School Break Camps

If you want your child to have recreational time with other kids in a safe, creative space, with games, art, cooking, and community building, please join us.

  • A camp for kids to get swept up in the joy of playing, on their own, and with other kids, and with well structured times with specific games and projects led by creative, dynamic staff. We create the space, you send your kids, and magic truly happens.
  • Unplugged all day and primarily outdoors
  • Reliable, with 25 years of experience
  • Locally started and run, woman and LGBTQIA+ owned, family business.

“Monkey Business Camp put kids and staff first. They center their values and set families’ expectations accordingly. Put it all together and our kid had great fun in a safe space. ”

DATES for 2023-2024 school year

  • Winter Camp 2023: FYI, WCCUSD, AUSD & most private schools are off Dec 18-29; BUSD and OUSD Dec 26-Jan 5.
    • December 18-22 (5 days) and/or
    • December 26-29 (4 days, with option to come 3 days and transfer credit to future camp)
    • Jan 2-5 (4 days): This week will have a different location and hours (also less fees). Go to this page for info on Winter Camp Week 3 Jan 2-5, 2024.
    • For camper enrollments of two weeks or more, there is option to transfer credit for up to 2 days of camp, if you need to miss, as long as done in advance.  See more in fee area below.
  • February Camp 2024 (4 days): February 20-23
  • Spring Camp 2024 (5 days): April 1-5

Regarding less than full camp sign ups: If we have last minute spaces, we will consider less than weekly, although during the 2022-2023 season, we filled in advance for most doing entire periods.

Usual camps offered each year: Thanksgiving, Winter, February and Spring

“Our daughter had an amazing time at camp. She was excited to go every morning and excited to tell us all the cool things she did at the end of the day. Your staff is the best of the best. Thank you!!”

HOURS for all camps except Jan 2-5

   Campers: 8:30-4:30

  • Camper Drop-off window: 8:30-9:00
  • Camper Pick-up window: 4:10- 4:30
  • Additional alternate times that can be used for either drop-off or pick-up: 10:15, 1:30, or 3:30. This can be on a regular basis or just one or a few times.  It is not possible to drop off or pick up at any time, due to our schedule. Contact our office to inquire about an exception.

   Youth Leaders: 8:25-4:35

  • Drop-off on time each day, and stay through entire day, helping until all campers go home.  At times, they will be ready to go at 4:30pm.
  • They have a half hour break mid-day.

“Both my kids absolutely love Monkey Business! They’ve done the summer camp before but this was our first time trying a school break camp and it was a huge hit. They’re very excited to return next month!”


Last year, 99% of our camps filled in advance. As we get close to filling, we will update here.

  • Winter Camp:
    • December 18-22: 80% full
    • December 26-29: 70% full
    • January 2-5: 50% full – See this page regarding Winter Week 3

LOCATION for all camps except Jan 2-5*

Berkwood Hedge School: 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

We have been hosting camps at this wonderful school since 2004, and its location in Downtown Berkeley makes it accessible from many local cities.  There are many outdoor spaces for play and projects. Adding to our usual curriculum, we may take neighborhood walks and visit parks some mornings.

*Please note: Winter Camp Week 3, Jan 2-5, will be in Tilden Park, at a picnic area near the Little Farm section of the park, one of our usual areas we host in summer.

“Monkey Business is a rare find, especially in these days of ‘early specialization’ type camps. Relaxed and fun, creative and innovative while still harkening back to simpler times. The emphasis on knowing and appreciating each child was felt.”


Group Size: There will be maximum of about 25 in each group, including campers, youth leaders and staff.

How many Groups: Usually two groups, although for Thanksgiving and Winter, we have three if we have enough leadership staff, and there is a need from families.

Ages: Campers, Ages 5.75-10, with Youth Leaders, Ages 11+: for exception to minimum age, fill out this survey for those as young as 5.25, or 5 years 3 months.

Notes about Groups:

  • With an approximately 1:9 camper: staff ratio, kids need to overall follow directions and be kind to other campers.  We have about ten transitions in our day, some with more free-play options, and others with needing to be focus on a particular activity: group times, snack and lunch, reading time, journal time, and visits to parks.
  • Friends and siblings- during registration, name friends you’d like to be in the same group and preference for siblings to be in same group or not.


We have been offering camps for kids successfully for 25 years, and will offer similar programming, with daily art (we have special guests come into share with us), nature exploration, field games and ball play, board games, community building, and weekly specials.  We will also be doing food projects once a week at most camps. The school developed outdoor spaces with overhangs, for many types of weather, so we have many outside options.

“Social interaction, and warm, loving fun.”


