Suggestions for last-minute teen camps/activities?

Hello friends!

My (newly adopted!) 14-year old son and I moved to Alameda (by way of Brooklyn) on July 1st and I promptly signed him up for a couple of weeklong camps. (This is our second summer together and I know that things get a little dicey without some structure.)

He has a lot of social anxiety, mostly keeps to himself and would prefer to stay home and watch tv over anything else. He went to Bay Harbor Club’s Tennis Camp for the first week (which he didn’t hate) and for these past two weeks he’s been at the Alameda Community Sailing Camp which, to my great surprise and delight, he admitted was “super-divertido*” from Day 1!! So much so, that he is now asking about camp for next week! 

And that’s where you come in! 

Do you have any suggestions for a (teen) camp that might have an open slot next week??

He’s particularly interested in water-sports like kayaking or even swimming, but as long as it’s not too “sporty” (he vehemently avoids soccer, basketball etc) and within say…a half-hour-ish drive from Alameda, I’d love to hear about it!

*I should mention that, while he understands a LOT and really knows how to say A LOT, he communicates primarily in Spanish (or non-verbally due to his shyness).

That said, he’s mentioned ACTING as one of the activities he’s interested in pursuing!?! So if you know of any bilingual acting programs—even during the school year—I’d happily take that info too!

Any points in the right direction would be so appreciated…

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I think EB Regional Parks has a junior lifeguard camp in Alameda the next couple of weeks!

Good for you both! How exciting. This is maybe slightly far for you but Berkeley Rec has amazing camps - SUP, windsurfing, Bay sailing and more. City of Oakland has great low cost camps including a comprehensive sailing program on Lake Merritt. Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda has perhaps the top sailing program in the Bay Area - friends in places like Tiburon send their kids there / it’s a multi week program appropriate for next summer. And btw - sailing is a very recruitable college sport. There’s EBRC and Artemis etc for rowing - a surprisingly fun team sport that is also very recruitable for colleges, with only 2-3 years on a team needed. Piedmont Rec has a ton of camp programs, check their website. Does he like cooking? There are some cool cooking camps. I’m not sure about acting but you could just google that or give a school like OSA a call and see if they have recommendations. Also the chain of Ironworks Climbing Gyms nearby - which are awesome - have very good year round climbing programs. And call the Bladium - loads of programs there and a fun environment right near you.

Hello!  Welcome to the Bay Area!  There is a water sports type camp in Lake Merritt.  I am not certain on details but worth checking out.

It might be a bit farther than 30min but Trackers Camp in El Cerrito would be a perfect fit. The only camp my 11 year old will attend. They also have some role playing sessions that might work for the acting interest. Good luck! 

Welcome to Alameda! 

Check out Mike's Stand Up Paddleboard camps. They're on-island (not far from Encinal High School) and they offer teen camps that are full or half day. Caveat: they are very pricey! Kids stay in calm water and in marina areas, not out in the Bay, so it has felt quite safe. My son and 2 friends attended a full-day camp with them last year, and he's attending a 1/2 day camp next week as he liked it so much. Who knows...maybe they'll meet? I don't have personal experience with options for acting, but Tomorrow Youth Repertory (TYR, in Alameda) and Berkeley Youth Repertory are ones I hear about a great deal.

right there next to alameda community sailing, is also ‘stacked adventures’ (kayaking) and o kalani outrigger club (hawaiian canoe paddling). stacked adventures doesn’t have camps per se, but they do have youth lessons, paddling and group activities. o kalani youth program starts at 15 y.o. but has a fabulous supportive family feel and might be a consideration for next year. i see other posters mentioned mike’s paddle (alameda) and youth rowing (oakland). both fantastic. i do want to state as a former rower and one who knows kids who row, that the sport is definitely more of a collegiate feel (read ‘competitive’ environment) than kayaking or outrigger canoe, sailing… which of course can be a plus or minus depending on the individual and where they are at any given point in time.

also, there are several other sailing/yacht clubs on island that may have youth offerings (scholarships?) to check out. club nautique, island y.c., alameda y.c., encinal y.c., aeolian y.c., ballena y.c. ⛵️ you might consider calling around.

glad to hear your kid took to water sports. water has been scientifically proven to be a calming thing for stressed bodies and minds. this i know first hand. you are doing GREAT mama or papa bear!!! all my best wishes to your new expanded family!  ❤️ 

I would also recommend checking out Oakland Strokes (rowing). They row out of Tidewater in Alameda and they have a free 2 week trial for high school kids.