With a backyard of incomparable beauty and stellar college staff leading programming, the Lair of the Golden Bear will leave an indelible mark on your entire family. Lair campers of all ages enjoy a multitude of staff-led activities during each day of your stay. Others find adventure on their own. By the time departure day arrives, you will have fallen in love with our special corner of the Sierra Nevada!
And you don’t need to be a Cal alum to camp at the Lair—the Lair welcomes all!*
- When and Where to Camp
From mid-June through September, most of our summer sessions are Family Camp. We offer nine week-long sessions and three weekend sessions. Our weeks run Saturday at 2pm to Saturday at 10am. Our weekends run Friday at 5pm to Sunday at 2pm. For more information about our calendar, please see our Dates and Rates pages.
The Lair is comprised of three separate camps, Camp Blue, Camp Gold, and Camp Oski, each operating with almost identical programming. Please see our About the Lair page for more information on each camp.
- A Day in the Life
Wake up early and go on a run to the lake, grab some coffee in the Lodge, or enjoy the quiet of camp. Head to breakfast in the Dining Hall, and get ready for the day. Drop your kids off at their age group programs, stop by the camp store, or head to the art area to start a lanyard. After lunch, stop by the pool, shoot some hoops, or relax with a good book at your tent. Before you know it, it’s time for dinner. Bundle up for the nightly program, whether it’s a show at the stage, or disco bingo! The magic of the Lair is that you can do as much or as little as you’d like everyday. With programming throughout the day for kids and adults alike, the Lair is simply the best vacation your family will ever know.
Kids Love the Lair!
Cubs of all ages will love making new friends at camp, exploring their creativity, and diving into nature on their own terms. Children’s age group programs typically meet in the morning and afternoon, with a nightly program twice a week. The age groups are separated as follows: Kub Korral (diaper graduates ages 2-5); Six and Sevens; Eight and Nines; Preteens (ages 10-12); Teens (ages 13-18). Within each age group, two to four staffers organize a wide variety of activities, ranging from arts & crafts, pool parties, and kickball to horseback riding, a hike to the lake, and more fun & games.
Parents Enjoy Endless Relaxation or Adventure
“The Lair is a great family vacation [where] you get to unplug and really enjoy life.”
– 2018 Camp Gold camper
The Lair features a wide variety of offerings for adults looking for precious “me” time. Activities include hiking, music, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the lake, athletic competitions, and tournaments with your kids. Or just hang out at the pool or in a hammock with a good book on a beautiful summer day. Let us take care of the cooking, cleaning, and planning while you enjoy your vacation.
For adults who prefer a gentle workout, the Lair Wellness Team offers daily yoga, Pilates, boot camp workouts (more active), and fantastic massages (an additional cost).
Sample Week Schedule »
Sample Weekend Schedule »
- Dining and Entertainment
“Hands down the best family vacation with the best people. – 2018 Camp Oski camper
Your Lair fees include ALL of your meals—three hearty all-you-can-eat meals each day are served family-style in a common Dining Hall, typically including a hot entree with side dish options. Breakfast is served buffet style from 7:45am - 9:15am with hot entrees, fruit, cereal, toast, yogurt, oatmeal — the works! Lunch is served at 12:15pm, with a full salad bar, and if you’re hiking during lunch, you can make a bag lunch at breakfast. Dinner is served at 6:00pm, also with a salad bar, and hearty options.
Outside of the three meal times, early morning coffee is available before breakfast. The Burger Shack at both Camps Blue and Gold sell assorted food and snacks later in the evening.
If you have dietary restrictions or allergies to certain foods (including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, low-carb, lactose-intolerant, etc.), there are options for you at every meal. You can share your specific dietary needs with our Dining Hall Host or Hostess when you arrive at camp.
Sample Menu »
Meals are subject to change
Star-gaze, or enjoy staff-produced musical campfires and camper talent night. Families love Disco Bingo at the dining hall, complete with costumes and 70’s disco music. See What to Bring below for ideas on costumes. The Camp Blue and Camp Gold lodges are always a center of social activity with cards, board games, and evening snacks. At Camp Oski, tent circle campfires bring families together for s’mores, ghost stories, and good old fashioned sing-alongs.
Our Guest Speaker Program every Sunday and Tuesday night during full-week stays features prominent alumni and members of Cal’s esteemed faculty and administration, addressing topics from astronomy to intercollegiate athletics, the environment to politics and beyond.
- What to Bring
- Be prepared for your stay in the mountains by bringing the essentials. From bedding and towels, to clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, there’s plenty to pack for your stay. Bring sun screen and a water bottle for every one in your family, but don’t forget layers for the chilly nights. Please see our What to Bring page for what you should (and shouldn’t) bring with you to camp.
- Most of our accommodations at the Lair are tent-cabins, wood A-frame structures with a canvas tent top and door flap. Inside, you’ll find frames and mattresses for everyone, a set of shelves, a light over head, and an outlet. The shared bathrooms and showers are conveniently located throughout camp. Please see our Accommodations page for more details on all possible accommodations.
All schedules, programs, and dates are subject to change.
*Please note that for week-long family camp sessions, CAA membership is required for a least one attending adult in each individual tent. CAA membership is not required for any of our adult sessions or Family Weekends. You do not need to be a Cal graduate to join the Cal Alumni Association (CAA). To join CAA, please call 888.CAL.ALUM.