Join us for Summer Camp

Summer Camp at the Center

CAMP at JCAS is a creative and experiential summer day-camp that supports a community of artists, innovators, and curious folks who want to creatively investigate their worlds. At JCAS Summer Camp, your child explores the possible in the visual arts, tinkering, electronics, building, making, and crafts. A variety of projects are designed around a weekly theme for each week of camp and are scaled to be developmentally appropriate and meet the needs of individual children. Each theme combines art, science and outdoor activities.

Our projects are led by professional artists and educators who inspire a warm, open, and creative environment where campers feel encouraged to takes risks, explore, and try their hand at a myriad of creative techniques. JCAS CAMP is located at beautiful Lake Merritt, Oakland.

Please click on class topics below for descriptions. 

June 18 - 22: Photo/Video Exploration, 7 - 10 years old

The focus of this camp is photography and mixed media.  Campers will learn expressive techniques, some art history, and will explore elements of mixed media, photography and design thinking. Using inquiry-led discussion, students will learn about modern photographers and use them as inspiration to create original works of art.

Over the course of the program, they will document the in-class creative process through photo and video.

June 25 - 29: Claymation and Stop Motion Animation, 7 - 10 years old

Tap into the incredible practice of stop-motion film production and technique. Claymation Camp contains everything students need to create their own, individual movies, including top-quality clay, fun-to-use software, adorable cameras and amazing curriculum that turns anyone into a filmmaker.

July 2 - 6: Creative Creatures, 5 - 8 years old

Students will explore all the animals who call Lake Merritt home and use this new knowledge to devise their own stories and creatures. They will use recycled materials, papier mache, sewing, and glue guns to make their fantastic beasts.

***Note: there is no camp on July 4.

July 9 - 13: Ceramics, 5 - 8 years old

Experiment with inventive techniques used to make ceramic tiles and designs in clay. Students will create unique ceramic pieces using hand building and wheel throwing techniques. Students will understand how to create a 3D shape and various ways to construct vessels.

Jul 9 - 13: Moving Mechanisms - 7 - 10 years old

simple machine is a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force.

Kinetic Sculptures and automata are fun way to explore this concept where art and science meet. Students will challenge themselves to create a kinetic sculpture that can be powered by the wind as well as other devices.

July 16-20: Wild World of Printmaking, 7 - 10 years old

The collagraph is a process that involves both relief and intaglio style printing. It is a very versatile and explorative process Collagraph technique uses both additive and subtractive methods to create a matrix for printing. This process is informative and inventive for both intermediate and seasoned student-artists. The class also discusses this idea of the object that you make versus the print that we make from it.

July 23-27: What Goes Up Must Come Down, 5 - 8 years old

How high does your rocket fly? Build, hypothesize, test, refine and launch again. Join us for a week of wacky experiments that explores gravity, air pressure and chance. Let’s design a city of the future with gravity-defying buildings and alternative vehicles.

July 23 - July 27: Mini-Makers Camp, 5-7 years old

Learn the maker mindset by creating art inspired by Lake Merritt! We will use materials such as plywood, cardboard and calipers and even a laser cutter! Completed works will be shown in the art gallery in July and August.

July 30-Aug 3: Toymakers, 7 - 10 years old

Get started making your own toys by hacking old ones! This week campers will make their own toys from recycled materials, electronics, and other devices. Students will explore basic electricity as they create robots, cars and their own board games.

Aug 6-10: Maker Musicians - a collaboration with Thingamajigs, 5 - 7 years old

In this session students will use all types of objects to build musical instruments from chimes to zithers, to drums!

Carpentry, 6 - 17 years old: 2-week camps offered in 3 different sessions; June 18 - June 29, July 16 - July 27, July 30 - August 10

Students will learn to use a complement of hand tools in a course that stresses respect for others, respect for tools, safe tool use, practical problem-solving and creative development. Projects increase in difficulty as experience grows, beginning with toy boats and working up to full-sized furniture and professional skateboards.

General Camp Information

Daily Drop off/pick up:

9:00 – 9:15 am — Drop Off and Free Time

9:15 – 9:30 am — Morning Meeting — All Campers

9:30 – 10:45 am — Project A

10:45 – 11:15 am — Snack Time & Free Play

11:15 – 12:00 pm — Project A cont.

12:00 – 1:00 pm — Lunch & Free Play/Choice/Games

1:00– 3:30 pm —  Afternoon session Project B

3:30 – 4:00 Outdoor play

4 pm — Pick up


Friday Afternoon Art Show:

Every Friday afternoon at 3:30 pm., we will highlight some of the creative work from the week with a gallery exhibit. Parents and friends are encouraged to attend.


What to Bring and Wear:

  • Children should bring a lunch and a snack
  • Children should wear comfortable clothing, including tennis shoes or shoes that they can run in.
  • Apply sunscreen as we will be outdoors for part of the camp. 
  • Parents must sign in and sign out daily.
  • We will need to see ID for anyone such as a relative or child care provider who is designated to pick up your child.
  • Pick up on time. You will be assessed a late charge of $1 per minute payable that day. 

Rates and Terms

Camp at the Junior Center costs approximately
$410/week for Full Day Camp
$220/week for Half Day Camp

We aim to make our programs affordable to all families; summer camp is priced on a sliding scale fee of
$345 – $500/week for Full Day Camp
$195 – $250/week for Half Day Camp.

Families choose the amount they are able to pay.  We continue to fundraise to make our sliding scale available and know that families will be as generous as they can.

Financial Aid:

Need additional support? JCAS offers a limited amount of financial aid on a first-come, first-served, need-proven basis. We will begin taking applications for Summer 2018 in early February. Email us for more information [email protected]

Financial Aid Form (Please fill out and return to Junior Center or email to [email protected]):

Terms and Conditions

Upon registration you will be emailed a confirmation of weeks enrolled and fees. This confirmation email will also include our Tax ID number again for your filing convenience.

Please note:

JCAS enrollment is non-transferable. That said, we do understand that sometimes your family schedule changes! We offer a one-time enrollment transfer for your child to another week of CAMP that has spaces available free of charge. Any increase in project fees will be applied.

In the event you need to cancel your child’s enrollment, we offer the following refunds:

  • Two (or more) weeks prior to the camp week you are canceling: 50% refund
  • Less than 2 weeks notice to camp week: no refund

Unfortunately, because spots are limited, no credit is given for partial attendance. No portion of the tuition will be refunded if the child is absent, withdrawn, or should otherwise fail to complete the activity.


A limited number of partial, need-based scholarships are available for after school and summer class participants. Scholarship applicants must complete all the required forms by the publicized deadlines. Scholarship deadlines are well in advance of the start of each session. Please contact the Junior Center staff at 510.839.5777 for more information and to request the required forms.

Welte Construction Company offers two 100% scholarships for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to participate in our programs.