- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: One Week, Two Weeks, Other
- Entering Grade: Below 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Traditional Camp
- Sub-Categories: Animals/Nature
- Selective: No
- Ages: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
- Minimum Cost: $500 - $1,499
- Call: (510) 843-6157
Camp Chrysalis has developed a distinctive approach to environmental education, offering campers rich experiences that combine adventure, hiking, crafts and personal growth in three spectacular California environments: Big Sur redwoods, Mendocino coast and Sierra Nevada mountains.
We camp in a group site at MacKerricher State Park, near the finest tidepools on the Pacific coast. We explore these tidepools during extreme low tides, rising at dawn to investigate the rich invertebrate and algal life of the inter-tidal zone. We visit spectacular sand dunes to study their unusual ecology, hike coastal terraces to a pigmy forest, and catamaran five miles up the tidal estuary of Big River to a rope swing. Beach games, cooking locally harvested treats (berries, algae and abalone), jewelry making and wood-working highlight our in-camp activities.
We camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park beneath redwoods and bay laurels, embraced by their ecology. Our pace is leisurely; we explore the creek bed and the stories it tells, spy on crayfish and lizards, explore redwood fairy rings, and sketch pictures in our journals. We wade through a canyon to swim in itsgorge and hike up another to gaze at a waterfall. We learn about invasive plants and animals and work on projects to help the park. We spend a day at a beach building driftwood houses and swimming in a lagoon. Back at base camp, we carve redwood hiking sticks and design our own T-shirts.
Our base camp is by Packer Creek in the Tahoe National Forest, near a “warm” pond for swimming. We explore the ecology of the beaver marsh and scramble down the creek to water slides and waterfalls. We practice archery, pan for gold, and enjoy time in the sweat lodge. We hike farther as we acclimate to the elevation, in leisurely tours through meadows of wildflowers to water-filled glacial cirques and up to the wind-blown crest of the Sierra Buttes. At the end of the session, we set off on a gentle backpacking trip for three days, camping and playing beside a small mountain lake.
From a Sierra trailhead, we’ll rise into the Ansel Adams Wildernessto to visit mountain lakes nestled underneath the shadows of peaks and ranges and climb passes to end up at Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. We’ll hike for six days, covering about 36 miles. As we grow familiar with the ecology of the landscape and each other, we’ll connect deeply with this stunning environment. Expect cold lakes, wildflowers, swimming, solo time, a brief thunderstorm, peak ascents, and serious stargazing. This session is for backpackers with some experience!