Cal Youth Social Skills Camps

School-Aged, Preteens
Editors' Notes: 

See Also: Cal Youth Camps

Our goal is to provide a supportive environment for children to learn social skills through participation in sports and recreational activities. Specific focus is placed on making and maintaining friendships and the culture of winning and losing in sports and games.

Parent Reviews

Parents, Sign in to post a review on this page.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2011

Re: Summer Camps and Programs for Teens with Aspergers
My daughter and her friends, all on the ''spectrum'', have spent several wondeful summers at Cal Camp at Strawberry Canyon. They have a wonderful program that is focused on building social skills and competence. Dr. Jennifer Selke, the program director, is very knowlegable and knows how to integrate the special teens into the program. The program offers tons of support. You can reach Jennifer at 510-642-7648 or email her at jenn8 [at] Please tell her that Varda says: ''Hi''. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

April 2007

Re: Quest Camp or Cal Blue Camp for Social Skills
My son attended the UCB Social Skills camp-inside-a-camp last year as a 10 year old. His older (typical) brother was also at Strawberry Canyon, so it was a good way for the younger one to feel he and his bro were at the same camp.

The kids in the SS track are moved into the main camp sports activities as a little ''pod'' of 4 kids with their counselor to help navigate.

the good:
- fabulous counselor. One counselor is assigned to your kid, and you will get great feedback about what's going on
- convenient location if you are Oakland / Berkeley
- great if your kid likes sports
- great if he likes to feel like he's part of the mainstream
- good chance to make a friend within your ''pod''

the not so good:
- if your kid is stressed by changing groups of people and transitions. Although he, his pod and counselor move together, the activity around them during transitions is quite a swirl.
- there was less supervision during lunch which is a problematic area for my son. He had one encounter with another camper (not in the social skills track) that left a bad impression.
- if the ''pod'' doesn't have anyone that your kid likes. One child in my kid's pod was so miserable the whole time that it brought everyone down. My kid's pretty resilient and had a good time with one of the remaining two, but he mentioned it as a negative.

- unless you can talk a friend into registering for the same weeks, it's impossible to tell if there will be anyone your child knows. For any camp, the best strategy is to try to talk one of your child's friends (such as they may be) into going to the same camp at the same time. This creates a core that can extend into a positive experience.

We are trying Quest camp (same weeks as a friend) this year instead. I expect that he will be more comfortable in a less busy setting. But of course, it's all atypical kids, so it just depends on what you want out of a social skills program!

Hope that helps. - Nancy

April 2006

I'm looking for information on a special needs socialization camp that might be affiliated with UCB for 9 years and up. I think the founder/director is affiliated with UCB. Does anyone have information on this?

Social Skills (SST) completed grades 3 - 7
Leadership Skills (LIT) completed grades 8 - 13

Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp, located on the U C Berkeley Campus, is running a one-of-a-kind integrated social skills and leadership camps for children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning Autism, Asperger\x92s Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits. The Social Skills Track (SST) and Leaders-In-Training (LIT) parallels Blue Camp and the CILT program. Children in the SST and LIT are fully integrated into Blue Camp and the CILT program. They are fully integrated and receive more supervision as well as additional direct instruction based on their individual goals. The services are seamless and the adults working with them look like all the other camp staff so no one is aware that they are on a different track.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For an information and application packet or reference list of camper parents please e-mail: Dr. Jennifer H. Selke 510/642-7648 jenn8[at]

April 2004

submitted by: Jennifer Selke

Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp, located on the U C Berkeley Campus, is running a one-of-a-kind social skills camp for children (ages 9-12) with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits. A specialized Group Leader provides stability and guidance as the campers apply what they are learning to real-life situations at summer camp. A camper's daily schedule includes an integrated social skills curriculum that runs throughout their camp day.

March 2004

Re: Day camp for extremely shy 9 year old
I saw in the strawberry canyon website that they have an interesting camp for social skills. It might be appropriate. Check for more details. Anon.