Cal Youth Camps FAQs
- COVID-19 Guidelines (As of 6/2/2022)
The health and well-being of our campers and families is our number one priority. This summer, we’ll maintain all the fun and learning of camp while adhering to federal, state, local, and UC Berkeley health guidelines regarding COVID-19. Our team will continuously monitor changes to these guidelines and will update families of major changes.
Staff - All staff are strongly recommended but not required to wear a mask when indoors.
Campers - Youth Participants are strongly recommended but not required to wear a mask while participating in an indoor program or camp.
Staff: Camp staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, unless they have an approved exemption.*
Campers: Children over the age of 5 must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Before campers arrive on site, you must update Immunization Records in the CampDoc health profile for each camper in your household, including COVID-19 vaccination records or qualifying exemption for participants 5 years of age or older.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will continue to be checked at our Golden Bear Rec Center for any individuals entering the lower gym corridor over the age of 5. We are continuing to require vaccine checks at this facility, since it hosts programming with children under 5 years old (who are not yet vaccine eligible).
*An approved exception to COVID-19 vaccination may be made based on a medical exemption, disability, or religious exemption, as defined in the University of California COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
Hand Washing & Access to Hand Sanitizer
Handwashing with soap and water is strongly encouraged by participants and patrons while participating in our facilities or participating in programs. Hand sanitizer will be readily available for staff, campers, and approved visitors in our facilities.
Staff will clean spaces and surfaces throughout the day including between activities. This includes cleaning tables, chairs, and other materials before and after each event, class, or program. Materials that are used for programs will be set aside to be cleaned for use. Staff will clean the bathroom throughout the day.
What if my camper or I have traveled before camp?
There are no travel policies relating to participation in our programs.
Procedures for Potential COVID-19 Exposure
In the case of potential COVID-19 exposure in a Youth Program or Camp, the Rec Sports Department will send an email notification to all youth participants and staff members that may have had close contact with the affected individual. After a potential exposure, individuals should comply with current health orders and guidance including the City of Berkeley and California Department of Public Health Guidance.
What do I do if my camper tests positive for COVID-19?
If your camper has COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and notify us at email@example.com. It is recommended that your camper take a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms. See the City of Berkeley’s guidance on when and how to get tested.
How can I confirm that my enrollment went through?
Confirmation emails are sent out automatically upon completing the online enrollment process. If you do not recall seeing a confirmation email in your inbox there are two possible causes: contact the Enrollment Center to make sure we sent the confirmation to the correct address, we can also confirm your enrollment for you; check your spam/junk mail folder for any emails from firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our emails come from that same email address. If our emails are going to your spam/junk mail folder by accident, please configure your email account to accept our email address as “safe” so that important camp emails always make it to your inbox.
You can also login to CampDoc and click Registrations under the participant name on the left hand side of the mainpage.
Is there a deadline to enroll for extended care?
You can register for extended care at any time through the first day of a camp session.
Can I enroll my camper in multiple half-day Cal Adventures camps in order to create a full day of programming?
Please note that although we are offering both half-day and full-day camps this summer, current public health guidance on Covid-19 requires campers to only enroll in a single half-day or full-day camp program per week. Unlike previous years, pairing a morning and afternoon camp is not permitted (We're sad too!). We have remixed some of our most popular activities into pandemic-friendly camp packages such as Discovery Camp (Science Adventures + Outdoor Adventures), and Paddle Adventures (Paddling + Afternoon Adventures).
See the Cal Adventures Outdoor Camps page for more information on all 2021 offerings.
PM extended care at the Cal Adventures Marina are for Full Day and PM Camps only and does not include PM Rock Climbing Camps. There is no extended care for PM Rock Climbing Camps.
AM Marina campers or AM Rock Climbing campers must be picked up at NOON at the Rock Climbing location or the marina, depending on the camp.
Are there any differences between the one-week camps and the regular two-week camps besides the length of the camp session?
