From Parents, Guests & Children
Sees the Day is a mix of an old fashioned, relaxed outdoor day camp with a focus on science, nature, stewardship, empathy and compassion - geared to elementary school aged kids (K-5). Kids spend the day primarily in Tilden park (Lake Anza region) doing things like team building activities and cooperative games, hiking, storytelling, fairy house and fort building and imaginative play in the small redwood grove. Guest speakers come each week with themes on conservation, creativity, music, animals and nature awareness. My son has spent many formative summers here, and loved the open, non-gender, focused activities. Kids of mixed ages play together, in a small, supervised camp! The key to the camp success is the camp founder, educator, and director (Kirk Cooper), who is the one actually there playing, teaching and hanging out the kids (not just summer camp hired staff) with years of experience and dedication to children. It is kind of like the best secret summer camp in the Berkeley!
Sees the Day is in my view the perfect summer day camp. My two kids have really enjoyed their days spent with Kirk Cooper's team. My kids have attended a wide variety of the summer camps offered in the Bay Area --perhaps every major camp you've heard of-- and their reigning favorite is Sees the Day. Although my kids are not always able to articulate exactly why, I suspect it is the camaraderie they have with the other campers and Kirk's ability to facilitate this fellowship. As for myself, I like that my kids are spending the day outside, interacting with other kids, having some structured activities and some time to hang out, and I like that Kirk is imparting values that I want my kids to hear. He makes mutual respect and appreciation for the outdoors a dual priority. A day at Sees the Day is as much of a character-building experience as it is a pastime. Sees the Day is our family's favorite summer camp.
Robin Abbott, Parent
Visiting with you and your young people is always a bright spot in my summer. You share much beauty, wisdom, compassion and light. Your warm and open spirit is a gift to the world and all the children whose lives you touch!
Elisa Kleven, Guest Children’s Book Author & Illustrator
Sees the Day is a fantastic camp! My seven year old daughter did several weeks last summer, loved the camp, and will be back this year. She was outside all day playing, learning, imagining, hiking and building. Special guests like book authors visit the kids and share their wisdom. She came home breathless each day with stories about tree fairies, woodland creatures, games, crafts and new friends. Kirk Cooper, the camp director, is an awesome, energetic and passionate teacher. He loves and understands the kids, and his camp is an extension of that. He is organized, easy to communicate with and an all-round lovely human. His counselors were sweet and fun with the kids too. Highly recommend this summer camp for a peaceful, outdoorsy, educational and fun experience.
Megan Alderson, Parent
Sees the Day was a great experience for our 6 year old daughter, and we intend to enroll her again next summer! My wife and I love the program Kirk Cooper has developed. There is an emphasis on community, empathy for each other and for the earth, and on appreciation and giving back. We particularly like the fact that the kids are outside all day–isn't that what summer camp is supposed to be like? Our daughter formed new friendships with kids her age and also with the counselors in training, who set a positive example and are role models for the younger kids. There are also weekly guest teachers, who come and teach about their area of expertise, and our daughter came home inspired to share all that she had learned. Sees the Day is a camp with a big heart, where kids are able to connect in meaningful ways with the people and places in their local community. I highly recommend it!
Aaron Moorhead, Parent
Thank you for being such a great role model and teacher-- your camp continues to be Adam’s favorite, hands-down! I will keep spreading the word amongst his friends and we look forward to seeing you next summer!
Tina Feiszli, Parent
Kirk and team at See's the Day are fabulous year over year. The subtle mindfulness aspect infused into the day has helped my daughter tremendously and I highly recommend See's the Day for all kids. They come home happy, engaged and thoughtful and get an outdoor summer experience building adventurous and relaxing summer memories.
Amy Beal, Parent
Miranda LOVED camp! Thanks to you and the rest of the staff. A great program that teaches valuable lessons, life skills and, most importantly, it's FUN!
Stephen Stewart, Parent
I want to echo my thanks and gratitude Kirk. It’s always such an honor and pleasure to visit a camp so full of enthusiasm and passion for the natural world, and compassion for fellow humans too! Keep up the fantastic work and I hope to collaborate with you again in the near future.
Susan Silber, Guest from Natures Voices Project
Both of my daughters have attended and loved Sees the Day. I think what makes Sees the Day unique and special relative to other summer camps is its grounded and relaxed quality. It provides an opportunity for kids to be outside all day, but without the structured frenzy of other programs. My kids both enjoyed making fairy houses in the redwood glade, playing games, and learning from the interesting guest speakers. The program is also unique in that it ushers kids into young-counselor positions, starting at about age twelve. The wide age range of the group means that kids play with other kids who are younger and older, not just peers of exactly their own age. That's an unusual aspect of this program, and one that adds another layer of depth to everyone's experience.
Leslie Teicholz, Parent
Using Sees the Day for the fifth, maybe sixth year in a row. Both my girls love it. It's a good combination of structure and simple outdoor play. The director, Kirk, truly cares about what he is doing, is talented with the kids, and the counselors he hires are all great too. I would describe the camp as a traditional outdoor summer camp with a dash of environmental science and ethics mixed in.
My daughter and I call Sees the Day "Play All Day in Tilden" Camp. It offers a lovely balance between open-ended play and structure with plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and good values mixed in. Just what summer should be! Highly recommended -- Kirk is a natural with all kinds of kids.
Christa Laib, Parent
My kids have been going to Sees the Day for several years now and it is really a jewel of a camp. This small camp is great for kids who like a more intimate feel. It’s also a camp that provides a meaningful experience for kids as well as great fun! Kirk inspires in children curiosity, compassion, consideration, and respect. The children end the day with a gratitude circle, and my son comes home talking about what he appreciates and/or about how important it is to live in the present, or how many plastic bottles people use in the United States in a single day. In other words, the kids are both having fun and taking in meaningful lessons. I really think it is an unusual camp experience, and in our material-media driven world, it is nice to have these wholesome values floating around while our kids our hanging out.
Gina Hassan, Ph.D., parent
Thanks for all of your efforts with young people. It’s an honor to be a part of it. It’s more important than ever right now to provide positive experiences for kids and to inspire them to go out into the world with a good grasp on what’s important. Keep up the good work!