Founding Directors

About Us

Monkey Business Camp started in 1999 in Tilden Park, Berkeley with 18 children and 2 counselors, the Founding Directors. The camp has grown over the years through word of mouth support for our programs from our community of kids and parents and we now serve 500 families each year.

Our programs offer a great opportunity for unplugged time in the natural world, playing, learning, and relaxing in beautiful settings. Highly qualified and caring staff guide the way, creating a supportive and fun community. We always encourage kids to enjoy old friends and welcome in new ones.  We are a certified green business and support sustainable practices at our camp and in our administration.  Our camp staff and our camp families come from diverse backgrounds. You can count on us to emphasize respect for one another and the planet, and to enjoy life.

Founding Directors

Heather Mitchell
Heather Mitchell

Hello everyone! I am excited you are interested in camp, as it truly takes you to help manifest our vision of an incredible summer for your kids. I grew up in 1970s and 80s Brooklyn, NY and spent summers in the Catskill Mountains, in a co-op community. The treasured memories of interacting with the natural world, having fun with an inter-generational community, and the communities’ commitment to social justice and peace, inspire the kind of place you will find at Monkey Business Camp programs. I have lived in the Bay Area for 25 years, teaching children, ages 2-14 at Step One School and the New School of Berkeley after studying Women’s Studies, History, Government and Dance at Oberlin College in Ohio. I co-founded Monkey Business and the “On the Go” Programs with Stacy Raye in 1999, and continue to guide the direction of the camp as the Executive Director. Current interests: travel-backpacking overseas and camping, music, dance, being in nature, yoga (certified in Kundalini yoga), tarot, astrology, sacred women circles with Heather Munro Pierce, and being with my amazing husband Bradley Olson and dear friends. I am so grateful to have graduated from Angeles Arrien’s Four Fold Way Leadership Training. May this year be one of connection, healing, and joy, so we may be creative stewards of this wondrous planet we call home.

Stacy Raye

Stacy on a trip to Spain in 2006!

Stacy was born on December 15, 1960 in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. At the age of 11 Stacy saw the movie “Auntie Mame” and fashioned her life around Mame’s dictum “Live, Live, Live”. She partnered with Heather Mitchell, in life and business, in 1993, and created Monkey Business and Girls on the Go Camps.  She grew up in Sacramento, and graduated from UC Berkeley, studying History and teaching Lesbian/Gay Studies. Stacy worked with children in some capacity all her life, including teaching ASL, pre-school at Step-One in Berkeley before founding these camps. She loved Shakespeare, and theater in general, poetry (e.e. cummings was a favorite), children’s literature, especially Dr. Seuss, Margaret Mahy, William Steig, and James Marshall, dancing to live music, and anything that supported a fun loving, justice filled world. Stacy was an intrepid traveler. From the exotic streets of Bangkok to the highlands of Nepal, she found wonder and meaning. After a 2 year courageous battle with cancer, she passed away on Feb 17, 2011.  She left an amazing legacy and will be greatly missed.  She will live on in these camps and in those of us touched by her brilliant spirit. We created the ongoing Stacy Raye Memorial Fund, to honor her and her commitment to supporting children and families.  It supports children affected by cancer to attend up to a month at any of our summer programs.  If you are so moved, please read about and contribute here, as every bit makes a big difference to Heather who continues their legacy together:

Stacy with two Girls on the Go staff in 2007!

Stacy and Heather with Counselors

Heather and Stacy with some of our first youth leaders!