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 & CURRENT SPACE AVAILABILITY FOR CAMPERS – for youth leaders, go to bottom of the page

Spring Camp 2024 (5 days): April 1-5 (Low Space Alert: fewer than 10 spaces remaining!)

Other Details:

  • Spaces available, until listed as full.  We will post a low-space alert when there are only 10 spaces available.
  • If you would like less than the full week of camp, check in the week before camp starts, if we are not full. We have been filling most camps in advance.
  • 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!!”

   Camper Hours: 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-regular or random: 10:15, 1:30, or 3:30. 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 Leader Hours: 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!”

LOCATION
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.  With a large yard with areas to play field games and basketball, and another with a sand box, swings and a climbing structure, and beautiful indoor classrooms. We also set up a lot of outdoor tables for drawing and board games. Adding to our usual curriculum, we may take neighborhood walks and visit Washington School park across the street, and for older kids, visit Ohlone’s awesome climbing structures and grassy fields.

“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.”

AGES & GROUP SIZE
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.

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

How many Groups: Usually two, although we have three if we have enough leadership staff, and families express a need.

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 10 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 hikes.
  • We will assign kids to groups two weeks before camp, based on preferences about age groups, friends and siblings, etc shared during enrollment.

ACTIVITIES
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.”

SPECIAL NEEDS & BEHAVIORAL POLICY
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 & Financial Aid Available)
Our basic day is 8 hours. To support inclusivity, we offer 3 fee tiers. All levels support camp and when you pay higher levels, if able, this gives extra support for diverse programming, our incredible staff, and our scholarship fund which gave out $60,000 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. You choose which one at time of registration:

  • Camper: $638+
  • Youth Leader CIT: $638+, although older CITs at our camp or with a lot of experience at other camps can request discounted JC pricing in their interest survey.
  • Youth Leader JC: third tier $128, second tier $188, first tier $258

Additional Details:

  • Payment Plan: pay over a period of months for no extra fee.
  • Financial Aid Application: Apply for 20-75% 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.

“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.”

LOGISTICS
Campers bring their own lunch and an additional 2 snacks (morning, afternoon) and water bottle.

Nuts and nut butters-for most groups these are okay to pack with meals, but we wait to announce, based on who is enrolled and if parents have specified if their kids can be around other kids eating nuts and nut butters.  Occasionally, we have groups with no nuts or nut butters.

“The staff and junior counselors were all so great– warm, energetic and enthusiastic but not overwhelming, meeting each kid where they were.”

STAFF
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.”

 

YOUTH LEADERS: Ages 11-17

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).

YOUTH LEADERSHIP OVERVIEW

Current Availability: Spring Camp: space for up to 4 more

“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.”