Sees the Day Camp

Community Subscriber
Berkeley, CA
Operated By: 
Kirk Cooper
Ages: 
Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens, Teens
Capacity: 
30 participants
Email: 
kirkseestheday [at] yahoo.com
Phone: 
(510) 917-5573

Sees the Day is an intimate, value based teaching program for children ages 6-11 years old.  Sees the Day is committed to instilling in children a respect and appreciation for each other and the natural world. Building connections, individual character and personal awareness through theme based activities, learning excursions and ethical dialogues will be the focus of each weekly session. Guest educators and performers, cooperative games, storytelling, nature awareness, earth stewardship, fairy houses, theater/improvisation activities, beading, thankful circles, love, laughter and summertime fun will round out a unique and dynamic camp experience for all!

Parent Reviews

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Both of my daughters have attended and loved Sees the Day. I think what makes Sees the Day unique and special relative to other summer camps is its grounded and relaxed quality. It provides an opportunity for kids to be outside all day, but without the structured frenzy of other programs. My kids both enjoyed making fairy houses in the redwood glade, playing games, and learning from the interesting guest speakers. The program is also unique in that it ushers kids into young-counselor positions, starting at about age twelve. The wide age range of the group means that kids play with other kids who are younger and older, not just peers of exactly their own age. That's an unusual aspect of this program, and one that adds another layer of depth to everyone's experience.

Seestheday is a mix of an old fashioned, relaxed outdoor day camp, mixed with a focus on science, nature, stewardship, empathy and compassion - geared to elementary school aged kids (K-5). Kids spend the day primarily in Tilden park (Lake Anza region) doing things like art activities, outdoor field games, lake beach time, hiking, storytelling and fairy house and fort building and imaginative play in the small redwood grove. Guest speakers come each week with themes on music, science, fiction writers, or nature. My son has spent many formative summer camps, and loved the open, non-gender focused activity focus. Kids of mixed ages play together, in a small supervised camp. The key to the camp success is the camp founder educator, and director (Kirk Cooper), who is the one actually there playing, teaching and hanging out the kids (not just summer camp hired staff) with years of experience and dedication to children. It is kind of like the secret best summer camp in the Berkeley!!

Using Sees the Day for the fifth (maybe sixth?) year in a row.  Both my girls love it.  It's a good combination of structure and simple outdoor play.  The director, Kirk, truly cares about what he is doing, is talented with the kids, and the counselors he hires are all great too.  I would describe the camp as traditional outdoor summer camp with a dash of environmental science and ethics mixed in.

My daughter and I call Sees the Day "Play All Day in Tilden" Camp. It offers a lovely balance between open-ended play and structure with plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and good values mixed it. Kinda just what summer should be! Highly recommended -- Kirk is a natural with all kinds of kids.

We tried Sees the Day last summer and our six year old daughter loved it. She doesn't want to attend any other camp! The mix of spending the day outside in a beautiful part of Tilden park with both free and structured time, and Kirk's socially-emotionally oriented program works wonderfully for our kid. Six months into the school year she's still quoting Kirk and some of the perspectives and tools he imparted. I think the camp provides a welcome counter-balance to the school year and offers a relaxed, safe environment for all kinds of growth and learning. We'll be sending our daughter to See the Day for many summers to come.

Sees the Day is in my view the perfect summer day camp.  My two kids have really enjoyed their days spent with Sees the Day and Kirk Cooper's team.  My kids have attended a wide variety of the summer camps offered in the Bay Area --perhaps every major camp you've heard of-- and their reigning favorite is Sees the Day.  Although my kids are not always able to articulate exactly why, I suspect it is the camaraderie they have with the other campers and Kirk's ability to facilitate this fellowship. As for myself, I like that my kids are spending the day outside, interacting with other kids, having some structured activities and some time to hang out, and I like that Kirk is imparting values that I would want my kids to hear.  He makes mutual respect and respect for the outdoors a dual priority.  A day at Sees the Day is as much of a character-building experience as it is a pastime.  Sees the Day is our family's favorite summer camp.

