Cal Youth CampsCommunity Subscriber
Re: Highly Structured Camp for ADHD 6 year old
I highly recommend the Cal Berkeley Youth Camps for your ADHD child. My son, now 11, has ADD Inattentive Type. We tried several summer camps starting when he was 5 before we figured out that structure was essential. At the less structured camps, he would space out and forget to eat lunch, or not go swimming because he forgot his swimsuit was in his backpack, or wander off and not participate in activities. He would have an OK time, but it was frustrating for me that the staff didn't seem to notice that he wasn't participating and wasn't eating lunch.
The Cal Youth Camps start with Explorer Camp for 5-6 year olds and continue to age 13 with Blue Camp and many specialized camps. These camps are well-organized and very structured, but in a child-friendly way. Camps are sports-oriented, but kids can choose which activities they want, including non-sporty ones like chess, hip-hop dance, frisbee, martial arts, and card tricks. There is no pressure on kids to throw themselves into a frenzy of activity -- while they are encouraged to participate in each chosen activity, reluctant kids are not required to. The camp's main goal is to make sure kids have fun, and they'll find an alternate approach for kids who need it. This has been really important for my shy, inattentive kid. He is not that in to sports, but he has fun at Blue Camp, and has been willing to try a big variety of activities.
Blue Camp staff have been great at letting me know when there's a problem. For example, my son has always enjoyed swim lessons at camp and had progressed to be a pretty good swimmer after five summers at Cal. But last summer he had a different reason every day for why he couldn't change in to his swimsuit. Was he too shy in the locker room? Was there a scratch on his arm that hurt when it got wet? Was he now afraid of the water? What??!! The aquatic director phoned me every afternoon to tell me what had happened in swim class that day, and to suggest a variety of strategies to help him feel more comfortable. For such a large camp, this level of personal attention impressed me.
A key reason why this is such a good camp is the counselors, who are mostly in their late teens and early 20s, who return to camp year after year (and often attended as kids themselves). They are uniformly friendly and enthusiastic, and often play the sports themselves that they teach. Each counselor is in charge of a small group of kids, and they really get to know them and look out for them. There are also lots of friendly high school aged CITs helping out, so there is a great staff-to-kid ratio. The camp does a great job selecting and training their counselors, and I think this is a reflection of the bigger picture - a well-run, well-organized camp. Ginger
My son just finished two weeks at the Blue Camp Cubs, up on campus at Cal. It was sports, sports, sports all day long, totally nonstop, and it was heaven on earth for him. He loved the whole thing. We'd never been to this camp before, and he went without friends, so I was a little nervous he'd be overwhelmed or lonely. But it didn't seem to be an issue at all - he felt comfortable with the leader and really enjoyed all the activities. They even get swimming lessons in there too. In any case, it's a great camp - the kids get a lot out of it in the two weeks. Well worth it! Rena C.
Re: Summer camp recommendations for 2nd grader
I think Blue Camp at UCB is good. My kids are also more artistic/crafty and not into team sports, but they had a good time. True, 2nd graders can't choose exactly how their day goes (older kids can), but it's a nice opportunity for kids to try something for short periods that they think they don't like. And my kids loved that they had swimming every day. I liked that compared to other camps it was reasonably priced. Website here: http://recsports.berkeley.edu/insidepage.aspx?uid=c32aa7f0-9cad-4618-ba7d-e7aa527d6181 Ellen
Re: Camp for 7 year old boy who loves sports
I would recommend the UC Berkeley Rec. department camps: http://www.recsports.berkeley.edu/youth/index.aspx satisfied parent
Defintely you should try Blue Camp 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.
Re: Camp that will accept special-needs 8 year old
I am not sure if it would work for your situation, but my son who has multiple physical disabilites, but no developmental delays, has been welcomed and supported at the UC Berkeley Blue Camps. He usually does the sports and arts track so he gets a break from all the physical stuff over the course of the day.
