2017 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE
New Programs for our 8th Summer Season!

Welcome!  On this page, you will find a description of the amazing adventures that Marin GreenPlay is proud to offer for 2017.  We think you'll find it hard to choose from our awe-inspiring and innovative programs created to immerse your child in the natural beauty of Marin County and beyond.  Whether this is your kiddo's first camp or they have tried all the rest, with Marin GreenPlay, you've found more than a camp.  Marin GreenPlay is a set of experiences in science and wonder, nature and adventure, created to grow with your child and leave them with memories they'll never forget.  We can't wait to see you this summer!

For Grades K-2
Watershed Warriors: Nearby Nature

Developmentally appropriate, place-based, observational, fun, wonder-filled, hands-on learning experiences in nature.
For Kids Entering Grades K-2  
Half Day 9AM-1PM ($250/week) and Full Day 9AM-4PM ($400/week)
FREE Extended Care Always Available 8-9AM & 4-5PM
6:1 Camper to Guide Ratio    Max Group Size 18
NUT-FREE CAMP
Add On Lunch Option Available ($50/week)
Early Bird & Sibling Discounts Available

Little kids love to invent their own games, and Marin’s green places are the perfect place to search for fairy houses and imagine you are the king or queen of the forest.  Your child will come home happy and full of stories.  The dirty knees will say it all - our Watershed Warriors program truly allows your child the chance to connect with nature.  The Watershed Warriors program is organized games, unorganized games, waste-free crafts, moments of giving back to the community, friendship-making, exploration and sensory-based fun! 

All Watershed Warriors weeks will find us helping out with restoration projects spearheaded by the City of Mill Valley, Town of Tiburon, Golden Gate Parks Conservancy, Green Gulch Farm and the Marin County Open Space District.  At the end of the week, brimming over with new experiences and with a newfound respect for rain and a love of fog, your child will say, “I’m a Watershed Warrior!"

Mill Valley Creeks Steps & Lanes Celebration  June 12-16 & August 7-11.  Mill Valley.  This week we'll explore Mill Valley's watershed and learn about the critters who call it home.  We'll learn about the water cycle and the plants that depend on it.  Through super fun nature games, interpretive hikes, art, free exploration and restoration projects, our Mill Valley Creeks Steps & Lanes week shows your child that we can’t live without clean water and a healthy watershed.  We will also explore the magical Steps, Lanes and Paths of Mill Valley that need our love as some are being forgotten.  Our service work this week will be working with the City of Mill Valley to help maintain one of its Steps, Lanes and Paths.  Likely locations: Old Mill Park, Cascade Park, Edgewood Park, Blithedale Park, Boyle Park and Miller Grove.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Depot Plaza, Downtown Mill Valley

Camp Solstice  June 19-23.  Mill Valley.  We'll kick off this week learning by doing regarding some of the traditions from around the world celebrating the Summer Solstice and making some of our own traditions.  We'll form our own village in the style of favorite children's book "Roxaboxen" and jam out with local children's musicians on instruments we create from recycled materials.  We'll also learn how to cook food from the sun, make natural face paint to adorn ourselves for our festival and to harvest local plants for dyeing t-shirts.  Wildcrafting and a group nature art installation will be part of our activities.  Village games and stories are an important part of this week.  Of course, we will celebrate with a service project to help our village shine and regenerate the Earth.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Bayfront Park, Hamilton Drive, Mill Valley

Tiburon Bay Adventures  June 26-30.  Tiburon.  This week we’ll explore the crabby beaches of Tiburon, watching for bat rays, egrets and herons at low tide. We’ll explore McKegney Field for signs of insects and gophers and fly kites at Linear Park.  On Friday we’ll take the local bus to Downtown Tiburon and check out the history of Tiburon with a visit to the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum, returning to our beloved Blackie on the bus again. We will work with the City of TIburon on a project to spruce up the area this week.  DROP OFF/PICK UP: Blackie’s Pasture, Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon

Green Gulch Farm Fun  July 10-14.  Muir Beach.  Your child can’t wait to spend a week at the magical farm by the beach, Green Gulch Farm. Campers will help with planting, harvesting and other farm activities in the morning followed by a full afternoon of fun at Muir Beach in the afternoon.  Highlights include working in the children’s garden, learning about mediation in the Zendo and exploring the wilder side of the farm, including discovering newts, frogs and many species of birds.  We will be of service this week by harvesting food and working in the children's educational garden.  DROP OFF:  Green Gulch Parking Lot, Muir Beach.  PICK UP:  Green Gulch Parking Lot (half day campers), Muir Beach Parking Lot (full day campers).

