Fiddleheads Summer Sessions

Enrollment for Summer Session is now Open!

Sign Up Now!

Our nature immersion group is warm, playful, and instructive, fostering deep nourishing connections with nature and with each other. Developed to support the social and emotional growth of the children, Fiddleheads summer sessions integrate many activities that promote sensory integration and emotional regulation, and take full advantage of our beautiful regional parks.

We keep our ratio small: one counselor per three children. We also cap our group size at 6 to 8 children so that each child feels seen and understood.

We develop the flow of the day and structure of activities to meet the individual needs of the children in the group.

We are careful not to over schedule the children. A harmony of excitement and relaxation is sought through a balanced flow of free play, adventure, story time, structured games, crafts, snack and circle times.

We honor the natural rhythms of the child and the day; the in- and the out-breath.

We incorporate mindfulness and movement activities into everything we do.

We are happy to answer further questions. Simply fill out our contact form and we will call or email you to set a time to talk. Please know that our sessions do fill up so if you would like your child to join us this summer, contact us soon!

Locations

North Bay:

  • Petaluma: Helen Putnam Regional Park

South Bay:

  • San Mateo: Laurelwood Park

San Francisco

  • San Francisco: Presidio

East Bay:

  • Berkeley: Tilden Park
  • Oakland: Roberts Park
  • Richmond: Wildcat Canyon

Dates

Groups meet Monday–⁠Friday, 9:30am–⁠2:30pm

Session 1: June 14–⁠June 25
Session 2: June 28–July 9

NO GROUPS: July 12–16

Session 3: July 19–July 30
Session 4: August 2 – August 13

All of our locations are tentative based on preliminary enrollment. If you are interested in a specific location we encourage you to apply early. If you are interested in a location that is not on this list, don’t hesitate to contact us. Click here to inquire about bringing Fiddleheads to your area!

Costs

Tier 1

$1,750

Per 2-week sessionThis is the actual cost of the group plus additional 25%. This addition allows us to offer Fiddleheads to children and families who otherwise cannot afford our services. If you can provide this additional amount, our organization will continue to create greater equity in access to nature and emotional well-being for all people.

Tier 2

$1,400

Per 2-week sessionThis is the actual cost of the group. If you can afford it, we encourage you to choose this option.

Tier 3

$1,050

Per 2-week sessionThis is our subsidized tuition. This option is available to families who need some financial assistance.

Tier 4

Contact Us

Per 14-week sessionThis is a variable rate for families with financial needs that are greater than Tier 3. Financial aid is provided based on an application to the extent that we have available resources in our Financial Assistance Fund.

We are in partnership with East Bay and North Bay Regional Centers. If you are a client of the Regional Center, reach out to your Service Coordinator to express interest and check your eligibility.

Discounts

Earlybird: Guarantee your spot by March 1, 2020 and you can change your session or location through May 1, 2020 for absolutely no fee (Can be combined with our multi-session discount).

Multi-session discount: Sign up for two or more sessions and receive $25 off each additional session.

Multi-child discount: Sign up for two or more children and receive $50 off your total  cost for each child.

Referrals: Refer a new family to Fiddleheads and receive additional $25 off your total group cost. Please make sure your friend(s) reference your name and code FRIEND in the “How do did you hear about Fiddleheads” section of the application.

Average Day

  • Arrive at 9:30 AM
  • Short period of free play on until all children arrive
  • Counselors bring everyone together for circle time
  • At Circle Time, counselors lead activities, play social skills and mindfulness games, play music together, and more
  • Counselors talk about theme for the day (e.g., friendship, working together, overcoming challenges)
  • Counselors share with group the primary activity for the day (fish pond, climbing tree, tag game, etc.)
  • Snack time, talk about theme for the day
  • Hike to destination
  • Counselors lead the main activity of the day (nature art, games, cooperative project, etc.)
  • Lunch Time, counselors tell stories
  • Free play / rest period
  • Hike back to starting (pickup) location
  • At Closing Circle, group members share their apple and lemon of the day, and connect activities to theme of the day
  • Depart at 2:30 PM

Fiddleheads Counselor Narrative

Another day has passed filled with adventure, challenges, and growth.
A few highlights that occurred today were creating an imaginary mining operation at the Octopus Tree, discovering salamanders under Redwoods logs, creating a new type of game championing imaginary animals (depicting our emotions and unique preferences) and involving all kiddos/counselors in the camp, and experiencing the calming nature of arts and crafts.

While the kiddos experienced some challenges early in the day–specifically, we had a difficult time respecting each other’s feelings and communicating with kind words–it was inspiring to watch them work through those difficulties and emerge at the end as friends. At the end of the day we always share pros/cons of the day. Today, the kids shared that their cons were the arguments at the beginning of the day, while their pros were working through negative feelings and making amends. That is an incredible skill to learn. We all experience challenges and arguments in our lives, but to be able to put aside those differences and focus on friendship development is spectacularly valuable.

We recognize that many of the kids may come home talking (or venting) about our camp agreements. As such, we thought it would be helpful to list two of our biggest agreements here in this email so that we can all be on the same page.

Kind Words-
We agreed as a camp to use kind words when communicating with our friends. This means calling our friends by their given names and not using mean or vulgar names to describe each other. In addition, throughout conversations we want to focus on using words which uplift and honestly express our feelings. This does not mean that we can’t express negative emotion, in fact we highly encourage sharing that emotion. However, our agreement does mean that we don’t use words that put down or hurt our friends. The natural consequence for making a mistake with this agreement is to take some space away from the group to re-regulate for 1 minute. The second time we struggle in a day, we take space for 5 minutes. The third time we struggle in a day, we take space for however long it takes to re-regulate. However, if we can’t re-regulate and are making other campers feel unsafe we agreed to call parents.

Kind Bodies-
We also agreed as a camp to respect each other’s bodies. In this agreement, we chose that hitting each other with sticks or physically using our bodies as weapons would not be allowed. Once again, we want everyone to be safe. For the first mistake in this agreement, the natural consequence is 5 minutes of taking space. The second time, is taking as much time as is needed to re-regulate The third time–according to Fiddleheads legal policy–we need to call parents.

We really are trying to stress that taking space is NOT a bad thing, nor even a punitive consequence; rather, it is a tool for us to re-regulate. Taking space is an empowerful tool for re-regulation not only in Fiddleheads, but in every situation life throws at us. Our goal is not to punish campers for behavior, but rather foster opportunities for them to recognize their emotions and boundaries, and then self-regulate enough to make responsible decisions.

As you can imagine, this is difficult for everyone, not just our kiddos. We are committed to fostering an atmosphere of growth mindsets, in which we all feel comfortable learning, making mistakes, and growing together. However, we also need to make sure that everyone is safe. We wanted to share these two agreements with you so that you can understand what kind of agreements we have made at camp, and that all of our agreements focus on creating a safe space at camp for all campers.

You have some of the most creative, resilient, funny, and loveable kids ever. It is a joy to work with them every day. I apologize that this email was heavier than normal, but I hope you know that we believe in your kids and are awestruck by their incredible personalities and growth.