Camp Galileo

SF Bay Area
Preschoolers, Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens
250 participants
info [at]
Editors' Notes: 

Extraordinary innovation camps for pre-K through 8th grade students in Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and around the Bay Area. 

For 19 years, Galileo's award-winning programs have inspired Pre-K-8th grade innovators to create a better world. Whether it's leading activities in your backyard, teaching hands-on online classes, or creating best-in-class day camps, Galileo is there to bring joy and build your child's creative confidence.

Parent Q&A

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  • Camp Galileo post-pandemic

    (3 replies)

    Can anyone give a post-pandemic review of Camp Galileo? My son went in 2019 as a rising kinder and had an ok time. He did like the projects though. I heard that Galileo went bankrupt during 2020 and left some parents in the lurch, but it seems like it's back on its feet (at least judging from its marketing emails). I'm curious what Galileo is like these days, whether it has the same atmosphere as pre-pandemic, and whether people would recommend it. It seems to allow earlier drop offs and later pickups than other camps I've seen, which is convenient for parents who commute to SF, so I want to like it!

    Hi, my kiddo did Galileo last summer for one week in Alameda. It was our first time. Overall I thought it was a good camp, and he liked it enough to want to go back this year. I appreciated that a lot of the time was spent outside, given pandemic conditions. The supervision seemed appropriate. For some reason I wasn't getting the email communication(s) prior to camp, but aside from that it seemed well organized.

    My son, who’s currently in 2nd grade, attended the Berkeley Camp Galileo for the past two summers. He has had an amazing experience during his time there. He raves about how much fun it is! He comes home enthused about the innovative projects they work on and he’s had wonderful counselors. He’ll be attending this summer as well. We highly recommend it. 

    My kiddos have gone both pre and post-pandemic. They attended last Summer for 4 weeks at the Berkeley Cragmont campus and all enjoyed it. They did spend a lot of time outside which is nice, but they also have classrooms for indoor work. The camps were well attended, counselors were upbeat and everything seemed well organized. They'll be going back this Summer for a few weeks. 

Parent Reviews

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Sounds a lot like my seven-year-old who was just diagnosed with ADHD. We LOVE Trackers. It keeps him active all day and also teaches some good focus skills because some of the activities are risky (archery, etc.) and you really have to follow the rules in order to participate, so he is highly incentivized.

He also loved the Cal Youth camp (Explorers last year, we haven't tried any of the more focused ones like gymnastics) - it's very structured, with lots of activities, and he likes that.

Berkeley Day Camp is kind of the opposite though, with less structure and more free play and I think that is super important too, so we'll probably sign up for that again because I think that part of summer should be spent running around outside without much structure.

We also did Galileo last summer and he liked it but I didn't think it was worth the price compared with the city camp or Cal camp (whereas I think Trackers is so good that it's worth the extra money).

One thing that's very challenging for our kid is going somewhere without a friend, so we coordinate with his friends from school - it's extra work on the front end, but worth it when summer comes and he's less scared and resistant about going to camp.

Camp Galileo! My HFA son went for years & loved it. (He’s verbal but very quiet, sensitive to noise/crowds). The counselors are very well trained. So even though the vibe is very high energy, they are ready & on the lookout for quiet/sensitive kids who need a different approach. They really do a great job with having alternate activities, caring staff, understanding different personalities. 

RE: Summer Camp for Introverts? ()

Camp Galileo

the counselors are SO well trained, enthusiastic, intuitive, non judgmental, accepting. My introvert kids had perfect experiences and attended K-8 (wow). There is lots of small group time with dedicated counselors, classes with great ratios. Plenty of big group active games at lunch — but always a solid alternative too for quiet fun, like lanyards. I can’t speak highly enough. 

Hi there,

We too have done plenty of research for full-day summer camps! Camp Galileo goes from 8am-6pm (core program 9-3 with extended morning and afternoon care). My son has been attending it for several years. He loves the activities and the organic add-on lunches. We love the early bird and multi-session discounts. This year, it’s at Jefferson Elementary again in North Berkeley (near N Berkeley BART). Good luck!

