Crissy Field Center: Summer Camps

Facilitating Meaningful Experiences for Youth in their National Parks


Crissy Field Center Urban Backpackers

Crissy Field Center facilitates outdoor environmental experiences that provide youth with meaningful experiences in the Golden Gate National Parks and beyond. Youth learn what it takes to make a thriving park, healthy community, and a just society. Participants build lasting memories, experience self-discovery, forge friendships, and learn about their surroundings through hands-on science experiments, multimedia projects, and outdoor excursions.

Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Crissy Field Center has made the difficult decision to cancel summer camp programs. If your family has registered for one of our programs, you will receive an email notification, followed by a full refund of the program fees. Thank you for understanding. We wish you and your loved ones health and safety during this challenging time and hope that you are able to join us again for future programs.

Program Philosophy

We seek to provide children in-depth experiences in our urban environment and local national park. Through a rich combination of outdoor investigation, field outings, and fun hands-on projects, participants learn about important ecological concepts and issues while in a community-building, collaborative setting.

We believe that youth learn best when they feel safe and happy and we take great care to ensure the safety of every camper. Bullying, discrimination, or any action that jeopardizes the physical or emotional well-being of campers is strictly not tolerated.

Urban Backpackers will backpack through a national park right and strengthen their connection to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. All campers will walk 3-5 miles per day while carrying a 15-20 pound backpack. The trip begins at Lands End, where youth hike to Rob Hill Campground to spend their first night. The next day, the group will backpack across the Golden Gate Bridge and camp in the Marin Headlands. Urban Backpackers are provided with tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and all meals during their journey. 

Adventure Backpackers will experience a challenging wilderness adventure in Point Reyes! Starting at Bear Valley Visitor Center, youth will backpack down Coast Campground for the first night, and then up to Sky Campground for the second night. Backpackers will be carrying packs weighing 15-20 pounds as they climb over 2000 feet during this 13-mile trip. Upon return, the youth will have a celebration at Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio. Adventure Backpackers are provided with tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and all meals during their journey. 

Crissy Field Center Summer Camp is dedicated to providing opportunities for all Bay Area youth. If your child receives free or reduced lunch at school, you automatically qualify for financial aid in the form of a full or a half-discounted scholarship. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and applications are accepted on a rolling basis until camps fill. You will be notified of your eligibility after submitting a scholarship registration form.

To apply, click on the “Scholarship” session of your choice and complete the registration form. There is a non-refundable $35 registration fee per application, per camp session. Youth will only receive 1 scholarship each summer.

At the Crissy Field Center, we understand that sometimes life happens and plans change. We are happy to accommodate. To receive a refund, a written request (paper or electronic) must be submitted to the Center at least six weeks before the designated start of the camp.

  • ​75% refund for cancellations requested up to 6 weeks prior to the start of camp.
  • No refund for cancellations made after the six-week deadline.
  • $25 processing fee for each full-priced cancellation.
  • $35 scholarship registration fee is non-refundable, regardless of reason for cancellation.
  • Fees for Extended Care are non-refundable
  • In the case that a camp does not fill, Crissy Field Center reserves the right to cancel the session and issue a full refund.

PaHoua Lee
Manager, Community Services and Programs

603 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94129 ,

Nature Matters! Summer camps at Crissy Field Center taught my children how to love and appreciate nature. They explored our beautiful coastline and parks close to home and learned how important it is to take care of it. I love that it has opened their eyes and senses to their surroundings as nature conservators.

Lisa Lee Sosa, parent of Estrella and Sotero, campers for the last three summers

“As a parent I am very happy John was able to participate in the Presidio Trekkers program. I greatly value outdoor education, and felt this program helped my child become more appreciative of parks, both local and national. John said his favorite thing about camp was ‘going to somewhere new every day.’ He also said, ‘I really like hiking with the Trekkers.’ I thought that was awesome. John thinks parks are important because ‘they are public places. They’re for everyone to enjoy. Nobody should ever think they’re not public.’ I was moved that he was able to come up with these answers. I feel he really walked away from the program more aware of park importance, and his ownership of them. We may have a future park steward in the making. We both look forward to next year’s programming as he would like to move on to Junior Ranger! Thank you for an awesome experience!”

Juan Burciaga, parent of John, age 8, a participant in Presidio Trekkers

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