Crissy Field Center: Urban Backpackers

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.


2020 Crissy Field Center Summer Programs:

    Urban Backpackers, for middle school youth

    • Two sessions to be held in July. Specific dates and more details to come.
    • Youth will spend 2 nights backpacking from the Presidio to the Marin Headlands, and receive a reception upon their return to the Presidio.

          More about Urban Backpackers

          Urban Backpackers provides a challenging wilderness adventure for youth who aspire to develop leadership and teamwork skills by backpacking through a national park. Participants spend their first two days building team rapport and establishing an understanding of expectations for the program. The following three days and two night are spent backpacking from the Presidio to the Marin Headlands, where they'll cover over 15 miles between San Francisco to Marin Counties. Some of the skills they will gain include orienteering and Leave No Trace practices.

          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.

          PaHoua Lee
          Manager, Community Services and Programs

          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.

          1199 E Beach
          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


          More than ever, we need public lands where communities can come together.