp Director Erin Gonce as she leads an enthusiastic gaggle of 5-year olds in an outdoor game.

At Camp Galileo mistakes and determination are encouraged as kids partake in creative and educational projects.

The camp was founded in 2002 by Glen Tripp in Palo Alto but has since expanded to 33 sites around the Bay. His main goal in creating Camp Galileo was to provide students with an environment that would allow for innovation and creative problem solving.

“In the first nine years of my post-college career I really gained an appreciation for the importance of creative problem solving and collaboration and I simultaneously was exposed to what was happening with the No Child Left Behind legislation," Tripp said. “I saw that schools were having a very hard time building in creative problem solving and visual arts and outdoor collaborative play and hands-on science engineering so I decided to start a camp that would address those under one umbrella.”

Camp Galileo embodies its mission through an educational approach known as the Galileo Innovation Approach, which is meant to allow kids to think in new ways in order to create a better world.

“[The Galileo Innovation Approach] has two main components,” Tripp said. “The first is a mindset that the culture of the camp reinforces at every turn so those are mindsets like being visionary, being collaborative, being determined, being courageous. Those mindsets are recognized and reinforced throughout the camp experience. The second is a set of steps that a person can use in any kind of creative endeavor and that set of steps starts with identifying a goal, generating ideas, then designing, creating, testing, evaluating, and redesigning. The Galileo Innovation Approach is a combination of a mindset and a process that we equip kids with so they can be creative in their lives.”

Each week at Galileo is built around a different theme, allowing the camp to create a diverse set of projects for each session. The themes for this summer were the Olympics, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Renaissance and music.

Recently, the kids celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge by exploring San Francisco art and learning about bridge engineering.

There are three age groups at Galileo camps: Nebulas (pre-kindergarteners), Stars (first through second graders), and Supernovas (third through fifth graders). Each age group participates in different art and science projects that relate to the theme of the week.

“We’ve been innovating and building bridges and bridge related projects,” camp counselor Ben Goldman said. “In science we’ve been learning all about tension forces and compression forces and making really awesome bridges that hold pennies and have been holding a lot of weight.”

The camp goes in depth on the scientific concepts related to the projects so that kids are able to obtain knowledge on how these projects correlate to real-life concepts.

“The first step we did was we just taught them the actual chronology of bridge making so building the towers and the cable to connect them and the ideas of tension and compression and they learned all that vocabulary, all the correct terminology to be able to talk about it in real world terms,” Palo Alto Camp Director Erin Goce said. “Then they got to see how a bridge is made in real life and make their own model of it, build their version of it. So now they’ve created their own bridge after days of learning how to do it the right way.”

Although the Camp Galileo is an educational experience for the campers, it does not sacrifice fun for learning.

“There is something about building and creating that is inherently fun,” Tripp said. “We select people not just for their teaching expertise but for their passion and enthusiasm and playfulness. The culture of the camp is very supportive of a fun of environment. Nobody goes to a summer camp that is not fun so we put big emphasis on camp games and fun spirited activities that we wrap around the academic experience. It all fits together.”


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