Art Discovery Camp at Frances Albrier Community Center
Location: Frances Albrier Community Center at San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street
Arts Discovery Camp offers a unique and enriching program, exposing children to new learning experiences through the arts. Campers will engage in dance, theater, public speaking, culinary projects and nature exploration. They will also participate in a variety of creative games, sports, crafts, mini trips, weekly swimming days and field trips. For more information, call 510-981-6640
My daughter did the frances albrier camp when she was 5 last summer. They mostly stayed inside, arts programming was very limited, counselors were harsh and not warm, they watched movies that were not appropriate for 5 year olds, and did not supervise my daughter properly on a field trip to a water park. She was put in the older kids group bc she’s super tall even though I reminded the director and the staff the day before that she was only 5 and couldn’t swim. She didn’t like this camp at all - except for the day she got to go with the big kids at the water park and do whatever she wanted. This was so exciting to her that she still brings it up :)
I think the Art Camp at Francis Albrier is just okay. Your kids will be safe, but it isn't as fun as other camps. I think it would be a little for a lot of weeks, but a few weeks would be okay.
My active, social 7-year-old did the Arts Discovery camp most of last summer and will do it again this summer. It's somewhat no-frills, but they do go on one field trip every week and swimming sessions on Fridays. They do art and dance projects and play field games. Because they mainly stay at San Pablo Park, there's not a lot of time spent on buses. My kid made new friends and got to spend time with a few kids he knew from school. He didn't always like every single activity-- who does?-- but he had fun every day and said it was the best camp.
Since it's one of the least expensive full-day camps around, it does eventually fill up. However, there's probably still time to apply for scholarships right now.
Last year with a rising kindergartener we did Berkeley Day Camp and the Frances Albrier Art's Camp. We won't be doing Berkeley Day Camp this year. His reviews on the staff at BDC were mixed and the AM and PM aftercare was lack luster, plus I witnessed some poor supervision around pick-up and drop-off that made me wonder about safety. That said he loved all the cool places BDC went and I think for older kids the issues we had would not be a big deal.
At Frances Albrier's Art camp, the staff are the same week-to-week (and mostly the same staff as their school year after school program) the group is smaller than BDC. They do a walking field trip each week (to swim or go to a different park), they cook, do science, garden, art time, play games, dance, play on the playground, do light sports, and goof around. Lots of time outside and just the right amount of lightly supervised free play plus organized activities for mine. He choose on his own to go only to FA this summer.