For the past three years they have accomodated his needs and been very supportive (especially when all the kids kept asking him about his leg braces). I was very nervous to call and ask them to accomodate him because I had been told no by other private camps (made my son sad because he wanted to go to a acting/storytelling camp). The staff at Cal has been amazing and my son loves going there. Sarah
I've been looking at the web-site for Cal Youth Camps, especially Blue Camp / Cubs and Skateboarding Summer Camp, both at the Golden Bear Recreational Center at U.C. Berkeley. I was wondering if anyone had any reviews, positive or negative, about either of these camps that I am considering for my 8 year old son. Thanks!
Blue Camp at Clark Kerr or at Strawberry are great. My 12 yr old and 8 yr old have been going for years and love it. The administrators are excellent. The few issues I have had have been dealt with quickly and well. The staff are mostly college kids and have been very responsible and fun. We mostly do aftercare. On the days when we didn't, I found the key was to NOT pick them up right at the beginning of pick up time. And we generally park of campus and walk over for the pick up, cuz the on campus parking police are serious. It's a great way to spend 2 weeks of the summer for kids who like sports for all or part of the day. anon
This summer will be my 8-year-old's third year at the Cal Camp. He likes it, has a good time, comes home worn out. And for me as the mom, I love that it is very structured and well-organized, and the young counselers are peppy and enthusiastic. My son is not a huge team sports fan, but he loves the swimming every day, hip-hop classes, tae kwan do, and archery. I really think this is one of the best camps in Berkeley!
Re: Summer camp for visiting Italian kids
I think you and the kids would be very happy with Cal's summer camp. Check it out on line-look for Blue Cubs, Blue Bears. There are a few foreign kids that have fun and make friends at the camp. Best of luck! anon
The 5 yr old and 13 year old might like the Strawberry Canyon/ Clark Kerr sports camps run by UC Berkley Recreation Department. They run for 2 week sessions. The kids do a variety of sports each day. The 5 yr old would likely be at the camp at the Strawberry Canyon pool. The older child would be at the Clark Kerr campus. But they really are't very far apart, and doing both drop offs or pick ups is not so difficult. I'm not sure how many 13 yr olds go to the camp. You could tryp to get a feel for it from the camp director. You can look on line at the site for uc berkleey rec. department for the camps. The exact name is not so clear - Perhaps ''strawberry canyoun'' or ''golden bear''. Just check out the site. Another program run by Cal Rec department is Cal Adventures. Those kids do kayaking, rock climbing, sailing and other stuff. More specific (and pricy and shorter) sport-specific camps are run by the Cal athletic department. You can find those on line too. Most of them do not run on Fridays. The older kid, if he has good english skills, cold be a CIT. Mom
Re: Summer/language camp for 12-year-old from Turkey
Hello, I recommend the programs offered by UCB, Cal Youth Programs. They offer mainly sports summer camps: For 12 year olds, there is a huge variety of fun stuff like rock climbing, sailing, sea kayaking, etc. They also do mixed science in the morning and sports in the afternoon. My son (albeit 5 years old) went last year all summer and loved it, and will go again this year. The cost is reasonable (in comparison with other camps in this area) and it would be very convenient for you since it is located on the UCB campus. Check out the web site: http://calbears.berkeley.edu/insidepage.aspx?uid=0f65eaf9-fb1c-4327-b6a6-3a44ada5e072
This does not help you with the English, but perhaps just spending all day speaking English with kids and teachers would be enough? Otherwise, maybe you could hire an English tutor once or twice a week. I bet you could find a UCB student willing to do it for reasonable rates. It may be difficult to find exactly what you are looking for, as clearly, most camps are set up for kids living here who (mostly) already speak English. Good luck and I hope you have a great summer here in the beautiful Bay Area. Love CAL Camps
Re: Summer Day Camp for 13 year old boy
Check out Cal Adventures at http://calbears.berkeley.edu/insidepage.aspx?uid=0f65eaf9-fb1c-4327-b6a6-3a44ada5e072
It is run by the recreation department at UC Berkeley and offers a wide variety of camps in the summer time. There also may be orpportunites for him to be a CIT or junior CIT at some of the camps that age out at 12. So check out camps with stuff he likes and see if they have early CIT programs (If you htink he'd like that) Mom
My sisters would like to bring her one 4th grader, one 3rd grader, and one first grader here in the Bay Area next summer and enroll the kids in some kind of programs to learn English in a natural and fun way. I have no clues of any existing programs in the East Bay. Could you recommend any sources for my sister? Thanks Wen
You might want to look into the Cal Bears Sports camps. It might be a nice, easy way for the kids to improve (or learn?) their conversational English without being in a classroom. My daughter loved the Explorers camp and even her friends who are not very athletic enjoyed it as well. Good luck with your search. - RK
Re: What do Thirteen Year Old Boys do in the Summer?
