Summer Programs in or near San Francisco

Cal Youth Camps - Explorers Camp

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State and County:
CA, Alameda Co.

City / Town:

The Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area, Berkeley, CA, 94704

Contact Information:
Cal Youth Camps (Department of Recreational Sports), 2301 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, 94720, (510) 643-CAMP (2267)

Application Information:

Google Map Link:

Type of Camp / Gender:
Sports Camp

Age Range:
5 - 6 years old

Duration - Dates / Time:
6/11 - 8/17/2012 (dependent on the year); Weekly: M - F 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; Extended Hours Available: 7:30 am - 9:00 am & 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

2 weeks session: $480; 1 week session: $295

Counselor / Student Ratio:
1 : 9

Attention all five and six year olds! Come make new friends, play sports, and learn new skills in a supportive atmosphere designed just for you! So parents, whether your child is a first-timer or an experienced Explorer camper, our exciting and active program is sure to create lasting memories for your child for years to come. Explorer camp employs a superb and highly-trained group of instructors and group leaders to be there every step of your child\\\'s camp experience.

Field Trips:




Safety of Neighborhood:

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

What to Bring:
Swim gears, lunch

Berkeley Parents Network -

Explorer Camp

July 2012I wanted to write and say that I literally can\\\'t say enough good things about my son\\\'s recent experience as a 5-year-old at Cal\\\'s Explorer Camp. He has some challenging behaviors and the staff took a proactive, positive, and professional approach that allowed him to be fully successful. Moreover, he LOVED the camp and was eager to show me his sports moves every day. His only criticism was the fact that the camp ended after his two week session was up. We will be back next summer! Mom of a happy explorer
May 2011Re: New reviews needed for YMCA day camps I can\\\'t offer a review of the Albany Y Camp, but I highly recommend Cal Explorer Camp at Strawberry Canyon. I just got an email saying they still had room. My daughter went there last summer, before beginning kindergarten, and it was a great experience for her. It is very well organized, and the kids stay busy and pick up a lot of new skills and confidence. It includes daily swimming lessons, and I was very happy with the results. She was tired every day when I picked her up, a good, healthy, active summertime kind of tired. And my favorite part: you don\\\'t have to park and get out of your car when you pick them up; they have this fantastic drive-through system. No dragging a poky younger sibling out of the car and then wrestling them back in, no searching for sweatshirts and backpacks, no arguing about going to a friend\\\'s house; they just get popped in the backseat with all their stuff and off you go. Awesome. Anon
Cal Explorer Camp for active 6 year old boy?
Jan 2011My son will be six this summer. He loves sports and is very active. I would like to find a camp for him that has good oversight, is in a safe location, and will give him the chance to play lots of organized games and sports. He is very competitive by nature, so I would also like a place that is attuned to helping kids to constructively channel their competitiveness into team spirit and hard work. We have had mixed experiences with Cal gymnastics but have heard about the Cal camp, Explorers. We are hoping for interested and involved counselors and were wondering if anyone has had recent experience with the Explorer\\\'s summer program for 5 and 6 year olds. Thanks! -Sports lover\\\'s mom
Loved, loved, loved the Cal Explorer camp. My son turned 6 last September and he took the camp for two weeks last summer. It is most definitely organized -- perhaps to a fault -- but he came home enthusiastic, tired, and happy. I was amazed that even in two weeks he learned things about football, swimming and other sports that he could repeat and explain to me and then apply himself. The counselors were positive and thoughtful and relaxed.The one caveat is that it\\\'s a big camp. My son was a 1:1 type kid then and the large camp didn\\\'t bother him because he was able to find other like-minded kids. But there *are* lots of kids and everyone is shuffled from activity to activity every 30-45 minutes so there\\\'s not much time to settle in a make friends by just hanging out. That said, maybe that\\\'s a strength for your kid\\\'s personality. It\\\'s also basically entirely sports, with the exception of a few art/craft activities.
If you don\\\'t live nearby the drive up to Strawberry Canyon is a bit of a grind but no worse than any other driving around Berkeley in the morning rush hours.
BTW, the insanely hyper-organized parking pickup routine cracked me up at first but it is a great way to get your kid in and out efficiently. Loved Cal Explorer