Please visit this page to read more about our program and how it might or might not fit for your child with special needs and our behavioral policy. We aim to be able to serve lots of different children, but at times, if your child may need more attention to help them participate, and to do so safely, in activities, or to shift from one transition to the next, it can become unsustainable and we cannot manage it unless your child comes with an aide to support.

“At MBC in particular, while on the staff team, I have been able to create deep, meaningful, and personal connections with the kiddos that span multiple sessions/years– which is super special and something that I hope to continue to develop this time around.”

FEES (Payment Plans & Scholarships Available)

Our camp is working on inclusivity, offering 3 fee tiers. All levels support camp and higher levels, if able, give extra support for diverse programming, our incredible staff, and our scholarship fund which gave out $50,000 over the past year. If you are registering siblings, the lower cost option is possible. We do not track tier choices, please feel good about the choice you make.

Pricing for one week session, 8 hour days (shorter weeks or shorter day camps pro-rated for example Thanksgiving Week Camp is three days so pricing would be 3/5 of options below).

Sliding Scale Tiers – you choose which one at time of registration:

  • Camper: third tier $638, second tier $748, first tier $798
  • Youth Leader CIT role: same as camper fees above, although older CITs at our camp or with a lot of experience at other camps can request discounted JC pricing below in their application.
  • Youth Leader JC role: third tier $128, second tier $188, first tier $258

Additional Details:

  • Payment Plan: pay over a period of months for no extra fee.
  • Scholarship Application: Apply for 30-75% discount off of fees.
  • Discount-E-check: Pay with E-check, instead of credit card, and you are able to receive a 1% discount with the code eCheck, as we pay less and pass the savings to you.
  • For Winter Camp two week (9 day) camper enrollments, there is option to transfer credit to a future camp for up to 2 days at $125/day or $250 total, if arranged in advance at least one week before camp. The same offer is available to miss one day of the December 26-29 camp session.

“Camp enabled us to work for the entire time our son was there. Plus, he is so very social, and he desperately needed company from kids his own age.”


  • Campers bring their own lunch and an additional 2 snacks (morning, afternoon) and water bottle.
  • Nuts and nut butters-usually okay, but we wait to determine whether allowed or not based on who is enrolled and if they can be around nuts and nut butters.
“The staff and junior counselors were all so great– warm, energetic and enthusiastic but not overwhelming, meeting each kid where they were.”


Our staff from diverse backgrounds are nurturing, creative and enthusiastic. They are hired to guide and enrich our programs and foster friendship among campers. All children, returning and new campers alike, are actively welcomed.

Once our team is more clear, Click here to see bios and photos of some of the staff you can expect to see and when. We often have multi-lingual staff!

“Thank you for offering such a high quality camp and for the very personal feeling of Monkey Business.”



We are looking for fun loving, caring and kind youth who enjoy interacting with young children.  Youth Leaders help make camp a more fun, safe place. We have found it is important for youth to want to do this, not it only be something parents want for their kids.

1st step to join: please fill out this survey or co-fill out with your child to share more about why interested in joining

New Youth Leader Interest Survey-this one will take about 10-15 minutes.

Return Youth Leader Interest Survey– this one will take a few minutes, mostly asks about dates.

  • CITs (age 11 or older)- looking for 2-3/group to support. Cost the same as camper fees, this is a chance to gain training, although older CITs can request JC pricing on the Interest Survey, especially if they have a lot of experience at our or other camps.
  • Junior Counselor (age 14 or older and former youth leaders) – looking for 1-2 for each group each session to support group. Cost is greatly reduced. We will prioritize those who received positive feedback about being able to mentor other youth leaders.  Sometimes 14 year olds stay in CIT positions.
  • If new to our camp, and even if age 14 or older, youth leaders start off as CITs.

Pre-Camp Orientation: There will be a handbook to read (and a survey to submit for those who have not attended Summer 2023).


Note about availability- see above, after the “Hours” section.

“Being a youth leader helps me put my leadership qualities to good use, and I have a great time hanging out with the campers.”

Gold winner in Parent’s Press Best School Break Camps division

“Monkey Business camp has so much joy. The work environment is always cheery and people are good natured. The camp directors are organized and clear in what is needed. I really like working here because it makes me feel apart of a community. I know I am making a positive impact on the kids lives and had such a great time last year getting to know everyone. I love how each day the kids can do something new while still sticking to a schedule. It is a well organized, fun environment, and a place of growth for campers. Being apart of this organization is always a wonderful experience. I like working with kids and always find I learn something about myself though these experiences. This camp means a lot to me and has taught me many skills.”