I would recommend Strawberry Canyon. They have a camp for older kids, and they also have a counselor in training program for kids who have finished 7th grade. Also you can look on http://www.bayareakidfun.com/index.html for other ideas. There are some cool camps in the city--one by the SPCA looks particularly interesting, but i don't have any experience with it.
have experienced many camps
Re: Albany Sports Camp vs Strawberry Canyon (June 2004)
My son has had great experiences with the well-run Strawberry Canyon summer camps for 4 years now, and will be attending again this summer. Hope this helps, Sports boy's mom
Our son is now 8 and has been to both the Strawberry Canyon and Albany Sports Camps. He enjoyed both equally. The Strawberry Canyon site can be a bit of a nightmare picking your child up, long lines, etc. even though they have a very good ''runner'' and sign out system. The Albany Sports Camp seems looser in structure but I think the kids have just as much fun. Drawbacks are that Albany s.c. doesn't have swimming and that if it rains there isn't an ''indoor'' place to take them. A big positive is that it costs quite a bit less than Strawberry Canyon. kl
Albany Sports Camp and STrawberry Canyon are quite different. Albany is more laid back. I have heard STrawberry Canyon has even the younger kids going from one activity to the next all day schleppign back packs and all -- tiring, but depends on the kid. I think the structure from day to day is similar. Also it includes swim lesson. From one summer experience my impression is that Albany keeps the kids in activities all day, but is not so rigid in terms of time frame. One thing about the age of your child -- mine went to Albany around that age. The staff reassured me there would be kids his age the week we signed up for, and that was only true for the last day or two. Also I think they were a little off on appropriate age level of games in some cases. Also, once when my son was not into a game he sat out, but apparently in the hot sun, and came home sick. I was angry that they didn't use better judgment. Good luck
Looking for recommendations of a summer sports camp for an active 8 year-old boy. Not looking for a specific sport because he's pretty athletic; more important to be low in competitiveness, while offering good, patient instruction and experience. Preferably in Oakland or Alameda, Berkeley OK. We have been disappointed in Alameda programs that have high staff turnover, lackluster instruction, and low staff-student ratios. I have looked over the Parents-net website but hoped for some more general recommendations based on our needs. Thanks! Nils
Cal Sport Camp located on Clark Kerr Campus at UC Berkeley is a great program for kids to try lots of different sports. The parent comments go something like this... ''Oh, my kid loves Cal Sports Camp, and they sleep so well that week!'' It is an active program with energetic college-age and a few adult-age (older than college age) counselors. Some of the adult counselors are teachers. The kids participate in 6 (I think)hour-long sports classes. Camp sessions last 2 weeks. The hard part is choosing which sports to try! I think the registration has the kids sign up for 10 and then they put schedules together and there is some opportunity to modify the schedule in the first day or two. I suggest having your child go with a friend which can help kids feel connected more quickly and it can help with tranpsortation. Getting there from Alameda may be a pain, but I have to say drop off and pick up are well orchestrated. My child participated for the first time last summer. Lissa
A cautionary tale: while almost everyone I know has great things to say about the Sports Camp at Cal, I wanted to quickly relate our experience. My five-year -old son attended last year and yes, the counselors are lovely, the place is well-organized and for the most part my little guy had fun (and yes, he was exhausted at the days end). However, on the Wednesday before camp ended, I got a call from the office staff around 3 pm that my son was suffering from over-exertion and dehydration. I raced off to camp to find my son in the makeshift infirmary, covered head to toe with iced t-shirts, with a fan going, with a core body temp of about 103 degrees. It took hours to cool him down, and led to vomiting, chills, and a sustained fever. He missed the final two days of camp. I will say the staff, once they recognized the problem, were very kind and attentive. However, the problem was triggered by my son's wearing a heavy fleece sweatshirt that no one bothered to suggest he take off, despite the very hot afternoon temperatures and the fact that they'd been running around for five hours by the time he got so overheated. My son, to this day, is upset when he recalls the experience, and based on the comments of the caretakers, his was not an entirely isolated event, suggesting that they have experience with overheated kids and know what to do when it happens. I just wish they'd been more on the ball and prevented his experience from happening in the first place. signed, a mom heading to a different camp this summer