I had not heard of Camp Doodles, so this is interesting, as I have two maker-inclined kids. But last year I thought Galileo would be a hit with them, but both kids disliked it greatly, saying mostly the counselors did shows and they didn't have time to get deep into their projects. Can any parents compare Doodles to Galileo, and perhaps also to Edmo? (which I did already sign up for a week to try this summer) Thanks!

RE: summer activities for 13yo ()

When my son was 13, he loved Abantey, Roleplay Workshop, on Piedmont Ave. it was all day playing a Roleplay game that Becky, the owner and a former teacher, developed. It taught the kids logic, cooperation, math,... they spent time outside playing as well. It was one of the best activities we found for him. 

The other activity he liked was Camp Galileo Summer Quest. Again all day.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2015

I felt compelled to write a review here for the Galileo camps as my child went last year and had an AMAZING time. I am sending both kids for multiple weeks this summer. It is an innovation camp - they combine art and science. My child came back learning so much - my favorite being that he didn't get frustrated doing projects, he told me ''you just innovate, you try something else that might work better.'' They also learn a lot about collaboration and working together. They also had a lot of silly outdoor time doing camp songs and other fun ''camp'' things. The staff was absolutely incredible. There were counselors with masters degrees in early child development and art history. They were all really warm, outgoing, super fun, responsible, caring, just totally ''on it''!! The camps are extremely organized and well run and I felt really safe with my child there. Their drop off and pick procedures are great. The biggest thing is my kid really loved it, but I too fell in love; the philosophies of learning and inspiration and innovation come through loud and clear. This is a passionate group of folks that work hard all year to make these summer camps happen. I can't recommend it enough!! They have locations all over the bay and I believe it is pre-K through 8th grade.

Ps. I have absolutely no affiliation with the camp or anyone that works there - we were first time campers last summer and just loved it.

Camp Galileo Fan

July 2014

Re: Camp for my 10 y.o. son?
I have a similar kind of son (8 years old) who can tend to annoy others, especially with his need to ALWAYS have someone to play with. I haven't found the perfect camp that combines everything he needs, but I do have a mix of camps that ends up working out pretty well. One week for the smart kid in him, alternating with a week for the super-active sporty kid he also is. One that didn't work out was Galileo Science Camp. It's expensive and highly regarded. I thought it would be great but it didn't captures his attention. I think it was just too crowded for him.

Any experience with Galileo Camps?

Jan 2014

Has anyone sent their child(ren)/grandchild(dren) to a Galileo Summer Quest day camp? If so, what did you think was good, bad, and average? How did the camper(s) rate the camps? I'd be sending my 11 year old grandson to either a web site design or a game programming camp for a week this summer while he stays with us. He's outgrown the El Cerrito Park & Rec Lego Robotics camps, though he really did enjoy them for two years. And it's beginning to lock like computer software may be his passion for a while. So I want to make sure the instructors know their stuff and relate well to pre teens. Grandma Jenny

We were fortunate enough to get a partial scholarship to Galileo Camp last summer and our son (who was 7) LOVED it. His session was in Berkeley. I wish we could afford to send him this year. I highly recommend it. It's stimulating and focused. Super experience. Grateful mami

Our son did one session at Camp Galileo for two summers in a row at the ages of 10 and 11. He went because his friend was going -- he is not particularly drawn to science. He enjoyed himself and the camp is admirably well run, but I gotta say, it's so expensive and for our kid, just wasn't worth the money. He's had just as good an experinece at the Cal Blue Camps, for half the cost.

I noticed someone asked about Camp Galileo. We are huge fans and my son did it through middle school when he aged out. The camps are very well run; dynamic educational and art themes, energetic and upbeat camp counselors (very well trained), fun and unique projects. It is a step above any other camp we did and my son loved it. Through the years he made Egyptian masks and built a go-kart, did science experiments that were gloriously messy, did a hip-hop class and an improv class. Weekly they do fun things like a costume day and water play. The camp is really good about keeping parents informed and invite you for a small performance and tour at the end of the week. Best camp we ever did!

