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Welcome


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Welcome


Welcome to a place where the #1 rule is to "Have Fun."

Summerkids began in 1978, when we sought to create an atmosphere of warmth, creativity and fun for our own children's summer experience. The camp has been owned and operated by the DiMassa family since its inception. You can read about our directors here and our fabulous staff here

Our programs now include Summerkids, for K-6th graders, Summer Challenge, for junior highers, and our latest adventure, SK-PreK, for 3- and 4-year-olds. They are the only summer camps in the greater Pasadena area to be held on a real campground. 

We own and operate the 57-acre property in Altadena, at the edge of the Angeles National Forest, where all of our programs are held. The campsite is a safe and secure location that includes beautiful meadows, a stream, lodge, cabins, pool, garden, sports fields, playgrounds, kitchen and more.

Our goal today is the same as it was when we began: to make summer a special time when your children can grow and play and learn new skills in an environment of natural beauty and caring staff. 

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Programs


Programs


SK-PreK is open to children who have turned 3 before their camp session begins and are not entering kindergarten in the fall.

Activities at SK-PreK are tailored to be age and developmentally appropriate. They include camp favorites such as crafts, games, hikes, archery, cooking and more. As in Summerkids, campers make choices about what activities to do during a day--but PreK choices are more limited. 

The SK-PreK day includes a nap/rest time and swimming lessons. 

Campers must be fully potty trained at the time of their enrollment.

Please click on the icon above for more detailed information.

 

Our SUMMERKIDS program, for campers entering K-6th grades,  allows campers to choose from activities like arts and crafts, group sports and games, swimming, nature activities, hikes, archery, cooking, dance, survival, gardening and more. 

We offer a special and optional 6th-grade program with activities designed for 6th graders only.

Please click on the icon above for more detailed information.

 

Holiday Camp is open to campers currently enrolled in grades PK-6. It runs for two or three weeks at winter break, depending on most schools' schedules. Holiday Camp features all of the regular camp activities--nature, hiking sports, games, arts and crafts, theater, cooking, gardening, archery, etc.--with a seasonal twist.

Please click on the icon above for more detailed information.

The SUMMER CHALLENGE program, for entering 7th, 8th and 9th graders, offers traditional camp activities such as crafts, swimming, sports and games as well as some more project-based activities that vary each two weeks and can include movie-making, electronics, songwriting, fashion design, zip-lining, rock climbing, puppetry and more. 

In addition, each Challenge session includes at least one “late-night” field trip, and several include an overnight adventure.

Please click on the icon above for more detailed information.

 

Junior Counselors-in-Training

Our Junior Counselor in Training program is for campers entering 10th-12th grades, who have attended our programs for two or more years. The program provides young people with leadership training and prepares them to (hopefully!!) eventually become Summerkids counselors. 

Information about our Junior Counselor program is available here.

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Administration


Administration


We think of Summerkids as an extension of our family.


Joe and Maria Di Massa

Joe and Maria DiMassa started Summerkids almost 40 years ago, when they sought to create an atmosphere of warmth, creativity and fun for their own children’s summer experience. They are still the camp’s driving force. 

At camp, they are known as “Cowboy Joe” and “Mamma Maria.”

Retired as professors at Pasadena City College, they are the parents of Giancarlo, an emergency room doctor, and Cara, who runs camp’s day-to-day operations. 

They are also the grandparents of four current campers (pictured here with their "Nonni").


Cara and Giancarlo Di Massa

Cara and Giancarlo DiMassa, Joe and Maria's children, take an active role in making Summerkids work in the incredible way it does. 

Cara, a former writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times, is the Camp Director. She oversees daily operations at camp, supervises counselors, schedules activities and, in her spare time, maintains this website and all of our publications. She is the mother of two school-age daughters, both of whom attend Summerkids. 

Giancarlo oversees health and safety, the Summer Challenge, and is a zany addition to campfire. Each summer, he rearranges his ER shifts so that he can be with us on a regular basis. He is the father of two school-age sons, also Summerkids campers!

Their presence at camp means that most likely, you’ll be greeted by a group of DiMassas each morning at our front gate!


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Jaimi HarrisoN

We are joined in the office and at camp by the fabulous Jaimi Harrison, our assistant director. She comes to camp with experience working both in the private sector and at an area public school for 12 years. 

Jaimi and her husband, Chuck, are the parents of two grown children, Joey and Samantha, both of whom work in the health care field. 

Jaimi will often be the friendly voice you hear on the phone at camp...or the cheerful person calling names at the gate...so please say hello!


Arnold Astengo (L.) and Jose magallon (r.)

Arnold Astengo is our full-time caretaker. He lives on the campground, in a beautiful log-cabin house that is "off-limits" to campers, and is responsible for making sure that our campsite is in top working condition for the many things we ask it to do all summer. 

He is joined on our staff by Jose Magallon, our groundskeeper. Jose is a jack-of-all-trades and is just as comfortable fixing our sprinklers as he is "ushering" a bird out of our lodge (and he's done both!).

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What Parents Say


What Parents Say


Each year, we hear so many nice things from parents and campers about their experience at our programs. 

Here's a sampling....

[My son] started as a first grader and it is something he looks forward to throughout the year...EVERY YEAR!! It is such a welcome break for him from the school year - he LOVES all the great (physical) activities :)

He has made some great friends that he now sees, on occasion, outside of Summerkids!

His Dad and I are so thankful that we found out about Summerkids when we did... It has given him many happy childhood memories!!

Thank you guys so much for creating such a safe, engaging environment!! He’s looking forward to trying out Challenge next summer!
— mother of Silas, age 11
All your staff and counselors are a pleasure to interact with and they really make Summerkids a wonderful place to be.
— Nicole, mother of Montana, age 8
This is our first time at your camp, and my daughter LOVES it!!! What a valuable and unique experience you are offering the children....
— Wiloeann, mother of Aubrey, age 9
Thank you for making another wonderful summer possible for my boys. My boys had an absolute blast.
— Katie, mother of 3 boys, ages 6, 8 & 11
The environment at Summerkids feels like a second home. Having been there for eight years, I know that you make lifelong friends, there are great counselors, and it is loads of fun. At Summerkids, you play all sorts of games, sing memorable camp songs, and the demographic there is for all sorts of people. The outdoor games, such as Dodgeball, Capture the Flag, Swimming, Archery, and even gardening, are tons of great fun, but if you’re i n the mood for something more relaxing, you can go up into the lodge, where they have board games, arts & crafts, and cooking.

Another great thing about Summerkids is the counselors. They’re funny, kind, and they make sure that your experience is the best it can be. Furthermore, there is almost no age discrimination at Summerkids ... so a 3rd grader could be great friends with a 5th grader.

My first memory of Summerkids is on the first day, when the head counselor introduced the two rules you had to follow during your time at Summerkids. They were, ‘Have fun, and help others have fun.’ And, in my opinion, everyone follows those rules. This is why every year I enthusiastically look forward to Summerkids.
— Miles, age 12