Which Sports Camp?

Parent Q&A

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  • We have a kindergartener who needs some sports!  We are looking for a sports camp for him (basketball, swimming, soccer, baseball are his favorites).  We were thinking about Berkeley Rec Sports Explorer Camp.   Does anyone have any advice?

    We have friends that send their kids to footfire.  They say that the kids are well-taken care of with lots of great treats.  As a bonus, their kids come home exhausted.

    I think your son would really like Explorer Camp. My 3 boys all went to Cal Rec camps and had a lot of fun, and learned lots of different sports. The camp is structured, they have great counselors, it's moderately priced. Try it for a couple of weeks!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Camp with structure and sports for active 8 year old

Aug 2012

I have a son who will be 8 years old (entering 3rd grade) next summer. He is active and enjoys sports and structured activities. We moved to CA from the east coast and I guess I am more familiar with east coast camps (lakes, pools, zip lines, horseback riding...the whole 9 yards!). It seems like those camps don't seem to exist around here. My son has some social anxiety. He doesn't always know how to insert himself to play with other kids (especially in an unstructured setting). It takes him time and proper encouragement). I would be interested in learning about any camps you believe are worth looking into. I am open to all price ranges. He also has interests in robotics, gymnastics and theater. Thanks!!! In Search of Camp

We just had our last day at Monkey Business Camp in Tilden & LOVE LOVE LOVED it. I was worried about sending my daughter to camp where she didn't know anyone. She's had a lot of social anxiety, and sent her to MBC bec. of recommendations of other BPN parents with shy/socially anxious kids. MBC has a really terrific structure and culture that really helps the kids settle in quickly. All the counselors were wonderful (many of them former MBC campers themselves), and the kids (of all ages) seemed really sweet & caring. I didn't hear a single tale of ''so and so wasn't nice to me!'' all summer long. The activity level seemed fairly high, they're outdoors all day long, and they swim at Lake Anza weekly (sometimes 2x a week), they go on hikes, walk to the Nature Center & Little Farm. I highly recommend it to everyone. And it doesn't hurt that it's also incredibly inexpensive if you sign up for the whole summer (much less than if you only sign up for a few weeks). Happy Monkey Business Parent

I love, love Trackers (www.trackersbay.com). My son also has similar social anxiety issues/hard time joining in and their summer camps have been perfect. Low key, yet outdoors the whole time. My son has done a fishing camp, a wilderness survival skills camp, and because he had such a good experience,we did an after-school program through Trackers this past school year. The groups are small so the staff is able to engage with each of the kids. It's not a bells-and-whistles kind of camp but engages kids more than most of the camps we've tried. You could start with an after-school program and if your son likes it, try a summer camp. anon

I don't know about the social anxiety part, but there is a camp in Lafeyette that has most of what you describe in terms of activities. Check out Roughing It (http://www.roughingit.com/) for a list of different activities and how to sign up. They even have bus service to pick up kids in most areas of the East Bay. Expensive, but I think they are worth it. Karen

Baseball or football camps for 1st grader

March 2011

Hi - do you have any recommendations for baseball or football camps in the East Bay? I have a first grader who has fallen in love with both sports and desperately wants to take camps in these areas. I see some listed on the Cal Adventures website - do you have any feedback on that organization? Thanks in advance for any advice.

For a good baseball camp, especially for your son's age, check out BALL Summer Camp . It is run by an Oakland couple with three sons, all of whom play baseball. My high school sons have been CITS/counselors there. Kids seem to love it, it is well run, and reasonably priced. The kids are divided up by age group so younger kids aren't having to compete with much older kids. Check it out = http://www.summerballcamp.com/ Baseball mom

My son did BALL Summer Camp for baseball last summer at age 6 and is already begging to go back for more this summer. It's run by a long-time North Oakland-South Oakland Little League family (playing and coaching) and they have a really great and enthusiastic staff of counselors who not only know baseball but really connect with the kids. They work on skills and drills and also play organized baseball games daily. More info at www.summerballcamp.com Baseball Mom

Cal Athletics (not Cal Adventures or Cal/Golden Bear Recreation) offers a non-contact football camp in June. Especially if your first grader is a Cal football fan, this a fun experience. The drills are run by the Cal football coaching staff, and many of the players on the roster, including some of the marquee players, assist, and they are generally all very accessible and encouraging to the campers. My son attended the camp a few years ago with a buddy and had a great time.

The camp is suitable to kids of all levels, and the focus is on skill-building and having fun, so it's not a hard-core development camp or anything.

That being said, I would recommend that your first grader attends the camp with a buddy or two. There are a few kids attending the camp who have ties to the Cal football coaching staff or player roster, or kids who have played Pop Warner football, so they come into the camp with a sense of familiarity or perhaps an elevated ego for whatever reason, so there is a bit of hierarchical posturing that goes on at the camp. Mom of camper

Camp for 7 year old boy who loves sports

March 2010

hi, i am looking for camp ideas for my 7 year old son who loves sports. we live in the east bay and would appreciate any ideas. thanks! anon

I would recommend the UC Berkeley Rec . department camps: http://www.recsports.berkeley.edu/youth/index.aspx satisfied parent

Defintely you should try the camps at UC Berkeley . My 9-year-old has gone to the Cal Rec camps for three years now. It's very well-run and well-organized, and staffed by enthusiastic young counselors. The great thing about the camp for a sports fan is that a variety of different sports are offered, so kids get to try out sports they might not encounter otherwise. There is swimming every day, and the kids stay busy and active.