2020 Enrollment Information

Big SurJune 17 – June 24 $1300(8 days)ages 8.5 – 14
Mendocino June 30 – July 9$1500(10 days)ages 10 – 15
SierrasJuly 12 – July 23 $1800(12 days)ages 11 – 17
BackpackingJuly 27 – August 3 $1300(8 days)ages 14 – 18

Complete our new fillable application form.

All sessions except for the backpacking session are cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Stay safe and see you next summer!

Please Note: Camp Chrysalis has embraced fillable PDFs! While in the past we have asked you to print PDFs, and then fill them out with a pen, this year all PDFs are fillable within the document. This should make it easier for you to fill in the information, and easier for camp staff to read it during camp.
With all forms, once you have filled them out, please save them, then either email them to Lee Tempkin at lee@campchrysalis.com, OR print them out, and send them to: CAMP CHRYSALIS, 2434 McKinley Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703.

We are now offering on-line registration using a credit card for a 5% additional fee. If you are interested in this option for the deposit, balance or full tuition, contact our director, Lee Tempkin, (lee@campchrysalis.com or 510 843-6157) with your credit card information.


Enrollment is generally filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, Camp Chrysalis reserves the right to make admissions decisions on other basis, 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.

December 4, 2019

To Veteran and Prospective Campers and their Families,

This will be our 38th 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. 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. We continue to inspire the next generation of young people to become stewards of the Earth.

This summer, we are very pleased that our experienced staff (Yaniv, Gideon Ashley, Andy, Max, and Dario) is once again returning for one or more sessions. In addition, we’ll have many junior staff who have risen through the ranks of campers over the past few years. With this amazing staff, Camp Chrysalis maintains its high staff to camper ratio of 1:4 to allow us to give campers the individual attention that they deserve.

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 -- folk-singing, woodworking, jewelry making, catamaran trips, archery, T-shirt painting, journaling, and backpacking trips -- have come to enrich the camp experience. Most importantly, our sense of group dynamics and the building of community 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 is again at 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. The 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.

Lastly, for our older high school campers, is our backpacking session with enough days to allow us time to explore a spectacular location. This year snow level permitting, our session will be to the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park with high peaks and views, marmots, and cold lakes. If there is enough demand, we may offer a second sesion at lower elevation, a glorious loop around the Tahoe Basin with wildflowers, waterfalls, and several lakes for swimming. We always hope for bear sightings and do carry bear cans on all trips. This session will include an afternoon of solo time, lots of wildflowers, sleeping out under the stars, and games and activities to deepen our friendships and understanding of each other and ourselves. This session is for campers with prior backpacking experience.

We've raised our fees less than 4% from 2019 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 April 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 web site (www.campchrysalis.com) with friends, relatives, neighbors, and business associates. And if you know a place to distribute our brochures and need more, please contact me.

Thanks, and have a wonderful spring!

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