Yes! Blue Cubs campers enrolled in the one-week camp sessions do not have a track selection. Specific activities are scheduled by Camp Coordinators the week before camp begins, and are distributed at orientation and on the first day of camp. Blue Bears/Grizzlies enrolled in the one-week sessions do not get their choice of individual activities. Activities for these camps are pre-assigned based on staff availability—no exceptions. For campers who prefer to have a choice of what sports they have in their schedule, the two-week camp is a better option. Due to Covid-19 considerations, swim lesson activities will not be part of the daily schedule for either Blue Camp or Explorer Camp this summer,
Do you prorate camps?
No, that’s not something we can offer.
What are your cancellations, withdrawals, and transfer policies?
We accept transfer requests up to 30 days before the start of the session you are enrolled in. You can find more information about camp cancellations, withdrawals, and transfers here.
- Camp Pick-Up & Drop-Off Locations + Directions
Where do I drop my camper off for camp?
Explorer Camp (Strawberry Canyon Rec Area):
Campers may be dropped off in front of the Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area front gate. Parents may enter the parking lot on the right side (eastbound) of Centennial Drive, and will drive around a loop in the parking lot. Staff and Leadership Team members are in vests, and help campers safely get out of the car and into the Strawberry Canyon Rec Area (SCRA). Due to the limited parking at SCRA, you cannot park your car in front of the facility; we need to keep traffic flow going one way. Program Staff sign the camper into camp.
Blue Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex):
There are two drop-off points on the right side of Sports Lane where you can pull-over and let your camper out. First drop-off point is for Cubs (Ages 7-8) will be in front of the Blue Camp Office. Staff and Leadership Team members are in vests and help campers safely get out of the car and to the Softball Field. The second drop-off point is for Bears and Grizzlies and CILT’s (Ages 9 - 13) will be the Basketball/Tennis Courts. Staff and Leadership Team members are in vests and help campers safely get out of the car and into the Basketball/Tennis Courts. Due to the limited parking at Golden Bear, you cannot park your car on Sports Lane and we keep traffic flow going one way. All Blue Campers check in at their assigned group meeting location with their assigned activity leader. Program Staff sign the camper into camp.
Gymnastics Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex):
There is one drop-off point on the left side of Sports Lane in front of the Golden Bears Rec Center where you can pull-over and let your camper out. Staff and Leadership Team members are in vests, and help campers safely get out of the car and into the Golden Bears Rec Center. Due to the limited parking at Golden Bear, you cannot park your car on Sports Lane and we keep traffic flow going one way. Program Staff sign the camper into camp.
Skateboarding Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
Campers can be signed in by parents/guardians or can sign themselves in. There is one drop-off point on the right side of Sports Lane in front of the Skate Park where you can pull-over and let your camper out. Staff and Leadership Team members are in vests, and help campers safely get out of the car and into the Skate Park. Due to the limited parking at Golden Bear, you cannot park your car on Sports Lane and we keep traffic flow going one way.
Cal Adventures (UC Aquatics Center @ Berkeley Marina):
Parents/Guardians should arrive with their camper(s) fifteen (15) minutes early on the first day of each session to confirm your camper(s) registration, check/correct parent contact information and share important camper details with staff. All other days of the session, parents/guardians can have their camper sign themselves in at the registration table with staff.
Martial Arts Camp (Recreational Sports Facility):
Campers will be brought directly to the dojo located in the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) at 2301 Bancroft Way. Upon arrival, parents of the campers should sign the sign-in sheet for their child. Further directions will be provided prior to the start of camp.
- Camp Pick-Up & Drop-Off Policies
What is the camp late policy?
Explorer Camp (Strawberry Canyon Rec Area)
If a camper arrives after 9:05 a.m., you must ring the service bell located at the front gate to Strawberry Canyon Rec Area and wait for a staff member to sign your child in for the day.
Blue Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
If you need to drop campers off late, please pull into the parking spaces adjacent to the Blue Camp office. Walk your child to the service window, and a member of staff will sign your child in and escort them to their assigned group.
Gymnastics Camp (Golden Bears Rec Center)
If you need to drop campers off late, please inform us via GbGym@Berkeley.edu the day prior. If there is a last minute reason for being late, please call 510-642-5813 and inform us. When you arrive please pull over on Sports Lane in front of Golden Bears Rec Center, and a staff member will come out and sign your children in for the day.
