Sign-ups Open for Summer Fun

(Courtesy Sherman Swim School)
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” Wait a minute – this energetic young swimmer is approaching warp speed in the warm water at Sherman Swim School in Lafayette, one of the many options for kids summer camps this year.

    Summertime fun is right around the corner. Use this camp guide to help kids in grades K-12 explore the possibilities. Review what’s offered online and sign up early; many sessions have limited openings and fill up fast. Some camps offer scholarships, discounts for early registration and siblings, and internships for teens.

General Camps

Orinda Parks & Recreation
    There are more than 125 options from June 1 to Aug. 7 for camps including visual/performing arts, science and sports. Access and/or download the Orinda Summer Camps Guide at Camps are M–F, $210 residents (R)/$241.50 nonresidents (NR) for morning (9 a.m. – noon) or afternoon (1 – 4 p.m.) sessions. Both morning and afternoon sessions are $420 R/$483 NR. If you choose the All Day Camp Orinda held at Orinda Community Center (only), the cost is $365 R/$419.75 NR for one week (M – F) including two all-expense paid field trips. Some camps have a materials fee collected at registration.

(Courtesy Parks and Rec)
At Orinda Parks and Rec.’s Incrediflix class, campers bring Lego worlds to life. Working together in groups, they create a “Lego set” with Lego characters, designing storyboards, filming and adding voice-overs. Voila! A stop-motion movie is the result.

Camp Brainy Bunch
    Located on the Orinda Academy campus, weeklong camps serve children in first to sixth grade June 8 – Aug. 7. All Camps Summer Pass available. Sign up for eight different camps including Exciting Explorers, Extraordinary Engineers and Daring Detectives. Sibling and multiple week discounts. Extended care available 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call and/or check website for details and registration. For more information: 510-548-4800,

Camp Galileo and Galilo Summer Quest
    Galileo combines a mindset-shaping, innovation-based approach with wacky, summertime fun. All camps run June 8 – July 24 at Lafayette Elementary School. Pre-K to fifth graders experience Camp Galileo, three fun themes exploring art, science, and outdoors through new themes like Toy Makers, Olympics, and National Parks. Fifth- to eighth-graders dive into a specialty through Galileo Summer Quest, including Go-Karts, YouTube Producers, Decadent Desserts, 3D Modeling and Printing and Drone Innovators. Seventh- to tenth-graders can join a Counselor-In-Training program to build leadership and teaching skills.  Optional extended care and lunch available. Camps held at 10 East Bay locations. For more information: 800-854-3684,

Visual, Performing and Digital Arts Camps

Academy of Language & Music Arts (ALMA)
    This camp offers a create-your-own program featuring private lessons in music, including guitar, piano, voice, strings, wind instruments, and percussion. Also available are private and small-group lessons in many foreign languages and English as a second language.
    Special summer group classes include Guitar Ensemble, Rock Guitar Combo, Band Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Theory and Musicianship (all instruments), Strings Ensemble, Percussion/Drum Clinic, and Vocal Ensemble/ALMA Glee Club. Other classes include: Acting up at ALMA, theater, acting and presentation skills, and Music Technology Class, basic studio recording techniques, creating and recording songs. For details, call 925-254-5056 or 925-254-5053, email or visit

Camp Community Arts
    Campers explore a range of mediums such as visual (painting, drawing, clay, mixed media, fiber arts), digital media (animation, digital music, graphic arts), and performing arts (theatre, dance, music, voice). Professional teaching artists bring their expertise and innovative ideas to camp experiences. All camps take place in Walnut Creek and include half-day, full-day, morning care and afternoon care options. Four 2-week sessions from June 15- Aug. 7. Open to campers ages 5-14.
    Campers spend the morning exploring a mix of mediums. Full-day campers choose an afternoon discipline-focused track (visual, performing, or mixed). They also go on field trips and participate in special activities twice a week. New intensives added for ages 11-14 in digital media, painting and drawing, and performance. Early-bird rates if registered before April 1. For more information: 925-943-5846,

iD Tech
    This is the 22nd season St. Mary’s College has hosted week-long tech camps that run M – F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 15 to July 24. Choose from 25 different classes from four paths: coding, game development, robotics or creative. Camps are divided into co-ed age groups 7 – 9, 10 – 12 and 13 – 17.
    Camps include Code and Design Games with Scratch; Create Videos and Shorts with Adobe; YouTube Gamecasting and Video Production; Coding and Engineering 101; Intro to Python Coding for Machine Learning and Java Coding and Game Development. Project oriented camps give a taste of independence and glimpse into collegiate life. See website for dates, cost and registration. Scholarships available; applications must be submitted by noon April 15. For details, call 408-871-3700 or go to