Larkspur Creek Adventures  July 17-21.  Larkspur.  Baltimore Canyon is the perfect place to explore and Larkspur Creek provides hours of exploration and learning.  We’ll hike the Dawn Falls and surrounding trails, learn why this canyon was so loved by loggers, and find out why frogs and birds such as the charismatic Spotted Owl and Pileated Woodpecker make this place their home.  On our last day we’ll venture to Ladybug Meadow and learn what happens when we reintroduce a lost species into its habitat.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Dolliver Park (Dark Park), Madrone Avenue, Larkspur.   

Bayside Tracks Mill Valley  July 24-28.  So much life takes place in the marsh.  This week we’ll learn about marsh plants and animals, play games and create stories, and all without getting stuck in the mud!  We’ll venture from our drop-off and pick-up point across from the Mill Valley Public Safety Building on Hamilton Drive to points all along Richardson Bay.  We’ll clean up trash from the marsh and find tennis balls from the dog park and learn about keeping our watershed clean - for us and for all of the creatures who call it home.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Bayfront Park, Hamilton Drive, Mill Valley

Tall Trees Explorer  July 31-Aug 4.  Muir Woods.  This week we’ll learn some of the lesser known facts about the beautiful Coast Redwood trees we’ll find in Muir Woods as well as ask some questions about the mysteries that still surround these woods.  Using all of our senses, we'll learn that there is more to Muir Woods than meets the eye.  We’ll find out what finally toppled the Kent Tree and what makes it different from the others, why ladybugs meet up in Muir Woods and check out the salmon fry nursery in Fern Creek.  Special visits to nonpublic parts of Muir Woods will be granted in return for our pledge to spend a portion of the week giving back to this national treasure.  DROP OFF/PICK UP: Muir Woods Parking Lot

Ring Mountain Miwok Mission  Aug 14-18.  Ring Mountain, Corte Madera/Tiburon.  This week we’ll explore Ring Mountain focusing on the ancient Coast Miwok sites and check out interesting rock formations.  We'll work with local plants to make rope with Miwok basketry expert Charlie Kennard.  Light hiking with plentiful games and special Native American stories will make up most of our time together.  We'll work with Marin County Parks on a project this week.  DROP OFF/PICK UP: Ring Mountain (Phyllis Ellman Trailhead at Paradise Drive and other trailheads each day), Corte Madera

Adios Verano  Aug 21-25.  Corte Madera/Tiburon.  We'll bid goodbye to summer with bilingual (Spanish and English) explorations of the Tiburon bayfront and Ring Mountain focusing on the special plants and animals that live by the bay and on the hillside surrounded by amazing bay views.  Light hiking with plentiful games and special stories will make up most of our time together.  We'll work with Marin County Parks on a project this week.  No prior knowledge of Spanish necessary.  DROP OFF/PICK UP: Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon

Click here to register for one or more weeks of Watershed Warriors.
 

For Grades 3-6
Earth Adventurers: Unforgettable Explorations
Three Great Series:  Citizen Science Explorer, Biomimicry Innovator, and Sense of Place

Exciting, science-based, cutting edge, project-based, inquiry driven adventures in nature designed to build confidence and knowledge.
For Kids Entering Grades 3-6
Full Day 9AM-5PM ($450/week)
FREE Extended Care Always Available Beginning at 8:30 AM
10:1 Camper to Guide Ratio   Max Group Size 20
NUT-FREE CAMP
Add On Lunch Option Available ($50/week)
Early Bird & Sibling Discounts Available

CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPLORER SERIES
Kids love technology, but do they know how to put it to good use to help scientists protect Earth's biodiversity?  The world of citizen science, or the collaboration between scientists, non-scientists, and nonprofit organizations to collect data that the scientists can use to detect patterns, is our focus during this series. Campers will learn by observing creatures and plants in various local habitats, drawing and photographing them, and gleaning their adaptations and behaviors.  Campers will work with representatives of local nonprofit organizations to collect data and enter it into iPads in the field using iNaturalist and other apps.  We will compliment our study by playing active games and doing hands-on activities that connect us to the focus of our studies as well as engaging in outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking, boogie boarding and more!  By week's end, each camper will understand how to set up a citizen science project of their own, which can be on-going after camp in the form of an inventory of the plants and animals found at a camper's home, neighborhood or school environment or another project of their own design.  Science and exploring in the mornings; games and active sports in the afternoons.