Cal Adventures Camp
Cal Adventures campers in all camps except Rock Climbing should go directly to their respective activities at the UCAC if they are arriving later than either their 8:30 a.m. (sailing), or 9:00 a.m. (all others) start time. Campers arriving late may miss regularly scheduled activities due to tardiness.
Please walk with your camper to the climbing group in order to check the camper into the program with Cal Adventures staff. While the parks are small, we would not want any campers wandering around attempting to find the program.
Martial Arts Camp (Recreational Sports Facility)
If arriving late, please make sure to let us know as soon as possible and sure to sign the camper in upon arrival. You may email us at email@example.com.
Skateboarding Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
If you need to drop campers off late, please inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org the day prior. If there is a last minute reason for being late, please call 510-642-5813 and inform us. When you arrive please pull over next to the Skate Park, and a staff member will come out and sign your children in for the day.
What if my camper needs to leave early?
If your camper needs to leave camp before the end of his or her scheduled day, an authorized sign-out person must report to the camp office to sign the camper out. The authorized adult will then be given a ‘check-out pass’ and directions to walk to the camper’s activity to claim their camper.
Gymnastics Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
If needing early pick-up, please inform us via GbGym@Berkeley.edu the day prior. If there is a last minute reason for early pick up, please call 510-642-5813 and inform us. Please park in front of Golden Bears Rec Center, and we will have a staff member escort your child to you. We are unable to have your camper leave early after 2:45pm. They will need to participate in our traditional check out procedures.
Blue Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
If needing early pick-up, please inform us via email@example.com the day prior. If there is a last minute reason for early pick up, please call 510-643-2509 and inform us. Please pull into the parking spaces adjacent to the Blue Camp office, and we will have a staff member escort your child to you.
Skateboarding Camp (Golden Bears Rec Complex)
If needing early pick-up, please inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org the day prior. If there is a last minute reason for early pick up, please call 510-642-5813 and inform us. Please park in front of the Skate Park, and we will have a staff member escort your child to you.
Cal Adventures Camps
You can give permission for your child to leave early on his/her own. E-mail a note from the primary parent’s registered email to the camp email. Include the following on the note: 1) the camper’s name, 2) the time and date the camper needs to leave, and 3) permission for the camper to sign out himself or herself. The camper will be released on his/her own at that time.
Paddle Adventures Camp / Discovery Camp
Please note that camp curriculums will not be changed if your camper must be picked up early on any given day, it is your responsibility to pick your camper up (or arrange pick–up as noted above) from the specific location where the camp is taking place on that day. A schedule of the week’s planned activities and locations is distributed on Monday each week. You may also contact the Enrollment Center for location information.
Martial Arts Camp (Recreational Sports Facility)
Please inform us about the method in which your camper will be leaving prior to picking up your camper at email@example.com. The parent or camper must sign out before leaving. If someone else other than the parents is coming to pick up the child, let us know their name. Identification will be checked upon arrival.
What if I am running late to pick up my camper?
Please note the time that your camp(s) begins and ends. Next, please contact your specific camp office or the Enrollment Center once you know you are going to be late. We will stay with your camper until you arrive; we will never leave a camper unattended unless you have authorized your camper to sign-out and leave on their own.
If your camper is not picked up by the end of the check-out window (30 minutes after the end of the camp), your camper will be auto-enrolled into extended care for that camp, and your card on file will be charged. If you are late to pick your child up from extended-care, you will be charged $15 for every 15 minutes that your camper stays with us.
How do I get on a carpool list?
Carpool lists are not available for the 2021 camp season.
- A Day at Camp - Camper Groupings
How are camper groupings selected?
Camp Coordinators make group assignments up to one week before a camp session begins. Group assignments are based upon, but not limited to, the criteria listed below, which may vary depending upon the program. The camp retains the right to determine groupings based on the overall benefit of all the children in the camp and the overall organization of the camp:
- Age of campers
- Size of groups
- Friends (up to 2 per group)
- Camper to staff ratios as set by the camp
- Activity selections/track preference
- Special circumstances (e.g. special needs)
- Blue Cubs (track selection and camp length)
How are age groups broken up for campers with birthdays coming up this year?
This varies based on the camp program. Some programs have strict age limitations due to weight and size restrictions for activities. More information can be found on the individual camp pages:
Can my camper be grouped with friends?
