Camp It Up!

Outside the Bay Area
All Ages

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2006

This will be our first time attending a family camp. As I look at the various options, I like the sound of Camp It Up! for us. They say they welcome ''traditional'' hetero families as well. Is this true? Would we be welcome? maya

I am a single (straight) mom with two kids; several years ago we went to one of Camp it Up's Hawaii vacations. We loved it! The people are great and everyone is friendly; we never felt left out of activities or conversations. And yes, it was educational for me....I had never given much thought to gay families vs. straight families, but going on this trip confirmed what I had always believed to be true: people are people first, and all families have the same basic concerns. Also there were several ''straight'' couples there....people who were there to vacation with their relatives who were gay, or people like me who just signed up because it seemed like such a great idea (I was recently widowed and didn't feel up to the idea of planning a vacation on my own and loved the idea of having adult companionship while my kids could hang out with other kids).

I did notice sometimes a brief hesitation when we went to various places as a group; it seemed my companions instinctively gauged whether or not we were in a ''gay friendly'' location before they relaxed. Years later, when my kids started picking up on some anti-gay talk at school, I could remind them that many of the people we went on the Hawaii trip with were gay, and all of a sudden they realized that these comments that people were making were hurtful to real people whom they knew and liked. Liz

Yes, yes, to the family considering Camp It Up! - everyone is very welcoming. Last summer was my first time with my child, and we are going again this summer. I am a single parent (but yes, I'm gay) and felt very included. You can participate in as many activites as you like, or simply hang out and lounge on the patio. It was so wonderful to see so many different types of family configurations - even extended families and friends, grandparents, etc. Everyone is welcome. happy camper

My husband worked at Camp It Up for a few years, and we're still in touch with some of the folks he met there. Straight folks are very welcome. We haven't gone yet since starting our family, but we plan to in the near future. I say ''go for it!'' Dawn

May 2002

Re: Oakland's Family Camp at Feather River (May 2002)
I can only comment on the Oakland Camp facility for you, not the program run by the city of Oakland. Our family has gone to Camp It Up! Family Camp at Oakland Feather river for the last two years. Camp It Up is an ''atlernative family camp'' mostly with Gay families but others who feel alternative as well. The location is beautiful with the river and swimming holes. The facility is average, but serviceable, cabins and tent cabins. Nice dining hall and patio area. Tennis courts. Like I said I can't say much for the city's program but I will plug Camp It Up's program which is FAAAABULOUS. Lots of music and theater. Our 3 year old hates to leave (and so do I) Karen

From: Ellie Schindelman

I wanted to let everyone know about the family camp programs I organize, called Camp It Up Adventures (as a sideline to my work in Employee Development and Training!).

I have been running a 2 week summer family camp for the past 7 years, but last year I began developing family camp adventures. These programs are designed for all kinds of families, but especially for families who are a little different - lesbian and gay families, single parent families, adoptive families, multi-cultural families - as well as family friends. The emphasis of the programs is on great experiences for the children and the whole family, community building, and making time for parents to have quality time both with their children and apart from them!

Upcoming adventures:

Camp It Up Adventures in the Snow - March 6-8, 1998 Richardson's Resort at Lake Tahoe. A weekend of skiing, sledding, playing in the snow, and sitting by the fire! Childcare Saturday and Sunday, all meals provided and great company.

Camp It Up Adventures in Alaska - July 18-August 1, 1998 Two full weeks of touring the Kenai Peninsula and Denali National Park. Kayaking, fishing, bicycling, hiking, horse-back riding, flightseeing, white-water rafting, wild-life viewing, boat tours. Airfare, accomodations, meals, cars, childrens program, adventures.

Raft the American River - September 4-6, 1998 A great family raft experience.

Winter Holidays in Santa Fe - December 27, 1998- January 3, 1999 Four nights in Santa Fe and 3 nights at Ghost Ranch Center in Abiquiu. The beauty and wonder of the high southwest in winter.

Raft the Grand Canyon - 2 weeks in July, 1999 The adventure of a lifetime - for families with kids 12 and older.

If you would like to receive a general brochure, call 510 524-6945 and leave me your name and address and I'll send you a brochure. Also let me know if you would like more information about specific trips.

Ellie Schindelman