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FREE and Inexpensive Summer Camps for CASA Youth

If you find a camp on or off this list that your child is interested in, contact the camp directly and see if they have full or partial scholarships for low-income families or at-risk youth. Make sure you get whatever forms you need and work with the child’s caregiver to get the child registered. If there is a cost, talk to your Advocate Supervisor  if the CASA Children’s Fund can pay for the camp.

Types of Camps:

Day camp: Camp that usually runs during the day, the child spends the night at home.

Overnight camp: child spends the day and sleeps at the camp at night. Some camps for a weekend, some for longer.

Price: Partial and full scholarships available


Camp Name: Live Earth Camp

Location: Watsonville

Ages: 3 to 12 years, depending on the camp

Type of Camp: Day camp

More Information: They have Farm Camp, Art on the Farm Camp, Farm to Table Camp and Sprouts Camp. More information available at http://www.liveearthfarm.net/discovery-program/programs/farm-camps/

Contact Info: Jessica Ridgeway at 831-728-2032, lefdpdirector@gmail.com

Price: FREE for all


Camp Name: Horse and Heart

Location: Soquel

Ages: 5 to 18 years

Type of Camp: Day camp

More Information: In the tranquility of the Soquel Hills, Overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay, campers get to know the herd at Horse & Heart Ranch using natural horsemanship methods. Though the house-human connection, and under the guidance of our experienced staff, confidence, self-esteem, trust, and partnership blossom. Fun in the outdoors all day! activities include natural horsemanship, aerial, ropes &tissue, acrobatics, axis syllabus (dance), art,theater & BEACH DAY! This camp is M-F 10 am - 4 pm. More information available at: https://www.horseandheart.org/summer-camps

Contact Info: Lori Halliday (O) 831-464-2630 (C) 650-248-4451 Email: Lori@wisdomark.com

Price: Full and partial scholarships available. Contact your Supervisor.


Camp Name: Kruz Kidz www.kruzkidz.com Kay Trust website: www.tlc.org/kaytrust

Location: Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive in Aptos with field trips to local beaches, etc.

Ages: 6 to 11 years

Type of Camp: Day camp

More Information: Kruz Kidz offers five weeks of Adventure Camps and four weeks of Discovery Camps for campers entering 1st through 6th grade. (Surf and computer discovery camps are  available for those in 7th grade.) Fun skits, field trips, and Wacky Wednesdays during Adventure weeks, or for Discovery weeks with 23 different camps to choose from, from sports, cooking, dance, art, science and more! They also offer a Junior Counselor camp for campers entering 7th-9th grade.

Contact Info: Yolanda at 465-3359 or yolanda@tlc.org.

Price: Scholarship available. Contact your Advocate Supervisor.


Camp Name: Camp WOW

Location: Watsonville

Ages: 5 to 12 years

Type of Camp: Day camp

More Information: Day camp run through the City of Watsonville. Have scholarships for low-income families.

Contact Info: For more information, call 831-768-3240.

Price: CASA will pay camp cost of $225


Camp Name: Lizzy Fowler’s Adventure Camps www.lizzyfowler.com

Location: Circle Church 111 Errett Circle Santa Cruz is the home base, but the camps involve a lot of field trips.  Other locations include Henry Cowell Park, Santa Cruz Main Beach, Delaveaga Park, Natural Bridges State Park, Neary Lagoon, Santa Cruz Natural History Museum, and Harvey West Park.

Ages: Different camps for ages 7 to 13 years

Type of Camp: Day camp

More Information: Camps are designed to expose children to a variety of activities in Santa Cruz, and build the confidence of each child in a supportive and empowering environment.  Teamwork, Fun, and Respect are important themes throughout our activities.

Contact Info: Contact Liz to register at lizzyfowler@aol.com.

Price: Scholarships available through the Kay Trust (application available on website). Camps range between $75 up to $200 a week


Camp Name: Camp Erin

Location: Mount Hermon

Ages: 6 to 17 years

Type of Camp: Weekend camp

More Information: Camp Erin is a FREE, weekend long grief support camp that is designed to help children and teenagers ages 6-17, who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Camp will be held October 9-11, 2015.

Contact Info: Cindi Gray at (831) 430-3039 CampErin@HospiceSantaCruz.org

Price: Full Day Weekly: $140, Half Day Weekly: $80 no field trip/$105 with field trip, Scholarships are available


Camp Name: Camp Hammer www.camphammer.com Kay Trust website: www.tlc.org/kaytrust

Location: Boulder Creek

Ages: Up to 17 years

Type of Camp: Overnight camp

More Information: Christian Camp – Recreational

Contact Info: (831)338-3200 Email: info@camphammer.com 

Price: FREE for all


Camp Name: Richard Schmidt Surfing School www.richardschmidt.com/sc_dates.html

Location: Santa Cruz

Ages: 10 years old and up

Type of Camp: Overnight camp

More information: Santa Cruz surf spots; overnight at KOA camp is a weeklong, Sunday evening-Friday evening

Contact Info: surf@richardschmidt.com Phone: (831) 423-0928 

Price: Scholarships available through the Kay Trust (application available on website).


Camp Name: Camp Unalayee www.gocampu.com

Location: Wilderness summer camp situated on 400 private acres in the heart of Northern California’s Trinity Alps.

Ages: 10 to 17 years

Type of Camp: Overnight camping trips

More Information: As a wilderness summer camp, Unalayee is proud to have introduced thousands of kids to backcountry living while maintaining an impeccable safety record. Kids in our summer camp programs learn about themselves as they learn to live in the wilderness. The rugged terrain of the Trinity Alps provides a challenging and dramatic backdrop for wilderness adventure.

Contact Info: For more information, contact  Sarah Camp, Director of Camp Unalayee (650) 308 – 4453 friends@gocampu.com

Price: Regular Price is $300/week. Discounted price for CASA Youth is $100/week..


Camp Name: Camp Opportunity www.campopp.org

Location: Santa Cruz

Ages: 8 to 13 years

Type of Camp: 6 days and 5 nights, overnight camp

More Information: Camp Opportunity is a residential camp for children at risk of abuse or neglect and is located in Santa Cruz, California. Many of the campers currently live or have lived in foster care, and all come from families facing serious issues. For six days and five nights, campers enjoy a wide variety of activities amongst the redwoods, such as swimming, hiking, soccer, archery, arts and crafts, photography, and much more.  Campers also participate in a unique skills building class, designed to increase self-esteem, teach problem solving skills and encourage self-expression   Evening activities include an all camp Capture the Flag game and performances by such favorites as the Bubble Man. And every night ends with a campfire, skits and an energetic song session.

Contact Info: To get your child into Camp Opportunity, contact your social worker.


Other places to check annually for camps for youth include:

The Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce at www.santacruzchamber.org/cwt/external/wcpages/facts/camps.aspx

The Watsonville YMCA at www.centralcoastymca.org

For a comprehensive list of summer camps in Santa Cruz County, go here: tinyurl.com/SCParentCamps

SC Junior Lifeguards www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27056

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