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.
Everyone is encouraged to be a little wacky! Do a crazy hair style, wear a wacky costume, and get ready to participates in a series of weird and wonderful contests at our Opening and Closing Circle. Who knows you could break a Wacky World record?! It’s challenging and fun and a great way to break things up mid week!
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.
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. You can also learn to play or listen to those songs here. 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. If we have a camper with a birthday, they get to come on stage. The lucky camper will get to choose the song they will sing together and everyone that day is treated to an icy cold otter pop.
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.
We Love to Sing
We love to sing together – on the bus, during Opening and Closing Circle, on a hike, or while hanging out in crafts. Songs from our first summers, new ones from our staff, repeat after me songs, do as I do songs, you name it, we’re up for it. Singing creates community, helps us all relax, boosts confidence, improves mental alertness, and helps everyone just feel great!