Summer Camp

Gold winner in Parent’s Press Best of Camps-Arts, General and Traditional, and Leadership Categories

We had a fantastic summer camp this year! We have some information below regarding our upcoming summer and will open registration in the coming weeks.
If you are on our e-mail list, which you should be if you came to any of our camps this year, then you will get an e-mail once we announce dates and registration opening. If you are new to our camps, add yourself to our mailing list here.

Welcome to Monkey Business Summer Camp 2024!

*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, in nature
* 25 years of experience
*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!”

DATES

Summer 2024 Sessions: We offer 3 week sessions, with a couple shorter one or two week options this summer (when offered, listed underneath main 3 week session). It is okay to sign up and miss some camp for campers, but not youth leaders.

  • June 5-7: 3 day camp (Wed-Fri)
  • June 10-28: three week session
  • July 1-19 (no camp July 4): three week session
    • July 1-5 (or do shorter week July 1-3 and request credit for future camp of $125/day for up to 2 days)
    • July 8-19: two week session option
  • July 22-Aug 9: three week session
    • July 22-Aug 2: one of our groups will be a shorter two week session, to accommodate OUSD students or anyone
    • Aug 5-9: one of our groups will be a shorter one week session
  • August 12 & 13-two days, with option to sign up for Monday, Aug 12th or Tuesday, Aug 13th only

Joining for multiple sessions is encouraged as there will be a consistent routine, but some activities vary. Our longer sessions support kids in building friendships, bonding with staff and teen mentors, and connecting with nature of Tilden. For other ways to connect with our camp, check out our School Break Camps.

“This is an amazing camp that teaches kids how to play and find joy. …outdoors the whole day, group games, staying active, exploring nature, fun art.”

HOURS

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

  • Camper Drop-off: 8:30-9:00
  • Camper Pick-up: 4:10- 4:30
  • Additional alternate drop-off or pick-up times: 10:15, 1:30, or 3:30. Use on regular basis or just one or a few times.

Youth Leaders: 8:25-4:35 (with half hour break mid-day away from campers)

  • drop-off on time each day (youth leaders greet campers).
  • different than campers, they are required to attend the entire day, due to their responsibilities.  At times, they will be ready to go at 4:30pm, but not before that time.
  • If you have one child who is a youth leader and one who is a camper, they can both do 8:30-4:30 schedule.

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

We will post here about Summer 2024 when we have more info. All Summer 2023 camps filled in advance. We are so grateful to the community for their support and trust.

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 since 1998, 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: Our goal is to have 4 groups, with 25 in each, including campers, youth leaders and staff, two groups based at one picnic area and two at another, although they all sometimes have special events for an hour together.

Ages: Campers, Ages 5.75-10, with Youth Leaders, Ages 11+ (for all camps, please fill out this survey once it is updated with summer dates)

Notes about Staff: Camper Ratio and Grouping:

  • 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 make final groups the week before camp, based on preferences about friends and siblings you share during enrollment.

“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

Join us for our 26th summer in Tilden, with art, field games and ball play, storytelling, nature exploration, treasure hunts, carnival games, singing, end of session performances, and organic food projects!  Community building is an important part of our philosophy.

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 session.

“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!

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 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

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 in 2023. 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 8 hour days (shorter camps are pro-rated):

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

Additional Details:

  • Payment Plan-pay over a period of months for no extra fee
  • Scholarship Application: Apply for 20-75% discount off of lowest fee tier.
  • 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.

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 

  • 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.

“We are so happy we sent our child to Monkey Business! This was a great outdoors nature camp for kids – and very convenient to our home – and it absolutely fulfilled everything I want as a parent. Great communication from staff, good clean outdoor fun, and the hours and pricing are extremely reasonable. If you are anywhere near Tilden and are looking for a camp for your kids, I highly recommend Monkey Business!”

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 and it is a great opportunity to work on a team and learn more about being in this field. We have found it is important for youth to want to do this, not just their parents.

1st step to join: please fill out one of the surveys below or co-fill out with your child to share more about why interested in joining

New Youth Leader Interest Survey – link will be active when registration opens for Summer 2024

Return Youth Leader Interest Survey – link will be active when registration opens for Summer 2024

  • Counselor in Training (CITs)-age 11 or older: 2-3/group. Cost the same as camper fees, this is a chance to gain training, although CITs 13+ with a lot of experience at our camp or others, can request reduction in fees on the interest survey.
  • Junior Counselor (age 14 or older and former youth leader at our camp who wants to take on additional leadership, helping mentor CITs) – 1-2/group. Cost is greatly reduced.
  • If new to our camp, even if age 14 or older, youth leaders start off as CITs, but once complete a session, are eligible to shift to JC role.  You can request the reduced JC fee.

Youth Leader Pre-Camp In Person Orientation and Appreciation-Optional,Recommended

  • Location, Date, Time: Tilden Park Meadows Site, Wednesday, May 22nd, 5:15-8:00 (arrival from 5-5:15, pick up 8:05)
  • Youth Leaders will tie dye, eat Cheeseboard pizza dinner (can order vegan or gluten free option) and dessert, pick up their gear, and learn about helping out this summer!
  • This is highly recommended not to miss, but if you absolutely cannot make it, you can still attend camp as a youth leader and you will orient in other ways, reading the handbook and then once on site at camp.

Pricing for 3 week sessions, 8 hour days (shorter sessions are pro-rated):

  • Counselor in Training (CIT)* Sliding Scale Tiers-you choose which one during registration
    Note: Older CITs (ages 13+) can request discounted pricing (same as JC fees below) on youth leader interest survey.
  • Junior Counselor (JC) Sliding Scale Tiers-you choose which one during registration

See more about 20-75% scholarships and payments plan in Fee area up above. For JCs, we do not have a scholarship, since fees already greatly discounted, but please, if the JC rate is higher than you can afford, e-mail the office.

CURRENT YOUTH LEADER SPACE AVAILABILITY

We will update info about Summer 2024 once we have more info. All Summer 2023 youth leadership spaces filled in advance.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP OVERVIEW.

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!”