Kirk and team at See's the Day are fabulous year over year. The subltle mindfulness aspect infused into the day has helped my daughter tremendously and I highly recommend See's the Day for all kids. They come home happy, engaged and thoughtful and get that outdoor summer experience building adventurous and relaxing summer memories

Sees the Day has been the highlight of my kids' summers for five years. Its strength lies in its small size, outdoor setting, and amazing leadership. Kirk Cooper is a warm, thoughtful, super responsible educator, whose vision for the camp comes through in the programming. Sees the Day strikes the perfect balance between structured activities and time to freely build, play, and explore in nature. My kids come home dirty, tired, happy, and full of stories. Kirk has a real gift for appreciating each child for their own strengths and helping them build on those strengths. I can't recommend Sees the Day highly enough.

Sees the Day was a great experience for our 6 year old daughter, and we intend to enroll her again next summer! My wife and I love the program Kirk Cooper has developed. There is an emphasis on community, empathy for each other and for the earth, and on appreciation and giving back. We particularly like the fact that the kids are outside all day–isn't that what summer camp is supposed to be like?! Our daughter formed new friendships with kids her age and also with the counselors in training, who set a positive example and are role models for the younger kids. There are also weekly guest teachers, who come and teach about their area of expertise, and our daughter came home inspired to share all that she had learned. Sees the Day is a camp with a big heart, where kids are able to connect in meaningful ways with the people and places in their local community. I highly recommend it!

Sees the Day is a fantastic camp!

My 7yo daughter did several weeks last summer, loved the camp, and will be back this year. She was outside all day; playing, learning, imagining, hiking and building. Special guests like book authors visit the kids and share their stories. She came home breathless each day with stories about tree fairies, woodland creatures, games, crafts and new friends.

Kirk Cooper, the camp director, is an awesome, energetic and passionate teacher. He loves and understands the kids, and his camp is a extension of that. He is organized, easy to communicate with and an all-round lovely human. His counselors were sweet and fun with the kids too.

Highly recommend this summer camp for a peaceful, outdoorsy, educational and fun experience.

Sees the Day camp. Owned and operated by Kirk Cooper. It takes place in Tilden Park. Kids of all ages love it. There is a Web site.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sept 2011

My 6 year old boy attended 1 week of Sees the Day this summer. After his first day he ran to me with a bright smile on his face and a newly beaded necklace with a peace sign charm around his neck and said, ''I wish I could go to Sees the Day every day.'' When coming home from another camp this summer, my son was negative and unhappy, mimicking shoot 'em up play that he'd learned from his peers. When coming home from Sees the Day he was exhausted but positive and had stories of tree climbing, thank you circles and he reminded me to 'be mindful' when interacting with his little sister. I can't say enough good things about our experience with Kirk Cooper's camp, Sees the Day. I highly recommend it. tracey


July 2011

Just wanted to put in a good word for Sees the Day camp. My daughter has attended several different camps throughout the summer months thus far and still asks, 'mom, when do I get to go back to Kirk's camp?' Kirk is the director of the Sees the Day, as well as the director of the afterschool program at Prospect Sierra. When I ask my daughter why she loves this camp in particular so much, she says, 'because we are free, because we get to play in nature.' She is excited to take me on one of the 'walks' they do at camp. I love the fact that my child can have some good summer fun in a gorgeous environment with a superb staff. Thank you. Happy Camper's Mom


July 2011

This is the third year my son attended ''Sees the Day'' camp, and he enjoyed it tremendously both times. Kirk Cooper, the very energetic, very thoughtful camp director, took the kids on walks around Lake Anza, showed them how to build gnome homes in the redwood grove, but also took them to the UC Berkeley campus to show them an MRI in action. Kirk's message focuses on respect (for each other, for the environment), thoughtfulness, and community. We will go back to this camp for another week this summer, and we recommend it to anyone who wants a break from the usual rah-rah of camp fare. Space is still available for the weeks of 7/25 and 8/1. Contact Kirk Cooper at kirkseestheday [at] yahoo.com for more information. Corina


August 2010

My kids have been going to Sees the Day for several years now and it is really a jewel of a camp. This is a small camp, which is great for kids who like a more intimate feel, and it is also a camp that provides a meaningful experience for kids as well as great fun. Kirk takes them on magnificent field trips and inspires in children curiosity, compassion, consideration, and respect. The children end the day with a gratitude circle, and my son comes home talking about what he appreciates and/or about how important it is to live in the present, or many plastic bottles people use in the United States in a single day. In other words, the kids are both having fun and taking in meaningful lessons. I really think it is an unusual camp experience and in our material-media driven world it is nice to have these wholesome values hanging around while our kids our hanging out. gina