One of the best summers my daughter has ever had was at Blue Camp here on campus(summer of 96). Before you invest your money in other camps, call the Strawberry Canyon Recreation program. Their phone number is 643-6720. They offer two camps which cover ages 8-11(Blue Camp) and 12-15(Gold Camp). For an additional fee, they offer childcare before and after camp. Camp is from 9:00am-12:00 and 1:00-4:00pm. If your child attends camp for the entire day, their lunchtime is supervised by skilled, energetic college age students. Most importantly, the kids choose which classes to participate in each week. Each activity is 1 hour and they offer such classes as first aid, swimming, archery, track, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, gymnastics, leadership, etc. The kids are taught by a great staff of college age students who have some personal experience with the sports/activity they teach. There is a real sense of a camp atmosphere in these programs. Your child will be tired at the end of the day, but not disappointed. I can't say enough about Blue/Gold camps. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Kimberly
Camp for Kindergarten Boy with Self Regulation Challenges
My kindergartener has moderate sensory challenges and difficulty with self regulation. He currently manages himself fairly well in a classroom with a great deal of structure and clear expectations. He has more difficulty in times of free play, especially when his environment is chaotic. He is also a little young for his age socially and could use some facilitation with making friends and playing in a group. As the summer approaches, I am searching for camps that might work for him. My sense is that he needs a camp with mature, experienced counselors, a low ratio and group size, and more organized activities than free play. He likes science, sports, animals and anything outdoors. Any suggestions would be very appreciated. I work full time so need to find a full summer of activities for most of the day (8ish-3ish), preferably in the North Berkeley area. Thanks in advance for your advice! camp seeking mama
You should check out the UC Berkeley Camps http://camps.berkeley.edu/ Explorer Camp is the one for 5 and 6 year olds and it is at Strawberry Canyon which is pretty convenient to North Berkeley. The kids are in small groups that each have one main counselor who gets to know each kid and guides them through their day. CITs help out. My 3 boys have all gone to the Cal camp, and one of the things I appreciated about it was how structured it is. There really is not any free-play wandering-around time in the day when your kid can wander off, or forget to eat lunch, or get into trouble with another kid. They are always under the guidance of a counselor. The counselors at the Cal camps are well-trained and seem to genuinely like being around kids. The kids have a lot of fun too, and come home tired. And whenever one of my kids had a problem, I found the staff to be very kind, helpful and communicative. The Cal camps are really great for working families too, as they offer before and after care from 7:30am to 6pm (camp is 9-4) Mom of 3
Re: Highly Structured Camp for ADHD 6 year old
My son does not have ADHD but also really struggles with unstructured time. Cal's Explorer Camp was GREAT for him last summer. He loved it and was very successful there. The staff spoke with me in advance of camp about my concerns and made a point of placing my kid in a group with an additional counselor. The high level of structure and activity worked well for him, and he will definitely be back this summer. Loved Explorer Camp
I wanted to write and say that I literally can't say enough good things about my son's recent experience as a 5-year-old at Cal's Explorer Camp. He has some challenging behaviors and the staff took a proactive, positive, and professional approach that allowed him to be fully successful. Moreover, he LOVED the camp and was eager to show me his sports moves every day. His only criticism was the fact that the camp ended after his two week session was up. We will be back next summer! Mom of a happy explorer
Re: New reviews needed for YMCA day camps
I can't offer a review of the Albany Y Camp, but I highly recommend Cal Explorer Camp at Strawberry Canyon. I just got an email saying they still had room. My daughter went there last summer, before beginning kindergarten, and it was a great experience for her. It is very well organized, and the kids stay busy and pick up a lot of new skills and confidence. It includes daily swimming lessons, and I was very happy with the results. She was tired every day when I picked her up, a good, healthy, active summertime kind of tired. And my favorite part: you don't have to park and get out of your car when you pick them up; they have this fantastic drive-through system. No dragging a poky younger sibling out of the car and then wrestling them back in, no searching for sweatshirts and backpacks, no arguing about going to a friend's house; they just get popped in the backseat with all their stuff and off you go. Awesome. Anon
Cal Explorer Camp for active 6 year old boy?
