What is UC Davis Youth Programs?

Boasting outstanding facilities and featuring experienced recreation professionals at UC Davis, Youth Programs offers a diverse range of high quality camps, classes, trips and swimming lessons for youth up to age 18. Participants may enhance their creativity in the well-equipped Craft Center, learn about teamwork and fitness at the air-conditioned ARC, find their dramatic side in theater camp or improve their swimming skills at the Rec Pool. Our staff is comprised of highly qualified UC Davis students who are passionate about making this summer an exciting one for your kids.

Summer Camps

Check out this summer's Youth Programs offerings and start planning your child's fun summer schedule today! The printed Youth Guide will be available in early February, but you can begin browsing all our camps, classes and programs right here on our web pages. You can also Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest offerings and get reminders about important deadlines.

Program Goals for Participants in Youth Programs

  1. Provide experiences that encourage LEADERSHIP and TEAMWORK
  2. Develop COMPETENCE in RECREATION SKILLS
  3. Learn and develop FRIENDSHIP SKILLS
  4. Help each camper develop an affinity for his or her ENVIRONMENT and COMMUNITY
  5. Provide opportunities to take RESPONSIBILITY and foster INDEPENDENCE
  6. Have FUN while accomplishing goals

Who are the staff?

We are committed to UC Davis Student Development. As such, all of our counselors and instructors are undergraduate students, graduate students or recent graduates of UC Davis. We value diversity in not only background and ethnicity but also education and life experiences. Our counselors and instructors have a desire to share their appreciation for recreation and learning with youth in the community. Many of our employees are interested in working in education, recreation, youth programs or other areas where they will have the ability to make a difference in the lives of youth.

What type of experience and training do the staff have?

Staff members are selected after a competitive application process that includes written responses; group interviews that include preparing and leading a program; and reference checks and thorough criminal background checks. Our staff are all required to be first-aid and CPR certified prior to starting work. Our ten-week, two-unit internship training course for staff includes topics required by the American Camp Association, including, but not limited to the following: camp purpose and outcomes; developmental needs of campers; risk management; behavior management; recognition, prevention and reporting of suspected child-abuse; and responding to emergency procedures. All staff are trained on their responsibilities as a mandated reporter, and we continue to make this one of our top priorities in preparing our staff for their positions. We feel that our staff selection process and training program are essential in providing an enriching and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Who makes up the administration team?

Our Youth Programs office staff have all spent at least one season in our program, bringing experience and expertise to their supervision and administration of our diverse program offerings. They come from various majors and have a passion for helping youth fully experience recreation and all the fun that camp has to offer.  Abigail Luce, Joshua Morrow, Sierra Jasper, Becky Pople, and Meghan Nevarez are the office staff student managers in charge of programming our camps and overseeing camp staff. All the office staff members are looking forward to another great summer of working with campers and their families.

Isabel Dueñas, Coordinator

Isabel joined our team in the spring of 2016 and hit the ground running. With a full summer now under her belt, she is ready to bring all of her experience and knowledge to the planning and implementation of programming for the summer of 2017. Isabel comes from the University of Southern California at which she worked for over 6 years at a Pre-College Enrichment Academy bringing students from the local community onto campus and preparing them to attend the University of their dreams. Isabel has a background in camp and education fields and in working with youth at a collegiate level.  Isabel is a proud Trojan whose passion is serving youth and helping them thrive!

Jeff Heiser, Senior Assistant Director

Finally, our senior assistant director, Jeff Heiser, has been working in the camp and recreation field for over fifteen years. He has directed both residential and day camps in non-profit and public settings. Jeff received his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz and his master’s in recreation and leisure studies at San Francisco State University, and he is an active volunteer for the American Camp Association as an accreditation visitor and a member of the Local Council of Leaders. His children will all be participants in programs this summer in Aggie B and C!

For more information, call 530-754-4304 or email youthprograms@campusrec.ucdavis.edu.