Call of the Wild Camps

* Summer Camp 

* Fall Camp

* Winter Camp

* Spring Camp 

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Hike, read, write, play

Camps for young trail Blazers,
curious naturalists, and budding writers  in forests of the East Bay! 

Winter Camp 2022 registration is open!

Does your child love animals and learning on outdoor adventures, not just from home on screens? We hear the call of the wild! K-5th graders explore, hike, play, and learn in the forests in East Bay outdoor camps. Nature camps are 100% outdoors. Oakland camps and Berkeley camps have eight to ten children in stable weekly groups for COVID-19 health and safety. Kids take a breath of fresh air away from screens, spark a love of nature, develop literacy across genres, read and write wilderness adventure stories and exciting accounts of animals and people in the great outdoors, make new friends, and more!

At Inspire, we believe in learning by doing, so lessons are relevant to the learner's environment, engaging the whole child - head, heart, and body. Berkeley nature camps and Oakland nature camps are a mix of education and recreation. We combine:

  • Biology and language arts enrichment

  • Kindness for campers and animals

  • Enjoyable exercise! 

Child to staff ratio: most groups are 4:1, maximum 5:1

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Activities

East Bay educational camps for K-5 combine hiking, reading, and writing camps in one! In active day camps, kids hike in East Bay parks, navigate trails, build forts, learn amazing animal facts, play entertaining perspective-taking games, read and craft their own stories with wilderness themes, illustrate their stories, write and perform skits, do scavenger hunts and nature journaling, conduct mini science experiments, practice storytelling across genres, deepen their sense of wonder, eat healthy food, become eco-conscious, develop executive functioning skills to become hike leaders, strengthen stamina, make friendships, and more!

​Our forest camps primarily use emergent curriculum, which is child-centered, based on children's interests. As such, activities may vary based on the unique interests emerging within each group of children per camp session. Here is a sample of past activities children have enjoyed!

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  • Hike, Explore Nature, Outdoor Education, and Science Enrichment: hiking easy to moderate trails in Tilden Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and Redwood Regional Park; easy rock scrambling, nature walks, and nature exploration in the forests and by lakes and creeks; leave no trace activities, poison oak identification, animal watching and identification, animal track identification, mushroom identification, animal senses and adaptations games, leaf rubbings, and more!

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  • Language Arts Enrichment: nature-themed literacy activities with differentiated curriculum for grades K-5, such as story time with colorful and engaging books, singalongs, and movement; nature journaling; reading and perspective taking with animal facts; creating story elements in the "story mountain"; creative writing, crafting and illustrating wilderness adventure stories and nature poems based on the senses (what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch on your hike); skits; mapmaking; choose your own adventure stories; teamwork by coauthoring stories; dinosaur and animal Mad Libs comedy; bios of brave and inspiring naturalists, activists, and wildlife artists; and more!

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  • Nature-Themed Play and Free Play: playing animal fact versions of hide and seek and chase games; crafting and playing animal "Guess Who?" and forest "I Spy" games; scavenger hunts with pictures and decodable words or riddles; treasure hunts; child-directed play, such as playing on play structures, building forts/teepees and fairy houses in the Create-With-Nature-Zone, log climbing, pretend play, bubbles, ball play, field games; and more!

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  • NEW! Art Activities: we are also now doing nature-themed art, such as rainbow scratch art, drawing nature puzzles, animal face painting, illustrating stories and journals, coloring animals and nature scenes, and more!

  • Holiday and Seasonal Activities: funny stories celebrating Thanksgiving with sensitivity toward animals; nature-themed Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa activities; playing reindeer games; coloring nature-themed calendars for New Year's Day; skits and learning the role of animals in folklore and fables; learning amazing facts about winter survival for plants and animal adaptations; Easter egg hunts in the forest; and more!

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Hiking Experience

  • Trails: Nature camp trails range from relatively flat to somewhat hilly and rocky with varied terrain over occasional rocks and roots. Previous hiking experience on varied terrain for at least three miles spaced out over the day is recommended. 