My son will be six this summer. He loves sports and is very active. I would like to find a camp for him that has good oversight, is in a safe location, and will give him the chance to play lots of organized games and sports. He is very competitive by nature, so I would also like a place that is attuned to helping kids to constructively channel their competitiveness into team spirit and hard work. We have had mixed experiences with Cal gymnastics but have heard about the Cal camp, Explorers. We are hoping for interested and involved counselors and were wondering if anyone has had recent experience with the Explorer's summer program for 5 and 6 year olds. Thanks! -Sports lover's mom
Loved, loved, loved the Cal Explorer camp. My son turned 6 last September and he took the camp for two weeks last summer. It is most definitely organized -- perhaps to a fault -- but he came home enthusiastic, tired, and happy. I was amazed that even in two weeks he learned things about football, swimming and other sports that he could repeat and explain to me and then apply himself. The counselors were positive and thoughtful and relaxed.
The one caveat is that it's a big camp. My son was a 1:1 type kid then and the large camp didn't bother him because he was able to find other like-minded kids. But there *are* lots of kids and everyone is shuffled from activity to activity every 30-45 minutes so there's not much time to settle in a make friends by just hanging out. That said, maybe that's a strength for your kid's personality. It's also basically entirely sports, with the exception of a few art/craft activities.
If you don't live nearby the drive up to Strawberry Canyon is a bit of a grind but no worse than any other driving around Berkeley in the morning rush hours.
BTW, the insanely hyper-organized parking pickup routine cracked me up at first but it is a great way to get your kid in and out efficiently. Loved Cal Explorer
Hello! My kids both went to Explorer camp last summer and absolutely loved it. I would say it has everything that your post asked for. The kids rotate through a series of sports each day. Every kid gets in the pool every day. I thought the supervision was outstanding because there were both senior counselors, counselors, and then counselors in training, so between all of them, the camper:counselor ratio was great. I went to the open house day to check things out, and happened to catch my son being disciplined for bad behavior. I watched the entire encounter and was quite impressed with how the counselor handled things. The kids aren't running all day, though. There is down time while waiting in line for your turn at the drill or moving from one location to another. We're going back this summer!
I highly recommend Cal Explorer camp! My daughter had a great time there last summer and will be going back this summer. Lots of sports but it's not competitive or pressured at all. It's very well organized and the counselors these lovely energetic young people. Your son will love it! Anon
Our oldest daughter attended the Cal Sports Camps for the last 5 years and her younger sister was an explorer last year. The camp definitely keeps kids busy with physical activities all day long and has a good schedule of different sports. We were relatively happy with the camp until this past summer when the camp really took a downturn for us. The college-age counselors acted bored and unengaged - mostly we saw them talking amongst one another and they seemed to be ignoring the kids. The first time I observed this I thought it might be an off moment but it was virtually every time I observed an interaction (or lack of ) throughout the summer. Also, our youngest child decided that she did not want to swim so did not suit up for swimming. She did this all summer and no one from the camp informed us! We could not understand why she could only doggie paddle after an entire summer of swimming lessons until our older daughter told us her sister didn't suit up. So much for swimming lessons. All in all, our kids were not in physical danger at the camp but they were not engaged either. They were indifferent. It was a lot of money for the return.
My suggestion is to take your $$ elsewhere where your child will be truly supervised and involved with the counselors and activities. The camp was a true disappointment for our family. - won't be back to Cal Camp
My active 6 year old son went to the Cal Explorer camp last summer for six weeks and loved it. They did a lot of sports. He was excited to go to camp every day. I highly recommend it.
