A healthy place for children, the environment, and sustainable futures
Camp Arroyo is a beautiful residential camp serving children year-round as a place to explore, learn and grow in an ideal outdoor setting. Nestled in the hills surrounding the 138-acre Del Valle Regional Wilderness in Livermore, California, the camp was formally opened in 2001 and serves thousands each year. Owned by the East Bay Regional Park District, Camp Arroyo is operated in partnership with The Taylor Family Foundation and the YMCA of the East Bay.
Camp Arroyo is owned by the East Bay Regional Park District. During the summer months, and several weekends throughout the year, the camp is a haven for children with life threatening illnesses and their families to enjoy together, thanks to The Taylor Family Foundation. The Taylor Family Foundation offers an incomparable opportunity to children and their families by providing therapeutic recreation, specialized support and resources. TTFF hosts a racially and socio-economically diverse group of nearly 3,000 campers with chronic medical, developmental disabilities and youth at-risk for over 30 camp sessions throughout the year—at no charge. Through Camp Arroyo, The Taylor Family Foundation provides a safe, nurturing environment, filled with positive energy and support. It’s a place where kids are surrounded by children with similar conditions, and where individuality is not taboo, but celebrated. The YMCA of the East Bay is the operator of the camp year-round, offering programs, and weekend group rentals for retreats and events. From September to June the YMCA directs an excellent outdoor educational experience that introduces 4th, 5th and 6th graders to important concepts about science, nature, and sustainable living. Both groups have decades of knowledge and experience managing the Camp’s life changing experiences.
The development of Camp Arroyo and its curriculum has been generously supported through funding, grants and donations from:
"I liked going on the solo hike the best because it was a time when you are by yourself breathing in nature looking over all the mountains.”
- 5th grade Outdoor School student
"The staff did an incredible job mixing standards and content with fun! I love how the students were able to get active and explore. Can’t wait until next year!”
- Murray Elementary School, 5th grade teacher
“I like that I got off my mobile devices and explored the wonderful environment”
- 6th grade Outdoor School student
“”It’s an extremely organized program, no time is wasted, nonstop learning opportunities and ton of fun! I think everything they did was valuable in some way. The adventure groups are such an incredible hands-on learning experience. The evening programs really brought everyone together! All the naturalists are amazing!!”
- Hidden Hills School, 4th grade teacher
Camp Arroyo is a 138-acre park owned and maintained by the East Bay Regional Park District since 1995. The site retains a sense of isolation as it is situated at the end of a winding road in the countryside.
The "green" camp design not only provides beautiful living and learning facilities, but also serves as a tangible example of sustainable development. A core goal of the site construction is to incorporate responsible building practices such as using recycled, sustainable materials; installing energy efficient lighting and climate control; preserving natural features including trees and wildlife habitats; and reusing existing infrastructure. The ecologically friendly design encourages students to visualize innovative building practices.
The site contains six duplex cabins that comfortably house 144. Each side of the duplex has its own bathroom and sunroom as well as sleeping quarters for ten students and two chaperones. The nutritious meals are served in the large, multifunctional dining hall. The site also has a large, guarded swimming pool and adjoining bathhouses, an infirmary, an indoor/outdoor arts and crafts yurt.
A central goal of the program is to foster critical thinking about the environment and help students develop creative solutions to issues that they will encounter throughout their lives. Through a series of fun, hands-on activities the students will increase their understanding of and respect for the environment and each other. The intensive, project-based curriculum fully addresses the California State Frameworks and Standards.
Camp Arroyo not only helps produce the next generation of environmental stewards, but also fosters community leaders. A unique aspect of the curriculum is that it allows children to make choices about their studies and extracurricular activities.
Techers can choose from a 3, 4 or 5 day program that provides students with a deeper understanding of individual concepts as well as an awareness of the interrelationships among the different themes. The curriculum directly correlates with California Education Standards and has been recently updated to match the Next Generation Science Standards, creating a program that complements and expands upon what is being taught in the classroom.
In addition to the academic curriculum, Camp Arroyo provides a variety of community-building experiences for the students including:
For information about reservations and YMCA programs, please call 925-667-2222. Camp Arroyo is open to groups by reservation only.
During the summer The Taylor Family Foundation uses the site to serve children with life-threatening illnesses. See The Taylor Family Foundation Camp Arroyo web page.
During the school year the Outdoor School program is open to 4th-6th grade classes, the YMCA offers Family Camps, Women’s Retreats and a variety of other programs, and camp is available for rent for weddings, retreats, gatherings and events.
The design is by Siegel and Strain Architects of Emeryville. The environmentally innovative design includes "green" features such as straw bale insulation, solar heating and gunned-earth construction for the pool, metal roofs to catch runoff water for irrigation, and use of recycled materials wherever possible.