2018 Enrollment Information

Big SurJune 17 – June 24 $1200(8 days)ages 8.5 – 14
Mendocino June 27 – July 6 $1400(10 days)ages 10 – 15
SierrasJuly 10 – July 21 $1700(12 days)ages 11 – 17
Backpacking (full)July 27 – August 3 $1200(8 days)ages 14 – 18

Download the 2018 application here.

We are now offering on-line registration using a credit card for a 5% additional fee. See the information below.


Enrollment is generally filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, Camp Chrysalis reserves the right to make admissions decisions on other bases, such as maintaining an even gender balance in the sessions.

A deposit of $200 is due at the time of sign-up. The tuition balance, application form, and the Personal Information and Permissions Forms (see “Forms” page) are due by April 1. Upon receipt of the application and deposit we will contact each camper's family to confirm their space and with further details about preparing for camp. There are no refunds of deposit for cancellation after April 1. Any refunds or credits for cancellation after April 1 are given solely at the director's discretion.

If you would like to use the on-line registration using a credit card (for a 5% additional fee) click the appropriate box below to register through ActivityHero's Secure Online Registration System. If you have any problems with this, contact ActivityHero at 1 (800) 437-6125. Register on ActivityHero

January 1, 2018

To Veteran and Prospective Campers and their Families,

This is our 36th year! When we first talked about starting a camp for the students in our schools, Michael Rossman, my friend and founding director, and I never expected to have such an amazing and satisfying run. Though much has grown familiar to us, the experience of working and learning with children in an outdoor setting continues to be exciting and rewarding. With the camp now much older than its campers, we have become a local institution, a well-kept Berkeley "secret". Michael’s passion and spirit continue to move us to read the land and look under every rock to discover the wonders and mysteries that surround us. His love of nature and inquiry motivate us to inspire the next generation of young people to become stewards of the Earth.

This summer, we are very pleased that our experienced staff (David Siegel, Ashley Daly, Erika Singer, Yaniv Singer, Gideon Lazarus, Andy Risinger) is once again returning for one or more sessions. In addition, we’ll be adding some new junior staff who have risen through the ranks of campers over the past few years. With this amazing staff, Camp Chrysalis maintains its low camper/staff ratio of 4:1 to allow us to give every child the individual attention that she/he deserves.

Our central emphasis continues to be on natural science, as we explore each environment intimately -- hiking, swimming, meandering, focusing on the uniqueness and beauty of the land, wherever we are. Over the years, other activities, not originally foreseen -- folk-singing and guitar instruction, woodworking, jewelry making, canoeing, archery, T-shirt painting, journaling, backpacking trips -- have come to enrich the camp experience. Most importantly, our sense of group dynamics and our skills in helping children grow in cooperation, independence, and responsibility for themselves and to the group have shaped the camp experience. Although we're still learning and growing ourselves, we know that we run a special kind of camp -- one that nurtures the whole child in many different ways.

This summer, our first session returns to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, camping beneath giant Redwood trees and exploring the ecology of the Big Sur River. This session is ideal for younger and beginning campers. Our second session returns to MacKerricher State Park, north of Fort Bragg, with tide-pools, sand dunes, a catamaran trip up the Big River, and ample time for leisurely exploration of this stunning part of the California coast. Third is our Sierra session, again at our base camp in the Tahoe National Forest with hiking and swimming expeditions in the area. We expect spectacular wildflowers, beautiful lakes, and warm days. Last, for our older high school campers, is our backpacking session with enough days to allow us time to explore a spectacular location still to be selected. This session is for campers with prior backpacking experience, either with Chrysalis or other groups.

We've raised our fees about 4% from 2017 to cover increased costs. Nevertheless, Camp Chrysalis's fees continue to be significantly lower than other nature-oriented camps, while providing a unique program for your child's learning and growth. In these stressful economic times, we continue to offer financial assistance to families who need it and a payment plan when requested. Please contact me for more information.

Much of the joy in running this camp is the satisfaction of watching children grow and mature as they explore new situations and challenges and discover much about themselves in the process. We would be delighted to have your children and their friends join us to explore new or familiar environments. However, be sure to return the application form and the deposit promptly. Some sessions filled up in May last year and we had to turn away several old friends as well as other potential new campers. As a small "family-style" camp, our advertising depends mainly on positive word-of-mouth, camp fairs and our web site. Please share our brochures with friends, relatives, neighbors, and business associates. And if you know a place to distribute our brochures and need more, please contact me and visit our updated web site (www.campchrysalis.com).

Thanks, and have a wonderful spring!

Lee Tempkin, for the staff (lee@campchrysalis.com)