My son was 6 last summer, and he had a blast at the CAL explorer camp. I'll admit I was not convinced this was going to be a good match for him. He's not particularly athletic or competitive, and the structure of a different activity every 30 minutes sounded a little manic. But I was wrong, and it was his favorite camp of the summer. It is very well organized. The people who teach each individual sport/ activity were, from what I observed, very good at teaching the basics of the sport as well as supporting more affective goals like sportsmanship and perseverance. Also, a counselor and at least one junior counselor stay with the same group all day and herd them from place to place, which keeps everything organized and under control. My son came home every day exhausted but very, very happy. He went not knowing anyone and quickly made friends and felt comfortable both socially and physically. I could see this camp not being a great fit for a very shy or inactive kid, but for a fairly social kid who likes to move, I can't recommend it highly enough! Happy Camper
My son is 9 and went to the Explorer Camp for two years, and last year graduated to the Blue Camp. You said your son loves sports - OMG he will be in heaven at Cal Camps!! My own son is not all that into sports, but always has a good time and camp. He has especially enjoyed the daily swimming lessons and has really progressed in swimming. From a parent's point of view, I have really appreciated the structure and organization of the camp because my son is a very inattentive ADD kid and needs a lot of guiding along and encouragement. Also anytime there has been the tiniest problem, which has been rare but happens, the office has been extremely responsive and helpful. We'll be there again this year!
Re: 14 year old boy needs summer soccer
I can enthusiastically recommend the summer soccer camps at UC Berkeley. Type Cal Bears in Google and there should be a link to the summer camps. Our 14-year-old daughter went to day camps for 2 years and then the residential camp for 1 week last year. She got to stay in the dorms with the Cal Women's Soccer Team! I don't have any firsthand experience with the boys' program but based on our experience with the girls', your son will love these opportunities. Nancy
Re: All-day summer camp in Oakland for a 6 year old?
Not in Oakland, but near. Cal Rec summer programs are very active, and in my experience very well-run. The Explorer Camp near the Cal football stadium is for 5-6 year olds and runs 9-4 with extended care available. My soon-to-be 6-year-old will be going this summer and my older kids really enjoyed these camps in years past. Swimming and hiking and also many other activities such as basketball, frisbee, track & field, etc. The kids really do learn how to do all these things and what they sample when they are 6 at Cal Rec may well turn out to be their passion in middle school and high school.
My now six year old went to Strawberry when he was just 4 and a half, and again last year. He went to the half day camp the first year and the full day the second year. We mostly really liked the camp, especially the really great swim lessons. I think that a full day at Strawberry Canyon for all but the most durable four year olds would be extremely tiring and maybe too much. Even last year, Ben typically fell asleep in the car on the way home. He was lucky (and they may all be as good!) and got a pretty great (and experienced) counselors both years, who knew *little* kids, not elementary age kids. I also think it was really terrific for Sports but a little less good for the other things. I was a little less pleased with the after-care, but since it's fewer kids and of varying ages, it's really hard to do that well. We're probably going to do a few weeks this summer. It's a whole lot easier on the kids if they sign up with a friend. Myriam
Hi, wondering if anyone out there tried the lunches offered at UC Berkeley Summer Camps last summer. The catering company was called Kid Cuisine, I think, (or some other clever name) and they provided lunch and snacks (at an additional cost) to campers. Was it good? Worth the money? Any reviews? Thanks. curious
I think you mean Kid Chow. My son went to the Cal Explorer camp last summer and that was the lunch company they used. I thought it was good and my son enjoyed it. I liked that you could select a couple of different sides each day to go with the main lunch item. At camp they only provided room temp foods, nothing hot, which was fine. There were several vegetarian options, and it all seemed pretty healthy, too. I would use them again, but at $5.00 a lunch, it could get expensive. It was pretty easy using their website for ordering, but you couldn't easily change your order once it was placed.
