Canoeing is just one camp activity.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES CYO CAMP/COURTESY PHOTO
From campfires to robotics, summer camps have it all
Summer camps and programs have changed a lot in the past 32 years the Oakland-Piedmont branch of the AAUW has been holding its annual summer camp and programs fair.
A staple on Bay Area parents' calendars for decades, the daylong event in early March at the Scottish Rite Temple brings together representatives of about 50 summer camps and programs under one roof.
And that's important.
"We consider it a public service," said Judy McCord, chapter president. "Mom and kid get to meet camp staff."
For the parent, it's an opportunity, she said, "to look 'em in the eye" as the parent evaluates whether the director is "responsible to be entrusted with their child."
For the child, it's a chance to see the people they might be seeing in the summer, and test the fun factor of the camp offerings.
The summer landscape has changed as well. Three decades ago, the options were mostly "typical recreational programs or day camp," McCord said. Today, specialty camps, including robotics, computers and web, are drawing much of the summer attention.
In evaluating camps, parents can also check their credentials. "One thing that's an important factor is to see if they belong to the American Camp Association," McCord said.
The 100-year-old group, once known as the American Camping Association, accredits more than 2,400 camps nationwide. The organization says it works with its members to provide camp communities committed to a safe, nurturing environment led by caring, competent adult role models. Camps also provide discovery, experiential education, and learning opportunities, as well as opportunities for leadership and growth.
Among its members locally is CYO Camp and Retreat Center in Occidental, operated by Catholic Charities CYO of San Francisco, which offers campers ages 7 to 17 summer days filled with swimming, team building games, canoeing, nature hikes, campfires — and no personal electronics — on a 216-acre site.
The camp invites potential campers and their families to its annual CYO Summer Camp open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26. Parents and campers will meet CYO Camp staff and tour the camp. Lunch will be served, pools will be open and camp activities will be available. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-874-0200.
The first session opens June 22, and the last session of the summer ends Aug. 1.
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