Citizen Science Forest Explorer  June 19-23.   This week we will work with the Save the Redwoods League, MMWD, SPAWN and Point Blue, all local biodiversity conservation organizations on their citizen science projects in Marin County as well as the national project, School of Ants.  The Save the Redwoods League project will have us learning everything about ferns, their adaptations, and how to distinguish one species from another so that we can collect data in STRL's fern plots.  MMWD's project is a collaboration with SFSU's graduate program to study pollinators on MMWD land.  Later in the week, we'll learn about camera trapping's contribution to citizen science with SPAWN in the San Geronimo Valley and then help record data from mist netting activity in Point Reyes with Point Blue.  There will be plenty of games, drawing, and other activities to help us learn effortlessly about the creatures and plants we are studying while having so much fun.  This week will include a harnessed tree climbing experience with expert arborist Joe Sikelianos of Urban Arborist SF and daily slacklining opportunities.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Citizen Science Bay Kayak & Ocean Explorer  June 26-30.   Using our iPads this week, we will clean up beach litter and record it using the Litterati app.  Examining the distribution of litter and its characteristics, we will learn a bit about the difference between point and non point source pollution.  We will also examine the threat to marine wildlife that plastic pollution, in particular, presents.  We will also meet volunteers from the BeachWatch program to participate in the data collection necessary to that program.  Various beautiful beaches and bay front locations will be the subjects of our attention including Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Agate Beach, Baker Beach and bay front beaches in Tiburon, Sausalito and the east side of the Marin Headlands.   This week will include one kayaking trip on Bolinas Lagoon and boogie boarding at Muir Beach and Stinson Beach.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Citizen Science Creek & Bay Kayak Explorer  July 10-14.  This week we will work with the River Otter Ecology Project, SPAWN and Mill Valley Streamkeepers, all local biodiversity conservation organizations on their citizen science projects in Marin County.  With ROEP, we will dive headfirst into learning about river otters and their unique habits and diversity of habitats, recording their sign and track and sightings of these magical creatures.  SPAWN's watershed ecologist will guide us through the assessment and recording of features of healthy salmon streams along with the counting of the small fish (fry) born this past winter.  We will also work with MVSK to understand and record the health of Mill Valley's creeks and correlate our findings with the observation of Steelhead trout fry.  This week will include a kayaking trip on Tomales Bay, the outflow of many of West Marin's creeks.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Click here to register for one or more weeks in our Citizen Science Explorer Series.

CITIZEN SCIENCE:  VOLUNTEERS WEIGHING, MEASURING AND RECORDING DATA ABOUT COHO SALMON IN THE LAGUNITAS WATERSHED WITH SPAWN

CITIZEN SCIENCE:  VOLUNTEERS WEIGHING, MEASURING AND RECORDING DATA ABOUT COHO SALMON IN THE LAGUNITAS WATERSHED WITH SPAWN

BIOMIMICRY INNOVATOR SERIES
During this series, we'll explore science and engineering through the fascinating and innovative discipline of biomimicry.  Science writer and creator of the Biomimicry Institute Janine Benyus has described biomimicry as tapping into nature's genius to solve human problems through sustainable design.  We'll observe plants in their communities and animals in their habitats to understand how their ingenious adaptations help them survive and thrive on Earth over time, and what we can learn from them in designing our own world.  We will engage in many STEAM-inspired, hands-on activities created by The Center for Learning and Nature.  When faced with a problem, we'll learn to ask the question, "What Would Nature Do?"  This camp is a perfect blend of observations in nature, science and fun, as we will engage in outdoor sports like kayaking, hiking, boogie boarding and more! We'll also visit biomimicry innovator Jay Harman, author of The Shark's Paintbrush, in his laboratory in San Rafael weekly (subject to Jay's availability).  Each week will culminate in camper-created inventions that emulate the adaptations of one or more local organisms to solve a human challenge selected by the camper.  Click to watch the TED Talks of BenyusHarman, and architect, Michael Palwyn.  Science and exploring in the mornings; games and active sports in the afternoons.

