Summer Camp 2023

Thank you for your interest in camps. For 2023 summer camps and announcements, including when registration will open, if you’ve attended camp in the past, you are on our list, if not, add your name to our mailing list here. We have updated below with some Summer 2023 info.

*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, with lots of time outdoors
* 25 years of experience to rely on
*Covid specific experience:  we’ve had lots of successful camps since Summer 2020. Policies are adjusted based on current details at our camp and in the community. It is important to have some flexibility about your child masking, as we have sometimes required and other times let it be optional.
*locally started and run, woman and LGBTQ+, family owned

 

“The safety protocols and excellent communication made me feel completely at ease sending my child to Monkey Business camp. Not knowing any of the other kids, I was a little nervous sending him. But when I picked up on the first day he was the happiest I’ve seen him in weeks. Thank you for working so hard to allow kids to be together in person. They so much need this social interaction!”

DATES

Tentative Summer 2023 Sessions:

  • May 30-June 2 (4 day camp)
  • June 5-9 (one week camp)
  • June 12-30-3 week session
  • July 3-21 (no camp July 4)-3 week session
  • July 24-Aug 11 (with some spaces open for two week session July 24-Aug 4)-two or three week session

Joining for multiple sessions can be really wonderful for some kids!  There will be varied activities through the summer. Our longer sessions support kids in building friendships, bonding with staff and teen mentors, and connecting with nature of Tilden.  It takes time for humans to get to know one another and to build community, and when we lengthened our sessions, the kids developed friendships in new ways, and then created play in more complex ways, in self-directed ways. In these uncertain times, feeling grounded and connected to place and people is very important.  We hope you can join us for one or more of our longer sessions, and that it makes your summer planning easier, and, if not, our very sincerest apologies.  We do have a couple shorter options too.

“This is an amazing camp that teaches kids how to play and find joy. Not many camps do that these days. We can be busy trying to get our kids to achieve. This camp should be required for all kids in the summer: outdoors the whole day, group games, staying active, exploring nature, fun art. Can’t go wrong.”

HOURS

Campers: 8:30-4:30 (see youth leader details below) 

  • 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 if you need more details or to inquire about an exception.

Youth Leaders: 8:25-4:35

  • drop-off on time each day, as youth leaders help greet campers as they arrive.
  • they 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, where they take time away from campers.
  • If you have one child who is a youth leader and one who is a camper, they can both do youth leader hours.

AVAILABILITY- we will update below once or twice a week, once registration opens.

We are so grateful to the community for their support and trust.

WAITLIST INFO: If spaces are taken, please join the waitlist and we will be in touch asap if anyone cancels. We have often cleared our waitlists, if you can wait on making other plans for a while.

 

“We have experimented with various camps, and both our kids just love Monkey Business. You have a fantastic equation of outdoor fun, activities, free time and hikes, and they are just so happy with you all. We plan to be back in future summers.”

 

LOCATION

Tilden Park, where we have been hosting our summer camps for over 20 years, in the picnic areas near Lone Oak Road. This is a wondrous 2, 000 acre county park, a local treasure, filled with incredible natural wonders. Groups will have time at picnic tables to play games and do art, and time in the open and wooded spaces for games and nature exploration.  We bring in equipment and special guests to enrich camp time.

“Quite simply, the camp was fantastic. Not only did it allow me to work without interruption, my child got the chance to be out of the house and meet new people. They came home happy every day.”

 

GROUP SIZE & AGES

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

How many Groups: 3-4, depending on staffing

Ages: Campers, Ages 5.75-10, with Youth Leaders, Ages 11+

Notes about Ages and Grouping:

  • We will consider children ages 5.25 and up, who have participated in group situations during COVID. Please fill out this survey, then contact our office.
  • Campers will have to follow directions well, so consider your child and proceed with registration if you can agree.
  • We will make final groups the week before camp. We will group friends listed in your camper form (or that you have e-mailed office). Siblings usually can choose to either be in the same group that has a wider age range, from 5.75-10, or in different ones, with more limited (ages 5.75-7 or ages 7-10).

“We are so grateful for the experience that Monkey Business Camp provided this summer. Our son had a wonderful time in Tilden: making new friends, playing so many games, and exploring the wilderness. He came home each day happy and full of exciting stories to share. The connections and experiences he had at camp brought out the best in him.”

ACTIVITIES

We have been offering camps for kids successfully for 24 years, and will offer similar programming, with daily art, nature exploration, field games and ball play, board games, community building, and weekly specials, including Friday Fun, which changes each week.

