Albany YMCA Summer Programs

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  • Albany YMCA summer camp

    Apr 16, 2017

    I'm thinking of sending my 5-year-old to the Albany YMCA this summer for summer camp. It's close and reasonably priced. I'm very new to the Bay Area and wanted to first hear from others any good or bad experiences with this summer program. Thanks in advance!

    I have sent my son to the Albany YMCA before and after school and to a break or summer camp or two over the years. He always has fun. He generally runs into children he knows (enough that I don't try to plan for it with other parents), and there is plenty of self-directed play if he doesn't want to play with other children. The summer camp outings are especially fun for him. The counselors are awesome. They are always so welcoming to me and my child and even ask about him by name when they see me without him in the community. For summer camps, YMCA is not my first choice -- I tend to sign him up for smaller and more specialized camps -- but it's a great, affordable fall back.

    Hello I have a 10 years 5th grade and 9 years 3rd grade. They have been going to Albany YMCA summer camp for the last 3 years. Very reasonable price for what you get. 6.30am till 6 . Have very helpful programs as well as too much fun for the kids. Staff are very professional and VERY RESPONSIBLE and friendly my kids love them and love the program. If you are thinking about the swimming camp it get full so quick so register ASAP. LOVE ALBANY YMCA! 


    I'm Albany Y member and know their programs well. The summer camps are great. The Y has lots of programs to support working families including before and after school clubs and summer camps. When your child gets older, consider the model UN for middle school kids and wonderful Youth in Government program for high school kids.The camps are well run, staff is selected with care. 

Parent Reviews

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Welcome to north Berkeley. Please look at the Albany YMCA summer camps for kids.They also have a wonderful family camp that was very well run in 2020. Campers safe, etc.

Berkeley Day camp is fantastic and affordable. City of El Cerrito has fantastic affordable camps. Look at Albany too, but we like Berkeley & El Cerrito better. Additionally, the Albany Y's camps are good. My children have done their bicycle camp--loved it.

Albany YMCA has a traveling camp for this age group. It is called Awesome Adventures. Each week the campers go on 3 whole day field trips by bus and the other two days they walk to El Cerrito pool and spend some time there. It is a full day camp, till 6pm.  You can allow her to sign herself out. Some weeks they are based at Memorial park, some at Albany Middle. My daughter said she would not sign up for the whole summer (too much traveling), but you can choose weeks with your favorite destinations, like Exploratorium, Boomers or Water World.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions & Advice Related Pages

2010 - 2014 Recommendations

KinderCubs and specialty camps

April 2014

Hi BPNers! I am thinking about sending my kids to the KinderCubs and Speciality Camps at the Albany YMCA this summer. I have checked the posts but there is nothing recent. If your child has attended either the KinderCubs or any of the specialty camps, can you please share your thoughts? Thanks! Camp Research Mama

My two children have both attended the Albany Y Kindercubs & the Specialty camps. It's been a few years since Kindercubs, but you'll love the directors and staff there. They are absolutely lovely, sweet and engaging with the little campers. The themes, projects and activities are fun and age-appropriate.

The Specialty camps are great too. I don't know which ones you're considering, but my kids have enjoyed Hoop Dance, Skateboarding, science camps, Art and others. My son LOVES the Bicycle camps & staff and my daughter will be trying it this summer.

All the Y-camp staff are pros at keeping the campers safe when taking field trips, walking to the park, crossing streets, lots of roll call (which I appreciate, but my kids don't love), sunscreen breaks, keeping track of them at the pool, reminding them to eat their healthy things from their lunches, checking in with parents at the end of the day about anything unusual or great. Your kids will sing camp songs, scream the Y-cheer, learn about being good friends to each other, and come home tired each day. I hope this helps. Y-campers' mom

Day Camp for Pre-Teens

Feb 2014

Re: Summer camp for tween
The Albany YMCA has a great summer camp for tweens/young teens (6th-9th graders). I think it's called Awesome Adventures. Every day they go on an amazing field trip or have an exciting activity planned. Sign up week to week depending on what your kid is interested in doing. My son went from age 11 to 13 and there were always plenty of kids his age. Last summer he went river rafting, indoor skydiving, to every local amusement park, to baseball games, water parks, SF, Santa Cruz and a bunch more places I can't even remember. It's well run, the counselors are solid but it is a camp for older kids so they do give them a lot more freedom and less direction than programs for the younger crowd. The counselors mainly are there to supervise while the kids hang out. This was a major selling point for my son and one of reasons he loved it so much. Also it's affordable at about $240 a week(activities included) and runs from 7am-6pm, no extra charges love the Y camp

