What if there was a magical place that existed outside of your child’s TV screen or computer monitor? Picture your child climbing a 25-foot rope tower, twirling in the air on silk, or driving off-road go-karts. And that’s only just one day. This place of ultimate fun exists, and it’s just minutes from Santa Monica.
Cali Camp, located in the middle of Old Topanga Canyon, brings over a half-century of fun and enrichment to the Los Angeles summer camp scene. For parents looking to give their children life-long lessons and skills, this is the camp.
A classic camp atmosphere reminiscent of traditional East Coast summer camp-days, Cali Camp hosts timeless activities in a unique setting. Arguably it’s biggest selling point, the 22-acre land boasts Oak trees, pristine scenery and dynamic facilities.
Cali Camp is a day camp for children ages 3 to 15. Transportation is provided through a professional bus company that makes one or two stops along routes. With 16 separate pick-up locations for buses in the city and Valley, Cali Camp puts parents at ease about daily pick-up and drop-off.
An added bonus: the camp is also technology-free, as Cali Camp believes summer fun is made better with fewer distractions.
Most importantly, Cali Camp puts great stock in its staff, many of which are returning campers.
Co-directors Kassandra Wilsey and Ariel Rowin together have 25 years of experience at the camp. Committed to enlisting counselors who embody fun, experience and training, Cali Camp values their staff members as much as their campers.
An average day
Camp activities offer a range of athletic, artistic and adventurous choices, tailored to each child’s preference and thrill. All activities are pre-assigned and rotate on a daily bases, so in one week a camper participates in 50 different activities.
What’s summer without some sweat and grass stains? In terms of outdoor fun, there’s a game for every camper. The sports menu features classics such as basketball, soccer, tennis and softball, but also spotlights archery, pickleball, and frisbee golf. No matter the age or experience level, campers will get a workout without even knowing it.
Have a young artist in the family? Or maybe a budding yogi? Cali Camp nurtures such creative arts. Activities like arts and crafts, drama, dance, martial arts, yoga and music are offered. Each art is carried out by supportive counselors and taught by specialists.
Of course, what would summer camp be without the extreme? Children are given the opportunity to defy boundaries and soar, literally and figuratively; ropes courses, gymnastics, rock climbing, aerial arts, and go-karts let campers feed their wilder sides.
For tamer days, Cali Camp also takes time to appreciate the environment with its natural excursions. Campers can learn priceless outdoor skills, from organic gardening to geocaching to hiking, or ride horses in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Lastly, if a camper falls in love with a particular activity, they can sign up for specialty summer camps, which run in one-week sessions, available from a one-time try to all nine weekly sessions. This year, Cali Camp is offering the Adventure Camp for the thrill seeker, Aerial Arts Camp for the trapeze performer, and Equestrian “Wrangler” Camp, for the horse enthusiast.
Of course, an L.A. summer wouldn’t be complete without a pool, so Cali Camp puts swimming on the schedule everyday. Swim lessons are offered, too.
With appetites worked up, it’s lunchtime. Cali Camp offers three basic options: bagged-lunch from home, $10 hot lunch or a selection at the Cali Café for breakfast and lunch. The café offers fresh fruits and veggies, as well as foods in whole grain and gluten free.
The summer 2015 dates are June 15 to Aug. 14. To save anywhere from $10 to $50 per day, sign up for the Spring Special before it ends April 30. For an all-encompassing introduction to Cali Camp, open houses are available on Sundays April 19 and May 17.
For more information, visit calicamp.com.