Summer Tilden Outdoor Camp Info

Want nature to play a central role in your child’s development and experience this summer? Desire a balance of enriching activities and open ended, fun playtime for your child? Looking for a nurturing, diverse, and creative staff to be there for your child? Curious for your older child to help support such a program as a youth leader? If so, join us for our 19th year of unplugged fun in Tilden Park!


 “My child had a fantastic time and came home singing new songs at dinner every night.  It seemed to me that Monkey Business was a great combination of organized and relaxed, fun and truly oriented around young people’s perspective.”  


One week sessions: June 11-Aug 24, 2018

Basic Day: 8:30-3:30
New: Shorter Day Option: 8:30-1:30 (limited spaces)

Extended Care Fun (optional):
AM: 8:00-8:30
PM: 3:30-6:00
Camper drop off is flexible in the morning until 9:50a.m.

Hours for some Junior Counselor youth leader positions are slightly different than camper hours-see below in “Youth Leadership Area” for more details.


Tilden Park, Berkeley: Meadows Site, with swim days at Lake Anza.

A large meadow with 5 picnic tables and the stupendous nature of Tilden await us! The site is a couple minute drive from our August Pre-K program for ages 3-4 years at the Shepherd of the Hills (SOTH) Fellowship Hall in Berkeley and ten minute drive from most of our “On the Go” programs

We will have carpool lists, so you can coordinate driving with other families.  Please opt in at registration to be included, share the load and get some time yourself in nature!

“My children loved swim day at Lake Anza, arts and crafts like making clay sharks and their tie-dye T-shirt. They were excited about the crayfish on their hike around the lake yesterday. They’ve had fun making new friends, and are starting to learn the camp songs and games.”


There are three groups at Monkey Business Camp:

  • Strawberry Banana Group, ages 4.75 – 6, with up to 27 campers.
  • Mango Coconut Group, ages 7-10, with up to 25 campers.
  • Youth Leaders, ages 11+ who assist staff in making camp tons of fun, and stay with either the Strawberry Banana or Mango Coconut group. There are less than 10 each session, so spaces fill more quickly.

Campers can mix together during outside morning free play, lunch, post-lunch play time, afternoon extended care fun and during the entire swim day. Otherwise, they are with their smaller age groups.

“Most of all I loved that there were other great kids, my sometimes shy kid felt comfortable from the minute he arrived, liked staying for aftercare, and was happy and excited when I picked him up.”



What will the kids be up to all day? At the top of this page, we covered a bit about camp being in nature all day, as well as the unplugged and warm, friendly vibe we are always aiming for. In addition, there is a real need for kids to have spaces both where they can get swept up in the joy of playing, on their own, and with other kids, as 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. It has been a gift to see many campers grow in to youth leaders and now staff members, grounded into a caring and fun community that they can rely on in their lives.

Weekly Schedule for our Strawberry Banana Group, Ages 4.75-6

Weekly Schedule for our Mango Coconut Group, Ages 7-10


 Camper Fees
Sign Up by Feb 1st
Camper Fees
Sign Up by March 5th
Camper Fees
Sign Up After March 5th
Last Minute
After 2pm Friday before camp
Basic Week (M-F, 8:30-3:30, 35 hours)$385$410$460$475
With Multi-Week Special
3 weeks or more of Basic Week
(Save $20/child-can be shared by siblings)
Basic Week Shorter Day New Option!
(8:30-1:30, 25 hours)
Limited spaces available
AM extended care fun 8-8:30 (2.5 hours)$30$30$35Drop-In Rates below
PM extended care fun 3:30-6:00 (12.5 hours)$105$105$125Drop-In Rates below
AM and PM Special-15 hours
(Save $10/child)
$125$125$150Drop-In Rates below

Early Sign Up Specials and Shorter Day Option do not apply to weeks of August 6-10, Aug 13-17 and Aug 20-24.  Multi-week specials do apply to those weeks. If you do not need any specials, consider rounding up your tuition in the “add-on” section.

AM and PM ext. care fun rates listed in chart above are advance sign up rates, and depending on the date of sign up vary from $8-$10/hour.  After 2pm the Friday before camp, Drop-In Last Minute Extended Care available on site for $13/hour or $7/half hour.




  • We want our camp to be accessible to all families, as it makes our camp a better place. The budget it takes to run a high quality, award winning camp with thoughtful programming and higher than average teacher pay is high. We have created various options for folks including flexible “no fee” payment plan options at the online payment page, and financial aid and work exchange available by application. Please apply if you have need, and refer those in your networks who might not realize about this option.
  • It takes a village, so if you have something extra to give to our scholarship fund, round up your tuition on the online registration portal, from $2-$20. Even these small to larger gifts made it so 10 days of camp were available last year to kids who otherwise could not have afforded it. We screen applications for lower incomes to insure your money really going to those who need it.

 “While this camp is not the cheapest one around, I have seen it be one of the greatest investments I have made. My girls have become more courageous and caring, and I know your camp is a part of that. I also love how diverse your staff is. As a mom of bi-racial Jewish kids, this has been so important to me.”