Jan 2014

Re: Alternatives to ATDP?
We do not have experience with ATDP, but I highly recommend Camp Galileo, which has several East Bay locations (including Cragmont Elem in Berkeley and Chabot Elem in Oakland). My son (currently 2nd grade) attended several sessions of Camp Galileo last summer and I was very impressed with the program. We will be returning again this summer. There is a different theme each week (e.g., Adventures Down Under, the Human Body, etc.) and the program includes science, art, and outdoor components that revolves around the weekly theme. I loved that the program had both classroom and outdoor components each day and thought the curriculum each week was very thoughtful and engaging. The counselors are very enthusiastic--many are studying to be teachers or have background in early childhood development, so you know they are really interested in working with children as opposed to just there for a summer job. And the camp is very well-organized--there are handouts for parents on the first day explaining what will be covered that week and the counselors provide written reports at the end of the program about your specific child and what he/she accomplished. But most importantly, it just seemed like a ton of FUN from the moment you arrive on the first day. It is not cheap (about $350/week if you sign up before the early cutoff and then the price goes down if you sign up for additional weeks) but the price covers the full day/week (unlike ATDP). Good luck. Camp Galileo Fan

March 2013

If you're looking for a great summer camp, check out Camp Galileo! It's held at Cragmont Elementary in Berkeley (and other Bay Area locations). Combo of art and science and active outdoor play... great fun!

My son participated as an entering kindergartener last summer, and LOVED it. He's really excited to return this summer.

Kids participate in grade/age level groups, and each group has their own unique cheer and t-shirts etc. The counselors were SO energetic, far more so than other camps we participated in around Berkeley. From the moment kids arrive, they're whisked into an environment which celebrates learning and creativity and invention and design. It's what I wish ''school'' were like every day! Happy Galileo Family

March 2012

I am a mom in Lafayette with two kids (9 and 11) who are growing up Galileo. Galileo Learning has got to be one of the best organizaitons around! They operate camp Galileo and Galileo Summer Quest in locaitons throughout the Bay Area. My children will be attending camp for the 7th time this summer and we just love it. The themes are fantastic at camp G (camp for kids in pre-k through entering 5th grade (Leonardo's Apprentice, Celebrate the Golden Gate, Galileo Olympics and Galileo Rocks) and majors at GSQ (camp for kids entering 5ht-8th grades) that are engaging and interesting for the middle school crowd: Digital Photography, Digital Filmmaking, Cartoon Workshop, Painters Studio, Fashion Design, Inventors, Inc., Go-Kart Makers and Go-Kart Makers Extreme, Chefology (30 min meals and Just Deserts, Video Game Design Foundtations and Advanced, Web Design and Lego Robotics. Tomorrow is the last day to save on camp fees up to $200! Worth every me! Lesley in Lafayette.

March 2012

Re: Summer Camp for 6 year old who loves to learn
Hi, I can't say enough good things about Camp Galileo. My children (6&10) have attended multiple years. The approach is learning through innovation. The kids collaborate to design, test and redesign their projects while learning all sorts of scientific principles. This is with a bunch of fun and games and great themes! The strongest aspect is the amazing staff who are educators, in college, and college-grads. Their expertise, training, and enthusiasm make Camp Galileo a truly unique experience. Edie

Feb 2012

Re: Summer Camp recommendations for incoming Kinder
For your incoming kindergartener, I would highly recommend Camp Galileo. Both my boys, now in 1st and 3rd grade, started their summer camp experiences with Camp G and both absolutely loved it. My older one claims he'll be going there until he can't and then he'll become a counselor. They have a separate space dedicated to incoming kindergartners so that they don't get lost amongst the bigger kids. The curriculum is age appropriate, the staff to camper ratio is low and they really get to know the personality of each child. The little ones are still involved in overall camp activities but for most of the day and for their outdoor playtime, they are given special attention and kept in their small group so that they feel safe and comfortable. My little guys is extremely shy and when asked each year what camp he wants to go back to, Camp G is always the first on his list. The camp director is easily accessible and if your child goes for more than one week, it seems that the entire camp staff knows them by name. It's a warm, fun and educational environment where kids come home with creative projects, make good friends and just enjoy their summer vacation. Good luck with your search! Kelly

Jan 2012

My 3 children will be returning to Camp Galileo for their 4th year. Having 3 very different kids and one camp that pleases all is a huge relieve for us. Craigmont Elementary School in Berkeley! Save money if you enroll by March 1, 2012! Visit or call 1-800-854-3684. Lea

