Preschool & Kindergarten Day Camp Program

Roughing It is the ideal place for the first time camper to begin their camp experience.


Roughing It Day Camp - For Preschool and Kindergartners

This is the best place for young children ages 4-6 years to begin their camp experience! We have a group for preschoolers and a group for kindergarteners so all activities are designed just for their ages and developmental abilities.

The extra time, care, and consistency of our 2-week or longer sessions gives our campers the opportunity to settle into a new routine in the outdoors, relax, and have fun. They make friends, bond with their counselor and staff, learn to share, help each other out, take turns, and try new activities. They look forward each day to more amazing outdoor adventures at the Lafayette Reservoir!

 “He was happy, dirty, ate like a horse, slept like a log, and got to do things he couldn’t do anywhere else.” – Kitty, Kindergarten Camper Parent

Day Camp Activities

  • Sports & Field Games
  • Group Activities, Quiet & Active Games
  • Crafts
  • Nature & Outdoors
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Teambuilding
  • Boating
  • Singing and Skits
  • Opening & Closing Circle

“I’m choosing Roughing It Day Camp for my son this summer so he can have a chance to just be a kid again!”


Prospective Camper Mom, 2021

My daughter loved camp so much that she attended camp for 4 weeks and then went back for 4 more! The skills she learned over the summer were incredible.

Dianna, 1st Year Camper Parent
Pre-K Camper Group

I really liked how my son felt part of something and was proud to wear the T-shirt.

Alex, 1st Year Camper

Our Camper Groups – A Safe, Nurturing Experience for Younger Campers

Our youngest campers are grouped by grade level so all activities are tailored to each camper’s age and abilities. Each group is lead by an adult counselor and assistant counselor who provide supervision, safety, support, guidance, and fun! Campers spend the entire session with the same group and counselor.

How are Camp Days Spent?

The camp day is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm with extended care options. Campers enjoy every day playing, learning, and having fun with their camper group and counselor in the great outdoors at the Lafayette Reservoir. Part of the day consists of scheduled activities taught by specialty staff, and the rest is an opened and more relaxed time that the group and counselor plan together. This ensures that each camper has the opportunity to experience every camp activity during camp. Formal camp activities include instruction in each of the specialty areas for all ability levels, taught in a safe, fun manner. Each day builds upon the next as campers learn, grow, and make new friends. There are also set times for snack, water and bathroom breaks, sunscreen, and lunch in the shade. 

Sessions & Dates

Campers can attend 2-week or longer sessions. Our longer 4 & 8-Week sessions are the most popular and provide the best camp experience. We understand session length is a commitment for families and so offer shorter 2-week sessions that still provide a great outdoor experience.

The Value of 4 & 8-Week Sessions

Extended Care Options

We offer an before-camp care and after-camp care. See Extended Care for details.

Caring & Experienced Adult Counselors

Our all adult staff provide a safe, supportive camp environment. We select staff who have experience working with young children and are excellent role models. We also have our own certified specialty staff who instruct at each of the program areas and camp administrators on site each day. Our overall camper to counselor ratio is 4:1. Learn more »

Camper Safety

Since our founding in 1972, we have understood the trust parents put in us to take care of their children. That is why the health and safety of each camper is the primary concern of each Roughing It staff member. Supervision of campers by staff is always constant.

Campers make up their own Code of Living based on the Roughing It General Camp Rules. They are taught and follow all the safety procedures in each program area, in their group, and on their bus. This allows campers to be both physically and emotionally safe!

All our staff are certified in /First Aid and CPR, and receive additional training in safety and health procedures during the week of staff orientation. All swim and waterfront staff are certified lifeguards. Learn more »

Transportation Included

Buses run from 8-9:00 am and 3-4:00 pm for the full camp day. We offer central bus stops in East Bay, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Tri Valley. Each bus has a professional driver and a Roughing It counselor. Learn more »

Camp Readiness - How To Know if Your Child is Ready for Camp?

Our Younger Camper programs are geared toward preschool and kindergarten-aged campers who are ready for a full day of being outdoors, being part of a group, enjoy socializing, and can participate in all of our camp activities. Campers must be 4 years old (by the start of their camp session) and be fully potty trained. In addition, to attend Roughing It campers must be positive members of their group and able to follow staff instructions and all the camp rules.

In over 50 years of running Roughing It, we’ve seen how camper readiness is individual to each child. We have put together this Camp Readiness Guide to help parents assess if their child is ready for camp. We are always happy to chat more with you to see if Roughing It is a good fit for your child and that they will thrive at Camp this summer. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  

FAQ for Younger Campers