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Activities at Outdoor Explorers
REAL outdoor camp activities you can't do anywhere else!

Outdoor Explorers' group counselors use their expertise in organizing and teaching outdoor activities to lead group and choice activities, while Roughing It Waterfront Staff- all lifeguard certified- provide boating & fishing instruction and supervision and Reservoir Staff provide nature & crafts instruction. After a week at OE, campers feel connected to nature, know how to safely enjoy outdoor activities, and have a deeper appreciation of the environment.

Want to see camp in action? Come to an Open House to try some activites, take a tour, and meet some of our wonderful staff!

Waterfront - Taught by our Roughing It Day Camp Waterfront Staff who are all lifeguard certified. Campers become familiar with all the waterfront safety procedures before heading down to the docks:

Unique outdoor camp activites such as fishing and boating at our one week summer day camp.Fishing - Under the supervision of the Fishing Counselor, campers learn how to bait your own hook, how to use different bait and weights, and simple drop line and castings techniques. All fishing gear is provided by Roughing It. Most campers choose to practice "catch and release" once they land a fish. Campers practice how to rig their fishing poles, and the use and care of fishing gear.

1 week summer day camp in Lafayette with boating and outdoor activitiesRowing - Working as a team Outdoor Explorers practice their rowing skills in the protected area of the lake known as Captain Ruff's Cove. Campers always wear lifejackets and each rowboat has a Roughing It staff member. They rotate through the different positions in the boat learning to be a port or starboard rower, lookout or coxswain.

Nature Exploration - Campers, no matter their skill level, learn how to safely hike and explore the Reservoir with their adult counselor and fellow campers:

Local Lamorinda Summer Day Camp at the Lafayette Reservoir with hiking, nature, fishing, boating, and craftsHiking the Trails of the Lafayette Reservoir - Campers learn about the basics of hiking gear: a backpack, water bottle, sunscreen and a hat to begin the hike. They take short hikes with their adult counselor through the pines and up to the Rim Trail. As the week progresses, they have opportunities to take longer hikes, stopping for a snack or lunch in the shade of the oak trees.

Explore the natural world at our lakeside site in LafayetteNature and Wildlife Discoveries - Find out who lives at the Reservoir, what they eat, how they fit into the web of life, and what we can do to better preserve their habitats. Learn about the fence lizard, the coots on the lake, deer in the pear orchard, and the elusive bull frogs!

Outdoor and Nature Games - For Fun and Learning! Some of our most popular activities are games that teach important principles about the environment. Explore habitats with animal bingo, or learn to identify plants and tress with nature scavenger hunts and the roadside cribbage game. Play hiking games campers can teach their families such as granny's backpack, twenty questions, and "trail blazers."

Outdoor Living & Camping Skills - Campers learn many of the skills that Explorers need to thrive in the great outdoors including: shelter building, backpacking and camping gear selection and repair, first aid, outdoor safety, water purification, site set-up and sanitation. Explorers will garner the Leave No Trace Skills needed to experience the joys of outdoor recreation and learn how to care for spaces and our shared public lands. Campers learn how to track, recognize trail markings, and orienteering using a map and compass.  Practice safe trail practices through search and rescue modules.

Outdoor cooking and outdoor living skills at our one week summer day campOutdoor Cooking - Campers can join in outdoor cooking sessions where they learn to cook on outdoor BBQs and on backpacking stoves in addition to learning a variety of outdoor cooking techniques, under the watchful eye of their adult counselor. Recipes include cake in an orange, bread on a stick, fry pan cornbread, fried apples, and many more delicious recipes!

Tent pitching and shelter building at our all outdoor summer day camp in LafayetteTent Pitching & Shelter Building - Campers use team work and cooperation to set up a tent or build a shelter using simple supplies. When they have finished building the shelter, camper groups can then put them to a test against the elements!


Crafts - Campers join the Roughing It Arts & Crafts counselor under the pines for natural, recycled, and creative crafts. It is a time for campers to unleash their imaginations and work on refined motor skills while enjoying the relaxation the outdoors provides.

Nature crafts, recycled crafts, and traditional crafts at Outdoor Explorers in the San Francisco East Bay Area.Natural and Recycled Crafts - Campers enjoy making crafts such as wood medallions, flower pressing, plant rubbings, non-natural collages, recycled cloth people, bird feeders, and animal clay-creations. Crafts is a safe way to try something new with little no negative consequences.


Sports - The sports program is designed to help campers improve individual skills while gaining an understanding of what it means to work as a team. Campers learn the rules of many field games and practice skills, techniques, and strategies. The Roughing It sports counselor emphasizes skill-development in a non-competitive, fun atmosphere.

Try field hockey and lacrosse at our one week summer campSoftball, baseball, ultimate frisbee, and t-ball sports instruction at our all outdoor summer day camp program1 week sessions at our all outdoor summer camp with instruction in soccer, sports, crafts, fishing, boating, nature, and hiking.Soccer, softball, t-ball, football, field hockey, lacrosse, and more!


Group Time - In addition to daily choices, Outdoor Explorers have the camaraderie of a group setting with similar aged campers and an adult group counselor.

  • During the morning Group Meeting, Counselors meet with their campers to confirm their daily choice activities prepare everyone for the day.

  • Group Activity is a time for camper groups to decide on a group name and cheer, make a group flag, prepare a skit for Closing Circle, and participate in traditional camp games such as Mississippi, Village Chief, and Capture-the-Flag.

  • Groups come together each day for Lunch in the shade. Counselors will encourage campers to reapply sunscreen, refill their water bottles, and use the restroom. Younger campers may listen to a short story and older campers participate in a quiet game after finishing their lunches.

  • Each afternoon, Group Debrief is a time for campers to share their daily adventures with their group members and counselor and reflect on the skills they've learned. Counselors help campers get ready for the ride home-refill water bottles, use the restroom, and collect projects-and the next day. Groups may also practice a song or skit before heading over to Closing Circle together!

Traditional Camp Activities - Explorers participate in the spirit and fun of camp skits and songs at Opening and Closing Circle with the Roughing It Day Campers. They enjoy playing favorite camp games such as Mississippi, Prisoner's Base, Pickle, Steal the Bacon, Capture the Flag, Lemonade, and an amazing selection of tag games. We also play a variety of quiet group games such as Chief, Statues, Wink, Animal Pass, and rhythm games. Traditional camp crafts like lanyards are also part of the fun for Outdoor Explorers.

Opening & Closing Circle

  • Each morning campers walk up the hill to Opening Circle with their bus groups to meet with their group and counselor. At Opening Circle, bus groups perform original songs and skits, the 'Challenge of the Day' is announced for each program area, and the camp favorite- D'Juno is read. The D'Juno is a riddle camper groups use to find the hidden fact of the day hidden somewhere at camp.

  • At the end of each day, camper groups meet under the oak trees for Closing Circle. Camper groups perform original songs and skits, announce their names, and reveal their flags, daily awards for each program area are given out, and camp announcements are made for special activities coming up. At the end of Closing Circle, campers are dismissed with their bus groups to head home for the day!

Special Days & Activities

  • Outback Day - Each week on Thursday, Explorers have an extended  choice period giving them more time to focus on a skill or activity that they love. Outback day is a great time for campers to try something new or dig deeper into an activity that appeals to them.  See Special Days for more details.

  • Outdoor Olympics - Each Friday afternoon, Outdoor Explorer groups participate in the Outdoor Explorers Outdoor Olympics! See Special Days for more details.

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