Girl Scout Summer Camps


Girl scouts has several short overnight options. Our daughter started when she was 9 with just a two night stay. There is a camp in Marin county they offer so it's pretty close as well. Our daughter absolutely loved it and has gone back every year for longer and longer stay. It's a great program and also girls only which I think makes it extra special. You don't have to be affiliated with girl scouts to go to the camp. Good luck! 

Two places my kids have gone are Girl Scout camps (have camps with horses) and YMCA Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz mountains. You don't have to be in Girl Scouts to do their summer camp. Both are more reasonably priced than some of the private camps and my kids have liked both. YMCA has buses from the Berkeley Y, and Girl Scout camps have buses from either Alameda or San Jose, depending on which site they go to. Skylark, in the Santa Cruz mountains, has lots of horse programs and my daughter liked it a lot.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


N. California Girl Scout Camps for 11-y-o?

March 2012

Anyone have reviews of the Girl Scout run, Sugar Pine sleepaway camp? I'm considering sending my daughter (who is 11), to Sugar Pine this summer. I Wonder if anyone has had positive, recent experiences. Thanks! Gone Camping

My daughter is 10 and has attended most of the Girl Scout sleep-away camps in NCAL...Skylark, SugarPine, Deer Lake, Hidden Falls, and will attend Bothin this summer (in addition to Skylark). She has LOVED every one of them, and deciding which she'll attend each summer is a huge challenge. We have negotiations about can she attend 2, 3, or more. Each time she comes back dancing with joy, and just a little more confident and independent. They are a tremendous value and truly offer a program for any type of interest. Good luck choosing one! Happy GS mom

My daughter went to two of the girl scout sleepaway camps last year, and I went as a child too. For me, it was the most amazing, wonderful experience ever, but then again, my mom was a SAHM, and we didn't have money for fun summer activities or camps, and I had a rather aggressive older sister and a demanding baby brother. So I was thrilled to get out of the house. The first time I went, I resented being sent with a neighbor kid I didn't get along with (my mom thought she was doing me a favor). The second time I went by myself and had a great time! My daughter went by herself to Sugar Pine, and had a great time, though I found out afterwards she was quite homesick for the first few days. She then went to Skylark with a friend, and had a better time (and helped comfort the homesick friend). Check the website for information on open houses if you want to check it out first with your daughter. You don't have to be a girl scout, and the camps are pretty well run, though I guess they are easier on the more independent, adventurous types, older girls, or girls who have a friend with them. There are the 4 Norcal standard camps, and then there are a few others that were hard to find on the website that are primarily run by volunteers. You can volunteer and be at the camp with your daughter, if that's easier for you. Be warned that the calendar of the camps is immensely confusing, but the woman who does the administration in the office, Laurie Shriner, is as nice as pie, and she'll help you out. And the camps are not at all slick. They are inexpensive, fun, supportive but not super-nurturing (e.g., the counselors sleep in their own tents nearby, and groups of girls sleep in tents together). I would encourage your daughter to check out the camps! Janet

More Advice

Feb 2009

Re: Nearby Sleepaway Camp for 9 Year Old Girl
Check out the Girl Scout camps. They are sleep away and vary from 1-3 weeks (at least they used to). From your brief description, Deer Lake may be the best fit for you child...or Camp Menzies. I went to Girl Scout camp every year as a child (yes, I was a Scout...but I don't think you have to be to go to don't go as a Troop, but as an individual) and I as a CIT at Deer Lake. Beautiful camp! Here is a link to all of the camps that the SF Bay Area Council offer: Camp Menzies is run by a council near Sacramento. Go to and you can navigate your way to their website...or google ''Camp Menzies'' Sierra