Best Summer Ever!
Outrageous fun and tremendous growth—that’s what awaits you at Y Camp. At the Y, we believe children discover themselves through interactions with others and the freedom to explore. Y Camp immerses children in a community where making friends is natural, exploring new interests is encouraged, and discovering inner strength is guaranteed. Camp provides a space where children begin to gain independence and test their wings in a safe, nurturing environment.
Every child deserves the Y Camp experience and no child is turned away for financial reasons!
Find out if you qualify for financial assistance here.
Younger Campers (Entering Grades 1-5)
Grades: Entering 1 - 5
Come and join YMCA Camp Jones Gulch for the day. Participate in all of our regular camp activities such as archery, canoeing, corral rides and more! Day Camp is offered Monday - Thursday from 9:30am - 4:30pm for campers who wish to go home each night.
Grades: Entering 1 - 3
Mini Camp offers a short sleep-away experience for younger and first-time campers who want to connect to nature and try many of the fun activities of resident camp in the beautiful redwoods. Drop off is on Sunday and pickup is on Wednesday. With the focus on having FUN and meeting new friends, we’ll keep your campers busy and give them the opportunity to try new things and meet new people.
Overnight and Specialty Camps (Entering Grades 3-10)
Traditional Overnight Camp
Grades: Entering 3 - 10
This program is packed full of fun activities with plenty of time for making new friendships. With attentive and well-trained staff, campers will enjoy participating in all camp has to offer including swimming, archery, canoeing, climbing the rock wall, shooting down the zip line, arts & crafts, guided hikes, campfires, sports, campouts, and so much more. Weeks are themed so campers can immerse themselves in their love of pirates, myths & legends, and more.
Overnight Coastal Camp
Grades: Entering grades 3 - 10
Join us for this new addition to our overnight camping menu! During this week, we will be staying in the beautiful marshlands of the Marin Headlands at our sister camp, YMCA Point Bonita. Activities include archery, fort tag, visits to the lighthouse, the beach, the Marine Mammal Center, and a field trip to kayak in the Bay.
Grades: Entering grades 4 - 11
Learn how to ride or improve your current riding skills. This week focuses on Western Riding and includes group riding lessons, basic horse-care and grooming. Riders will help take care of the horses, go out on trail rides, and participate in general camp activities such as canoeing, zip-lining, and climbing the rock wall. Beginners welcome! There are different sessions for different age groups. See Calendar and Registration form for specifics.
Teen Leadership Programs (Grades 6+)
Leaders in Service
Entering Grades 8 - 11
In this all new program, teens develop leadership skills while working with their peers. Participants bond over low and high ropes course elements, learn various leadership styles, and work together to complete a service project to benefit camp. Upon completion of the program, campers are awarded 40 community service hours.
Counselor in Training I (CIT I)
Age: 15 (as of June 1, 2020)
Formerly known as Leaders in Training, Counselor in Training I helps 15-year-old campers develop into responsible leaders at camp and in their communities. CIT I participants enjoy traditional camp activities, learn leadership theory, conquer team building challenges, and complete at least one large service project.
Counselor in Training II (CIT II)
Age: 16 (as of June 1, 2020)
Counselor in Training II (CIT II) is for 16 year old campers who wish to be a camp counselor some day. CIT IIs participate in a mini-staff training and then spend their second week working directly with our counselors in a cabin full of younger campers. As part of the enrollment process, campers will be interviewed prior to arrival. YMCA Staff will reach out to schedule your interview in May or June.
Wrangler in Training
Age: 16 (as of June 1, 2020)
Similar to our CIT II program, WITs participate in a minim staff training their first week, but they also learn horse-care skills. During their second week, WITs work directly with counselors in a cabin of our horse campers and help teach their campers horse-care and riding techniques.
Age: 16 - 17 (as of July 13, 2020)
Junior Lifeguards learn the knowledge and skills necessary to be a lifeguard and professional rescuer. Campers may obtain certification in American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) courses: CPR, Basic First Aid, and Emergency Oxygen Administration. Participants can garner more experience in and around water, or take the exam to become certified. Participants must know how to swim. Contact us to learn more about the swim ability requirements.
