What is Camp Arroyo?
“If you ask me what I came into this world to do I will tell you – I came to live out loud.” – Emile Zola
To put it simply, Camp Arroyo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where kids with special needs are free to just be kids. No conforming, no hiding, no being singled out as “different.” Camp Arroyo 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.
Remember your first experience away at camp? Late night ghost stories, swimming with your pals, laughing in your cabins, roasting marshmallows over the campfire? It was a week of magic, light-heartedness, and something you looked forward to all year.
Quite often, children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities have never experienced such a place. Camp Arroyo was built specifically for these kids, to give them the opportunity to have a blast in a fun, untroubled, safe environment, where they feel comfortable, happy, and secure. They’re exposed to new activities, games, and experiences, and usually end up amazing themselves by doing things they had no idea — or dared not imagine — they could do.
At Camp Arroyo, our campers receive extra care and attention from highly trained, round-the-clock medical staff. Trained volunteer counselors give campers undivided attention (one-on-one, if necessary) and build friendships based on dependability and trust. At Camp Arroyo, the children are able to talk about their feelings in a compassionate, nurturing atmosphere, and are made to feel at ease — finally!— to just be themselves.
Although a few camps existed before 2001 for children with cancer, no "permanent" camp existed in Northern California for children suffering with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses — one that opened its doors to all such children. Camp Arroyo offers a fulfilling and comprehensive camp experience, complete with an energy efficient facility, healthy, delicious food, quality care, and FUN, FUN, FUN!
Camp Arroyo’s design takes into consideration all the children's physical and emotional needs, and was built just for them. Camp Arroyo is a state-of-the-art facility built with lots of LOVE!
Here are some of the amenities you'll find at camp:
- 7,500 sq. ft. dining hall that seats 200
- Indoor and outdoor stages
- 12 cabins with restrooms, which sleep 12 campers per cabin (144 total)
- 3,500 sq. ft. swimming pool with grass and BBQ area
- Boys' and girls' bath houses
- Arts and crafts center
- Sport court
- High- and low-challenge courses with a climbing wall
- 1½ acre meadow for field sports
- Two additional grass areas adjacent to dining hall
- Organic garden
- Campfire circle
Some of our future plans include additional staff and/or parent lodging, activity zone, shade structure and a state of the art adaptive play area.
For more information, about East Bay Regional Park District, please visit: www.ebparks.org/activities/daycamps/arroyo
For more information about YMCA of the East Bay, please visit www.ymcaeastbay.org/camparroyo/