My son went to Blue Camp last summer for 3 sessions and we used Kid Chow for the whole time. Kid Chow also delivers to my son's school, and this is our second year doing it. The lunches are good and fresh and well balanced and it's easy to order on their website. My son likes the food. The best part is it reduces the morning rush stress for the parents. You can look at their website and see what you think: www.kidchow.com
Re: Summer Camps and Programs for Teens with Aspergers
My daughter and her friends, all on the ''spectrum'', have spent several wondeful summers at Cal Camp at Strawberry Canyon. They have a wonderful program that is focused on building social skills and competence. Dr. Jennifer Selke, the program director, is very knowlegable and knows how to integrate the special teens into the program. The program offers tons of support. You can reach Jennifer at 510-642-7648 or email her at jenn8 [at] berkeley.edu. Please tell her that Varda says: ''Hi''. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.
Re: Quest Camp or Cal Blue Camp for Social Skills
My son attended the UCB Social Skills camp-inside-a-camp last year as a 10 year old. His older (typical) brother was also at Strawberry Canyon, so it was a good way for the younger one to feel he and his bro were at the same camp.
The kids in the SS track are moved into the main camp sports activities as a little ''pod'' of 4 kids with their counselor to help navigate.
- fabulous counselor. One counselor is assigned to your kid, and you will get great feedback about what's going on
- convenient location if you are Oakland / Berkeley
- great if your kid likes sports
- great if he likes to feel like he's part of the mainstream
- good chance to make a friend within your ''pod''
the not so good:
- if your kid is stressed by changing groups of people and transitions. Although he, his pod and counselor move together, the activity around them during transitions is quite a swirl.
- there was less supervision during lunch which is a problematic area for my son. He had one encounter with another camper (not in the social skills track) that left a bad impression.
- if the ''pod'' doesn't have anyone that your kid likes. One child in my kid's pod was so miserable the whole time that it brought everyone down. My kid's pretty resilient and had a good time with one of the remaining two, but he mentioned it as a negative.
- unless you can talk a friend into registering for the same weeks, it's impossible to tell if there will be anyone your child knows. For any camp, the best strategy is to try to talk one of your child's friends (such as they may be) into going to the same camp at the same time. This creates a core that can extend into a positive experience.
We are trying Quest camp (same weeks as a friend) this year instead. I expect that he will be more comfortable in a less busy setting. But of course, it's all atypical kids, so it just depends on what you want out of a social skills program!
Hope that helps. - Nancy
I'm looking for information on a special needs socialization camp that might be affiliated with UCB for 9 years and up. I think the founder/director is affiliated with UCB. Does anyone have information on this?
SOCIAL SKILLS & LEADERSHIP CAMP AT UC BERKELEY FOR NLD, AS, HFA
Social Skills (SST) completed grades 3 - 7
Leadership Skills (LIT) completed grades 8 - 13 www.oski.org/html/scra_sst.htm
Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp, located on the U C Berkeley Campus, is running a one-of-a-kind integrated social skills and leadership camps for children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning Autism, Asperger\x92s Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits. The Social Skills Track (SST) and Leaders-In-Training (LIT) parallels Blue Camp and the CILT program. Children in the SST and LIT are fully integrated into Blue Camp and the CILT program. They are fully integrated and receive more supervision as well as additional direct instruction based on their individual goals. The services are seamless and the adults working with them look like all the other camp staff so no one is aware that they are on a different track.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For an information and application packet or reference list of camper parents please e-mail: Dr. Jennifer H. Selke 510/642-7648 jenn8[at]berkeley.edu http://www.oski.org
submitted by: Jennifer Selke (jenn8 at uclink4.berkeley.edu)
Strawberry Canyon Blue Camp, located on the U C Berkeley Campus, is running a one-of-a-kind social skills camp for children (ages 9-12) with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, High Functioning Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and children with similar social skills deficits. A specialized Group Leader provides stability and guidance as the campers apply what they are learning to real-life situations at summer camp. A camper's daily schedule includes an integrated social skills curriculum that runs throughout their camp day.
Re: Day camp for extremely shy 9 year old
I saw in the strawberry canyon website that they have an interesting camp for social skills. It might be appropriate. Check www.oski.org for more details. Anon.