After several months of sheltering in place, working from home and distance learning, Bay Area families have been given one piece of good news as the school year approaches an end: Summer camp is happening.
San Francisco city officials announced last week that city-run programs and private day camps for children ages 6 to 17 can reopen on June 15 and run through Aug. 17, if they meet the following criteria: programs last a minimum of three weeks to reduce comingling of children, and a maximum of 12 campers per session. Marin County has also said that summer camps can reopen June 1, with conditions similar to San Francisco’s guidelines.
As parents rush to figure out the options, many summer camps around the Bay Area are still in the process of figuring out how to adjust their programming to comply with local directives for in-person sessions, or whether to take their programs online.
Managing this transition is critical to many programs’ survival. One popular camp, which had 45,000 children enrolled in its 70 camps in California, Colorado and Illinois, has already gone bankrupt.
The mandate for three-week-long sessions appears to be delaying some in-person camps from opening registration, as they figure out how to reconfigure schedules previously set up to offer one-week sessions. Several operations that have one-week programs listed on their schedule reported they are at work on that, while others have yet to respond to Chronicle inquiries as to how the scheduling might be changed.
Another challenge: finding the space for in-person camps to operate, with so many places usually rented out still shut down.
“We can’t possibly accommodate even half of the requests we received,” said Auritte Cohen-Ross, founder of San Francisco science academy Celsius and Beyond. “Parents are desperate for a summer program for their kids. While many camps chose to close down, these that remain open are losing the little space there was. It’s a real problem.”
Here is a selection of summer camps that have stated they are, or will be, registering for enrollment for in-person or online sessions. The list will be updated with new information as it is released. All information is subject to change, based on developing local health directives.
San Francisco Recreation & Parks
The city has opened registration for its summer day camps for families enrolled in the Emergency Child Care program and families eligible for scholarships. Registration opens to the rest of the public on June 6.
Location: At recreation centers and locations across the city.
Length: Sessions run 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning June 15. Each session lasts three weeks.
Age group: Programs available for ages 5 through 14.
Details: 415-831-2700 or sfrecpark.org/406/Recreation-Programs.
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
The JCCSF is working on finalizing its plans for summer camp with the new guidelines. Camps will run from July 6 through Aug. 14 and each session will have a maximum of 12 kids and a minimum of two staffers. Campers will participate in a variety of STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), hands-on activities and spend plenty of time outside. Grades 6 through 8 will focus on musical theater. Current camp registrations will be canceled, but those individuals receive priority access for the adjusted camp sessions. Children with asthma, a heart condition, diabetes or other conditions in the CDC’s vulnerable category will not be allowed to participate.
Location: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco.
Length: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The length of each session is three weeks.
Age groups: Sessions available for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades, 3rd grade, 4th and 5th grades, and 6th through 8th grades.
Details: 415-292-1200 or www.jccsf.org/youth-family/camp/summer-camp.
Celsius and Beyond
Registration is open for the in-person San Francisco summer camps with restrictions, including limiting sessions to 10 students, regular disinfection of hands and objects, separation of groups and requiring children to wear masks while indoors working in pairs. The company offers 15 camps, including Surgery Camp, Metalsmith Superheroes and Think Neuroscience!
Locations: Dr. William L. Cobb School, 2725 California St., San Francisco. Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco.
Length: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Camps are a week long. Extended care options are available.
Age group: Programs available for 1st through 9th grades.
Cost: $499-$545 per week. Discounts offered for siblings.
Details: 415-221-6161 or celsiusandbeyond.com.
The yoga and dance studio is offering two summer camp sessions that feature dance, acrobatics, theater, arts and crafts, and yoga. Each of the three instructors will teach a “pod” of up to 12 children during each session that will include indoor studio and stage spaces, as well as outdoor activities.
Location: 399 San Fernando Way, San Francisco.
Length: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Session A is June 15-July 2 and Session B is July 6-24. Camps last three weeks.
Age group: For ages 5-10 years old.
Cost: $1,400-$1,500 per session.
The coding and LEGO engineering camps are a Bay Area favorite offering online daily programs, most with two instructors and 20 students max. Kids join Zoom camp sessions and take part in activities, projects and team-building exercises. Online LEGO camps are also available. All June on-site camps are replaced with online camps. Some July and August in-person camps are still scheduled to run. Contact the organization for the most recent information.
Location: Online in June. On-site camps take place across the Bay Area.
Length: 3- or 6-hour daily programs, Monday through Friday. Camps are one week long.
Age group: Programs available for ages 5-16.
Cost: $200 per session.
Details: 650-638-0500, techknowhowkids.com.
Art School of San Francisco Bay
Creative kids of all ages can find different types of classes at the art school, which features three locations. Some of the offerings include Painting Nature, World of Illustration and Manga. In-studio classes will have a maximum of 10 students. Teachers and students 12 years and older must wear face masks, while face shields will be provided for younger students. Parents must drop students outside of the studios and students should bring their own lunches.
Locations: 2424 Clement St., San Francisco. 2105 Old Middlefield Way (#D), Mountain View. 700 Winchester Blvd. (#15), San Jose.
Length: 9 a.m.-noon or 12:30-3:30 p.m. for half-day sessions, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for full-day sessions. Camps last three weeks.
Age group: Camps available for age groups 6-10, 8-12 and 10-16.
Cost: $600 for half-day session, $960 for full-day session.
Sacred Heart Summer Institute
(Some courses full; wait list available)
Registration is now open for the Summer Institute, offering distance-learning enrichment courses for kids entering 5th to 9th grades. Courses include creative writing, journalism, outdoor education and robotics. Note that many of the courses are full, and a wait list is available.
Length: 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Camps are a week long.
Age groups: Programs available for 5th-6th grades and 7th-9th grades.
Cost: $150 per course: Some programs may have extra fees for supplies.
Details: 415-775-6626 pr shcp.edu/summer.
UC Berkeley Young Writers Camps
(Sold out; wait list available)
If you have a budding scribe at home, then you’ll want to check out this remote writing program from the university’s Bay Area Writing Project. The camp offers 10 courses, such as Splendid Beasts: Short Stories From Our Interactions with Animals, and Having Fun with Fundamentals: Argument and Persuasive Writing. All classes are sold out, but you can get on the waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Length: 9 a.m.-noon, Monday through Friday. Camps are a week long.
Age group: Sessions available for 5th through 8th grades.
Cost: $250 for one course.
The artistic camp has been shifted to online-only summer camps, offering instruction in beading, painting, sewing, art and textiles classes for kids of all ages. Classes are limited to 10 students to one teacher, and materials are sent directly to participants’ homes.
Length: Classes generally last one hour, Monday through Friday. Each camp is one week long.
Age group: Classes for pre-K through teen.
Cost: $149 per session.
EDMO Live! Camps
Based in San Leandro, the camp uses STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and SEL (Social Emotional Learning) hands-on educational programs.
Length: Classes offered 9:30 a.m.-noon or 1-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Camps are one week long.
Age group: Programs available for pre-K through 8th grade.
Cost: $150 per session. Additional discounts are available.
Kellie Hwang is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com