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

May 2009

Re: Berkeley/Albany summer camp for 5th/6th grader
My son was very hesitant about going to camp as a middle school kid (he, too, wanted to stay home and hang out w/ friends all summer - w/ no parents!!?) but he really enjoyed Awesome Adventures camp with the Albany YMCA. He liked that they went on field trips to places that I don't have time to take him - river rafting, Great America, rock climbing, etc.- plus they seemed to have plenty of hang out time w/ ping pong, foosball & card games. He liked the counselors, spoke highly of them, but what I liked is that they were adults who kept control and had rules that the kids learned to respect... the no cell phone rule was great, in my opinion! I hope you can check out the Y's website and see if it's a good match for you and your son! Here's a link to their summer programs & info: 8th grade mom

Albany YMCA Kinder Cubs camp

March 2008

Re: Summer camp Options for a 3 year old
You've gotta check out the Albany Y's Kinder Cubs camp. It's specifically for entering & exiting kindergartners. You said you prefer Berkeley, but Albany's close. Here's the link to the website which has the summer brochure:
Kinder Parent

Albany YMCA for first graders?

April 2007

Hi, we are moving to Albany this summer and realize we might be late getting into summer camps. We just drove past the Albany YMCA the other day and picked up their brochure, and we're curious -- the only review on the BPN site is from a staff member. Why is that? The place seemed to be full of kids -- can any of you parents give us an idea about their summer camp (our daughters will be entering 1st grade in the fall). Any thoughts about the after school program would also be appreciated. Thank you and see you all soon! New Neighbors

My daughter attended the Kindercubs camp last summer (she was entering 1st grade) and she had a lot of fun, at least as much (probably more so) than in the considerably more expensive camp that I also used for part of the summer. My then-preschool aged child was distraught that he couldn't stay...I literally had to carry him out almost every day, and he is going this summer now that he is entering kindergarten.

It has a good mix of activities and free day per week is a field trip, one half day swimming, one half day doing organized games at Memorial Park, the rest of the time working on projects related to the week's theme or indoor/outdoor free play. The kids we kept busy but not run to the point of exhaustion. The counselors seemed involved and engaged. Both my children are going this summer and I would definitely recommend it. Albany parent

2006 & Earlier

Albany YMCA Kinder Cubs Camp

June 2006

Does anybody have any thoughts re: the Albany YMCA Kinder Cubs summer camp program? The most recent posts are from two years ago and they aren't exactly ringing endorsements. It's a great location for us and we'd like to give it a shot, but not at the expense of our child's enjoyment this summer! Any feedback, especially re: younger kids (entering K this fall) would much appreciated. New Albany Family

The Albany YMCA Kinder Cubs camp is a great summer camp for entering Kinders and first graders. What makes our camp so great is not just the fun activities and feldtrips, but the well trainied staff that return each summer to make camp a safe and fun place to be week after week. Our kinder Cubs camp direcotr Joan Massler, has been with the Albany YMCA Kinder Cubs camp for 5 years. She is also our afterschool director for the K-3 Kids' Club afterschol program in Albany. Kinder Cubs spend most of their time on site exploring the many exciting play centers, singing, dancing, making friends and learning about the Core Values of the YMCA; Honesty, Caring, Respect & Responsibility. The Kinders take one trip to Memorial Park, one trip to the El Cerrito swimming pool and one fieldtrip a week based on the weekly theme. The child to staf ratio is 1:8 and that does not include our Jr. counselors who have aslo been trainied to work in camp. Feel free to call with questions and I can refer you to parents who can tell you first hand why they are chosing to return this summer. Alicia

Albany YMCA CIT program for teens

March 2006

Re: What do Thirteen Year Old Boys do in the Summer?
The Albany YMCA offers a counselor-in-training (CIT) program for entering 7-10 grade ''teens.'' It is a program that provides training, supervision and lots of ''on-site'' time interacting w/ the younger kids in the YMCA camps. It's not intended to be an extension of day camp for older kids, but if you're son has an interest in working w/ kids, this is a great, quality program. There are occasional full-days for field trips, but the CITs choose a morning or afternoon ''shift'' when they apply for the program. paula

Albany YMCA Art Camp

March 2000

Has anyone had (recent) experience with the Art Camp given at the Albany YMCA? My daughter loves art, and from the brochure it looks like she could have a lot of fun in the program. But I'm well aware that things aren't always as good as they look on paper! Any comments, positive or negative, about the Albany Y Art Camp would be most appreciated. Greg

My 10-year-old daughter had on-site after-school care from Albany-Berkeley YMCA staff for several years; great bunch of counselors. On the other hand, I've found their summer day camps erratic: one one-week session with a mystery/puzzles/problem-solving theme was pretty good, and another, which purported to be about mosaics, got as far as a single small paper collage, and that was it. (Rather shoddy environment, too.) I wrote a letter of complaint to the program's director and never received a response. I daresay a multi-week program might be different, but I would definitely recommend asking lots of questions and requesting some references from parents of past students in the program. Melanie