Who We Are

Camp Phoenix is a fun-filled, justice-centered program that is intentional about empowering teens from low-income backgrounds and reconnecting them to nature so they can become the leaders our community—and our planet—needs. Our three-week, overnight summer camp blends the fun of sleepaway camp with the rigor of exploratory learning to propel middle school students into the next school year and beyond. Throughout the year, we guide teens on weekend trips throughout the Bay Area to expose them evenn more to what Mother Nature has to offer. Founded in 2012, Camp Phoenix serves about 90 campers each summer and strives to bring joy, love and opportunity to everyone who joins the flock.

How We Caught Our Fire

Camp Phoenix was founded in 2012 by three dedicated education professionals who were fueled by a fire for social justice for the summertime. At the core of our founding was the belief that every kid from Oakland, no matter their access to resources, deserved to have a meaningful summer. Since then, Camp Phoenix has been bridging the summer gap for middle school students, realizing our founders’ vision for a brighter future for our community—one of equitable access to adventure, joy, leadership, nature and opportunity.

Camp Phoenix: Our Founders
Camp Phoenix: Our Founders

How We Caught Our Fire

Camp Phoenix was founded in 2012 by three dedicated education professionals who were fueled by a fire for social justice for the summertime. At the core of our founding was the belief that every kid from Oakland, no matter their access to resources, deserved to have a meaningful summer. Since then, Camp Phoenix has been bridging the summer gap for middle school students, realizing our founders’ vision for a brighter future for our community—one of equitable access to adventure, joy, leadership, nature and opportunity.

Camp Phoenix: Our Staff & Leadership Team

Meet the Team

One of the things that makes Camp Phoenix so special is that many of our staff come from the same backgrounds as our campers. Some of our counselors were Camp Phoenix campers themselves when they were in middle school. That means that, when our campers need a little nudge to go outside their comfort zone or when they need a shoulder to cry on, our staff knows exactly how to meet their needs. Nothing makes us happier than showing a young camper how to reach their potential.

Camp Phoenix: Our Staff & Leadership Team

Meet the Team

One of the things that makes Camp Phoenix so special is that many of our staff come from the same backgrounds as our campers. Some of our counselors were Camp Phoenix campers themselves when they were in middle school. That means that, when our campers need a little nudge to go outside their comfort zone or when they need a shoulder to cry on, our staff knows exactly how to meet their needs. Nothing makes us happier than showing a young camper how to reach their potential.

What Keeps Us Rising Higher and Higher

A Camp Phoenix, we close the summer gap for our campers by providing a fun, safe space that allows teens to be themselves and always staying true to what we believe in. We believe all youth deserve access to nature, wonder and exploration. We are committed to social justice. We believe in community-centered change. And we believe middle school students should gain—not lose—learning in the summer.

Camp Phoenix: Our Core Beliefs
Camp Phoenix: Our Core Beliefs

What Keeps Us Rising Higher and Higher

A Camp Phoenix, we close the summer gap for our campers by providing a fun, safe space that allows teens to be themselves and always staying true to what we believe in. We believe all youth deserve access to nature, wonder and exploration. We are committed to social justice. We believe in community-centered change. And we believe middle school students should gain—not lose—learning in the summer.

At first, we were hesitant about my daughter being away from home for so long. But once we saw that she was enjoying the enrichment she was receiving—and once we saw that she making some lifelong friendships—I knew it was worth it. Very pleased with what Camp Phoenix has to offer.

Lauren Hailey

Parent

Our families and our staff love sending kids to Camp Phoenix, not just because of the fun things they get to do at camp, but also because of what they bring back with them—positivity, kindness and intellectual curiousity. 

Austin Razavi

Dean, Unity Middle School

My favorite thing about Camp Phoenix is that it centers young people’s experiences around being brilliant kids of color. I got to witness this firsthand with my daughter when she first attended camp. She went up three math levels that summer, and she started middle school with a newfound confidence in herself.

Anayvette "Sparkles" Martinez

Board Member

Love, Joy and Opportunity—How We’re Making an Impact

Every camper who experiences Camp Phoenix always tells us the same thing about what makes this place so special every summer: there’s a certain magic in the air that makes everything we do more meaningful. That’s why we put so much energy into designing our activities with joy in mind. We make sure to show all our campers love by celebrating their diversity and encouraging them to bring out their best selves. And we make sure all campers have plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and stimulate their minds academically. Read our latest report to learn more about the impact we’re making year after year.

Since our founding in 2012, we have served 467 campers.

On average, every camper gains two months of reading and math skills over the course of the summer.

We currently partner with five Oakland schools and have plans to expand to more schools in the area.

Over 90% of campers say their confidence in themselves and their leadership abilities increase.

Thanks to Our Partners

Want to Work With Us to Make an Even Bigger Impact?

Apply for our summer jobs and year-round volunteer positions.

Want to Work With Us to Make an Even Bigger Impact?

Apply for our summer jobs and year-round volunteer positions.