Biomimicry Forest Innovator  July 17-21.   This week we will examine the geometry of trees, the adaptations to growing in shade and to an annually wet and dry climate in looking for solutions to human problems.  The angles of tree limbs and leaf positions provide us with useful information.  Fish, fungi and salamanders will also teach us their strategies for life that we can potentially draw upon in our model-making activity.  We'll visit the Coast Redwood forest of Muir Woods, Bishop Pine forest of Point Reyes' Inverness Ridge, the oak woodlands of Mount Burdell Open Space, the Eucalyptus forest of the Mill Valley coastal hills and the Monterey Cypress forest of the Presidio looking for inspiration.  Hikes, games, hands-on experimentation and data collection, and drawing will make up a good portion of our week.  Other highlights will be harnessed tree climbing if possible and slacklining.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Biomimicry Bay Kayak & Ocean Innovator  July 24-28.   The bay and ocean plants and creatures have much to teach us from the hard as nails abyssal threads and holdfasts that mussels and algae, respectively, use to cling to the rocky shoreline to the regenerative arms of sea stars and the symbiotic behavior of sea anemones with their resident phytoplankton.  We'll visit the shorelines of Marin County to find out more about the plants, algae and creatures that live along the coast to inspire our model-making activity.  Tidepooling, games, hands-on experimentation and data collection, and drawing will make up a good portion of our week.  Other highlights will be boogieboarding with the dolphins at Muir Beach and kayaking with the seals on Bolinas Lagoon.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Biomimicry Farm Innovator July 31-Aug 4.   This week your child will spend a magical week at the farm by the beach, Green Gulch Farm.  In helping with planting, harvesting and other farm activities, the campers will make observations that lead them to possible solutions to human problems, particularly the challenge to supply the world with food.  For example, counting the "waggles" and identifying directional, timing, and other information in the dance of the honeybees at the farm's apiary is an example of a math-based code for communication and distribution.   We will learn the value of meditation to creative design in the Zendo and explore the wilder side of the farm, including discovering newts, frogs and many species of birds and their adaptations, culminating in the making of our models.  We will spend each morning at the farm followed by a full afternoon of fun at Muir Beach in the afternoon with boogieboarding and beach games.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Biomimicry Creek Kayak Innovator Aug 7-11.   The creeks are alive with so many creatures with adaptations we can learn from.  By collecting data about the creatures we find in the creeks, we find that those who live in the creek's quiet pools are very different from those who live in its fast-moving riffles.  Those creatures that can span many different conditions have additional adaptations and behaviors to learn from.  Most incredible are the habits of the salmon and steelhead that travel between salt and fresh water during their life cycle replenishing the forests.  Exploring the creeks and focusing in on the creatures and plants who live among them and observing patterns will help us to create our models.  We will visit the Mill Valley, Redwood, Corte Madera and Lagunitas creek systems this week.  A highlight will be a kayaking trip on Corte Madera Creek.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

Click here to register for one or more weeks in our Biomimicry Innovator Series.

BIOMIMICRY:  THE AERODYNAMIC DIVING KINGFISHER WAS A MODEL FOR THE ULTRA QUIET JAPANESE BULLET TRAIN.

BIOMIMICRY:  THE AERODYNAMIC DIVING KINGFISHER WAS A MODEL FOR THE ULTRA QUIET JAPANESE BULLET TRAIN.


SENSE OF PLACE SERIES
In addition to our Citizen Science Explorer and Biomimicry Innovator series, we are pleased to offer the following weeks specially designed to take advantage of the unique local opportunities to learn about nature art, trail ethics, navigation skills and the charm and history of Mill Valley. 

Bay Area Art in Nature June 26-30 & July 24-28.   This week we will discover the large-scale art created from the local natural elements of the Bay Area.  We will visit Andy Goldsworthy's local works, The Spire and The Wood Line at the Presidio and Drawn Line at the de Young Museum.  Well-known artists and/or their assistants including Andres Amador, with his magical sand works, Charlie Kennard and Rebecca Burgess, with their sustainable fiberwork, and others currently being scheduled, will show us the natural inspiration behind their work and teach us how to create our own using their varied media and styles.  This week's VIP access to the artists themselves is not be missed for budding camper artists and kids who love to daisy chain and build with found objects.  Artists noted are confirmed with additional artists to be announced soon.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School Skate Park

THE SAND ART OF Andres Amador, OCEAN BEACH

THE SAND ART OF Andres Amador, OCEAN BEACH

Dog Days of Summer  July 10-14 & Aug 7-11.   Partnering with Mill Valley's finest dog walkers and trainers, and meeting with Golden Gate Parks Conservancy staff and Marin County Dog advocates, we'll get out on the trails and find out what's involved in choosing the right trails for a hike with your dog, how to walk dogs, and all of the etiquette involved with sharing the trails with wildlife and other people and their pets.  Our goal is to keep the trails open for our furry friends by creating good stewards of the land and responsible dog owners.  Campers can bring their own dog to camp at least once this week after passing a simple screening process developing by our dog training expert.  All campers will have a chance to walk a dog every day.  Last year we picked up over 75 doggy tennis balls out of the marsh, and it was so much fun, we'll probably do it again.  No van transportation this week, we will meet in convenient locations in the Mill Valley area.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Various Trailheads in Mill Valley