Age: 17 (as of June 1, 2020)
Junior Counselor, the final step prior to becoming camp counselors, is a volunteer position for 17 year-olds. Junior counselors go through a 1-week training course alongside camp staff, and then volunteer in cabin during a 2-week session over the course of the summer. To apply, please go www.ymcasf.org/campjobs and follow the instructions. No registration form is necessary to be a volunteer. All applicants will go through an interview process to determine acceptance into this competitive program.
Outdoor Advanced Leadership Academy (OALA)
Entering Grades 6 - 10
During this six-day overnight camp hosted by the Point Bonita YMCA, students entering 6th-10th grades learn what it takes to become the leaders of the next generation of environmental activism. Campers participate in a variety of outdoor activities designed to stimulate their bodies and minds by getting them out into nature and discussing the environment, conservationism, and personal agency. Activities include kayaking, ropes course challenges, star gazing, bird counts, group research projects, and challenge hikes.
Youth wishing to take part in the program must complete an application and submit it by February 15, 2020. Notification of acceptance into the program will be made by March 1, 2020.
Teen Adventure Trips (Entering Grades 7-11)
Join us for a week of adventure in one of our many adventure programs designed specifically for teens. The teens become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group on trips that push beyond the borders of Camp Jones Gulch. These programs allow teens to explore the natural environment, test their boundaries, and have fun! These sessions fill up quickly so register soon to reserve a space in this popular program. Sessions include:
Rock Climbing Specialty
- Surf Camp
- White Water Rafting
- Santa Cruz Mountains Adventure
- Lake Tahoe Expedition
- Yosemite Rock Climbing
- Super Camp
BOLD & GOLD (Boys & Girls Outdoor Leadership Development)
Grades: Entering 7 - 12 (Max age: 17)
Through outdoor adventures and wilderness experiences, the BOLD & GOLD program inspires courage and multi-cultural leadership in diverse groups of boys and girls ages 11-18 years old. The challenge, glory, and beauty of the wilderness come together on our exciting adventures, which range from six to ten day expeditions. Campers explore the backcountry of a beautiful national or state park, all while carrying everything they need on their back, learning backpacking skills, and staying at campsites with primitive facilities. Sessions include:
BOLD & GOLD - Boys/Girls Outdoor Leadership Development:
- Introduction to Backpacking
- Henry Coe State Park
- Point Reyes Expedition
- Desolation Wilderness of Lake Tahoe
- Yosemite Backpacking
- Big Basin, Skyline-to-Sea Backpacking
The camp store is available for campers to purchase sweatshirts, T-shirts, stuffed animals, trinkets and other souvenirs. The campers are not permitted to use cash at the store; instead, parents may purchase points that can be used from their Camp Store account, usually 20-35 points per one-week session.
Camp Store points do not have any cash value and are non-refundable if unused at the end of the session. All campers will be given the opportunity to use all Camp Store points prior to leaving the site.
There is no camp store available during sessions 2 & 6.
Teen Adventure & BOLD & GOLD Camps have no access to the store, as they will be off-site for most of their session.
Points may be purchased as part of the registration process for camp sessions. If more points are required, you can purchase them using the link below.
Transportation To/From Camp
The YMCA charters buses to provide transportation to camp. You must register for the bus at a cost of $45 one way. Camp Staff will be on board each bus to supervise campers. Before each trip, a counselor will explain the safety rules, such as staying seated, and keeping noise down. Please keep campers in a designated, safe area in the parking lot until they have been properly checked in. If your child misses the bus, it is your responsibility to get your child to camp. The winding mountain roads can cause motion sickness in some campers. Please try to avoid large heavy meals and consider using a motion sickness medication prior to the trip.
There is no transportation for sessions 2 & 6, and no drop off on August 7. BOLD & GOLD trips often have different pick-up and drop-off locations. Those programs will have information emailed to the families specific to each trip and should purchase transportation only when advised by the trip leader.
Pickup locations include:
To/From San Francisco/Peninsula
Stonestown Family YMCA
Sunday Departure: 1:15pm
E M Downer Family YMCA
Sunday Departure: 12:45pm
Peninsula Family YMCA
Sunday Departure: 2:15pm
Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Sunday Departure: 1:30pm
*Note: For Session 1, Camp ends on Thursday, June 20th. For this session, the same arrival times apply, but pickup will be on Thursday instead of Friday.
REGISTER FOR San Francisco / Peninsula
REGISTER FOR Richmond / East Bay