JCC East Bay Camps

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Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens, Teens
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Parent Reviews

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My 1st-grade daughter is in Jewish Community Center's camp, usually held in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland.  I believe that JCC has several options in different locations.  Camp runs from 1pm to 5pm, five days a week, so that's close to what you're looking for.  The one our daughter goes to is pretty good.  It's the same folks who used to run the after-school enrichment program at Joaquin Miller Elementary School, when we had in-person school.  So they have experience with kids.  I will say that t's not a very richly developed curriculum.  But the important thing is that my daughter gets to play with other kids and run around outside, in the park.

My daughter did summer camp with Trackers, and they were awesome, with great teachers and well developed activities.  And I have a friend with her son in Forest School, and they like it a lot, especially the social justice curriculum.  The JCC option is probably cheaper and not as well organized or well taught.  But it beats sitting at home all day.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Summer Camps

March 2009

My daughter has attended the Oakland JCC since she entered Kindergarten 3 years ago. We have been thrilled with the staff as well as the curriculum. The staff is nurturing, creative and extremely fun. They have always dealt with conflict well and I have always felt my daughter is safe there. I have been impressed with the diversity of the staff as well as the students. My daughter is of bi-racial dissent and of mixed faith and she has always felt welcomed and encouraged to express herself. My husband and I both work full time and worried that our child would not be able to partake in after school enrichment classes but at the JCC she in constantly stimulated, challenged as well as loved. We love the JCC so much we have never sent her anywhere else, she also attends Camp Tzofim.

March 2003

I would like to hear from parents who have sent their kids to the Berkeley-Richmond JCC summer camp. What has been your experience? What were the activities? Were the kids bored? Did they spend enough time outdoors? Thanks for any information. Mona

My son went to the JCC day camp last summer and will go for both sessions this summer. He really liked it...He was going into 2nd grade last year when he went (just turned 7). They did plenty of activities and he was never bored. They do a lot of art, singing and running around/games etc. at the JCC and then they go on a field trip, I think once a week and also go swimming twice a week. I don't remember too many older kids there...I think the oldest might have been 9 or so. The director, Karen ??? is really great and she had a great crew of counselors last summer. My son is extremely shy and doens't warm up to new situations easily. He really liked that camp and is looking forward to going back. June

Last week of summer at JCC 1999

Re: last week of summer
You might check out the Berkeley-Richmond JCC on Walnut between Rose and Vine. Summer camp is available in one-week increments and you can sign up for partial or full days, so it's more flexible than many programs. I think they still have space available in the camp programs for most, if not all, age groups. Of particular interest to the 11-year-old: they have a fun program for that age group in which the kids each day go via small van on a field trip--or several--to various nearby places. My 10-year-old, who's beginning to think of herself as having outgrown the J, is loving this. The kids get to plan their own outings for the week and plenty of opportunities for swimming, horseback riding, etc., are built in. I signed her up for only one week this summer and now wish I'd opted for more.

Finally, for the person looking at Albany after school programs: the JCC picks up children from Albany elementary schools and there are LOTS of Albany kids there so you might add it to your list of possibilities. I think there should be recommendations for it on the home page already (including one from me). Nina

From: Barbara

Berkeley/Richmond Jewish Community Center in Berkeley. I highly recommend it (you don't have to be Jewish). My 12 year old has been going there since she was 5 and my 7 year old since the summer before Kindergarten.

The Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center has wonderful secular summer programs (as well as preschool, bridge-K and after school programs) Some focus on theater, or art, or community service. They are a little pricey for me, but very high quality. My first grader will go for after school, which is very well priced (much cheaper than the Y).


Winter & Spring Break Camps

March 2009

Re: April vacation programs for 6 y.o. 1/2 or full day?
the JCC costs less per day and they usually run activities there, like games and crafts and outdoor play at their site and then they do a field trip for part of the time as well. At winter it was ice skating one day, the Jungle another, the zoo another, Jelly Belly factory, etc. berkeley mom

Nov 2003

Re: Full-day winter break camps?
Hi, we sent our son to the Berkeley/Richmond JCC's winter camp for the last 3 or 4 years. He really had a good time. He's outgrown it know, but if your child is in the under 10 set, it's a great option. They do lots of field trips from ice skating, to the Jelly Belly factory, movies, crafts, etc. The nice thing about it is that you can pick just a few days, or enroll for the entire time. There is before and after care for those of us who must work! ;-) Mollie

Re: Full-day winter break camps?
The Berkeley Richmond JCC has a good winter camp program with a mix of structured activities, field trips (they go to Adventure Playground, bowling, ice skating, etc.), art projects, and play. I think it's open first to kids in the aftercare program, but I know friends who have sent their kids to the winter camp when there was extra room. If your child goes to a Berkeley Elementary school they are bound to have some friends there. Carol

Nov 2001

Re: Winter Break Camp
YMCA has one--at least they did when we checked it out a couple of years ago. It was structured like their summer camp, which my son has loved for 4 years now. The Berkeley-Richmond Jewish Community Center opens its full-day child care to the general public during these two weeks, too. It is $40/day if your child isn't enrolled in their after-school program and is open during Dec 24-Jan 4 every day except Dec 25 and Jan 1, 8:30AM-6PM. Their sign-up deadline is Dec 10. Fran