Affordable Summer Camps
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Oakland Parks and Rec . Depending on the location, weekly rates are quite reasonable, from $60 - $150 per week. Dimond, Montclair, Redwood Heights, Allendale, etc.
Another option is Adventure Time . They are the aftercare program at several OUSD elementary schools and they run a summer camp open to anyone - you don't have to be enrolled in the aftercare program during the school year to attend their summer camp. Their summer camp is at Robert's Park in Oakland 3 days per week and then at an OUSD school the other 2 days (typically Joaquin Miller or Montclair). You can sign up for the entire week or by the hour. summer camper
The least expensive summer camp I found was Adventure Time (located in several OUSD schools, and on Monday-Wednesday in Roberts Park). They charge per hour, and although I have not looked at the prices this year, my memory is that if your child goes full time, you pay something between $5.00 and $6.00 per hour. They do a lot of different activities -- crafts, sports and games, and a lot of free play. Very low key. See their website at http://www.adventure-time.com/camp.html Karen
Take a look at Lakeshore Children's Center , which runs summer and school break camps, in addition to its preschool and aftercare programs. It is located on Lakeshore Ave, and costs $150 a week (I think). They have a pretty typical summer camp program, with Monday being ''wheel day'' (bikes, scooter, etc at the park), swimming two days a week, field trip one day a week (bowling, ferry to San Francisco, etc.), and arts and crafts one day. My daughter really enjoys it there.
Summer camp was a big sticker shock for us, too, not to mention the transportation logistics. The city parks & rec departments are the way to go. In Oakland, our kids have really enjoyed Studio One summer camp, which has 9am-5pm days for -- brace yourself -- $150/week for city residents. Throw in a couple of weeks of that, and you can still afford some Monkey Business or another more expensive camp if you want, if your kid has friends are going there, etc.
I also know that most of the OPR rec centers (Montclair, Dimond, Redwood Hts, etc.) have all-day programs at similar prices. For the Oakland programs, their website is here: https://securerw.oaklandnet.com/registrationmain.sdi For category, enter ''day camp,'' and then you can sort by start date or location, and click through on ages/places/dates that work for you to get more information. Also, there's Berkeley City Camp, which even with morning and after care at non-resident rates is less than $300/week, and pickup/dropoff is at Willard Park in South Berkeley. Summer camp sticker shock
Not in Oakland but nearby in Elmwood/Claremont are the Cal Youth camps , which are $200-300/week depending on the child's age, for 9am-4pm. Extended care is offered from 7:30-9am or for 4-5:30pm for $45/week. Here's their website: see http://camps.berkeley.edu/youth/