  • Breaks: At camp, kids enjoy flexible and abundant breaks during and after daily hikes for play and exploration, snacks and rest, and lessons both planned and spontaneous. As many breaks as campers need are provided for maximum enjoyment.

  • Hiking Distance: A general rule of thumb is that your child's age corresponds to a comfortable number of miles to hike (age 5 = 5 miles). Many variables may result in your child enjoying shorter or longer hikes, such as previous experience, quality of sleep the previous night, snacks, hydration, and breaks. Campers enjoy shorter hikes than the age-miles formula above to have time for fun lessons along the way. Distance starts shorter and may flexibly increase over the week, based on the unique individuals in a group, tailored to their physical conditioning and interests.

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Grades

Outdoor camps prioritize grouping by grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. In some cases by parent request, enrollment number, or other variables, we may group children by other adjacent grades (e.g., K-2, K-3, or 3-5).

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Diversity

At Inspire, we believe in diversity and inclusion. We welcome children from diverse linguistic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, as well as children in general education and special education programs. Contact us if your child has a disability for accommodations we may be able to provide in our Berkeley nature camps and Oakland nature camps. Our camps are not specifically designed as special needs camps but are open to all, and Camp Counselors are experienced in creating a safe and respectful environment for diverse children to learn and enjoy! 

Fall Camp 2022: Camp staff promote respect and sensitivity toward all animals. We celebrate inclusivity and welcome children with all diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets for Thanksgiving break camp. 

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What to Wear and Bring

  • A mask (optional)

  • Layers

  • Sun protection for sunny weather (sunscreen/sunblock, sunglasses and/or sun hat)

  • Waterproof attire and gear for rainy weather

  • Change of clothes labeled with your child’s name (in the event of rain or if your child has a risk of potty accidents)

  • Hiking backpack

  • Two healthy snacks

  • A healthy packed lunch

  • Water in a water bottle or water bladder inside your child's backpack

  • Hiking shoes or boots

  • A sense of adventure and curiosity!

Masking note: masks are no longer required, with one exception: in the event of rain, children need to bring a mask for indoor activities. Although camp is ordinarily 100% outdoors, in the event of rain, we do a small portion of activities (such as nature journaling) in a picnic cabin area.

Hiking backpack note: children wear their backpacks themselves on walks and hikes. If your child doesn't have a hiking backpack, a school backpack may suffice, but a properly sized and fitted hiking backpack (with hip belt) is ideal for weight distribution and comfort. For children up to age 7, their backpacks should weigh no more than about 5-10% of their body weight. Ages 8+: no more than about 10-15% of their body weight.

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Rain or Shine

We nature lovers enjoy camp rain or shine! Kids spot fungi and animals that emerge in the rain, splash and play in puddles, and enjoy the senses, observing and exploring a wet, rainy forest in contrast with a dry, sunny forest.

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Fall Camp 2022

  • Dates: Nov 21-23

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Prices: $364.41 for three days

Winter Camp 2022

  • Dates: December 19-23 (full); December 26-30

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Prices: $485.88 for four days, $607.35 for five days

  • NOW OPEN: flexible 4-day partial week registration the week of Dec 26 (any 4 days) or the full 5 days

Spring Camp 2023

  • Dates: TBD

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Prices: $607.35 for five days

Summer Camp 2023

  • Dates: week-long camp sessions from June 12-August 11 

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Prices: $485.88 for four days (week of July 4th), $607.35 for five days

Discounts

  • Sibling Discount: $50 off for sibling enrollment, applied towards the same camp session per child.

  • Refer a Friend Discounts: program for current and past camp customers referring new customers. Inquire at info@inspirebehavior.com to get your unique discount code.

  • Summer Camp Early Bird Discount: $50 off per session for summer camp registration completed through February 28.

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Daily Schedule

 

Outdoor camp daily itineraries include a student-centered, emergent curriculum. As such, aside from fixed drop-off and pick-up times, our schedule throughout the day may vary flexibly with integrated activities and approximate times. You can read the overall structure below.