Jan 2012

Galileo Summer Quest is an exciting camp for rising-5th -8th graders. Campers attend week long sessions and pick a one major to focus on. (new format this year! ) Returning campers can choose from advanced majors, such as go karts building advanced and video game design advanced. GSQ has the fabulous staff and curriculum as the well- known Camp Galileo. My children have attended Galileo camps for fours years. As a parent and educator, I highly recommend Galileo Summer Quest and Camp Galileo. Check out for discounts and details. Edie

Dec 2011

My daughter has had the most fun at Camp Galileo. Absolutely her favorite of the many camps she attended over the last six years. She's entering 6th grade so this summer she'll move on to Galileo Quest. We visited the Oakland Quest site last summer to get a feel for it and it seems just as silly and fun but with more emphasis on choosing a major topic of study and immersing in it. She wants to do Go Carts and/or Fashion Design. I am completely sure she will love every minute of their top quality programs. Wonder if any of you have experienced Galileo Quest? Cathy

March 2011

As a family who lives in Hong Kong 10 months a year, only returning to the Bay Area for summers, it is imperative that our kids have smooth, easy and comforting transitions so that their worlds are not rocked more than need be; (more than they already are just by being citizens of two continents who move back and forth each year.) For this reason, I will send my six year old son to Camp Galileo (Oakland) for every week of summer camp that he attends. Last year was our first major transition back from Hong Kong and he was completely freaked out by being dropped at yet another new spot on this planet. The Director of Camp Galileo heard our story at drop-off on Day 1 and took care to make his transition not only smooth, but he felt cared for, not afraid and even had fun pretty soon thereafter -- so much so that he doesn't want to attend any other camp ever again. She also made it easy on me, contacting me right when he settled in (which, by the way) was only about fifteen minutes after ''the big meltdown.'' (If you were a parent who just happened to be there, I'm sure you'll remember the scene.)

Camp Galileo takes care to hire caring professionals who take their jobs of making kids' summers fun, educational, and interesting very seriously. I cannot recommend it more highly if you're looking for a new camp for you child(ren). You will NOT be disappointed.

Also, I just got notice from them that their early bird deadline has been extended through April 15th. A great camp at a great discount!

FYI: My older son goes to Cal Camp (which we love equally and where he feels most comfortable having gone there for years and years.) -signed, BIG Transition Expat Mama

March 2010

Re: Camp recommendations for 5 year old?
I highly recommend Camp Galileo for your 5 year old. My son's first ever camp experience 2 summers ago as an entering kindergartener was at the El Cerrito campus of Camp Galileo and he absolutely loved it. He insists that he will be going every summer until he goes to college. The 5 year old group uses the contained kindergarten classroom and playground and so they have their own special space to play and explore without the worry of bigger kids running into them or over them. The playground has plenty of space and with lower ratios and teachers who are dedicated to just this group, they get the perfect balance of small group activities mixed with large group interaction. The kindergarteners also are involved in overall group activities but build a close relationship with their group and their teacher. They get plenty of time to run around and burn off some energy and the activities designed specifically for that age group allow them to really be creative, engaged and excited. Even drop off is fun with giant bubbles and streamers and teachers who are literally smiling and full of energy every day. My son is going back for the third straight summer this year and with 4 themes instead of 3 as they had in past years, he gets to enjoy Galileo even more than before. Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions or concerns. Kelly

We sent our 5 year old to Camp Galileo in El Cerrito last year. The curriculum of art/science was good, but the high energy cheerleader-ish atmosphere was a bad match for our son. He was not happy, and within the first week, someone on staff decided - without getting to know him better or talking to us (we had warned them he'd be slow to adapt)- that there must be a problem at home. They reported us to CPS and we had to undergo an evaluation by a social worker. The case was dismissed (even the social worker couldn't figure out why they had reported it), but it will remain on our record forever. I understand the need for mandatory reporters, but this just seemed like a case of bad judgment. We will not be returning to the camp, and I would not recommend it to anyone. N

Jan 2010

Camp Galileo, The happiest place on the planet. My daughter has been at CampG since she was a Nebula, then a Star now she'll be in her second year as a Super Nova. The talent and enthusiasm of CampG's staff is amazing. The curriculum unsurpassed. I feel it's very important, especially for girls to engage early with science. My background is Biology and work history all in biotech field. CampG allows children to really explore science. They hypothesise, experiment and determine success or failure without pressure to always succeed because that's what science is about. Trying new solutions. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don't but you try. The art program is equally superb. Rousseau, Picasso, Pollock etc. It's worth every penny and it costs a few more pennies than most, but we wouldn't miss a summer at CampG

August 2009

Re: your summer camp experience?