For some camps, yes! Requests for grouping, e.g. group with a friend or request not to be grouped with another camper can be made at the time of initial registration (both online and on paper). Additionally, requests can be submitted to the Enrollment Center at: firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests must be submitted in writing at least one week prior to the start of camp. While every effort is made to accommodate all requests, grouping requests are not guaranteed and may not always be possible.
While we cannot guarantee placement in groups with friends, we will try our best to accommodate all requests. Please note, due to safety requirements on our equipment, our groups are based on age. All group requests must be submitted before the camp start date.
Campers are grouped on the day of the camp based on the above grouping criteria. While we cannot guarantee placement in groups with friends, we will try our best to accommodate all requests.
Every attempt will be made to schedule your camper in classes with his/her friend. Parents should be aware, however, that we take such factors as date of registration, activity preference list, sex, and group size into account and we are not always able to guarantee the same groups. Campers who want to be in class together should make sure they list the EXACT same activities in the same order at the time of registration. If it is absolutely essential that specific campers be grouped together, please submit a note to the Blue Camp Director. Campers on the one-week track are not grouped with campers on the two-week track.
Can one-week campers be grouped w/ campers enrolled in two-week sessions?
No. Campers enrolled in the one-week camps comprise their own group, or sets of groups, and do not interact with campers enrolled in the regular two-week sessions. One-week campers and two-week campers cannot be grouped together.
- A Day at Camp - Activities
How are activities for camp assigned?
Blue Camp - Cubs:
Cubs enrolled in two-week sessions have a choice of two activity tracks: Sports Track or Sports/Art Track. Cubs make their track selection at the time of registration. Activities and groups for both full-day and half-day campers are based on their track selection. Every attempt is made to offer a wide selection of activities, however individual activities cannot be selected by each camper, they are pre-assigned. Factors affecting our ability to offer specific sports are staff and facility availability. Campers who select the Sports Track are only scheduled into sports activities. Campers who select the Sports/Art track will get a combination of sports activities and one or two arts activities such as crafts, drama, dance, nature, etc. Morning Only Cubs and One Week Cubs are automatically in a Sports and Art Track.
Blue Camp - Bears & Grizzlies
At the time of registration, campers submit their 10 activity preferences by rank (from 1–highest priority to 10–lowest priority). Classes like archery are in high demand and not guaranteed. Campers are scheduled into three morning activities and all-day campers are also scheduled into three afternoon activities. Campers registered prior to April 1 are scheduled first. We use the 10 activity preferences as a guide. Campers pick up their session activity schedule at camper orientation or on the first day of each session. Every attempt is made to offer a wide selection of the sports and activities. Factors affecting our ability to offer specific sports are enrollment, staff, and facility availability. Swim lessons are an elective activity for the 2-week Blue Camp sessions. Swim lessons are not included in the 1-week Blue Camp sessions.
Explorer campers participate in pre-assigned activities that are a mixture of high-energy activities balanced with one or two creative, non-athletic recreation activities such as art, nature, music, or yoga. Explorer Campers do not have the option of choosing their activities. Activities are pre-assigned by the Camp Coordinator approximately one week prior to the beginning of each session. Swim lessons are part of the daily activities for Explorer Camp. Alternative activities can be requested. Class availability depends on staff expertise and availability. Every attempt is made to offer a wide selection of the sports and activities. Factors affecting our ability to offer specific sports are staff and facility availability.
Can I change my campers' activity preferences?
Groups and activities are scheduled before camp starts and group activities are set for the entire session. Campers may not change their assigned group on the first day of camp. If a camper has tried their schedule for a few days and is still unhappy, we will explore the possibility of a group change. However, group changes are reserved for extreme cases. We would like parents to bring us any issues relating to your camper’s schedule immediately. This allows us to talk with the instructors and group leaders about making any changes before we switch a camper to another group. Campers enrolled in Bears or Grizzlies are given an activity track option at the time of registration.
Group activities are scheduled before camp starts and are set for the entire session. Explorer campers receive a Rotation Activity Schedule on the first day of camp. We will do everything possible to ensure campers are happy with their assigned activities and groups, though we cannot guarantee schedule changes. If a child has tried his or her group and activity schedule for a couple of days and is still unhappy, we will explore a possible group change. However, this is reserved for extreme cases. We would like parents to bring any issues to our attention immediately. This allows us to talk with the instructors and group leaders to make any necessary changes before a grouping change is made.