Joy In Motion
    The summer session will be announced in April; check website for dates. They offer various dance classes for ages 3 to teenage including: 3-to-4-day classes for beginners and experienced dancers; 3-to-5-day fun theme camps with dance, games, and crafts; choreography workshops to learn the art-making of dance; boot camp classes; and technique intensives. Call 925-388-0668, go to or email

Orinda Ballet Academy
    Led and taught by world-class professional ballet dancer Patricia Tomlinson, Orinda Ballet Academy offers a summer Sleeping Beauty themed ballet camp and/or intensive. Classes are Mon. – Fri. for beginning through advance level dancers at the Orinda Community Center, June 29 – July 31.
    Camps/intensives are divided between divisions for students age 3 to18. On July 31 students will demonstrate excerpts from Sleeping Beauty. Contemporary, private ballet lessons and Pilates reformer lessons are also available. For more information: 925-254-2445,

Orinda Parks & Recreation
    Visual and performing arts camps are offered throughout the summer and are listed in the Orinda Summer Camps Guide which can be accessed at Visual and performing arts camp descriptions are on pages 14-19. They run in 10 week-long sessions June 1 to Aug. 7. Call 925-254-2445 or go to

SingOut! Musical Theatre
    Rachael Pergamit offers award-winning youth musical theater programs for kids age 4–18 at Diablo Theatre Company. Rehearsals and performances are at the Starlight Dance Studios and Theater, 6648 Alhambra Ave. #B, Martinez.
    Triple Threat Workshop, June 8-26, M-F, 9 a.m. to noon. This three-week intensive pushes incoming sixth graders to graduating seniors to hone acting, singing and dancing skills. At the end of the intensive, students receive a DVD of their performances.
    Session 1: Alice in Wonderland Jr program is offered June 8-26, M–F 1 to 4 p.m. for kids age 8 – 14; Jr. Minis runs 2:30 – 4 p.m. for ages 4 – 7. Session 2: Wizard of Oz Main Cast (ages 8 – 14) is offered 1 to 4 p.m. and for Minis (age 4 – 7) from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
    Session 1 performances are June 25-26 at 4 and 7 p.m. Session 2 performance are July 23–24 at 4 and 7 p.m. Cast members will learn songs, dances and scenes and receive a T-shirt. Visit website for details and high school intern options. Call 925-944-1565, email or go to

Town Hall Theatre Company
    Youth in second grade through high school receive a mix of training and production-based classes in live theater. Theater camps run June 8-26 and July 13-3. Depending on the child’s age, they could participate in several selections of live theater performances. Check website for classes, times, cost and production details. Aftercare available. For more information, call 925-283-6673, email or go to

(Courtesy Lindsay Wildlife Museum)
Campers at Lindsay Wildlife Experience are mesmerized by the prospect of touching a live turtle.

School-Related Camps

Bentley Summer Academy
    First- through twelfth grade students can sign up for week-long camps in Lafayette June 15–Aug. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; early drop off/late pickup options. More than 45 choices spread over three age groups are available such as: dance academy, photographer bootcamp, speech and debate, amped physics/rockets and basketball, high school prep and college essay options. Call 925-283-2101, email or go to

Fountainhead Montessori School
    Discovery Camp is an Orinda Montessori-based summer camp and summer school designed for children in two age groups: 18 mos. to kindergarten and ages 5 to 12. Camps run June 14 to Aug. 11. Before and aftercare available. For more information, call 925-820-1343 or go to

Seedlings Summer Program
    Seedlings offers a six-week summer program at Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church for children age 15 months (and walking by June 29) to five year olds (by 6/29) for currently enrolled families. Activities include magic and puppet shows, music, animal visitors, science experiments and water slides. Session One runs June 8 – June 25 and Session Two runs July 6 – July 23. Community registration day is 10 a.m. March 19. For questions, contact Kathy LaPlante at or or visit

The Saklan School
    Summer@Saklan provides culture, language and fun for ages in two groups: 3–5 and 6–11. From June 8 – Aug. 7 mornings are filled with language enrichment including Mandarin, French, Japanese or Spanish. Afternoons are packed with summer activities including field trips, swimming, art and music. Three one-week sessions 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., half days and extended care available. For more information or to register, call 925-376-7900 or go to

Sports-Related Camps

Orinda Parks & Recreation
    Sports camps are offered throughout the summer and are listed in the Orinda Summer Camps Guide which can be accessed at Descriptions of sports camps are on pages 20 – 21. They run in 10 week-long sessions June 1 to Aug. 7.