I've had my daughter (now 8) in Sarah Science and Galileo. I really liked both. Loved Sarah Science in the Berkeley hills with the trees and classic, natural camp setting. The counselors had great energy and warmth which was good for my then shy 6-yr-old. It's a bit of a trip going up to Tilden, but an amazing setting. You can also do it in Oakland. Also Loved Galileo (and hear people rave about it). Went to the one in Orinda, which is near the first exit after the tunnel, and maybe gets hotter in summer than Rockridge(?), but the Rockridge site books up quickly. The Galileo counselors are even more pumped up about the science and they greet you with funny hats every morning, which I liked (not sure if my daughter did as much). My daughter had good friends there, so liked it even more. I'm planning to sign both my kids up next year. My friend sent her daughter (8 yrs) to Camp Szofim, and she loved it, which was unexpected bc she usually likes staying at home. If I were you, I would also look into the Lawrence Hall of Science camps, which are really well done and focus on animals and dinosaurs, etc., as well as science, and you get to take advantage of the museum (as well as a discount if you're already members.) They're perfect for 6 yr olds.

August 2009

Re: your summer camp experience?

My children have been to Sarah's Science, Tzofim and Galileo. All three are excellent camps!

For the first time ever, I have all three kids at one camp - Tzofim - and they are all having a great time (ages 10, 10 and 6)! The camp is set up to really engage each grade level. The camp offers tons of exciting fieldtrips, small group sizes and wonderfully warm counselors. The kids come home singing camp jingles, with a dozen freindship bracelets on their wrists and a list of buddies that they want playdates with asap. The older kids have overnight camping trips.

Sarah's Science is another fantastic camp! The hands-on science projects are top-rate and worth keeping in the house! Sarah's Science also offers ''Bug of the Month Club'' throughout the school year -- highly recommended!

Galileo, another great camp with an impressive ''curriculum'' and excellent staff. mm

April 2009

Camp Galileo is Top of the Line!!
I highly recommend Camp Galileo in El Cerrito, held on the campus of Prospect-Sierra Elementary School. My son has attended summer camp there for 3 years, K-2, and loved it. I'm most impressed by the quality of the staff - no lazy uninterested slackers here, but rather empathetic, interested, lively college-material young men & women, who really enjoy kids & have been very well trained how to teach in a fun & respectful manner. The curriculum is fantastic too - 3 subjects: Science, Art & Outdoor Games - all of them presented so interestingly that the kids hardly know they are learning & exercising. The Camp Director, a smart & caring young African- American man, and some of the staff, have been there all 3 years the camp has been open. You can enroll for just a week or for the whole summer. Call 800-854-3684 or go to And no, I really don't work for Camp G!!! Nor did I get a discount. They are just good. Cass

Feb 2009

Our son has been attending Camp Galileo summer day camp in Oakland for the past four years, and it's been a great experience. Their diverse group of camp counselors is absolutely the best and brightest around. They're warm, engaged, talented, supportive and a ton of fun. You can tell they love what they're doing, and it rubs off on every kid. Miles of smiles at Galileo. Second, Galileo's vision of combining art, science and play is exceptional, and incredibly effective. Our son loves to talk about the bridges they built and tested, the wild experiments they did, the sculptures they made and the new games they played. As a parent, I admire how Galileo has nurtured his love of learning and creativity. They make learning fun, and having fun the best way to learn. And one more important observation - our son started out as a Galileo Star (1st/2nd grade) and is now a Supernova (4th/5th grade). And because Galileo gives their older campers bigger challenges, more complex projects and tools, and treats them like the big kids they are, the program remains exciting and rewarding for him. Supernovas are treated with a special regard, but also nurtured to be respectful leaders. Another important experience for 9 and 10 year olds. OK, end of rave. But YAY for Galileo! - happy campers

