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Call of the Wild Camps

* Summer Camp 

* Fall Camp

* Winter Camp

* Spring Camp 

kids leap for joy on hiking trail in for

Hike, read, write, play

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

Spring Camp 2023 (April 3-7) is full.
Summer Camp 2023 (Jun 12-Aug 11) 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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Hiker girl child 8-9 years reading book
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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, explore nature, 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, 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!

Inspire Behavioral Learning Call of the Wild Camps nature camp boy reading science books 7
  • 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!

Inspire Behavioral Learning Call of the Wild Camps Oakland nature camp boys building fort.
  • 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!


kids hikers walk on logs with poles (2).

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 required. 

  • 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.



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).



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! 


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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!

Water bottle note: if bringing a water bottle, small and lightweight works well to keep the backpack weight low. Each park has multiple water fountains for refilling.

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, storytime, coloring) 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 a chest/sternum strap and hip/waist belt) is ideal for weight distribution and comfort. For children up to age 7, their filled 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. Percentage Calculator:

Rain or Shine

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Call of the Wild Camp boy exploring nature and mushrooms Oakland winter camp spring camp f

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.




To register your child in Call of the Wild Camps, please ensure that you and your child meet the following prerequisites to promote a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Hiking Experience: your child has previous experience hiking on their own two feet on varied terrain for at least three miles spaced out over the day.

  • Appropriate Clothing and Gear: your child will come to camp with appropriate clothing and gear for the weather and outdoor conditions.

    • Wearing a dress that your child doesn't want to get dirty is inappropriate for an outdoor nature camp.

    • Wearing a backpack that frequently slips off of your child's shoulders and is too large for your child's size or is heavier than the recommended weight for your child's weight is inappropriate for a hiking camp.

    • Coming to camp in 40° F weather without a warm coat and layers is inappropriate for an outdoor winter camp. Coming to camp in rainy weather without any waterproof clothing or gear is inappropriate for an outdoor camp.

  • Respect for Diversity: you and your child respect diversity, including diverse abilities, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, etc. Ableism, racism, sexism, and any other form of discriminatory behavior from parents/guardians and campers against other campers, staff, or park visitors is not accepted. We expect all customers to respect our commitment to a kind, caring, and inclusive camp community.

  • Following Safety Guidelines: your child is able to independently follow camp safety instructions and rules. For example:

    • Staying with the group or within eyesight of camp staff.

    • Respecting personal space and personal property of all staff, campers, and park visitors by refraining from physical aggression (including but not limited to hitting, kicking, shoving, scratching, pinching, etc.) and refraining from property destruction.

    • Following leave no trace instructions and refraining from catching or harming park animals and from putting park plants and fungi in their mouths.

    • You and your child refrain from verbal aggression toward camp staff, campers, and park visitors. 

We expect all customers to respect our commitment to a physically and psychologically safe environment for all at camp. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and ask! Thank you so much for respecting our camp prerequisites to promote a safe and enjoyable time for your child and everyone at camp!​



Spring Camp 2023

  • Dates: April 3-7 (full)

  • 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

  • Locations: Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley; Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland; Redwood Regional Park in Oakland

Fall Camp 2023

  • Dates: Nov TBD

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Prices: $364.41 for three days

Winter Camp 2023

  • Dates: last two weeks of December dates TBD

  • Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

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


  • Sibling Discount: $50 off for sibling enrollment, applied towards the same camp session per child. May be combined with other discounts!

  • Refer a Friend Program: $50 credit for past camp customers referring new customers, who receive $50 discount. Terms and conditions apply. Inquire at to complete the refer a friend form. May be combined with other discounts! 

  • Summer Camp Early Bird Discount: $50 off per session for summer camp registration completed through February 28. May be combined with other discounts!

  • NEW! Scholarships: we now have scholarships available based on financial need. Contact to request a scholarship application. THANK YOU to camp customers for your kind and generous donations to create and maintain a scholarship fund!


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 and Art 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.



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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Summer Camp 2023 (Jun 12-Aug 11) 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.


Call of the Wild Camps

* Summer Camp

* Fall Camp

* Winter Camp

* Spring Camp

Phone: 510-296-5519

Fax: 510-296-5780


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


I N S P I R E Behavioral Learning

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