Around Town  June 19-23 & July 17-21.   It’s not only the natural parts of Mill Valley that make it such a great place to live. The people living in the watershed are crucial as well.  During Around Town week, we'll meet the Mayor or City Councilpersons at City Hall, sit in their chairs and learn what the City Council does before heading to Miller Grove to explore. We'll go behind the scenes at a local restaurant to see how a signature dish is made and spend some time learning how Mill Valley got started in Old Mill Park.  We will tour Mill Valley's sewage treatment plant and visit Mill Valley's Public Safety Building to meet a handful of firefighters, paramedics and police officers and then head to the mudflats of Richardson Bay.  Breaking out of the town jail and checking out the police motorcycles is always a big hit!  One of the best parts of this week is traveling around town on the Number 17 bus.  We'll help out by doing a project in collaboration with Clean Mill Valley. This is the week your child begins to feel truly connected to his or her town and will be able to confidently navigate its main streets and tell stories from its history.  No van transportation this week, we will hike and take the Marin Transit bus around town.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Depot Plaza, Downtown Mill Valley.

Angel Island Bike Treasure Hunt  July 31-Aug 4 & Aug 14-18.   This week we'll take the Angel Island Ferry daily to bike the nooks and crannies of Angel Island, learning about the island's natural and cultural history.  We'll also play games to learn the basics of map and compass navigation and orientation.  There are 30 plus geocaches to be found on the island, and we will learn what GPS is and how to use a GPS receiver to find these treasure chests, large and small.  Campers will bring their bikes on Monday, and we'll secure them on the island until our last day of camp on Friday.  We'll give back to the island by participating in a service project this week.  No van transportation this week, we will meet at the ferry station daily.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Tiburon Ferry Station 

Click here to register for one or more weeks in our Sense of Place Series.


For Grades 3-6, Middle School & High School Students
Outdoor Rock Climbing Camp

Safe, professionally-guided, skill building top rope climbing and bouldering.
For Grades 3-6, Middle School & High School (separate groups)
Full Day 9AM-5PM ($495/week)
FREE Extended Care Available Beginning at 8:30 AM
5:1 Camper to Guide Ratio    Max Group Size 10
NUT-FREE CAMP
Add On Lunch Option Available ($50/week)
Early Bird & Sibling Discounts Available

June 19-23, June 26-30, July 10-14, July 17-21, July 24-28, July 31-Aug 4, Aug 7-11 & Aug 14-18.  Marin GreenPlay offers the only weeklong outdoor climbing experiences for kids from Marin and San Francisco.  Our professionally-guided rock climbing trips have been incredibly popular since we started offering them in 2012.  AMGA certified climbing instructors will show campers proper safety techniques and proper wear and care of climbing gear, knot tying, buddy check, climbing up, lowering, commands, rappelling, bouldering, belaying, and more.  We provide all of the necessary equipment.  Limited to 10 climbers so campers get as many climbs in as they want.  We'll climb at Ring Mountain, in the Berkeley Hills, Stinson Beach, Sonoma State Beach, and/or Castle Rock State Park each week. For ages 8-18 (grouped by age and climbing at different locations).  Parents of incoming 6th graders choose whether to enroll their kids with the elementary or middle school groups.  All campers will participate in a project to give back to one of our climbing locations.  DROP OFF/PICK UP:  Mill Valley Middle School

Click here to register kids Grades 3-6 for Outdoor Rock Climbing Camp.
Click here to register Middle School students for Outdoor Rock Climbing Camp.
Click here to register High School students for Outdoor Rock Climbing Camp.


For GreenPlay Youth Leaders Training for middle and high school students, click here.

For PK, Grades K-2, Grades 3-6, Middle School or High School Students
Custom Camp

Every year we build at least one nature camp to order for a group of friends who have a special week in mind
or would really like certain content or a certain location.  We're happy to do that for you!
Half Day 9AM-1PM ($250/week) or Full Day 9AM-5PM ($400/week)
FREE Extended Care Available Beginning at 8:30 AM
5:1 Camper to Guide Ratio    Min Group Size 10  Max Group Size 18
NUT-FREE CAMP
Add On Lunch Option Available ($50/week)
Early Bird & Sibling Discounts Available

Email info@maringreenplay.com to inquire about our Custom Camps