- Preparing for Camp
Where are your camps located?
Our camps are located at various locations on and near the UC Berkeley Campus. Maps and directions to each location can be found here: Camp Locations.
What should campers bring to camp?
- Food: lunch and snacks. Campers can have snacks all day between their activities.
- Reusable Water Bottle: So children can have quicker and more frequent access to water.
- Sweatshirt or Jacket: with your child’s first and last names in it.
- Dress for active play and only wear closed-toed athletic shoes. No sandals, crocks, or flip flops.
- Backpack: Campers carry their belongings with them during the day so backpacks are ideal. This also means parents should remain mindful of the backpack’s weight.
All necessary sports equipment is provided by the camp, with the exception of Skate Camp. Skate Camp participants must bring their own board and protective gear to camp. NOTE: Explorer Campers have two official snack times, as opposed to older campers.
What should campers leave at home?
Please leave electronic games, iPods, and any other expensive or valuable items at home. We do not allow the playing of electronic games at camp. Cell phones may be brought, but cannot be used during camp. Any necessary phone calls and text messaging can be made at the camp office or on the cell phone with the permission and supervision of staff. This will help us ensure your child’s safety. We are not responsible for any items brought to, or lost at camp.
Do you provide lunch?
We do not provide lunch. All campers must bring their own lunch, snacks, and water bottles on a daily basis.
What do I need to do to send medication to camp?
All current medications and prescriptions must be detailed in the participant's CampDoc profile. Prescriptions must be uploaded into CampDoc. A Camp Medication Form must be filled out on site and maintained in the camp office, along with the actual prescription medication in a current prescription bottle. This policy extends to all medication including over the counter medicine.
Inhalers may be kept on the campers person, or held by a staff member. A current prescription must be uploaded into CampDoc. Additionally, a Camp Medication Form must also be filled out on site and maintained in the camp office.
What if my camper is absent?
Attendance is taken at the start of camp. Campers not in attendance at that time will be marked absent. It is not necessary to notify us in advance if your child will be absent from camp.
Please contact the Enrollment Center (510-643-2267) as soon as you know that your camper will not be attending camp. Some Cal Adventures camps involve travel off-site which can be delayed significantly if we are expecting your camper to arrive without being notified otherwise.
Please inform us via GbGym@Berkeley.edu if your camper will not be present for a day of camp.
No action is required on your part. The skate staff will take note of the absence.
If possible, please notify us of absences at least a day in advance at email@example.com.
- General Information
What happens to the lost and found?
Please label all items brought to camp in order to avoid confusion. Lost and Found items are donated to a local charity one week after each camp session ends (that’s five times during the summer). If you are going on vacation right after the end of camp, let us know so we can look for your lost items before they are donated.
What is your tax ID number?
94-6002123 for all camps.
- Swim Lessons
How do I schedule Semi-Private or Private swim lessons?
We do not schedule these lessons until early June when we have our hiring and staffing completed. A swim lesson coordinator will contact you to request your preference of days and times. Typically, private lessons are scheduled Monday - Thursday, 3:30p-6pm.
What public health guidelines are you adhering to for swim lessons?
COVID-19 & Swim Lessons
- CDC guidelines advise 1 person per 300sq. ft. of water. Strawberry Canyon pool is 9,000 sq.ft. The maximum capacity is 30 people in the water at a time. Class sizes have been reduced to maintain this threshold
- The pool will be divided into sections with ropes and buoys. Each lesson will have their own designated area.
- Staff will be provided with PPE
Are the swim lessons in Blue and Explorer Camp necessary? What if my camper doesn’t want to participate in them?
We are excited to announce that swim lessons will be provided to 2-week Blue Campers and Explorer Campers in the 2022 Cal Youth Camps season*. Swim Lessons are not offered for 1-week Blue Camp swim lessons. Swim lessons are part of the daily curriculum for Explorer Camp. However, arrangements can be made for an alternative activity.
*Subject to change, dependent on public health guidance.