Welp, that’s a wrap on this year’s summer camp! All our campers are back home and back to school now, and back to their normal lives.

But as we reflect on the time we’ve all spent together, it brings us joy to know each young person left with a better sense of self, a stronger bond with their community and a deeper connection to Mother Nature.

This didn’t just happen by accident. We worked extremely hard to make sure that each day was packed with fun, community-centered activities as well as plenty of time to improve their academic skills. Each week, we also had a theme that helped us all remember what’s important in life.

So before we officially end the summer, let’s all take a moment to appreciate some of the best moments we experienced at camp this year.


Making a splash

Campers jumping into the swimming pool

The campers were definitely not shy about getting in the swimming pool. We might not have another Michael Phelps in our ranks. But when we gave the campers some time to cool off in our on-site pool area, they (literally) jumped at the opportunity.


Art inspired by nature

Camper painting during Wellness & Social Justice Hour

During our Wellness & Social Justice Hour, we encouraged campers to relax and paint something that was inspired by nature or their culture.


Kickin’ it

Kickball game

Our campers always have a lot of energy. So we set up a co-ed kickball game so they could get all their kicks and giggles in.


‘Baby, you’re a firework’

This year’s camp wouldn’t have been complete without our Karaoke Night. We brought in a DJ, and we turned the steps to the dining hall into our stage. Each cabin picked a song and then performed it in front of the whole camp (even our executive director, Wakanda, hopped on the mic). Needless to say, the campers lit up the night with their singing and dancing and they let their colors burst.


Seas the day

Beach Day 2022

One of the things that makes Camp Phoenix so magical is that we’re so close to the beach. During one week, we took our campers to Pescadero State Beach. Of course, the outing was all about just letting the campers be kids. But we also made sure to stress the importance of honoring the land that we now get to use as our playground. Thousands of years ago, before the arrival of Europeans, several indigenous tribes controlled territories throughout the San Mateo coast and adjacent mountains—including the Chiguan of today’s Montara area, the Cotegen of Half Moon Bay, the Oljon of San Gregorio and the Quiroste of the Pescadero, Butano, and Año Nuevo regions. Together, these and some 45 additional tribes located throughout the larger San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas have come to be known as the Ohlone people.


A culinary showdown

One of our other Camp Phoenix traditions is the Top Chef competition. Just like the reality show, each cabin had to come together and put their amateur spin on several iconic summer dishes. The contestants were judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the home-cooked meal industry (aka our camp staff). And the winner of Top Chef Camp Phoenix was…Jasi!


So many Crocs

We noticed that at least half of the campers had a pair of Crocs on them this year. We’re not going to say they were biting each other’s styles. But they definitely had something in common.


Squid Game!

Celebrating after playing Squid Game

After a taxing day in the outdoors, our campers accepted a strange invitation to compete in a set of children’s games, based on the popular show Squid Game. They all entered the competition knowing a tempting prize awaited them. We promise no one was hurt during this activity. 😉


The color celebration

2022 color celebration

We really got to see what makes the Phoenix Phamily so special during the color celebration. This annual activity is usually our most anticipated activity every summer, and it’s a way for all our campers to show their true colors and celebrate the beauty of our community’s diversity. We weren’t able to do it last year. But when we told the campers we were bringing back the celebration, they knew exactly what to do and it was all smiles.