March 2008

If you haven't started thinking about summer camp already, I would highly recommend Camp Galileo. My sons have really enjoyed it in summers past, and I think it has a great philosophy. Not only that, but it is close and wonderfully easy to get to! Each session has a different science/art theme, and if you sign up before the end of Feb, you get a $20 discount per session. The staff is exerienced, enthusiastic and inspiring for the little campers. It'd definitely a cut above. Sally in Upper Rockridge

Feb 2008

My son, now in second grade, has attended Camp Galileo in Oakland for the past two years. He warmed up to the camp staff and kids quickly and looked forward to each day. There is a great combination of art and physical activities. The organization maintains the highest standards for combining fun, and learning while providing a safe and secure environment. We are so pleased with Camp Galileo, we are looking forward to sending our youngest son who is entering kindergarten this fall and he is already looking forward to his own ''Camp G'' experience. Kelly

Feb 2008

We are considering Camp Edventure More in Moraga versus Camp Galileo in Lafayette this summer for my 6 and 8 yr old kids. I've seen alot of reviews on Camp Galileo, but none for Edventure More, and would love some feedback. They both sound like they have similar programs that feature science and art, but Edventure More is closer to us and even provides lunch which is sounding pretty attractive (that extra 5 mins to sleep in!) Would love any feedback if your kids have attended either one or both. Thanks! Never too early to think about camp
Hello Kelly....I am sitting with my 11.5 year old twins and my 8 year old son who want to answer this post. They have each attended Camp Galileo for three sessions each over the past two years, and also went to Edmore last summer. There is NO comparison!!

First from the blond twin: Camp Galileo was FUN! At Camp G we get to do fun activities and make new friends.

Now from the brunette twin: The up side of Edmore was the good tasting lunches. The Camp Galileo staff is SOO enthusiastic and you can tell they are glad to be there.

The 8 year old says, Camp Galileo is a blast!

Now from me, the mom: Camp G has been running their program longer than Edmo. Camp G has been around since 2002, and now have 19 locations; Edmo has been running since 2004 and only has 7 locations

There is a better separation of ages. For example, the kindergarteners at Camp G are separate and the other kids are grouped in smaller age ranges (1st-2nd grade together and 3rd-5th together) Edmo groups K-2 together, and 3-5 together. But the week we were there (at Edmore), there were so few campers my then 10 year olds were with 6 year olds!

Galileo has weekly art and science themes, and also offers sub themes for each age group that create variety for returning campers and are age-appropriate for the age groups. The themes were exciting and creative. As I recall, Edmo just does weekly themes with no sub-themes. The activities and projects my sons came home with and talking about from Camp G far outshone anything they did at Edmore.

And Camp Galileo is less expensive! The value is amazing! And the staff seriously ROCKS!

Guess where we're going to camp this summer???

A happy Camp Galielo family

May 2007

Does anyone have any first hand comments on this camp? Thanks!

I sent my daughter to ''Camp G'' (that's what they call it, affectionately) last year at the El Cerrito location. It's one of the few day camps that excepts incoming Kindergartners under the age of 5. They also have a part time day (9-1 as opposed to 9-3) which appealed to me because I thought it would be a very long day for my girl. Turns out when I arrived to pick her up the first day, she didn't want to leave, so they let us try it out for a few days (pro-rated) and by the end of the week she was signed up for full days for three weeks. She LOVES the camp and can't wait to go back. We've recommended it to our friends, and now three of her friends will be joining her. Also, one thing that was nice was, being a new location, the camp was not totally full, so it wasn't too overwhelming for her. Her group consisted anywhere from 5 to 8 kids in the 3 weeks she was there. Personally, I loved the camp because I thought it was a great balance between art, science and outdoor activity. No swimming, which I didn't want anyway, but water balloons and squirt guns for hot days. The science is fantastic. And the art! Kids not normally artistic were VERY involved. The security for your child is awesome. Be sure to bring your DL every time - they won't let you take your kid out unless you have it (I had to walk back to my car numerous times!) even if they know you. Last year, my daughter's counselor's were Kindergarten teacher's, so well qualified and Jason, the camp director who is returning this year, is fabulous. My only complaint is that they don't have more themes! They repeat after three weeks, and so I don't see much point in continuing...but I'm sure my daughter wouldn't care. She was VERY disappointed when the camp ended for the summer. I'm sure your child will enjoy it!

