Nothing to Do This Summer? Get a Job at Camp!

By Aliza Levin

While many kids take the lazy mood of summer to heart and spend the time laying around the house, some Berkeley High School students have decided to do something more productive with their time off from school. If you are one of the teens who is reluctant to mope around all summer, take into consideration these fabulous programs and camps that will keep you busy and give you a summer you will never forget.

Let’s say you want to stay local. Berkeley Day Camp is a non-sleep-away camp in your hometown! “It’s basically your average summer camp, like the ones in all those movies,” Olivia Mohr, a sophomore, commented. The camp is split up into groups based on age, the youngest group being for five–year–olds. Berkeley Day Camp also includes a Teen Camp for kids up to age thirteen. After that, campers become Counselors in Training (CIT). “I’m so excited to be a CIT this year,” Mohr said excitedly. “I am going to be working with all the people I went to camp with as a child.” Each session is one week long, but there are some kids who go for all nine weeks of the summer “because they love it so much,” Mohr explained. “I’d never been to a summer camp before this one in third grade. At first it was really scary but I just loved it and have gone every year!” Mohr concluded.

Or you might want to stay in sunny California, but not in your own house. You want to get out into the woods. The answer for you is Tuolomne Family Camp. This idyllic retreat is located near beautiful Yosemite National Park. There are daily activities for kids, hikes for adults and three provided meals a day. But no activity is mandatory, and the schedule is whatever you make it to be. “I went when I was [age] seven, eight and nine and then I stopped going for a while and went again last summer as a CIT,” Lily Gold, another BHS sophomore explained. “As a CIT you go for two weeks. The first week you try out all the possible departments you could work in, which include; nature, recreation, maintenance, dining hall and kitchen. The second week you rate your top three choices and get assigned two. You then work for half a week in each,” Gold said. “The staff are just the most motivational, cool, awesome, and funny people ever and it was a great experience working there,” she concluded.

Perhaps you’re a music lover, so you decide to try Cazadero Music Camp. It was founded in 1957 by Bob Lutt, a BHS band teacher who just recently passed away. “It is a sleep-away music camp in the redwoods where really devoted musicians come to practice music,” Nina Nakao, an alto saxophone player from BHS explained. ‘The people that I have met I have formed such close bonds with, and I get to learn a lot of music. I’ve met people from Nevada, Ohio, Texas and one girl from Switzerland! I love the traditions with friends I have created from going for ten years,” Nakao commented.

Oh, you’re interested in improving your language skills? Many options exist for you. Here are two: Abbey Road or Rustic Pathways. “Abbey Road is an experimental education abroad opportunity. You go into the community, not into the classrooms, to learn French,” explained Sophie Varon, French speaker and BHS sophomore. The program is four weeks long and based in Nice. Every weekend though, participants travel to other places in Southern France and see the sights. “I can’t wait to speak fluent French and to feel immersed in the culture,” Varon said.

“Rustic Pathways is a two–and–a–half week program to Costa Rica to learn Spanish. “We will sight-see, explore and travel, and also take Spanish classes while on the trip. We also will be doing community service projects, surfing, and snorkeling,” Eva Townsend, BHS student commented.

Whether you decide to hang out with young kids as a counselor or travel abroad, get off the couch this summer and give something else a try! You only live once!