Activities will vary over the sessions, and we love having campers for more than one session, so, yes, please do sign up for more than one if you would like.

“Our child has made lifelong memories at Monkey Business. There is a great mix of activities suited for kids that are introverted and extroverted. We have been coming for years and plan for many more!”

FEES (NO FEE PAYMENT PLANS & SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE)

We will post Summer 2023 fees here when registration opens.

Three tiers offered and you choose where on the sliding scale during registration, based on your family’s financial resources at this time. We care about equity and inclusion, and thank you for stepping up if you can pay more, and choose the lower tiers if you cannot.  We will not be tracking individual choices. Please feel good with the level you choose.

Note about Cost: Our camp is 8 hours/day, longer than some camps. We are committed to an amazing, safe experience for your children, and to honoring the work that our amazing counseling staff give.  Our staff salaries are higher than industry standards, as we support a mixed age staff, some who are high school and college age, and others who have been in the field for decades. We put a lot of love, planning and care into all that we do, using our 24 years of experience. All of these things make camp cost a bit more, AND a very cost effective investment, if doable. We are stretching and know many of you are too, and have scholarships (up to 75% discount on fees) and no cost payment plans to support reducing or spreading out the cost.

Payment Plans, Scholarships and E-check Discount: At checkout, you can choose to pay for camp over a period of months, for no extra fee.  If you would like to apply for a scholarship (anything from 25-75% discount off of fees), please visit this page.  When you pay with E-check, instead of credit card, you can receive a 1% discount with the code eCheck.

Our daughter has been attending Monkey Business Camp for years and it is a highlight of the year. She loves being in Tilden all day, working on art, being creative, and making friends. We highly recommend Monkey Business.

LOGISTICS & OTHER INFO

  • Campers need to be able to handle themselves well and be kind to other campers, in our group with staff: camper ratio of about 1:9.
  • Campers bring their own lunch and an additional 2 snacks (morning, afternoon) and water bottle.
  • Nuts and nut butters-we determine if these will be allowed or not based on who is enrolled and if they can be around nuts and nut butters.

“Please know we sincerely appreciate what you all are doing, holding space for the kiddos during Covid and guiding them through challenging situations. Our child left camp today feeling safe and happy. She also has more tools in her social emotional toolbox thanks to y’all!”

STAFF

Our staff from diverse backgrounds are nurturing, creative and enthusiastic. They bring our curriculum to life and foster friendship among campers. All children, returning and new campers alike, are actively welcomed. We often have multi-lingual staff!

Most of our staff were former campers and youth leaders, and we will update our staff page closer to summer. Click here to see bios and photos of staff working at our school break camps, some of whom will join us this summer.

“I really noticed the friendliness, high energy and creativeness of the staff.” 

 

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. Please share more about why your child wants to join:

New Youth Leader Application (this link will be activated once camp enrollment open)

Return Youth Leader Application (this link will be activated once camp enrollment open)

  • Counselors in Training (CITs)-age 11 or older- looking for 2-3/group.
    • New CITs-1/group
    • Return CITs- 1-2/group and we will prioritize those who received positive feedback from staff.
    • Cost-same as camper fees, although for older CITs who have been to our camp, or older new CITs who have a lot of experience volunteering at other camps, we can offer the JC rate.  See details on application.
  • Junior Counselors (JCs)-ages 14-17- looking for 1-2/group
    • Must have been a CIT in our Tilden Park program
    • Cost is greatly reduced.
    • We will prioritize those who received a lot of positive feedback about being able to mentor other youth leaders.
  • If new to our camp, and even if age 14 or older, youth leaders start off as CITs.
    • Older CITs may be offered JC pricing, especially if they have a lot of experience at other camps.

Requirement: Covid Vaccination and Booster if 5 months since 2nd vaccine (or medical or religious exemption letter and weekly testing required)

Pre-Camp Orientation:

  • Orientation for both new and returning youth leaders, usually in late May or early June.
  • There will also be a handbook to read and a survey to submit before the training.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP OVERVIEW

TO APPLY: First step is to fill out a youth leader interest survey, and if new to our camp (or it has been a while), to submit a short video answering a few questions (listed on youth leader interest survey).  After filling out, please e-mail our office and then we will be in touch.  We want you to have an answer as quickly as possible.  Please be in touch if you have not heard back and want to know the status.

I have seen a lot of emotional and social development in my child this past session as a CIT. Thank you for having a program to bring about that growth and increased self-confidence. There is only so much one can do as a parent!”