Overnight Camp Suggestions for Kids

Parent Q&A

Summer overnight camp for 11 year old Apr 14, 2019 (7 responses below)
Jewish Sleepaway Camp Oct 13, 2018 (5 responses below)
  • Summer overnight camp for 11 year old

    (7 replies)

    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. 

    www.campaugusta.org 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.


  • Jewish Sleepaway Camp

    (5 replies)

    Our second grader is excited about trying sleepaway camp next summer when she will be 8.  I was not ready at that age, but she is an outgoing and social kid.  We're considering Jewish camp, and I'm looking for reviews of recent experiences at Ramah NorCal, Camp Newman, or Camp Gilboa closer to LA.  We attend a conservative synagogue, and our daughter goes to religious school there, although as a family we are not particularly observant.  Paying for camp will be a big expense for us (likely displacing funds we would use for family vacations), and I'd like for her to be at a camp that doesn't feel like a bunch of privileged kids who go to fancy camp and then on to fancy vacations for the rest of the summer.  Most of all, we want for her to be in a loving and welcoming environment with opportunities to explore her Jewish identity and all of the usual camp activities and social experiences.  Any thoughts or recommendations?

    RE: Jewish Sleepaway Camp ()

    My girls attended Camp Tawonga and really loved it. The cost is pretty comparable to the others and there are a number of financial aid options (as there are for all the Jewish camps, I think.) They have 1, 2, and 3 week sessions. A Taste of Camp (Session I) is a good way to start. It is only 5 days (Sun - Fri). If she's been away from home for a week or more already, you might want to do the 2 week session (Session II).

    You can also get more info on ALL the Jewish camps at https://www.jewishcamp.org/one-happy-camper/

    RE: Jewish Sleepaway Camp ()

    Hello! I've heard wonderful things about Camp Tawonga from former counselors and campers. The camp is very welcoming, not super religious, and offers financial aid. Because the camp is right outside Yosemite, there's a big emphasis on the outdoors, with opportunities for backpacking and daily hikes. It sounds like a great place to spend a summer!

    RE: Jewish Sleepaway Camp ()

    My daughter is counting the days until her third summer at Ramah NorCal begins!  It was her first overnight camp experience in 2017and was a game changer - camp has become a hugely important part of her life and she stays in touch with camp friends throughout the year. It is a very down to earth camp (not at all “fancy”...we are a Berkeley family and it feels very familiar culturally) with a warm community and excellent staff. One of her best friends who is an anxious kid had tried overnight Jewish camp elsewhere for two summers and sadly had to go home after a few days both times. This past summer she went to Ramah NorCal with my daughter and had the time of her life. Will be returning for a month in 2019. The Camper Care Team is fantastic and they do an amazing job really seeing and knowing all of the children. It’s a warm, sweet, supportive and fun Jewish environment. I can’t say enough about this camp. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Overnight Camp for artsy 8 year old boy?

Feb 2015

Hi there, I'm wondering if anyone can recommend an overnight camp for an 8 year old boy who is more artsy and not sporty. He likes the woods and camping, but doesn't like any sports at all. thanks! Anne

My kids are older, but they adore uCamps. It's an arts camp with a little bit of everything in the Santa Cruz mountains. The director and counselors are fantastic with kids and make sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. There is structure to the day, but the kids get to choose what they do from a variety of options. And my kids say the food is good! The session for kids your son's age is called uCamps Discovery (2nd-8th graders) and it will be August 2nd-August 7th this coming summer. You can check out their website: ucamps.org Feel free to contact me if you have questions. Lucy K

Overnight summer camp for vegetarian 10yo boy

Dec 2013

My son would like to attend summer camp in 2014, and I'm trying to find a place that offers vegetarian meals. Does anyone have any good suggestions within three hours of the Bay Area? He will be 10 years old next summer.

My daughter, who is two years older, has attended three different Girl Scout Camps and they do a great job with special diets. Before each meal, they announce that vegan and vegetarian meals are available at the dining window and she was satisfied with the food. In particular, she liked Skylark Ranch the best, followed by Deer Lake, if anyone is looking for recommendations. I'm hoping to find a similar overnight camp for boys: fun, reasonably priced, traditional camp with vegetarian meals on offer. Any suggestions? Thank you! Jenn

You might try Full Belly Farm - they do one week summer sleepaway camps. It's about 2 hours from the East Bay and a really amazing place. (They are a CSA). While I'm not sure if the meals at camp would be solely vegetarian, I'm sure there would be a lot of vegetarian options. We recently signed our kids up for a half day kids-camp thing, part of the annual Full Belly Hoes Down, and they had a blast. They're vegetarian, and the lunch that day was veggie. I don't see anything listed on the site yet for camp in 2014 (fullbellyfarm.com) but I'm sure they'll put info up eventually, or you can email them via the site. -- likely parent of a future Full Belly sleepaway camper