Oakland Strokes
    Learn how to row and what real teamwork is all about. OS is a 19-time national champion. Learn to row camps are for middle school rowers of all abilities and for high school rowers who have never rowed before. Summer racing camps are for rowers with at least one year of high school rowing experience. Summer programs are open to athletes outside the OS school year programs. Camps are held at San Pablo Dam Reservoir in Orinda and Tidewater Aquatic Center in Oakland. Check website for dates, details, discounts and registration:, 510-926-4100,

Saint Mary’s Athletic Camps
    Camps are for children 4-18 and run June 8 – Aug. 14. Overnight, day, half-day, team and specialty men’s and women’s camps include all sport, baseball, Randy Bennett basketball, running, soccer, tennis, strength and conditioning and volleyball. There are five co-ed camps.
    Athletes can expect to participate in daily competitions, conditioning, skill development and other activities. Residential camps are for high school students only. See website for details regarding specific camps including dates, times, prices and descriptions. Early morning and extended care options available. Call 925-631-4386, email or go to

Sherman Swim School
    Celebrating 60 years in Lafayette, the school offers year-round swimming and diving lessons in a warm, protected environment for ages 9 mos. to adult. The instructors have received extensive in-water training. Spring and summer sessions run 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. April 20 – Sept. 4. Sessions are 3 or 4 weeks long, Mon. through Fri. for one, two or three days per week. Private swim lessons are 15 to 30 minutes; small group dive lessons are 30 or 60 minutes. The facility is available for birthday parties. Check website for schedule and registration forms at or call 925-283-2100.

Sleepy Hollow Swim & Tennis Club
    Private recreational facility; inquire regarding membership. Legendland is a supervised drop-off day camp for kids aged 5–9 and runs for eight weeks. Summer Tennis Camp runs mid-June through early August. Call for details at 925-254-1126, email or visit

(Contributed photo)
Campers in grades 2 to 10 can learn the basics of flat water canoeing on the serene waters of the Lafayette Reservoir at Roughing It Day Camp. Places too far to reach by rowboat are open for exploration by canoe. This includes small hidden coves that require dedicated teamwork and skill to reach.

Outdoor Recreation and Nature Camps

Lindsay Wildlife Museum
    Eight camp sessions for kids age 4 to 10 with a camper-to-counselor ratio of 4:1 and a maximum class size of 20. Kids experience wildlife adventures with live animals, songs, games, activities and art projects. They can explore exhibits, outdoor gardens and adjacent Larkey Park in Walnut Creek. Camps run Mon. – Fri. June 8 – Aug. 7. Nut-free and vegetarian-friendly snacks are included for all camps. Aftercare available. Call 925-935-1978 or go to

Roughing It Day Camp
    Roughing It Day Camp is at the Lafayette Reservoir where kids learn new outdoor skills. Campers aged 4–16 spend the summer from June 8 – Aug. 14 with the same age group to build camaraderie and community. Camp includes 50 activities with instruction for all ages and abilities in swimming, waterfront (fishing, rowing canoeing, kayaking), horseback riding, sports, crafts, nature exploration, outdoor living skills, cooking, and team building. Free extended care and free transportation included. Go to or call 925-283-3795.

Zoo Camp
    The Oakland Zoo is renowned for creating age-appropriate options for campers in grades pre-K to high school. There is also a multi-grade nature exploration class. Camp sessions are one week each and run June 22 to Aug. 14. Campers learn about nature and animals through games and songs, creating and making, discovery hikes, science activities and up-close time learning about their more than 660 native and exotic animals.
    Full summer camp schedule and registration are available on the website. Extended before and after care available. Half-day camps are 9 a.m.-noon; full-day camps are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. No camps July 4. See website for details. Discount pricing for zoo members. Three-week high school teen assistant camps for grades 9–12. Programs held rain or shine. Member registration opens March 10; non-member registration opens March 17. Call 510-632-9525 x280 (Zoo Camp hotline), email or go to

(Courtesy Parks & Rec)
Legos are a timeless joy for young children. This boy is busy constructing his own colorful Lego world at Orinda Parks and Rec.’s summer camp.

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