Santa Cruz Day Camp

Special Days & Traditions

Many campers spend multiple sessions with us each summer. Special days, themes, contests, and our rich traditions keep things fun and exciting for everyone!

Tuesday Founders Day

Campers receive their camp T-shirts and smile for a group photo (contact us or login to your account to add one). Then we all gather in the redwood grove amphitheater to learn about our Founders Uncle Max and Aunt Marion and their unique story from 1946. New campers receive the coveted Kennolyn Green bracelet while everyone receives a bracelet specially made each summer (campers love to collect them all). Returning campers with 5 or more summers receive special gifts. It’s a rich community building experience recognizing how together we ALL make camp a special place.

Friday Funday

Each Friday we have a change of pace to make things EXTRA FUN. Throughout the week we feature skits, songs, sudden performances and activities to build excitement around that week’s theme – Rock Star, Super Hero, Olympics, Luau…and more! Everyone dresses up according to the theme on Friday. In the morning, campers grades 2+ enjoy “Free Choice” to choose from a list of available activities. Something fun is planned for our K-1 group so we ensure they have the supervision they need. In the afternoon, we kick off our theme event with all sort of fun and unexpected games to wrap up an amazing week.

Session Theme
1 Magical Kingdom
2 Harry Potter & Fairy Tale
3 Color Carnival
4 Twins
5 Holidays
6 Heros & Kennolyn's Got Talent
7 Under the Sea

Girls dressed as Supergirl and Wonder Woman for Friday Funday
Campers dressed in wacky costumes form a line
Boys running through inflatable waterslide
Girls running on grass next to inflatable waterslide

Opening & Closing Circle

Each Day we gather together to start and finish the day in a beautiful grove of redwoods. Songs, skits, announcements recognizing a special kindness or amazing achievement build the sense of community and belonging. Campers learn a wide range of camp songs which they will share with you at home. Another great tradition of these gatherings are the Bus Cheers. All of our bus counselors will work with the campers on their bus to come up with a daily cheer. This is a highlight for many campers as they try to cheer louder and funnier than the other buses. We also love to sing on while on a hike or while hanging out in crafts. Singing creates community, helps us all relax, boosts confidence, improves mental alertness, and helps everyone just feel great!


Camp is a great place to celebrate a birthday! Camper are announced at the beginning or end of the day and their group is treated to icy cold otter pops at the end of lunch. The pops we provide are 100% fruit juice with no artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup.

Kennolyn Lore & Magic Trees

Since 1946 many stories and traditions have grown. Campers love to visit the Wishing Tree or Big Tree along the miles of trails here. Perhaps they’ll spy a Kennachaun (our version of Lepruchauns) along a hike…or at least find one of their hats they often leave on the ground. Sometimes the zany cry of the Wishy Waher Washerwoman can be heard echoing among the redwoods. Old stories remain and new ones are waiting to be told.