 

MORNING: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM

 

  • Drop-Off, Greetings & Free Play: 30 min, 8:30 AM-9:00 AM

  • Opening Activities: approx. 15 min, 9:00 AM-9:15 AM

  • Hike, Explore Nature, Science Enrichment: approx. 45 min, 9:15 AM-10:00 AM

  • Morning Snack: approx. 15 min, 10:00 AM-10:15 AM 

  • Free Play and Thematic Gross Motor Play: approx. 15 min, 10:15 AM-10:30 AM

  • Language Arts Enrichment: approx. 45 min, 10:30 AM-11:15 AM 

  • Hike, Explore Nature, Science Enrichment: approx. 45 min, 11:15 AM-12:00 PM 

AFTERNOON: 12:00 PM-4:30 PM

  • Lunch Break: approx. 30 min, 12:00 PM-12:30 PM

  • Free Play and Thematic Gross Motor Play: approx. 30 min, 12:30 PM-1:00 PM

  • Language Arts Enrichment: approx. 45 min, 1:00 PM-1:45 PM 

  • Hike, Explore Nature, Science Enrichment: approx. 30 min, 1:45 PM-2:15 PM  

  • Afternoon Snack: approx. 15 min, 2:15 PM-2:30 PM

  • Free Play and Thematic Gross Motor Play: approx. 15 min, 2:30 PM-2:45 PM

  • Language Arts Enrichment: approx. 30 min, 2:45 PM-3:15 PM 

  • Hike, Explore Nature, Science Enrichment: approx. 30 min, 3:15-3:45 PM 

  • Closing Activities: approx. 15 min, 3:45-4:00 PM

  • Free Play, Goodbyes & Pick-Up: 30 min, 4:00-4:30 PM

 

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Times

 

All nature camps have a 30-minute window for drop-off (8:30 AM-9:00 AM) and pick-up (4:00 PM-4:30 PM) at camp. There are no before care, after care, or half-day registrations.

Please make late drop-off or early pick-up requests before registering your child or before the session start date to see if an accommodation is possible. We are mobile, going on hikes and explorations in a wide variety of locations throughout the day, and we vary picnic areas and fields where children engage in enrichment activities and play. We do not remain at pick-up and drop-off areas aside from the scheduled drop-off and pick-up times. We will try our best but cannot guarantee accommodation for requests for late arrival or early pick-up.

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Locations

Parks of the East Bay!

  • Outdoor education and hikes for kids in Berkeley camps

    • Tilden Regional Park, Island Picnic Area, 1147 Wildcat Canyon Rd, Berkeley, CA 94708

  • Outdoor education and hikes for kids in Oakland camps

    • Joaquin Miller Park, Joaquin Miller Playground, Oakland, CA 94602

    • Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Canyon Meadow Staging Area, Oakland, CA 94619

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Winter Camp 2022 registration is open!

Your requests are always welcome! East Bay outdoor camp locations and specific trail requests are considered by popular demand for Berkeley outdoor camps, Oakland outdoor camps, Castro Valley outdoor camps, and other cities in the Bay Area! For requests or inquiries, feel free to reach out with an email for the quickest reply.

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Call of the Wild Camps

* Summer Camp

* Fall Camp

* Winter Camp

* Spring Camp

Email: info@inspirebehavior.com
Phone: 510-296-5519

Fax: 510-296-5780

Hours:

M-F   8:00 AM-7:30 PM

Sat    9:00 AM-6:30 PM

Sun   Closed

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Alameda County

    • Albany​

    • Berkeley

    • Emeryville

    • Oakland

    • Alameda

    • San Leandro

    • Castro Valley

    • Pleasanton

    • Dublin

    • Fremont

    • ...and more!

  • Contra Costa County

    • Concord​

    • Pleasant Hill

    • Walnut Creek

    • Antioch

    • Brentwood

    • Orinda

    • Lafayette

    • Alamo

    • Danville

    • San Ramon

    • ...and more!

  • Santa Clara County

    • Milpitas

    • San Jose

    • Santa Clara

    • Sunnyvale

    • Mountain View

    • Palo Alto

    • Saratoga

  • Solano County

    • Vallejo

    • Benicia

    • Cordelia

    • Suisun

    • Fairfield

    • Vacaville

CONTACT

I N S P I R E Behavioral Learning