My daughter attended two weeks of Camp Galileo last summer at the El Cerrito/Prospect Sierra location. My daughter didn't know anyone going into the camp, so she bonded more with the counselors than some of the other kids. I think they run an excellent camp, keep the kids engaged, have great projects, and I would sign her up again, BUT I gotta say the sustained high energy of the counselors first thing in the morning is a bit of shock to anyone pre-caffeine. Maybe that's just me-- I think it is very appealing to kids who are also high-energy, but might be a bit intimidating to shyer kids. anon

March 2007

I am thinking about the upcoming summer, and trying to find one camp where both my 5 (entering kindergarten) and 7 (entering 2nd grade) year olds can go. I am interested in anyone's experiences with Camp Galileo (specifically the Rockridge location), Junior Center For Art & Science, Tree Frog Treks, or Mad Science camps. I like that most of these mix science with art and outdoors experiences, and I like that they all provide flexibility with the way their sessions are structured. I would love feedback on how your children enjoyed the programs, what you thought of the staff, etc. Any information would be appreciated! mom

Hello...I, too, am in the midst of planning for summer already! Like you, I have children 2 years apart. Last summer all three (twins age 9 and younger child age 7) went to Galileo at their Bentley School location. I was HIGHLY impressed not only with the rich programming, but the level of commitment and enthusiasm displayed by all the staff. They are super energetic and get the kids excited and engaged about what they're doing. I felt my three sons were in very good hands each day I dropped them off. In fact, I was so pleased that I am now an Advisory Board member for the Lafayatte and Alamo locations, and my boys will be attending again this summer. It is one of the few day camps they attended that they still talk about. It is definitely worth checking out! The themes this year are different form last, but just as interesting. Their website is: Good luck! Galileo Fan

Greetings, I saw your question and had to reply. Last year my son (then almost 6) went to Rockridge's Camp Galileo for one fun filled week and also to Junior Art and Science Center. Of the two, he most definitely enjoyed Camp Galileo the most. The staffers are beyond exuberant and it clearly rubs off on the campers. My son came home everyday having learned a new science project and a new art technique (he attended during Psychedelic 60's/Space Exploreres week). He wouldn't stop talking about it, so much so that I attempted to enroll him in another week, but alas they were all full. This year he will be attending weeks 2,4, and 6. He will also be going into 2nd grade in the Fall so there is a strong possibility our son's could be in the same class. I am also looking into sending my 5 year old daughter to Camp Galileo for one week. It will be her first full time camp experience, but I am sure she will love it as much as my son did.Feel free to contact me should you have any more questions. Sylvia

I can't speak to all of the camps, except for Camp Galileo. My son, who was going into kindergarten, went last year and loved it. He learned a lot, both in science and art, it was the 60s art and he'll still see art today from that time and make a comment about it! He was so excited to go everyday, which he wasn't about other camps. The staff were energized and knowledgable. I have no hesistation about recommending it. Sally

Hi, My son, now 6, attended Camp Galileo last year at the Rockridge location for one week. After our week, we really wanted to sign up for more, but couldn't. This summer, we're signed up for three weeks in the first grade program. I loved that Camp Galileo was so organized. I walked in and saw that all the counselors were adults, not high schoolers. They all looked enthusiastic, and importantly, they looked like they all knew what to do. There was a sign-in station afterwhich I walked my son to his group. The leader of the group always had time to go over what the kids would work on that day and even pulled me aside to talk about the work he did during the day. My son had a wonderful time. I thought the projects, both art and science were very engaging. He came home talking about them (always a good sign). He was also upset that I signed him up for the half session, because he missed some events in the afternoon.

