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Curriculum · YMCA at Camp Arroyo

Our curriculum actively engages students in experiential learning, critical thinking and problem solving through a multidisciplinary program which meets state standards.

Schools from around the East Bay bring groups of fourth- through sixth-graders for a three- to five-day program. Small groups are led by a naturalist in character development activities, night-time programs, team-building initiatives and lessons designed around sustainable living.


Arroyo Outdoor Ed 

Eco Awareness:

Students use Camp Arroyo’s green architecture to learn about natural resources and how they can integrate conservation into their daily lives. They experiment with renewable energy and learn how the camp’s design incorporates the sun as an energy source.

Organic Gardening:

Activities based on all stages of the growing cycle—planting, weeding, harvesting, cooking and composting—give students the chance to connect to where food comes from. They learn about worm composting systems and the role that chickens play in our garden. This lesson also includes reflective activities, such as writing and art.

Ecosystem Exploration:

As students explore the 138 acres of oak woodlands and riparian areas that surround Camp Arroyo, they learn how the plants and animals fit into this environment. Our naturalists use hands-on games, scavenger hunts and other activities to connect students to the flora and fauna around them. Students use field guides, binoculars, magnifying glasses and other tools to give them a closer look at nature.  

Cresta Blanca Hike:

This three-mile hike to the top of the hills overlooking Lake Del Valle focuses on geology, watersheds and most importantly, personal accomplishment!

Creek Exploration:

Students will learn about the importance of water conservation through hands-on activities that explore the water cycle and local watersheds. Students will also participate in a study of the Arroyo Del Valle that will include collection of macro invertebrates and conducting water quality tests.

Voices of the Past:

Students learn about the native Ohlone people’s culture through hands-on activities in our Ohlone village. They make fire with sticks, use pump drills, make cords and grind food with mortars and pestles. They also learn how the Ohlone culture emphasized conservation for future generations.





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