Accessing Nature

At YES we believe that time spent in nature — with its opportunities to reflect, connect with others, and discover new possibilities — restores individuals to their essential selves. Since 1999, YES has lifted the obstacles for getting Richmond and West Contra Costa County youth into nature by awarding more than $2 million in direct scholarship funding so that youth can attend outdoor, residential summer camps across the Bay Area.

Summer camp increases young people’s appreciation of nature, it builds self-confidence, social and leadership skills that inspire people to set goals and envision a future in which they can become successful young adults. Unfortunately for too many low-income youth, the barriers that prevent them from getting into nature and attending camp are not only financial: they include linguistic, cultural, and literacy barriers. YES overcomes these by working closely with young people, their caregivers, the community and our camp partners.

Located in the coastal redwoods approximately an hour and a half from Richmond, our summer camp partners focus on diversity, positive social experiences, respect, teamwork, cooperation, and the use of communication as a means of conflict resolution. The camps offer a wide assortment of traditional and contemporary outdoor activities, including swimming, hiking, ziplining, archery, horseback riding, mountain biking, arts & crafts, and field games.

The summer camp experience is open to youth ages 8-16 and is the entry point to YES’s ten-year youth leadership pathway. Upon turning 14, youth are eligible to participate in YES’s Camp-to-Community (C2C) year-round, youth development program which exposes and connects them to leadership opportunities at camp, in nature and in their community.

To learn more information about signing a young person up for camp, please email Zaira Sierra at zaira@yesfamilies.org 

Click here to view the 2016 Summer Camp Highlights.