Galileo even has funny camp songs and a rubber chicken. Overall, we were very pleased with the program. I encourage you to look into it for this summer. Although I only have one child, I know there were lots of families that had more than one student at Galileo last summer. Best, Dagmar

Our 6 yr old son had so much fun at Camp Galileo / Rockridge last summer. We'd heard raves about other Galileo locations for years, and were excited when the Rockridge camp opened. We've also tried many science and discovery camps, with so-so experiences. But Galileo has found that magic mix of creativity and discovery, science, fresh air and tons of fun. The counselors are exceptional, and the absolute best of any camp we've tried. They're smart, engaged, intuitive teachers and best pals, all at the same time. At the end of each week, there's a parents-invited open house, and we all just walked around beaming. Best camp decision we ever made, and our son is already signed up for this summer. Carroll

A review was also received for Tree Frog Treks

Jan 2007

Re: All-day summer camp in Oakland for a 6 year old?
Although they do more than nature activities, we were very happy with Camp Galileo in Oakland (and they have other locations, too). While science was a big part of the curriculum, it also included a big art component, both done in a fun--not academic--way, as well as plenty of opportunities for outdoor play. What sets Camp Galileo apart is that they have a pretty sophisticated approach to creating a balanced yet fun day for campers, and their staff is more mature than the other nature-oriented summer camps around here. They tend to be college students instead of high school students. And they are incredibly organized--you could tell right from the first drop-off that they knew what they were doing and would do a good job keeping my son safe and happy. It was so great for my 6-year-old that his older brother, who was 10, was jealous of him! You can check out their website at Lysa

Dec 2006

Hi everyone, I am beginning to think about summmer camps and wanted to see what people thought about Camp Galileo. Thanks for your comments. parent

My son and several of his friends attended Camp Galileo in Upper Rockridge last summer. They all loved it and my son is already talking about next summer. I felt that they created a camp experience with a perfect combination of interesting intellectual challenges and plain old fun. The science and art topics are interesting, challenging and accessible to all different learning styles. Many of the outdoor activities are games I knew and loved as a kid that aren't competitive in nature, rather, they focus on team building skills. All of the staff I encountered were excellent. My friends who sent their kids also said that they were very happy with their Camp G experience and would be sending their child again .
Parent of Happy Camper

Two of my children attended Camp Galileo last year, and they loved it. The now-first grader will be going for all three sessions this summer, and the now-fifth grader can\x92t wait until she can go back as a counselor. The staff was great, the curriculum was engaging and interesting, and the projects were fun. After 10 years of dealing with summer camp, we think Camp Galileo is one of the best around\x97we\x92re lucky they expanded to the east bay. deirdre

Our children attended Camp Galileo this past summer and LOVED it. It was amazingly well-organized, incorporated a good mix of activities, and did a good job at building comraderie among the group in the short week-long sessions. We will definitely have our children attend again this coming summer.
Camp Galileo is Great

Nov 2006

Re: Summer camp for awkward 11 year old boy
I recommend Camp Galileo for your 11 year old son. And although it costs extra, send him to the ''before camp care.'' The kids are engaged the moment they arrive. There is a smaller group. The morning counselors are enthusiastic, kids get a chance to start feeling part of the mix before other kids arrive. Morning kids have name tags and ALL of the counselors know them before the other kids arrive.

Then, there's the Art, Science and Outdoor games. It your son feels slightly awkward in one event, another will roll along soon. It's also broken down in age groups, so there will be a few kids older and a few younger in most cases. The camp has a three week rotation, meaning that the first week will repeat on week 4. My nervous 7 year old is begging to go back this summer. While some of the activities were below her actual ability, the camp was FUN and engaging. Camp Galileo Fan

Feb 2006

I have heard great things about Camp Galileo - a fun science based summer camp for kids - in Palo Alto. I've heard they plan to start a Camp at Prospect Sierra school in El Cerrito and one in Rockridge this summer and I was wondering if anyone knows about this, or if anyone else has any comments about the camp. Thank you. Kate

Camp Galileo will i ndeed be held at Prospect Sierra School this summer. There are five 1-week sessions from 6/26-7/28. For more information about locations, sessions, and details, go to their website,

I have signed our kids up for Camp Galileo after hearing rave reviews from my friends on the Peninsula. They've all been telling me about this great camp that combines science, art and outdoors and I was excited it was being offered here in East Bay for the first my contact with the office, I've been impressed with their organization and responsiveness. Consistent with what I've heard from other parents about the counselors. Christine