Summer overnight camp for 11 year old

I am hoping to send my 11-year-old granddaughter to a one or two week overnight camp within a few hours of the SF Bay area. She enjoys outdoor activities, nature, animals (especially horses), and arts and crafts. She is not big on sports. I am having trouble finding clear and recent recommendations for camps to consider. Can anyone here help with suggestion(s) for a specific camp that would likely be a good fit?

One camp I am considering is Plantation Farm Camp. However, all the reviews I have found are from years ago. I’m wondering if anyone has any current information about this camp. Any information would be helpful. 

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted. MIGHT still have a few spots.  They are one of the few camps that fills 100% every year.  It is incredible - partially because they train the counselors!  At many summer camps the staff arrives on Friday and the kids on Saturday.  At Camp Augusta, the staff has week of training clear communication and challenge by choice.  It is truly lovely.

Your daughter might like Bar 717 Camp near the Trinity Alps.  It’s more than a few hours from the Bay Area, but the camp charters a bus that leaves from Oakland Airport, so it’s easy.  They have horses and other animals, outdoorsy activities, crafts, etc., and there aren’t organized sports.   It’s very rustic.  

Hidden Villa has a wonderful overnight program.

Hi my son went to the YMCA Camp Campbell in a redwood valley behind Cupertino, same age 11 for 2 weeks. This was 3 summers ago (we normally live in Europe so he hasn't been back but has been to another YMCA sleep away camp in New Hampshire last summer). 

We loved Camp Campbell. Looks just like you hope a summer camp to look, cute cabins, rustic charming main lodge for eating, swimming pool with all the bells and whistles, tons of activities to choose from (crafts, creative stuff, plus more athletic, survival or outdoor challenge stuff). There are four 1-hour sessions of activities you sign up for plus other less structure time.  Well trained counselors, well-run camp, they build team work, focus on acceptance and friendly atmosphere. Affordable.

There is a stream running through it to do nature stuff, and the camp is under a beautiful canopy of redwood trees. We were in the States just for a year, and my son dealt with some bullying in his class as he couldn't quite keep up with topics taught in a new language (he's fluent in English, just not used to learning in English) so by the time of the summer camp he was really dreading dealing with new kids and I was worried too, but it was perfect because they really focus on a friendly atmosphere, build a sense of community with these chant-songs that they sing back and forth, no media/electronics allowed so kids get away from that and lots of really nice kids.

I see there are also a few other YMCA sleep away summer camps (sometimes they call them "residential camps") in the bay area. The one annoying thing in looking at YMCA sleep away camp options is that there is no central website and each of their camps has their own web-layout, along with their own programs, costs and dates. Some specialize in really innovative ideas, some particularly those on the East Coast offer really spectacular activities and some focus on certain themes so it can take a little bit of time to find all the necessary info of activities, "dates and rates," and openings.

My son spent 2 weeks and loved it, Camp Campbell was wonderful. If anyone reading this ever has a chance to do the YMCA camps in New England, these are even more impressive and I would really recommend them. Several of them have airport pickups available for the older teen kids.

Two places my kids have gone are Girl Scout camps (have camps with horses) and YMCA Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz mountains. You don't have to be in Girl Scouts to do their summer camp. Both are more reasonably priced than some of the private camps and my kids have liked both. YMCA has buses from the Berkeley Y, and Girl Scout camps have buses from either Alameda or San Jose, depending on which site they go to. Skylark, in the Santa Cruz mountains, has lots of horse programs and my daughter liked it a lot.

I don't have personal experience with this camp, but I have been considering the Girl Scout sleepaway camp in Santa Cruz (Skylark Ranch) for my daughter because they have horses. Does anybody have recent experience with this camp? is wonderful. My 11 year old went for a week last summer and is counting the minutes until he can return.