August 2010

Sees the Day is such a great camp. Small in size and a nice pace and tone after the hectic nature of some of the other camps my son was in. We'll definitely do this again. Debra


August 2010

This summer (2010), our daughter spent a total of six weeks with Kirk at Sees the Day. Every Friday, I heard how THIS week was the best so far. They ran around the woods in Tilden, swam in the Lake Anza, played games, listened to various scientists down at Cal, and generally had the kind of Summer days that I always wanted growing up. Kirk also works really hard with our precious snowflakes (Ha...my words, not his) on developing their interpersonal skills, as well as showing them in a loving manner that all actions have consequences. I would recommend this camp to anyone, and am open to answering any questions you might have. Julz Julie


August 2010

We put our daughter in ''Sees the Day'' camp this summer. The individual who runs the camp also runs the After School program at our daughter's school - his name is Kirk Cooper and we like/trust him and he was so enthusiastic about the camp that we thought we'd give it a try.

We are very glad we did because our daughter had a BALL. The kids are outside in a few different parks (Tilden, Glendale La Loma, etc.) all day and the groups of kids attending rotate a bit all summer long and our daughter found instant and fun friends to play with the different weeks she attended -sometimes different friends within the same week! The kids are exposed to swimming, plain old summer style running around and tree climbing fun, songs and stories from a variety of cultures, jewelry making, sculpture with found objects, etc, etc. In addition, Kirk has a weekly speaker come in and they are truly fabulous - a 'futurist', a kids author, a CAL scientist, etc. Kirk's young counselors are terrific as well.

Kirk is so passionate about the whole 'classroom without walls' concept that his enthusiasm is contagious. Kirk encourages the kids to consider the inter-connectedness of nature to our daily actions as well as the relationship of body / mind / spirit in ways that are fun and fresh. On something of a side note, we are lesbian parents and Kirk is entirely respectful and our daughter has never dealt with any pejorative issues surrounding her same sex parentage in any of Kirk's programs. His approach is highly inclusive.

In closing, we'd strongly recommend ''Sees the Day'' camp to all parents as a happy, fun, exciting, and knowledge-based camp experience. Katie


August 2010

This summer (2010), our daughter spent a total of six weeks with Kirk at Sees the Day. Every Friday, I heard how THIS week was the best so far. They ran around the woods in Tilden, swam in the Lake Anza, played games, listened to various scientists down at Cal, and generally had the kind of Summer days that I always wanted growing up. Kirk also works really hard with our precious snowflakes (Ha...my words, not his) on developing their interpersonal skills, as well as showing them in a loving manner that all actions have consequences. I would recommend this camp to anyone, and am open to answering any questions you might have. Julz Julie


July 2010

This is the second year my son attended ''Sees the Day'' camp, and he enjoyed it tremendously both times. Kirk Cooper, the very energetic, very thoughtful camp director, took the kids on walks around Lake Anza, showed them how to build gnome homes in the redwood grove, but also took them to the UC Berkeley campus to show them an MRI in action. On the last day of camp, this week's mystery guest played a didgeridoo. Kirk's message focuses on respect (for each other, for the environment), thoughtfulness, and community. We will definitely go back to this camp, and we heartily recommend it to anyone who wants a break from the usual rah-rah of camp fare. Space is still available for the weeks of 7/26, 8/2 and 8/9. Contact Kirk Cooper at kirkseestheday [at] yahoo.com for more information. Corina


Feb 2008

Does anyone have feedback they would care to share about the local day camp ''Sees the Day''? Thanks, if so! Anonymous


Sees the Day is a wonderful camp! The kids are out of doors and on the move consistently, hiking and swimming in Tilden Park. But it's more than just that. The camp really builds a sense of community and values. Kirk Cooper, the camp director, has many years of experience with children (during the school year, he runs Prospect Sierra's after school program) and he is great will all kinds of kids. My own children are definitely of the hard to manage variety, but they will follow Kirk anywhere! Ann


July 2007

Just to let you know--Sees the Day summer day camp still has a handfull of openings --my daughter is loving the small group dynamic and positive communication. This is a great active camp (hiking, swimming, etc.) with a more enlightened and positive approach. Life lessons for kids...you can email Kirk the director at kirkseestheday [at] yahoo.com Try a positive camp experience in a non-crowded not supervised by ill trained teens for a change! michelle