Summer Camps for Kids of Color

Parent Q&A

Overnight camps for kids of color? Jul 13, 2021 (2 responses below)
Naturalist teen camp w/ at least some Black kids? Apr 5, 2021 (9 responses below)
  • Overnight camps for kids of color?

    (2 replies)

    I know most camps are full for this summer, but looking ahead to next year, I’m hoping to find some good overnight camp options for our middle schooler. Does anyone know of overnight camps in Northern California (or even Southern California) that are racially diverse (campers and staff)? If they’re queer-friendly, that would be even better.

    Thank you for your help!

    My son is a person of color and he attended Camp Ravencliff (https://ymcaeastbay.org/camps/camp-ravencliff) several years running and LOVED it. It was so great to see the kids loading up in the bus at the Richmond YMCA - one of the first times he felt completely immersed in a community of kids that looked like him. They do all the classic camp stuff and it is on a river so lots of fun water stuff too.

    There was a similar question in April and parents' suggestions are here: Naturalist teen camp w/ at least some Black kids?

  • My son is a homebody so signing up for new things is always a bit of a reach. He's now 15 and very interested in animals and ecosystems. He doesn't like being the only Black kid in a group, compounded by the one time we convinced him to go to an overnight camp and he got into a fight w/ a kid who called him the "n" word. It seems like for teenagers it's mainly sleepaway and some hiking camps. I think he would be open to either if 1. there are animals or naturalist focus and 2. other Black kids.

    One benefit of COVID is that we've saved money on normal activities so we could afford to splurge. Except, the better a program looks (and costs), the fewer Black kids.

    Please don't recommend Trackers - they had really cool programming but you don't get kicked out for verified calling another camper the "n" word. 

    I wish I had recs for you, but I wanted to respond and say that that is disgusting that Trackers tolerated that. We used to go there. Gross. 

    Hi Annie in Oakland. I’m really sorry your son had that terrible experience. I don’t have a specific camp recommendation — I’m hoping others on the list do — but I wonder if www.OutdoorAfro.com might be a resource. There are a number of people in leadership roles in the Bay Area chapter and between them someone might have some leads. 

    Hi - I recommend you look into the camps at Hidden Villa, near Los Altos. They have a strong environmental focus and a long history of equity. I went to camp there as a kid and it was transformative. 

    https://www.hiddenvilla.org/programs/summer-camps/region-HV/