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Summer Camps at the Lafayette Reservoir | Roughing It

Typical Day Schedule By Age Group

Schedules vary by day and group. The following are samples of schedules for each age group:

Kindergarten & First Grade Campers Fifth Grade Campers
Second Grade Campers Sixth Grade Campers
Third Grade Campers Junior High Campers
Fourth Grade Campers C.I.L.T. Campers
A Typical Day at Roughing It Day Camp

2nd grade boys

How are Roughing It camp days spent?

Camper groups spend about half their time in a fixed schedule of activities. This ensures that each camper has the opportunity to experience every camp activity. The major emphasis for these activities is formal instruction for all ability levels taught in a fun manner. The rest of each day consists of activities designed by the camper group under the leadership of the group counselor. Through daily experiences, campers learn to select and organize their own activities. The camp day is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Opening & Closing Circle »

summer camp

The day starts with the bus ride where campers practice songs, skits and raps. At Opening Circle the entire camp assembles for announcements and songs, zany stunts and crazy visitors on Theme Days. Then the camper groups meet for a short time for group activity and planning. At the end of the camp day, the whole camp comes together for closing circle.

Waterfront »


The protected coves of the Lafayette Reservoir provide a wonderful location to perfect waterfront skills. Fishing is a favorite activity enjoyed by all the campers. Younger campers learn to row; kayaking is taught to our older campers. Campers second grade and above learn to canoe. Lifejackets are worn at all times while boating, canoeing, or kayaking and constant, close supervision is maintained at all times. All waterfront staff members are certified Lifeguards.

Horseback Riding Lessons »

horse lessions

Campers develop riding and horsemanship skills in classes geared towards each camper's individual ability level. Each group rides one to three times a week, depending on age. Campers are divided into riding groups based on ability: novice riders begin with horse readiness, followed by beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced and junior trainer levels for the more experienced riders. Campers ride in our three riding rings and, according to their ability level, can also ride on our trails and cross country course. Riding is on bareback pads, which greatly improves camper's balance and riding seat. Our horses have very gentle dispositions and easily win the hearts of campers. Roughing It employs its own riding staff and all senior instructors are Instructor Certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association.

Swimming Instruction »

swimming lessons

All campers participate in the formal American Red Cross instruction at the Soda Aquatic Center, located at Campolindo High School in Lafayette, a ten minute shuttle ride from the reservoir. Campers are at the Aquatic Center three times a week. Each swim sessions includes 30 minutes of formal instruction and 10 minutes of supervised games and free swim. Advanced swimmers may choose from additional swim activities such as water exercise, water polo, competitive swimming workouts or diving. All our Roughing It swim staff are certified lifeguards and have current certification in first aid and CPR. Senior instructors have completed their ARC Water Safety Instructor certification.

Sports »

summer sports

A full-time sports counselor organizes a wide variety of team and field sports in a non-competitive and fun atmosphere. Children enjoy softball, t-ball, volleyball, flag football and soccer, and for older campers, lacrosse and Frisbee football and rugby. The goal of the sports program is to teach a positive attitude, good sportsmanship and team building.

Arts and Crafts »

arts and crafts

A full-time crafts counselor makes crafts projects a creative and relaxing experience. Projects are specially designed for camper group interest and age level. There are nature crafts, clay, beading, unique crafts on theme days and many traditional camp crafts including lanyards, friendship bracelets, whittling, macram� and knot craft.

Outdoors and Environmental Education »

outdors tent

One of the most unique aspects of Roughing It is the rustic outdoor setting. Exploring trails, finding hideouts in the trees, learning the best wild blackberry spots, and just plain getting dirty are all part of "roughing it” in the outdoors. Campers can also practice outdoor living skills like map and compass, tent pitching and outdoor cooking. Acquiring a respect for all living things is an important value campers learn in the outdoors at Roughing It.

"He was happy, dirty, ate like a horse, slept like a log,
and got to do things not available elsewhere"

Kitty Hastings, parent of a 5-year- old camper, Lafayette

Adventure »

summer camp rope course

There are endless opportunities for imaginative and real adventures for our campers of all ages. Younger campers begin with simple initiative games and elementary group challenges. Older campers progress through lower ropes course elements. Junior high school aged campers can learn basic rock climbing as part of SuperChoice on Fridays. Sixth grade campers and older can take a short mountain bike trip. These adventures are designed to develop self-confidence, leadership, and supportive team building.

Traditional Camp Games and Activities »

These activities capture the imagination and encourage individual growth and physical development. They include such favorites as capture the flag, medic, kick the can, tree-tag, as well as our own camp traditions of Captain Rough's Treasure Hunt, Max's Rowing Challenge, and theme days.

Lunch and Quiet Time »

Campers bring a sack lunch, snack and drink each day. Quiet activities (stories read by counselors for younger campers and crafts for older campers) follow the lunch period.

Older Campers Have Their Own Active Programs »

6-8th Graders: As they get older, campers experience new and challenging programs. Jr. high campers (grades 6 - 8) begin mountain biking and rock climbing. They also have a slightly different format for their waterfront, swimming and riding programs: swimming offers additional activities such as water polo, synchronized swimming, diving, stroke improvement and basic water rescue. Riding offers drill team, equitation, jumping , vaulting, gymkhana, and trail riding.

9th and 10th Graders: Campers in Leadership Training (CILT) is for campers who want to improve their leadership skills or who would like to become Junior Counselors and eventually senior staff at Roughing It. They spend half their week in camp teen activities. The other half of their days is spent in organized leadership development programs and helping younger camper groups.

Entering Juniors, Seniors and College Freshman:  The Junior Counselor Program is for teens who love camp, love working with younger children and are entering their junior or senior year of high school or freshman year of college. Junior Counselors volunteer for the whole summer at Roughing It and serve as assistants with younger camper groups or at program areas.

Extended Day Camp »

Roughing It's extended day camp program, CampPlus, has its own unique program and activities. Visit our CampPlus page for more information.

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