Click on FAQs and Policies links above for more details: the camp daily schedule, age groupings and sizes, how to decide whether to enroll in this program or the Pre-K program, food allergies, the staff:camper ratio, carpools, etc.

  • Campers bring their own lunch and morning snack, unless signed up for a special package. We provide PM aftercare fun snack of fruit, veggie, crackers, and cheese and serve some treats in the early afternoon from cooking projects. These are 95% organic, Kosher, vegetarian, low sugar, with gluten and dairy free options. We are a nut and nut butter free camp, to help keep our campers safe.
  • Campers need to be able to handle themselves well in our group of up to 50 campers and with staff: camper ratio of 1:9.


Our staff from diverse backgrounds are nurturing, creative and enthusiastic. They are hired to guide and enrich our programs and foster friendship among campers. All children, returning and new campers alike, are actively welcomed. Click here to see bios and photos of our year round team, many of whom will be joining us in Tilden. We often have multi-lingual staff!

Thank you for offering such a high quality camp and for the very personal feeling of Monkey Business.”

YOUTH LEADERS: 8 Total Spaces/Session (all 2 weeks, except Aug 20-24 week)

For youth, ages 11-16 who want to gain volunteer experience leading activities with younger campers, love being outdoors, and enjoy helping campers get comfortable at camp and with making new friends.  Alongside our campers, youth leaders will play field and board games, assist with arts and crafts and cooking, take walks to the Little Farm and around Tilden, read books, play board games & go to Lake Anza (every Thursday, except July 4th week and last week of summer).

CITs are 11-15 years old and can be new to camp; JCs are 14-16 years old, have been CIT in the past and received positive feedback from the staff. Most youth leaders sign up for 1-2 of our two-week sessions, and assist one of our groups (ages 4.5-6 years or ages 7-10).

 Parents, please answer yes to the questions below before registering for the Tilden Park Outdoor Summer Camp youth leadership program:1

  1. Orientation Details and Camp Gear: My child will read the orientation handbook before camp, which includes some practicing of camp games and songs. They will also come at 8:00 the first Monday of each youth leader camp session to meet staff, get oriented to site, or help set up. I will pick up camp gear at the MBC North Berkeley office before camp, and the office will be in touch with details.
  2. For CIT registration: My child has shown an interest in helping and playing with younger children, has overall helpful attitude and has shown good ability to assist adults with kids in a recreational or school setting. I will indicate a preferred group (4.75-6 or 7-10) although I understand that first choice may not be available. I will have the option to sign up for AM extended care: 8-8:30 and/or PM extended care 3:30-6:00.
  3. For JC registration: My child has been a previous CIT with Monkey Business Camp and received good reviews from the staff (if you are not sure, please e-mail  I will indicate a preferred group (4.75-6 or 7-10) although I understand that first choice may not be available. I will choose a 7.5 hour basic day shift of either 8:00-3:30 or 10-5:30 and have option to sign up for either PM extended care 3:30-6:00 OR AM extended care 8:00-10:00.
CIT Fees
Sign Up by Feb 1st
CIT Fees
Sign Up by March 5th
CIT Fees
Sign Up After March 5th
(spaces may be full)
Last Minute
After 2pm Friday before camp
(only open to return CITs)
Basic Session (Two weeks, 8:30-3:30, 70 hours)
One week session 8/20-24 is half priced
July 4th session pro-rated.
AM extended care fun 8-8:30*no chargeno chargeno chargeDrop-In Rates below
Two weeks: PM extended care fun 3:30-6:00$160$160$180Drop-In Rates below

Early Sign Up Specials do not apply to these sessions: August 6-17 and Aug 20-24.  There are no multi-week discounts since fees already discounted.

AM and PM ext. care fun rates listed in chart above are advance sign up rates, and depending on the date you sign up vary from $4.80-6.80/hour.  After 2pm the Friday before camp, Drop-In Last Minute Extended Care available on site for $13/hour; $7/half hour.

* AM extended care for CITs is only available at no charge in advance. Dropping in will be charged at our normal drop in rates.


 JC Fees
Sign Up by March 5th
JC Fees
Sign Up After March 5th
Basic Session (Two weeks, 8:00-3:30 or 10-5:30, 75 hours)
One week session Aug 20-24 is half priced.
Two Weeks:
AM extended care fun 8:00-10:00 for PM JC
PM extended care fun 3:30-6:00 for AM JC
PM extended care fun 5:30-6:00
for PM JC*
no chargeno charge

There are no multi-week discounts since fees already steeply discounted.

AM and PM ext. care fun rates listed in chart above are advance sign up rates, and depending on the date you sign up vary from $2.40-$3.20/hour.  After 2pm the Friday before camp, Drop-In Last Minute Extended Care available on site for $13/hour or $7/half hour.

I have seen a lot of emotional and social development in my child this past month 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!”