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YMCA, Outpost, Camp Kroc, Camp Stevens, Camp Kesem

Outdoors and activities

Camp Kesem: Expect lots of singing and dancing.
  • Camp Kesem: Expect lots of singing and dancing.

YMCA Raintree Ranch

  • 2315 Frisius Drive
  • Julian

YMCA Raintree Ranch, located in the mountains of Julian, offers weeklong overnight camps for kids age 9 through 16, filled with horses, swimming, canoeing, archery, hikes, and campfires. The ranch, which was established in 1844 and bought by the YMCA in 1968 has forty horses on site for the camp. Half of each day is spent on arena lessons, ground classes, and trail rides through the 230 acres. Campers also learn about caring for horses with ranch chores and grooming of the animals. The camp runs from Sunday through Friday culminating in a horse show for the parents. Pricing is on a voluntary three-tiered system running from $652 to $825. YMCA members save 10 percent.

Outpost Summer Camp

  • Canyonside Community Park
  • 12350 Black Mountain Road
  • Rancho Peñasquitos

This camp is situated entirely outdoors, next to Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. Founded in 2001, it’s “‘group-centered camping’” in which “the focus is on creating an environment in which each camper feels like he or she belongs to the group,” this camp is all about being unplugged and outside. Parents will be thrilled with the door-to-door transportation offered for the 9:00 am to 4:00 pm camp. Extended hours option available. With free play in outdoor tree forts, this camp is designed to bring the campers back in touch with nature. Swimming is offered each day at Mt. Carmel High School Pool. Camp days end with a campfire which entails songs, skits, and group high spirits. The day camps are offered in three-week sessions: Session 1 from June 18 through July 6; Session 2 from July 9 through July 27; and Session 3 from July 30 through August 17. Campers, grades 1 through 5, keep the continuity with the same peer group and counselor for all three weeks. Other options are 5-day weeks, 3-day weeks or 2-day weeks. Pricing runs from $485 up to $1270 depending on how many days a week. The camp also offers a Senior Outpost for kids in grades 6 to 9, with hiking, tandem kayaking, and a High Rope Course. Prices for the Senior Outpost run $1390 to $1480.

Camp Kroc

  • 6845 University Avenue
  • Rolando Park

The Salvation Army Kroc Center is offering 23 different camps this summer. Five-day camps run from 8 am to 4 pm and include lunch and a snack. The camps are broken into sections. Kroc Adventures, geared towards kids age 6 to 14, is a traditional day camp, divided into age-appropriate groups. Activities includes swimming, sports, ice-skating, and crafts. Fee: members $180, guess $195. The Pee Wee camp is for kids age 4 to 5, and includes the above mentioned activities but with a closer counselor-to-camper ratio. Fee: members $190, guests $205. The Spiritual Discovery section is aimed at kids age 7 to 14. Kids can choose from camps that have a spiritual dimension, such as Raise and Praise music camp or the Christian Athlete camp. Fee: members $170, guests $185. In the latter, campers try their hands at baseball, dodge ball, basketball, flag football, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee, just to name a few. Fee: members $190, guests $205. Lastly, The Kroc offers a smattering of specialty camps such as Cinematography or Culinary Boot Camp. Fee: members $210- $245, guests $225-$260. June 18 -August 24.

The Cameron YMCA

  • 10123 Riverwalk Drive
  • Santee

Have your kids spend their days at a five-day camp that offers the use of top-notch gymnastics and swimming facilities. Campers can flip into the foam pit or slip down one of the waterslides. The Cameron YMCA Swim and Gym Camp offers half- and full-day sessions that make use of both gym and pool, and are designed for kids K-13. Campers are divided into age-appropriate groups, and besides gym and pool time, the camp offers instruction and participation in a different sport each day. They provide a snack each day, and eight of the nine sessions will include lunch at no extra cost. Half-day camps run from 9 am to 1 pm, full-day camps from 6 am to 7 pm. Fee for half-day camp: members $135, guests $159. Full-day camp: members $207, guests $243. June 13- August 20.

Camp Stevens

  • 1108 Banner Road
  • Julian

The 256 acres of Camp Stevens make for excellent meadow exploring and animal tracking during their weeklong overnight summer camps.“Rooted in the Episcopal Church and our natural world…” this summer camp offers hiking, swimming, team-building challenges, archery, gardening, arts and crafts and games. Campers sleep in open air cabins and the site has an organic garden, orchard, with wildlife visitors like turkeys and deer. Sessions run July 1 through August 11, Sundays through Saturdays for campers ages 7 through 16 and payment is on a three-tiered system from $270 to $730. For the more adventurous camper, Camp Stevens offers Wilderness Adventure Trips with weeks for rock climbing, sea kayaking at Catalina Island, and a “Sand to Sea” week with adventures in the desert to the ocean. These camps run Sundays through Fridays from June 24 through August 4 and are for teens ages 13 to 18. Pricing for the Wilderness Adventure Trips also is on a tiered system from $670 to $770.

Camp Kesem

  • 22801 Big Pine Highway
  • Teresita Pines

Camp Kesem is a free, seven-day overnight summer camp designed to support kids through and beyond their parents’ cancer. While there is a professional staff present, such as nurses and mental health caregivers, the staff is composed mainly of UCSD student leaders, so expect lots of singing and dancing. Kids take part in activities in small groups. Morning activities include ropes courses, crafts, sports, and adventures-in-nature activities. Then rest and cabin time, to get ready for afternoon activities such as swimming and chalk dust wars. After dinner, the whole camp gets together for an activity such as a talent show or giant game of capture the flag. Day ends with cabin chat: kids are free to speak about how the day was or experiences at home. Mid-week, kids attend an empowerment session where they acknowledge why they’re there and get a chance to share their stories. June 30 – July 6 and August 5-11.

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