Summer Camp 2023

Welcome to Monkey Business Summer Camp 2023!

*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!”


Summer 2023 Sessions: We offer 3 week sessions, with a couple shorter options this summer.  No split sessions. It is okay to sign up and miss some camp for campers, but not youth leaders.

  • June 5-9-one week camp
  • June 12-30-three week session
  • July 3-21 (no camp July 4)-three week session
  • July 24-Aug 11-three week session
    • July 24-Aug 4- 20 spaces for shorter two weeks, to accommodate OUSD students or anyone
    • Aug 7-11-20 spaces for shorter one week session

Joining for multiple sessions is welcome 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 a shorter taste of our program and a great way to introduce a shy camper, check out our Tilden Saturday Camps in spring as well as 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.”


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).
  • stay through entire day, helping until all campers go home.  At times, they will be ready to go at 4:30pm.
  • 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.


June 5-9: Campers: 60% full ; Youth Leaders: OPEN
June 12-30: Campers: FULL; Youth Leaders: OPEN for returning youth leaders only
July 3-21 (no camp July 4): Campers: 50% full; Youth Leaders: OPEN
July 24-Aug 11: Campers: 50% full; Youth Leaders: OPEN
July 24-Aug 4: Campers: FULL; Youth Leaders: OPEN
Aug 7-11: Campers: 50% full; Youth Leaders: OPEN

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.”


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: Our goal is to have 4 groups, with 25 in each, including campers, youth leaders and staff.

Ages: Campers, Ages 5.75-10, with Youth Leaders, Ages 11+ (we will consider ages 5.25 and older, please fill out this survey)

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.”


Join us for our 25th summer in Tilden, with art, field games and ball play, storytelling, nature exploration, treasure hunts, carnival games, singing, end of session performances, and this summer (after a Covid hiatus), the return of our 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.

Special note for June 5-9 session: there is energy for this session to have more of a Performing Arts focus, due to certain staff leading.  MBC has a history of having Drama/Performing Arts outdoor camps!  If your children like performing, consider this session; if not, that’s okay, there’s time for other play, and they can play supportive role. For our other sessions, staff and youth leaders engage with kids who have interest in creating a circus or dance for the other groups (and sometimes for parents!)

“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!”


Sliding Scale Pricing Options – 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 $31,000 in 2022. If you are registering siblings, the lower cost option is possible.

Pricing for 3 week sessions, 8 hour days (one-week and two-week sessions pro-rated):

Camper & Counselor in Training (CIT)* Tiers:
3rd: $1908; 2nd: $2188; 1st: $2388

Junior Counselor (JC) Tiers:
3rd: $308; 2nd: $528; 1st: $748

  • Payment Plan-pay over a period of months for no extra fee
  • Scholarship Application: Apply for a camper or CIT scholarship, from 30-75% discount off of fees. If the lowest JC rate is higher than you can afford, please e-mail the office.
  • Older CITs discounted pricing for ages 13+. Please request on youth leader interest survey (find link below)
  • 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.
  • Discount-Multiple Session: Sign up for multiple sessions (camps adding up to 4 weeks or more), and you are able to get half off Tilden Saturday Camps with code CANTWAITFORSUMMER

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.


  • 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!”


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.” 



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

New Youth Leader Interest Survey

Return Youth Leader Interest Survey

  • 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.

Youth Leader Pre-Camp In Person Orientation and Appreciation

    • Date and Time: Thursday, May 25th, 5:15-8:00 (arrival from 5-5:15)
    • Location: Tilden Meadows site
    • Youth Leaders will get a chance to tie dye, eat a delicious dinner and dessert, pick up their gear, and learn about helping out this summer, our 25th anniversary!
    • 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.
  • There will also be a handbook to read and a survey to submit before camp.


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!”