Hello! My kids both went to Explorer camp last summer and absolutely loved it. I would say it has everything that your post asked for. The kids rotate through a series of sports each day. Every kid gets in the pool every day. I thought the supervision was outstanding because there were both senior counselors, counselors, and then counselors in training, so between all of them, the camper:counselor ratio was great. I went to the open house day to check things out, and happened to catch my son being disciplined for bad behavior. I watched the entire encounter and was quite impressed with how the counselor handled things. The kids aren\\\'t running all day, though. There is down time while waiting in line for your turn at the drill or moving from one location to another. We\\\'re going back this summer!I highly recommend Cal Explorer camp! My daughter had a great time there last summer and will be going back this summer. Lots of sports but it\\\'s not competitive or pressured at all. It\\\'s very well organized and the counselors these lovely energetic young people. Your son will love it! AnonOur oldest daughter attended the Cal Sports Camps for the last 5 years and her younger sister was an explorer last year. The camp definitely keeps kids busy with physical activities all day long and has a good schedule of different sports. We were relatively happy with the camp until this past summer when the camp really took a downturn for us. The college-age counselors acted bored and unengaged - mostly we saw them talking amongst one another and they seemed to be ignoring the kids. The first time I observed this I thought it might be an off moment but it was virtually every time I observed an interaction (or lack of ) throughout the summer. Also, our youngest child decided that she did not want to swim so did not suit up for swimming. She did this all summer and no one from the camp informed us! We could not understand why she could only doggie paddle after an entire summer of swimming lessons until our older daughter told us her sister didn\\\'t suit up. So much for swimming lessons. All in all, our kids were not in physical danger at the camp but they were not engaged either. They were indifferent. It was a lot of money for the return.My suggestion is to take your $$ elsewhere where your child will be truly supervised and involved with the counselors and activities. The camp was a true disappointment for our family. - won\\\'t be back to Cal Camp
My active 6 year old son went to the Cal Explorer camp last summer for six weeks and loved it. They did a lot of sports. He was excited to go to camp every day. I highly recommend it.My son was 6 last summer, and he had a blast at the CAL explorer camp. I\\\'ll admit I was not convinced this was going to be a good match for him. He\\\'s not particularly athletic or competitive, and the structure of a different activity every 30 minutes sounded a little manic. But I was wrong, and it was his favorite camp of the summer. It is very well organized. The people who teach each individual sport/ activity were, from what I observed, very good at teaching the basics of the sport as well as supporting more affective goals like sportsmanship and perseverance. Also, a counselor and at least one junior counselor stay with the same group all day and herd them from place to place, which keeps everything organized and under control. My son came home every day exhausted but very, very happy. He went not knowing anyone and quickly made friends and felt comfortable both socially and physically. I could see this camp not being a great fit for a very shy or inactive kid, but for a fairly social kid who likes to move, I can\\\'t recommend it highly enough! Happy CamperMy son is 9 and went to the Explorer Camp for two years, and last year \\\"graduated\\\" to the Blue Camp. You said your son loves sports - OMG he will be in heaven at Cal Camps!! My own son is not all that into sports, but always has a good time and camp. He has especially enjoyed the daily swimming lessons and has really progressed in swimming. From a parent\\\'s point of view, I have really appreciated the structure and organization of the camp because my son is a very inattentive ADD kid and needs a lot of guiding along and encouragement. Also anytime there has been the tiniest problem, which has been rare but happens, the office has been extremely responsive and helpful. We\\\'ll be there again this year!March 2009Re: 14 year old boy needs summer soccer I can enthusiastically recommend the summer soccer camps at UC Berkeley. Type Cal Bears in Google and there should be a link to the summer camps. Our 14-year-old daughter went to day camps for 2 years and then the residential camp for 1 week last year. She got to stay in the dorms with the Cal Women\\\'s Soccer Team! I don\\\'t have any firsthand experience with the boys\\\' program but based on our experience with the girls\\\', your son will love these opportunities. Nancy
Jan 2007Re: All-day summer camp in Oakland for a 6 year old?Not in Oakland, but near. Cal Rec summer programs are very active, and in my experience very well-run. The Explorer Camp near the Cal football stadium is for 5-6 year olds and runs 9-4 with extended care available. My soon-to-be 6-year-old will be going this summer and my older kids really enjoyed these camps in years past. Swimming and hiking and also many other activities such as basketball, frisbee, track & field, etc. The kids really do learn how to do all these things and what they sample when they are 6 at Cal Rec may well turn out to be their passion in middle school and high school.
March 1999My now six year old went to Strawberry when he was just 4 and a half, and again last year. He went to the half day camp the first year and the full day the second year. We mostly really liked the camp, especially the really great swim lessons. I think that a full day at Strawberry Canyon for all but the most durable four year olds would be extremely tiring and maybe too much. Even last year, Ben typically fell asleep in the car on the way home. He was lucky (and they may all be as good!) and got a pretty great (and experienced) counselors both years, who knew *little* kids, not elementary age kids. I also think it was really terrific for Sports but a little less good for the other things. I was a little less pleased with the after-care, but since it\\\'s fewer kids and of varying ages, it\\\'s really hard to do that well. We\\\'re probably going to do a few weeks this summer. It\\\'s a whole lot easier on the kids if they sign up with a friend. Myriam


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